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Entertainment

    Actress Emma Chambers, who played Hugh Grant’s younger sister in the 1999 movie “Notting Hill,” died Wednesday, her agent told CNN. She was 53. >> Read more trending news Her agent, John Grant, said Chambers died of natural causes. The British actress is survived by her husband, actor Ian Dunn. “Over the years, Emma, created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many, and will be greatly missed,' John Grant said. Hugh Grant tweeted that Chambers was “a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress.” In addition to “Notting Hill,” Chambers starred for more than a decade as Alice Tinker in the BBC comedy “The Vicar of Dibley,” CNN reported.
  • Just when you got “Let It Go” out of your head, there’s a new “Frozen” song to check out. >> Watch the video here Mashable reported that “Monster,” the first original song from the “Frozen” Broadway musical, was released on Friday, along with a music video featuring Caissie Levy, who’ll play Elsa on stage, belting out the tune. The Broadway production of the beloved Disney movie will feature 12 new songs along with all the favorite tunes from the film. Just as they did for the movie, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have brought their magic to the play, writing all the songs. “Monster” comes into play during the second act when Elsa begins to wonder if she is a monster due to her magical abilities. Audience members also will get to hear several other new songs from Elsa, including “Dangerous to Dream.” Anna fans will be excited to hear that her character is getting her own new solo as well, “True Love,” and she’ll join Kristoff in a new duet called “What Do You Know About Love.” “It’s a moment of anxiety where the freedom she found in ‘Let It Go’ is shaken, and she hears in the distance the voices of the men coming for her, and she realizes now is the time she has to decide what her next move is,” Lopez said of “Monster,' according to the New York Times. >> Read more trending news  “It’s full of conflicting emotions,” Anderson-Lopez added. “It’s got fear. It’s got rage. It’s got her self-flagellation. It’s someone who has been living a double life of secrets and shame that no one knows about, and this is the moment of reckoning with all the destruction that she left behind her.” In addition to Levy, the “Frozen” cast includes Patti Murin as Anna, Jelani Alladin (Kristoff), Greg Hildreth (Olaf), John Riddle (Hans), Robert Creighton (Weselton), Kevin Del Aguila (Oaken), Timothy Hughes (Pabbie), Andrew Pirozzi (Sven), Audrey Bennett (Young Anna), Mattea Conforti (Young Anna), Brooklyn Nelson (Young Elsa), Ayla Schwartz (Young Elsa), Alyssa Fox (Elsa Standby), Aisha Jackson (Anna Standby), and Adam Jepsen (Sven Alternate). “Frozen” will make its debut at New York’s St. James Theatre on March 22.
  • Sridevi, Bollywood's leading lady of the 1980s and '90s who redefined stardom for actresses in India, has died at age 54. The actress was described as the first female superstar in India's male-dominated film industry. She used one name onscreen, like many leading ladies of her generation, and was known for her comic timing and her dancing skills, a great asset in the song-and-dance melodramas that are a staple of mainstream Indian cinema. Sridevi died Saturday in Dubai due to cardiac arrest, her brother-in-law Sanjay Kapoor confirmed to Indian Express online. She had been in Dubai to attend a wedding in her extended family. Indian political leaders and entertainers posted condolences and recollections of her work, with many colleagues and fans expressing shock at the sudden news. 'Woken up to this tragic news. Absolute shock. Sad,' tweeted Rishi Kapoor, her co-star in the 1989 film 'Chandni,' or 'Moonlight,' in which Shrdevi played a woman choosing between two loves. Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered condolences too. 'Saddened by the untimely demise of noted actor Sridevi. She was a veteran of the film industry, whose long career included diverse roles and memorable performances,' he tweeted. Sridevi began acting as a child in regional cinema in India's south and made her debut in Hindi-language Bollywood films in the late '70s. Other famous roles included 'Mr. India,' in which she played a reporter, and 'Lamhe,' or 'Moments,' a 1991 film in which she played dual roles of mother and teenage daughter. Her impeccable comic timing and her dancing skills were front and center in 'Chaalbaaz,' or 'Game Player,' in 1989, where she played twins separated at birth. She shared the screen with some of Indian cinema's most iconic leading men, from Amitabh Bachchan to Shahrukh Khan. Another co-star was Anil Kapoor, her brother-in-law who was known in the West for his role in 'Slumdog Millionaire.' She stopped acting for several years after her marriage to film producer Boney Kapoor but made a well-received comeback in 2012 with 'English Vinglish,' a nuanced performance about a middle-aged woman learning English to fit in better with her family. Her last performance was the 2017 film 'Mom,' where she played a woman seeking vengeance after her stepdaughter is raped. She is survived by her husband and two daughters.
  • Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics: CURLING GOLD: 'Two days ago it was unlikely,' NBC's Jason Knapp said as the American men's curling team clinched a gold medal . 'Now it is undeniable.' How unlikely? The team had lost four of its first six games in South Korea but got hot at the right time. NBC replayed the late-night victory Saturday afternoon and team members visited with daytime host Rebecca Lowe in the network studio. John Shuster spoke movingly of overcoming past failures to win with a brilliant late-game throw. 'I just decided my story wasn't going to end this way,' he said. Bleary-eyed, five team members returned later for a talk with Mike Tirico that ended with an ovation from NBC's backstage crew. SKATING GALA: Nice touch for NBC to assign Scott Hamilton to the skating gala. He's been nothing but class since losing the top commentator role to Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. MASS START? Mass confusion. The final speedskating competition was a crowded race called the mass start that left us baffled. Tom Hammond and Joey Cheek needed to explain the race's rules before it started. What is a sprint lap and why do you get points for it? What is the strategy involved? BOBSLED HISTORY: John Morgan is going to need a few weeks to catch his breath after the bobsled competition. A tie for silver in the four-man race? 'We're witnessing history here!' he said. The 'house of speed has had us on the edge of our seats for every race,' he said. Come to think of it, the 'house of speed' should be renamed the 'house of excitement.' Meanwhile, it will be the last bobsled most of Morgan's viewers see for four years. BACK IN TIME: As the competition winds down, NBC rolls out some of its prepared features. On Saturday afternoon, a Rob Lowe-narrated film told the story of the men's and women's figure skating competition at the Calgary Olympics in 1988 and, most interestingly, what happened to the participants since then. Serena Williams will narrate a film on 1968 on Sunday afternoon. YOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY: Was that a tray of cupcakes on the table in front of Tirico, or are we just getting delusional? RATINGS: NBC did not have a viewership estimate available for Friday night's telecast. The overnight ratings from the nation's largest markets were the lowest for the games so far. It did, however, estimate that 1.6 million people watched the curling finale, which began at 1:30 a.m. Eastern on Saturday. That means Saturday was an early night to bed for a lot of people in Minnesota and Wisconsin. ___ More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org
  • Garrison Keillor described several sexually suggestive emails he exchanged with a former researcher who accused him of sexual misconduct as 'romantic writing' that never resulted in a physical relationship, and the radio host rejected the idea that because he was her boss — and the driving force of a hugely popular radio program — it could be sexual harassment. The woman responded, via her attorney, that Keillor's power over her job made her afraid to say no to him. In one of his first extended interviews since Minnesota Public Radio cut ties over the allegations against the former 'A Prairie Home Companion' host in November, Keillor said he never had a sexual relationship with the woman, a freelance contributor to the show at the time. 'No button was unbuttoned and no zipper was unzipped,' Keillor told The Associated Press. 'I never kissed her ... This was a flirtation between two writers that took place in writing.' Keillor also downplayed his power over the woman by portraying himself as uninvolved in the mundane operations of the radio show he created nearly a half-century ago and built into a powerhouse that attracted millions of listeners nationwide each Saturday evening, spun off assorted businesses and tours and inspired a movie. 'I was not really the boss around 'Prairie Home Companion,'' Keillor said. 'I was a writer sitting in a dim office at a typewriter, back in the old days.' He also said: 'I had no control over her whatsoever. She worked at home.' The woman said in an emailed response through her attorney that Keillor 'had the power to provide or take away job assignments and opportunities. He also acknowledged several times that power imbalance between us, recognizing how his conduct could be offensive when it was coming from the person for whom I work.' She also said she wasn't interested in anything but a 'collegial' relationship with Keillor. 'He was my mentor and employer,' she said. 'As such, he had power over me. Every time I said 'no' or tried to avoid him I feared I was saying 'no' to my future.' The Associated Press does not typically name alleged victims of sexual harassment unless they have chosen to go public. MPR spokeswoman Angie Andresen said the station stands by its handling of the claims against Keillor. In January, the company said the woman had accused Keillor of dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents over several years, including requests for sexual contact and explicit sexual communications and touching. 