Archive for In The News

First-ever Oscars concert for nominated songs

Tonight, for the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a live concert as part of its Oscar Week events. The concert will celebrate this year’s nominated scores and songs.

The concert will take place at UCLA’s Royce Hall and will include an 80-piece orchestra performing “suites” from each of the nominated scores,conducted by their composers. The concert is open to the public, with tickets available via Ticketmaster for $75.00 or $100.00.

Charles Fox, the Governor of the Academy’s music branch, said, “We expect to have a full house because it’s really a one-of-a-kind concert. It’s never been done before and it’s featuring some of the world’s best composers.” He says that the Academy plans to make this an annual event that will be broadcast worldwide.

If it’s supposed to become an annual event, then it’s not really a one-of-a-kind event, is it? Unique, perhaps, to the Academy. After all, the Grammy Awards is a teeny bit concert-like, eh? They even finish each show, and often feature more than one, all-star jam.

Fox said that the concert is “Oscar’s celebration of music ” which will set a party-spirit tone for the week’s run-up to the main awards show. That may be, but if the concert is open to the paying public, it would also set a profitable tone for the Academy, especially if they do get the anticipated full house.

Scores

“The Book Thief” composed by John Williams
“Gravity” composed by Steven Price
“Her” composed by William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” composed by Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” composed by Thomas Newman

Songs

“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Performed by Jill Scott, with The Debbie Allen Dancers
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams

“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Performed by Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez
Music and Lyric by Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez

“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Performed by Cristin Milioti
Music by Karen O Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze

“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Performed by Matt Cermanski
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

HOSTED BY COMMON
86th Academy Awards Nominated songs and scores featuring the composers conducting their own music.

Moderator
Elvis Mitchell

Speaker
Richard Sherman

Scores
“The Book Thief” composed by John Williams
“Gravity” composed by Steven Price
“Her” composed by William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” composed by Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” composed by Thomas Newman

Songs
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Performed by Jill Scott, with The Debbie Allen Dancers
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams

“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Performed by Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez
Music and Lyric by Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez

“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Performed by Cristin Milioti
Music by Karen O Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze

“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Performed by Matt Cermanski
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Today’s celebrity news tidbits

LA police say speed may have caused fatal crash involving Salma Hayek’s brother

Lt. Andrew Neiman told the Los Angeles Times that Salma Hayek’s 40-year-old Sami Hayek may have been going too fast on a twisty section of Sunset Boulevard when he lost control of a Ford GT on Sunday afternoon. The car reportedly fishtailed, crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a pickup truck. The crash broke Hayek’s ribs and killed his passenger, photographer and Grammy-winning art director Ian Cuttler Sala. The pickup driver suffered a broken foot.
Lt. Neiman says no drugs or alcohol were involved.

Bieber bodyguard and bus driver arrested for stealing photographer’s camera

After a concert in Sandy Springs, Georgia, north of Atlanta, a 32-year-old bodyguard for Justin Bieber got into a fight with a photographer, whom the bodyguard said got too close to Bieber. The bodyguard and a 49-year-old bus driver followed the photographer to a parking lot and took his camera. The two men were arrested as they were arriving at a house Bieber were arrested.

Great. Now we have bodyguards who appoint themselves as judges and juries. Granted, some paparazzi are no angels, but if the reports are true, I hope these two face very unsympathetic judges and juries. Further I wish that Justin Bieber would just go away, and if he insists on some form of self-destruction, please do so in a way that sucks in the fewest bystanders, hangers-on, confidantes and otherwise unsuspecting members of the general public.

Director, writer, actor Harold Ramis dead at 69

Harold Ramis, a writer, director and actor whose off-beat but ultimately kindhearted sense of humor helped create iconic comedies like “Groundhog Day,” “Ghostbusters,” “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” to commercial and critical success, died on Monday in his Chicago-area home. He was 69.  The cause was complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a disease of the blood vessels, said Chris Day, a spokesman for United Talent Agency, which represented Mr. Ramis.
HaroldRamis_1
Ramis was extremely gifted at creating uproarious scenes and story lines featuring very memorable characters, among them a golf club’s groundskeeper obsessed with an elusive gopher,

Bill Murray ("Varl") and his nemesis, the gopher

Bill Murray (“Varl”) and his nemesis, the gopher

fraternity brothers at war with a college dean whose reason for living is to see them all expelled,

AnimalHouse_Grades

From “Animal House” Dean Wormer reads out the fraternity brothers’ grade-point averages

and a bored, disillusioned weatherman condemned to repeating Groundhog Day over and over.

BillMurray_GroundhogDay

Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day”

Another of his movies is “Stripes,” a 1981 film about military life written by Mr. Ramis with Dan Goldberg and Len Blum.  Bill Murray and Ramis lead their troop in finishing their basic training after their drill instructor is blown off a rope-climbing tower by a mortar launched at the insistence of the base commander, John Larroquette..

Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in "Stripes"

Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in “Stripes”

After a night of intense – and highly inventive – training, Murra and Ramis lead the troop to the parade ground, to the tune of “Doo Wah Diddy Ddy.”  Their dedication and resourcefulness is rewarded with an assignment to Europe to deploy with a armored, high-tech RV.  Brilliant!

Harold Ramis in "Ghostbusters"

Harold Ramis in “Ghostbusters”

Paul Weingarten wrote in The Chicago Tribune Magazine in 1983, “More than anyone else, Harold Ramis has shaped this generation’s ideas of what is funny.”

Mr. Ramis collaborated with the people who came to be considered the royalty of comedy in the 1970s and ’80s, notably from the first-generation cast of “Saturday Night Live,” including John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner.

He got his start in comedy in 1969 at Chicago’s famed Second City improvisational theater troupe, an incubator for many “Saturday Night Live” performers, including Mr. Belushi, Mr. Murray and Mr. Aykroyd.

Belushi went on to star in “Animal House,” which Mr. Ramis helped write. Mr. Murray and Mr. Aykroyd starred alongside Mr. Ramis in “Ghostbusters,” which he also helped write. And Mr. Murray starred in “Groundhog Day” (1993) and “Caddyshack” (1980) — both directed by Mr. Ramis — and “Meatballs” (1979), which was written by Mr. Ramis and Mr. Blum, Mr. Goldberg and Janis Allen.

Among his projects in later years was “Analyze This” (1999), a comedy he directed and wrote in collaboration, starring Billy Crystal as a psychiatrist and Robert DeNiro as his mobster patient.

Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal in "Analyze THis"

Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal in “Analyze THis”

Mr. Ramis is survived by his wife, Erica; his sons Julian and Daniel; his daughter, Violet; and two grandchildren.

Mr. Aykroyd issued a statement on Monday calling Mr. Ramis “my brilliant, gifted, funny friend,” adding, “May he now get the answers he was always seeking.”

A few celebrity news tidbits

Here are a few quick little items for you. I’ll come back later and expand on these a bit more. In the meantime, here you go:

David Crosby postponed his tour due to heart surgery
I had no idea he was touting! I wish him a speedy recovery, though.

ABBA costumes were designed to take advantage of Swedish tax laws
It seems that the costumes ABBA wore on stage, while performing all over the world, were purposely flamboyant so they would be tax write-offs. Of the outfits were showy enough, they would be considered as being too showy to possibly as part of every/day clothing, so they must have been designed for performances – and therefore, deductible. You know, every krone counts…

Phillip Setmour Hoffman’s will leaves bulk of his estate to his long-time girlfriend, and an offbeat stipulation for his son
Hoffman requested that his son line on New York City, or Chicago, Illinois or San Francisco, California so he could be near the arts, culture and architecture that such cities offer.
That’s nice but so would have expected for Hoffman to allow for some slightly more definitive plans for his son’s health and welfare- in particular, providing a little financial security.

Erin Andrews to replace Brooke Burke as co-host on DWTS

Oh, come on now!

Redskins - Cowboys game

Redskins – Cowboys game

Erin Andrews will be making a return to ABC and its “Dancing With the Stars” show, except this time she’ll be hosting, according to a report.  The Fox Sports sideline reporter is going to be the new co-host of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” two sources tell The Big Lead. The network is expected to make the announcement Monday. An ABC spokesperson didn’t return a call Saturday evening seeking comment.

ABC announced Friday that Brooke Burke, who had been Tom Bergeron’s co-host on DWTS for the last seven seasons, would be leaving the show.  ErinAndrews_DWTS_Maxim_3

Andrews is not leaving Fox Sports, sources say. She will continue her sports duties – sideline reporting, hosting – for Fox, and co-host Dancing with the Stars on ABC during the week. Michael Strahan of Fox Sports has a similar deal – he co-hosts “Live with Kelly and Michael” during the week for ABC.

ErinAndrews_DWTS_Maxim_2 ABC knows Andrews well. She competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2010 and finished in third place. Also, she was a college football sideline reporter and host at ESPN from 2004-2012. In a much-publicized move, Andrews left ESPN for Fox Sports in June 2012.

According to the Wrap, Dancing with the Stars has been hemorrhaging viewers over the last few seasons.TOM BERGERON, ERIN ANDREWS,  MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY

So we have our answer.  ABC has decided that Erin Andrews is the cure for what ails Dancing With the Stars.  Yeah, good luck with that.

Long-time journalist Garrick Utley dead, at 74

 

Utley_GarrickGarrick Utley, a member of the old guard of world news reporter/journalists, has died of prostate cancer at age 74.

Gertje Utley said Friday that her husband of 40 years died Thursday night at his home in New York City.  “He has been fighting – as you always call it – prostate cancer for two years,” she said. “He had a very, very rare, very aggressive kind.”

Utley was hired by John Chancelor as an office assistant at NBC’s bureau in Brussels, Belgium.  He worked as a reporter for the Huntley-Brinkley Report, then went to Vietnam to start the network’s office there.  He was the only one there at the time, but by the time he left, there was a staff of 20 in Saigon.

He went on to serve as bureau chief in Berlin from 1966 to 1968 and then in Paris, where he met his wife in 1971. From 1973 to 1979, he was chief foreign correspondent for Europe and the British Isles.
GarrickUtley
He was a constant presence at the network, acting as a weekend anchor of “NBC Nightly News” and a moderator of “Meet the Press,” in addition to continuing his work as a correspondent. He left NBC after it was bought by General Electric, moving to ABC, but left  ABC after it was bought by Disney.  He then shifted to CNN, where he worked as a contributor.

CNN Editorial Director Richard T. Griffiths said in an e-mail to colleagues on Friday. “In his calm, measured, voice anchoring on 9/11 and in countless pieces, Garrick delivered thoughtful analysis that always raised the bar.

“Garrick was the consummate gentleman in every encounter. He was relentlessly curious, passionate about storytelling, and unafraid to take on the controversial topics. Those here in those days learned so much from Garrick… He left a mark. We can all hope to do the same.”

Upon leaving CNN in 2002, his farewell message noted advice he had received many years earlier, from Chancellor. “Keep your voice low and your sentences short.”

It’s a damn shame that there are so few on-air reporters who abide by that advice these days.  Instead, we have boatloads of “entertainers” who shout at us and are lost without their clever, clever “signature” catch-phrases and over-animated delivery.  That’s precisely why I appreciate a sportscaster like Vin Scully as opposed to a puffed-up presenter like Chris Berman and the legions of wannabes he has so unfortunately inspired.

Brooke Burke fired as co-host on Dancing With the Stars

Noooooooooooooo!

This is outrageous!  Have the producers of Dancing With the Stars gone completely loco?  Brooke Burke has been eliminated as co-host to Tom Bergeron on the popular celebrity dance competition/reality show – and that makes me steaming mad.

Brooke Burke was the only reason I ever watched that show.  I watch the opening, just to see what she’s wearing, say out loud, “Oh my God!” then flip the channel when she goes off camera.  I certainly don’t want to watch Cloris Leachman or Warren Sapp waddle around the stage, barely moving around, doing very little actual dancing.  I want to see my Brooke!

She joined the show in 2008 as a competitor, and she eventually won the competition.  Here she is, with her dance partner, Derek Hough.  She then replaced Samantha Harris as co-host for Season 10.

Dancing With the Stars - 2008

Dancing With the Stars – 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing With the Stars 2oo8

Dancing With the Stars 2008

 

People.com found that she Tweeted her ousting overnight Friday.

weird day….Shocking pre-season elimination …ME. @Tom_Bergeron didn’t even read my name. I won’t be returning to the show this season.

In a statement, she said, “I have enjoyed seven seasons co-hosting DWTS but understand the need for change considering the position of the show at this juncture.”

There have already been a lot of changes made to the competition, which will be enter its its 18th season. This past season, the Tuesday results show was eliminated, with the eliminated contestants being sent home at the beginning of the Monday night episode.

