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Tim Conway, legendary Carol Burnett Show comedian, dies at 85

Tim Conway, the legendary comedian who had a knack for improv and cracking up his fellow cast members on The Carol Burnett Show, has died. He was 85. Conway died Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. in the Los Angeles area, his rep confirmed, saying Conway’s death came “after a long illness.” In August it had been reported…

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Tim Conway, legendary Carol Burnett Show comedian, dies at 85

Tim Conway, the legendary comedian who had a knack for improv and cracking up his fellow cast members on The Carol Burnett Show, has died. He was 85.
Conway died Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. in the Los Angeles area, his rep confirmed, saying Conway’s death came “after a long illness.” In August it had been reported that Conway was suffering from dementia, but PEOPLE reports he suffered complications from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus prior to his death and had no signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Born and raised in Ohio, Conway wasn’t looking to make it big in Hollywood. “I started out wanting to be a jockey,” he told EW in 2011. “Having fallen off as much as I did and being terrified of horses, that didn’t work out so well!”

He went on to serve two years in the army, then returned to his native Cleveland where he started writing comedy for local TV stations.
He eventually earned a spot on ABC’s The Steve Allen Show as a regular cast member. But he didn’t achieve nationwide fame until taking the role as the blundering Ensign Parker on the ’60s sitcom McHale’s Navy. He then went on to star on The Tim Conway Show in 1970 for a short stint before finally joining The Carol Burnett Show. Conway’s 11 years on the sketch show garnered him four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe thanks to his hilarious characters like the Old Man and Mr. Tudball.
“Carol gave us the opportunity to do whatever we wanted on the show, which was always great because we would surprise not only the audience but her, too,” Conway told EW. “There were so many things we did on the air that were never done until we actually did them for taping. One was the Old Man. When we got the script that week, Harvey said, ‘Wait a minute. He’s not doing an old man. I do the best old man there is.’ So all week, Harvey is saying, ‘What are you going to do as an old man?’ and I said, ‘I have no idea’ And I didn’t. I really didn’t do that shuffle with the Old Man until we were actually taping the show. When I started shuffling across the room, I noticed the rug was gathering in front of me and I thought, ‘Jeez, if they let this go, we’re going to be here for three days.’ But they let it go and it was created out of air.”

Later in his career, Conway provided the voice for Barnacle Boy on Spongebob Squarepants and even made a special appearance on the second season of 30 Rock, playing ‘50s TV icon Bucky Bright, for which he received an Emmy. He also won a best guest actor in a comedy Emmy in 1996 for his turn on Coach as Hayden’s (Craig T. Nelson) gardener Kenny.
Conway’s other TV credits include guest appearances on Married… With Children, Mad About You, Glee, Two and a Half Men, and Mike & Molly.
Conway is survived by his wife, Charlene, and seven children (sons Jaime, Tim Jr., Pat, Corey, and Shawn, and daughters Jackie and Kelly) whom he shares with his first wife Mary Anne Dalton.

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Aldis Hodge to take flight as Hawkman in DC’s Black Adam

DC’s Black Adam movie with Dwayne Johnson has found the next member to join the Justice Society of America. Aldis Hodge, seen in this year’s The Invisible Man, is in talks to play comics favorite Hawkman in the film directed by Jungle Cruise’s Jaume Collet-Serra, EW has learned. The character, a.k.a. Carter Hall, is a…

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Aldis Hodge to take flight as Hawkman in DC’s Black Adam

DC’s Black Adam movie with Dwayne Johnson has found the next member to join the Justice Society of America.
Aldis Hodge, seen in this year’s The Invisible Man, is in talks to play comics favorite Hawkman in the film directed by Jungle Cruise’s Jaume Collet-Serra, EW has learned.

The character, a.k.a. Carter Hall, is a warrior with giant birdlike wings, a bird-shaped helmet, and a fierce mace. The original Carter Hall was a reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian prince who’d lived many different lives over the years. His origins were changed later in the comics to become Katar Hol, a member of an alien race of winged soldiers from the planet Thanagar.

Hodge previously portrayed MC Ren in Straight Outta Compton, and he will be seen this year as Jim Brown in Regina King’s directorial debut, One Night in Miami, which recently screened at the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.
Hawkman was recently revealed during the DC FanDome event as one of four heroes who will appear in Black Adam as part of the Justice Society, the others being Atom Smasher, Doctor Fate, and Cyclone. Noah Centineo was previously announced in the role of Atom Smasher.

