Month: September 2019

Though Hes Still Battling Cancer Stuart Scott of ESPN

Stuart Scott, the ESPN host who is battling a rare form of cancer, posted on Twitter that rumors that he has been placed in hospice are false.His tweet read: “Rumor bout me in hospice. Not True. Airball. Swing & a miss. I continue treatment for C & missed some work but Hospice? No. Fighting? YES!”This summer, Scott—known for coining phrases like “Cool as the other side of the pillow”—gave a heart-wrenching speech at the ESPY Awards when he accepted the Jimmy V Award.Scott, 49, has been battling cancer in his stomach for seven years. He had his appendix removed and endured chemotherapy and radiation, and yet the cancer continues to return.Last month, Scott was greeted to an enormous ovation at the North Carolina Tar Heels’ Midnight Madness to kick off the basketball season. Scott attended UNC.“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” Scott said then. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”He said he is encouraged to battle against the disease primarily because of his two daughters.During Scott’s acceptance of the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, he said:“I listened to what Jim Valvano said 21 years ago, the most poignant seven words ever uttered in any speech anywhere: ‘Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.’ Those great people didn’t. Coach Valvano didn’t. So to be honored with this, I now have a responsibility to also not ever give up. I’m not special. I just listened to what the man said.”His strength in the face of the disease has been admirable. He has missed chunks of time from work as he deals with treatment. read more

Live By The Three Die By The Three Is Mostly A Myth

Were the Warriors just unlucky? Their opponents, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were not a particularly good defensive team during the regular season, either overall or against perimeter shooters, although they may be better with Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova and Tristan Thompson getting more minutes because of injuries. The Cavs forced the Warriors into some bad possessions, but the Dubs also missed on some good looks, shooting just 2-for-11 on corner threes.But there’s also the old adage: Live by the three, die by the three. If your shooters are going to get crazy hot on some nights, isn’t it inevitable that they’ll shoot a bunch of bricks on another, rendering a team’s offense more inconsistent and making it more upset-prone?Let’s look at some data from the 2014-15 regular season. In the chart below, I’ve sorted teams by the percentage of their field goals that were taken from 3-point range. Then I’ve looked at their game-by-game scoring, calculating their scoring range (as I’ll describe it throughout this article) as the span including the middle 80 percent of their games (that is, throwing out their top 10 percent and bottom 10 percent of performances).The Warriors, for instance, averaged 110 points per game in the regular season, while their scoring range ran from 98 points (at the 10th percentile) to 126 points (at the 90th percentile), a 28-point difference. That seems like a wide range … but it’s perfectly normal. The average NBA team this season had a 27-point scoring range. The average range since 1979-80 (when the 3-point shot was introduced) is 28 points.The Warriors weren’t the league’s most three-happy team, however. They were just seventh — behind the Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. So maybe the Dubs were pretty steady, but were those other teams inconsistent?The Cavaliers were inconsistent: Their scoring range spanned 33 points, tied for the second-highest total in the league after Oklahoma City.2Like the Thunder, who dealt with injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Cavs went through numerous lineup changes and new “looks” over the course of the regular season. So that may reflect personnel changes more than inconsistency per se. But Houston, which took 39 percent of its attempts from long range (easily an NBA record), had a scoring range of just 25 points, below the NBA average. The three-happy Atlanta Hawks had a scoring range of just 24 points.What’s going on here? Are teams that shoot a lot of threes actually more consistent than others? (Maybe they’re more resilient when facing different types of defenses or benefit from having better floor spacing?)Actually, it’s mostly just because this data is pretty noisy. I ran a regression on all NBA teams since 1979-80 to predict their scoring range based on (i) the percentage of their field goal attempts that came from behind the arc and (ii) their per-game scoring average. Both variables have a positive and highly statistically significant relationship with a team’s scoring range. Teams that score more points have a wider scoring range, and, once you control for that, teams that shoot more threes do also.But statistical significance is not the same thing as practical significance. In the context of an actual basketball team, this result will make very little difference.Suppose, for instance, that a team scores 100 points per game and that 40 percent of its field-goal attempts are 3-pointers — higher, even, than this year’s record-setting Rockets. Its scoring range, according to the regression analysis, projects to be 29.7 points.What about a team that scores 100 points but does so with only 10 percent of its shots being threes? No team has shot such a low percentage of 3-pointers since the 1999-2000 Philadelphia 76ers, but we’ll run the numbers just for fun. That team, according to the regression, would have a scoring range of 28.0 points. So it’s more consistent, but only barely so; its scoring range is only 6 percent narrower. This just really doesn’t matter much.What matters a lot more, of course, is how effective a team is at scoring overall. The Oklahoma City Thunder, as I mentioned, had the most inconsistent offense in the regular season. But their 10th percentile score, 88 points, was still better than two-thirds of the league because they had a high per game scoring average.And Golden State’s 10th percentile score, 98 points, was better than what almost a third of NBA teams scored on average per game. The Warriors will have better shooting nights than they did Sunday, but their bad nights aren’t indicative of a fundamental problem — they’re just bad nights.CORRECTION (June 9, 11:45 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that if the Golden State Warriors had made 3-pointers at their regular-season accuracy rate, they would have won Sunday’s NBA Finals game 117-95. They would have won 111-95. “You’ll shoot your eye out,” I kept thinking while watching Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday. The Warriors hoisted 35 3-point attempts and made only eight of them en route to scoring just 93 points. It was a maddening, sloppy game full of what-ifs. So … what if the Warriors had sunk threes at their normal accuracy rate?1The Warriors shot .398 on 3-pointers during the regular season, which would equate to making 14 of 35 shots. They would have won 111-95. read more

