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'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths dead at 65

LONDON, March 29 (UPI) -- Tony Award-winning British actor Richard Griffiths has died after complications following heart surgery, his family said. He was 65.


The BBC confirmed his death Thursday.

Griffiths is perhaps best known for his role as Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon in the blockbuster film franchise. He also appeared opposite Potter portrayer Daniel Radcliffe in the stage production of "Equus."

"Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career," Radcliffe said in a statement to TMZ. "I was proud to say I knew him."

Griffiths' other credits include the movies, "Hugo," "Guarding Tess," "Ghandi," "Withnail and I" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," as well as the TV series "Pie in the Sky."


He won a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production of "The History Boys," and also starred in a film adaptation of the play.

The actor's most recent performance was opposite Danny DeVito last year in a West End staging of Neil Simon's comedy "The Sunshine Boys."

Griffiths is survived by his wife, Heather Gibson, TMZ said.

Report: ABC's Barbara Walters to retire next year

LOS ANGELES, March 29 (UPI) -- ABC News veteran and co-host of "The View" Barbara Walters is expected to announce in a few weeks her plans to retire in 2014, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Walters, 83, recently returned to "The View" after a weeks-long absence while she recovered from a concussion and a bout with chicken pox.

THR said she will stay on "The View" through next season to help whoever will replace outgoing panelist Joy Behar -- and possibly soon-to-be-ousted co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck -- get settled on the daytime chat show.

Current co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd have not discussed publicly any intention to leave the show.


ABC News declined to comment on THR's story about Walters' 2014 retirement.

Devin Velez eliminated from 'American Idol'

LOS ANGELES, March 29 (UPI) -- Devin Velez became the latest contestant sent home on the singing competition series "American Idol" in Los Angeles.

Aspiring singers are bounced from the show as the result of a combination of the celebrity judges' critiques and viewer votes.

Velez was eliminated on Thursday's edition of the show after he sang "Impossible" by Perry Como. The judges have a collective one-time-only save option but did not choose to exercise it to keep Velez on the show.

Ryan Seacrest is host of the show. Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, Randy Jackson and Nicki Minaj are the judges.

TNT orders reality series 'Nashville Confidential'

NASHVILLE, March 29 (UPI) -- TNT says it has ordered a new unscripted docudrama series called "Nashville Confidential," which will go behind the scenes of the country music world.

The cable network said Thursday it has ordered eight episodes of the show and expects it to premiere in early 2014.


"'Nashville Confidential' is set in and around the high-stakes country music business based in Nashville, Tenn. Centering on some of Nashville's most compelling power couples, the show provides an alluring and unprecedented glimpse behind the scenes of one of America's most unique, vibrant and competitive cities," a synopsis said.

TNT did not announce casting for the series.

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