6B - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, January 14, 1999
1998 proves again that stars don't live forever
The Michigan Daily Weekenc
'Felicity 'ractice'Ion the risef
By Matthew Barrett
Daily Arts Writer
The year 1998 will be remembered for
many things in the world of entertainment
ranging from James Cameron's obnox-
ious acceptance speeches at the Academy
Awards ceremony to the heart-wrenching
departure of Ginger Spice from the Spice
Girls. But along with such now-famous
happenings of the past year, 1998 marked
a sad time for many as several prominent
entertainers passed on.
Singer and Rat Pack fixture Frank
Sinatra earned honors and fame for both
his music and acting careers. Along with
churning out hits, Sinatra won an Oscar
for his part in "From Here to Eternity"
and also appeared in the highly acclaimed
"The Manchurian Candidate."
Powerful character actor J.T. Walsh
was just starting to achieve the acclaim
and recognition that he deserved when his
life came to an end. Known previously for
his work in "House of Games," "A Few
Good Men'" and "Sling Blade," the actor
experienced a breakthrough with audi-
ences when he played the seedy villain in
"Breakdown." This past year Walsh
appeared posthumously in "The
Negotiator" and "Pleasantville."
Comedian Phil Hartman seemed to
have found a niche on "News Radio" after
many years on "Saturday Night Live" and
"The Simpsons." Hartman co-wrote
"Pee-wee's Big Adventure" with Paul
Reubens and also appeared in a variety of
films including "Houseguest," "Jingle All
the Way," and "Sgt. Bilko." This summer,
the actor appeared in the special effects
laden "Small Soldiers" - the film was
released after his death.
Alan Pakula directed "All the
President's Men" and "Sophie's
Choice" and produced the timeless
classic "To Kill a Mocking Bird." His
most recent films were an adaptation of
John Grisham's "The Pelican Brief"
and the Harrison Ford Brad Pitt thriller
"The Devil's Own."
Japanese director Akira Kurosawa
co-wrote and headed several influen-
tial films including "The Seven
Samurai" (later remade as "The
Magnificent Seven") and "Yojimbo"
(later remade with Bruce Willis as
"Last Man Standing"). Kurosawa won
the best director award from the
National Board of Review in the U.S.
for both "Rashomon" and "Ran."
Sonny Bono earned attention early in
his career for being half of the popular
variety program "The Sonny and Cher
Show." He later mixed acting with a suc-
cessful political career that ended with
him as a Republican congressman from
Linda McCartney, wife of Beatle
Paul McCartney, worked together with
her husband for his band Wings. Later in
her life, McCartney became involved in
animal rights activism and established her
own line of frozen foods.
After staring off as a child actor in
films like "Lassie Come Home" Roddy
McDowall appeared in "Cleopatra,""The
Poseidon Adventure" and several install-
ments in the "Planet of the Apes" series.
Lately, McDowall on screen in "It's My
Party," "The Second Jungle Book:
Mowgli & Baloo," and as a voice in the
recent hit "A Bug's Life."
Country singer and longtime cowboy
actor Gene Autry appeared in a variety of
films including "Back in the Saddle,"
"Sioux City Sue" and "Guns and
Saddles." Later, he became the majority
owner of the California Angels.
Roy Rogers was another actor who
gained prominence playing a cowboy in
the movies alongside his favorite horse,
Trigger. Rogers starred in "Under
Western Stars" and "Eyes of Texas."
After acting, he became involved in a
successful chain of Roy Rogers restau-
After a career in both television and the
movies, Lloyd Bridges appeared in
"Airplane!," and the "Hot Shots!" films.
His sons, Beau and Jeff Bridges are both
actors and Jeff appeared alongside his
father in the thriller "Blown Away." This
summer's mob spoof "Mafia!" marked
Lloyd Bridges' last on-screen appearance.
Norm Fell, known to "Three's
Company" fans as Mr. Roper also
appeared in feature films such as
"Bullitt," "Catch-22" and "The
Longtime Chicago Cubs announcer
Harry Caray was honored by the team
with a uniform patch as the team rallied
behind him and qualified for the base-
ball playoffs. The voice of the Cubs,
Caray, was known for singing "Take Me
Out to the Ball Game" during the sev-
enth inning stretch at Wrigley Field and
his signature call of "Holy Cow."
