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(LOS ANGELES) -- The young stars of ABC's Modern Family will be staying put for a while.

The sitcom's core kid stars -- Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland and Ariel Winter -- all have  gotten "significant" pay bumps, sources tell Variety.

The shows other child actors -- Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who plays Lily, and Jeremy Maguire, who plays Joe -- joined the series later on in its run and still have more time left on their contracts.

The deals mark the end of lengthy negotiations that locked down the entire cast for the show's ninth and 10th seasons. Adult cast members Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell previously inked deals that upped their salaries to $500,000 per episode -- a roughly $150,000 per episode increase from their previous contracts.

Ed O’Neill -- a more recognizable name than his co-stars at the time the show made its debut in 2009, thanks to Married with Children and other projects -- already commanded a higher salary, and has a larger profit stake than the rest of his co-stars.

ABC and 20th Century Fox Television have not commented on the new deals.

Modern Family, renewed for two more seasons back in May, returns in September.

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ABC/Randy Holmes

(LOS ANGELES) -- Johnny Depp has reportedly fired the latest salvo in his ongoing lawsuit against his former business managers.

Britain's Daily Mail claims that it has obtained court documents in which the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales star is demanding that allegations he has "psychological issues" and a "compulsive spending disorder" be stricken from his $25 million legal battle with The Management Group.

Citing the court papers, the U.K. newspaper reports Depp is claiming that his former business managers added “irrelevant and improper” statements to their response to the lawsuit, which he believes constitutes "inflammatory material" for no other reason than to “viciously attack" him in the public arena.

The 54-year-old actor filed a multi-million dollar fraud lawsuit in January against TMG, whom he fired in 2016. He filed the suit after his new managers alleged financial misconduct on the part his former advisors.

In response, TMG claimed that Depp enjoyed a lavish, $2 million-a-month lifestyle, in spite of their repeated warnings.

The countersuit seeks a judge's ruling that Depp is to blame for his financial troubles, and $560,000 in fees TMG claims it is owed.

Depp next will be seen starring opposite Daisy Ridley, Kenneth Branagh and Penélope Cruz in the whodunit Murder on the Orient Express, opening nationwide in November.

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Warner Bros. - 2017(LOS ANGELES) -- Some of DC comics' biggest superheroes team up for the upcoming Justice League movie, but rounding up its stars for last-minute reshoots is proving to be a headache -- and a costly one at that -- setting the studio back $25 million, according to Variety.

The biggest snag involves Henry Cavill, who plays Superman in the film. He's already moved on to his next project, the sixth Mission: Impossible movie, for which he's grown a mustache. Paramount, the studio distributing the Mission: Impossible sequel, refused to let him shave it during filming, forcing Warner Brothers, the studio behind Justice League, to digitally remove it in post-production.

Likewise, Ezra Miller, who plays the Flash, is busy shooting the sequel to last year's blockbuster, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Since the film is also a Warner Brothers property, the studio has made Miller available for both films, but getting his schedule to coincide with his co-stars has been difficult.

Justice League's other big stars, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot -- who play Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively -- aren't working on any other projects at the moment, leaving them free for any additional filming.

Justice League opens nationwide in November.

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ABC/Paul Hebert(LOS ANGELES) -- The tables were turned on Monday night's episode of The Bachelorette.

Instead of bachelorette Rachel Lindsay visiting her suitors' homes, they visited her home in Dallas. Lindsay's father was missing in action, but the guys met the bachelorette's mother, sister, uncle, aunt, brother-in-law and cousin.

Peter went home first, and managed to make an amazing impression on everyone. The day went so well that when Eric stopped by the next day, Lindsay’s overprotective sister Constance found some red flags with the suitor. Constance told Eric that she wasn't sure the two were on "the same playing field," since Eric admitted he'd never been in love.

Still, the Baltimore native asked for Rachel's hand in marriage from her mom. And Rachel's mother gave her blessing for the two to continue their relationship.

But things got bad when Bryan stopped by. Constance said he lacked "sincerity," adding that it was hard for her to believe him when he said he had fallen in love after nine weeks of knowing Rachel.

Her mother agreed, telling Rachel: "You are in a bubble. We are outside that bubble."