Serena Williams Only Loses In Big Upsets Because Shes Always A Big

For the second straight year, Serena Williams’s bid to make history at the U.S. Open was derailed in a semifinal upset. Last year, Williams was seeking to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988 and to tie Graf’s Open-era record of 22 career major titles when she was defeated by No. 43 Roberta Vinci. On Thursday night, Williams was two match wins from passing Graf in career major titles, but, hampered by an injury to her left knee, she lost to No. 11 Karolina Pliskova.Williams was ranked No. 1 heading into both matches. And according to win probabilities based on our tennis Elo ratings, both results were big surprises: She had a 97 percent chance of beating Vinci and an 87 percent chance against Pliskova.1In this article, our estimates of win probability heading into matches at this year’s U.S. Open use a blend of players’ overall Elo ratings and Elo ratings based only on hard-court matches, according to the methods described in our article about our tournament forecast. For earlier matches, we’re using probabilities based on overall Elo ratings for both players. That’s not unusual for Williams, who has left majors in two ways over the past five years, each one happening about as often as the other: Either as the champion (9 of 20) or as the loser of a big upset (11 of 20). She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning all 11 of the matches she has lost at majors since 2012 (her first year playing the majors in her 30s). Those 11 losses are among the 14 most surprising of her career at majors: In other words, her 14 Slam losses for which she entered the matches with the highest Elo-based win probabilities.The series of surprise losses is the result of two factors:1) Williams is losing more matches she should win, perhaps a reflection of increased susceptibility in her 30s to injury or wear during a tournament. She has won 89 percent of Slam matches since 2012 in which she had an 85 percent chance or better, compared with a 96 percent win percentage in the same type of matches before 2012.2In both time periods, the average of her win probability in these matches was 95 percent.2) Against a field with fewer all time-greats than she faced earlier in her career, Williams is playing a lot more matches as a big favorite, giving her more opportunities to be upset: She has had at least an 85 percent chance of winning in 88 percent of her major matches since the start of 2012, compared with 64 percent earlier. read more

