New York, Oct 26 (AP/UNB) — James Karen, a prolific and beloved character actor whose hundreds of credits included memorable appearances in "Poltergeist" and "The Return of the Living Dead," has died. He was 94.
Karen's friend Bruce Goldstein told The Associated Press that he died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He had been battling respiratory ailments.
Few actors had so long and diverse a career. He appeared in Elia Kazan's 1940s stage production of "A Streetcar Named Desire," which starred Marlon Brando. He befriended Buster Keaton in the 1950s and had a brief role in one of the silent star's most unusual projects, "Film," an experimental short written by Samuel Beckett.
He met Marilyn Monroe at the Actors Studio in New York and filmed a commercial with the Three Stooges. He was directed by Oliver Stone in "Wall Street" and David Lynch in "Mulholland Drive." His TV credits ranged from "Dallas" and "The Waltons" to "Seinfeld" and "The Larry Sanders Show."
Millions knew him as the friendly man with the glasses in TV ads for Pathmark. Others remembered him as the foreman in "Return of the Living Dead," the boss in "The China Syndrome" or the notorious Mr. Teague, the real estate developer who moves the headstones — but not the bodies — in "Poltergeist."
On Twitter, Kevin Smith, Gilbert Gottfried and Joe Mantegna were among those sharing tributes. His admirers also included George Clooney. When Clooney received a lifetime achievement award from The American Film Institute earlier this year, he spoke about Karen. He called him a "wonderful character actor" and remembered getting a call from his wife, Alba. She told Clooney that Karen was near death and wanted him to write his obituary.
"So I got out a bottle of booze — pen, paper — and I sat down and I spent the whole night writing about who I thought Jimmy was, his character, what he meant to us," Clooney said.
"A week goes by, then a month. That was four years ago. I called Alba and said, 'What the hell.' She said 'Yeah, Jimmy's doing fine. He just wanted to know what everyone thought about him while he was still alive. He got a bunch of people to do it.'"
Karen was born Jacob Karnovsky in Wilkes-Barres, Pennsylvania. He was interested in theater from an early age and, according to his friend Leonard Maltin, the movie critic, turned down a contract with MGM because he wanted to work on the stage.
His years in the theater led to a close bond with Keaton. In 1957, he and Keaton appeared together in a revival of the play "Merton of the Movies" and they remained friends until Keaton's death in 1966. Karen later hosted a Keaton documentary made by Kevin Brownlow and was among those sharing memories in "The Great Buster: A Celebration," a documentary by Peter Bogdanovich that was just released.
"Jim and Alba had a beautiful apartment in Los Angeles and he had a corner devoted to Buster memorabilia, including one of his hats," Goldstein told The Associated Press. "He would let me invite friends over and have them try on the hat."
New York, Oct 25 (AP/UNB) — Tony Hoagland, a prize-winning poet admired for his candor and sharp, off-beat humor, has died at age 64.
Jeff Shotts, executive editor of Graywolf Press, told The Associated Press that Hoagland died Tuesday at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The cause was pancreatic cancer.
A native of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Hoagland published several works of poetry and essays about poetry. The titles helped sum up his take on life: "Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty," ''Application for Release from the Dream" and "Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God," which came out in June. Three of his books had been released since 2015.
"It was a long battle with cancer, and he cheated it a couple of times," Shotts said. "He was very productive near the end and I think the work helped keep him alive."
His style could be off-hand and unpredictable. In the poem "A Color in the Sky," his thoughts wander from love and sex to a dogwood tree between a police station and liquor store that is "losing its mind."
Hoagland was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award for his 2003 collection "What Narcissism Means to Me," and his other honors included the Jackson Prize, given to poets of "exceptional talent" who deserve greater attention. Prize judges called him a "poet of risk."
"He risks wild laughter in poems that are totally heartfelt," the citation read, "poems you want to read out loud to anyone who needs to know the score and even more so to those who think they know the score."
Hoagland attended several colleges and received an M.F.A. from the University of Arizona. He taught writing at the University of Houston and at Warren Wilson College outside of Asheville, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, the writer Kathleen Lee, and a brother, Christopher.
The poet reflected on mortality in the recent poem "I Have Good News," in which he confides his feelings about being sick for "the last time."
"You will begin to see the plants and flowers of your youth,
And they will look as new to you as they did back then?_?
little lavender bouquets arranged in solar systems
delicate beyond your comprehension"
Nuku'alofa, Oct 25 (AP/UNB) — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived Thursday in the tiny Pacific kingdom of Tonga, where people gathered at the airport to welcome them wearing traditional outfits, playing guitars and singing.
