He had everybody laughing for 30 years, but Johnny Carson reportedly was not the life of the party offstage.
Who he was and how he got that way will be revealed this week when PBS’ “American Masters” airs the documentary, “Johnny Carson: King of Late Night.” It took filmmaker Peter Jones years to make the film, mainly because he couldn’t get Carson’s cooperation. Friends say Carson, who died in 2005, was shy, despite his fame.
The documentary probes not only Carson admirers, but those who faced his wrath, such as Joan Rivers, who served as “Tonight” guest host for three years and later headed her own talk show on Fox. “Joan Rivers was Johnny’s pride and joy,” says Jones.
“Besides the marriages, I don’t think he was any more devastated than he was when (Rivers struck out on her own) ... and Joan finally in this documentary, she acknowledges it. She didn’t tell him well in advance about her negotiations for her Fox show. He found out about it from another source.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The queen of soul is taking her place in the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Aretha Franklin is one of six who’ll be inducted into the Hall on Aug. 14 in Hendersonville, Tenn. She’ll be joined by Ricky Skaggs, The Hoppers, Christian singer Dallas Holm, the late TV evangelist Rex Humbard and Christian rock band Love Song.
Franklin’s gospel roots run deep, starting with her father, who was a prominent Baptist minister. Her 1972 album, “Amazing Grace,” has sold over 2 million copies and is one of the best-selling gospel albums of all time.
The GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame was established in 1971 and includes Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley. See www.gmahalloffame.org.
NEW YORK – When people think of famous Soviet dancers who defected to the West, they recall Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. But there was also a formidable woman among them: Natalia Makarova, who defected in 1970 and went on to win glory for decades in Europe and in the United States.
Now 71, the retired Makarova was the undisputed star recently at Lincoln Center as ballet greats gathered to pay her tribute. It was part of a rare dance weekend courtesy of the Youth America Grand Prix, a global ballet scholarship competition.
The public almost never hears the artists speak. But Makarova, in taped interviews broadcast on a huge screen, described her life, interspersed with footage of her dancing.
NEW YORK – Almost 45 years after “The Outsiders” was first published, S.E. Hinton is ready to take her classic young adult novel to the next level: an e-book. The electronic edition is coming in spring.
The 61-year-old Hinton already has been active online through Twitter, (at)se4realhinton. She exchanges tweets with Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Emilio Estevez and other stars of the film version of “The Outsiders.”
On May 16, PBS’ “Nature” will explore the cuddly little koala when it presents the film, “Cracking the Koala Code.” It turns out the koala is anything but cuddly and is losing its habitat as urbanization devours the wild.