'Our decision was not based on flirtations or fantasies, but based on facts confirming unacceptable behavior in the workplace by a person in a position of power over someone who worked for him,' Andresen said by email. Kelly Marinelli, founder of Solve HR Inc., a human resources consulting company in Colorado, said even when a relationship seems reciprocal, there could be problems when one person is the boss. 'In a situation where someone has power over another person and whether or not they continue to receive work ... it's very difficult for that to be a real mutual, consensual relationship,' she said. Prior to the interview, Keillor's attorneys allowed the AP to view hundreds of emails between Keillor and the woman dating from 2004 to 2017, on condition that they could be described but not quoted directly. Some were work-related, including details from her research and Keillor's critiques. But many were personal, sharing details about their families and emotional struggles from their home email accounts, and some were overtly sexual. The tone began changing in 2013, as the pair began sharing more about their lives and signing off by saying they loved and missed each other. By 2014 and 2015, the emails became more amorous. They both shared wishes or fantasies of being intimate, sometimes in detail. In one July 20, 2015, email, Keillor wrote of his desire to reach into the woman's blouse and hold her breast in his hand. Keillor was married at the time and still is. 'I agree that there are adolescent passages in there, but there were some by her and some by me,' Keillor told the AP. 'We were two writers and we wrote back and forth and sometimes we slipped into what one could call them romantic writing,' he said. 'But this was between two people who hardly ever laid eyes on each other. She was never required to be in the office.' Keillor also wrote about wanting to touch the woman, kiss her, or be naked with her on several occasions. She replied in kind. The emails also included some explicit acknowledgements by Keillor of their work relationship, with him apologizing for some of the emails and noting that he was the person she worked for — but that he didn't feel like her boss. When MPR cut ties with Keillor in November, his public statement at the time acknowledged one incident -- placing his hand on a woman's bare back in what he portrayed as an accident. He said then it was the only incident he could remember. A timeline provided along with the emails said it was in July 2015 when Keillor's hand went inside her shirt and he touched her back as they embraced while at lunch. That was the same month as he sent the email about holding her breast. In a July 2016 email, as he neared retirement, Keillor apologized to the woman; she replied that she forgave him. Keillor was accompanied in the interview by his attorney, Eric Nilsson, who highlighted the woman's status as a freelancer. 'There's an important distinction between an employee and an independent contractor. This woman was an independent contractor,' he said. Until his retirement in 2016, Keillor, 75, entertained millions weekly on 'A Prairie Home Companion,' the show he created in 1974. MPR faced a backlash from some listeners when it ended its relationship with him, in part because it provided scant details of the allegations against him. It later gave more details based on what the company said was a 12-page letter from the woman. MPR has removed archived Keillor shows from its website and no longer rebroadcasts shows he hosted. It also ended broadcasts of 'The Writer's Almanac,' his daily reading of literary events and a poem. Talks between Keillor and MPR over transitioning their business relationship have gone nowhere since early January. ___ Associated Press writer Doug Glass contributed. ___ Follow Jeff Baenen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jeffbaenen . Find more of his work at https://apnews.com/search/jeff%20baenen .
  • A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy against HBO host John Oliver. A segment of Oliver's Sunday show 'Last Week Tonight' in June poked fun at Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray, who blames regulatory efforts by the Obama administration for damaging the coal industry. Oliver said the 77-year-old looked like a 'geriatric Dr. Evil.' A Circuit Court judge in Marshall County, West Virginia, ruled on Wednesday that Murray's company failed to state a claim. The two-page ruling from Senior Judge Jeffrey Cramer was posted online by The Hollywood Reporter. The Ohio-based company was seeking financial damages and a court order barring rebroadcasts of the segment's 'defamatory statements.' HBO had argued the show didn't violate Murray Energy's rights or those of Murray.
