Monday, May 31, 2010

Washington State Hits, Beer, Candy, Sodas With New Taxes

Washington state is hoping to climb it's way out of it's own budget shortfalls by some new taxes on beer, candy, bottled water and sodas. While some health claims were made to boost the new taxes, the real truth is that a serious state shortfall of funds is the primary reason for these new tax increases that kick in on Tuesday, June 1.

Interestingly, the new tax would add 28cents to the cost of a major brand six pack of beer, while the new tax strangely exempts craft beers which are often produced in either Washington or Oregon. But, the beverage industry in the state claims that it is already suffering from a $40 million dollar sales reduction due to the recession, and new taxes will only further harm sales.

Candy and bottled water would be hit with the state's 6% sales tax for the first time in history, proving that the tax man is now reaching into the pockets of little children looking for any extra change to pay himself.

Sodas go up 2cents per 12oz. can thanks to a new tax which claims to be aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles. The real truth is that overpaid state bureaucrats refuse to accept a little less work hours or pay cuts unlike other private sector individuals have.

Certainly vital state services need funds. However, this nickel and dime stuff under the phony guise of healthy lifestyles is a dishonest attempt to mask the serious money problems that Washington state wrestles with.


Just in time to wreck Spring & Summer is the dreadful R-rated comedy, COSTA RICAN SUMMER. And, I can tell you that without a doubt that this is the very worst movie I've seen so far this year.

While the tropical scenery is a big plus, this pathetic surf sex comedy has very else little good going for it. Pam Anderson stars as the dream girl for a washed-up drunken former surf champ who must win a surf contest or else leave Costa Rica. I can tell you that Pam Anderson offered up a totally effortless performance here that could have been phoned in.

Equally pathetic, aspiring actresses, Sheila Platte and Dena Kollar both allowed themselves to be cast as Swedish girls who repeatedly remove their bikini tops in this film for no good reason other than to show some boobs and get an R-rating. Dena Kollar has an especially good work resume and needs to find much better work. Kollar has appeared in THE GHOST WHISPERER and UGLY BETTY before, and has much more talent than this awful crap would suggest. She can sing, dance as well as act. But, you sure wouldn't know that from this horrid film.
Producers that make awful films like this have goal in mind; parting teenage kids of their hard earned allowance money. Sometimes they succeed with this fleecing of the flocks. But, this movie hardly succeeds on any level other than just being a generic teenage trash film.
You know that this comedy is really reaching hard when the drunken character throws up on one of the girls, which wasn't even very funny to begin with, but makes a later reference to this to remind the audience as though this was some great comedy moment.
While AMERICAN PIE and other films aimed at teenage audiences do a far better job delivering the raunchy laughs, COSTA RICAN SUMMER attempts to have more of a softer and warm vacation feel to it. But it really falls flat. Real flat.
Not a very good film at all.
The Bottom Line: A dreadful little summer sex comedy that's hardly a good film on any level at all. Barely acceptable entertainment. Prepare to lose an hour and a half of your life and never get it back watching this dreck. +(One star crap of the very worst garden variety. A perfectly good blank DVD gave it's life to create this film. Now it's dead.).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Entertainers & Celebrities Who Served In Our Military

This Memorial Day weekend it's very important to ponder the fact that many entertainers and famous personalities once served our nation in our military.

Here's a few notable examples:

Bill Schonely: The famous Portland Trailers announcer and Northwest voice-over celebrity served in the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Guam.

Larry Flynt: The founder of Hustler Nightclubs and the popular men's magazine HUSTLER used a counterfeit birth certificate to join the U.S. Army at the tender age of 15. Because the nation was not at war at time, the U.S. military eventually discharged Flynt and many other soldiers who planned to be career soldiers, so while still under 18 of age, Flynt enlisted in the United States Navy and served duty as a radar operator on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.

Forrest J. Ackerman: The founder of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND Magazine was not only a huge collector of horror and science fiction movie props, but he enlisted in the United States Army in 1942 and served three years defending freedom.

Captain Lou Albano: The late great tough as nails wrestling icon known for his long beard tied with a rubber band enlisted in the U.S. Army to defend this nation.

Marty Allen: The short and heavy set little comic was actually a great U.S. Army Air Corps military hero. He earned a military medal for extreme heroism after an aircraft caught fire while refueling. He might have been short of height, but Allen certainly had the bravery of a giant. Allen acted with such bravery that he was honored with a full dress military parade in his honor.

Dan Blocker: The big son on NBC's hugely popular BONANZA Western, stood all of 6 foot 3 inches. He also served this nation as a soldier during the Korean War. Strangely, Rob Zombie eventually purchased the home of Blocker who died suddenly at the young age of just 42 from a serious medical incident.

Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox: The two guitar greats met while serving in the U.S. Army, and played music entertaining their fellow soldiers, and the two later formed The Band Of Gypsys shortly before the death of Hendrix in 1970.

Art Carney: The lovable comic who played Norton in THE HONEYMOONERS was wounded during the battle of Normandy and walked for the rest of his life with a limp after one leg was torn open by shrapnel.

Bob Crane: The controversial actor not only played a soldier on TV, but served our nation in the Army Reserves after he enlisted.

Charles Durning: The versatile actor with a long acting career was seriously wounded during WWII while serving in combat as an infantryman. He also served in the invasion at Normany. His service to this nation earned three Purple Hearts and a Silver Cross. Durning was later wounded by a land mine with serious injuries, but refused to seek a military discharge and fought for freedom once again during the Battle Of The Bulge. Durning was wounded again in this battle, and spent time in military hospitals until 1946, well after the war ended. Durning is perhaps one of the bravest entertainers ever to serve in the U.S. Army. He survived death several times in combat to star in over 100 films.

John Fogerty: While known for his antiwar views, former CCR musical great was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966 but chose to serve in the Army Reserves instead. He was honorably discharged in 1967 and resumed his musical career. From 1959 to 1966 Fogerty headed a band known as the Golliwogs. But, after his military service stint , resumed the band under the new name Creedence Clearwater Revival with his brother Tom on rhythm guitar, and Stu Cook on bass and Cliff Clifford on drums.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins: The shock rock pioneer served in the United States Air Force in the Pacific during WWII. He often entertained the troops because of his immense talents, but was taken prisoner and tortured by the Japanese. When his camp was liberated, Hawkins reportedly decided to take a little revenge on his chief torturer by taping a hand grenade to his mouth, pulling out the pin and blowing his head off. Maybe not the most professional conduct for a soldier, but no doubt a satisfying way to resolve some war crimes conduct that would likely have resulted in a hanging or firing squad.

