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The 20 highest paid actors in the world

According to Forbes, between June 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017, the world's 10 highest-paid actresses made a combined $172.5 million. The 10 highest-paid actors earned more than double that amount: $488.5 million.

Mark Wahlberg topped the men's ranking after earning $68 million over the 12-month period. The highest-paid actress, Emma Stone, earned less than half that amount: $26 million.

"Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar," Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman tells Marie Claire. "In Hollywood we are making 30 cents to the dollar."

Although some defenders of the system point out that the disparity could be chalked up to the fact that more men star in profitable action and superhero franchises, women often make less even in romantic comedies. Portman, for example, says she was paid three times less than her male co-star Ashton Kutcher for the 2011 movie "No Strings Attached."

"I mean, we get paid a lot, so it's hard to complain," the star continues, "but the disparity is crazy."

If you were to combine the two rankings, the 20 highest-paid actors in the world would include two Ryans, two Toms and just three women (two of whom, as it happens, are named Jennifer). Stone, Hollywood's highest-paid woman, would barely crack the top 15.

Here's the breakdown. All figures are pre-tax:

20. Jeremy Renner: $19 million

19. Matt Damon: $21 million

18. Ryan Reynolds: $21.5 million

17. Jennifer Lawrence: $24 million

16. Jennifer Aniston: $25.5 million

15. Emma Stone: $26 million

14. Ryan Gosling: $29 million

13. Samuel L. Jackson: $30.5 million

12. Tom Hanks: $31 million

11. Chris Hemsworth: $31.5 million

10. Akshay Kumar: $35.5 million

9. Salman Khan: $37 million

8. Shah Rukh Khan: $38 million

7. Tom Cruise: $43 million

6. Robert Downey Jr.: $48 million

5. Jackie Chan: $49 million

4. Adam Sandler: $50.5 million

3. Vin Diesel: $54.5 million

2. Dwayne Johnson: $65 million

1. Mark Wahlberg: $68 million

Here's the full breakdown of the 10 highest-paid actresses:

10. Amy Adams: $11.5 million

8. Julia Roberts: $12 million (TIE)

8. Cate Blanchett: $12 million (TIE)

6. Charlize Theron: $14 million (TIE)

6. Emma Watson: $14 million (TIE)

5. Mila Kunis: $15.5 million

4. Melissa McCarthy: $18 million

3. Jennifer Lawrence: $24 million

2. Jennifer Aniston: $25.5 million

1. Emma Stone: $26 million

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Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announce separation

Hollywood couple Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux are separating after two years of marriage. The pair, who reportedly met on the set of comedy film Wanderlust, said the mutual decision was "lovingly made" at the end of last year.

They gave no reason for the split and said they intended to continue their "cherished friendship". Aniston, 49, and Theroux, 46, were married in a secret ceremony in Los Angeles in August 2015. They had been together for four years before the wedding, which took place at their Bel Air mansion.

In a joint statement, the couple said they intended to remain friends. "We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship," they said. "Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly."

"Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another," the statement added.

Aniston starred in the hit TV series Friends and has appeared in numerous films such as Marley & Me and Horrible Bosses. This was her second marriage. She was married to fellow actor Brad Pitt for five years, but they divorced in 2005.

Justin Theroux, a cousin of British documentary maker Louis Theroux, is an American actor, writer and director. He has collaborated with Ben Stiller on the script for Zoolander 2, and starred in the television series The Leftovers.

 Source : BBC

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Veteran Sri Lankan actress Edna Sugathapala passes away

Veteran Film, Theatre and Teledrama actress Edna Sugathapala has passed away at the age of 72. She is said to have passed away while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo.

Edna was born in 1946 and educated at Good Shepherd Convent in her hometown Panadura, and later at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya. She began her film career by acting in popular film ‘Surayangeth Suraya’ directed by legendary director Lenin Moraes in 1969 alongside Gamini Fonseka and Sandya Kumari. She was also a talented singer, pianist and astrologist.

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Uma Thurman breaks silence on Weinstein attack

Actress Uma Thurman has detailed long hinted-at allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. In a New York Times article, she says Weinstein pushed her down and "tried to expose himself" at the producer's hotel room in London during the 1990s, before she managed to "wriggle away".

Harvey Weinstein's spokeswoman said the claims about an assault "are untrue".

