Los Angeles, Dec 15 (AP/UNB) — One Academy Award trophy sold for nearly $500,000 and the second for well over $200,000 in a rare auction of Oscars that ended Friday in Los Angeles.
A best-picture Oscar for "Gentleman's Agreement," the 1947 film starring Gregory Peck that took on anti-Semitism, sold for $492,000. A best picture statuette for 1935's "Mutiny on the Bounty" fetched $240,000.
Both were outpaced by an archive of papers on the origin and development of "The Wizard of Oz" that brought in $1.2 million.
Auction house Profiles in History announced the results after four days of bidding on Hollywood memorabilia that brought in more than $8 million in total.
Other items sold include a TIE fighter helmet from the original "Star Wars" that went for $240,000, a Phaser pistol from the original "Star Trek" TV series that fetched $192,000, a hover board Marty McFly rode in "Back to the Future II" that sold for $102,000, and a golden ticket from "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" that brought in $48,000.
The "Mutiny on the Bounty" Oscar price came close to auction-house projections, but the "Gentleman's Agreement" statuette brought in more than twice what was expected, for reasons that are not clear. The buyers of both Oscars and "The Wizard of Oz" document chose to remain anonymous.
Auctions of Oscar statuettes are very uncommon because winners from 1951 onward have had to agree that they or their heirs must offer it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1 before selling it elsewhere. The academy has said it firmly believes Oscars should be won, not bought.
Neither of the Oscars sold this week approached the record of $1.5 million paid by Michael Jackson to acquire David O. Selznick's "Gone With the Wind" Oscar in 1999.
Los Angeles, Dec 14 (AP/UNB) — Nancy Wilson, the Grammy-winning "song stylist" and torch singer whose polished pop-jazz vocals made her a platinum artist and top concert performer, has died.
Wilson, who retired from touring in 2011, died after a long illness at her home in Pioneertown, a California desert community near Joshua Tree National Park, her manager and publicist Devra Hall Levy told The Associated Press late Thursday night. She was 81.
Influenced by Dinah Washington, Nat "King" Cole and other stars, Wilson covered everything from jazz standards to "Little Green Apples" and in the 1960s alone released eight albums that reached the top 20 on Billboard's pop charts. Sometimes elegant and understated, or quick and conversational and a little naughty, she was best known for such songs as her breakthrough "Guess Who I Saw Today" and the 1964 hit "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am," which drew upon Broadway, pop and jazz.
She resisted being identified with a single category, especially jazz, and referred to herself as a "song stylist."
"The music that I sing today was the pop music of the 1960s," she told The San Francisco Chronicle in 2010. "I just never considered myself a jazz singer. I do not do runs and — you know. I take a lyric and make it mine. I consider myself an interpreter of the lyric."
Wilson's dozens of albums included a celebrated collaboration with Cannonball Adderley, "Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley," a small group setting which understandably could be called jazz; "Broadway — My Way"; "Lush Life"; and "The Nancy Wilson Show!" a best-selling concert recording. "How Glad I Am" brought her a Grammy in 1965 for best R&B performance, and she later won Grammys for best jazz vocal album in 2005 for the intimate "R.S.V.P (Rare Songs, Very Personal)" and in 2007 for "Turned to Blue," a showcase for the relaxed, confident swing she mastered later in life. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a "Jazz Masters Fellowship" in 2004 for lifetime achievement.
Wilson also had a busy career on television, film and radio, her credits including "Hawaii Five-O," ''Police Story," the Robert Townshend spoof "Meteor Man" and years hosting NPR's "Jazz Profiles" series. Active in the civil rights movement, including the Selma march of 1965, she received an NAACP Image Award in 1998.
Wilson was married twice — to drummer Kenny Dennis, whom she divorced in 1970; and to Wiley Burton, who died in 2008. She had three children.
Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the eldest of six children of an iron foundry worker and a maid, Wilson sang in church as a girl and by age 4 had decided on her profession. She was in high school when she won a talent contest sponsored by a local TV station and was given her own program. After briefly attending Central State College, she toured Ohio with the Rusty Bryant's Carolyn Club Big Band and met such jazz artists as Adderley, who encouraged her to move to New York.
She soon had a regular gig at The Blue Morocco, and got in touch with Adderley's manager, John Levy.