Sexy offense can be distracting

The sensual nature of modern times has seeped into college football. Offense has never been sexier. Whether it’s Penn State’s Spread HD, Oregon’s wide-open zone read or Florida’s shotgun spread offense, teams are piling up both points and “style points” in recent years. In 2008, Oklahoma rode the arm of Heisman winner Sam Bradford all the way to the national title game, smashing record after record in its path, eclipsing the mark for most points in a season. Four-star quarterbacks Bradford, Tim Tebow of Florida, Colt McCoy of Texas and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame, defined the 2009 season. But substance doesn’t always translate to success. None of those teams won the big prize last season. Reigning national champion Alabama relied on a stout defense and a run-heavy playbook that would make Woody Hayes smile in its run to the top. The Ohio State offense will attempt to emulate the Crimson Tide’s winning formula in its push for an eighth national championship. That’s not to say OSU will run a “run and hide” offense a la the 2002 national championship team; anyone who has seen the first three games of the season would testify otherwise. But to attain success in football, one must protect the ball. Before the advent of the forward pass and subsequent explosion of offense in the game, field position ranked a close second. Thanks to the speed and athleticism of modern players, that’s no longer true. But that doesn’t mean coaches have forgotten about it. Jim Tressel believes the most important play in football is the punt. The punt is about as sexy as Larry the Cable Guy in a wet suit. Fortunately for OSU and its fans, the Buckeye offense has more than passed the eye test this year, becoming more Boise State than “three yards and a cloud of dust.” Part of that is because of the maturation of quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The reason Pryor has been given the keys to the sports car instead of the minivan this year is simple: He has minimized his turnovers. So long as No. 2 plays smart football, we won’t see the field-position, run-heavy offense Tressel employed following the Purdue loss last season. In fact, OSU leads the nation so far this season with a plus-10 turnover margin. That bodes well for an experienced team with a stifling defense, a balanced offense and a coach that knows how to close out games. In 2009, Boise State, who finished the season undefeated and beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, finished second in the nation in turnover margin. National champion Alabama finished No. 4. The top two teams in 2008? Florida and Oklahoma. The top teams in turnover margin that season? Florida and Oklahoma. If OSU is indeed destined for its eighth national title this year, it won’t be determined by Pryor’s numbers or “style points.” It will be because they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot going for the curvaceous blonde with no brains. read more

Tressel seeking 100th win at OSU

Jim Tressel (99-21) will be going for his 100th win as head football coach at Ohio State as the No. 2 Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) take on Indiana (3-1, 0-1) Saturday in Ohio Stadium. What does the potential accomplishment mean to Tressel?    “I guess I’m getting old,” Tressel said. “If you stick around long enough, you’re going to get some of those milestones.” Despite Tressel’s downplay, the win would be historic. Tressel would join Woody Hayes (205) and John Cooper (111) as the only coaches to top the 100 mark in wins as OSU head coaches. More noteworthy is how quickly Tressel might reach the plateau. “Woody got it his 144th game, Cooper his 138th game, and if Jim gets it Saturday, it will be his 121st game. That’s really something,” OSU football historian Jack Park said. Tressel has a chance of achieving another record. “If Ohio State wins every game the rest of the year and wins its postseason game, (Tressel) will have the highest winning percentage of any coach in the history of the Big Ten Conference that has coached in the conference at least 10 years,” Park said. Tressel’s success at OSU should come as no surprise considering what he accomplished at Youngstown State from 1986-2000. Tressel compiled a 135-57-2 record and won four national titles. “A lot of the things they are doing at Ohio State now are things they were doing at Youngstown State,” said Steve Helwagen, Bucknuts.com managing editor. “It’s just the Tressel form. It’s been amazing the success he’s had.” read more

