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    Richard Lewis, Comedian and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Actor, Dies at 76

    After rising to prominence for his stand-up act, he became a regular in movies and TV, most recently on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”Richard Lewis, the stand-up comedian who first achieved fame in the 1970s and ’80s with his trademark acerbic, dark sense of humor, and who later parlayed that quality into an acting career that included movies like “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” and a recurring role as himself on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” died on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 76.His publicist, Jeff Abraham, said the cause was a heart attack. Mr. Lewis announced last year that he had Parkinson’s disease.Mr. Lewis was among the best-known names in a generation of comedians who came of age during the 1970s and ’80s, marked by a world-weary, sarcastic wit that mapped well onto the urban malaise in which many of them plied their trade.After finding success as a comedian in New York nightclubs, he became a regular on late-night talk shows, favored as much for his tight routine as for his casual, open affability as an interviewee. He appeared on “Late Night With David Letterman” 48 times.And he was at the forefront of the boom in stand-up comedy that came with the expansion of cable television in the late 1980s.Mr. Lewis performing as a standup in Las Vegas in 2005. He called himself “the Prince of Pain.” Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Micheline Presle, Actress Known for ‘Devil in the Flesh,’ Dies at 101

    A link to France’s first golden age of cinema, she drew international attention for a 1947 film that created a scandal in France and was banned in Britain for years.Micheline Presle, a subtle and elegant actress who was a last link to the first golden age of French cinema, died on Feb. 21 in Nogent-sur-Marne, a suburb of Paris. She was 101.Her death, at the Maison des Artistes, a retirement home for artists partly funded by the government, was confirmed by her son-in-law, Olivier Bomsel.Ms. Presle (pronounced prell) was the final survivor of a trio of actresses — Danièlle Darrieux and Michèle Morgan were the other two — who were already stars in France by the outbreak of World War II, and who defined a certain style of French femininity, both at home and abroad. Ms. Presle’s subtle facial expressions conjured a wide range of human emotions, particularly in two films that, by critical consent, she never surpassed, “Le Diable au Corps,” or “Devil in the Flesh” (1947), and “Boule de Suif” (1945).A poster for “Le Diable au Corps,” known in English as “Devil in The Flesh,” featuring Ms. Presle and Gerard Philipe. The film was, one critic said, “the major work of her career.”Everette CollectionBoth of those films were based on masterpieces of French literature: The first was adapted from a novel by the brilliant but short-lived author Raymond Radiguet; the second from two short stories by Guy de Maupassant. These subtle and complex tales drew on Ms. Presle’s versatility.“Le Diable au Corps” depicted the passionate affair between a young woman, played by Ms. Presle, whose husband was away fighting in the trenches in World War I, and a teenage schoolboy, played by the very young Gérard Philipe, who during his brief career was both France’s leading heartthrob and its greatest actor.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    In ‘Elsbeth,’ a Quirky Side Character Becomes a Quirky Lead

    This CBS procedural is new, but its star, Carrie Preston, has been playing the central character for almost 14 years.While filming the new crime show “Elsbeth” in an Upper West Side apartment in January, Carrie Preston, playing the title character, tentatively patted the guest star Peter Grosz on the arm. The combination of the gesture and Elsbeth’s hesitant expression made the attempt at comfort come across as simultaneously awkward and funny — and unmistakably true to the consistently awkward, funny Elsbeth.Robert King, who created the series with his wife, Michelle, and was directing that particular episode, chuckled in delight as he watched on a monitor. Nearby the showrunner, Jonathan Tolins, said, “She always finds things like that,” referring to Preston’s flourish. “That was probably not in the script.”Premiering Thursday on CBS, “Elsbeth” is a new project but Elsbeth herself is not. One reason Preston inhabits her fully enough to improvise such small, telling gestures is because she has been playing her for almost 14 years.Fans of legal dramas have long been acquainted with Elsbeth Tascioni, a seemingly scatterbrained but diabolically effective redheaded lawyer who popped up toward the end of the first season of “The Good Wife” in May 2010. From the start, the Kings, who also created that hit show, thought of Elsbeth as an answer to Columbo, the Los Angeles homicide detective that Peter Falk played in a series, then specials, between 1968 and 2003.“I didn’t really watch ‘Columbo’ — it was a little before my time,” said Preston, 56. But “I knew he was a little unorthodox in the way he did things. I was like, ‘OK, I get it: They want people to not see her coming.’”The Kings kept bringing Elsbeth back for guest stints on both “The Good Wife” and its first spinoff, “The Good Fight.” Despite her relatively limited screen time, she became a fan favorite, and Preston landed two Emmy nominations and one win, in 2013, for playing her.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Chris Gauthier, ‘Once Upon a Time’ and Hallmark Movies Actor, Dies at 48