Ice-T: Acclaimed rapper and actor Ice-T served this nation four four years as a U.S. Army Ranger after joining the military.

Clint Eastwood: The great actor and film director served in the U.S. Army during The Korean War.

Don Knotts: Although the late great comic actor was once rumored to have served in the USMC, the truth according to Wikipedia is that he actually served in the U.S. Army in WWII. Knotts apparently mostly worked as an entertainer.

Jack Warden: The late actor served as a paratrooper in an elite army unit during WWII and saw action during the Battle Of The Bulge despite suffering an injury due to a hard parachute landing into a fence in France.

Hugh Hefner: The founder of PLAYBOY magazine served in the U.S. Army during WWII, and used his skills as a top notch writer to do help publish a military paper that supported the war effort.

James(Jimmy)Stewart: The highly acclaimed actor rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the Army Air Force Reserves during WWII.

Many celebrities had service to this nation that was unknown to their many fans who only know them for their entertainment contributions. On this Memorial Day, it's so good to reflect on the sacrifice of many entertainers to the cause of freedom.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper Dead

The great actor and director, Dennis Hopper, has passed away at home at his Los Angeles home today from prostate cancer. He was 74. Normally, prostate cancer is a very slow growing disease, however in the case of Dennis Hopper it had metastasized to his bones, making the disease untreatable. Dennis Hopper was unfortunately recently troubled with a difficult divorce as well. His doctor had advised the actor to avoid stress and try to live as comfortable as possible.

Dennis Hopper had a long film career starting with the 1955 James Dean classic, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE. But it was his first film that he directed, EASY RIDER, from 1969, where Hopper won huge critical praise as an excellent filmmaker. He was an immensely talented actor and director both.

Although Hopper was often viewed as a Hollywood rebel, he was actually conservative leaning in his politics and supported the Republican Party, which was something more rare among the more liberal leaning Hollywood community.

Dennis Hopper was either nominated or had won numerous awards in his long career. His son Henry Hopper has followed in his father's footsteps, and is quickly establishing an acting career of his own.

I got to meet Henry Hopper last year while he was working on a Gus Van Sant project being shot at my Clinton Market grocery store in Portland, Oregon . I had the opportunity to tell Henry Hopper how much I appreciated his father's works such as EASY RIDER. The younger Hopper was a very nice young actor, and seemed very appreciative of the love and respect that I have for the Hopper family who have established a great dynasty of entertainers, with the son certainly carrying on the family tradition.

I just want the Hopper family know that they have my full respect and prayers at this very difficult time.

Rest peacefully, Dennis Hopper. You were a great actor and director. Cinema is so much better because of your great contributions. You were a true legend.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Shock Rock Horror Shtick

Shock rockers Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper have just wrapped up their 17 city tour. Both have proven themselves to be enduring figures who combine the best of B grade horror movie theatrics with rock music.

But, it wasn't Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie who created the shock rock genre of music. That credit probably goes to Screamin' Jay Hawkins who began combining weird horror movie theatrics into his music around 1957. He would appear onstage in a coffin and sing into a skull shaped microphone, and spook audiences with creepy songs like "I Put A Spell On You".

In the 1960's Screaming Lord Sutch was greatly inspired by the antics of Screamin' Jay Hawkins. And The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown managed some truly shocking and macabre performances using bizarre props such as a flaming helmet and strange makeup. He did a decent remake of "I Put A Spell On You" as well.

Alice Cooper brought shock rock to it's highest level yet, with increasingly elaborate and bizarre shows during the 1970's until much of his chart popularity began to wane around the 80's. Alice Cooper's outrageous theatrics were a serious inspiration to my own band, The Inputs. Our band combined the outrageousness of Alice Cooper with the new punk music scene genre, creating one of the most unusual punk rock acts ever for the Portland, Oregon era. With master guitarist Jim Haskett, the band played shows with notable recording artists such as Frank Zappa, Black Flag, The Dils and Dead Kennedys under either The Inputs name or as the re-branded Theater Of Sheep featuring Courtney Love's then boyfriend, Rozz Rezabek on lead vocals, doing more conventional new wave music.

Some groups like The Mentors and The Cramps successfully combined some outrageous theatrics or musical styles together to acquire cult followings during the punk and post punk eras.

Rob Zombie probably best combined his talents both as a horror film maker and as a musician to create a modern shock rock phenomenon with his group White Zombie and later as a highly successful solo act. Besides his music, Rob Zombie has produced some very good horror films in recent years.

If anything, shock rock pioneer Alice Cooper probably had the most to gain by appearing on the tour with Rob Zombie. By all appearances, this past tour looked to be a success for both performers.

Interesting how a few performers have combined horror movies and music into their stage gimmicks.

Breaking News: Gary Coleman Dead At 42

Gary Coleman has died from a brain hemorrhage at an Utah hospital. The 42 year old actor was put on life support following the very serious medical crisis. Coleman also suffered from other serious health problems in his short lifetime due to kidney problems. His growth was permanently stunted due to treatments he had had to endure when his kidneys first failed at age 14.

The DIFFERENT STROKES star became controversial in later years after the show was canceled. But, Coleman was a beloved celebrity during the heyday of the popular series, where he always appeared to be be far younger than he actually was. His medical problems left him with the stature of a small child when DIFFERENT STROKES debuted on NBC.

Coleman was actually 10 years old when DIFFERENT STROKES debuted, and despite suffering serious health problems was one of the most gifted and intelligent child actors on TV at the time. His show became a household favorite for many families who loved both the comedy and the positive and wholesome messages the show sent about race relations, as a White father of a daughter adopts two African American children. The show left you with a warm feeling.

But, the later years of the celebrity were involved with more serious legal issues. Coleman once sued his parents and financial manager in 1989 when he claimed that $3.8 million of his money that he worked for had disappeared. He won a $1.2 million judgment. But, by 1999 Coleman found himself bankrupt.

Coleman did find some small roles in TV and films, but it never brought in the type of money he earned as a child on DIFFERENT STROKES. At one point, Coleman was even forced to work as a mall security guard and got sued by a woman who claimed that Coleman hit her during some sort of an incident.

