It’s very hard to believe but the forever young Florence Henderson died today at the age of 82. Of course I grew up watching this loveliest of ladies on The Brady Bunch then The Brady Bunch Variety Hour then The Brady Brides then A Very Brady Christmas and the last series, The Bradys.
But I’d also seen her perform her one-woman show several times and it gave you the full snapshot of an amazing career that began on Broadway and includes other television gigs from being a regular on The Today Show to dazzling us on Dancing With the Stars a few years ago.
I’d interviewed her several times over the years including back in the fall of 2011 when I moderated a panel at the West Hollywood Book Fair with Florence, Dyan Cannon, Stefanie Powers and Carrie White.
My absolute favorite moment came when I asked Florence to sing the Brady Bunch theme song and she did it!
I think everyone enjoyed immensely. But I didn’t think anyone got video of it.
But Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges of www.TraipsingThruFilms.com did! I didn’t know them then but they have become good friends of mine and I’ll be forever grateful that they captured part of it for us to enjoy again and again.
So very sad about this.
One of the most lovely, most lively women that I’ve ever had the joy of knowing as an entertainment reporter has died.
Florence Henderson died or heart failure today at the age of 82 surrounded by her family.
She seemed decades younger with her youthful appearance and energy and wonderful spirit so this comes as a shock.
She’s of course best known as Carol Brady on the The Brady Bunch from 1969-74 and its subsequent incarnations as The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, the sitcom The Brady Brides and the drama The Bradys.
But before the show she was a huge Broadway star and also a regular on NBC’s The Today Show.
Henderson was a longtime staunch supporter of the LGBT community and two years ago she told me she thought a show like The Brady Bunch could have helped families had it included a positive gay storyline.
‘I think so many young people have such a difficult time,’ she said. ‘Most of the gay people I know – and I have so many gay and lesbian friends – so many tell me they were disowned and how tough it was for them growing up.
‘And all of them, they all knew they were gay from the time they were 5 or 6 years old. The kids that have no place to go and the parents don’t get it, don’t understand stand and stop loving them. How can you do that to a child?’
I last spoke to her at the 2014 Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 45th anniversary gala.
‘I do so many benefits for the LGBT community – always have,’ she said that night. ‘When AIDS first started, I was one of the first along with Debbie Reynolds to do a benefit – many, many years ago at The Hollywood Bowl. It was not easy to get people.
‘I just think I love people and have great compassion for human beings. Who are we to judge anyone. It always came natural for me to love people.’
She will be so, so missed.
Whatever your tradition is, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday today.
I’m one of the lucky ones because my traveling consists of driving less than an hour south from LA to Orange County where my family gathers for our big meal – turkey with all the trimmings!
Then it’s food coma time and hopefully something like an I Love Lucy marathon!
I’m thankful for many things this time of year and always and one of them are all of you who check in with this blog each day – it continues to be a pleasure!
Thought you’d enjoy this video from a year ago of a Thanksgiving Day parade with a giant balloons of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Rooney Mara!
It could only be entries in the the first-ever Billy on the Street Thanksgiving Parade.
‘You want to make sure your kids are in the room for this because Maggie Gyllenhaal is coming to town!’ says comedian Billy Eichner who managed to convince none other than former CBS Evening News anchor and Today Show co-host Katie Couric to do commentary with him.
The parade is a celebration of some of Eichner’s favorite pop culture moments.
The random entries also include a float celebrating the canceled TV series The United States of Tara – about a woman with multiple personalities – and a float celebrating the career of Mark Ruffalo from The Incredible Hulk to The Normal Heart.
It was yesterday but I’ve just seen this and think it’s so sweet. Love Ellen, love Miley.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) November 23, 2016
This is a lot of fun. The cast is performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade today in advance of the the December 7 telecast on NBC. What a cast! Newcomer Maddie Baillio is leading the cast as Tracy Turnblad with an amazing roster of performers that also included the Broadway production’s original star Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad and fellow Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussle. Also in the cast: Martin Short, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Garrett Clayton, Derek Hough, Sean Hayes, Rosie O’Donnell, Billy Eichner and Andrea Martin, among others.
Andy Cohen is dishing about some of his favorite – and least favorite – New Yorkers.
‘Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani are my least favorite New Yorkers – they’re just kind of douchebag New Yorkers,’ Cohen said this week on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live.
He adds: ‘They’re the kind of New Yorkers that you see around everywhere. Donald Trump will go to the opening of an envelope.’
