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I didn't even know he was still alive.


Pete Seeger: US folk singer and activist dies aged 94



US folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, whose songs included Turn! Turn! Turn! and If I Had A Hammer, has died at the age of 94.


He died at a New York hospital after a short illness, his grandson said.


Seeger gained fame in The Weavers, formed in 1948, and continued to perform in his own right in a career spanning six decades.


Renowned for his protest songs, Seeger was blacklisted by the US Government in the 1950s for his leftist stance.


Denied broadcast exposure, Seeger toured US college campuses spreading his music and ethos, later calling this the "most important job of my career".


He was quizzed by the Un-American Activities Committee in 1955 over whether he had sung for Communists, replying that he "greatly resented" the implication that his work made him any less American.


Seeger was charged with contempt of Congress, but the sentence was overturned on appeal.


He returned to TV in the late 1960s but had a protest song about the Vietnam War cut from broadcast.


The lofty, bearded banjo-playing musician became a standard bearer for political causes from nuclear disarmament to the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011.


In 2009, he was at a gala concert in the US capital ahead of Barack Obama's inauguration as president.


His predecessor Bill Clinton hailed him as "an inconvenient artist who dared to sing things as he saw them.''


Other songs that he co-wrote included Where Have All The Flowers Gone, while he was credited with making We Shall Overcome an anthem of resistance.


Turn! Turn! Turn! was made into a number one hit by The Byrds in 1965, and covered by a multitude of other artists including Dolly Parton and Chris de Burgh.


Seeger's influence continued down the decades, with his induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and he won a Grammy award in 1997 for best traditional folk album, with Pete.


He won a further two Grammys - another for best traditional folk album in 2008 for At 89 and best children's album in 2010.


He was a nominee at Sunday night's ceremony in the spoken word category.


He was due to being honoured with the first Woody Guthrie Prize next month, given to an artist emulating the spirit of the musician's work.


Musician Billy Bragg paid tribute to Seeger's life via Twitter: "Pete Seeger towered over the folk scene like a mighty redwood for 75 years. He travelled with Woody Guthrie in the 1940s, stood up to Joe McCarthy in the 50s, marched with Dr Martin Luther King in the 60s.


"His songs will be sung wherever people struggle for their rights. We shall overcome."


Mark Radcliffe, host of BBC Radio 2's Folk show, said: "Pete Seeger repeatedly put his career, his reputation and his personal security on the line so that he could play his significant musical part in campaigns for civil rights, environmental awareness and peace.


"He leaves behind a canon of songs that are both essential and true, and his contribution to folk music will be felt far into the future."


Seeger performed with Guthrie in his early years, and went on to have an effect on the protest music of later artists including Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez.


In 2006, Springsteen recorded an album of songs originally sung by Seeger.


On his 90th birthday, Seeger was feted by artists including Springsteen, Eddie Vedder and Dave Matthews in New York's Madison Square Garden.


Springsteen called him "a living archive of America's music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along".


His other musical output included albums for children, while appeared on screen several times as well.


A reunion concert with The Weavers in 1980 was made into a documentary, while an early appearance was in To hear My Banjo Play in 1946.


The band, who had a number one hit with Good Night, Irene in the early 1950s, went their separate ways soon afterwards.


Seeger's wife Toshi, a film-maker and activist, died aged 91 in July 2013. They leave three children.




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Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell dies


Austrian actor Maximilian Schell, who won an Oscar for his role in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg, has died at the age of 83.


He died overnight at a clinic in the Austrian city of Innsbruck after "a sudden and serious illness", his agent said.


Schell had been treated for pneumonia earlier this week.


He was one of the most famous German-speaking actors to have gained international renown.


The actor's wife was reportedly at his bedside when he died.


Schell had been in filming in Austria when he fell ill last Saturday.


He was taken to hospital and treated for a lung infection, but discharged on Tuesday.

Colourful career


Born in the Austrian capital, Vienna, in 1930, Schell was one of four children of a Swiss author and an Austrian actress.


His parents emigrated to Switzerland eight years later when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany.


A stage actor, Schell began his Hollywood career in the late 1950s when he starred alongside Marlon Brando in World War II film The Young Lions.


In 1961, he was awarded an Oscar for best actor for his role as the defence lawyer of a Nazi war criminal.


The cast of Judgment at Nuremberg also included Marlene Dietrich, Burt Lancaster and Spencer Tracy.


Over the next three decades, Schell appeared in numerous big US productions.


His diverse characters ranged from a museum treasure thief in Topkapi (1964) and a mad scientist in sci-fi film The Black Hole (1979), to a Russian KGB colonel in Candles in the Dark (1998).


Schell featured in a large number of international TV productions. His part as communist revolutionary N. Lenin in the US series Stalin earned him a Golden Globe in the early 1990s.


Schell also directed several movies, including his 1984 Oscar-nominated documentary Marlene, about Marlene Dietrich.


Schell's late sister Maria, who died in 2005, was also a renowned actress.





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I must have missed Jonathon Winters' passing. I used to see Esther Williams out shopping when I was a kid. Lots of good folks gone. A few I hadn't even realised were still alive.


Dennis Farina - one of the funniest mob movies I have ever seen - WE'RE TALKING SERIOUS MONEY -

Rarely seen on the tele. Only available on VHS.

Great movie - for a good laugh. :rip:

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This is a real shocker. Only 46 yo and one of the best actors around. :shocked::rip:


Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman dies






Oscar-winning American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead in New York, police say.


The 46-year-old was found in his Manhattan apartment after a friend called the emergency services.


The police said the cause of death was an apparent drug overdose.


Hoffmann made his name in the 1990s in films including Boogie Nights and the Big Lebowski, before winning the best actor Oscar for his 2005 portrayal of writer Truman Capote.


Throughout his career he featured in independent films as well as Hollywood blockbusters such as Mission Impossible III.


His latest role was in the Hunger Games series of films.


As well as films, he also starred in Broadway plays and was nominated for two Tony Awards.


British actor John Hurt, who starred alongside Hoffman in the 2003 drama Owning Mahowny, said the news had hit him "very hard".


"He was a great actor, a great member of the film and theatre community. An extraordinary talent, directorially as well as an actor. He'll be greatly missed," he said.


Last year Hoffman told celebrity news website TMZ that he had sought treatment for drug abuse.


He told the website he had used prescription drugs, and briefly heroin, before seeking help.

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