Coleman also faced other small legal problems such as being cited for disorderly conduct during a public fight with his wife. On January 24, Coleman was arrested for a more serious domestic violence charge.

The death of Gary Coleman is the latest sad chapter in the DIFFERENT STROKES kids saga. Dana Plato didn't find much good work after the show ended, and resorted doing nude modeling for men's magazines and soft core porn movies. She was arrested while working at a dry cleaning business for robbing a video store across the street. Her life ended 1999 when she died from prescription drug abuse in a trailer. Todd Bridges also had a troubled life as well, facing serious legal problems for once shooting a drug dealer and later stabbing a man. Bridges was well defended by star lawyer Johnny Cochran, and a jury acquitted him of all charges in the shooting incident. And the prosecutor dropped charges in the stabbing incident, citing self-defense reasons.
Gary Coleman became a household phenomenon for his famous catch phrase from DIFFERENT STROKES, "What cha talking about Willis?" He was loved by many, and he'll be missed despite all his later legal problems and sad history as a troubled former child actor.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

MACGRUBER: SNL's Latest Box Office Bomb?

SNL's latest attempt to blow up a three minute comedy skit into a full film hasn't gone very well. While the movie is less than terrible, it only grossed just $4 million last weekend at the box office. Not great numbers by any means. But, for a $10 million dollar budget film that's probably nearly good enough considering future DVD sales, rentals, etc.

MACGRUBER is based off a parody of the former long running ABC action series, MACGYVER. MACGYVER ran on ABC from from 1985-92. And while MACGYVER was eternally resourceful, MACGRUBER is a total bumbler, where things constantly go wrong. Real wrong.

SNL regular Will Forte both wrote the script and stars as MACGYVER in the film. But his SNL costar, Kristen Wiig, often manages to steal the show and prove herself to be the far greater talent here.

MACGRUBER is probably better than some SNL skit based films in retrospective. But that's hardly saying a great deal here. Yet, the film has plenty of funny moments.

Now, whether it breaks even for the producers is the next issue at hand. But a $4 million opening last week certainly wasn't a great performance. But maybe the best news of all here is that SNL actress Kristen Wiig has two years left on her contract with the show and could renew. That's certainly better news than some feeble attempts to expand some SNL skits into full feature films.

One Cool 1968 AMC Rebel Convertible

Some proud owners of some great cars sometimes post their toys on-line. And at an AMC club event, the Spot Cruise, this magnificent example of a custom 1968 AMC Rebel convertible showed up. Sporting an AMC Rebel Machine hood, and hopefully the custom dual four barrel crossfire intake manifold, this is one very nice convertible.

The AMC Rebel Machine had a very impressive 340hp. But why stop there, when custom intake manifolds and other parts could boost the power to absurdly brutal numbers.

AMC convertibles in general are pretty rare. The company never built that many. And this beautiful car represents one of the last of the line. In 1967, less than 1,700 were built by AMC. In 1968, even less were produced before AMC exited the convertible market until the last days when Renault owned a 49% share in the company and produced an Alliance convertible.

Long live the convertible!

AMERICAN IDOL Rolls Out The Big Finale

You've got to give FOX and AMERICAN IDOL real credit for rolling out a huge monster May sweeps month finale. AMERICAN IDOL put on the big show last night with a huge spectacular TV event that lasted two hours and 7 minutes. It was a grand event nearly equal to the Oscars with tons of great guest star performers.

Perhaps, the biggest surprise of the night was the win of Lee DeWyze(who looks a little bit like a young version of country music star Vince Gill). Crystal Bowersox was widely expected to win. But, regardless, both should become signed musical acts with recording contracts to follow. Other top finalists from the show will follow them on a touring AMERICAN IDOL road show traveling through the nation over the coming months. No doubt, a few others will find themselves under recording contracts as well.

Bret Michaels made a stage return, fresh from cheating death recently. His performance was pretty good considering what he went through recently, and inspiring to say the least.

Janet Jackson made a great musical performance, proving, that like her famous late brother, she's an awesome talent that hasn't really lost a beat after years of performing.

Shock rocker Alice Cooper made a great appearance with dancers dressed as schoolgirls. It was a perfect twisted sick Alice Cooper fantasy.

Tarnished pop star Christina Aguilera did a more conventional performance proving her musical talents. It's an important rehabilitation after her poorly received music video and single which seemed like a bottom tier Lady Gaga ripoff sank her planned Summer tour.

Last night's finale was the swan song for Simon Cowell as well. He'll move on to other opportunities. Bu,t Paula Abdul made a return visit and was mostly amusing in her honor of Simon.

And last, if not really least, the horrid but lovable William Hung made a small appearance as well, providing small inspiration to every bath and shower singer to keep reaching for the stars.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Art Linkletter Passes Away At 97

TV broadcasting pioneer Art Linkletter has passed away at the age 97. He was well loved for several important CBS shows including HOUSE PARTY, PEOPLE ARE FUNNY and KIDS SAY THE DARNEST THINGS, but in later years damaged his reputation with some controversial political crusades.

The Canadian-born host was a fixture for several decades on CBS TV. But his crusade to falsely implicate LSD in his daughter's suicide made his honesty suspect to some fans. His daughter jumped from a sixth story window in 1969, but no drugs were found in her system by toxicology tests. But, that didn't prevent Linkletter from claiming that LSD had somehow caused her death.

Linkletter further compromised his reputation by acting as a celebrity spokesman for STOP(Stand Together Opposing Pornography)a far right wing censorship group founded by religious fundamentalist Dr. Jerry Kirk. Although Kirk is a favorite among the fundamentalist set, he has been condemned by some for using outrageous exaggerations to falsely malalign adult entertainment to raise funds. A mainstream religious minister once attacked Kirk in a PLAYBOY editorial for his outrageous fund-raising tactics and exaggerations. Further, Kirk's organization has falsely used mainstream men's magazines titles that do not fall under obscenity laws to further his fund-raising efforts, which falsely implicates these titles as being illegal or criminal.

Linkletter's reputation has suffered over the years from his phony war effort against drugs and his involvement with Kirk. But, for many years, Linkletter was a popular TV host.

