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Carmen Zapata was an Emmy-nominated actress who started a foundation to promote Hispanic writers because jobs were so scarce. "She was an inspiration for me," said Luis Vela of the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts in Los Angeles. Her film credits included Sister Act.

Obituary: Sheldon Leonard

One of the most fascinating characters in Jack Benny's radio show during the 1940s and early 1950s was a sleazy type who would buttonhole Benny in various locations. Out of the corner of his mouth, and in a thick Brooklyn accent, he would offer advice in the furtive manner and argot of a racetrack tipster. One of these surrealistic encounters began:

America gives Brit TV the flickering prize

The successor to Britpop could be Brit TV. Indeed, British television programmes look like doing rather better than contemporary British rock music in conquering America.

Emmy triumph for British television

Britain had a triumphant evening at the annual Emmy awards in America, with Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman winning best actress and actor awards, and British television series taking prizes.

Obituary: Greg Morris

In the early years of American television, black people were invariably stereotyped in comedy series like Amos'n'Andy. A change occurred in 1965 with the launch of NBC's I Spy, the first drama series to star a white actor (Robert Culp) opposite a black one (Bill Cosby). Thirty years on it is hard to imagine the controversy this casting provoked. However, I Spy opened the floodgates for a succession of top-rated drama series with black actors playing important featured roles.

Theatre: Knocking their spots off

Pulitzer prizewinning 'feminist' playwright Wendy Wasserstein discusses prejudice, polka dots and her latest play with Georgina Brown

OBITUARY: Madge Sinclair

Madge Sinclair is best remembered for her portrayal of Kunta Kinte's wife, the house slave Belle whose only child, Kizzy, is sold to another plantation owner in the epic television drama Roots (1977). Her performance earned her an Emmy nomination; a long career in American television followed.

Translating the black and white into colour

Channel 5 franchise: 'Modular' approach to schedule will establish regular slots for game shows, comedy, fiction and fact

Birt awarded an Emmy

John Birt, the controversial Director General of the BBC, is to receive an Emmy, one of the highest television awards, it was announced yesterday.

Today's cub reporters, tomorrow's newshounds

Angela Neustatter reports on a news agency staffed by enthusiastic children

OBITUARY:Elizabeth Montgomery

As the good witch Samantha Stephens in the situation comedy Bewitched, the blonde-haired, green-eyed Elizabeth Montgomery became one of the biggest stars on American television in the Sixties and Seventies.

They've seen the future, and it's history The BBC is increasing its coverage of the past, and debunking some myths in the process. Maggie Brown reports

The BBC is expanding the amount of history it screens, drawing on the work of academic historians just as its famous natural his- tory unit has always kept close to zoologists and explorers.

Chippendale suicide

Los Angeles - The former owner of the Chippendales dance troupe was found dead in prison in California on the day he was to be sentenced for his role in a murder plot, writes Phil Reeves.

People: Emmy opts to sing the Blues

AMONG the Emmy awards handed out in Pasadena on Sunday night to the labourers for excellence in the small-screen vineyard, NYPD Blue came out top in terms of the number of awards received by one programme. Of its six Emmys only two - for outstanding director of a drama series and outstanding actor in a drama series - were mainstream. There was no award for imaginative programme titles, but if there had been it would probably have upped its haul to seven, for such gems as 'Serge the concierge' and 'Tempest in a C-cup'.

Rhapsody in blue: NYPD Blue was greeted with howls of outrage in America. Now it has 26 Emmy nominations. Gerard Gilbert on the making of a cult

NYPD Blue's David Caruso has promised he will now attend tomorrow night's Emmy awards in California. 'I owe it to my character John Kelly,' read a tight-lipped statement from the 38-year-old actor. NYPD Blue? David Caruso? John Kelly? If these names mean nothing to you then stop here. If, however, they do mean something, read on. You're hooked, and you know it.

The Week Ahead: Venturing into dark vales, bearing crosses

THE POPE is determined to visit Sarajevo as planned on Thursday but the Bosnian Serbs cannot promise to stop shelling and sniping. The Pope plans to have talks with the Bosnian President, Alija Izetbegovic, travel through the shell-blasted streets of the city in a special armoured vehicle, and celebrate Mass for thousands at Sarajevo's outdoor Olympic skating stadium.
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Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month