  • Touch Me Not,' an experimental movie about intimacy from Romanian director Adina Pintilie, won the top Golden Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday. The movie, which follows the story of a woman who can't bear to be touched and various other people searching for intimacy, was chosen from a field of 19 competitors at the first of the year's major European movie festivals. The Berlin jury was led by German director Tom Tykwer. 'We were not expecting that,' Pintilie said. 'We would like that the dialogue 'Touch Me Not' proposes opens to the world, so we invite you, the viewer, to dialogue.' American Wes Anderson was named best director Saturday for his animated movie 'Isle of Dogs,' a journey that begins with a city's dogs being exiled to a vast garbage dump and features the voices of Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum and Scarlett Johansson, among others. Anderson couldn't be in Berlin on Saturday so Murray collected the award. 'I never thought that I would go to work as a dog and come home with a bear,' he said. The best actor award went to Anthony Bajon for his role in French director Cedric Khan's 'The Prayer' and the best actress prize to Ana Brun for her part in Marcelo Martinessi's 'The Heiresses,' from Paraguay. The jury grand prize award went to Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska's 'Mug' while 'The Heiresses' also picked up a prize for a film that opens up new perspectives. Mexican entry 'Museum' picked up the best screenplay prize for Manuel Alcala and Alonso Ruizpalacios. The award for an outstanding artistic contribution went to Elena Okopnaya for the costume and production design in the Russian film 'Dovlatov.
  • British actress Emma Chambers, best known for her role as Alice Tinker on the hit BBC show 'The Vicar of Dibley,' has died. She was 53. >> Read more trending news  The news of her death was announced Saturday, but the BBC reported that Chambers died Wednesday evening. Chambers died of natural causes, the BBC reported. Chambers was well-respected for her comedic talents. She starred on 'The Vicar of Dibley' from 1994 to 2007, earning a British Comedy Award in 1998, the BBC reported. Chambers also appeared in the film 'Notting Hill' with Hugh Grant. Chambers is survived by her husband, actor Ian Dunn, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • British actress Emma Chambers, known for her roles in 'The Vicar of Dibley' television series and the romantic comedy 'Notting Hill,' has died at 53. Her agent John Grant said Saturday that Chambers had died of natural causes on Wednesday evening. 'Over the years, Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many, and will be greatly missed,' he said. Chambers was well known in Britain for her role as Alice Tinker in the long-running 'The Vicar of Dibley' comedy. Dawn French, who co-starred with Chambers in the popular show, told Britain's Press Association she will miss Chambers very much. 'Emma was a very bright spark and the most loyal and loving friend anyone could wish for,' French said. Chambers also had a long career in a variety of television and film roles. Emma Freud, the wife of 'The Vicar Of Dibley' creator Richard Curtis, said on Twitter that Chambers had been a 'beautiful friend.' 'We're very very sad. She was a great, great comedy performer, and a truly fine actress. And a tender, sweet, funny, unusual, loving human being,' Freud tweeted. Actor Hugh Grant, part of the 'Notting Hill' cast, called Chambers 'a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress.' Chambers was born in Doncaster, 170 miles (275 kilometers) north of London and trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. She is survived by her husband Ian Dunn.