Earlier this month, USA TODAY reported that the producers released its 28-member band and its leader, Harold Wheeler.

Let me ask the show’s brilliant producers – do you really think that Brooke Burke was part of the reason for the show’s declining ratings, and do you really think getting rid of her will help the show vault back to its once-lofty ratings perch?  I don’t think so!  Aaaarrgghh!
Riviera Maya, Mexico - May 12, 2013

Riviera Maya, Mexico – May 12, 2013

Pink Party - October 19, 2013

Pink Party – October 19, 2013

Dior Party - Hollywood, Jan 8

Dior Party – Hollywood, Jan 8

"Planes" premiere - Aug. 5, 2013.

“Planes” premiere – Aug. 5, 2013.

Selena Gomez – the latest celebrity rehab tale

21-year-old Selena Gomez, who has had an on-again/off-again relationship with Justin Bieber, was admitted to Dawn at The Meadows Recovery Centre in Arizona on January 5, and spent two weeks at the facility, which treats people aged 18 to 26 years old who are “struggling with emotional trauma, addiction or dual diagnosis concerns.”

Getting a Slurpee in Los Angeles - February 11, 2014

Getting a Slurpee in Los Angeles – February 11, 2014

Her representative tells MailOnline, “Selena voluntarily spent time at Meadows but NOT for substance abuse.”

Although her reps have denied this, Star claims that the singer was “heavily into the drug Molly (which contain MDMA)’ and was using prescription drugs like Xanax and Ambien. The former Disney child star was urged to seek help by those close to her amid concerns her partying was getting out of control. Meanwhile, TMZ claimed that Selena blames her ex-boyfriend Justin for her “predicament.”

Another source has told Radar, “Her friends and family became increasingly worried that there might be a serious problem with Selena. Particularly, her parents. The partying was, at times, wild. They wanted to help her – and they very much encouraged her to go to rehab. Others very close to her also urged her to seek professional help.”

Selena – who reportedly “regularly” smoked marijuana with Justin – had been due to tour Australia this month but cancelled the tour. At the time of the cancellation, it was reported that Selena was suffering from Lupus disease, although this was not confirmed or denied by her reps. In a statement to her fans about cancelling her shows, Selena said she needed to “spend some time on myself in order to be the best person I can be.”

Performing at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit - November 26, 2013

Performing at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit – November 26, 2013

She added, “My fans are so important to me and I would never want to disappoint them. But it has become clear to me and those close to me that after many years of putting my work first, I need to spend some time on myself in order to be the best person I can be.”

At the time, a source close to the singer added that Gomez needed a break from her busy acting and touring schedule. “She’s been working nonstop since she was 15 and she wants to take a minute to herself,” the source said. She was said to be doing well. A source said, “Selena is now happy and very healthy and already getting back to work.”

As you may already have guessed, that’s not the end of the story.

Now it seems that she has tuned to alcohol after fleeing rehab just weeks ago. She apparently re-embraced alcohol by posting a happy hour selfie on Instagram. Selena’s photo of herself appears to show her drinking a cocktail amid addiction rumors.

It isn’t completely certain whether she was actually drinking alcohol or not, but the picture has caused some uproar, considering the fact that she so recently spent time in rehab. She quit after only two weeks into the 45-day program in order to go to Sundance and then said she was cured so she didn’t need to return. Her rep claims that she’s got no problems handling her alcohol.

It seems, however, as if she’s not paying much attention to the public conjecture and negative comments. “Extra whip cream please!” she posted alongside the photo with her drink. “Dessert before dinner. Duh.”

During a night out at Sketch in Mayfair, London  - February 17, 2014

During a night out at Sketch in Mayfair, London – February 17, 2014

Instagram picture

Instagram picture – any alcohol in that drink?

Unlike most other celebrities who undergo rehab “visits,” I’m actually hoping for the best for Selena. More often than not, when I’ve seen her interviewed, she has seemed like a pretty decent person – pretty much down to Earth, not full of herself, without the sort of over-inflated sense of self-worth that plagues so many celebrities – such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z and Jennifer Lopez, for example – so it’s somewhat disappointing to learn of her struggles. Normally I wouldn’t care very much, or have much sympathy for her situation, however self-inflicted it may be.  I’m hoping that there are people close to her who are concerned enough to try to ensure that she gets the kind of no-nonsense help she needs.

Ellen Page Is PROUD To Be Gay!

In a heart felt speech given at the Human Rights Campaign, Ellen Page has announced to the world that she is proud to be gay. Saying “I am here because I AM GAY.” Standing ovation was received for a good 45 seconds. It is such a sad world we live in when a beautiful woman such as Ellen has to hide who and what she is because of a society that looks down on her lifestyle. A society that says that that being gay is wrong. That she and many others around this world have to hide who they truly are for fear of losing their job, not getting that promotion they worked to hard for, getting put down as being immoral or wrong, and having to fear for their safety. What is this world when we are in the year 2014 and people still have to be afraid of who and what they are?! We say as a nation that we want to move forward and be better. Well, times are changing. I can’t speak for my readers but I can speak for myself. Ellen Page, I am proud of you. I am proud that you really don’t give a shit what they say about you. You are a good actress and a good person. Just because you are gay doesn’t make you a horrible or immoral person. You are just A PERSON!!

 

On the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

As surely almost everyone must know by now, Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died on Sunday morning, February 2nd, 2014, of an apparent heroin overdose.  The needle was still in his arm.  Police found seventy baggies of heroin in his Greenwich Village apartment, at least 50 of which were unopened.

According to TMZ.com, Hoffman had been clean and sober for 25 years but relapsed in 2012.  Le leaves behind three children – Tallulah Hoffman, Cooper Alexander Hoffman, Willa Hoffman – whom he had with his longtime girlfriend, Mimi O’Donnell.

His Oscar for Best Actor came for his performance in 2005′s Capote.  He also had notable performances as a young man in Scent of a Woman in 1992, in Boogie Nights in 1997, as The Big Lebowski’s personal assistant in, of course, cult classic The Big Lebowski, a brilliant know-it-all medical student and rival to Robin Williams in Patch Adams, a long-ago-faded child actor in Along Came Polly in 2004 and of course, as author Truman Capote in 2005′s Capote.  I am, of course, leaving out many other roles in movies big and small.

I could not argue that he was not talented, because he was very talented, and successful and well-liked.  His talent brought him fame and some degree of wealth.  All of that is ok.  He was a good actor, and by all accounts worked hard to be successful, so I can hardly begrudge him any good fortune he may have realized.  Although he was very talented, I could not say, as I heard one TV network news reporter, that he was one of the greatest actors of his generation.  No, I don’t believe I would go quite that far.

