British actor Alan Rickman’s dozens of roles ranged from the husband who strayed and quickly regretted it in Love, Actually (2003) to a terrorist leader in action thriller Die Hard (1988). But Rickman, who died Jan. 14 at age 69, probably resonated most with millions of Harry Potter fans as Severus Snape, the icy, humorless potion-mixing magic instructor in the hit movie franchise.
With his imposing stature and deep voice, Fred Thompson, who played district attorney Arthur Branch on the long-running TV series Law & Order, was utterly believable as a tough-but-wise authority figure.
With his dark, dashing looks and commanding presence, Egyptian-born Omar Sharif dominated the big screen in such epics as Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).
You might remember Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner, the handsome, stolid lawyer who, despite being something of a mama’s boy, summons up the courage and presence of mind to repeatedly rescue young socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) from flocks of inexplicably murderous avians in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror-suspense classic, The Birds.
Richard Attenborough had a pretty good career as a character actor. From the 1940s to the mid-2000s, he appeared in nearly 80 films, including the 1963 World War II epic The Great Escape, in which he played the mastermind of a daring flight from a Nazi prison camp, to 1992's Jurassic Park, in which he played bioengineering genius John Hammond, the owner of an ill-fated theme park stocked with cloned dinosaurs.
Bill Murray is the latest celeb announced for the cast of Disney's new live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. He'll be the voice of Baloo, the lovable bear who became popular after singing the Bare Necessities in Disney's 1967 animated version.
On the night I got to know Mickey Rooney, I had to keep reminding myself that the little - very little - old man sitting across from me was once the biggest star on Planet Earth.
Hank Aaron's 715th round-tripper on April 8, 1974, makes him Major League Baseball's all-time home run leader, ending Babe Ruth's 39-year reign. Barry Bonds deposes Aaron in 2007, an achievement tarnished by suspicions that Bonds used steroids.
When I glanced at my e-mail alerts on Sunday and saw that Philip Seymour Hoffman, arguably the greatest film actor of his generation, had died of a probable drug overdose, I felt the same mix of sadness and anger that came over me when Whitney Houston died.
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