Danica Deckard dominating for Ohio State field hockey

Senior forward Danica Deckard is athletically explosive on the field. “Her first three steps will eliminate most defenders,” said women’s field hockey coach Anne Wilkinson. Deckard has led the Ohio State field hockey team’s offensive attack in previous years, and her senior campaign is shaping up to be her best campaign yet. Last season, Deckard earned second team All-Big Ten honors and led the Buckeyes in goals, netting 11 scores in 20 games. In the nine games she has played this season, Deckard has already amassed 10 goals. “She’s really very strong, a tough player to play against and she’s a goal scorer. She loves to find the back of the net and if there is a will there is a way for her,” Wilkinson said. Deckard does not take any credit when she talks about her wealth of goals, though. “Yeah, the goals are going in, but it’s easy when you have the people around you that are getting you the ball in the right place and the right time,” Deckard said. Wilkinson recruited Deckard out of Selinsgrove Area High School in Selinsgrove, Pa., and has seen her advance in her OSU career. She said Deckard’s strength and dynamic play stands out. “Her physicality, she is just really very strong,” Wilkinson said. “She gets a good clean reception on it, she’ll take off on you.” During their first four games, OSU totaled four goals and Deckard was the lone source of offense, scoring all four unassisted. After the 2-2 start, Deckard was reunited with fellow senior forward Berta Queralt who returned from time with the Spanish U-21 national team. “It’s been four years, we know a lot about each other, where we are going to move. It’s great to have one of your classmates that is also on your line,” Queralt said. Queralt has assisted Deckard on two of her 10 goals and Deckard has assisted Queralt on two of her six goals. Deckard’s collegiate success extends beyond the field. She is a three-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. Deckard’s ultimate goals for this year are the same as they’ve been most years, but the senior is not looking too far into the future. “Our goal is always to win the Big Ten outright and then go to NCAAs,” she said, “but we’re really just taking one game at a time and trying to win each game.” read more