Let’s not forget, however, that he was also a drug addict whose addiction ultimately led to his death by overdose.  In this sense, he was no better or worse than any other addict who overdoses and dies.  Simply because he was famous and successful should not blunt us to this sobering fact.  In this sense, I don’t think it is fair or reasonable to mourn his passing any more bitterly than any other addict who kills himself.  Being famous and successful does not in and of itself merit any greater degree of grief than a seemingly nameless, faceless average Joe or Jill who dies with a needle stuck in his or her arm.

And I would also argue that while his passing is surely a waste of his potential – after all, who knows what performances were in his future? – is it really any more of a waste than the passing of a schoolteacher or mechanic or student or musician, whose greatest accomplishments may have lain in some distant future?  Who know what they may have accomplished?  We will likely never know, and more’s the pity.  It’s a shame to waste life so needlessly.

I have to wonder why the New York City police were so driven to find out who supplied Hoffman with his rather significant supply of drugs.  Why was this particular overdose given so much priority?  Why yes, of course – he was a celebrity.  The alleged suppliers were duly tracked down and arrested.  This was done pretty quickly.  I wonder why all, or most, or some, of the other unnamed addict deaths don’t get so much manpower devoted to bringing the culprits to justice.  Aren’t they worthy of the attention?  No?  Why?  Because they weren’t actors or athletes or any other kind of celebrity?  That can’t be right, either ethically or morally – but it’s what seems to soothe society’s need for closure, for meaning, for reasons.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death reminds me of the passing of Cory Monteith in July of 2013.  He, too, was a talented, successful and well-liked actor – and he, too, died of a drug overdose.  And in that sense, he, too, was no more worthy of our grief than the passing of any other drug addict.  When he dies, I remember seeing a comment posted online, roughly along these lines:  “ou have a great job on a successful TV show, a beautiful, talented girlfriend, and you killed yourself.  You, sir, are a moron.”  This will sound harsh to many people, but I have a tough time disagreeing with it.  He threw it all away.  For some reason that I still cannot understand, his legacy – albeit from a fairly short career – was given far more attention than experienced actors with much longer careers.  Why was he singled out for such tribute?  I do not know why.  He was missed, and his passing left a void – a tangible void to those who worked with him, but why was his passing any more fundamentally noteworthy than the passing of anyone with a longer, more seasoned career?

I am not for a second saying that he, too, wasn’t a good guy, but do good guys die from mixing heroin and alcohol?

I ask this question – since Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cory Monteith were famous, and since they were both drug addicts, how and why did nobody around them see the downward spiral and not jump in to try to put a stop to it?  I can’t imagine that you go from clean and sober to having 70 baggies of cocaine overnight.  It has to take time – however long that may be.  Nobody noticed?  Nobody in the cast or crew saw either of them blowing their lines, lacking proper attention spans, being late or not showing up at all, looking disheveled – and if they did, nobody said anything?  Why?  Out of embarrassment?  Fear of losing a job for speaking up?  If so, then whoever you are, if you noticed any such atypical behavior, then wahoo!  You kept your job – but the star is dead.  If you ever noticed any of this and you didn’t speak up, you should be ashamed to your core.

70s singing duo The Captain and Tennille getting divorced

Forever turned out to be a very finite 39 years. The Captain & Tennille, the 1970s singing duo who most notably sang “Love Will Keep Us Together,” are calling it quits after 39 years of marriage. captain-and-tennille_bandw

Toni Tennille, whose real name is Cathryn Antoinette Tennille, 73, filed for divorce from Daryl Dragon, known as the Captain, 71, on January 16, according to People magazine. The legal documents were filed in Arizona.

The Captain & Tennille were also best known for hits such as “Muskrat Love” and “Do That To Me One More Time.”  They were married in 1975, which is the same year they released their first album, titled, perhaps not surprisingly, “Love Will Keep Us Together.”  They were also well known for other hits such as “Muskrat Love” and “Do That To Me One More Time.”

Captain and Tennille in 1977

Captain and Tennille in 1977

In society in general, and in the entertainment world in particular, a 39 year marriage is highly praiseworthy.  I’d have to check, but I’d guess it’s possible that Elizabeth Taylor wasn’t married for 39 years with all of her marriages combined.  More recently, the examples speed by at an almost dizzying pace:  Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett; Britney Spears and Kevin Federline (and any other of her relationships that you can think of); Katy Perry and Russell Brand; Drew Barrymore and Tom Green 

Captain_Tennille_2006 It seems that fans of the longtime couple weren’t the only ones surprised by news of the split.The Captain himself said he was surprised by his wife’s filing.  “I don’t know why she filed … I gotta figure it out for myself first,” he told TMZ.com, adding that the two still live together.

A message about their divorce was recently posted on their website:

“Until Thursday, January 16th, 2014, when Toni Tennile met with a DIVORCE ATTORNEY, in Phoenix, AZ, everything relating to THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE appeared to the public as them being the ideal model for a ‘rock-solid’ married pair,” the statement read. “But almost all people naturally evolve over time, & sometimes hidden feelings start to be uncovered when one may read, just a little more into (the popularized, substitute heading appearing just below), stating, for instance: ‘MUSIC HAS KEPT THEM TOGETHER.”

Halle Berry to star in new sci-fi drama on CBS

Following the success of CBS’s “Under the Dome” last summer, “The Eye” network is bringing the series back, beginning on June 30th.  In addition, since their regular prime-time lineup is pretty well solid, they’re focusing at developing more “limited-run” series – perhaps longer than mini-series, but aiming at creating “events” – the kind of programming that viewers really talk about.

Toward this end, CBS will debut a new sci-fi drama called “Extant,” starring Halle Berry.  Berry will play an astronaut named Molly who returns to Earth – after a year-long solo mission in space and has trouble reconnecting with her husband and son.  The last time Berry appeared on network television was in 1991 on “Knots Landing.”  “Extant” was created by Steven Spielberg and is slated to premiere on July 2nd.  The script was written by Mickey Fisher, who will executive produce along with Spielberg, Greg Walker, Brooklyn Weaver, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank.

According to a statement from CBS, her experiences “lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history.” Berry will co-executive produce the series.  For Berry, who is considered one of Hollywood’s biggest names, it’s a huge career transition.