Lindsey was upset that her family was grilling Bryan, who is clearly the front-runner. She admitted that she was "frustrated because the energy is totally different."

But Bryan survived long enough to trek with Lindsay and the other two remaining suitors -- Peter and Eric -- to Spain.

Each of the guys got a one-on-one date with Lindsay, and Eric was up first. The two hit it off, riding in a helicopter and sightseeing.

That amazing date was followed by one with Peter in a Spanish vineyard. Things heated up when Peter admitted that he wasn't sure he'd be ready to propose in two weeks’ time.

Lindsay replied, "I didn't come this far and put my life on hold to just have a boyfriend at the end of it."

Peter replies, "My hopes of pursuing a relationship with you beyond this point is with the thought that it would lead to engagement. Engagement is marriage."

Although the two both hoped to find "common ground," the conversation left Lindsay in tears.

Looking somberly at Peter, she added: "I don't have the answers for you."

When The Bachelorette returns, instead of seeing Bryan's one-on-one date, the "Men Tell All" special will air. Watch all of the drama go down next Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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ABC/Bob D'Amico(SAN DIEGO) -- The Marvel Universe has tapped Laurence Fishburne for a supersized role in their upcoming superhero film.

At San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, Marvel announced Fishburne is joining the cast of Ant-Man and the Wasp as Dr. Bill Foster. Foster, also known as Black Goliath, is a brilliant scientist who has the ability to grow in size.

Incidentally, Fishburne is one of the rare actors to jump from the DC cinematic universe to Marvel's -- he starred as Daily Planet boss Perry White in Man of Steel, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The actor will work alongside Michael Douglas' character of Dr. Henry "Hank" Pym, the originator of the size-shifting tech that Paul Rudd's Scott Lang steals/inherits in 2015's Ant-Man.

Also announced for the film was Michelle Pfeiffer, who will play Janet van Dyne, the superhero wife of Hank and the mother of Hope, played by Evangeline Lilly. In the comics version, Janet was noted as the original Wasp and the first wife of the original Ant-Man. She was also said to be the chairman of The Avengers.

As previously reported, rapper T.I. will be returning to the sequel as Dave, an associate of Paul Rudd's reformed cat burglar-turned superhero, as will scene-stealer Michael Pena as the motor-mouthed Luis.

Ant-Man and the Wasp hits theaters July 2018, from Marvel Studios, which like ABC News, is owned by Disney.

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ABC/Fred Lee(NEW YORK) -- In the new ABC limited-run drama Somewhere Between, Paula Patton plays a journalist and mom whose young daughter is murdered. However, the grieving mother is given a second chance when she's catapulted back in time seven days prior, giving her a chance to save her daughter's life and solve the crime before it happens. 

Patton, the ex-wife of singer Ryan Thicke and the mother of their son Julian, says she didn't know much about the project before she read it, but what was at stake for the character was an immediate hook. 

"That's what's great about this show is that...it starts with this idea of -- just the highest stakes, which is your child, right? But then it goes on this ride that's actually meant to be entertaining, meant to be fun. I mean there's a murder mystery, there's quite a bit of action. It's an entertaining ride with this high stakes idea behind it."

There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, Patton says. "She's on this race, this race against time, to change her fate, her daughter's fate. And then who she becomes because of that, you know? It's that idea, when you're back's against the wall, what happens? Who do become? And she becomes quite a beast to contend with."

Patton gives props to the writers, "They surprised me every time I read a new episode." 

Somewhere Between debuts Monday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.


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ABC Radio(NEW YORK) -- Hilary Duff got quite a scare last week when she returned home from a vacation with her son and discovered that her Los Angeles home had been burglarized.

"This is a scary and upsetting situation for anyone to go through, but Hilary is thankful that her family, her staff, her home and her pets are all safe," Duff's rep tells Entertainment Tonight. "That said, she has a significant security team in place that will work with the authorities on this incident and handle security measures moving forward."

The thief or thieves made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of jewelry, a source tells TMZ, which first broke the story.

The Younger star was vacationing in Canada with her five-year-old son, Luca, at the time of the robbery.

