Actor James MacArthur, the son of late actress Helen Hayes and famed playwright Charles MacArthur, died Oct. 28 with his family by his side. The retired stage and screen performer He was 72 years old.
The administrators of the Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC, announced the passing of Mr. MacArthur, who was widely known in the 1970s as Det. Dan Williams — of "Book 'em, Danno!" fame — on the TV series "Hawaii Five-O." He was a board member and longtime supporter of the Hayes Awards, which recognize excellence in DC-area theatre.
Victor Shargai, chairman of the Helen Hayes Awards board of directors, said, "I think it gave Jim much joy to commemorate his mother and father. But it was Jim's unique blend of charm, grace, wit, and heart that will forever be with us."
Mr. MacArthur was born on Dec. 8, 1937, in Los Angeles, and raised among show folk by his parents — Hayes, "the First Lady of the American stage," and MacArthur, the screenwriter and playwright best known for The Front Page, with writing partner Ben Hecht. The MacArthurs shared a home, "Pretty Penny," on the bank of the Hudson River in Nyack, NY.
Since 1983, Mr. MacArthur presided over the annual presentation of the Helen Hayes Awards' Charles MacArthur Award, the prestigious new-plays award category named for his father.
As an actor, Mr. MacArthur acted on stage and screen. In 1955, prior to his senior year at the Solebury School, he appeared in the TV play, "Deal a Blow." After graduation and before going to Harvard, he went to Hollywood to make the film version of it, renamed "The Young Stranger," which earned him a nomination in the Most Promising Newcomer category at the 1958 BAFTA awards.
During summer breaks from Harvard he made "The Light in the Forest" and "Third Man on the Mountain" for Walt Disney. In 1959 and 1960, he made both "Kidnapped" and "Swiss Family Robinson" for Disney.
He made his Broadway debut playing Aaron Jablonski opposite Jane Fonda in Invitation to a March, which won him the 1961 Theatre World Award for Best New Actor.
On Broadway, he appeared in Under the Yum Yum Tree, The Moon Is Blue, John Loves Mary, Barefoot in the Park and Murder at the Howard Johnson's before returning to Hollywood to star in such movies as "The Interns", "Spencer's Mountain," "The Truth About Spring" with Haley Mills and "Cry of Battle." In 1963, he was a runner up in the Golden Laurel Awards in the "Top New Male Personality" category. He then was a member of the all-star cast which included Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, George Montgomery, Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas in "The Battle of the Bulge."
In 1968, producer Leonard Freeman remembered the actor who did a cameo in the Clint Eastwood movie "Hang 'em High" as the traveling preacher who came on the set, requiring only one take which was excellent. He called Mr. MacArthur and cast him as Det. Dan Williams of "Hawaii Five-0."
After 11 years as Williams, he returned to the live stage in regional productions of The Hasty Heart with Caroline Lagerfelt, The Front Page, A Bed Full of Foreigners and played Mortimer in the national tour of Arsenic and Old Lace with Jean Stapleton, Marion Ross and Larry Storch.
Mr. MacArthur's passion for playing golf led him to meet and fall in love with his wife, LPGA tour player and teacher, Helen Beth "H.B." Duntz, who survives him.
He also leaves behind four children Charles P. MacArthur (Jenny), Mary McClure (Kevin), Juliette Rappaport (Kurt), James D. MacArthur and seven grandchildren; Ry Johnstone, Riley Kea MacArthur, Ford and Daisy McClure, Jake, Luke and Julia Rappaport.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, DC; the Helen Hayes Hospital in Nyack; the Solebury School MOM Fund in New Hope, PA; the Palm Desert Community Presbyterian Church, Palm Desert, CA; and the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Alex Gibney is the Oscar-winning director of anti-war documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side," who has examined many issues including what led to the demise of energy company Enron.
In his new documentary, "Client 9," Gibney has focused his lens of disgraced, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who prosecuted many corporate and Wall Street chieftains for misdeeds when he was the state's Attorney General.
But in 2008, the media exposed Spitzer's hiring of prostitutes. He was investigated by the federal government, although never charged with a crime, and he resigned as governor. Once considered on a path to the U.S. presidency, Spitzer has only recently resurfaced as the host of a CNN talk show.
Gibney sat down to talk with Reuters about Spitzer, and "Client 9," which began playing in U.S. theaters on Friday.
Q: You interviewed a lot of key players in the scandal, including Spitzer. Were they eager to talk?
A: "Early on, right after the scandal broke, his enemies in particular were only too happy to dance on his political grave, so we got a lot of those guys, and that was great because they were very candid. They were very open. It gave you some sense of the conflict that had been happening in New York over a period of years. Then...after the federal government said they would not prosecute, we slowly went at Spitzer, and said, 'hey we're going to do this anyway, Peter Elkind is writing the book, and I'm doing the movie. Over time, he agreed."
