Peter Aykroyd, Emmy nominated 'SNL' actor-writer, dead at 66
Peter Aykroyd, an Emmy-nominated actor and writer on “Saturday Night Live” for the 1979-80 season who later worked with older brother, Dan, on everything from a TV show about the paranormal to such films as “Dragnet” and “Coneheads,” has died at age 66.
Michael Apted, director of ‘Up’ documentary series, dies
A representative for the Directors Guild of America said his family informed the organization that he passed Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)Michael Apted, the acclaimed British director of the “Up” documentary series and films as diverse as the Loretta Lynn biopic “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and the James Bond film “The World Is Not Enough,” has died. A representative for the Directors Guild of America said his family informed the organization that he passed Thursday night. Apted served as a researcher on the first film and took over as director seven years later, continuing to check in with the subjects every seven years. “The series was an attempt to do a long view of English society,” Apted told Slant Magazine in 2019.
‘Dark Knight,’ ‘Grease’ added to National Film Registry
This image released by the Library of Congress shows Heath Ledger, left, and Christian Bale in a scene from the 2008 film "The Dark Knight." The film was added to the National Film Registry. (Warner Bros.-Library of Congress via AP)LOS ANGELES – This year's inductees into the National Film Registry include a record number of female directors and filmmakers of color as well as a new crop of movies ranging from a silent short film thriller, classic musicals and an acclaimed Batman film. The national library said this year’s selections include a record nine films directed by women and filmmakers of color. Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman film “The Dark Knight” was a blockbuster and the top public vote-getter.
Second City comedy theater for sale, 2nd time in 60 years
CHICAGO – Chicago’s Second City comedy theater — where performers including Bill Murray, Steve Carell and Jordan Peele honed their skills — has been put up for sale. In a statement released Tuesday, co-owner Andrew Alexander said a sale presents the opportunity for Second City to succeed well into the future. Privately held throughout its 61-year history, Second City suspended all its shows and classes in early March until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Second City is co-owned by Alexander and D’Arcy Stuart, although its president, Steve Johnston, also has a small equity share. The theater was sold once before in the years after Bernie Sahlins, Howard Alk and Paul Sills launched the comedy theater in 1959.
Second City CEO steps down amid claims of racism at theater
LOS ANGELES Andrew Alexander, the CEO and co-owner of famed The Second City improv theater, said he is stepping down after a former performer leveled accusations of racism against the comedy institution. In a lengthy letter posted on the companys website, Alexander said he failed to create an anti-racist environment wherein artists of color might thrive. I am so deeply and inexpressibly sorry,He vowed Friday that he will be replaced by a person of color. Alexanders announcement Friday followed online criticism from Second City alumnus Dewayne Perkins, an actor, comedian and writer (Brooklyn Nine-Nine). His posts followed a Second City online message of support last week for Black Lives Matter.