Johnson will debut as the magic-powered antihero Black Adam in the film before joining Zachary Levi in the Shazam sequel.
“I love that he doesn’t walk the line and has his own sense of Black Adam justice, and I love that his origins are that of a slave — his people were enslaved and his family was enslaved… he felt the burden and pressures of a larger entity holding him down,” Johnson said during DC FanDome. “When you come from that place, there’s a different energy… which informs how Black Adam operates.”

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‘Fargo’ stars Chris Rock in a mob tale that rolls along a bit too slowly

The FX series was one of many delayed by coronavirus, having completed nine of its 11 episodes before the pandemic shut down production. Series creator Noah Hawley and his team were able to resume filming, although those final episodes haven’t been seen, so even critics don’t know if the big build-up actually pays off in…

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‘Fargo’ stars Chris Rock in a mob tale that rolls along a bit too slowly

The FX series was one of many delayed by coronavirus, having completed nine of its 11 episodes before the pandemic shut down production. Series creator Noah Hawley and his team were able to resume filming, although those final episodes haven’t been seen, so even critics don’t know if the big build-up actually pays off in a satisfying manner.As is, the new “Fargo” owes a debt to every Mafia movie ever made, but perhaps foremost to the graphic-novel-turned-2002-movie “Road to Perdition,” at least in the look and tone. A key dramatic device also brings to mind Jack Kirby’s epic “Fourth World” comic books of the 1970s: Leaders of warring factions (and in that case, planets) swapping sons in order to maintain an uneasy truce between them.The premiere establishes that history, and indeed the entire arc of American organized crime as it pertains to immigrants, with the rise of Jewish, Irish and Italian syndicates — whoever was “next off the boat,” it’s noted. These groups warily interact with each other, before Black mobsters enter the scene when the story begins in Kansas City in 1950, with Rock’s Loy Cannon as their boss. (Lest anyone have forgotten after the long layoff, “Fargo,” the title, is really just a state of mind, not the town referred to in the original Coen brothers movie.)”What does history tell us? Peace don’t last for long,” the narration notes at the outset, setting an ominous tone for virtually everything that follows.Cannon trades his son with the rival Italian mob, run by Schwartzman’s slightly fidgety Josto Fadda, himself the product of an earlier heir swap. Yet Fadda has his own internal troubles, with his ruthless brother Gaetano (“Gomorrah’s” Salvatore Esposito) having come over from the old country and itching for a fight.”Fargo” provides an assortment of lovingly constructed shots, artful split screens and eccentric characters, including Timothy Olyphant (not far from his “Justified” days) as a philosophical lawman who objects to strong language; Jessie Buckley as a nurse whose stiff outward demeanor doesn’t tell the whole story; and Ben Whishaw — who really steals the show — as an Irishman raised by the Italians, who becomes the world-weary chaperone of Cannon’s kid.Rock and Schwartzman sink their teeth into these serious dramatic roles, and there’s still plenty of the series’ trademark quirkiness, such as naming one of Loy’s lieutenants Doctor Senator (played by the ever-reliable Glynn Turman).Too often, though, the narrative moves at a crawl, filled with long conversations that carry the impending threat of violence. It’s fine if you’re there just to luxuriate in the atmosphere (which includes a glorious black-and-white episode later in the run), and a little frustrating if you’d prefer a bit more urgency about where all these roads lead and intersect.Given the spotty history of translating movies to TV, the first season of “Fargo” was a minor miracle — capturing the film’s peculiar rhythms — and the second was almost equally impressive. The third, however, featuring Ewan McGregor in a dual role, slipped from that creative plateau, and the fourth ranks right around that line, well below the show’s apex.That isn’t bad company, but in the “Fargo” pecking order, it’s closer to the runt of the litter than the top dog.”Fargo” premieres Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. on FX and the next day on FX on Hulu.

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Watch Netflix’s Boys in the Band cast gather for a fabulously epic Zoom roundtable

The Boys in the Band (2020 film) Redoing the classics is always risky. But 2018’s Ryan Murphy-backed Broadway production of The Boys in the Band — reviving Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking 1968 drama about a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party gone wrong — emerged as a Tony-winning success. Such a hit,…

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Watch Netflix’s Boys in the Band cast gather for a fabulously epic Zoom roundtable

The Boys in the Band (2020 film)

Redoing the classics is always risky. But 2018’s Ryan Murphy-backed Broadway production of The Boys in the Band — reviving Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking 1968 drama about a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party gone wrong — emerged as a Tony-winning success. Such a hit, in fact, that Murphy reunited all nine of its actors (Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Brian Hutchison, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Zachary Quinto, Tuc Watkins, and Michael Benjamin Washington) for a Netflix film, which hits the streamer on Sept. 30.