    Mr. Gauthier appeared in dozens of television shows and films, including “Freddy vs. Jason” and “Watchmen.”Chris Gauthier, a prolific actor known for his roles in the television shows “Once Upon a Time” and “Eureka,” died on Friday. He was 48.Tristar Appearances/Event Horizon Talent, which represented Mr. Gauthier, said in a statement that he died “after a brief illness.” His representatives did not say where he died.Mr. Gauthier, who was born in Britain and grew up in Canada, had roles in more than 20 movies, including “Freddy vs. Jason” in 2003 and “Watchmen” in 2009. He also appeared in dozens of television shows, including “Smallville,” “Charmed” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” according to IMDb, and in several short films.He was best known for playing William Smee in “Once Upon A Time,” a series that blended real life and fantasy in the fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine, where storybook characters live, trapped by an evil queen. Mr. Gauthier appeared in 14 episodes as Smee, who is based on the “Peter Pan” character Mr. Smee, Captain Hook’s first mate.Mr. Gauthier also played Vincent, a cafe owner, on the science fiction TV series “Eureka.” He appeared in 67 episodes of that show, from the pilot episode and through Season 5, according to IMDb.In an interview in 2021, Mr. Gauthier said that he started acting in school plays and that he acted in amateur and professional theater during high school.“I was always a ham, trying to be a funny guy,” he said.Chris Gauthier was born on Jan. 27, 1976, in Luton, England. He said in an interview in 2020 that he moved to Canada when he was 5 and grew up in a small town in British Columbia.“There wasn’t a lot going on there in terms of film and television,” he said. “So for me, it was about just the love of acting. It wasn’t about money. It wasn’t about anything but the sheer love of acting.”His acting career onscreen began in 2000, when he appeared in an episode of the TV series “Cold Squad.” His first two film credits were in 2002 for small roles in “40 Days and 40 Nights” and “Insomnia.”His television roles were largely limited to appearances in one or a few episodes until “Eureka” premiered in 2006. The show takes place in the fictional Pacific Northwest town of Eureka, where many of the world’s brightest minds live in an odd collective that produces technological inventions the rest of the world does not know about.Among his more recent credits, Mr. Gauthier had appeared in seven episodes of the western drama “Joe Pickett.”Information about his survivors was not immediately available.He said in the 2021 interview, his partner encouraged him to move to Vancouver to pursue an acting career in television and film.“I wasn’t super-duper motivated because I was happy doing plays,” he said of the move. “But I was like ‘OK,’ and it worked out.” More

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    ‘Abbott Elementary’ Teaches Reading, Writing and Roll Camera

    Each season of the ABC sitcom employs about 150 children. Its core curriculum: schooling Hollywood in what a show with child actors can be.Willis Kwakye has attended the same school since 2021. He’s 13 now, an eighth grader, a veteran, someone who knows his way around the classrooms and the cafeteria. And sometimes, when he’s in his uniform with a math worksheet in front of him, “I can even think it’s real school for a little bit,” he said.His classmate Arianna White, also 13, knew just what he meant. “It feels a lot like school, except we’re just filming and there’s a lot of cuts,” she said.Kwakye and White were speaking, via video call, from a classroom on the set of “Abbott Elementary.” (They were in one of the real classrooms, where child actors complete their mandated three hours of instruction per work day.) The Emmy-winning ABC sitcom mockumentary has recently matriculated for a third season and already been renewed for a fourth. Set in a fictional K-8 school in Philadelphia — though actually filmed in Los Angeles — it requires the presence of about 150 school-age children each season.In any given episode, those kids can be seen raising their hands in class, scurrying past each other in the hallways, giggling at their teachers’ antics. But “Abbott Elementary” diverges from most scripted series involving children in two significant ways: The show uses its child actors sparingly, giving them a handful of lines per episode and only requiring their presence one or two days each week. And for the most part, it lets them be kids.“Having kids just be themselves actually looks really good in our world,” Quinta Brunson, the series creator and star, said in a recent phone interview.Willis Kwakye, center, in an episode of “Abbott Elementary.” Tyler James Williams, a star of the show, said, “Part of being a child actor comes with a certain amount of trauma,” and “Abbott” aims to avoid that.Gilles Mingasson/ABCWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Robert Macbeth, Founder of Harlem’s New Lafayette Theater, Dies at 89

