Question: How come no one's ever made a movie about Sonny Liston? I know it would probably be a movie without someone to root for, but so was "Raging Bull" and that was successful.
Answer: As a matter of fact, there is a screen drama about Liston, 2008's "Phantom Punch," with Ving Rhames as Liston and Robert Townsend directing.
The title, of course, refers to the punch with which Muhammad Ali knocked Liston out in their second fight, one that made many observers believe Liston took a dive.
The movie is available on DVD, Blu-ray, Amazon Instant Video and iTunes. There's also a documentary, "Sonny Liston: The Mysterious Life and Death of a Champion," which aired on HBO in the '90s. It was released on VHS but I have not found it in current formats.
Q: I was watching "Rizzoli & Isles" and, at the end, it said it was in memory of Lee Thompson Young (1984-2013) and then showed pictures of the young black man on the show. Has he died and what from? He was so young. He will be missed.
A: Lee Thompson Young, who played Detective Barry Frost on the TNT drama, died Aug. 19; he reportedly committed suicide.
Young was 29 years old and had been acting for almost 20 years, notably as star of "The Famous Jett Jackson" for the Disney Channel.
A statement from TNT, the Warner Bros. studio (which makes "Rizzoli") and executive producer Janet Tamaro said, in part, "Everyone at 'Rizzoli & Isles' is devastated by the news. ... We are beyond heartbroken at the loss of this sweet, gentle, good-hearted, intelligent man." Writer-director Wes Craven, who knew Young from 2007's "The Hills Have Eyes 2," said on Twitter that "he was a pro, gifted and warm. The tragedy of this kind of loss is particularly bewildering and painful."
Rich Heldenfels is a staff writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. Write him at Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.,How I Met Your Mother
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