With the Boys zooming in from all corners, battling power outages and spotty signals, EW managed to gather all nine actors plus Mantello over Zoom for one long, fabulous Around the Table discussion. We touched on the experience of taking on the Boys story again for the screen, its enduring resonance (and controversy), working with Crowley before his death, at 84, in March, and much more. Below are select transcripts of the conversation (edited for clarity). And you can watch our full edited roundtable at the top of this post.

Scott Everett White/Netflix

On Deciding to Make the Movie

JOE MANTELLO (DIRECTOR): When Ryan first brought up the idea of doing the revival, he’d always imagined that [it] would be a new version of the [1970 film].

JIM PARSONS (MICHAEL): It had been such a wonderful experience that I worried it might lack the same impact [in] the movie version. But it turned into exactly the opposite. The Broadway run informed the process of making this movie in a way that, as Matt Bomer said, “I don’t want to ever do a movie now [if] I haven’t done a full Broadway run of the material beforehand.”

MATT BOMER (DONALD): We knew our characters. On any given take, we knew how to improvise and find new moments in a medium that’s inherently a lot more intimate.

On Reaching a Wider Audience

BOMER: It’s about a very specific group of men at a very specific time. There’s a fever pitch… [and] ugliness that comes with that. I’m excited for a wide swath of demographics to come to the film and experience it as the piece that it is.

PARSONS: Anybody who has resistance to this, they just need to give it more time and live with it longer, like I did in order to find what this was, where it came from. It’s a genius journey through humanity.

Scott Everett White/NETFLIX ©2020

On Reuniting

BRIAN HUTCHISON (ALAN): There’s a shorthand and a trust that we all had from doing the play.

ANDREW RANNELLS (LARRY): I don’t think any of us will ever have that experience again, where everyone was fully off-book for the entire film. [All laugh] There were no pages on the set! We just kind of got to launch back into what we did.
ZACHARY QUINTO (HAROLD): The film is so much [more] rooted in the period. The wardrobe process [showed me] just how much fun we were going to have. When [I saw] this bolt of green velvet for Harold’s suit, I was like, “Oh, okay, here we are.” There’s something so exciting about that, like playing with a new version of toys that we had known so well.

TUC WATKINS (HANK): When we started rehearsing, these guys brought in this nuance and this subtlety that theater doesn’t lend itself to, and the camera does. Some of the lines were taken away that were in the Broadway show, replaced with glances or nuances.
CHARLIE CARVER (COWBOY): That’s part of what was so fun about being on set, too. The first couple of days, being able to — when the coverage wasn’t on you and it was a close-up on somebody else — just appreciate each other’s work again, in a way that we weren’t able to see on stage.

On Getting a Second Take

ROBIN DE JESÚS (EMORY): It is totally bizarre! There’s one thing on set that Jim said to me.
PARSONS: Oh God.
DE JESÚS: I was a little frustrated [when] I thought of something fun to do for one of the takes but it was too late. You said to me, “Robin, it’s okay to learn in the middle of the process and have it be filmed.” But I think sometimes there’s that thing as an actor where you’re just like, “Oh God, it’s there forever.”

Scott Everett White/NETFLIX

On the Story’s Claustrophobia

QUINTO: We filmed chronologically. After all of the balcony scenes, where everybody runs in and slams the doors shut, we still had two and a half weeks of the shoot. The doors were all closed.

HUTCHISON: Everyone hates my character. So I definitely felt it.
WATKINS: It felt like we were all on a submarine.
DE JESÚS: I remember after a couple days being like, “Get me out!”
MICHAEL BENJAMIN WASHINGTON (BERNARD): The air we were sharing together, the oxygen we were breathing, it [got] very, very tense. But I trusted these men so much.

On the Story’s Continued Resonance

WATKINS: As the senior cast member, who’s almost twice as old as our youngest cast member, Charlie… it’s really important to see [that] it’s only 50 years, but a lot has changed. Being gay in 1968 was hell. We need to know and see our history.

RANNELLS: [Charlie’s] not that young!
PARSONS: No, he’s not. [Laughs]
CARVER: What’s so beautiful to me about this play is it speaks to the power of storytelling. The first half of this play is so fun and so full of joy that you can’t help but fall in love with these characters. The second half, you get in touch with their pain. It helps us empathize. So yeah, it’s powerful stuff.

On Mart Crowley

RANNELLS: Seeing him on stage, collecting his well-earned Tony award [and] getting that recognition, albeit 50 years later, was very, very powerful.

QUINTO: There was something so full-circle about this [film] experience. For him to see us making the movie, bringing him to the end of his life and us being adjacent to that.
MANTELLO: He really approached [his cameo] like he was the 10th cast member. He talked about his character being a professor at NYU! He took it so seriously. I love that he’s forever a part of this film.

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