As of now there are no suspects, according to ET.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Jimmy Kimmel took to Twitter Friday to provide an update on his three-month-old son Billy and to share a photo of the infant, the first since Kimmel's emotional opening monologue in May, when he revealed that Billy had undergone open-heart surgery three days after his birth.

"Billy is 3 months old & doing great," the host of ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! tweeted, posting a photo of a beaming Billy. "Thx for the love & support. Please remind your Congresspeople that every kid deserves the care he got."

Kimmel's wife Molly McNearney tweeted a different photo of their son -- looking just as giggly, but in a different outfit -- writing, "Billy's looking out for a lot of his buddies at Children's Hospital. Remind your Congresspeople to protect them."

Kimmel -- who has a daughter, Jane, 3, with McNearney -- revealed Billy's health issue during a 13-minute monologue in early May. Billy was born on April 21.

At the time, Kimmel said Billy will "have to have another open-heart surgery in three to six months to close those holes, but they wanna wait until he's bigger, and then he'll have a third -- hopefully non-invasive procedure -- sometime maybe in his early teens to replace the valve he has now."

A tearful Kimmel also made a plea to preserve the Affordable Care Act, saying, "I saw a lot of families [at the hospital], and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child's life. It just shouldn't happen. Not here."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Sonequa Martin-Green as Lt. Commander Michael Burnham; CBS Interactive/Jan Thijs(SAN DIEGO) -- San Diego Comic-Con wrapped up this weekend and as is standard, the entertainment industry rolled out new trailers for some of the most anticipated movies and TV shows coming out this fall and next year.

CBS debuted a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery giving Trekkies a good look at Sonequa Martin-Green's Lt. Commander Michael Burnham and a brief glimpse of Rainn Wilson's Harry Mudd. It was revealed at SDCC that Burnham is the adopted sister of Spock and was raised by Spock's father Sarek.

The show is set 10 years prior to the five-year mission of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Original Series. STD features a new ship, new characters, and new missions and will premiere on September 24, 2017 on CBS TV before moving to CBS streaming platform.

Warner Bros. debuted the first trailer for the highly anticipated Steven Spielberg film Ready Player One, based on the best-selling novel by Ernie Cline. The story takes place in is set in a near-future where virtual reality is commonplace and is loaded with pop culture references. The movie will be released on March 30, 2018.

The director said he was skeptical about taking on the project. "I read the book and I said they're going to need a younger director for this," he said.

Netflix made a big impression with its trailer for Stranger Things, season 2. The runaway hit returns with its upside down supernatural craziness on October 27, 2017.

Also of interest was a spotlight panel for Blade Runner 2049 that featured director Denis Villeneuve and stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Jared Leto, who appeared as a hologram to introduce the panel.

Ford was asked if his goal was to reboot every franchise he'd ever been involved in, and the actor joked, "You bet your a** it is."

Blade Runner 2049 will be released October 6, 2017.

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The cast and director of “Thor: Ragnarok” at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA; Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney(SAN DIEGO) -- The Marvel panel was one of the highlights of San Diego’s Comic-Con over the weekend, and Chris Hemsworth and Thor were one of the main attractions. Hemsworth debuted new footage from the upcoming sequel, Thor: Ragnarok, opening in November.

Backstage, Hemsworth talked about reaction to Thor’s new short haircut, which he said has been pretty good so far, and explained why it was important in advancing the character.

“Part of the journey [was] to take it to a different place," he said. "To change the hair, change the look, change the costume, change the, the music, change the effects, the world. You know, the whole thing."

Thor also battles fellow Avenger, The Hulk -- played by Mark Ruffalo. Hemsworth says each lays a beating on the other, but “Thor wins” hands down.

Fans also saw the first footage from next year's Avengers film, Infinity War.The movie unites almost every Marvel screen superhero, but backstage, co-director Joe Russo said it’s really about Thanos -- the villain played by Josh Brolin -- who Russo called “Darth Vader for a new generation.”

"He's a very colorful character, he's sociopathic [and] he's also very spiritual," added Russo.

Another highlight was footage from 2018's Black Panther, which drew a standing ovation. Fans also appreciated the panel -- featuring nine black faces and one white guy -- the opposite of many Comic-Con panels. Director Ryan Coogler, an African American, spoke about what the comic meant to him growing up.