    He created a vibrant space for actors and playwrights that became a seedbed for the emerging Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ’70s.Robert Macbeth, a rising Black actor in the New York theater scene, was sitting in a Greenwich Village bar in September 1963, getting a drink before going onstage for an Off Broadway improv show. The evening news played in the background.“I happened to look up and there was a flash, and the flash was about the four little girls getting killed in Birmingham,” he said in a 1967 interview, recalling the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. “And there I was, sitting in a Village bar, with a Scotch in my hand.”He went onstage that night, and, rather than following the show’s loose routine, he began shouting, walking up and down the aisles, getting in the faces of the mostly white crowd.“I must have scared the audience half to death,” he recalled in the interview. But rather than absorb his message, they seemed to take it as entertainment: “They loved it, but that wasn’t the idea.”Mr. Macbeth, distraught over his inability to convey his anger and sadness, stopped acting after that night in 1963 and, in his words, went into “exile” from the stage. He worked in a bookstore, taught acting classes and tried to process the violent changes rippling through Black America in the 1960s.Slowly, an idea took form: Black actors and playwrights could never be fully effective in white-dominated spaces. They needed their own. So, in 1967, he gathered together a troupe of more than 30 actors and artists to open the New Lafayette Theater in Harlem.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Interview: Timothée Chalamet and Denis Villeneuve on the ‘Dune’ Films

    The director Denis Villeneuve and the actor Timothée Chalamet bound into the room talking at, and over, each other in rapid French. Villeneuve is from Quebec; Chalamet was born in New York City but has dual American and French citizenship. Together, they’re a dynamic tag team dressed near-identically in head-to-toe black, although Chalamet’s shiny leather layers have more swagger. The topic of the day is galactic genocide and dubious messiahs, central themes in “Dune: Part Two,” the second installment of their cerebral space epic based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert. Yet, the pair are prone to giggle fits.“We didn’t see each other since a while, so it’s like a holiday,” Villeneuve, 56, said apologetically, switching to English. When coffee arrives at the room at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles, the two clink mugs. “That’s our spice,” he chuckled, referring to the psychedelic substance found only on the movie’s planet Arrakis.In “Dune,” spice is the most valuable resource in the universe. Herbert conceived of it as a glittering dust with the power to expand minds, fuel interstellar travel and incite bloody battles over its distribution. Combine the brain-melting effects of peyote, the geopolitical strife over oil and the violence of Prohibition-era bootlegging. Multiply that by the number of stars in the sky and you get the idea.The previous “Dune,” released in 2021, won six Academy Awards. It climaxed with Chalamet’s sheltered scion, Paul Atreides, abducted from his family’s spice-mining compound and left to die in the scorching Arrakis desert, patrolled by fanged sandworms the size of the Empire State Building. To survive “Part Two,” Paul’s mother, Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), encourages the Fremen, a tribe of desert-dwellers, to believe that her son is their long-awaited savior. The danger is that Paul might be swayed to believe it, too, even as the hallucinogenic spice peppers him with visions of a jihad waged in his name.Heavy stuff. Not that it’s weighing down their mood. As Chalamet, 28, grinned, he said, “The great irony of working with a master like Denis is it’s not some pompous experience.” The two spoke further about the next potential sequel, the impossible quest for onscreen perfection and those infamous “Dune” popcorn buckets. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation.Scenes may look simple, the director said, but he took pains “to make sure that we have the right rock at the right color at the right time of the day.”Warner Bros.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Danielle Brooks Has an Oscar Nomination. So Why Is She in Mourning?

    Was it an interview or an unburdening? As she wiped away tears, Danielle Brooks confessed she couldn’t tell the difference.“New York Times therapy session, you got me going!” she said, chuckling as she cried.It was Valentine’s Day, and we had met on a video call to discuss the 34-year-old actress’s first Oscar nomination, for playing the indomitable Sofia in Blitz Bazawule’s big-screen musical, “The Color Purple.” Though she had been too busy filming the “Minecraft” movie in New Zealand to fly to that week’s Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills, Brooks said she had spent the last few days wrapping her head around the kind of company she now kept.“It’s been really emotional,” the supporting actress contender said. “There are five African Americans nominated in actor categories this year and only two Black women, and to be one of them means a lot to me.”This is also the culmination of a long arc that Brooks has experienced alongside “The Color Purple”: As a teenager, she was so blown away by the Broadway musical that it inspired her to pursue acting; later, after shooting to fame as Taystee on the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” she won the role of Sofia in the 2015 stage revival of “The Color Purple.”Tony-nominated for that turn, Brooks nevertheless auditioned for six months to play the same part in Bazawule’s film. She’s proud of everything she was able to bring to her robust performance, which finds Sofia singing the anthemic “Hell No!” before going through the emotional wringer, imprisoned for refusing to be a white woman’s maid.“It really did deplete me — physically, mentally, spiritually,” Brooks said. “I was drained at the end of doing this part.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More