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Alyssa Milano on how she and Danny Pintauro lost touch: “We didn’t have cell phones or Facebook or anything”

Alyssa Milano was in tears this week on The Talk when she talked about her former Who’s the Boss co-star Danny Pintauro’s disclosure recently that he is HIV positive.

Although her co-stars Judith Light and Tony Danza had long been aware of the news, Milano found out along with the rest of the public.

It seems the two former child stars did not stay in touch at all after the ABC sitcom ended its eight-year run in 1992.

Explains Alyssa: ‘Danny and I didn’t talk for many years after the show was over. When the show ended, it was a different time. We didn’t have cell phones or Facebook or anything. I would have been calling his parents house saying, “Hi! Can I talk to Danny?” (laughs). We didn’t have anything, no testing or anything. I’d lost contact with him for a long time.’

The two certainly went in different directions more than two decades ago. While Pintauro graduated from Stanford University, he did little acting. Milano went on to become a cast member on Melrose Place then spent eight years on the TV series Charmed. More recently, she starred in the ABC series Mistresses.

FILE UNDER: Television

Kim Kardashian talks about Caitlyn Jenner with Ellen

The big Caitlyn Jenner news for the day is that the DA in Los Angeles will not be charging her criminally in the Malibu car crash that left a woman dead.

Also today, her stepdaughter Kim Kardashian guested on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and chatted about Caitlyn. Some of it has been covered in KUWTK episodes but especially interesting is the discussion about whether Caitlyn will be dating men or women.

‘Kim asked Caitlyn about it recently: ‘That’s not where her mind wants to go.’


Despite the risks, Neil Patrick Harris explains why he would only do NBC’s “Best Time Ever” if it was live

Caught the third episode of Best Time Ever last night and I officially love it. Neil Patrick Harris is really finding his groove as host and the live format gives the show an extra edge. Last night, heavy winds in Chicago forced the show to scrap a stunt with a big inflatable slide with an engaged couple who were trying to win a trip to Australia.

Instead, some hilarious video clips involving Cobie Summers - meant for a future episode – were used instead.

NPH talked to the Wall Street Journal about the live element of the show:

I’ve only considered it an option as being live. If it were not, it would need to be produced in a way that guaranteed results. But that’s why you want to watch it, because you’re never sure how it’s going to go. Is the person going to win the money? Is the End of the Show Show going to succeed? Is the audience on the couch going to be surprised? If that was pre-taped, you’d just assume that there has been a lot of editing. I’ve been very opinionated about having the authenticity of guests be real. I do not want to be casting only people that are perky, young, fun, enthusiastic types who will be good on TV. If we pull out the name of someone for the game and they’re not into it, or terrified, or a dud, that’s great. I can riff off of that all show long. I don’t know that NBC feels the same way I do, because they understandably want to make sure it’s very view-able television. But throw me curve balls, and I’ll take a crack at them.


LA District Attorney’s office: Caitlyn Jenner won’t be charged in fatal Malibu car crash

Caitlyn Jenner won’t face criminal charges in connection with a car crash in Malibu last February that left one woman dead.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced today that Jenner would not face manslaughter or other charges.

Sheriff’s investigators had found that Jenner was driving ‘unsafe for the prevailing road conditions’ because her SUV rear-ended another vehicle and caused a chain-reaction that resulted in the death of a 69-year-old Kim Howe.

The Lexus being driven by Howe was pushed it into oncoming traffic on Pacific Coast Highway.

Jenner has said she remembers ‘very little’ about the collision but told Matt Lauer earlier this month that she was driving under the speed limit.

‘I remember it happening. That’s about it,’ she said. ‘A tragedy like this, you’ll never get over it. You just learn to live with it the best you possibly can.’

Jenner had said being charged and being sentenced to jail was a ‘worst case scenario.’

‘The media wants that picture, don’t they?’ Jenner told Lauer on NBC’s The Today Show. ‘That is the worst case scenario. I don’t know. We’ll see. The men’s county jail. It is an enormous problem that they would put trans-women in a men’s county jail.’

FILE UNDER: Transgender

Round-up of “Show People” episodes with Jonathan Groff, David Burtka & Andrew Rannells

I somehow managed to get far behind in watching episodes of Show People with Paul Wontorek which is just a terrific talk show with Broadway stars.

I love it because it’s a real conversation about theater and showbiz and the guests seem to have a real level of comfort and confidence in the host who is just a treasure trove of information so he’s able to bring out the best in guests.

I watched several episodes last night and really enjoyed these three from earlier this year with three talented openly gay performers: David Burtka, Jonathan Groff and Andrew Rannells.