“I wanted to find a comic book character who looked like I did. And I remember going into the comic book shop and asking if they had any [with a character that looked like me] and the first one that [he] took me over to see was Black Panther.”

Marvel and ABC News are both owned by Disney.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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HBO/Helen Sloane(LOS ANGELES) -- (SPOILERS AHEAD) On episode two of Game of Thrones' seventh season, Daenerys, Cersei and Jon Snow meet with their respective allies, Samwell Tarly tries to help Jorah Mormont out of a scaly situation, Arya is reunited with a couple of long-lost friends, and Yara and Theon Greyjoy have a not-so-friendly reunion with their Uncle Euron. We begin on a dark and stormy night on Dragonstone…

Daenerys Targaryen meets with her advisers, Tyrion and Varys, on a very rainy evening to discuss plans for the conquest of Westeros. She thanks Varys for helping secure Dorne and House Tyrell as allies, but suddenly turns on him, questioning his trustworthiness since he previously served as an adviser to numerous other kings, including her enemy Robert Baratheon. Varys explains that his main concern is what's best for the people of Westeros, assuring her that he believes she'll serve them better than any other ruler he knows. Daenerys has Varys swear he'll never conspire behind her back, while she swears to him that if he ever betrays her she'll burn him alive.

Melisandre then shows up at Dragonstone. The Red Priestess tells Daenerys about "the prince who was promised" -- that is, the hero who will bring an end to "the Long Night." Melisandre says she believes Daenerys has a role to play in bringing about the prophecy, as does Jon Snow, whom she suggests Dany summon to Dragonstone to tell her about the ominous happenings north of the Wall. Tyrion tells Daenerys that he trusts Jon and thinks he'd be an important ally against Cersei. Daenerys asks Tyrion to send a raven inviting Jon to come to Dragonstone and to "bend the knee."

Daenerys then meets with Ellaria Sand of Dorne and Olenna Tyrell to discuss strategy for the invasion of King's Landing. It's decided that the forces of Dorne and House Tyrell will lay siege to King's Landing, while Greyworm's Unsullied attack House Lannister's seat, Casterly Rock.

After the meeting, Daenerys chats privately with Olenna Tyrell, who tells Khaleesi that the lords of Westeros are sheep and she is a dragon, so she should act like one.

As Greyworm prepares to leave for Casterly Rock, Missandei visits him in his room to say goodbye. Greyworm tells her that it's hard for him to say goodbye to her because she is his "weakness." Soon the two begin to kiss and then Missandei strips and begins to undress Greyworm, although he initially stops her because he's apprehensive about her seeing him naked, since he's a eunuch. They then proceed to make love.

Jon Snow receives Tyrion's invitation to Dragonstone and he, Sansa and Davos discuss whether it's wise for Jon to travel to meet with Daenerys. Sansa says it's too dangerous, while Davos points out that Daenerys's dragons would be powerful weapons against the undead army north of the Wall.

Jon then receives a message sent via raven from Samwell Tarly, informing him about the mountain of dragonglass buried beneath Dragonstone. He assembles the lords in the North to inform them about both Sam's and Tyrion's messages, and tells them he's decided to go to Dragonstone to meet with Daenerys. Although his allies, including Sansa, protest, Jon insists he must go, and tells Sansa that she will rule Winterfell in his absence.

Jon then visits the Stark's crypt beneath Winterfell, where he's approached by Littlefinger. Littlefinger points out that Jon never thanked him for his important role defeating the Boltons. He also tells Jon that he loves Sansa. Jon attacks Littlefinger, grabbing his throat and screaming, "Touch my sister and I'll kill you myself."

King's Landing
Queen Cersei tries rallying the lords of Westeros to ally with her against Daenerys. She depicts Daenerys' army as brutal savages, and reminds the lords how horrible Dany's father, the Mad King, was. Jaime Lannister, meanwhile, tries to secure the support of Lord Randyll Tarly -- Sam's dad and a bannerman of House Tyrell -- by asking him to serve as his ranking general and promising him the position of Warden of the South after the war ends.

