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Jon Landau, Oscar-winning ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’ producer, dies at 63

Jon Landau, Oscar-winning ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’ producer, dies at 63

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Jon Landau, Oscar-winning 'Titanic' and 'Avatar' producer, dies at 63

 Jon Landau, an Oscar-winning producer who worked closely with director James Cameron on three of the biggest blockbusters of all time, “Titanic” and two “Avatar” films, has died. He was 63.

Landau’s family announced his death Saturday. No cause of death was given.

Landau’s partnership with Cameron led to three Oscar nominations and a best picture win for 1997’s “Titanic.” Together the pair account for some of the biggest blockbusters in movie history, including “Avatar” and its sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water.”

Cameron, in a statement, remembered “a dear friend, and my closest collaborator of 31 years.” “A part of myself has been torn away,” said Cameron.

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“His zany humor, personal magnetism, great generosity of spirit and fierce will have held the center of our Avatar universe for almost two decades,” said Cameron. “His legacy is not just the films he produced, but the personal example he set — indomitable, caring, inclusive, tireless, insightful and utterly unique.”

Landau’s career began in the 1980s as a production manager, and he gradually rose through the ranks, serving as a co-producer on “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” and “Dick Tracy.”

He took on the producer role on “Titanic,” Cameron’s expensive epic about the infamous 1912 maritime disaster. The bet paid off: “Titanic” became the first movie to cross $1 billion in global box-office earnings and went on to win 11 Oscars, including best picture.

“I can’t act and I can’t compose and I can’t do visual effects, so I guess that’s why I’m producing.” Landau said while accepting the award with Cameron.

Their partnership continued, with Landau becoming a top executive at Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. In 2009 the pair watched as “Avatar,” a sci-fi epic filmed and shown in theaters with groundbreaking 3D technology, surpassed the box-office success of “Titanic.” It remains the top-grossing film of all time.

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Its sequel, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” is third on the list.
“Your wisdom and support shaped so many of us in ways we will always be grateful for,” Zoe Saldaña, one of the stars of the “Avatar” franchise, said in an emotional tribute on Instagram. “Your legacy will continue to inspire us and guide us in our journey.”

Landau has been a key player in the “Avatar” franchise, which saw frequent delays of the release of “The Way of Water.” Landau defended the sequel’s progress and Cameron’s ambitious plans to film multiple sequels at once to keep the franchise going.

“A lot has changed but a lot hasn’t,” Landau told The Associated Press in 2022, a few months ahead of the sequel’s release. “One of the things that has not changed is: Why do people turn to entertainment today? Just like they did when the first ‘Avatar’ was released, they do it to escape, to escape the world in which we live.”

“Jon was a visionary whose extraordinary talent and passion brought some of the most unforgettable stories to life on the big screen. His remarkable contributions to the film industry have left an indelible mark, and he will be profoundly missed.

He was an iconic and successful producer yet an even better person and a true force of nature who inspired all around him,” Alan Bergman, Disney Entertainment co-chairman, said in a statement.

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Landau was named an executive vice president of feature movies at 20th Century Fox when he was 29, which led him to oversee major hits including “Home Alone” and its sequel, as well as “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “True Lies,” where he first started working closely with Cameron.

Landau was also influential in bringing the manga adaptation “Alita: Battle Angel” to the big screen in 2019. Cameron supported the project, but his “Avatar” commitments kept him from directing it. Instead, Landau worked with director Robert Rodriguez to get the film completed.

Born in New York on July 23, 1960, Landau was the son of film producers Ely and Edie Landau. The family moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, and Landau went on to graduate from the University of Southern California’s film school.

Ely Landau died in 1993. Edie Landau, the Oscar-nominated producer of films like “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” “Hopscotch” and “The Deadly Game,” died in 2022.

Jon Landau is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Julie; their sons, Jamie and Jodie; and two sisters and a brother.

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Actress, former Miss Teen Esta TerBlanche dies

Actress, former Miss Teen Esta TerBlanche dies

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Actress, former Miss Teen Esta TerBlanche dies

‘All My Children’ star Esta TerBlanche has died, her manager confirmed to PEOPLE on Sunday. She was 51.

“We are deeply saddened by this news,” her manager Annie Spoliansky said in a statement to PEOPLE. “As for a personal statement, I’d like to say that Esta was such a kind, loving, giving, and caring person.”