“For five months a year I’ll get to live with and play this incredibly intelligent and vulnerable woman, and for the remainder of the year I’ll continue to look for other roles that move me as deeply as this one,” said Berry.

For CBS, it’s a notable star-power signing at a time when award-winning cable network shows such as “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “Homeland,” and “Game of Thrones” have been dominating the viewership battle.

“There’s only one Halle Berry and we are incredibly honored that she has chosen ‘Extant’ to expand her illustrious career,” said Spielberg.  “As she does with everything she touches, she will bring a deep authenticity to her role and I very much look forward to working with her.”

Camryn Manheim has joined the cast as a series regular, and will play Berry’s best friend, and Pierce Gagnon, one of the stars of 2012′s Looper, will play Ethan, Molly’s son, who is more than he appears to be.

As excited as I am by all of this, one background item nags at me.  According to HuffingtonPost.com, CBS discussed “Extant” at the Television Critics Association winter press tour and reporters noted that Berry’s character would return from her space mission pregnant with an alien baby who “poses a threat to her android son.” That seems like quite a stretch to me, especially if you keep the phrase “lead to events that ultimately will change the course of human history.”  This sounds as if it’s a cross somewhere between “Species” and “Aliens.”  I sure hope the believability factor (or the lack of one) doesn’t prove to be an obstacle that the show can’t overcome.

Fashions at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards

It was one of the nights we live for every year.  The 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards were held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday, January 12, 2014.  As is always the case, there was a huge variety of remarkable (and unremarkable) dresses on display as the celebrities made their way down the red carpet.

I know that many celebrities put a great deal of time and effort – not to mention, expense – into the selection fo dresses, jewelry, shoes and hairstyling, not to mention assorted accessories.  That’s just how it is.  Within the spectrum of ensembles, I found it really easy to categorize some as obviously jaw-dropping.  Let’s face it – Sofia Vergara, like Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson and a select few others – just have to show up, and they own the venue.  No doubt about it, Sofia wore two dresses – one at the arrival and another at the after-parties – that just come right out and knock you on your butt.  Revealing?  You bet – and in control of everyone around her.

Sexy but tasteful

Then there are other dresses that are sexy without necessarily being so remarkably revealing.  Amy Adams’ two-tone red gown certainly was about as low-cut as she could get away with, but there was a certain sophistication to it, to my mind placing it in a bit of a different category.  The same holds true for Kaley Cuoco’s floral gown.  She, too, made a very decent display of cleavage, but it had a classiness that set it apart.

Reese Witherspoon looked terrific in a pale green gown that was at once simple, mildly conservative and sexy.  Well done, Reese.  Naomi Watts (shimmery in beige) and Robin Wright (in a paler white gown) wore dresses that were rather similar in style, and both looked as good as I can remember.  I was pleasantly surprised to see them both looking so beautiful.  I also liked Kristin Chenoweth’s form-fitting blue number.  I’m sure that plenty of fashion experts will say it was too simple, but I think it was nicely done.  She’s very petite, but she looked extremely attractive, and her hair-style added a very nice touch of class to the overall picture.

Amy Adams - arrivals

Amy Adams – arrivals

Robin Wright - arrivals

Robin Wright – arrivals

Reese Witherspoon - arrivals

Reese Witherspoon – arrivals

 

Naomi Watts - arrivals

Naomi Watts – arrivals

Kaley Cuoco - WB/InStyle after-party

Kaley Cuoco – WB/InStyle after-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristin Chenoweth - Netflix/Weinstein Company after-party

Kristin Chenoweth – Netflix/Weinstein Company after-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odette Anable - WB/InStyle after-party

Odette Anable – WB/InStyle after-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Odd – maybe not really bad, but not great, either

Of course, there were a few odd-looking gowns, from my point of view.  I saw a few such outfits and found it somehow tough to decide if I liked them or not, and whenever I have to second-guess if I like them or not, then I know they don’t work for me.  Jennifer Lawrence seemed to arrive to general acclaim, but I remain undecided about her gown.  Sexy?  Sure.  Classy?  Again, sure.  But the circular black stripes – I just didn’t love the overall look.  What can I say?  Ok, I know – if were were out to dinner and she were wearing a dress anything like that one, I’d be knocked out.  Even so, when compared to some of the dresses worn by other women at the event, I think it takes somewhat of a back seat.

I really like Alyssa Milano – I’ve liked her for a long time – but I don’t know what she was thinking.  She’s got some figure, but this dress was ill-fitting and strangely conservative – almost dowdy.  Nope, not a good choice, love. When I saw Julia Roberts arrive, I thought, at first, “What a stylish look.”  Then I saw that she was wearing a very low-cut gown with apparently a men’s white white dress shirt, I reconsidered.  Julia so often looks incredible that seeing her in an outfit like this is a disappointment.

Crystal Reed’s outfit was not a success, perhaps a near-miss.  What seemed like horizontal-oriented stripes (maybe stripes is a bad description – ruffles?) were contrasted against a vest that was reminiscent of a bullfighter’s vest.  The combination was simply not complementary.  I couldn’t figure out Emilia Clarke’s gown, either.  What kind of print is that?  Protozoan?  Jeez, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single-celled animal print dress before.  Leopard, zebra, tiger, even ocelot – yes – but never something like this.  She’s a beautiful sexy woman who chose unwisely.  The dress that Elisabeth Rohm wore at The Weinstein Company/Netflix after-party wasn’t exactly bad, but I don’t think it was successful, either.  She looked very nice, but the dress seemed unremarkable to me, and the hairstyle wasn’t my cup of tea, either.  We already have a Pink, and one is enough, thank you very much.  That brings me to Taylor Swift.  She looked wonderful in her arrival dress – which I’ll show below – but her short, black outfit at the WB/InStyle after-party didn’t work for me at all.  I know what she was trying to do – wear something sexy, even a little edgy – but in the end, it was somehow too busy – if you want to make a statement, make a statement – but it might have a bigger payoff if you really commit.

