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Barbara Shelley has died at the age of 88.

The screen legend was the number one female star of the Hammer Horror films of the 1950s and 1960s and featured in movies such as ‘Dracula: Prince of Darkness’, ‘The Gorgon’, ‘Rasputin: The Mad Monk’ and ‘Quatermass and the Pit’ and her passing has been met with much sadness from fans of the genre.

Paying tribute the late star, Barbara’s agent Thomas Bowington, said: “She really was Hammer’s number one leading lady and the technicolour queen of Hammer.

“On screen she could be quietly evil. She goes from statuesque beauty to just animalistic wildness.

“She was a regular favourite of Hammer events and autograph shows but also performed on stage with the RSC.”

“She adored Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and loved working with them, that was very dear to her.”

Thomas explained how the actress had recently contracted coronavirus in hospital although she had recovered from the respiratory illness and ultimately passed away due to underlying health issues.

Thomas said: “It wasn’t the COVID that took her, she had underlying issues.”

Barbara also starred in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Planet Of Fire’ opposite Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor.

Shelley previously recalled how “lucky” she was to work alongside horror icons Sir Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing on the Hammer flicks.

She said: “To work with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee … I’ve been more than lucky, I’ve been honoured.

“They were so wonderful to work with, both so generous as actors with a wonderful atmosphere on the set and a wonderful sense of humour.

“When we were working, especially with Chris, who’s got a great sense of humour, we used to have jokes before and after shooting.”

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Twitter reacts to unforgivable headlines surrounding the death of convicted murderer Phil Spector

phil spector 2004 credit pa images

With the news that Phil Spector – convicted murderer of Lana Clarkson – has passed away at the age of 81 due to COVID-19 complications, many headlines have displayed shocking ignorance and insensitivity by choosing to focus on his music career rather than his crime. Naturally, readers have reacted with predictable disgust.

Phil Spector, 2004 / Photo Credit: Milan Ryba/Zuma Press/PA Images

It’s true that the media often has a habit of overlooking respect and sensitivity when it comes to getting headlines out quickly, and this time they have gone a step too far by underplaying the fact that music producer Phil Spector was a brutal killer. 

In many obituaries, actress Lana Clarkson was merely a footnote in a long memorial of Spector’s life and work. But the headline that really struck a nerve was from BBC News, who initially reported: “Talented but flawed producer Phil Spector dies aged 81”.

They have since changed it to something a little more palatable (“Phil Spector: Pop producer jailed for murder dies at 81”) but not before the internet could have their say.

“He murdered Lana Clarkson. Unforgivable reporting”, said Labour MP Apsana Begum, while many went a step further by pointing out all the other “talented but flawed” criminals out there, comparing him to Fred West, Harold Shipman and Peter Sutcliffe who all had careers, but they were ultimately irrelevant.

We surely couldn’t imagine such a headline if Jimmy Savile’s death came after he was publicly disgraced for his sex crimes, or if Gary Glitter had died, or R. Kelly, or Ian Watkins. But that’s probably a huge amount of naivete and idealism on our part. 

To recap, Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison in 2009 for the 2003 shooting of Hollywood actress Lana Clarkson. The pair had met in the early hours of the morning at the House of Blues in LA before retiring to Spector’s house, where an hour later his driver heard a gunshot. Spector was seen leaving the house holding a gun and quoted as saying “I think I just shot her”. He would later claim the incident as “accidental suicide”, saying she “kissed the gun”.

Even if you did believe the Lana’s death was a tragic accident, Spector’s history was against him. His former wife Ronnie Spector alleged that she suffered years of psychological abuse at the hands of her husband, eventually “escaping” from their home and later claiming that he threatened to hire a hitman to kill her. Two of their sons, Gary and Donté, would also claim sexual abuse and being held “captive” as children. 

Whether or not these damning claims were true, they certainly weren’t the only accusations of aggression and violence that Spector faced during his career.

More uncomfortable headlines came from Rolling Stone (“Phil Spector, Famed ‘Wall of Sound’ Producer Convicted of Murder, Dead at 81”) and Reuters (“Influential rock producer Phil Spector, who changed pop music and was convicted of killing actress Lana Clarkson, died at the age of 81”). Both placing heavy emphasis on the felon’s career rather than the very serious crime that ended it. It might seem subtle, but it’s further evidence of how much people value a person’s talent over their victims.

We see it time and time again with celebrities who seem to get away with deviant behaviour for years despite incriminating headlines and blatant accusations, just because of how much people love their art. Not only that, but there’s a culture of idolatry within the true crime world, with famous murderers like Charles Manson, Ed Gein, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy receiving a kind of admiration for their mystery and brutality – extra points given if their crimes have inspired iconic books or movies. 

“Who’s your favourite serial killer?” is a common question among consumers of true crime documentaries and biographies. Unfortunately, it’s a natural human thing to want to immerse oneself in the morbid and the grotesque, and discover what drives people to commit crimes that most of us couldn’t contemplate in our wildest nightmares. But issues arise when we divert our empathy away from the victims, and forget the agony that these “fascinating” monsters have unleashed onto so many people.

