Tommy Ford's job status on 'Martin' was among the best running jokes on television

Actor Tommy Ford, who died Wednesday at the age of 52, appeared in dozens of shows and movies throughout his career. But among his best known parts was that of Martin Lawrence’s friend on the 1990s sitcom “Martin.” A message posted on Ford’s social media accounts confirmed the actor died while “surrounded by his loving family. Please keep his family in your prayers as they go through this challenging time. He was so dearly loved by so many and for that lets all be grateful for a life well served.” Friends, including Lawrence, paid tribute to Ford following news of his death. “We were friends way before the Martin show and I’m glad we were able to show true friendship on-screen,” Lawrence wrote on…

Kiran Nagarkar: Forget the poor, in Mumbai even the rich are starved for open green spaces At 74, Kiran Nagarkar still has the razor-sharp sense of humour which is evident in his works. The Sahitya Akademi Award winning writer has an opinion on everything, be it the city of Mumbai or censorship in India, as we found out when we caught up with him before Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest 2016. Excerpts from our chat with the author of Ravan Eddie and Cuckhold: Not a happy bedtime story Nagarkar's play Bedtime Story — written in Marathi during and after the Emergency — retells the Mahabharata in a modern context. It was banned because of its controversial theme. There's a scene where Draupadi reprimands the Pandavas for wanting to turn her into a 'five-day roster... just because mummy said so'. Nagarkar says, "I ...

#FRONTROW: Shameless Kenyans turning the wheels of corruption In the beginning, there was a tenderpreneur, and the tenderpreneur became fabulously wealthy and lived happily ever after. The end. If you want all the deep, dark secrets of striking it rich overnight, they are not to be found here. If you were ambitious enough, you would have called the number in the classifieds the other day like everyone else. ‘Join corruption tenders and win government supply tenders without sweat,’ it said. The number was busy throughout as enterprising Kenyans checked in with this mystery advertiser with the deep, dark secrets to closing the door on poverty permanently. KENYANS LOVE A GOOD DEAL Kenyans love a good deal. That guy’s uncle’s cousin’s step-sister who knows someone at Ardhi House who can ’speed up’ things. The...

Disneyland Haunted Mansion painting sells for US$172,500 LOS ANGELES: An animatronic doll from Disneyland’s It’s a Small World ride and an original “stretching portrait” from the park’s Haunted Mansion attraction were the top-grossing items at a recent auction of Disney memorabilia in Los Angeles. The portrait brought in US$172,500 and the Small World animatronic doll sold for US$80,500 at Van Eaton Galleries’ “Souvenirs of Disneyland” auction. The gallery announced Monday that the auction raised more than US$1.2 million. Other popular lots included a collection of rare Disneyland postcards, which sold for US$69,000, and a sparrow from the Enchanted Tiki Room attraction that fetched US$34,500.--AP

Elijah Wood returns to TV with ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ When Elijah Wood took on the role of the hobbit Frodo Baggins in the famed Lord of the Rings trilogy, he was plunged into the world of Middle-earth, where he had to contend with dragons, Orcs, Ents and a Gollum. Wood’s new project, BBC America’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, finds him in the real world, but its weirdness could rival Middle-earth. He plays Todd Brotzman, an unlucky hotel bellhop suddenly thrust into a sci-fi flavoured mystery populated by an assortment of bizarre characters, including Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett), an eccentric, fast-talking sleuth who believes in the “fundamental interconnectedness of all things” and sees Brotzman as the Watson to his Sherlock. Gently, based on a popular novel by Douglas Adams, marks a return...

Why is it so expensive to adopt a child? Across the world, there are thousands of children in need of homes. In America, there are thousands of families looking for children to adopt. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Until you look at the price tag. Jonathan and Amanda Teixeira of Denver struggled for a couple of years to conceive before deciding to pursue adoption. After talking to friends who had gone through the process, the staggering price seemed insurmountable. “It’s infuriating,” Amanda said. “There are probably a lot of children who don’t have a home that would have one if it wasn’t for this ridiculously insane high cost.” In 2008, the most recent year for which the Child Welfare Information Gateway has statistics, more than 135,000 children were adopted in the United States...

Soil still warm enough to germinate vegetables planted from seed Temperatures turned cold this past week. Historically, we still have about three or four more weeks of warm weather so it probably will get warm again soon. But if you plant vegetables from seed, these cold soil temperatures should still be warm enough to germinate radish, peas, beets, possibly carrots and turnips.Raised beds in full sun and “fluffed up” with compost have the best chance of germinating seed during cold weather. If the soil is compacted and difficult to dig, it will stay cold and germination of seed will be slow, difficult and maybe impossible.If soil temperatures are suspiciously cool, peg the surface of the planting area with clear plastic and cover the edges with soil. After one week, cut a slit in the plastic ...

World of magical beasts BORROWING its title from one of the textbooks Harry Potter and his classmates studied at the Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizadry, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them marks author J.K. Rowling’s debut as a screenwriter. A spin-off from the Harry Potter film series, Fantastic Beasts boosts a darker storyline that is also teeming with political allegory. However, the film has the ability to draw you in, even if you are not a fan of the Harry Potter franchise. For Potterheads, the film will elicit lots of curious discussions about this new world of wondrous wizardry. The first of a five-part movie series, Fantastic Beasts is helmed by David Yates, who also directed the final four Harry Potter films. Although the film is ...