Cersei visits catacombs beneath the Red Keep with Qyburn, who shows her a weapon he says can kill Daenerys' dragons -- a giant crossbow. Qyburn has Cersei shoot one of the weapon's arrows at a the skull of the huge dragon Balerion. The arrow pierces deep into the giant skull.

The Citadel
Jorah Mormont, whose greyscale now covers most of his upper body, is being examined by Archmaester Ebrose, while Samwell looks on. Ebrose tells Jorah that he may live another 10 or 20 years with the disease, but it will start affecting his mind within six months. Ebrose says Jorah will have to be shipped off to Valyria the next day to live out his life with others with the affliction. Sam discovers that Jorah is the son of the late Commander of the Night's Watch -- Jeor Mormont.

Sam discovers a treatment for greyscale but Ebrose tells him it's too dangerous and has been banned. Ignoring him, Sam secretly visits Jorah in his room and begins attempting the painful procedure, which involves cutting away the affected skin.

In the Woods
Arya is sitting in a pub, where she's been reunited with her old friend from King's Landing, Hot Pie. He then asks her where she's heading -- she says Kings Landing, to get Cersei. Hot Pie says he thought she'd be heading home to Winterfell, but Arya responds by asking why would she want to go there when the Boltons were ruling it. Hot Pie then informs her that the Boltons were defeated by Jon Snow, who is now King in the North. Arya quickly says goodbye to her friend, gets on her horse and heads to Winterfell.

While in the woods, Arya is surrounded by a pack of wolves, including a huge dire wolf. She recognizes the massive wolf as her old pet, Nymeria, which she drove off into to woods in season one to save it from being killed by Lannisters. She asks the dire wolf to come home with her to Winterfell, but the animal turns away and walks back into the woods with her pack.

On the Narrow Sea
Yara Greyjoy and her Iron Fleet are bringing Ellaria Sand and her late husband Oberyn's daughters -- Obara, Tyene and Nymeria -- back to Dorne. On the ship, the sisters, a.k.a. the Sand Snakes, discuss whom they will kill when they attack King's Landing. Meanwhile, Ellaria flirts with Yara and her brother, Theon. Yara tells Ellaria to leave Theon alone -- Theon having lost his manhood when he was Ramsey Bolton's prisoner. The two women then start to get intimate.

Suddenly, the ship is under attack. It's Yara and Theon's Uncle Euron, King of the Iron Islands, and his powerful Iron Fleet. A vicious battle ensues aboard Yara's ship, during which Obara and Nymeria are killed by Euron. Also during the fray, Ellaria and Tyene are taken captive by Euron's men. Eventually, Euron and Yara square off while Theon fights other enemies nearby. Theon hears Euron call out to him, and he sees that his uncle is holding an ax to Yara's throat. Euron challenges Theon to try to save his sister, but instead, Theon drops his sword and jumps overboard to save himself. 

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(L-R) JAMES D'ARCY as Colonel Winnant and KENNETH BRANAGH as Commander Bolton -- Warner Bros. Pictures 2017(NEW YORK) -- Dunkirk marched to the top of the weekend box office with an estimated $50.5 million debut. Overseas, the film -- starring Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy and One Direction's Harry Styles in his acting debut -- racked up an additional $55.4 million.

Girls Trip -- the R-rated comedy starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish -- finished in second place with an estimated $30.37 haul.

Spider-Man: Homecoming bowed in third place, earning an estimated $22 million. Internationally, it took in $33.2 million, bringing its worldwide total to $570 million. War for the Planet of the Apes took fourth place with $20.4 million.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, rounded out the top five with an estimated $17 million haul.

Wonder Woman tacked on another $4.6 million to its domestic total, surpassing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as the top-grossing film of the summer here in the states.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

1. Dunkirk, $50.5 million
2. Girls Trip, $30.37 million
3. Spider-Man: Homecoming, $22 million
4. War for the Planet of the Apes, $20.4
5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, $17 million
6. Despicable Me 3, $12.7 million
7. Baby Driver, $6 million
8. The Big Sick, $5 million
9. Wonder Woman, $4.6 million
10. Wish Upon, $2.47 million

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- Ben Affleck surprised the comic world's biggest fans at Saturday's Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The actor, who debuted as Batman in last March's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, appeared alongside his Justice League co-stars, including Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman; Henry Cavill, Superman; Ezra Miller, The Flash; Jason Momoa, Aquaman; and Ray Fisher, who plays Cyborg.