Especially noteworthy is the conversation with Burtka because we don’t get many sitdown interviews with David without his famous husband Neil Patrick Harris.

FILE UNDER: Broadway

Wednesday Morning Man: Jacob Soboroff!

I’ve become quickly smitten with Jacob Soboroff who made his debut earlier this month as a correspondent for MSNBC.

He did a story yesterday from Bakersfield, CA,, the home district of Rep. Kevin McCarthy who could become the next speaker of the House. He had a white T-shirt on and jeans and looked like a cute college kid out there talking to residents.

Soboroff is smart, asks good questions and is just a natural on the air.

He was previously the host of YouTube Nation and the co-host of TakePart Live on Pivot TV. He was also a founding host and producer of HuffPost Live, the live streaming network of The Huffington Post.

Soboroff was a contributor to MTV’s 2012 presidential election coverage and is familiar to AMC viewers from his work interviewing actors and filmmakers at film festivals around the world.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2015)

Venus Williams achieves landmark 700th career win

She may have long ago been overshadowed by her younger sister Serena but things like this remind us that Venus Williams is a tennis legend in her own right.

Earlier today, Venus recorded her 700th career win at a tournament in China. She’s only the ninth female player in history to reach that milestone. The only other active player in the exclusive club is Serena Williams with 737.

Among Venus’ 46 titles during her 21 year pro career are five Wimbledons, two US Opens and an Olympic Gold Medal won at the 2000 Summer Games.

The other seven players in the elite 700-plus club are Martina Navratilova (1,442 wins), Chris Evert (1,309), Steffi Graf (902), Virginia Wade, (839) Arantxa Sanchez (759), Lindsay Davenport (753) and Conchita Martinez (739).

Now 35 years old, Venus is ranked 24th in the world and made it to the quarterfinals of the US Open earlier this month losing to Serena in three tough sets.


How an impromptu dinner party with Barbra Streisand, John Travolta and Lady Gaga came about

Back in August, some photos popped up on social media taken at a very exclusive dinner party held at Barbra Streisand’s Malibu estate.

The guest list: Streisand, her husband James Brolin, American Horror Story producer Ryan Murphy, John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston.

Oh yeah, also there was the force of nature that is Lady Gaga.

Murphy shared with E! Online this week how that little dinner party came together:
One day John Travolta said ‘I want to meet Lady Gaga,’ and I said OK. So I bring him over to her. And she’s naked covered in blood. Doing a sex scene. And it was like, ‘Oh, maybe it’s not the right day for this.’ And he was standing behind the monitor like cheering her on, and she was like, so thrilled the first time meeting John Travolta. So I ushered them off into a room. Where I was very proud they got to meet each other. And I said you know Gaga, Barbra Streisand is such a huge fan of yours, because she thinks you’re so fearless and that brought tears to her eyes. And he knew about my ongoing obsession with Barbra Streisand so he said we should all get together. So the next day the phone rang and it was John’s people saying how’s dinner this Saturday at Barbra’s house. So Gaga and I said you’ve got to be kidding me. So we both instantly said yes, and we showed up and it was like like a five-hour fever dream of what you would want at Barbara Streisand’s house. We got the tour of the underground mall, and we got to see the costumes and…What I loved about it was their admiration for her and her admiration for them, and I was just watching. I was proud of her. And Gaga dressed up for the dinner. She was wearing a see through crocheted dress for dinner, I believe. Gaga made an entrance at Barbra Streisand’s house that was pretty astounding.


Neil Patrick Harris is quizzed about his wedding by Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live”

Best Time Ever host Neil Patrick Harris gave Andy Cohen the scoop last night on his 2014 wedding to husband David Burtka. Including how Elton John performed three songs and how Kelly Ripa got the drunkest.

FILE UNDER: Late Night

Ellen Page: ‘I’m embarrassed to say how closeted I was … ‘I get sad thinking about it, honestly, because it was painful’

It’s been 19 months since Ellen Page stood on a stage in Las Vegas at a Human Rights Campaign event and told the large crowd that she is gay.

Since then, the actress has become an outspoken LGBTI activist and even recently confronted Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz on his anti-gay views.

But for Page, who plays a lesbian in the new film Freeheld, it is still painful when she thinks of her former closeted self.

‘I’m embarrassed to say how closeted I was,’ she tells BuzzFeed News in an interview posted earlier today.

‘I get sad thinking about it, honestly, because it was painful. And painful for people I was in relationships with. Just all-around destructive. Intolerance and closetedness is just a ripple effect of shit.’