Mexico's Great Jarritos Soda

One of the very best Mexican imports into the U.S. is Jarritos sodas. Each of the nine flavors is made with real cane sugar,which gives these sodas a decidedly great unique flavor compared to common use of corn syrup. Jarritos also has unique flavor varieties such as watermellon, mango, strawberry, guava, lima-limon and more flavors that large American companies such as Coke and Pepsi just don't venture into.

Not everyone likes corn syrup as a sweetner, so Jarritos is building a loyal following of fans among nonhispanic Americans who now prefer real sugar in their sodas. Being more natural than the more synthetic brands is becoming a major plus for the brand. Jarritos is being viewed as a healthy brand with a nice clean flavor.

Jarritos has been around as a brand since 1950. But, in recent years more and more Americans are discovering this brand as a great alternative to many popular American brands.

New Barbie Collection Controversial

Mattel has a new collection of Barbie dolls called BACK TO BASICS To which is a little hard to understand. It's not really clear what's BACK TO BASICS about the collection of dolls, which in some cases look much more like porn stars, gold diggers, and other interesting career types than anything. But, Mattel does deserve some credit for creating a unique new line of Barbie dolls with new faces and some more adult fashion designs. In fact, each new face in the series seems to tell an interesting story.

In black dress designs, the new Barbie dolls do have some breath-taking beauty. They are some of the best faces the series has ever offered. But they seem more limited to adult collectors for the messages they might convey to younger Barbie fans. It seems like some Barbie dolls are for kids, and these one's are definitely aimed solely at the adult collector.

Mattel attempted something daring here, and that will likely be talked about for years by collectors. These are a real oddity in the long running brand series.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's David Byrne Vs. Florida Governor Charlie Crist

Talking Heads founder, David Byrne wasn't very amused when Florida Governor Charlie Crist decided it would be a great idea to use their "Road To Nowhere" song to attack his Republican primary opponent for his senate run. Although the Crist Campaign removed the ad using the song after a complaint from Warner Bros. Records, Byrne is now suing Crist for $1 million dollars.

Strangely, Crist's Republican opponent in the senate primary, Mario Rubio ran into his own song infringement problems after they used The Steve Miller Band's "Take The Money And Run" without permission in an ad attacking Crist.

Part of what music artists most object to by the unauthorized use of their songs in political ads is that it implies an endorsement of the politics of that particular candidate, which may be very contrary to that artist's own personal belief's. It can have a negative effect on some customers who may refuse recordings by that artist due to a mistaken belief about their politics.

Politicians often become desperate during heated campaigns, and steps to secure licensing rights often become short-cutted, and unauthorized use of certain materials becomes a real problem.

Is Like Christina Aguilera So Over?

Christina Auguilera, like Britney Spears, was once a great musical phenomenon to rise from Disney's NEW MICKEY MOUSE CLUB. But, a critically panned music video that seemed like a low rent ripoff of Lady Gaga and a failed top 40 single, have all forced the once powerful singer to put a planned concert tour on hold.

Officially, spoke-persons for Aguilera claim prior commitments put the planned tour on hold. But, the fact of the matter was that the music video was just plain awful, the lead single song not so great, and until the singer has some better material to perform, the magic seems to be gone.
Aguilera used to be a trend-setter. Now, she's just a Lady Gaga wannabe. That's not so good.

Better luck next time.

Lindsay Lohan Uses Absurd Movie Defense To Avoid Wearing SCRAM Bracelet

Troubled actress Lindsay Lohan can remain free on bail as long as she wears a court ordered SCRAM bracelet that can detect alcohol use. However, the actress has attempted to claim that the bracelet will interfere with her movie work, although that assertion has been disputed by an investigation by TMZ.

Lohan claimed that the bracelet would interfere with an upcoming movie shoot in Texas. However, TMZ reports that no such movie shoot even exists. A few days ago lohan claimed someone stole her passport as an excuse for missing a court date while she was in Cannes. But, French authorities had no such stolen passport report from Lohan.

It all makes you wonder, did the dog ever eat her homework when she was in school?

Monday, May 24, 2010


NINE DEAD is a much better than average mystery/horror genre film. If you like bizarre crime story movies, NINE DEAD will keep you in suspense trying to figure out why a mysterious masked man kidnaps nine victims with seemingly nothing in common and holds them prisoner.

The kidnapper offers the kidnapped a cruel bargain. If they can figure out what the nine of them have in common within the next ten minutes, then they can all go free. Otherwise, he will murder one of them every ten minutes.

What transpires then is some intense soul searching by the kidnapped, where some colorful personalities and dark secret lives emerge. Each looks for things they did wrong in their life.

A decidedly older looking Melissa Joan Hart(SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH) plays a prosecutor who is one of the abducted, along with a policeman, a priest, a sexually twisted career criminal, a Chinese woman, and others who cannot understand what single factor binds the nine together. It's a really great premise. It plays out a lot like a really good episode of the TV show CRIMINAL MINDS.

This is a great crime mystery/horror flick. The storyline is very well written and absorbing.

The Bottom Line: A very good film in the horror genre. Well worth a viewing. +++(Three stars, or good).

Brittany Murphy's Husband Dead

The husband of Brittany Murphy, Simon Monjack, was found dead Sunday night in his Hollywood Hills home. Monjack was only 39. So far, the preliminary cause of death is said to be natural causes pending further investigation. But Monjack was said to suffer from heart problems and had been putting off heart bypass surgery.

Monjack was always a highly controversial figure. A few months ago he was forced to remove a Brittany Murphy Foundation charity website set up in his wife's honor when it was investigated by TMZ as not being officially registered as a charity site to accept donations.

In 2006, Monjack faced deportation back to the UK for overstaying his visa, but then quickly entered into his marriage to Brittany Murphy, allowing him to stay in the country.

Monjack discovered his wife had collapsed back on December 20, 1999 and called emergency help. She was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital emergency room.

Monjack's body was discovered by Brittany Murphy's mother in $7.2 million dollar home owned by the family.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Danica Patrick Has A Bad Day At Indy

You think you had a bad day? Danica Patrick had a far worse one. She had troubled qualifying at the Indy 500 because of the mechanical setup of the car. And then worse, much worse, her comments about the car problems were overheard on the public address system due to an open mike, resulting in a chorus of boos from the audience.

Apparently the car was running fast, at over 224mph. But there were some serious handling problems with the car, making Patrick only qualify at #23 among the top 24 cars.