Sylvester Ritter, or the Junk YarfDog,
as he was known to his many fans, devel-
oped a large fan base as a professional
wrestler. JYD wrestled in the World
Wrestling Federation in the '80's and was
known for his finishing move, "The
Although 1998 brought the end to the
lives of some important and special fig-
ures in the entertainment industry, fans
should focus on the memories and good
times that they left rather than dwelling on
By Chris Cousino
Daily TV/New Media Editor
Throughout 1998, the placid medium
of television experienced string after
string of tumultuous change including the
finale of "Seinfeld," the death of Bobby
Simone, the insidious assault of news
telezines ("20/20," "Dateline"), the
bombing of Iraq and the impeachment of
the president. With the many alterations,
one change is noticeably absent: The pres-
ence of a solid new show.
Aside from the WB's "Felicity;" the
slew of new shows that premiered this
past fall failed to garner much critical
excitement, or any sweeping fan support
for that matter, as evident in the en masse
cancellations of the new horrors
So 1998 could be seen as the year where
doldrums with the intriguing, informative
biographical series "Behind the Music.'
Combining interviews with the artists,
their managers, their families and friends
as well as numerous music critics, the
show makes for an enticing hour of tele-
vision fused with live concert clips from
past and present. Where else can you find
a full-scale explanation of Ozzy's notori-
ous taste for bats?
Not far off that scary thought comes
the WB upstart "Buffy the Vampire
Slayer." All there is to say is one sweet
name, Sarah Michelle Gellar. She's hot,
she's real tough and she's a disturbed out-
cast. What more could you ask for from
this suburban teenage drama about the
bothersome horrors of high school and
growing up, manifested in its gaggle of
demons and vampires? How about strong,
viewers stuck with their
from Homer Simpson to
Kim Delaney to Mulder
The hoards of reporters
covering the monumental
the Clinton Presidency and
his December impeach-
ment made its mark on
1998. Through an over-sat-
uration of coverage, from
the heated "Crossfire" to
the lampooning "Daily
Show," Clinton was in
viewers' households day
Best of TV 1998
1. "The Simpsons"
3. "Law and Order"
4. "The Practice"
6. "South Park"
7. "NYPD Blue"
8. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
9. "Behind the Music"
10. Clinton's testimony.
impeachment and accessories
-pCompiled by the Daily's
TV/New Media Staff.
from the hip sup-
porting cast of Seth
the WB network
into the spotlight
with "Buffy" and
continued to shine
made for a graceful,
somber end to the
acting and poignant writing as the 15th
precinct shared and endured his pain. The
addition of Rick Schroeder appears to be
a fine choice.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone may be
happy to leave '98 behind as they watched
their feature films, "BASEketball" and
"Orgazmo; perform disastrously at the
box office. Luckily, they still have "South
Park;' the Daily's top-rated cable show.
Though it doesn't come close to that
Matt-Groening splendor, "South Park"
continued to shock with its nuances of
face-clinging fetuses and mouth sores.
The development of the spoofing "Chef
Aid" episode had its funny moments -
too bad the tie-in album didn't.
The WB's "Felicity" proved to be the
hottest new show on television and fea-
tured the TV return of Pink Power ranger
Devon Gummersall. "Felicity" is a won-
derful show about growing upgoing to
college and finding your way through the
erratic maze of life. As melodramatic as it
may be at times, "Felicity" works well and
Keri Russell is a new-found marvel.
The strong acting of ABC's "The
Practice" makes for a worthy hour of
courtroom drama. After wonderful per-
formances as suburban misfits in the
shocking "Happiness," Camryn
Manheim and Lara Flynn Boyle returned
to their "Practice" this fall, leading the
way for a strong second season.
The other law show continues to be one
of television's critically acclaimed dra-
mas. "Law and Order" consistently hits
it's high standard and rarely misses. This
past year featured an interesting turn as
the cast filmed a made-for-TV movie,
"Exiled," featuring the return of series exi-
tee Chris Noth.
Making its own leap to the big screen
"Felicity" relives the trial
this past summer, "X-Files
Future" was enjoyable ye
leaving many fans disgru
the new season where the
Fox's "The X-Files" place
Scully in a variety of od
humorous episodes, keepin
of this dark, thrilling se
promises to wrap up muc
-. - -
and night. In January, when CNN explod-
ed with the story, viewers were shocked.
By June, they lamented that they were
tired of the entire ordeal.
In a different style of retro journalism,
VH-I revolutionized their festering pop
life of detective Bobby Simone (Jimmy
Smits), one of "NYPD Blue"'s finest
moments. "Blue" returned to its intense
drama after the debacle of last season. In
the episodes concerning Bobby's sickness
and final leave, viewers received solid
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