As for his favorite New Yorkers, topping his list are Sarah Jessica Parker and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.
‘Diane von Furstenberg is a favorite New Yorker and she lives down the block from me,’ Cohen said.
‘She gives me some really serious advice about my love life which I wind up taking and then I find a boyfriend, which is incredible. And she urged me to get out of my box with my dating life, which I did and it worked.’
As for the woman who played Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City Cohen said: ‘Sarah Jessica Parker is an iconic New Yorker and I love her. Walking around New York with her is like walking around with the Empire State Building — everybody can’t believe what they’re seeing and they all want a picture.’
Joe Jonas has been hitting the gym and finds himself quite buff these days. Of course gay men have noticed and he’s been getting a lot more attention from us.
‘I’m seeing it just through DMs,’ he tells PrideSource. ‘It’s quite funny. But I take it as a compliment. It’s cool. At the end of the day, for me, it goes back to the music, and DNCE has done a lot of cool concerts, like Pride shows. We have a lot of gay fans, and we love that they’re so supportive, so hey, if that makes them happy, it’s all good.’
So what exactly do gay men DM Jonas?
I bet you could take a wild guess. (Laughs) It’s all over the map, from selfies to you-know-what. It’s funny, too, because you can’t really tell what people are sending because everything now is blurred out, and I like to read some of the DMs and hear stories. But, of course, sometimes there are crazy ones, and it’s just straight nudity. You have to just find something good in it – or laugh, depending on what it is.
President Barack Obama beautifully lauded a tearful Ellen DeGeneres at The White House on Wednesday for inspiring the nation ‘one joke and one dance at a time.’
Ellen was among those Americans presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor a person can receive in the US.
‘Ellen DeGeneres has a way of making you laugh about something rather than at someone – except when I danced on her show,’ Obama joked during the presentation.
He then reminded people of just how unprecedented it was back in 1997 when DeGeneres came out on the cover of Time Magazine at the same time her character on her hit ABC sitcom did.
‘It’s easy now … to forget just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages almost 20 years ago. Just how important it was – not just to the LGBT community but for all of us to see somebody so full of kindness and light – somebody who we liked so much.
‘Somebody who could be our neighbor or our colleague or our sister challenged our own assumptions and reminded us that we have more in common than we realize.’
DeGeneres paid a price for her candor with her sitcom canceled by ABC and several lean years professionally followed.
She eventually rebounded and became one of the most popular talk show hosts on daytime television.
‘What an incredible burden that was to bear – to risk your career like that,’ Obama said, growing emotional. ‘People don’t do that very often. And then to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders.’
Earlier, Ellen had been one of the last of the honorees to be allowed into The White House because she arrived without her ID.
DeGeneres was the only gay honoree in a distinguished group that also includes Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Elouise Cobell, Robert De Niro, Richard Garwin, Bill and Melinda Gates, Frank Gehry, Margaret H. Hamilton, Tom Hanks, Grace Hopper, Michael Jordan, Maya Lin, Lorne Michaels, Newt Minow, Eduardo Padrón, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, Vin Scully, Bruce Springsteen, and Cicely Tyson.
Came across this handsome guy’s Instagram account the other day and immediately knew he’d make a most excellent Morning Man for us to enjoy.
He’s Blake McCoy and last year he became a correspondent for NBC News.
He’s just 31 and reports for The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and for MSNBC.
Before starting at the network a year ago, Blake was a reporter and anchor at KARE-TV, Channel 11 in Salt Lake City.
He had also worked in Boise, Idaho, at KBOI and in his hometown of Las Vegas for KTNV.
Blake graduated in 2007 from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
— Gio Benitez (@GioBenitez) November 23, 2016
I dunno, it’s not as fun as it was when Barbara Walters and Elisabeth Hasselbeck were around because there was tension and possible fireworks. But she’s had some good stories about Donald Trump, Sharon Stone and Miss Walters who Kathy claims is less scary than Suge Knight. She also talks being neighbors with Kanye and Kim.
These things always give me goose bumps and this year’s edition is no exception. The tears and the joy and the pride from people who have so many awards already is beautiful to see because you can see how much it means to them to be receiving the highest civilian honor you can get in the US.
Here are Oliver-Connor scenes for the first time since Jack Falahee came out as straight last week. Does it make one bit of difference to you? Nope. His performance was pretty believable then and is now. These are scenes from last week’s episode of How to Get away With Murder. It’s clear these two guys love each other but things are sure to get complicated once Ollie finds out Connor slept with the dude who dumped him for being HIV-positive.