"He set up a session to record a demo," Wilson later observed during an interview for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. "Ray Bryant and I went in and recorded 'Guess Who I Saw Today,' 'Sometimes I'm Happy,' and two other songs. We sent them to Capitol and within five days the phone rang. Within six weeks I had all the things I wanted."
Her first album, "Like in Love!", came out in 1959, and she had her greatest commercial success over the following decade despite contending at times with the latest sounds. Gamely, she covered Beatles songs ("And I Love Her" became "And I Love Him"), Stevie Wonder's "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" and "Son of a Preacher Man," on which she strained to mimic Aretha Franklin's fiery gospel style. She was so outside the contemporary music scene an interviewer once stumped her by asking about Cream, the million-selling rock trio featuring Eric Clapton.
"It took me years to know what that question was about. Remember, I was constantly working or I was traveling to perform. The '60s for me were about work," she told JazzWax in 2010.
In the 1970s and after, she continued to record regularly and perform worldwide, at home in nightclubs, concert halls and open-air settings, singing at jazz festivals from Newport to Tokyo. She officially stopped touring with a show at Ohio University in September 2011, but had been thinking of stepping back for years. When she turned 70, in 2007, she was guest of honor at a Carnegie Hall gala. The show ended with Wilson performing such favorites as "Never, Never Will I Marry," ''I Can't Make You Love Me" and the Gershwin classic "How Long Has This Been Going On?"
"After 55 years of doing what I do professionally, I have a right to ask how long? I'm trying to retire, people," she said with a laugh before leaving the stage to a standing ovation.
In accordance with Wilson's wishes, there will be no funeral service, a family statement said. A celebration of her life will be held most likely in February, the month of her birth.
She is survived by her son, Kacy Dennis; daughters Samantha Burton and Sheryl Burton; sisters Karen Davis and Brenda Vann and five grandchildren.
Maine, Dec 14 (AP/UNB) — Bob Bryan, one half of the comedy duo Bert and I, which had fun at the expense of Maine Yankees and popularized the immortal punchline, "You can't get there from here," has died at his home in Quebec. He was 87.
Bryan and the late Marshall Dodge created their humor in a dormitory room at Yale University, and their 1958 album was the first of several that shaped the state's humor and image.
Uttered in exaggerated Down East accents, the jokes have withstood the test of time, including the one about the tourist who befuddled a Mainer by asking for directions. The native concludes with a famous punchline: "Come to think of it, you can't get there from here."
Bryan, who died Wednesday in Sherbrooke, was a native of Long Island, New York, who picked up the local vernacular during summers spent on a lake near Ellsworth, Maine.
The stories often involved a fancy-pants tourist and a laconic Mainer who gets the last word.
"They didn't write from scratch all of these stories. They adapted them. A lot of them were off color, from lumber camps or fishing wharfs. They'd rewrite them. They took them to the next level," said Dean Lunt from Islandport Press, which sells the "Bert and I" albums.
Humorist and storyteller Garrison Keillor recalled playing cuts of the "Bert and I" albums during his early stints as a morning disc jockey. And the original "Bert and I" album made comedian-magician Penn Jillette's list of the top 12 comedy albums of all time.
The pair eventually set off in different directions after selling hundreds of thousands of albums.
Dodge toured the country as a comedian before his death in 1982 in Hawaii, where he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling.
Bryan, a divinity student who went on to be ordained as an Episcopal priest, used some of his "Bert and I" earnings to buy a float plane. As a bush pilot, he flew his plane to the rugged fishing villages in northern Quebec to minister to local residents.
He created the Quebec-Labrador Foundation with a goal of supporting rural communities and the environment of eastern Canada and New England.
One of Bryan's daughters, Sandy Bryan Weatherall, remembers her dad and Dodge recording stories on a reel-to-reel tape player in her Massachusetts home. And she remembers listening for the sound of his airplane to mark his return home.
She said her dad was a prankster, an optimist and a larger-than-life character whose charisma attracted people.
"He was friends with people from all walks of life. Really, from the bottom to the top, and he believed in them all," she said.
Bryan leaves behind a wife, three daughters, a bunch of grandchildren and a great-granddaughter — and a heap of stories that have withstood the test of time, said Cherie Hoyt, a friend of Bryan's who produced the "Bert and I ... Rebooted" recording with Bryan and Maine humorist Tim Sample.