Patrick was reportedly upset and even crying about the situation. She believed in the mechanics and the car, but it just didn't feel right and wasn't handling like it normally should.

Former Survivor Producer Dogged By Investigation Into Wife's Death

Bruce Beresford-Redman has had some very interesting days recently. The former producer of SURVIVOR wasn't allowed to leave Mexico until this weekend, due to an investigation into the mysterious death of his wife.

It appears that Beresford-Redman took out a life insurance policy for his wife just one day before they took a trip to Mexico. Then, she was murdered in Mexico and her body appeared in a sewer. Mexican authorities didn't allow Beresford-Redman to leave the country while they conducted an investigation into the mysterious murder death of Monica Beresford-Redman.
One witness claimed that he saw the couple fighting. Another report claims that Beresford-Redman had some scratch marks on him after his wife disappeared. Mexican authorities questioned Beresford-Redman about the disappearance and refused to allow him to leave Mexico while they worked on resolving the case.

Strangely, the Australian-born Beresford-Redman has just signed a deal to bring a new TV show to the CW network this Fall despite this whirlwind.

Until the case is resolved, a large cloud of issues only dog this TV show producer. Beresford-Redman has not been accused of any crime, and is using a lawyer to seek custody of his two children. His parents now have temporary custody.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

CRIMINAL MINDS Spinoff Set For Midseason By CBS

CBS has picked up a spinoff of the very popular CRIMINAL MINDS series for midseason. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker will star in the series of another FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit who investigates terrible crimes. If anything, that sure sounds like CRIMINAL MINDS. But, that's okay. CRIMINAL MINDS is a great show, and certainly worthy of starting a whole new franchise of spinoff shows.

And, of course, it's a Mark Gordon production.

Never Ask Former NBA Great, Moses Malone, For An Autograph

Former NBA great Moses Malone sure doesn't like to give out autographs. Worse yet, don't even ask him for a photo. Word on the street is that he may be one of the most nasty former athletes to even ask for an autograph.

Moses Malone was a former ABA player that was chosen as #5 draft pick by the Portland Trailblazers after the 1975-67 mergers of the ABA and NBA leagues. But, Malone never played a game for the Trailblazers after being traded for #1 pick from another team.

Moses Malone was in Portland recently. Some fans who admire the great player and wonder about the possibilities if he wore the Trailblazer uniform just to ask him for an autograph. But, in an extremely nasty mood, he turned them flat. He was nearly confrontational in his response.

Malone be considered one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time. But, he's hardly one of the 50 nicest guys around. Just another overpaid athlete who doesn't give a rat's ass about the fans. Thanks, NBA!

Eliot Spitzer In Talks With CNN

Disgraced former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is reportedly in some talks with CNN. With the announced departure of anchor Campbell Brown, Spitzer may be looking at taking over the anchor role there. CNN may be shopping for a volatile personality to compete with the caustic Bill O'Reilly or the the controversial Keith Olbermann. Eliot Spitzer is an outspoken personality for sure, and might just bring enough controversy of his own to boost sagging ratings at the network.

Spitzer has worked as an analyst over at rival network MSNBC recently. But whether CNN or Spitzer are responsible for the action to bring him over to CNN is not known. But, CNN is definitely shopping for a replacement for Campbell Brown right now.

After FOX proved successful by bringing Bill O'Reilly over to network, who brings all of the charm of a pitbull to news reporting, it created a new phenomenon of outrageousness in news reporting, making it hard for traditional journalists such as Campbell Brown to compete. She quickly tired of having to compete with the angry outrageous persona of O'Reilly or the flamboyant character of Keith Olbermann.

News reporting is degenerating into the same sort of uncivil conduct mess that is beginning to characterize some politics. Despite a far greater access to information of all types, it hasn't always created a better informed or better educated population. Some news anchors now feel that their role isn't one of a teacher, but to be someone who incites angry mobs. Hopefully, CNN isn't ready to play that game as well.

Friday, May 21, 2010

THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER Series Finale This Weekend

Loyal fans of THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER are still working eleventh hour efforts to rescue the series from cancellation with petition campaigns and active Twitter efforts. 28 year old actress, Bridget Regan, is so grateful to the loyalty of these fans and reads as many of the Twitter messages as her time allows. She's equally sad to see the program end as Disney-ABC productions decided to ax both THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER as well as the long running Roger Ebert's AT THE MOVIES.

Barring any new deal to send the series to a new network, or to find a new main distributor, THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER will probably end it's two year run this weekend, playing on a wide number of channels as a syndicated program.

That's part of what made THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER such a great program. It was perhaps the best produced syndicated program ever made. It was a real first rate show that didn't cut corners on quality. And Regan promises one heck of a great series finale this weekend. The actress even went out on a limb attempting some daring horse riding stunts herself. She promises the show to be the best of the 44 episodes in the series.

Regan has became a big fan of the series as well, wishing that her Kahlan character could have more time to develop her relationship with Richard, and maybe even marry him. She knows that Kahlan is always just one step from danger in the series. But she'd like to see a happy Kahlan in the end.

If you love THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER, then please sign petitions and write Disney. Let your thoughts be known. Regan is on your side, and fully supports your efforts.


HYDRA isn't an entirely bad made-for-cable TV movie that's found it's way to DVD recently. The story of four wealthy men who each lost loved one's to crime who spend money to hunt down four law breakers on a small deserted island as prey is a rather interesting enough story. Unfortunately, this island is also inhabited by a mythical multiheaded hydra monster as well.

While the hydra monster digital special effects are sometimes incredibly cheap looking and downright laughable, the movie itself is still enjoyable enough popcorn movie fare, and would still make for some enjoyable Friday night viewing.

While some effort went into the film, the film did manage to miss some important fact checking into the legend story of Hercules. Hercules didn't use a magical sword to prevent the heads of the hydra from regenerating. He actually used a club or sickle to take off the heads, while his nephew used the flame from a torch to burn the wounds closed. But, regardless of this wrong lesson into the legend of Hercules, HYRDA does make some good use of a few ancient Greek type props and a magical sword angle.

Not a great film by an stretch of the imagination. But enjoyable enough entertainment. And the DVD does make a great Frizbee as well!