Affleck used the appearance at Comic-Con to dispute rumors that he's stepped away from playing the caped crusader in the planned new film, The Batman.

"I'm so thrilled to do it," Affleck told the cheering crowd.  "I know this is a misconception because I didn't direct it that maybe I wasn't enthusiastic about it -- it's f****** amazing."

"Certainly, if the Bat phone rings, I will answer,” Affleck told Entertainment Weekly

Affleck has signed on to make the third solo film, The Batman. Back in January, the actor stepped down from the film's directorial responsibilities.

After Affleck stepped down from directing The Batman, Warner Brothers tapped Matt Reeves -- writer and director of War for the Planet of the Apes. "I would be a f****** ape on the ground for Matt Reeves, never mind being Batman. It's incredible," Affleck told the Comic-Con crowd.

During the panel, a new trailer for Justice League also was revealed much to fans delight, and Gadot confirmed that a stand-alone Wonder Woman sequel is in the works.  No official word yet on whether or not Patty Jenkins will return as director.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 


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Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Actor John Heard [herd], perhaps best known as the dad in the first two Home Alone movies, and for an Emmy-nominated role in TV’s The Sopranos, died Friday.  California’s Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office confirmed his death to ABC News. Heard was 71, according to the medical examiner, though other sources give his age as 72.

Heard's rep did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, and the details of his death remain unknown.

Born John Matthew Heard in Washington, D.C., Heard’s more than four-decade career included hundreds of film, television and stage appearances -- making him one of those actors whose face was instantly recognizable, even if you couldn’t quite recall his name. 

He launched his career with a role in a 1974 off-Broadway production of The Wager, followed by a series of Broadway roles, including his Obie Award-winning performance in Shakespeare’s Othello in 1979.

The role that gave Heard his greatest exposure came when he portrayed dad Peter McCallister in the 1990 family comedy Home Alone and its 1992 sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He also earned an Emmy nomination in 1999 for his guest role on The Sopranos, where he portrayed crooked police Detective Vin Makazian.

Heard's film career also included roles in 1980s and 1990s classics like Big, Beaches, and The Pelican Brief.  Recent TV appearances includes guest roles on NCIS: Los Angeles, Elementary, MacGyver and APB.

Heard, who lived in Studio City, California at the time of his death, is survived by three children.

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(L-R) David Benioff and D. B. Weiss -- Getty Images/Steve Granitz(LOS ANGELES) -- When HBO announced it would be producing a new series, Confederate, involving an alternate timeline in which the south has seceded and slavery still exists, backlash was pretty severe.

Supergirl actor David Harewood tweeted, "Good luck finding black actors for this project." And writer Roxane Gay tweeted, "It is exhausting to think of how many people at @HBO said yes to letting two white men envision modern day slavery. And offensive."

But the show's creators, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss -- and their partners in Confederate, the African-American husband and wife writers and producers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman -- are defending the show and its premise. 

Speaking with Vulture, the team said they expected to take fire.  "We all knew it was coming in one form or another," Benioff said.  And Malcolm Spellman recalled reacting to the premise by saying, "You're dealing with weapons-grade material here."

"It goes without saying slavery is the worst thing that ever happened in American history," Weiss said.  "It's our original sin as a nation. And history doesn't disappear.  That sin is still with us in many ways."

But Confederate, he said is a "science-fiction show," and as such  "...can show us how this history is still with us in a way that strictly realistic drama ever could...."

Nichelle Spellman, who worked on The Good Wife, recalled the team's original meeting, saying, "I just remember being so excited -- and absolutely terrified at the same time."

"In this futuristic world, you could have this conversation in a straightforward manner without it being steeped in history," she said.

Nichelle understands people's concerns but adds, "I wish their concern had been reserved to the night of the premiere..." after they'd seen the program, none of which, the team adds, has even been written yet.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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