Catherine Zeta Jones talks diversity, roles for women and theatre plans

Catherine Zeta Jones has joined in the discussion about diversity in Hollywood.

The Oscar-winning actress, who is starring in the new Dad’s Army movie, was asked about roles for women over 40 in a webchat for the Mumsnet website earlier today, and got to talking about the current debate about diversity in Hollywood.

“It’s not that there aren’t great stories to be told about women in their 40s, it’s just that the big bosses in Hollywood feel that the demographic of moviegoers are less interested. I wanted to be in film because I was brought up watching great performances by women in their 40s.
There’s talk in Hollywood about diversity right now, and it’s a good conversation to be had, and necessary. But when we say diversity, let’s mean diversity for actors with ethnic differences, age differences, and sex differences.

“Regarding the diversity issues that are sweeping Hollywood at the moment, I still find it sad that we’re even discussing this at this time. But in the defence of the Academy Oscar voters, they can only vote on what they see. Let’s go back to the writers, to the filmmakers and more importantly, the studios who finance movies, to get them to have projects where at least diversity has a chance.”
She also said that she is looking forward to going back to Broadway in the near future to do a play – not a musical – something she has never done before.

“I am very excited about that prospect,” she said.

Happy Birthday Charlie Wilson!

ABOUT
R&B singer who has been nominated for over six Grammy Awards, including for his 2012 single “You Are.”

BEFORE FAME
He was the lead singer of The Gap Band with his brothers.

TRIVIA
He was the national spokesperson for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

FAMILY LIFE
He married Mahin Wilson in 1995.

ASSOCIATED WITH
He was a featured vocalist on the Kanye West album My Dark Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Birth Anniversary of Tommy Ramone!

ABOUT
Former drummer of the punk rock group The Ramones, known for such hits as “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “Rock and Roll High School.”

BEFORE FAME
He was an assistant engineer who was working on the production of Band of Gypsys by Jimi Hendrix.

TRIVIA
He produced an album for The Replacements and for The Ramones after his departure from the band.

FAMILY LIFE
He was born in Budapest, but was raised in New York.

ASSOCIATED WITH
He was in The Ramones with Joey Ramone.

Happy Birthday Oprah Winfrey!

ABOUT
Television host and producer who was named the most influential woman in the world by TIME magazine and hosted The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated syndicated program on air, from 1986 to 2011.

BEFORE FAME
She was raped at age nine, and when she was fourteen, had a child that died. She was crowned Miss Black Tennessee while in college and began co-anchoring the evening news when she was nineteen.

TRIVIA
She became the world’s first female black billionaire and the richest self-made American woman. She had a net worth of $2.9 billion in 2013.

FAMILY LIFE
She began a relationship with Stedman Graham in 1986.

ASSOCIATED WITH
She introduced health expert Mehmet Oz to countless viewers on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Godfather actor Abe Vigoda dies aged 94!

The actor Abe Vigoda, who played a doomed Mafia soldier in The Godfather, has died aged 94.
His family said he died peacefully in his sleep.
Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone, who plots to take over the family after the Don’s death by killing his son.
The role made him recognisable to millions and led to many more roles, including as detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series Barney Miller.
His most memorable line in The Godfather comes just before his character Tessio is taken to his death, when he tells family adviser Tom Hagen: “Tell Mike it was only business. I always liked him.”
Before the Godfather films Vigoda had worked in relative obscurity in TV and on the New York theatre circuit.
Many of his later roles were as gangsters, but in Barney Miller he became much-loved in the comedy role and in 1977 his character got his own series, focusing on domestic life.
He also appeared in films such as Cannonball Run II, Look Who’s Talking and North.
Towards the end of his life, he often appeared on lists of living celebrities believed to have died and he played along with the hoaxes on TV chat show appearances.
Vigoda was married twice and is survived by a daughter from his first marriage, two grandchildren and a great-grandson.