Prince Harry and wife Meghan were greeted by Princess Angelika Latufuipeka. They were later scheduled to meet with Tonga's king and queen and to attend a reception and dinner featuring traditional Tongan entertainment. Meghan stepped off the plane wearing a red dress while Harry wore a light beige suit.
The couple is on the 10th day of a 16-day tour of the South Pacific. They arrived in Tonga from Fiji, where on Thursday morning they unveiled a statue to honor Sgt. Talaiasi Labalaba, a British-Fijian war hero who died at age 30 while fighting insurgents during the 1972 Battle of Mirbat in Oman.
Labalaba helped save other soldiers by single-handedly firing a 25-pound gun that usually took several soldiers to operate, according to the BBC. He continued for more than two hours, even after his jaw was shot off, before he was eventually shot and killed. A member of the elite SAS group, his heroics were not widely known until recently because the British weren't officially involved in the conflict.
On Wednesday, Meghan, who is four months pregnant, was rushed through an indoor market in Fiji where crowds arrived to greet her and gave a speech about attending university.
Harry and Meghan have a relatively light schedule in Tonga before they return to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, which Harry founded in 2014. The games give sick and injured military personnel and veterans the opportunity to compete in sports such as wheelchair basketball.
Tonga, home to just 106,000 people, is also known as the friendly islands. It was a British protectorate before gaining independence in 1970 and remains a part of the Commonwealth group of nations.
After Australia, the couple will finish their trip with a four-day visit to New Zealand.
Fiji, Oct 24 (AP/UNB) — The Duchess of Sussex was rushed through her visit to an indoor market in Fiji's capital Wednesday due to concerns about the large crowd that came to greet her in the relatively confined space.
Meghan chatted with one vendor and briefly greeted others at Suva Market, where throngs of people spilled into surrounding streets. She spent only about half of her allocated 15 minutes there as she was whisked through by security personnel in the enclosed and relatively dark market.
Meghan had visited Suva Market to meet some of the female vendors who have been involved in the U.N. Women's project "Markets for Change." Vendors were selling watermelons, pineapples and other fruit at the market, as well as handicrafts and fans.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman told The Associated Press that her visit was cut short due to crowd management issues.
Meghan, who is four months pregnant, and husband Prince Harry are on the 9th day of their 16-day tour of the South Pacific. Harry was not scheduled to visit the market, and was instead unveiling a plaque at a forest site home to species such as the Fiji tree frog.
Earlier on Wednesday, Meghan gave a speech at the University of the South Pacific where she talked about the excitement of attending university and the importance of education for women and girls in developing countries.
She said she was only able to attend university thanks to scholarships, financial aid programs and paid work on campus, but that it was, without question, worth the effort.
On Tuesday, the couple attended a state dinner at the Grand Pacific Hotel and Harry said Fiji and Britain shared a love of rugby and a sense of humor.
"This visit is particularly nostalgic for us as a young married couple," Harry said. "My grandparents stayed in this very hotel, the Grand Pacific, a number of times over the years. But this visit is also an opportunity to learn more about the future of Fiji, your economic growth, sustainable tourism development and social enterprises."
The couple is scheduled to visit Tonga on Thursday before returning to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, Harry's brainchild and the focus of their tour. The couple will then finish their trip with a four-day visit to New Zealand.
Peru, Oct 24 (AP/UNB) — Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie said Tuesday the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from their country has led to a "shocking" migrant crisis in South America that was "predictable and preventable."
Jolie was ending a three-day visit to Peru as a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency. During her visit Jolie met Venezuelan refugees who live at a shelter in the capital city and also went to a border crossing in the north of the country.
On Tuesday, Jolie met with Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra to discuss potential solutions to the migrant crisis and ways of securing international support. After the meeting she thanked Peru for taking measures that are helping Venezuelans in that country to get legal status, and urged governments around the world to support procedures that help refugees to apply for asylum.
"None of the Venezuelans I met want charity" Jolie said. "They want an opportunity to help themselves."
More than 1.9 million people have left Venezuela since 2015 according to the United Nations and some 400,000 have moved to Peru. The UNHCR has described it as the largest population movement in Latin America's recent history.
Venezuela's government has denied there is a migrant crisis and said its enemies are playing up the situation in order to justify an invasion of Venezuela.
On Monday, Venezuelan Socialist Party boss Diosdado Cabello mocked Jolie's visit to Peru, writing on Twitter that it was merely a show that "right wing media" are using to distract from a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants heading to the United States.