  • Counting up the medals, Pyeongchang was a lackluster Olympics for the U.S. team, and the post-mortems will soon begin about what went right and wrong. It's worth taking the same look at NBC's performance, because the network is locked into showing the Olympics every two years through 2032. NBC tried some new things, and new people, to supplement a blueprint it has followed for several years. THE BOTTOM LINE The network started strong in the ratings, and has faded in the homestretch in part, executives believe, because more people became absorbed in the news following the Florida school shooting. The company will turn a profit, and said it will hit the ratings guarantees it promised to advertisers, an important financial barometer. Through Thursday, NBC had averaged 20.6 million viewers in prime time for the network, the NBCSN cable network and streaming services. That's down 8 percent from the Sochi Olympics in 2014, when the broadcast network was the only prime-time option (viewership on NBC alone is down 18 percent). Young viewers are slipping away faster, and a Seton Hall University poll found people aged 18-to-29 were nearly as likely to stream the Olympics on their devices as watch on TV. No one likes to see ratings go down. But because of how streaming services have changed viewing behavior since 2014, programs with a bigger audience than four years ago are rare. For two weeks, NBC routinely had more viewers than ABC, CBS and Fox combined. 'We were a little bit surprised that it started out as strong as it did,' said Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group. 'It will end up about where we thought it would.' TIRICO TIME NBC's replacement of Bob Costas with Mike Tirico as prime-time Olympics host has by most accounts gone smoothly. 'He's done a terrific job,' Lazarus said. 'He is a warm and welcoming host. He is facile with the facts, he is entertaining and he is compatible with our announcers in the venues and the people who come to the (headquarters) to do interviews.' Tirico has shown no growing pains, and anytime a high-profile person avoids a headline-making gaffe is a plus. He's still somewhat of a mystery to viewers, since he had few opportunities to do interviews or commentary. Part of that was the preponderance of live events in prime time that made Tirico essentially a television traffic cop. The same busy schedule left less time for the profiles that tend to drive sports purists nuts. That also means less time to get to know the host country than in past Olympics. Anything that minimizes the presence of storytellers Mary Carillo and Jimmy Roberts is a minus. NBC also showed little taste for stories that went beyond medals or Olympic records. The sexual misconduct allegations against Shaun White , Shani Davis' anger at not being selected flag-bearer, the skier with few apparent skills who made the Hungarian team — all got little or no attention. NBC may justify that reluctance, given that Katie Couric and commentator Joshua Cooper Ramo were criticized for comments that strayed from sports during the opening ceremony . But these stories are an important part of the Olympics, and avoiding them makes NBC vulnerable to criticism that it doesn't want to offend the people who run the games, its business partners. LATE AT NIGHT Among the new wrinkles was NBC's decision to broadcast its Olympic show live across the country, meaning West Coast viewers were not just stuck with a rerun of the East Coast's prime-time show. That turned out to be well-suited to the time difference. NBC's late-night show on the East Coast — which aired in prime time out West — was filled with live events, including the gripping gold medal women's hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. Ratings went up for this time slot, which NBC dubbed Prime-time Plus. Get used to the template, since the next two Olympics (Tokyo in 2020, Beijing in 2022) have similar time differences. NBC also became adept in programming NBCSN during prime time. It learned to use NBCSN to complement NBC; the cable network more fully aired the women's figure skating competition, for example, freeing NBC to show a greater breadth of Olympic sports. No longer did an NBC viewer have to feel trapped if they didn't want to see three hours of figure skating. The network could improve on how it notifies viewers of the different options, although TV politics may prevent that. Local affiliates don't want viewers constantly reminded of things they could watch if they changed the channel. STAR TIME Their Olympic performance increased the stature of some NBC performers. In their first Olympics as lead figure skating analysts, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir proved deserving of the promotion. They weren't preoccupied with their personas, did their homework and offered frank opinions. They may not have Scott Hamilton's buoyant enthusiasm, but that's just a difference in personality. Leigh Diffey and his co-workers on the sliding sports, Bree Schaaf and John Morgan, excelled at generating enthusiasm combined with a deep knowledge of history and the top athletes. Apolo Ohno has made a strong transition from athlete to analyst. The Alpine skiing team was the weak link. Dan Hicks is a pro, but embarrassingly called a race over when it wasn't. Despite his considerable knowledge about skiing, Bode Miller had trouble as a rookie analyst. His monotone made an exciting sport seem clinical. And he compounded his blooper about marriage hurting a woman skier's career with an apology that shrugged it off as a bad attempt at humor. It will be up to Miller to decide if he wants to put the same energy into being a broadcaster that he did to becoming a world-class athlete. ___ More AP Olympics: https://wintergames.ap.org