Hollywood has lost two familiar faces: actors Virginia Christine and Herb Edleman.
Ms. Christine, the stalwart character actor who appeared in more than 400 motion pictures and TV shows but will be remembered as "Mrs. Olson" pouring Folger's coffee, died Wednesday. She was 76. Ms. Christine, who was the widow of actor Fritz Feld, died in her sleep at their Los Angeles home, her family said. For 21 years, the wise, matronly Mrs. Olson with her braided blond hair and false Swedish accent slipped kindly into kitchens to patch up couples' rifts over bad-tasting coffee. Just pour a cup of Folger's, she advised, and the husband would always stay for a second cup. She made her motion picture debut in the 1943 film Edge of Darkness starring Errol Flynn and set in World War II Norway. She played a peasant girl named Miss Olson. One of Hollywood's busiest performers, Ms. Christine appeared in such films as Mission to Moscow, Cyrano de Bergerac, High Noon, Judgment in Nuremberg, The Prize, Four for Texas and A Rage to Live. She also found parts in cult films, including Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Mummy's Curse.
Mr. Edelman, a career character actor of stage and screen who played Bea Arthur's humorously obnoxious ex-husband on The Golden Girls, died Sunday of emphysema at the Motion Picture and Television Fund Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 62. He appeared in stage and film productions of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple as part of Oscar's semipermanent floating poker party. He also appeared in the stage and film versions of Simon's Barefoot in the Park.
Lead actors strike "New York Undercover'
Dick Wolf is mad as hell and he won't take it anymore. Rather than give in to the demands of Malik Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo, holdout stars from Fox's New York Undercover, the veteran producer said Wednesday from New York that he would re-cast the leads, possibly by today. A new script already has been written for the third season-opener, Wolf says, "and it begins with a double funeral." Production begins Monday in New York, with or without the striking duo. Yoba and DeLorenzo, who are paid about $20,000 an episode, appeared for a cast photo shoot Sunday, Wolf says. Monday, the pair was missing-in-action, causing production to shut down. One of the stars has reportedly demanded $75,000 an episode, a gym, a larger trailer, directing assignments and better food. Yoba's agent could not be reached for comment. DeLorenzo's agent said in a statement that DeLorenzo made his decision after being told he couldn't direct some episodes. New York Undercover (9 p.m. Thursdays) was the highest-rated show among blacks and Hispanics last season. In the overall Nielsens, however, it ranked 77th. Yoba and DeLorenzo have three years remaining on five-year contracts, Wolf says.
In other news
The rock band Slayer has been accused of inspiring the rape, torture and fatal stabbing of a teenage girl. The parents of 15-year-old Elyse Marie Pahler of Los Angeles contend in a lawsuit filed Monday that Slayer's lyrics prompted three teenage boys to drag their daughter into a secluded grove in July 1995, rape her, tie a belt around her neck and stab her. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. The girl's mother, Lisanne Pahler, told KSBY-TV that she and her husband filed the lawsuit after learning from investigators that the boys had modeled their own band, Hatred, after Slayer and had been influenced by Slayer lyrics.
The rock band Pearl Jam, whose campaign against high ticket prices has hindered its touring the past two years, Wednesday announced a 31-date concert tour of North America and Europe. The band's publicist said the Grammy Award-winning group would begin the U.S. leg in their Seattle hometown on Sept. 16 and end in Miami on Oct. 7. Other U.S. venues were not announced yet. The tour will help promote the band's new album No Code, which is scheduled to be in stores Aug. 27.
Rapper Warren G (Regulate) was arrested Wednesday after Los Angeles police found a loaded gun in his truck during a disturbance outside a Hollywood nightclub, authorities said.
Chuck Norris, star of CBS' Walker, Texas Ranger, told Entertainment Tonight Monday that his engagement to longtime girlfriend Monica Hall, 26, is off. They had planned to get married next month.