The 47-year-old star also said she was raped as a teenager by an unnamed actor who was 20 years her senior. Thurman had expressed anger at Weinstein last November, saying: "I'm glad it's going slowly - you don't deserve a bullet." She did not make specific allegations against Weinstein at the time. But she details her claims in a 3,000-word feature published in the New York Times on Saturday, entitled: "This is why Uma Thurman is angry".

What does Uma Thurman say?

Among the revelations in the article are that Thurman was sexually assaulted at age 16, at the beginning of her career.

She met an actor - who is not named - at a Manhattan nightclub, and was "coerced" when she returned to his home for a late-night drink.

"I was ultimately compliant," she told the newspaper. "I tried to say no, I cried, I did everything I could do. He told me the door was locked but I never ran over and tried the knob." "When I got home, I remember I stood in front of the mirror and I looked at my hands and I was so mad at them for not being bloody or bruised."

Her allegations regarding Weinstein took place in the time period after the success of the 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction, which was produced by Weinstein. The alleged incident took place at his suite in London's Savoy Hotel.

"He pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me... He did all kinds of unpleasant things," Thurman told the Times.

"But he didn't actually put his back into it and force me. You're like an animal wriggling away, like a lizard." She said a bunch of flowers arrived the next day with a note reading: "You have great instincts." And that in the aftermath, Weinstein's assistants kept calling about new film projects.

What was Harvey Weinstein's response?

A spokeswoman for Harvey Weinstein - who is in rehab - issued a statement in the wake of the story's publication.

It said his team had contacted the New York Times and sent photographs "that demonstrate the strong relationship Mr Weinstein and Ms Thurman had".

The newspaper acknowledged receiving "chummy photos" of the pair at premieres and parties.

"Mr Weinstein acknowledges making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms Thurman in England after misreading her signals, after a flirtatious exchange in Paris, for which he immediately apologised and deeply regrets," the statement said.

"However, her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue."

"There was no physical contact during Mr Weinstein's awkward pass and [he] is saddened and puzzled as to why Ms Thurman... waited 25 years to make these allegations public".

Source : BBC

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I’ve always dreamt of being an entertainer: Jacqueline Fernandez

Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez, says she always wanted to be an entertainer but didn’t plan to get into Bollywood. In a blog post which went live on International Women’s Day on Thursday, Jacqueline penned her journey into stardom and Bollywood.

“Since a very young age, I’ve always dreamt of being an entertainer. Wanting to tell stories, make everyone around me laugh. For me, it was never about the films but the pure joy that comes with being an entertainer. That dream, that joy is something that had me drawn towards it,” Jacqueline said.

“Entering Bollywood pretty much happened by chance. In Bollywood, it’s not just about entertaining, but also an artistic form of expression through dance, acting and dialogue that has the potential to stir thousands of emotions. Your audience relates to you. Lives the character through you. All the strength to live up to my dream of being an entertainer has come from constantly growing as a performer and to focus on my strengths. It might sound a little too good to be true as you read, but believe me, once you start living by it, you’ll feel the difference yourself,” she added.

Born to a Sri Lankan father and Malaysian mother, Jacqueline was raised in Bahrain. At the age of 14, she was hosting a fitness show. She moved to Australia to attend college and then returned to Sri Lanka where she took up a reporting job.

The year 2006 turned to be a game-changer as she won the Miss Sri Lanka beauty crown. She made her debut in the Indian film industry with the 2009 film Aladin. “I grew up in a very simple Sri Lankan family, raised in the UAE. I first decided I wanted to be a performer at the age of 6, and honestly, was quite afraid to bring this up with my parents at first. I was apprehensive of what they’d say since it was quite an unconventional career path but I guess I happened to get really lucky,” she said.

The actor says her parents have been her biggest source of support even when her debut Bollywood film didn’t click at the box office. “In all my trying times, during the initial stages when I was unfamiliar with this vibrant city, that I now call home, or during my first stint in acting; I’ve always believed in my abilities and that really has made all the difference. It still astonishes me, how such a small change is able to get you through an entire trial and error phase and, put you right in front of your goals, however lofty they may be,” she added.

jacqueline fernandez


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MasterChef Australia judge wins appeal against conviction

Australian celebrity chef George Calombaris has been successful in overturning his conviction for assaulting a football match spectatoar.

George Calombaris, a MasterChef Australia judge, had pleaded guilty to punching the man at the A-League grand final in Sydney last year.

He was fined A$ 1000 and received a conviction in October.

