Prince, who has died at 57, joined Times pop music critic Ann Powers for a rare in-person interview in 2009 to talk about music, technology, religion and more. This story originally ran in The Los Angeles Times on Jan. 11, 2009. It was 11 p.m. on the night before New Year's Eve, and I was doing something I hadn't expected would crown my 2008: sitting in Prince's limousine as the legend lounged beside me, playing unreleased tracks on the stereo. "This is my car for Minneapolis," he said before excusing himself to let me judge a few songs in private. "I don't do drugs or I'd give you a joint.
Poland's leading filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, whose career maneuvering between a repressive communist government and an audience yearning for freedom won him international recognition and an honorary Oscar, has died. Wajda had recently been hospitalized and died Sunday night, his colleague, film director Jacek Bromski, told the Associated Press. Wajda trod on ground controlled by communist-era censors with "Man of Marble," which looked at the roots of worker discontent in communist Poland in the 1950s, and "Man of Iron" on the rise of the Solidarity movement. In 2000, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement. By that time, four of his films, including "Man of Iron" and Katyn," had been nominated in the foreign film category.
Editor's note: Tom Hayden, one of the nation's best-known champion of liberal causes, has died in Santa Monica at the age of 76. Hayden served a total of 18 years in the California Assembly and state Senate, mounting a bid for governor in 1994. This article first appeared in the Los Angeles Times on May 22, 1994. This is serious stuff, this business of running for governor. So why is Tom Hayden -- the activist with the angry edge, the man who thwarted the Establishment during the Vietnam War, the non-glamour half of Jane and Tom, the man whose sober warnings of California crises have been uttered regularly for years -- why is he having fun?
A USC theater department student sits alone in a friend's apartment, engrossed in the premiere of the ABC miniseries "Roots: The Saga of an American Family." The 19-year-old is excited that the TV adaptation of Alex Haley's epic bestseller is finally on the air. He hopes others are watching but isn't sure if they are. The following day, the student visits his mother in Sacramento, and they and friends watch the second installment of "Roots," which chronicles how Kunta Kinte, the young African captured by white traders and transported to America, was sold into slavery. It's not until the next day, Jan. 25, 1977, that the student realizes others had indeed seen "Roots"--an awareness that comes at the same time he realizes that his life has changed.
For months, FX's "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" has captivated viewers as it revisited the occasionally fictionalized events surrounding the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and the subsequent investigation and trial. The crime was a Los Angeles tragedy through and through, with the trial taking place just a couple of blocks away from the Los Angeles Times building in downtown L.A. As evidenced by recurring mentions throughout the run of the series, The Times covered the events surrounding the Simpson circus from the first. It seemed only appropriate then to dig into our archives and see if we could answer some burning questions from the first season of "American Crime Story." Robert Kardashian stood by his friend, O.J. Simpson, throughout Simpson's murder trial.