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‘Windmills’ and ‘Fields’ in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Lyricists Marilyn Bergman, who died today aged 93, and her husband Alan Bergman won the best-song Oscar in 1969 with Michel Legrand for ‘Windmills of Your Mind’ from ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ but they owed … Continue reading

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Betty White on her TV shows, love of animals and a good pun

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Betty White loves a good pun. At least, she did when I had lunch with her when she was on ‘The Golden Girls’ in the mid-Eighties. This was her favourite at the time: Why are protestors always … Continue reading

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Stephen Sondheim was grateful for ‘a fresh eye’

By Ray Bennett It wasn’t only Broadway that Stephen Sondheim loved. In London in 2011 to mark his 80th birthday, the Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist who has died aged 91, accepted a Special Laurence Olivier Award for his outstanding … Continue reading

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Recalling John Gardner, a master of the spy novel

By Ray Bennett LONDON – John Gardner, who would have been 95 today, should rank with Eric Ambler, John le Carré, Len Deighton and Philip Kerr as a virtuoso of the serious British spy novel. He is known best now … Continue reading

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Memory Lane: The time before everything was streamed

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Living, as I do, in turn-of-the-century London, it’s easy to become nostalgic for the long-ago 1900s. I know we’re just a few weeks into 2000 but it seems like forever. I recall the first single … Continue reading

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MEMORY LANE: On being British

By Ray Bennett (November 1999) LONDON: We British cherish our loonies and it it’s no surprise that the House of Lords has lasted so long. Only last week, a bill was passed in the House of Lords than deprives hereditary … Continue reading

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Recalling ‘Lou Grant’ star Ed Asner 

By Ray Bennett LONDON: Ed Asner, who died aged 91 on Aug. 29, had a very long and successful acting career on television but he told me he couldn’t get arrested for the big screen.  ‘I have run into downright … Continue reading

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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ to open Toronto International Film Festival

By Ray Bennett The Toronto International Film Festival has selected Stephen Chbosky’s ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ (pictured), based on the hit Broadway show, to be its Opening Night film on September 9. Zhang Yimou’s ‘One Second’ will close the festival on September … Continue reading

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BFI celebrates the films of Robert Altman in major season

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Robert Altman movies spanning five decades are to be screened in a major season at the British Film Institute. Running from May 17 to July 31, the programme will present 34 films in chronological order … Continue reading

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Peter Ustinov: a man of many voices

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Playwright, filmmaker, actor and raconteur Peter Ustinov, who was born 100 years ago today and died on March 28, 2004, was convincing in movies playing many different nationalities. One reason for that was because he … Continue reading

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