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ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2013
HE MAY be unassuming and bookish, but Washington Post reporter Wil Haygood is a rock star. His 2008 article about a black White House employee who served under eight U.S. presidents inspired the hit movie "The Butler," starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. I'm in awe of Haygood because of what he has accomplished: By telling the story of Eugene Allen, who worked as a butler at the White House under eight administrations for three decades, Haygood pays homage to all the nameless people in service industries who for decades toiled in obscurity, often enduring the worst kind of racial indignities, while making things happen in the halls of power.
NEWS
December 31, 2014
LOCAL FILM producer Steve Gordon had been shopping around a movie called "Must Be the Music" co-starring Charles "Roc" Dutton and Tasha Smith. The movie, filmed locally in 2011, is set in Philly and revolves around a drug-dealer-turned-hip-hop-mogul faced with deciding which of his children will carry on his musical legacy. Lee Daniels' "Empire," which premieres at 9 p.m. Jan. 7, and features co-stars Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe, also is set in Philly and revolves around a drug-dealer-turned-hip-hop-mogul who, after getting diagnosed with ALS, must decide which of his children will take over the family music business.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
After they had finished the final story of a long-running investigation published in the Camden Courier-Post, Lee Daniels and Jim Riggio went out to celebrate. But instead of then going home, the pair went back to the newsroom and promptly fell asleep at their desks, Riggio said from his home in Billings, Mont. The next morning, a top editor woke them and showed them a photo that had just been taken of them. "The next time one of you clowns asks for a raise," Riggio recalled him saying, "this is what you'll get - a photo of you sleeping at your desks.
NEWS
February 20, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
WHEN LEE Daniels took over a room, there could be no other center of attention. "In any crowded room, you could immediately locate Lee Daniels," said longtime friend Jim Nicholson, retired Daily News writer. "Look for that dense-packed knot of people and you could be sure Lee was in the middle, holding forth. " Lee C. Daniels, award-winning sports and crime writer for the Inquirer, Daily News and Courier Post, who became a political activist in Philadelphia and South Jersey in his later career, died Monday of complications of dementia.
NEWS
June 12, 2003 | By Annette John-Hall INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Before Monster's Ball made Oscar history and Lee Daniels clambered onto Hollywood's A-list, filmmaking was a lark. But then Halle Berry had to go and deliver the performance of her career. For her work opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the 2001 drama, she became the first African American lead actress to win an Academy Award. And Daniels earned international acclaim as the first African American producer of an Oscar-winning movie. He set the bar; now Lee Daniels is expected to vault over it. "The fun is no longer," says Daniels, 44, whose second feature, The Woodsman, is expected to complete a 1 1/2-month shoot in his Philadelphia hometown on Tuesday.
NEWS
January 27, 2009 | By Sam Adams FOR THE INQUIRER
On Saturday, for only the third time in the 25-year history of the Sundance Film Festival, the same movie took home the festival's top jury and audience awards. This year's big winner was Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, the second film directed by West Philadelphia native Lee Daniels. "I was shocked," Daniels said yesterday. "The press was saying I was going to get both awards, but I've been on juries before, and I know that they hate being predictable. So as soon as they started saying that, I immediately said, 'That's it. Let's go home.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2014 | By Molly Eichel
FOX 29 will welcome a new face to its evening anchor desk on June 30. Lucy Noland , who was recently at KNBC, in Los Angeles, will join the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts alongside Iain Page . Readers of the column will remember I told you that former evening anchor Kerry Barrett , who is on maternity leave with her second child , John Barrett IV , is moving to anchor the morning newscast with Chris Murphy from 4 to 7 a.m., and...
NEWS
March 10, 2010
'PRECIOUS," I confess girl, you are a gem, too! With six Oscar nominations (best picture, actress, supporting actress, adapted screenplay, editing and director), I'm flabbergasted. It's a portrayal of growing up in the inner-city that many can relate to. Although it only got three Oscars, everybody is proud of director Lee Daniels because of his local ties. Sapphire should publish a sequel for Daniels to direct. That also would be just precious. Wayne E. Williams Camden
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2015 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991
TOUGH question: If you had to - just had to - get intimate with a living, breathing Philadelphia celebrity . . . who would it be? Our rules: They gotta be local - which means, from here originally, here now, or both. They gotta be head-turning famous. They gotta inspire fantasy. They gotta be alive. Our list, whittled down to exactly 12 lookers, started out much longer. Philly hunks and hotties considered by Daily News judges and nixed included Taylor Swift (not Philly enough?
ENTERTAINMENT
July 31, 2013 | By Molly Eichel
DIRECTOR LEE DANIELS and stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Yaya Alafia walked the red carpet at the Kimmel Center last night at the premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler," the story of Cecil Gaines ( Forest Whitaker ), a man who served in the White House under eight presidents. "I demanded it, I told Mr. [ Harvey ] Weinstein it must be!" Daniels, who grew up in Wynnefield, said with dramatic flair about why he wanted a local premiere. "[Philadelphia] is safe, it's home.
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NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
After they had finished the final story of a long-running investigation published in the Camden Courier-Post, Lee Daniels and Jim Riggio went out to celebrate. But instead of then going home, the pair went back to the newsroom and promptly fell asleep at their desks, Riggio said from his home in Billings, Mont. The next morning, a top editor woke them and showed them a photo that had just been taken of them. "The next time one of you clowns asks for a raise," Riggio recalled him saying, "this is what you'll get - a photo of you sleeping at your desks.
NEWS
February 20, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
WHEN LEE Daniels took over a room, there could be no other center of attention. "In any crowded room, you could immediately locate Lee Daniels," said longtime friend Jim Nicholson, retired Daily News writer. "Look for that dense-packed knot of people and you could be sure Lee was in the middle, holding forth. " Lee C. Daniels, award-winning sports and crime writer for the Inquirer, Daily News and Courier Post, who became a political activist in Philadelphia and South Jersey in his later career, died Monday of complications of dementia.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2015 | BY LAUREN McCUTCHEON, Daily News Staff Writer mccutch@phillynews.com, 215-854-5991
TOUGH question: If you had to - just had to - get intimate with a living, breathing Philadelphia celebrity . . . who would it be? Our rules: They gotta be local - which means, from here originally, here now, or both. They gotta be head-turning famous. They gotta inspire fantasy. They gotta be alive. Our list, whittled down to exactly 12 lookers, started out much longer. Philly hunks and hotties considered by Daily News judges and nixed included Taylor Swift (not Philly enough?
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2015 | By David Hiltbrand, INQUIRER TV CRITIC
Lee Daniels is ticking off some of the guest stars who will appear this season in his hit Fox series Empire , a dazzling look inside the music industry: Cuba Gooding Jr., Mary J. Blige, Naomi Campbell, Mariah Carey, Courtney Love, Lenny Kravitz, Foxy Brown, Snoop Dogg, and in the 12th and final episode, Daniels' fellow Philadelphian, Patti LaBelle. Oh, and Denzel Washington. "Denzel hasn't done television in 30 years," the dapper director says. "But he saw the pilot and said, 'I've got to be a part of this.' " Such a stellar roster seems almost like overkill when you've already got two Academy Award nominees - Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson - as Lucious and Cookie Lyon, the leads in your hip-hop soap opera.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2015 | By Ellen Gray
* EMPIRE. 9 tonight, Fox 29. "I NEED YOU to sing like you are going to die tomorrow," says the music mogul to the singer in the opening scene of Fox's new "Empire. " Sounds like something a celebrity judge might say to a finalist on "American Idol," which returns for its 14th season at 8 tonight, likely with a few contestants who might have been learning to talk when it first hit the air. The singing competition that rivals once called "the Death Star" may have lost its ratings mojo in recent seasons, but Fox is hoping that an "Idol" lead-in is still powerful enough to help its hip-hop themed "Empire" strike a chord with viewers.
NEWS
December 31, 2014
LOCAL FILM producer Steve Gordon had been shopping around a movie called "Must Be the Music" co-starring Charles "Roc" Dutton and Tasha Smith. The movie, filmed locally in 2011, is set in Philly and revolves around a drug-dealer-turned-hip-hop-mogul faced with deciding which of his children will carry on his musical legacy. Lee Daniels' "Empire," which premieres at 9 p.m. Jan. 7, and features co-stars Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe, also is set in Philly and revolves around a drug-dealer-turned-hip-hop-mogul who, after getting diagnosed with ALS, must decide which of his children will take over the family music business.
NEWS
August 15, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
"LEE DANIELS' 'The Butler' " may have cleaned up at the box office, but you can never escape Hollywood-style accounting. That's why, TMZ.com reports, Roc-A-Fella mogul Damon Dash is suing director Lee Daniels , a Philadelphia native. Dash says Daniels convinced him to invest in his movies and he wants to see some return on his money. Dash said he put $2 million into "The Woodsman" 10 years ago and got bupkis. Similar investments in "Precious," "The Paperboy" and "The Butler" returned similar bupkis.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 2014 | By Molly Eichel
FOX 29 will welcome a new face to its evening anchor desk on June 30. Lucy Noland , who was recently at KNBC, in Los Angeles, will join the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts alongside Iain Page . Readers of the column will remember I told you that former evening anchor Kerry Barrett , who is on maternity leave with her second child , John Barrett IV , is moving to anchor the morning newscast with Chris Murphy from 4 to 7 a.m., and...
NEWS
May 9, 2014 | By Molly Eichel
PHILLY'S own Academy Award-nominated director Lee Daniels is getting into the TV game, and Greater Philadelphia Film Office executive director Sharon Pinkenson wants to bring his big business to town. Yesterday, Fox picked up Daniels' "Empire," about a Jay Z -esque hip-hop mogul played by Lafayette Hill's Terrence Howard . Academy Award nominees Taraji P. Henson ("I Can Do Bad All By Myself") and Gabourey Sidibe (the Daniels-directed "Precious") also star.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
K IM Kardashian and Kanye West will be married in Paris on May 24. So says Us Weekly . Tattle will cover the wedding from our small cubicle in Philadelphia. In other Parisian news, Tattle is not buying into the rumored Lupita Nyong'o - Jared Leto romance, but believers had their case boosted in the City of Lights yesterday when the pair showed up at the fashion show of Italian designer Miuccia Prada . Even with an Oscar, however, Lupita had to move her front-row seat in order to make room for a tardy Rihanna . Since Leto jokily thanked "my future ex-wife Lupita" in his Oscar acceptance speech, there's been speculation that he and his fellow supporting-role winner have been an item.
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