Jennifer Lawrence - arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence – arrivals

Alyssa Milano - Weinstein Company/Netflix after-party

Alyssa Milano – Weinstein Company/Netflix after-party

Crystal Reed - WB/InStyle after-party

Crystal Reed – WB/InStyle after-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tayloer Swift - WB/InStyle after-party

Tayloer Swift – WB/InStyle after-party

Elisabeth Rohm - Weinstein Company/Netflix after=party

Elisabeth Rohm – Weinstein Company/Netflix after=party

Julia Roberts - arivals

Julia Roberts – arivals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just plain bad

There were several downright bad outfits, too.  I can’t for the life of me figure out Patricia Arquette’s thought process.  Her dress seemed to consist of a badly-fitting black, floor-length gown at the bottom, with a white satin top.  She wasn’t done yet.  SHe also was wearing vest-like cover-up with lace sleeves near the wrest, while the rest of it appeared to have gone through a shredder.  This outfit was perhaps the worst dress of the night.  Maggie Q’s outfit at the HBO after-party was very nearly a pants-suit.  Black slacks and a black suit-jacket top – was that something she had in her personal collection or did a stylist “help” her shoose it?  Either way, it was, I should say, ill-advised.

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette

Maggie Q - HBO after-party

Maggie Q – HBO after-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elegant

Let’s move on to happier results.  First I have to mention Sandra Bullock.  She was at the top of my “sexy yet elegant” list.  I suppose it was a little more revealing than we usually see from Sandra, but the whole story – a beautiful gown with large, bold color sections and an elegant (there’s that word again) hairdo – but she was the very picture of style.

Taylor Swift’s dress showed how well simplicity can be executed.  Simple in design, perhaps, but sophisticated and very attractive.  Top it off with a very appropriate hairstyle and you have a winner.

Hayden Panettiere was possibly the biggest, happiest surprises of the night for me.  She wore a dress that was form-fitting without being skintight, with a thigh-high slit. This was such a good choice!  She is another petite celebrity, and this outfit seemed to make her look taller.  The accessories – large, ball-shaped earrings and a large diamond brooch were fine additional touches.  I liked this one a lot.

Maggie Grace and Juliana Margulies looked terrific, as well.  From what I’ve seen so far, a lot of people were far more taken with Juliana than I was, but I have to give credit where credit is due – she looked beautiful.  At the WB/InStyle after-party, Amanda Righetti wore a slinky, pale gold dress that showed off her incredible figure.  Along with Hayden, Amanda was probably my second happiest surprise.  This was some dress!  Paz Vega, also at the WB/InStype after-party, looked positively glamorous.  And that smile!  It was nice to see someone who looked genuinely happy to be at the event.

Sandra Bullock - arrivals

Sandra Bullock – arrivals

Juliana Margulies - arrivals

Juliana Margulies – arrivals

Hayden Panettiere- arrivals

Hayden Panettiere- arrivals

Amanda Righetti - WB/InStyle after-party

Amanda Righetti – WB/InStyle after-party

Taylor Swift - arrivals

Taylor Swift – arrivals

Paz Vega - W/InStyle after-party

Paz Vega – W/InStyle after-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaw-dropping incredible display

We now come to the “Oh my God!” portion of our show.  I admit – and I’m sure many, if not most, of you have to agree – these are the dresses we’ll talk about the most.  Usually this means Cleavage City, but it ani’t necessarily so.  Let’s take a look at the perhaps unsubtle, knock-you-right-out dresses that make us watch these kinds of awards shows.

First up is Kate Beckinsale.  Kate, all I can say is, “Thank you!”  For whatever reason, she’s never been a favorite of mine – there are too many other celebrities that I like a lot more – but when a beautiful woman wears a dress like this, it makes me very happy.

Next, at the WB/InStyle after-party (Good grief, this must have been some party!  Can you say “Eye candy?”) we have Julianne Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Miranda Kerr and Sofia “I own this place!” Vergara.  I’ll get back to Sofia in a moment.

It seems that Vanessa used the occasion to make a statement – “Hey!  I’m not a little girl any more!”  Vanessa, we know!  Ever since seeing her in a bikini in Spring Breakers, we’ve known!  I don’t need any more convincing but it certainly is welcome, so long as she doesn’t go over the edge a la Miley Cyrus.

Julianne Hough found a form-fitting – dare I say, tight-fitting – black dress that managed to be revealing, and see-through in parts, yet covered – a very fine discovery, if you ask me.  Supermodel Miranda Kerr wore a dress that perhaps few other woman could wear.  It looks as if it’s made up of separate front and back sections, laced together, showing her bare back, hips and legs – incredible!

Now for Sofia.  What can I say?  Some pundits have criticized her for always wearing the same kind of dress at these events.  My reply is, “Yeah?  So?”  I say, “Oh, Sofia!”  At the after-party she wore a very slinky , sparkly dress with a very wide, deeply-plunging cut that showed off her celebrated assets.  That would have been enough of a triumph for some women, but that was merely Chapter 2 for her – take a look at the much more elegant, arrival-appropriate but still knockout-quality arrival gown.  Do you have any doubt that everybody whipped their heads around to ogle Sofia when she arrived?  You probably wouldn’t want to place any bets on that.

One of the first arrivals was The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch.  Melissa may be petite – for Heaven’s sake, they’ve used the quip “teeny, tiny body” on the show – but when she’s on the red carpet, she’s dynamite.   She wore a canary yellow dress that had some toga-like features, yet must have been from a stylist who normally works with Sofia Vergara.   This dress sure got my attention.

There were two others in the “jaw-dropping” category that I want to mention.  Cassie Scerbo wore a black dress with such a large slit that almost seemed as if she could remove the skirt section of the dress, revealing culottes underneath.  Of course this wasn’t the case, but it sure made me sit up and take notice!

This brings me to Margot Robbie.  She was in the short-lived TV series “Pan Am” but because it wasn’t around for so long she still seems like a newcomer.  Her thigh-high slit, sparkle-trimmed, almost skin-tight white dress will no doubt be talked about for a long time.  I know I’ll be happy to talk about it.  The slit – not exactly on the side – showed lots of leg as she walked down the red carpet, and she looked so stunning that the phrase “head-turner” couldn’t have been overused.

Julianne Hough - WB/InStyle after-party

Julianne Hough – WB/InStyle after-party

Sofia Vergara - arrivals

Sofia Vergara – arrivals

Sofia Vergara - WB/InStyle after-party

Sofia Vergara – WB/InStyle after-party

Scerbo_Cassie_01_.jpg

margot Robbie - arrivals

margot Robbie – arrivals

Melissa Rauch - arrivals

Melissa Rauch – arrivals

Heidi Klum - arrivals

Heidi Klum – arrivals

Miranda Kerr - WB/InStyle after-party

Miranda Kerr – WB/InStyle after-party

Vanessa Hudgens - WB/InStyle after-party

Vanessa Hudgens – WB/InStyle after-party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the night

Maria Menounos will probably never win an Oscar or an Emmy or a Golden Globe award or a Tony or a BAFTA award or even a Deutsche Fernsehpreis, but she is spectacular.  Her fuchsia-colored gown, with numerous strategic cut-outs, was, for me, the most amazing-fitting dress I saw all night.  It wasn’t exactly tight – rather, it was molded to her amazing figure.  Top that off with a simple but refined hair style, and you end up with a goddess-like aura that not only knocked me out, but knocked me out way more than anyone else.  It definitely wasn’t the most revealing dress of the night, but to me it was the sexiest, and the one out of all of them that I have the hardest time forgetting.