"You can listen to a good story many times without getting sick of it," Hoyt said. "I know them by heart, but I still find them funny. I still smile. I still chuckle."
Los Angeles, Dec 14 (AP/UNB) — Oscar-nominated actress Sondra Locke has died. A death certificate obtained by The Associated Press shows Locke died Nov. 3 at age 74 at her home in Los Angeles of cardiac arrest stemming from breast and bone cancer. Locke's death was promptly reported to authorities, but was not publicized until a RadarOnline story Thursday. It's not clear why it took so long to come to light.
Locke was best known for the six films she made with Clint Eastwood in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including "The Outlaw Josey Wales," ''Every Which Way But Loose," and "Sudden Impact." She and Eastwood also had a 13-year romantic relationship.
She was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress for 1968's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," her first film.
New York, Dec 14 (AP/UNB) — Janet Jackson joins her brother Michael and the Jackson 5 as members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, earning induction on Thursday along with Stevie Nicks and the top fan vote-getter, Def Leppard.
Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in next spring at the 34th induction ceremony. It will be held March 29 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Jackson's induction comes after her third time as nominee and many saw it as overdue, given her prowess as a hitmaker with "All For You," ''That's the Way Love Goes," ''Nasty," ''Together Again" and "What Have You Done For Me Lately."
Her career suffered from the fallout after the infamous 2004 Super Bowl appearance where her bare breast was briefly exposed by Justin Timberlake; both said it was a mistake.
Jackson became eligible for the rock hall in 2007 and wasn't nominated until 2016.
The Roots' Questlove, in a social media post earlier this year, said her exclusion had been "highly criminal." He cited the influence of her 1986 album "Control," which he said set off the New Jack Swing trend.
"This was no one's kid sister," he wrote.
Jackson said on Thursday: "Thank you Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am truly honored and I am happy to be in there with my brothers."
It will be Nicks' second induction into the rock hall, since she's already there as a member of Fleetwood Mac. She launched a solo career in 1981 with her duet with the late Tom Petty, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." Other hits followed, including "Edge of Seventeen," ''Stand Back" and "I Will Run to You."
Def Leppard earned more than half a million votes from fans, which are incorporated into more than 1,000 ballots from artists, historians, industry professionals and past winners in deciding who gets honored. The British heavy metal band with a pop sheen were huge sellers in the 1980s on the back of songs like "Photograph" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me."
Frontman Joe Elliott said he was initially ambivalent toward the honor until Jon Bon Jovi suggested it would change his life.
"When I look at the list of who's in, it's just obvious you'd want to be in that club, isn't it?" he told Billboard earlier this year. "When you think that every band that means anything in the world, starting from the Beatles and the Stones and any artist that influenced them — your Chuck Berrys, your Little Richards, etc., etc. — then of course you want to be in. Why wouldn't you?"
Def Leppard, Nicks and Roxy Music were voted in during their first years as nominees. Other 2019 nominees who didn't make the cut included LL Cool J, Devo, Rage Against the Machine, MC5, John Prine, Todd Rundgren and Kraftwerk.
There's some question about whether Radiohead will shrug its collective shoulder as an inductees. The English band seemed like generic grunge rockers on their initial hit "Creep," but with the album "OK Computer" and beyond have become consistent sonic pioneers. Among its rock hall class, Radiohead has the most impact on the current music scene.
In an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood said "I don't care" when asked about the rock hall. Bandmate Ed O'Brien said, "culturally, I don't understand it. I think it might be a quintessentially American thing."
The Cure and frontman Robert Smith resist their initial label as goth rockers, champions of fans who like black makeup, black clothes and darkly romantic songs. They have a durable catalog of hits, including "Friday I'm in Love," ''Boys Don't Cry," ''Pictures of You" and "Let's Go to Bed."
Roxy Music came out of the 1970s progressive rock scene and had hits with "Love is the Drug" and "More Than This." Dapper member Bryan Ferry had a successful solo career and Brian Eno has been an influential producer.
The heyday of British rockers the Zombies' career was the 1960s, with big sellers "She's Not There" and "Time of the Season."
The hall will announce ticket sales for March's ceremony next month. HBO and SiriusXM will carry the event.