The Bottom Line: Not total crap. But, not that great either. A so-so popcorn film to watch once and forget. ++(Two stars, or just fair).

Lindsay Lohan Avoids Jail By Posting Bail

Agents for Lindsay Lohan have posted $10,000 in bail funds(10% of the $100,000 bail amount) to prevent the arrest of Lindsay Lohan once she re-enters the United States by U.S. Customs officers. By posting the bail bond, agents for the troubled actress hope to have the bench arrest warrant recalled. TMZ has learned that Lohan has booked a flight back to the U.S. from Nice, France to Los Angeles for Saturday.

Reportedly, lawyers for Lohan are working to schedule a hearing with the judge who declared the bench warrant to resolve conditions of probation violations that resulted in the warrant in the first place.

Amazing how spending a little money can fix almost anything.

Celebrities Who Don't Belong On Stripper Poles

Why, for the love of everything holy do some folks get on stripper poles? Why? Why?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Campbell Brown Out As CNN Anchor

Campbell Brown has always been a class act. Her coverage of Hurricane Katrina won her an Emmy while at NBC. However, her switch to CNN to become an anchor has become a dismal failure, and Brown gracefully resigned due to very low ratings and issues that forced her to compete with entertainers rather than true journalists.

The 41 year old reporter was born in Ferriday, Louisiana in 1968, so her passion covering the Hurricane Katrina disaster in her own native backyard was indeed heartfelt. However, being the daughter of a former Democratic State senator, may have brought some bias to her political reporting. During 2008, the McCain Campaign was very upset at Brown over some of her reporting for CNN. And, even worse, Brown likely was forced by competition from FOX's Bill O'Reilly and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann to bring some sense of attitude to the anchor job which was far out of character for her. Brown likely quickly tired of this forced role, and probably wants CNN to find a better fit for that role. Brown was never a pitbull like an O'Reilly or an Olbermann, but seemed forced into that role that just wasn't her.

Brown added in an interview that, "Shedding my journalistic skin to inhabit the kind of persona that might coexist in that lineup is impossible for me. It is not who I am or who I want to be, nor is it who CNN asked me to be at any point".

Brown's show only averaged around 591,000 viewers, while O'Reilly drew in a far larger audience of 3.34 million. Even Olbermann draws in around 1 million viewers. The ratings prove that the more outlandish the personality, the bigger the audience draw. Good guys come up last place when outrageous entertainment replaces serious journalism.

O'Reilly and Olbermann's nature is to act like insult comics commenting on the news. It's a shtick act much like having a Don Rickles read the news. But, for a serious journalist like a Campbell Brown, it just isn't what she does, and having to compete with those others is a completely forced act. O'Reilly and Olbermann may get their facts wrong sometimes, but that's because they're mostly entertainers, and lastly journalists. Campbell Brown was never an entertainer, but always a journalist.

You have to admire Brown's courage here. She is sacrificing considerable income to honor journalistic integrity on one hand, while saving her reputation as a serious journalist. But, where she goes from CNN is a big question. At, 41 she has many years to establish a new presence in journalism somewhere.

Arrest Warrant Issued For Lindsay Lohan

Hey, you could see this coming all the way up Broadway. All Lindsay Lohan had to do was to read Wizbang Pop, TMZ, or any other good celebrity news site to find out that she was going to be arrested unless she completed her court ordered alcohol classes. So, what does the scandal queen do instead? Well, she parties in France at Cannes on a boat, misses her morning court date in Los Angeles and gets slapped with a bench warrant for her arrest.

And to cover her little ass, Lindsay's lawyer claimed that she somehow had her passport stolen, although French authorities claim that Lohan never made any such report of a stolen passport. Further, TMZ ran photos today of Lindsay doing the late night party scene in France on a boat dressed like a sexy sailor last night, making a 30 minute flight back to LA sort of impossible to make her court date unless she was able to perfect Star Trek type transporter travel.

Further, the judge in Lindsay's case believes that they have good reason to believe that Lohan might be drinking in violation of her probation terms. Well, yeah.

But, Judge Marsha Revel is willing to allow Lohan out on $100,000 bail under several conditions including drug testing, no alcohol, and wearing a SCRAM bracelet. Lohan will be detained by U.S. Customs authorities and arrested once she actually gets on a plane and lands on U.S. soil.
Ain't it grand fun watching a trainwreck!

Miss USA 2010: A Nice Pole Dancing Muslim Girl?

Once again, the Miss USA Pageant has managed to create pant loads of controversy. Last year, the absurd Miss California Carrie Prejean saga made laughable scandal headlines as a seemingly nice Christian girl was discovered to be a bit of a hypocrite when a soft porn background of photos and a video were discovered. Now, the pageant is well poised to become a laughing stock once again this year, as a seemingly nice Muslim girl with a Lebanese heritage was found to be a 2007 pole dancing contest winner held by a radio station. Among her prizes were a nice collection of adult toys for her own use and self-abuse and her very own very nice stripper pole for home use.

In search of ratings, the Pageant received some more controversy this year with the release of racy lingerie photos of the contestants. Instead of unwanted bad publicity, the pageant itself was actually responsible for these. Pageant heads seem intent to shoot themselves in the foot it seems.

Every year, the Miss USA Pageant now seems to be a breeding ground for unintentional laughter as it stupidly walks into one controversy after another. Meanwhile, Miss 2010 USA is probably busy making good use of her prizes.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Charlie Sheen Signs Big Deal To Keep TWO AND A HALF MEN On The Air

Troubled actor Charlie Sheen has signed a huge deal that will pay him $1.2 million an episode and keep TWO AND A HALF MEN on the air for two more years. Eleventh hour negotiations with the actor in recent days were key to CBS renewing the series for two more seasons despite the highest ratings of any comedy series on TV. CBS didn't want to renew the series if Charlie Sheen wasn't on-board.

Today, in a press conference, CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler was forced to defend the high payout to the troubled actor. CBS needed TWO AND A HALF MEN to act as lead-in for the new Chuck Lorre comedy, MIKE & MOLLY, which CBS feels has real hit potential.

CBS feels confident enough in the strength of THE BIG BANG THEORY, also from Chuck Lorre to move the show lead off their big Thursday night line-up that includes BLEEP MY DAD SAYS(Formerly known as SHIT MY DAD SAYS), CSI and THE MENTALIST. This line-up should probably continue to dominate Thursday night network ratings.