Menounos_Maria

Robin Roberts comes out as gay, gives thanks for her “restored good health”

Robin Roberts, co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” thanked her loved ones and her ‘long-time girlfriend,’ Amber Laign, for their support during her year of breast cancer-related treatment in heartfelt message on Facebook on Sunday, December 29th.   Although those close to her have known about it for years,  it was the first time that she had publicly acknowledged that she is a lesbian.

“I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health,” Roberts wrote.  “I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life.  I am grateful for my entire family, my long time girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together. I am grateful for the many prayers and well wishes for my recovery. I return every one of them to you 100 fold.”

Roberts’ girlfriend, Amber Laign, is a licensed massage therapist who specializes in treating patients recovering from injuries, sources said. The couple met through mutual friends and have been in a committed relationship, living together in New York, for more than ten years.

Roberts survived a bone marrow transplant in 2012 to treat myelodysplastic syndrome, a disorder spurred by her treatment for breast cancer – as if the breast cancer weren’t enough. The treatment included undergoing chemotherapy to destroy her diseased bone marrow.  Laign was reportedly the major source of her strength through the health crisis. She survived breast cancer in 2007 and Myelodysplastic Syndrome in 2012.

“I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health,” she added. “I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life.”

Sources told TMZ that Roberts chose this opportunity to acknowledge Laign for all that she’s done after a challenging year together.

Roberts added, “On this last Sunday of 2013, I encourage you to reflect on what you are grateful for too.”

I wish her well.  Heaven knows she’s had a difficult few years.  I’d say she’s due a few years of peace and good health.  With that in mind, I must say that while she is much admired, well respected and popular, and her health problems have been quite public, her battles – while noble, are no more righteous or praiseworthy than similar battles from non-famous, determined people fight serious illness with quiet dignity but don’t receive well-wishes and encouragement from thousands of people from all over the world.  Who knows?  Maybe the extra positive spirit could be the difference between enjoying more years of productive, joyful time with family, friends and colleagues and leaving your loved ones much too soon.

This week’s “40 and fabulous” feature – Christie Brinkley

ChristieBrinkley_Ferrari

“Girl in a Ferrari” in National Lampoon’s “Vacation”

Christie Brinkley became an internationally recognized supermodel when she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazines annual Swimsuit Issue covers from from 1979 through 1981. christie-brinkley.10

Beginning in 1976 she became the face of CoverGirl for twenty five years – the longest running cosmetics contract of any model in history.  She has appeared on more than 500 magazine covers, and has signed contracts with a variety of major companies, both fashion and non-fashion related. christie-brinkley_swimsuit.1

She has worked as a movie actress (“Girl in a Ferrari” in National Lampoon’s Vacation), illustrator, television personality, photographer, writer, and designer, and as an activist for human and animal rights and the environment.

christie-brinkley_swimsuit.2She has been married four times, most notably to musician Billy Joel, several of whose music videos she appeared in. Her fourth marriage, to architect Peter Cook, ended in a very public 2008 divorce, with lots of claims and counter-claims, salacious stories and public relations gymnastics on both sides.

What else has she been up to?  In addition to Vacation,

SAs Roxie Hart in "Chicago" posing outside The Ambassador Theatre in New York City - April 6, 2012

As Roxie Hart in “Chicago” posing outside The Ambassador Theatre in New York City – April 6, 2012

she was “The Woman in the Ferrari” in Vegas Vacation.  In 2009 she was in an episode of Ugly Betty, and she has been in two episodes of Parks and Recreation.  In 2012 she appeared on Broadway in “Chicago” as Roxie Hart (to less than stellar reviews)

And in the intervening years, she has continued to be a popular guest on talk shows – and it’s very easy to see why – in a little more than a month, she will be 60 years old.  Yes, you read that right – she’ll be 60 on February 2, 2014.  That just doesn’t seem possible!

Albert Einstein College of Medicine 2010 Wild West Carnival - August 8, 2010

Albert Einstein College of Medicine 2010 Wild West Carnival – August 8, 2010

 

The 6th Annual Wayuu Taya Foundation Gala - Stephan Weiss Studios in New York City - June 17, 2009

The 6th Annual Wayuu Taya Foundation Gala – Stephan Weiss Studios in New York City – June 17, 2009

Cartier International Polo Day, - July 24, 2011

Cartier International Polo Day, – July 24, 2011

 

Christie is an active member and dedicated supporter/activist for a number of organizations including UNICEF’s Art and Entertainment Support Committee, Handgun Control, Ovarian Cancer, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Cousteau Society, Southern Poverty Law, The Wilderness Society and stopglobalwarming.org.

She lives in New York with two of her three children, Sailor Lee and Jack Paris. Her daughter, actress/singer Alexa Ray Joel, lives in New York City.

2013 Style Awards at Lincoln Center on September 4, 2013 in New York City.

2013 Style Awards at Lincoln Center on September 4, 2013 in New York City.

Brinkley’s 15-year-old daughter Sailor Brinkley Cook has landed her first advertising campaign.  She’s the new face of accessories chain Claire’s back to school campaign.  Sailor has said that she’d love to follow in her mother’s footsteps into the modeling world.  Christie has said she supports her daughter’s decision but that Sailor won’t be allowed to jump fully into the profession until she finishes high school.  She got her first big break earlier this month with a spread in Teen Vogue.

Arriving at The Today Show in New York City to celebrate 50 years of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue - October 21, 2013

Arriving at The Today Show in New York City to celebrate 50 years of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue – October 21, 2013

Now I ask you – is this really a woman who looks as if she’s almost 60 years old?

Leaving The Today Show in New York City - October 21, 2013

Leaving The Today Show in New York City – October 21, 2013

Top searches for 2013 on Google and Bing

So many of the top searches on Bing for TV shows and movies are for shows and movies that are not my cup of tea, that many just don’t merit any comment.  But the #10 search for TV show on Bng was for Honey Boo Boo?  I generally spend a lot of time defending the collective public intelligence, but information like this makes me not angry, but sad.  Talk about a show with no redeeming quality!  This is depressing.