Page, 28, was still a teenager when she was thrust into the limelight with an Oscar-nominated performance in the 2007 film Juno. After that, she made an effort to hide the women she was dating by, for example, leaving a hotel by a different entrance and ‘noooo public interaction.’

She remembers, with disgust, saying things like: ‘Go in the bathroom when room service comes’ or ‘This is my friend.’

She says now: ‘I feel bad about it. And I did start feeling really guilty about it. And I think that I should feel guilty about it.’

Page came out shortly before filming of  Freeheld, a film close to her heart which she is also producing.

It tells the true story of police detective Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) who finds out she has terminal lung cancer and seeks to leave her benefits to her partner Stacie Andree (Page).

The prospect of making the film helped Page come out publicly.

‘First of all, I didn’t want to be a closeted person anymore,’ she says. ‘But then also: “What, are you going to not be an out gay actor when you shoot a movie like that?” Of course not. And it is people like Stacie and Laurel that inspire you.’

She found making the film to be freeing.

‘It was a special experience for me personally: what it represented in my life. It was nice to play a gay person. I’m gay! It was nice to fall in love with a person onscreen who is the kind of person that you’d fall in love with.’

“Who’s the Boss” alums Judith Light and Alyssa Milano speak out in support of Danny Pintauro

Danny Pintauro and Judith Light remained close after spending eight years playing mother and son on the ABC sitcom Who’s the Boss for eight years.

So it was not a surprise to Light when Pintauro shared with the world that he is HIV positive over the weekend during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

‘He’s kept me informed all the way along,’ Light said in an interview with Good Day New York after Pintauro’s Where Are They Now? segment aired on OWN.

‘I am so proud of him,’ Light said. ‘He’s talking about being HIV positive. He is being incredibly proactive. …  He’s giving a different face to what is still a disease that has not been handled.’

It’s no surprise that Pintauro would have an ally in Light. The two-time Tony Award winning actress who currently appears in the TV series Transparent has long been an activist for LGBTI equality.

Light was one of the first celebrities in the 1980s to speak out about the AIDS epidemic and to lend her name to benefits and she has remained involved since then.

She points out that while gains have been made in terms of equality and acceptance, there is still much work to be done.

‘The world is different, and it’s better, but we still need to have a more understanding and a more responsible and a more responsive and a kinder society.’

Pintauro has not been in touch with another co-star Alyssa Milano, but she had words of support during an appearance on The Talk.

‘I’m so glad that he is able to express himself now and I guarantee he will change so many lives,’ she said. ‘And I’m so grateful that this disease is being discussed again because it feels like there was such a long time that it wasn’t. And he is a beacon of light and he will be. I’m proud.’


Matt Damon clarifies comments about gay actors: ‘I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery’

I wrote yesterday about Matt Damon telling the Guardian that as an actor, ‘people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.’

I have no doubt that Matt is an LGBT ally and always has been but his point is annoying because in what way does he hide his sexuality? Should Neil Patrick Harris or Alan Cumming hide their sexuality still?

C’mon. It’s time to quit referencing Rupert Everett and his experiences nearly 20 years ago.

Anyway, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show airing today, Matt tried to clarify things.

“I was talking about actors are more effective when you know less about their personal lives. And was talking about it in the context of when Ben (Affleck) and I first started and people wrote all these articles, when Good Will Hunting came out, that we were gay because it was two guys who wrote the script. And feeling like oh, well we can’t even like then you have to address it and then it’s like well I’m not gonna throw my friends under the bus, who are gay, and act like it’s some kind of a disease. How do you even address it?”

He added:

“So you’re always in these kind of weird things. But in this day and age I said this thing to The Guardian and it got turned into… and I was just trying to say actors are more effective when they’re a mystery. Right? And somebody picked it up and said I said gay actors should get back in the closet. Which is like I mean it’s stupid, but it is painful when things get said that you don’t believe. And then it gets represented that that’s what you believe. Because in the blogosphere there’s no real penalty for just taking the ball and running with it. Ya know what I mean? You’re just trying to click on your thing.”

Ellen then quipped: ‘It shocks me that you and Ben are not gay. But if you want to deny it and keep your mystery and your marriage and your daughters…’

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Tuesday Morning Man: Miguel Ángel Silvestre!

Obviously I have to binge watch Sense8 what with all these hot guys and their fluid sexuality.

One of those guys is played by today’s sexy Morning Man Miguel Ángel Silvestre.

The Spanish actor is 33 and had originally planned on becoming a professional tennis player before suffering a serious injury in a tournament.

On Sense8, he plays a closeted gay telenovela star named Lito Rodriguez who is of Basque origin and lives in Mexico City with his boyfriend.