Having Charlie Sheen back at work gives CBS real star power. But, Sheen needs to clean up his bad boy act and not create more problems for himself. CBS doesn't need that from someone drawing such big bucks.

The Smothers Brothers Retire

After 52 years of performing together as a comedy and musical act, the Smothers Brothers announced their retirement as an act. But, it comes at a very bad time for younger brother Dick Smothers who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. Dick Smothers is $2.7 million dollars in debt, while performing as an act garnered him an annual salary of less than half a million playing Las Vegas theaters at hotel casinos.

The Smothers Brothers were one of the most enduring family acts of all time. For decades they performed a mix of comedy and folk music that would leave audiences with a smile on their face and a warm feeling in their heart.

The Smothers Brothers once had a popular CBS comedy show in the 1960's, however during the Vietnam War some of their antiwar jokes made CBS very nervous, and the censors at the network were always on edge with their brand of humor which sometimes seemed too hip and edgy for that time on network TV. Like many in the folk music community, The Smothers Brothers represented that antiwar and anti-establishment culture. On the Smothers Brothers website there's a link to an effort to give antiwar folk singer Pete Seeger a Nobel Peace Prize.

Even though THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR was so popular that it toppled NBC's WESTERN phenomenon, BONANZA, in the ratings, CBS decided to cancel the show. This led to a successful lawsuit for breach of contract against CBS where CBS had to pay a settlement to the comic folk singers. But, THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR did manage to push the envelope for jokes about sex, religion, drugs and the Vietnam War.

Older brother Tom Smothers amazes audiences with a non-speaking character he performs onstage during shows called, "Yo-Yo Man". The Smothers Brothers' website features both merchandise and a whole section in tribute to this character used during their stage act.

Older brother Tom turned 73 this year, while younger brother Dick turned 70.

After decades entertaining, their departure from the stage is a sad day for their many fans.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Breaking News: CBS Cancels Seven Shows In Surprising Move

While the hand writing appeared to be on the wall for a while for several CBS shows, there were still some big surprises with the official cancellation announcements today from CBS. While GHOST WHISPERER continually won it's time slot at Friday at 8pm, CBS canceled the series. However, with ABC expressing interest in picking up the series, there could be back room dealing going on to send the series over there. The same thing might hold true for the cancellation of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE. ABC wants that series as well, and CBS might have struck such a deal to send that series away as well.

But the news is far less good for COLD CASE which was officially canceled after 7 seasons. While the show has always done well on Sunday evening, it's ratings had slipped slightly over the years. CBS likely needs the spot for something new that the network feels will pull in larger numbers.

NUMB3Rs was another very good CBS show that officially hit the end of the road today. That move was widely expected by CBS, but still is a sad end to a very good TV show.

It was pretty much expected that ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, GARY UNMARRIED and MIAMI MEDICAL might be ended as well, although ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE did manage pretty strong ratings because of the time slot it was positioned in between blockbuster comedies.

Fans of GHOST WHISPERER and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE really need cross their fingers and hope and pray that some deal with ABC is really in the works right now. Otherwise, these shows are really gone.

FAMILY MATTERS Star Does His Best Urkel

Former FAMILY MATTERS star, Darius McCrary, must be channeling Steve Urkel or something. The actor who played the son of policeman Carl Winslow broke a few driving rules and had his nice little Jaguar impounded. It seems that McCrary was driving with an expired driver's license and decided to roll right through a stop sign for good measure.

In recent years, McClary has become a popular actor in Christian films because of his deeply religious views. However, he apparently forgot to give Caesar his due and is now paying the price.

Heavy Metal Pioneer Ronnie James Dio Dead At 67

Heavy metal pioneer Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 67. Dio's career in music actually started back in 1957, and spanned into this century. But Dio was best known for his contributions as a vocalist and song writer for dark themed heavy metal acts such as Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Dio.

Although standing only five foot four inches tall, Dio was something of a giant figure in the heavy metal scene and popularized the devil salute hand gesture used among some dark themed acts. The gesture was actually used by some superstitious Italians to ward off "the evil eye". Dio's Italian grandmother used the sign, and Dio thought it looked cool to use as a stage gimmick, so it became his trademark.

One of Dio's biggest breaks was taking over as lead singer for Black Sabbath, although purists loved Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and found the change difficult to adjust to. But the album HEAVEN AND HELL was highly successful and brought back the band's popularity from some less successful later albums.

Although Dio sought to harvest a dark stage image, his family was actively involved in a charity that rescued children from sexual abuse at the hands of pimps.

Whether Hell was missing a demon, or Heaven was missing an angel was sometimes a little hard to ascertain from the life of this late great heavy metal vocalist.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Conan O'Brien Back On NBC?

Conan O'Brien is back on NBC. Sort of. From Conaco Productions comes the NBC drama series OUTLAW starring Jimmy Smits as former Supreme Court Justice Cyrus Garza who suddenly quits the bench to use his legal know how to create plenty of trouble for high powered interests who normally beat up little guys in court. Conan O'Brien and Jeffrey Ross are executives in Conaco, however aren't too likely to write or direct episodes. ANDY BARKER, P.I. was from the same Conaco Productions as well.

But a serious schedule problem for OUTLAW is the dead zone 10pm Friday night time slot. That's a really tough time spot right there, where many a good show can die from lack of viewers there. Jimmy Smits in an Emmy Award winning actor. But, can he do magic in this terrible time slot?
So, what does Conan O'Brien think about all of this. Does NBC suck as much today, or not?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Mystery Of Jim Morrison's 1967 Ford Mustang GT 500

Elektra Records was so pleased at the success of the first album by The Doors that they reportedly gave lead singer Jim Morrison a brand new 1967 Night Mist Blue Ford Mustang GT 500 in appreciation. But, what happened to that priceless star car remains a mystery to this day.

Some stories do exist.

One story claims that Morrison was driving the car up Sunset Strip one early morning, likely drunk or even wasted, and then crashed the car into pole on the street. Morrison simply got out of the wrecked car, and walked up to The Whiskey A Go Go, where the band had often performed, never bothering to look back.

Some stories are that the car was towed, and may have been sold to a few different owners over time, and was eventually crushed by the early 80's.

