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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.

When it's time to say goodbye to your hero

Killing off the main character in a hit TV series is risky. But Game of Thrones seems to have survived, says Sarah Hughes

Peter Falk: Actor famous for playing scruffy TV detective Columbo, a role for which he won four Emmys

Sporting his own old raincoat, bought for £15 in 1967 when he was caught in a shower in New York, chomping on a cigar and driving around in a battered 1959 Peugeot 403, Peter Falk turned Columbo, of the Los Angeles Police Department's homicide bureau, into one of television's most enduring detectives – and certainly the shabbiest.

Right-to-die campaigning doctor is dead at 83

Jack Kevorkian, the controversial pathologist who campaigned for the right to die and earned the nickname "Dr Death" for helping dozens of terminally-ill patients commit suicide, has died after a short but severe illness. He was 83.

Leading article: The trying game

You would think that Roger Ebert churned out enough words in the course of his professional life without the need to add more on the side. After all, the Pulitzer-prize winning film critic writes movie reviews that are syndicated to more than 200 newspapers worldwide every week. Then there are his 15 books and his Emmy-nominated TV programmes. And yet most weeks since the New Yorker magazine launched a regular cartoon caption contest some years back, Mr Ebert has diligently penned an unpaid offering and sent it in. Without success. Until now. Last week his 107th effort was chosen by America's venerated weekly magazine as its winner.

Caught in the Net: Emmy's funding makes the Great

For a while now bands have been cutting out the middle-man to use fan investment to finance their music through sites such as pledgemusic.com and kickstarter.com. A recent example is indie-folk artist Emmy the Great, who started raising funds for her second album a few months ago at pledgemusic.com/emmythe great.

Lamont Johnson: Emmy-winning film and television director

An actor who turned director, Lamont Johnson won a reputation in the early 1970s for his finely nuanced, perceptive direction of some interesting projects.

Brits triumph with five International Emmys

Britain's TV talent enjoyed a triumphant night at the International Emmys, walking off with half the main awards.



'Fiddler on the Roof' composer dies

Jerry Bock, who composed the music to some of the most memorable shows in Broadway history, including the melodies for Fiorello! and Fiddler on the Roof, has died. He was 81.

Dylan Jones: 'Robert Duvall is similar to Clint Eastwood in as much as he isn’t afraid to speak his mind'

Lonesome Dove is the 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning Western novel written by Larry McMurtry. It is an epic story about two former Texas rangers who decide to move cattle from the south to Montana. Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call run into many problems on the way, and the journey ends with numerous casualties. Four years later it was made into a four-part TV mini-series, which won seven Emmy Awards and was nominated for 12 others. And what a wonderful thing it is.

Documentary shines light on Bruce Springsteen's relationship with E Street band

A new documentary, The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story provides an insight into the working methods of Bruce Springsteen, and his relationship with E Street band members. Made by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning film-maker Thom Zimny, it features candid interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members and the singer's manager, record producer Jon Landau.

Terence Blacker: Misplaced smugness at the BBC

Where the BBC now excels is in taking a rock-solid, established idea and giving it a sophisticated modern spin

John Edwards story to get 'West Wing' treatment

With his estranged wife hitting the chat-show circuit, his middle-aged mistress posing in her scanties for men's magazines, and a federal court considering whether to charge him with using political donations to cover up the existence of a love child, John Edwards awoke yesterday to news that he faces yet another round of very public humiliation.

19 nominations in Emmys for 'Glee'

Quirky musical comedy Glee and 1960s advertising drama Mad Men led the television series nominations yesterday for prime-time Emmy Awards in a cross-section of new faces and old favorites.

Meet the new action heroines

Angelina Jolie is the latest Hollywood actress to take on a role originally written for a man – a trend that is growing fast

Tom Sutcliffe: Let's hear it for the theme tune

The week in culture
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Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick