Kenneth Branagh knighted by queen
Kenneth Branagh, who has played royalty on stage and screen, has been made a real-life knight by Queen Elizabeth II.
The British actor said he was pleased to be honored in the year of the queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics. He said that “it’s been a hell of a year for the U.K., and I feel very honored to be a tiny part of it.”
Belfast-born Branagh was knighted at a Buckingham Palace ceremony Friday for services to drama and for his charity work in Northern Ireland.
Best known as a Shakespearean actor and as TV detective “Wallander,” Branagh joins the pantheon of theatrical knights alongside the late Sir Laurence Olivier — whom Branagh played in “My Week With Marilyn.”
He has also directed films including “Henry V.”
‘Family’ actress’s mom denies abuse claims
The mother of “Modern Family” actress Ariel Winter denies allegations that she physically and emotionally abused her 14-year-old daughter.
Chrisoula Workman has filed court documents objecting to the actress being placed in a guardianship. Winter has been living with her older sister since early October, when a judge temporarily stripped Workman of custody after allegations she had been physically and emotionally abusive to the actress.
Workman’s filing states she would be willing to undergo joint counseling if it helped her regain custody.
Winter has been an actress since age 7 and plays Alex Dunphy on the hit ABC series.
Attorney Michael Kretzmer represents Winter’s sister and says it’s unfortunate the case has become public but that the court had a basis for granting the temporary guardianship.
Judge to consider DNA in Hemsley case
EL PASO, Texas
A man who says he is Sherman Hemsley’s brother is expected to reveal the results of a DNA test to a judge in Texas in an effort to prove his claim for a share of the late actor’s estate.
Richard Thornton, of Philadelphia, challenged the validity of Hemsley’s will, which names the actor’s longtime friend, Flora Enchinton of El Paso, as sole beneficiary. “The Jeffersons” star died of lung cancer July 24.
Thornton is scheduled to appear at the probate court in El Paso on Friday.
The actor’s refrigerated remains remain at an El Paso funeral home amid the estate dispute.
‘Philly sound’ singer Major Harris dies
Major Harris, a former member of the “Philadelphia sound” soul group the Delfonics and singer of the 1975 hit “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” has died.
His sister Catherine Thomas told The Associated Press the 65-year-old died Friday at a Richmond hospital from congestive heart and lung failure.
The Richmond native made the rounds with several music groups in the 1960s, including the Charmers, Frankie Lymon’s Teenagers and Nat Turner’s Rebellion.
He then joined the Delfonics in the early 1970s.