Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bad Times for Actors

These haven't been the best of times for people in the acting profession.
  • Actress Natasha Richardson fell during a ski lesson Monday at a Canadian resort.

    At first, she appeared to be all right, but later she complained of head pain, was taken to a nearby hospital, then was taken to a larger medical center in Montréal. Yesterday, she was taken to a New York hospital, where she has been reported to be in critical condition.

    Richardson, 45, is the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and the late Tony Richardson, and she is the wife of actor Liam Neeson. Her sister is actress Joely Richardson. Her mother and sister reportedly visited her in the hospital late Tuesday.

  • Hard-core fans of the "Star Wars" movies may know who David Prowse is, even though his name probably is not terribly well known by the general public. He was the actor who played the physical role of Darth Vader — but the voice was provided by actor James Earl Jones.

    Prowse, 73, revealed that he has prostate cancer but is feeling "fantastic."

    He told a British radio station he had been undergoing radiotherapy at a hospital in south London and was helping its fundraising appeal.

    Prowse's western English accent was not considered suitable for the role of Darth Vader, which led to Jones being given the vocal assignment, but he is lending his voice to the effort to catch prostate cancer in its early stages. "Every man over the age of 50 should have a PSA test (a blood test for prostate cancer) and that just gives you some indication of whether you have prostate problems."

  • Her injuries are less serious than Richardson's or Prowse's, but actress Jessica Lange has been hospitalized after taking a fall at her vacation cabin in Minnesota.

    Lange, who will turn 60 next month, suffered bruised ribs, a broken collarbone and a small cut on her forehead, her spokeswoman said today, but Lange anticipates being released "imminently."

    If you're old enough to remember the "King Kong" remake that came out in 1976, well, that was Lange's movie debut. Since that time, she has been nominated for six Oscars, winning Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "Tootsie" in 1982 and Best Actress for her performance in "Blue Sky" in 1994.