Movie News: J.J. Abrams Declined 'Star Wars 7;' Charles Durning and Jack Klugman Have Died

Movie News: J.J. Abrams Declined 'Star Wars 7;' Charles Durning and Jack Klugman Have Died

Dec 26, 2012

The Hudsucker Proxy

Charles Durning: The extremely versatile actor Charles Durning, 89, has died. He had a great touch for comedy, earning Academy Award nominations for his work in 1982’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and 1983’s To Be or Not to Be, and sweetly romancing Dustin Hoffman (as “Dorothy”) in Tootsie. Yet he was completely convincing as a dogged Chicago cop in The Sting and a frustrated NYC police negotiator in Dog Day Afternoon. He continued to make memorable impressions in smaller roles in movies (The Hudsucker Proxy, O Brother, Where Art Thou?), television (Evening Shade, Rescue Me), and on the stage (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof). He died at his home in Manhattan on Monday. [New York Times]

Star Wars: Episode VII: Director J.J. Abrams has confirmed that he had “very early conversations” about directing Star Wars: Episode VII but “quickly” said he wouldn’t want to be involved, citing his loyalty to Star Trek and desire to remain a fan of Star Wars, rather than becoming involved in the "minutiae" of making it.  [Empire Magazine via Bleeding Cool]

Ben Affleck: In a TV interview that aired on Sunday, Ben Affleck played coy when asked if he planned to run for the U.S. Senate, but now he has flatly denied that he is running for office. With the potential appointment of John Kerry as secretary of state, a Senate seat will be opening in  Massachusetts, and Affleck had been rumored to be considering the possibility of going to Washington. [Facebook via The Hollywood Reporter]

Jack Klugman: To TV fans, Jack Klugman will forever be known as the sloppy sportswriter Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple and/or as the forensic crime solver in Quincy, M.E. (Or, for his appearances in four great episodes of The Twilight Zone.) Classic movie fans, however, will remember his turn as a compassionate jury member in Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men, and as Jack Lemmon’s kind yet firm AA sponsor in Billy Wilder’s Days of Wine and Roses. Klugman, 90, died in Los Angeles on Monday. [Los Angeles Times]

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