Ohio State mens hockey team enters final season in CCHA

The Ohio State men’s hockey team couldn’t have been more inconsistent last season. OSU returns 20 letter winners from last year’s squad that went 15-15-5, tying for eighth in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and losing in the first round of the conference tournament. The team has six newcomers, all freshmen. The Buckeyes’ combination of youth and experience has OSU coach Mark Osiecki optimistic for the upcoming season. “I think after last year and the experience we gained, I think that the youth that we have, there’s a lot of enthusiasm and excitement,” Osiecki said. The team’s growth, along with a number of other topics, including leadership, the CCHA, and the NHL lockout, were discussed heavily at OSU’s media day Oct. 1. Learning from 2011-12 OSU was one of the most inconsistent teams in the country last season. The Buckeyes were predicted to be a conference cellar dweller prior to the 2011-12 season but climbed to the top of the college hockey world by January, winning 14 of their first 19 games. OSU then fell off the face of the collegiate hockey earth, winning only one game in the final two-and-a-half months of the season. As disappointing as that was for OSU, it has them motivated to be better this year. “This year, having another year under our belt, we went through some of those highs and lows (last season) and we know what it takes to be consistent through the whole season,” said sophomore forward Max McCormick. What went wrong last season, according to junior forward Chris Crane, was a little bit of everything. One thing stood out though: poll watching. “I think we looked at (the rankings) a little bit too much, but I think the best thing we can take is it is something we can learn from,” Crane said. Osiecki has made sure that will not occur with this year’s squad. “At one of our preseason meetings, coach (Osiecki) talked about how to handle winning, and how to handle being successful. I think it’s something that we have to learn. There’s a process to it,” said senior defenseman Devon Krogh. Who’s going to wear the ‘C?’ For now, the Scarlet and Gray ‘C’s stitched to the sweaters of the OSU captains don’t have permanent homes. OSU had two captains all last season: former defenseman Sean Duddy and former forward Cory Schneider. This season, captains have yet to be named. “It’ll be interesting to see in terms of leadership. I think that’s one area where it’s going to be a team effort,” Osiecki said. “We’ve told them since day one … we’re going to continue evaluating it.” The Buckeyes have only four seniors, and Osieckisaid even the sophomores could be players that step up and lead. Rah-rah, in-your-face type leadership isn’t OSU’s style this season, though. “I think I’m a big believer in leading by example. They’re pretty big guys already – like grown up. So it’s little things like giving them advice before games,” Krogh said. Getting offensive Along with returning 20 letter winners, the Buckeyes also bring back five of their seven top scorers from the 2011-12 team. Crane and sophomore forward Ryan Dzingel led OSU last season with 24 points, and Osiecki wants his team to be more aggressive inside the blue line this year. “We want them to be more offensive and really put the pressure – I don’t want to say pressure, because pressure’s a bad word – but hold them accountable. We need Dzingel, Crane, McCormick, (sophomore forward Tanner) Fritz – they need to be offensive and they need to get looks at the net,” Osiecki said. Team speed should be an improvement this season as well, with freshman forward Anthony Greco – the team’s quickest player, Osiecki said – leading the bunch. “I think we’re a better skating team now than we were last year. We’re going to try to be a more pressure team, a more transition (team),” Osiecki said. On the road again OSU opens the season with six straight contests on the road: two at Minnesota Duluth, two at Quinnipiac and two at Bowling Green. Ten of the Buckeyes’ first 14 games are away from the Schottenstein Center. As young as OSU is though, with 17 freshmen and sophomores, going on the road early could be a benefit. “I think with a young team, it’s good to get on the road. It certainly brings you closer together,” Osiecki said. OSU concludes its regular season with eight of 12 games at home. The end of the season is when you want to be at home, in front of a raucous crowd gaining momentum for the postseason, Krogh said. “That’s when you really want to play well, going into the playoffs. So I think that’ll help,” he said. Goodbye CCHA, hello Big Ten The CCHA is disbanding after this season. Starting in 2013-14, OSU, along with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin, will form the first-ever Big Ten men’s hockey conference. Osiecki said OSU is already starting to reap the benefits of being a Big Ten hockey school, most notably in recruiting. “Especially if you’re in the state of Minnesota, or if you use recruiting differently in certain areas, but in Minnesota, it helps us get in the door of a household,” Osiecki said. “Does it help us land a kid? Maybe not yet, but it certainly opens the door now.” NHL lockout Columbus is home to another major hockey team: the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. For the time being, though, OSU is the only squad that Ohioans will be able to watch play. The NHL lockout has delayed the start of the Blue Jackets’ season, which means OSU could be featured more prominently in Columbus’ hockey spotlight. “Are we going to have a few more fans come in? I’m not sure. It’s a different style, a different brand. It’s obviously a little bit more affordable for families (than the NHL),” Osiecki said. One thing NHL fans that stop by the Schottenstein Center to watch OSU play can expect, Osiecki said, is an effort unlike that in the NHL. “College guys give it every single game. There’s two games a weekend. That’s it. They’re not playing 82 games. It’s such a different brand of hockey,” Osieck said. Building a program Osiecki, a Minnesota native and former NHL defender, is entering his third season at the helm of the OSU men’s hockey program. Despite the Buckeyes’ struggles at the end of last season, OSU’s coach and his staff are pleased with the way their program is developing. This season’s team, more than the previous two squads Osiecki has led at OSU, truly displays what college hockey should be about, the coach said. “When they step on the ice, or stepping in the locker room, they’re ready to go. The mentality of being a hockey player has really changed. It’s been fun to see that growth,” Osiecki said. OSU players have been itching to get on the ice as much as possible since last season ended, Osiecki said, and it’s something the coach loves to see. “You’ve got guys coming in this year – for the first time in the three years we’ve been here – you’ve got guys asking, ‘There’s open ice, can we go out and skate? Can we just go out and shoot pucks?’ No one ever asked that question before,” Osiecki said. OSU, with a storied football program and elite men’s basketball team, likely will never be a typical “hockey school.” It’s getting closer to being one, though. “My first year coaching at North Dakota, it was a great experience for me. The ice was there all day and kids came in periodically throughout the day and skated. They wanted to be a hockey player. I think we’re getting closer to that when kids are coming here, wanting to be a hockey player,” Osiecki said. OSU opens its season with an exhibition game Sunday against Waterloo at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes open the regular season Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. against Minnesota Duluth in Duluth, Minn. read more