Miguel’s other credits include the Pedro Almodóvar film I’m So Excited and in the Spanish horror thriller Verbo.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2015)

Joan Collins writes moving tribute to her late sister: “She always put other people, particularly family, ahead of herself”

Joan Collins wrote this column for The Guardian about her late sister, best selling novelist Jackie Collins.

Here it is in its entirety:

The telephone call I never dreamed I would receive came in at 5pm. It was a gloomy, thundery afternoon in the south of France, and my husband Percy and I were bunkering down in our bedroom to decide which movie we would watch after dinner.

‘Hi sis, it’s me!’ she said. I was delighted to hear Jackie’s familiar voice. She had told me weeks earlier that she was coming to the UK and we were already planning a host of activities, so I assumed this was one more opportunity to share the excitement of her arrival.

‘Isn’t it a bit early for you?’ I asked her. ‘It’s 8 o’clock – I’ve been up for a while,’ she said. ‘Are you with Percy? I need to talk to you both about something. It’s rather bad news I’m afraid.’

‘What is it?’ I asked fearfully. ‘I’ve got stage four breast cancer,’ she said, her voice breaking. Then I burst into tears. ‘I’ve known for seven years,’ she added bravely.

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ I cried as Percy held me tight.

‘I couldn’t – I didn’t want to upset you. I know all the problems you’ve been having in the past few years – I didn’t want to burden you with mine.”

My voice was so choked with tears I could hardly speak. She explained that since we spent so much time in Europe, while she was in LA, she knew I would be worried but there would be nothing I could do.

That was typical of my sister. She always put other people, particularly family, ahead of herself. After we hung up, we called two of her daughters, Tiffany and Rory, and they verified that they had been taking their mother for treatments for more than five years.

‘But we all expect her to continue for several years since she is so vital and energetic,’ said Tiffany. ‘And she’s just done a publicity tour of the US for her new book.’

Jackie was coming to the UK ostensibly to publicise the launch of her latest novel. However, now, in retrospect, I realise it was to say goodbye to her third daughter Tracy, her two granddaughters, her brother Bill and his wife Hazel, and some other close friends, all of whom lived in London.

When Jackie told us about her cancer I understood why she had lost weight. I had noticed her gradual weight loss two years ago when we went to LA for the winter months and last year asked her about it. She laughed, saying she was no longer eating desserts and was on a diet. I thought the weight loss suited Jackie so I gave it no further thought. Certainly in her ten-page spread in Hello! magazine recently she looked fit and fabulous, and, as Wallis Simpson always said: ‘You can never be too rich or too thin.’

The day she arrived in London, we had tea at her hotel. Even after an overnight transatlantic trip that would fell the stoutest tree, she was bustling about taking pictures and chatting away with me as she always did.

Two nights before she returned to America, Jackie threw a fabulous birthday dinner party for Tracy upstairs in the private room of a popular West End restaurant. She was her usual sparkling, funny, energetic self, taking masses of pictures of all of us on her iPhone and her camera, and looking impeccably groomed and glamorous.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Matt Damon thinks straight and gay actors should be private about their sexuality – but is he?’ve always like Matt Damon as an actor and he seems like an awfully cool guy in general.

But boy, he sure has been sticking his foot in his mouth lately.

Matt, who played gay in the HBO flick Behind The Candelabra, the film The Talented Mr. Ripley and an episode of Will & Grace, says actors should not come out as gay if they want a good career.

‘I don’t want to, like [imply] it’s some sort of disease – then it’s like I’m throwing my friends under the bus,’ he tells the Guardian. ‘But at the time, I remember thinking and saying, Rupert Everett was openly gay and this guy – more handsome than anybody, a classically trained actor – it’s tough to make the argument that he didn’t take a hit for being out.’

Matt then went on to say actors should be private about their sexuality in order to be more attractive to an audience.

‘In terms of actors, I think you’re a better actor the less people know about you period,’ he added. ‘And sexuality is a huge part of that. Whether you’re straight or gay, people shouldn’t know anything about your sexuality because that’s one of the mysteries that you should be able to play.’

Sure, because Matt is so vague about his sexuality showing up to premieres and award shows with his wife?

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Michael Sam believes his NFL career ‘probably would have been better for me’ if he stayed closeted

With his pro career over for now, Michael Sam is speaking out about why he came out publicly before the NFL draft and how he thinks things would have gone differently had he waited.

“I wanted to come out after I made an NFL roster, it really wasn’t supposed to be public,” Sam said on the Dan Patrick Show. “It was just supposed to be to the team, as I did at the University of Missouri.”

But with some reporters were aware of his sexuality, Sam says “I wanted to be the one to tell my own story. I didn’t want someone telling it for me.”

