The Ottumwa Courier

Entertainment

August 20, 2013

Best-selling author Elmore Leonard dies at 87

DETROIT (AP) — He was the master of his genre, the Dickens of Detroit, the Chaucer of Crime.

Every novel Elmore Leonard wrote from the mid-1980s on was a best-seller, and every fan of crime stories knew his name. George Clooney was an admirer. So were Quentin Tarantino, Aerosmith, Saul Bellow and Stephen King, not to mention bellhops, waiters, accountants and millions of others.

Leonard, who died Tuesday morning at age 87, helped achieve for crime writing what King did for horror and Ray Bradbury for science fiction. He made it hip, and he made it respectable.

When the public flocked to watch John Travolta in the movie version of "Get Shorty" in 1995, its author became the darling of Hollywood's hottest young directors. Book critics and literary stars, prone to dismissing crime novels as light entertainments, competed for adjectives to praise him. Last fall, he became the first crime writer to receive an honorary National Book Award, a prize given in the past to Philip Roth, Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller.

Few writers so memorably traveled the low road. His more than 40 novels were peopled by pathetic schemers, clever conmen and casual killers. Each was characterized by moral ambivalence about crime, black humor and wickedly acute depictions of human nature: the greedy dreams of Armand Degas in "Killshot," the wisecracking cool of Chili Palmer in "Get Shorty," Jack Belmont's lust for notoriety in "The Hot Kid."

Leonard's novels and short stories have been turned into dozens of feature films, TV movies and series, including the current FX show "Justified," which stars Timothy Olyphant as one of Leonard's signature characters, the cool-under-pressure U.S. marshal Raylan Givens.

Critics adored the flawlessly unadorned, colloquial style, as well as how real his characters sounded when they spoke.

Text Only
Entertainment
  • MTV Movie Awards big Hollywood studio plug-fest LOS ANGELES (AP) — Last year, the MTV Movie Awards moved up its broadcast date from June to April to incorporate a summer movie plug-fest. Sunday night's show cemented that change as clips from anticipated blockbusters debuted at the madcap ceremony.

    April 14, 2014

  • 0411 OTT Five things logo -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — Music, monster trucks and memorable moments — this weekend will bring an eclectic mix of performing arts, sports, activities and informational sessions to the region. 1. Start the weekend by taking special care of your furry friends. Noah’s

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • FXX plans marathon telecast of 'The Simpsons' NEW YORK (AP) — The FXX network plans a marathon telecast this summer of episodes of "The Simpsons" — all 552 of them consecutively. The network said Wednesday the marathon will start Aug. 21 and continue into Labor Day. FXX programming chief Chuck S

    April 9, 2014

  • CNN bringing back Anthony Bourdain's hot series NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Bourdain has traveled to all sorts of exotic places over the past couple of years, with none as important as where he's taken CNN itself. Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" series, a culinary travelogue, swiftly became the network's t

    April 9, 2014

  • 0409 OTT Tonic Sol-fa color photo -L -M -T Tonic Sol-fa to hit the stage Saturday night

    OTTUMWA — Tonic Sol-fa will be bringing almost 20 years of a cappella excellence to the Bridge View Center Saturday evening. The instantly recognizable sound and award-winning music begin at 7:30 p.m. Tonic Sol-fa began at St. John's University with

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Barbara Walters sets May 16 for exit NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Walters plans to make her final appearance on "The View" on May 16, part of a daylong retirement celebration that will include ABC News naming its New York headquarters after her. Later that night, ABC will air a two-hour prim

    April 7, 2014

  • Iconic Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney dies at 93 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mickey Rooney's approach to life was simple: "Let's put on a show!" He spent nine decades doing it, on the big screen, on television, on stage and in his extravagant personal life. A superstar in his youth, Rooney was Hollywood's t

    April 7, 2014

  • 0405 OTT Church Basement color photo -L -M -T Church Basement Ladies bring all-new musical to Bridge View OTTUMWA — The Church Basement Ladies are back with an all-new musical comedy, A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement. The fourth installment of the Church Basement ladies series of musical comedies, A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement will be presented Thur

    April 4, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hasbro picks five 'house rules' for new Monopoly set NEW YORK (AP) — No rent collection while in jail, double the dough for landing on Go and clean out Free Parking if your luck takes you there are among five made-up Monopoly rules Facebook fans voted in for future editions of the board game. Several t

    April 4, 2014

  • 0404 OTT Five Things color photo -L -T -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend

    OTTUMWA — If you can't find something to do this weekend in southeast Iowa, you're not looking hard enough. The next three days are filled with fun and interesting activities you'll want to attend, so your calendar will fill up quickly. 1. The offici

    April 3, 2014 2 Photos

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National