Q: Did he ever say he thought doing "Client 9," or similar projects, might help redeem him in the public eye?
A: "He never put it that way. I'm sure there was some kind of calculation. I think it was something more like this: "look, these guys are going to do it anyway. They will probably do a reasonably fair job. It's probably in my best interest to cooperate because otherwise they won't hear my perspective."
Q: Did he know you had his enemies on tape, too?.
A: "I think he knew we were going to get them, and over time, the interview I conducted with him -- it's actually four interviews - he learned the people we had. I think that was a motivator, too. That's always a motivator for me. If I know my enemy is speaking, I want to raise my voice."
Q: He compares himself to Icarus, the boy in Greek mythology who flew close to the sun on wings of wax. Agree?
A: "I had to smile when he said that. Just to compare yourself to Icarus shows a certain amount of hubris. At the same time, I do think his story is a story of hubris, and he got reckless. He got carried away. He thought he was all powerful. I think everybody wonders what the hell he was thinking. Even he doesn't quite know or cannot quite articulate what he was thinking. But it must take a pretty big dose of hubris to imagine he could get away with what he was trying to get away with, even as he had some of the world's most powerful people in the world on his trail looking for any misstep."
Q: Right, so this is a mythological tale, a story as old as politics itself. Then, what's new about Spitzer's story?
A: "I don't think it's what's new about it. I think it's one of those tales that we never get enough of...It's like saying, 'what's new about a love story?' People fall in love. We all fall in love, but the fact is we all want to see that story. This is a story of rise-and-fall, and it's a spectacular rise and a spectacular fall and at the center of it is sex and marriage and, also, men like warriors of old, beating each other up over territory. It's a primal tale."
Q: Why don't these guys t it? The fact is, they are all powerful, but they are not above the law.
A: "I think because they are more like us than they can imagine. The only thing that separates them from us is they have a tremendous amount of power, and that sometimes gives them license to do things that maybe we can't do because we don't have that kind of power."
Q: "Client 9" has a lot of twists and turns that look at prostitution, greed on Wall Street and abuse of power in Washington. What are audiences to take away from this story?
A: "We're all human. We have to be better, I think, at both forgiving our own human foibles, but also holding our public officials and our business leaders to high account for the things they do in public. There are no simple lessons to be learned here, because these things are complicated...It's not so simple to say Eliot Spitzer was a good guy and now he's a bad guy. The fact is he's a pretty good guy, in my view, in terms of what he did from a public policy standpoint, who stumbled, rather badly. In fact, it was a free fall."
(Editing by Jill Serjeant)
MoveOn and Republicorps member Fred Highton says he regrets initiating a physical altercation with a conservative Tea Partier at a political event at the University of Arizona earlier this month.
“If I’m going to take part in these political events, I need to learn some self-control,” Highton said.
Conservative James Massee released video of Highton grabbing his throat and face after the face-stomping video from a Kentucky rally for Republican Rand Paul.
“I released it just to show there are some lefties who could be violent too,” Massee said.
Massee said he approached Highton while he was giving a theatrical performance of how MoveOn thinks Republicans treat the working and middle classes to voice his opinion at which point he said Highton started choking him. Massee said he then found a nearby police officer to take control of the situation instead of hitting Highton back. Massee chose not to press charges and plans to stick with that decision now even though he has gone public with his story.
WATCH: MoveOn member grab Tea Partier by throat
“I’m a forgiving guy and the guy got caught up in the heat of the moment,” Massee said. “He’s just some guy who’s very diluted in the MoveOn group.”
Highton said the incident, which took place at an October 19 event before a debate between incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Republican challenger Jesse Kelly, did not happen exactly as Massee said it did. He emphasized that he did not choke Massee, but said he is still sorry. Highton said Massee egged him on more than was apparent in a web video interview, mostly by yelling “jubber, jubber, jubber,” into his ear while he was performing.
“When I finished my performance, my initial response was to swat him,” Highton said, adding that he managed to hold back.
Agape Video’s Mike Shaw, a friend of Massee’s, published the video, which was shot by University of Arizona student and College Republicans member Coty McKenzie.
“Someone saw James getting choked, and, from what James told me, only caught the tail end of it because he wasn’t able to record in time,” Shaw said. “What you see on the video is all of what the guy recorded.”
Shaw said he doubts Massee would have told anybody about the attack if it were not for what happened in Kentucky at a Rand Paul rally.
“If you look at the Rand incident, when the guy stomps on her shoulder, there’s a guy right there that says, ‘hey, stop,’ and you can see his hands go out and you can hear him say ‘hey, stop,’” Shaw said. “You see James being choked and there are people all around and nobody tries to stop him.”
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