Amid enormous publicity, Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014 but cut before the start of the regular season. He was later cut from the Dallas Cowboys practice squad then quit the Canadian Football League after just one game.

Any regrets now over coming out?

“I’m not going to say … but it probably would have been better for me if I didn’t come out, I would be on a roster,” Sam said. “But, as I said, I have no regrets whatsoever.”


Monday Morning Man: Brian J. Smith!

Caught the premiere of ABC’s Quantico last night and it was filled with tasty eye candy.

Among those who caught my eye was Brian J. Smith who played an FBI trainee named Eric Packer. But it looks like Brian is just in the one episode.

Brian is 33 and first became known for his role as Trey in the 2005 independent film Hate Crime.

He then became a series regular in the military science fiction television series Stargate Universe and plays Will Gorski in the Netflix-produced series Sense8.

Brian has also done plenty of TV guest spots on such shows as Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Warehouse 13, Law & Order and had a recurring role on Gossip Girl.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2015)

“Stonewall” stumbles at box office opening weekend

A wave of negative pre-release publicity and some scathing reviews combined to torpedo the opening weekend of Stonewall at the box office.

The film directed by Roland Emmerich opened on 129 screens and earned a paltry $817 per screen. In all, the film earned just $150,000 and opened in 29th place.

In contrast, the weekend’s number one film, Hotel Transylvania 2, averaged $12,653 per screen for an opening three-day haul of $47,500.

Stonewall is a controversial drama about a fictional young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall riots. Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) is forced to leave behind friends and loved ones when he is kicked out of his parent’s home and flees to New York. Alone in Greenwich Village, homeless and destitute, he befriends Ray (Jonny Beauchamp) and a group of street kids who soon introduce him to the local watering hole The Stonewall Inn.

From the premiere of the film’s first trailer last month, there was criticism that the film seemed too Danny-centric and focused on a fictional white male at the expense of other more diverse characters.

FILE UNDER: Box Office

Hillary Clinton “thrilled” same-sex marriage legal across US: “Like a lot of people … I did evolve”

Hillary Clinton appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press this morning and was faced with a video montage of her changing positions on issues – including same-sex marriage.

Host Chuck Todd asked the Democratic front-runner to respond the critics who say her positions have changed out of political expediency and changed with public sentiment.

Replied Clinton: “Well, I just don’t think that reflects either my assessment of issues, and I don’t think it reflects how people who are thoughtful actually conduct their lives. I mean, if we don’t learn, if we don’t, you know, make decisions based on the best information we have available, well, you know, that’s regrettable.

‘On same-sex marriage, like a lot of people, including our president, I did evolve,” she added. “And I was not raised to even imagine this. And I’m thrilled now that it is the law of the land. And I have a lot of close friends who are now able to be married because of the changes we’ve made legally and constitutionally.”

FILE UNDER: Politics

Danny Pintauro shares with Oprah – and the world – that he has been HIV-positive for 12 years

Danny Pintauro of Who’s the Boss fame appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now? series on OWN this weekend and revealed that he is HIV-positive.

Danny, 39, believes he was infected in 2003 while mixing sex and crystal meth and is speaking out now because he believes too many in the gay community are still engaging in this risky combination.

“I am speaking out because I want everyone who continues to ‘tweak’ and party to know that it is not worth the price,” Danny tells “I want my community to wake up, stop being complacent and start taking care of each other. We need to be the best we can – safe and healthy.”

Danny grew up in front of the world in the 1980s and came out publicly in 1997 after the National Enquirer threatened to do it for him.

Growing up when AIDS was a death sentence, Danny says he practiced safe sex and always did condom checks.

But when he began using crystal meth,he says his immune system was quickly shot.

“Having done it for multiple hours, or perhaps I had been doing it for a day or two or maybe over the last couple of weeks off and on, my immune system wasn’t recovering, and I was so much more susceptible to anything that came my way,” he says. “This guy was not on HIV medications, so his viral load was through the roof, I’m sure – especially because he’s doing a lot of drugs and not taking care of himself – so those factors combined to still find a way to have me contract HIV.”

“And that’s the really scary part,” he adds, “because you can do everything you think you need to do to take care of yourself, but because of what meth does to your brain and to your body, no matter how hard you try, you’re still opening yourself up to those possibilities – whatever STI you can think of, it’s so much more prevalent than you’re going to pick that up.”

The risk is even greater for people who are less vigilant about protection: “The meth forces you to lose your inhibitions, so of course you’re going to say, ‘Oh, I don’t need to use a condom,’ or, ‘I’ll be fine this time’ because you’re lost in it. It’s no good, no good.”