Another story also exists that the priceless star car was left at the Los Angeles International Airport when the band took a flight out to start a long tour schedule. The car was eventually towed, but Morrison never bothered to retrieve the car. Yet, no records can found of the where-abouts of the car. What happened from there remains a mystery.

Someone out there knows the history of this priceless star car which would would be worth a massive fortune today. Some perfect examples of the car have sold for up to $500,000 at car auctions such as the exclusive one's run by Barnett's.

After Morrison's 1971 Paris death in a bath tub, some documents from the controversial singer's life were recovered including the registration for the car. Did the singer still own the car at some American location, but it mysteriously disappeared after his death, and possibly end up in some collector's garage.

Just like the mysterious Jim Morrison and his mysterious death, the fate of his mysterious 1967 Ford Mustang GT 500 car remains a mystery for the ages.


FOX's attempt to replace MAD TV with a late night talk show have apparently ended in failure. Sharp tongued and quick witted comic Wanda Sykes was given the news about the cancellation of her late night talk show this weekend. The news came as a surprise because it isn't known what FOX has available to replace the show on the schedule.

While the show started off with good ratings, it eventually fell below the final season of MAD TV, and proved to be a real drag on the attempt by FOX to offer some late night comedy entry able to compete head on with SNL.

While THE WANDA SYKES SHOW had some great comedy and parody segments in the opening moments, the show quickly took a lazy turn and became an effortless panel discussion, sort of like a comedy version of THE VIEW. As brilliant as Sykes is, she just didn't keep the ball rolling and the show fresh or moving in an interesting direction, and viewers quickly tired of the show and abandoned it in the ratings.

Wanda Sykes continues to be a great comic. But, the will and effort to make THE WANDA SYKES SHOW a hit just wasn't there. And the show suffered and died for that very reason.
Wanda Sykes may be a true master at funny observations. But, why this show wasn't so much better is a real mystery. That's one important observation the great comic apparently sorely missed.

Now, the search at FOX for a decent late night show with reasonable ratings continues. But, why MAD TV was ever canceled in the first place is a very good question. FOX had their own version of SNL, but let that opportunity slip away.

Paul McCartney At Odds With EMI Over Digital Music Downloads Issue

Paul McCartney has an ongoing feud with EMI over the issue of digital music downloads. It appears that EMI owns the rights to The Beatles music catalog, however the catalog is only available for sale on Cds as negotiations to provide the music to sources like Amazon and Apple ITunes have gone nowhere. Paul McCartney wants the music available as digital downloads, but executives at EMI have allowed some of their own contract issues to prevent this agreement. So the music by The Beatles remains missing from digital downloads, while most other artists music is available.

However, all is not bad. Cds still have a far superior sound quality than the lower quality highly compressed digital downloads. And the recently released remastered versions of The Beatles albums can really be enjoyed best through the highest quality playback available, something that the inferior sounding digital downloads certainly lack. Plus, physical Cds allow for the inclusion of great bonus artwork and booklets, all of which are missing from the digital downloads which are hardly a great buy for an inferior audio quality product with missing bonus features.

No doubt, all of these issues will someday be resolved. But for today, serious issues still stand in the way.

Funny thing, The Beatles were once at the forefront of innovation. But, that was before the digital age.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Roger Ebert's AT THE MOVIES Ending After 24 Seasons

AT THE MOVIES, the great film review show founded by Roger Ebert and friendly rival critic Gene Siskel will be ending in August after 24 seasons. However, Roger Ebert is working on a new program to replace the series, where the familiar "thumbs up, thumbs down" ratings are likely to make a return. Disney appears to be scaling back on some of their syndicated shows with THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER also being canceled.

Although AT THE MOVIES aired under various names during it's long TV run, it has always been a favorite with a core of movie fans and will be sorely missed.

Roger Ebert himself had to suspend his own appearances on the show during 2006 as he underwent thyroid cancer treatment. Eventually, Ebert was left severely disfigured from surgery and unable to speak, although he continues as film critic for the CHICAGO SUN TIMES. Ebert's original co-host for AT THE MOVIES was movie critic Gene Siskel of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Siskel died in 1999 after losing his own battle to cancer.
Other movie review programs have come and gone, however AT THE MOVIES seemed the most durable of the lot by far, with Disney's long term commitment to the series despite all of the personal tragedy of the hosts of the show.
Roger Ebert is facing some difficult times right now. However, his surgery has been successful and his health stabilized. Ebert's ready to move on with his life and to continue a movie review show, Disney or not.


It didn't take super mental abilities to realize that the once powerful HEROES show over at NBC was in some trouble. With declining ratings and storylines both, the program just wasn't as magic as it once was by any means.

Now, NBC is now forced to work on some sort of two-hour conclusion to the show that will likely air next season as a special. Hopefully, this will satisfy fans who spent the last few years following the storyline.

At one time, the series seemed like an innovative take on the superhero story. Critics and fans alike hailed the series as great. But, generally science fiction or similar genre shows do poorly on network TV. HEROES was once a surprising hit for NBC and their flagship Monday evening show.

Final Strokes: Dana Plato's Son Kills Himself

As if the pathetic life of former DIFFERENT STROKES star Dana Plato wasn't sad enough, things took a new bad turn as news has now broke that her son, Tyler Lambert, 25, has killed himself. Plato herself had overdosed on prescription drugs inside her parked RV in 1999, ending up dead. Since the age of 14, the very troubled actress had some problems with prescription drug abuse and overdosing.

After DIFFERENT STROKES ended, all three of the young cast members fell into scandals and bad publicity. Dana Plato's acting career quickly declined after the TV show was canceled, where one point she was even arrested for robbing a video store of about $200 with a pellet gun while working at a dry cleaners business across the street. Singer Wayne Newton felt sorry for her and posted her $13,000. Plato received five years probation for the robbery charge.

Plato once claimed that an accountant supposedly stole most of her money while on the HOWARD STERN radio program once before. However, bad financial management and drug abuse seemed more likely explanations for her declined lifestyle.

Plato's acting career also hit rock bottom as well, where it pretty much became a soft porn career of doing nude shots or starring in really bad B grade films, only trading on her famous name from DIFFERENT STROKES fame and her bad girl image. Her co-stars Gary Coleman a nd Todd Bridges each have repeatedly made bad news as well.

The family trainwreck hit a new low when almost 11 years to the day, her son is now dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, following experimentation with drugs and alcohol.