Google

Overall top searches

1. Nelson Mandela
2. Paul Walker
3. iPhone 5s
4. Cory Monteith
5. Harlem Shake
6. Boston Marathon
7. Royal Baby
8. Samsung Galaxy S4
9. PlayStation 4
10. North Korea

Person

1.  Miley Cyrus
2.  Drake
3.  Kim Kardashian
4.  Justin Bieber
5.  Beyonce
6.  Rihanna
7.  Taylor Swift
8.  Selena Gomez
9.  Katy Perry
10. Kanye West

Bing

Top person search

1    Beyoncé Knowles
2    Kim Kardashian
3    Rihanna
4    Taylor Swift
5    Madonna
6    Justin Bieber
7    Nicki Minaj
8    Amanda Bynes
9    Miley Cyrus
10   Barack Obama

Top sports stars

1  Tim Tebow
2  Lindsey Vonn
3  Tiger Woods
4  Kevin Ware
5  Ray Lewis
6  Lebron James
7  Danica Patrick
8  Dwight Howard
9  Derek Jeter
10 Maria Sharapova

Musician

1    Beyoncé
2    Rihanna
3    Taylor Swift
4    Madonna
5    Justin Bieber
6    Nicki Minaj
7    Miley Cyrus
8    Britney Spears
9    Katy Perry
10  Selena Gomez

Song

1   Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop
2   Robin Thicke- Blurred Lines
3   Rihanna – Stay
4   Imagine Dragons – Radioactive
5   Jason Derulo- The Other Side
6   Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man
7   Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
8   Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop
9   Pink – Just Give Me A Reason
10  One Direction – Best Song Ever

TV show

1   Big Bang Theory
2   American Idol
3   The Walking Dead
4   Downtown Abbey
5   Game of Thrones
6   Dancing with the Stars
7   The Today Show
8   Big Brother
9   The Bachelor/Bachelorette
10  Honey Boo Boo

Movie

1   Iron Man 3
2   Fast and Furious 6
3   Despicable Me 2
4   The Conjuring
5   The Wolverine
6   2 Guns
7   The Great Gatsby
8   Oz: The Great and Powerful
9   Snitch
10  Man of Steel

Susan Sarandon wasn’t exactly sober for “almost all” big Hollywood events

Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon has been been in movies since 1970 (the now-forgotten “Joe”) and has appeared on TV since 1971.  She won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Dead Man Walking” in 1996.  She’s had four other Oscar nominations, eight Golden Globe nominations, and has a large number of other nominations and wins for various other awards both big and small, here and abroad.

"The Last of Robin Hood" premiere, 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

“The Last of Robin Hood” premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

If you’ve watched enough awards shows, you know that many of them last a long time – sometimes more than three hours.  Have you ever wondered how celebrities pas the time at such glamorous events?

On a recent visit to the Bravo cable TV network’s show “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen, Sarandon admitted that the was high at more than a few of them.

In a section of the show called “Plead the Fifth,” in which guests are allowed to skip one of several personal questions, Cohen asked Sarandon to name an important

 

Hollywood event at which she “showed up to stoned.”

“Only one?” she laughed. “I would say almost all except the Oscars.”

That could mean that she has shown up stoned at quite a lot of events over the years.

This brings up a lot of questions.  How long ago did this start?  Who else among her family and friends knew about this?  Was she the only one or did she have any cohorts in these escapades?

When all is said and done, this is probably a mini-tempest in a teapot.  A lot of celebrities have done far worse things to embarrass themselves and hurt their careers.  At 67 she seems none the worse for all of this and to her credit, perhaps, she has shown herself to be socially and politically conscientious, so I’m strongly inclined to give her some slack.

Selena Gomez drops the F-bomb, bolts off stage during Jingle Ball 2013 performance

Selena Gomez cursed and stormed off stage at the KIIS-FM Jingle Ball concert in Los Angeles after problems with her sound.  Gomez’s behavior was resembled her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, said the F-word and stormed off in a huff before completing her set.

Arrival at KIIS FM - see that smile?

Arrival at KIIS FM – see that smile? It didn’t last long once the show started

“Sorry, the sound isn’t working!” Gomez was heard yelling to the crowd, reported Us Weekly.  “Are you guys having a good night? I promise, a lot cooler people are gonna come out tonight,” Gomez continued.  “Is it okay if I perform two more songs and you guys can get to it?”

The performance wasn’t smooth sailing for long.  The audio problems continued and Gomez said to the crowd, mostly made up of young children, “I have to thank you guys so much for allowing me to be able to perform the music that I love.  And I have to say that before you guys go on to the people that you care about, I really appreciate you supporting everything that I do. So this next song is the first song I had hit No. 1, and it’s called ‘Come & Get It,’” Us Weekly reported.

After that she left before completing her set.  An onlooker told Us Weekly Gomez was “pissed.”

Amanda Bynes to attend college

Yes, that’s right.  Amanda Bynes will soon be a college student.  After a myriad of well-documented incidents in the last few years – bizarre, often drug-induced public behavior, including a court appearances for which she wore blue hair – maybe she has finally gotten straightened out.

According to the New York Daily News, Bynes will be enrolled in the at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Irvine, California, some time after the New Year.

A source told The News, “She is excited to get a fresh start.” Bynes is now at home with her parents in Thousand Oaks, California after four months of treatment for schizophrenia.

The source said Bynes and her parents chose the school’s Orange County campus, which is about 85 miles from their Thousand Oaks residence, because the campus in downtown Los Angeles, although closer, was too high-profile.  “Orange County is quieter and not in the public eye as much,” the source said, confirming that Bynes will commute under the watchful eye of her parents.

I’m hoping that she has managed to turn her life around.  If she really has made the kind of life changes she so badly needed to make, and she is serious about moving on with her life – in a good direction – I wish her well.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela Dies

South African media is reporting that after a recent and prolonged battle with illness, Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95.
Mandela will have a state funeral. Zuma ordered all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff from Friday through that funeral.

“He is now resting. He is now at peace,” Zuma said. “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.”

The world has lost a great a man. Mandela last appeared in public during the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa. His absences from the limelight and frequent hospitalizations left the nation on edge, prompting Zuma to reassure citizens every time he fell sick. There will never be another like you.

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