“She cared so deeply for all people and animals,” she added. “She had squirrels she fed and looked after daily, her two cats and recent kittens that she cared for as her own children.”

“Esta was never anything but generous and lovely to me, and I’m grateful to have known her for the time that I did, and devastated to learn of her passing,” her statement concluded.

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The cause of the South African actress’ death is unknown. Deadline reported that authorities believe TerBlanche had been dead for about a day when her body was found.

TerBlanche was best known for playing Gillian Andrassy Lavery on All My Children from 1997 to 2001. The character was a Hungarian princess whose love interest and eventual husband on the show was Cameron Mathison’s character Ryan Lavery.

“RIP my Sweet Princess,” Mathison, 54, wrote in tribute over a photo of the pair in character on his Instagram Stories on Sunday.

He also posted another photo of the TV couple posing together with broken heart emojis over it.

“Esta helped me last year when Red was sick and paralyzed and I was struggling,” he wrote over another photo of the pair, a recent selfie. “One of the sweetest people ever.”

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Mathison grinned in the photo as TerBlanche made a kissing face near his cheek.

TerBlanche held the title of Miss Teen South Africa in 1991 before she began pursuing a career in acting, Deadline reported.

The former soap opera star was born in South Africa on Jan. 7, 1973 and starred as Bienkie Naudé Hartman on Egoli: Place of Gold, a popular drama in the country, before landing her role on All My Children. 

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Police arrest suspects involved in kidnap of playwright Khalilur Rehman

Police arrest suspects involved in kidnap of playwright Khalilur Rehman

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Police arrest suspects involved in kidnap of playwright Khalilur Rehman

The Lahore police claim to have arrested the culprits involved in the kidnapping of famed playwright Khalilur Rehman Qamar.  

A day earlier, the writer had lodged a complaint against his kidnappers and requested the law-enforcement officials for help. 

Police took immediate action and traced the suspects within hours. 

Among those arrested were Amina Urooj, Mamnoon Haider, Zeeshan Qayyum, Javed Iqbal, Tanveer Ahmed, Falaksher, Qaiser Abbas, Rashid Ahmed, Mian Khan, Babar Ali, Shumaila Bibi and Maryam Shahzadi. 

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“The main suspect, Amina, is a repeat criminal and has a history of committing similar crimes. Her modus operandi involves deceiving her victims by presenting herself as a British citizen, thereby gaining their trust before carrying out the robbery along with her associates,” say police.   

In this regard, Organized Crime Unit DIG Imran Kishwar, along with the writer, held an important press conference to inform the public about the details. 

WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE CELEBRITY? 

The Lahore police on Sunday registered a case on the complaint of eminent writer Khalilur Rehman Qamar that he was kidnapped and tortured. 

Qamar is a famous writer and has given the industry some major hits. He is also known to have some controversial views on a variety of subjects. 

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A woman named Amina had called Qamar to her house, saying she wanted to make a drama and when he reached the woman’s house, armed men kidnapped him. 

The Payare Afzal writer had to give a huge sum of money to the kidnappers for his release. 

Later, the Sundar police registered a case on his statement. 

In the FIR, it is mentioned that the accused kept on torturing Qamar and kept moving him to different places. They also threatened to kill him and asked him to request for more money from his relatives. 

Rehman alleged that the men confiscated Rs60,000, an iPhone 11, an ATM card as well as his national identity card. 

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The FIR added that more than Rs200,000 were also drawn from a separate bank account belonging to the complainant.

The kidnappers, the FIR states, told Rehman that they had been given the orders to kill him, before demanding a ransom payment of Rs10 million, to which Rehman told them that he did not have that kind of funds available.

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Rahat Fateh Ali Khan takes exception to news about his arrest in Dubai

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan takes exception to news about his arrest in Dubai

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Rahat Fateh Ali Khan takes exception to news about his arrest in Dubai

 Famous singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has cleared the air of his arrest at the Dubai Airport.

The iconic singer said he was merely questioned in a routine manner and that he was not investigated much less arrested.

He mentioned that the Dubai officials received request for questioning only and that the matter was noting of any serious nature.

Earlier, some media outlets reported that the famous singer had been arrested at the Dubai Airport.

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As per the details, the singer was apprehended due to the complaints filed by his former manager Salman Ahmed to the Dubai authorities.

The musician had ended the contract of his former manager after developing differences over vital issues.

The ‘Mere Paas Tum Ho’ singer had reached Dubai for his concert.
 

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