A judge quashed the conviction on appeal, instead imposing a 12-month good behaviour bond on Mr Calombaris. In explaining his decision on Wednesday, Judge Andrew Scotting said Mr Calombaris had an "exceptional character" and his punch had not been forceful.

The chef had already suffered financial and personal losses over the incident, including a A$300,000 sponsorship role, the judge said.

"To my mind, he is largely rehabilitated already in respect of this particular incident," Judge Scotting said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Last year, Calombaris made a public apology over a separate incident involving the underpaying of staff at his restaurant company.

Source : BBC

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'Black Panther' roars past $700 million worldwide in week two

The Disney (DIS) and Marvel Studios film was the number one film in the U.S. for the second weekend in a row bringing in an estimated $108 million at the box office.

"Black Panther" becomes only the fourth film ever to cross $100 million in its second weekend, joining "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Jurassic World," and "The Avengers." It is the second highest second weekend for a film behind only "Force Awakens."

"Black Panther" has also crossed the $700 million mark globally in just two weekends of release and will cross $400 million domestically on Sunday, its 10th day of release. The film has yet to open in China or Japan.

 After its second weekend domestically, the film, starring Chadwick Boseman and directed by Ryan Coogler, is already the fifth highest grossing Marvel Studios film and will likely pass "Captain America: Civil War" and "Iron Man 3" to take the number three spot in the coming days.

Overall, "Black Panther" showed strong staying power losing only 47% of its domestic audience from its record-breaking opening weekend. That's less of a drop than other films in Marvel's Cinematic Universe like "Captain America: Civil War" and "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," which saw its second-weekend totals drop closer to 60%, according to comScore.

Last weekend, the film, which is Marvel's first to be directed by an African-American director, opened to $201.8 million in North America, breaking multiple records. It became the largest opening for an African-American director by a sizable margin.

The record opening and a strong second weekend stand as a watershed moment for Hollywood. With "Black Panther" shattering expectations and records, the film's success could impact change in Hollywood by encouraging more diverse casts, crews, and stories.

The film currently holds a near perfect 97% score on review site Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it one of the best-reviewed superhero films ever.

Source : CNN

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Glee actor Mark Salling, 35, found dead

US actor Mark Salling, known for his role in the TV series Glee, has been found dead near his Los Angeles home. US media reports suggest he may have taken his own life.

The 35-year-old was expected to get between four and seven years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing child sex abuse images. His sentencing was due on 7 March.

Salling played footballer Noah "Puck" Puckerman on Glee from 2009 to 2015. He entered into a plea deal last October, avoiding a lengthier prison sentence of up to 20 years.

He was arrested in 2015 after a tip-off that he was in possession of images of children being sexually abused. Investigators ultimately found tens of thousands of abuse images on his laptop and hard drive.

Photographs in US media suggest the former television star's body was found in woodland near to where he lived in Sunland, Los Angeles.

Source : BBC

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Acclaimed jazz artist Wycliffe Gordon to perform in Sri Lanka

Renowned musician, composer, conductor, and arranger Wycliffe Gordon and his International All Stars will tour Sri Lanka from the 24-28 of February with performances scheduled to be held in Colombo, Matara and Galle.

Gordon and his crew will perform as part of the cultural events planned under the #USSL70 campaign of the US Embassy to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the United States.

Wyclif 1

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Bruno Mars grabs all the Grammys

Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar stole the show, and most of the awards, at the 2018 Grammys.

Mars provided the night's big upset, taking the album of the year trophy that most critics assumed would go to Lamar's rap tour de force, Damn.

In the end, voters found Mars's crowd-pleasing R&B more palatable, while Lamar dominated the rap categories.

Alessia Cara won best new artist - making her the only female artist to win a major prize.

Stars like Lady Gaga, Kesha, Lorde and SZA were overlooked, with only 17 awards (out of a total of 86) going to women or female-fronted bands.

Mars left with six trophies in all, including the three biggest prizes: Album of the year, song of the year and record of the year.

Speaking onstage, he paid tribute to his fellow nominees, saying: "You guys are the reason why I'm in the studio pulling my hair out".

He also told the story of how, as a 15-year-old in Hawaii, he performed in a show called The Magic of Polynesia, singing songs by R&B writers Babyface, Jam & Lewis and Terry Riley.