Russell struggles as Ohio State mens basketball season ends with 7358 loss

For a half of basketball, the No. 10 seed Ohio State men’s basketball team was keeping pace with the No. 2 seed Arizona Wildcats for the right to head to the Sweet 16.But after trailing by just one at halftime, OSU (24-11) fell to Arizona (33-3) 73-58 on Saturday, ending its season in Portland, Ore.The Buckeyes were outrebounded by 17 for the game, and committed 12 turnovers as the Wildcats move on to the Sweet 16 and are set to take on the winner of Xavier vs. Georgia State in Los Angeles on Thursday.After a 28-point performance against Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday night, freshman guard D’Angelo Russell struggled in the first half shooting, as he made just 2-of-11 shots from the field.Russell, however, dished out five assists and added three rebounds in the first frame to keep the pace for the Buckeyes, as they trailed the favored Wildcats, 26-25, at halftime.He finished with nine points and six helpers for the game. He shot just 3-of-19 from the field.Arizona opened the second half pulling down rebounds and burying multiple shots from long range, led by junior guard Gabe York, who finished with 19 points, 15 of which came from deep.The Wildcats led by as many as 13 before OSU cut the deficit to eight with just under eight minutes to play.Within the minute Arizona’s lead swelled back to 13 as the Wildcats never trailed in the second half.Senior forward Sam Thompson, who scored just two points in the win over VCU on Thursday, scored seven points in the first half and added two blocks. He finished with a team-high 18 points in the game.Fellow senior, guard Shannon Scott added 10 points for the OSU, but also committed four turnovers in his final game as a Buckeye.Arizona senior guard T.J. McConnell, who lost to OSU two years ago in the Sweet 16, led the Wildcats with 19 points while adding six assists to go along with five steals.The loss means the end of the season for the Buckeyes, and the end of the OSU careers for Scott, Thompson, senior centers Amir Williams and Trey McDonald and redshirt-senior forward Anthony Lee.Russell, is a projected lottery pick in the 2015 NBA Draft but has not yet announced a decision as to whether he will return to OSU for a sophomore season. read more

Mens basketball Ohio State hires Chris Holtmann as head coach

Butler head coach Chris Holtmann directs his team during the first half against Virginia in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Virginia advanced, 77-69. Credit: Courtesy of TNSOhio State announced it has hired Butler head coach Chris Holtmann to replace Thad Matta, who was fired Monday. Holtmann, the 14th head coach in OSU history, has agreed to an eight-year contract worth about $3 million annually, according to the press release.The initial report of Holtmann’s hire was first reported by Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch.“Chris is focused on academics, is a high-integrity person, a relentless recruiter with Midwestern ties and a proven winner,” said Athletics Director Gene Smith in the press release. Smith spoke about the importance of recruiting the Midwest at Monday’s press conference announcing Matta’s firing.Holtmann, who agreed to an extension with Butler through the 2024-25 season, spent the past three seasons at the helm of Butler. Last season, the Bulldogs finished 25-9 – Butler’s best record since 2012-13 – and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2010-11 season, losing to eventual-national champion North Carolina.Butler finished with over 20 wins and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament in Holtmann’s first and second years as head coach.He was originally hired by the Bulldogs as an assistant coach in 2013, and spent a season in the position. In October 2014, he was named interim head coach when Brandon Miller took a medical leave of absence. Butler went 10-4 before the interim tag was removed on Jan. 2, 2015.The 45-year-old began his head coaching career at Gardner-Webb in 2010. His first two years in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, his team finished 11-21 and 12-20. But in his third and final year, the Runnin’ Bulldogs improved, achieving a 21-13 record and earning Holtmann a job offer as an assistant coach from Butler.Prior to being a head coach at Gardner-Webb, Holtmann spent 12 years as an assistant coach at Geneva (1998-1999), Taylor (1999-2003), Gardner-Webb (2003-2008) and Ohio (2008-2010). He was an assistant under former OSU assistant John Groce at Ohio.He has experience recruiting in the Buckeye State, as Butler reeled in commitments from Ohioans in each of its past three recruiting classes. His 2017 recruiting class is the No. 34 ranked class in the nation, according to 247Sports, and features 6-foot-6 small forward Kyle Young, a four-star prospect from Massillon, Ohio.In six years as a head coach, Holtmann owns an overall record of 114-85 and has reached the NCAA Tournament appearances on three occasions.Matta, who also coached at Butler, won 337 games at OSU, the most in program history. He presided over a program that reached the Final Four twice and reached the NCAA Tournament on nine occasions. Matta’s OSU teams won five Big Ten championships and won the conference tournament four times in his 13 seasons. read more