In the case of Phil Spector though, murder appears to be, for many people, merely another area of intrigue for an iconic music genius who changed production in a number of important ways. Now we’re not saying it’s unethical to enjoy the art he created, but it’s important to do so with the strong awareness that his talents do not minimise his crimes, and remembering Phil Spector means to remember the woman whose life he unapologetically destroyed. 

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Phoebe Bridgers | Phoebe Bridgers gets tattoo of sword impaled with a fan’s letter

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Phoebe Bridgers has gotten a tattoo of a sword impaled with a letter from a fan.

The 26-year-old singer has shown off her new ink of the gift one of her fans gave to her at one of her gigs in 2019.

Phoebe had previously claimed that her former flame, musician Ryan Adams, once gave all the women on their tour a sword – but not her.

And one of her fans subsequently gave her a real sword with a note that read: “To protec To attacc To look f****** tight as hecc.

“Phoebe, I hope you like this real, authentic sword. You don’t need it, but you deserve it. Thanks for sharing your sad songs with us.”

The Grammy-nominated star had the body art done by celebrity tattoo artist, Dr Woo, as a permanent reminder.

She captioned a series of snaps of her tattoo and the real-life sword: “a fan brought me a note with a sword stabbed into it after a show and someone else got a tattoo of it so I did too

thank you @_dr_woo_

…and that is my wrist (sic)”

On not being gifted the weapon by Ryan, Phoebe had said: “I was on tour with Ryan Adams on [International] Women’s Day a few years ago and he got every woman on the crew a sword except for me.”

The ‘Garden Song’ singer was one of several women who accused Ryan, 46, of being abusive in an expose by the New York Times newspaper in 2019, allegations which he profusely denied.

Phoebe later issued a statement, in which she called out those close to Ryan who chose not to hold him “accountable”.

She said at the time: “It’s been a weird week and I wanted to say a couple things. Thank you from my whole f****** heart to my friends, my bands, my mom. They all supported and validated me. They told me that what had happened was f***** up and wrong, and that I was right to feel weird about it. I couldn’t have done this without them. Ryan had a network too. Friends, bands, people he worked with. None of them held him accountable. They told him, by what they said or by what they didn’t, that what he was doing was okay. They validated him. He couldn’t have done this without them. Guys, if your friend is acting f***** up, call them out. If they’re actually your friend, they’ll listen. That’s the way this all gets better.”

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Jennifer Lopez | Jennifer Lopez shuts down troll who accuses her of having ‘tons’ of Botox

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Jennifer Lopez shut down a troll who accused her of getting Botox.

The JLo Beauty founder has made it clear she has never injected her skin several times and hilariously told an Instagram user to try being “more positive and kind to others” if they want to say “youthful”.

The troll commented on a video of the 51-year-old singer-and-actress showing the results of her JLo Glow Multitasking Serum mask.

They wrote: “You definitely have Botox. And tons of it.”

Jennifer replied: “LOL that’s just my face!! for the 500 millionth time…I have never done Botox or any injectables or surgery!! Just saying.

“Get you some JLO Beauty and feel beautiful in your own skin!! And here is another JLO Beauty secret: try spending your time being more positive, kind and uplifting of others. “Don’t spend your time trying to bring others down that will keep you youthful and beautiful too!!! Sending you love. #beautyfromtheinsideout #beautyhasnoexpirationdate. (sic)”

The ‘Waiting For Tonight’ hitmaker – who unveiled her eponymous beauty brand earlier this month – recently insisted her glowing complexion is not the result of Botox and she will hold off turning to “the needles” for as long as she can by using the best products.

Jennifer was involved in the creation of every piece in the range, including the That JLo Glow Serum, which took 20 attempts to get right.

And the ‘In The Morning’ singer insisted she would never put out skincare that she didn’t believe in under her own name.

She said: “I’m not that person. I don’t have anything against people doing that; it’s just not my thing.

“I’m more about a natural approach to skincare. Whatever topical I use has to be somewhat natural, but I want them to work. I want the hyaluronic acid in there. I want the things that are going to help, because I don’t want to have to go to the needles at some point. I’m not saying one day I won’t, but I haven’t yet.”

The line is comprised of eight products in total – which come in rose gold packaging inspired by Jennifer’s favourite brand Cartier – with prices ranging between $18 (face mask) and $79 for the That JLo Glow serum.

The ‘Made in Manhattan’ star – who is constantly asked what the secret to her ageless appearance is – also revealed that she has olive oil to thank for her radiant glow.

She said: “This has been something I’ve been thinking about for maybe the past 20 years.

“I was just, like, I have to do skincare because the number one question, no matter where I went – if I was filming a movie, music, or whatever – was, What are you doing for your skin? And as I got more mature, the question came even more frequently.”

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