"I'll be honest, I was incredible at 15," he laughed, before explaining how he'd wanted to recapture the sounds of those 80s and 90s hits on his latest album.

"Those songs were written with nothing but joy... and that's all I wanted to bring with this album. Hopefully I could feel that again and see everybody dancing and everybody moving."

As well as the star's own prizes, his recording engineers won a further award for their work on the album.

Grammys 2018

Album of the year: Bruno Mars - 24K Magic

Record of the year: Bruno Mars - 24K Magic

Song of the year: Bruno Mars - That's What I Like

Best new artist: Alessia Cara

Best pop album: Ed Sheeran - ÷ (Divide)

Best rock album: The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding

Best R&B album: Bruno Mars - 24k Magic

Best rap album: Kendrick Lamar - Damn


Source : BBC

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Hemasiri Fernando's latest book "Essays on Railways" launched!

There are very few books in the literary world that offer you worthwhile reading about the history of Ceylon Railways. Fewer still; books written in English by Sri Lankan authors with hands on experience on this particular subject.

Among them, there are two books that comes to any railway expert’s mind; ‘The Viceroy Special’ and ‘The Uva Railway – Railway to the Moon’. Both provide comprehensive insight into the golden age that marked the genesis of Ceylon Railways, written by renowned Sri Lankan Author Hemasiri Fernando who is also the current Chairman of People's Bank, Sri Lanka.

 This article focuses not on those two paperbacks but ushers into the limelight his third installment (or the second sequel) in the highly successful book series that Hemasiri Fernando authored to pay homage to Ceylon Railways. The new book, freshly printed is aptly titled as:


Enriched with hundreds of rare, high quality photographs taken in Ceylon during 60’s and 70’s by leading railway enthusiasts around the world, followed by ancient maps that are digitally reproduced in an expert manner to preserve their authenticity, ESSAYS ON CEYLON RAILWAYS is an awe-inspiring masterpiece that creates an ideal virtual world for any railway lover can only dream of.

It consists of twelve thrilling chapters that teleports the reader back to the time of post-colonial rule when British were in complete control of the entire island and had established the Ceylon Government Railway (CGR) to develop the transportation system of the new colony. In a comprehensive manner, the book also subtly explains the chain of events that led to the rise of rails in Ceylon with the importation of British Engines.

Among the beautifully written essays in the ESSAYS ON CEYLON RAILWAYS, an entire chapter is dedicated to ‘Railway Signaling and Safety’ in which the author throws light upon a range of little-known railway signaling systems used by the British – including banner repeater signals, shunting signals, ground signals and semaphore signals. The essay is also supplemented with detailed photographs to assist the reader to comprehend how these signals were used in real life.

With his characteristic thoughtfulness evident in all his previous work, Hemasiri Fernando has not failed in including a separate chapter to pay tribute to each and every one of the Director Generals and General Managers who managed the administrative affairs in Ceylon Government Railways during the span of hundred years from 1864 to 1964.

Last Chapter is the most breathtaking one, where the author guides the reader around the unforgettable landmarks in railway history captured by best cameras at the time whilst providing computer generated aerial views that explain the layout of those once thriving railway workshop and stations.

Appropriately aligned to his flow of words, the author adorns his literary content with spectacular snapshots of the relevant sites in a manner that captivates the hearts of any railway nerd.

After Dr. David Hyatt, who is believed to have embarked on the most comprehensive research on CEYLON RAILWAYS, Hemasiri Fernando, as an author, has made – arguably - the best literary contribution to the Sri Lankan railway industry by launching the ESSAYS ON CEYLON RAILWAYS, his third book dedicated to the Ceylon Railway.


 Book 1

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James Franco pulled from Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue

James Franco has been erased from the cover of Vanity Fair's annual issue celebrating Hollywood and the Academy Awards.

"We made a decision not to include James Franco on the Hollywood cover once we learned of the misconduct allegations against him," the publication said in a statement released to CNN Friday.

The magazine debuted its new cover Thursday, with the headline "The 2018 Vanity Fair Hollywood Portfolio: 12 Extraordinary Stars, One Momentous Year."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the change, Franco was digitally removed from the cover after sitting for famed photographer, Annie Leibovitz.

Those featured are usually photographed in small groups and then digitally combined into one image. As a result, dropping Franco did not necessitate a reshoot.

The actor has denied allegations by five women who told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month they experienced inappropriate and sometimes sexually exploitative behavior by Franco.

Source : CNN

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