Carrie Fisher bought new home in London before she died

first_imgDisney, which owns the franchise, confirmed that “production had wrapped” on the film, which will see her reprise her role from last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, before her death.Film-makers remained tight-lipped about what would happen in the final planned episode of the film franchise.A documentary film about Fisher and her mother, veteran Hollywood star Debbie Reynolds, called Bright Lights, is still due to air next year.Premiered in Cannes in May, it follows the colourful family behind the scenes of their home for a heartfelt look at how Fisher cared for her mother as she went on performing at the age of 84. Sharon Horgan & I pretending we like each other while filming Catastrophe in London…..Succeeding! pic.twitter.com/TFsuRJ5sRS— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) December 19, 2016 Harrison Ford, her 74-year-old co-star with whom she had a youthful affair, said: “Carrie was one of a kind … brilliant, original. Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely.”Fisher, who became an international screen star when she appeared in the first Star Wars film in 1977, died in California on Tuesday morning, a family spokesman said.Her Star Wars legacy is set to continue as she returns as General Leia Organa in Star Wars: Episode VIII, due for release next December. Fisher’s main home was next door to her mother, Debbie ReynoldsCredit:Jill Connelly/AP Fisher in her most famous role, Princess Leia Fisher's main home was next door to her mother, Debbie Reynolds Carrie Fisher appearing on the Graham Norton show in DecemberCredit:PA Fisher had been in the UK to film scenes from the third series of Catastrophe, the comedy starring Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney as a newly-married couple and new parents.Fisher first appeared on the show in 2015, but had won a regular part as Delaney’s “awful” mother after Horgan persuaded her to join the cast. Carrie Fisher, the actress, had planned to move to a new home London before she died, buying a flat in Chelsea as a British base as she worked and spent time with friends.Fisher, who died this week at the age of 60, had hoped to build a stable part-time life while in London, after visiting regularly for work.Sources said she had bought a small Chelsea property while travelling in the UK for a recent publicity tour, inviting friends to visit her once she was settled in the new year. pic.twitter.com/PqSKgkk1DC— Carrie Fisher (@carrieffisher) November 24, 2016 She had also spent time in London publicising her book The Princess Diarist, appearing on a Christmas special of panel show 8 Out of 10 Cats, and on The Graham Norton Show in a episode broadcast earlier this month.The book topped the Amazon bestseller list yesterday, as fans downloaded and bought it to learn more about the star.Tributes have continued to flood in for Fisher, with her ex-husband, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, writing: “Yesterday was a horrible day. Carrie was a special, wonderful girl. It’s too soon.” Carrie Fisher appearing on the Graham Norton show in December Fisher’s main home was next door to her mother, Debbie Reynolds, with Fisher walking over a small hill to visit her daily whenever she was in the United States.Though she was not planning to live in London full time, the actress had many friends and admirers in Britain, and was recently photographed walking her dog, Gary, here.She died on Tuesday, four days after suffering a cardiac arrest on a flight from London to Los Angeles.She had posed for a photograph with a fan in Marylebone on December 22, a day before the journey back to America. Fisher in her most famous role, Princess Leia in Star Wars Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more