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Question of the Day
Ralph McQuarrie, the cinematic designer known for famous “Star Wars” characters such as Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2, has died at age 82, his website announced Sunday.
According to the Associated Press, Mr. McQuarrie, who died Saturday, collaborated with George Lucas on the original “Star Wars” trilogy in the 1970s and with Steven Spielberg on films including “E.T.,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
He also was part of the team that with director Ron Howard made “Cocoon,” a 1985 production that won an Oscar for special effects.
“Ralph was a very special person for many more reasons than his undeniable brilliance with a brush,” said a statement posted on the website.
“His influence on design will be felt forever. There’s no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say … ‘that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted.’ “
Star-studded cast presents Proposition 8 play premiere
Martin Sheen commanded the stage with his impassioned portrayal of an attorney arguing for gay-marriage rights; Jane Lynch inspired instant response as a vehement same-sex-marriage opponent; Brad Pitt dazzled as a judge.
It was all part of the star-studded West Coast premiere of “8,” a play about the 2010 federal court fight against Proposition 8, the gay-marriage ban that California voters approved in 2008.
The performance Saturday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles also featured George Clooney, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christine Lahti, George Takei, John C. Reilly, Chris Colfer, Matthew Morrison and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
The play by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black made its Broadway debut last year in similar starry fashion. Saturday’s benefit performance was broadcast live on YouTube, where director Rob Reiner said it drew 200,000 viewers. He hopes it attracts more than a million before its weeklong online run ends. The play also will be staged around the country with local actors at colleges and community theaters.
“We want as many people as possible to see what happened inside that courtroom,” said Mr. Reiner, a founding member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is funding the federal fight for marriage equality.
Relying largely on transcripts from court proceedings, “8” introduces viewers to the couples who challenged the California initiative, the attorneys who argued their case and a bumbling witness who spoke out against them.
• Compiled from Web and wire service reports.
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