Star Trek icon Leonard Nimoy died this morning from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at the age of 83.
Nimoy, of course, played half-human, half-Vulcan Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek television series and feature films.
He is being mourned by fans and his co-stars including George Takei and Zachary Quinto.
‘My heart is broken,’ tweeted Quinto who co-starred with Nimoy in the Star Trek feature film franchise reboot.
‘I love you profoundly,’ Quinto added. ‘I will miss you every day.’
Takei, who played Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and earlier feature film franchise described Nimoy as ‘a very dear friend.’
Speaking to CNN, Takei shared this story: ‘One extraordinary thing about him I remember: When Star Trek was going to be done as an animated series, they cast Leonard, Bill Shatner, Majel Barrett and Jimmy Doohan only for the voice acting on that. And when he discovered that Nichelle Nicholls and Walter Koenig and I were not cast because of budgetary considerations, he said, “Star Trek is about diversity, and if the two people that represent diversity to most, Nichelle and George, then I’m not interested in doing it.”‘
‘That was an extraordinary thing for an actor, to give up a gig on behalf of other actors. And because Leonard was so necessary to the project, they cast Nichelle and me and offered Walter an opportunity to write a script.
‘He was really an amazing man.’
Takei also took to Facebook and posted this tribute: ‘Today, the world lost a great man, and I lost a great friend. We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to “Live Long And Prosper,” and you indeed did, friend. I shall miss you in so many, many ways.’
The late, very great Elizabeth Taylor was a movie legend and perfume mogul.
But I will always love her most for how she chose to spend that last 27 years of her life as a leading AIDS activist.
Miss Taylor, who died in 2011 at the age of 79, was still in fine form in this 2005 interview as she was participating in an AIDS event that also included fellow activists Elton John and Sharon Stone.
The legend had been housebound for much of the previous year due to several compression fractures in her back. But she continued to work on the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and giving money all over the world. She was always very proud that her foundation had no overhead with the money raised going directly to hospices, patient care, needle exchange and condoms as well as education.
What she said then is still, sadly, very true today: “People need to listen, people need to be aware that the disease has not evaporated it hasn’t gone away. The medicine we have now improve the life of people, with AIDS, but it doesn’t eradicate it, there is no cure.”
Miss Taylor also talks about the early days of her activism – in the mid-80s – and how it was then she decided to stop resenting her fame and to instead use it to the AIDS epidemic.
“I was sitting back and becoming outraged that no one was doing anything about this oncoming epidemic. I went to Congress, went on The Hill, knocked on senator’s doors and none of them wanted to know. But I was a pest. It was the first time I’d been an activist but I was a raucous one, I still am.”
She will never be forgotten for so many reasons but her activism is her greatest legacy.
Hard to believe I’ve not featured Liam McIntyre as Morning Man before.
Welcome to the club you gorgeous Aussie.
The actor, who turned 33 earlier this month, is best known for playing the lead role in the Starz television series Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned.
Liam began his career acting mainly in short films, before performing guest roles in Australia’s popular television series Rush and Neighbours. He made his feature film debut appearing alongside Kellan Lutz in The Legend of Hercules.
Had such a tremendous time Tuesday night at the celebration marking the 10th anniversary for Out at NBC Universal.
The employee resource group of LGBT & Straight Ally employees at NBC Universal and its goal is to attract, develop, and retain Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Straight Ally Employees and to raise money for such causes as the annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles.
Among the celebrities on hand were: Days of Our Lives stars Guy Wilson andChristopher Sean who portray gay characters on the soap; cast members from the new E! drama The Royals; and E! personality Ross Mathews.
Below is some video from the event which took place at The Abbey in West Hollywood.
It’s almost time for Outfest Fusion: LGBT People of Color Film Festival.
I’m hoping to catch as many programs as I can because this is always such a great weekend event at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
This year’s edition takes place on March 13 and 14.
The event kicks off with a screening of an upcoming episode of my new favorite show Empire followed by a Q&A with the show’s producers.
Also that evening is the Los Angeles premiere of the new digitally restored print of Paris Is Burning courtesy of the Sundance Institute, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project and Miramax.
This year’s Outfest Fusion line-up also boasts the World Premiere of Ascendance: Angels Of Change, about the Trans youth group at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles run by Bamby Salcedo; and the US Premiere of Stories of Our Lives from Kenya, which just played the Berlin Film Festival, as well as the romantic comedy Eat With Me.
Now in its 12th year, Outfest Fusion is the only multicultural LGBT film festival of its kind, is presented by HBO and supported by NBCUniversal and Nielsen and is funded in part by the David Bohnett Foundation.
Writer, Director and Producer Rose Troche (Go Fish, The Safety of Objects, “The L Word”) will receive the 2015 Fusion Achievement Award, which will be presented by the stars of The L Word prior to the Fusion Gala Short Films on Saturday, March 14.
Outfest Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer said in a statement: ‘We are truly thrilled to honor the prolific and groundbreaking Rose Troche with the 2015 Fusion Achievement Award. Her contribution to storytelling and filmmaking for the past two decades is full of intelligent characters and authentic representations of our community. Rose is one of the most powerful voices we have, and she embodies the very spirit of Outfest Fusion.’
Other programs: Fresh off its win at the Independent Spirit Awards is a special screening of Dear White People coupled with a Q&A with its filmmakers; a screening of the documentary The Year We Thought About Love which follows an LGBT youth theater troupe in Boston; an encore screening of I Am Happiness On Earth; and a thought-provoking selection of Documentary Shorts entitled Truth Be Told.
We’ve been waiting a long time for Steve Grand to release his debut album and I have every confidence that it will have been well worth waiting for.
He’s a special talent and a special man.
‘I swear, I feel like I’ve been working on this album for 12 years,’ he says in this new video.
His self-financed video All-American Boy got 1 million views in eight days in the summer of 2013. What impacted him wasn’t just the attention to his song about a gay man who fals in love with his straight best friend, but the connection it had with people.
‘What really made a difference for me is so many people would write in – tell me their stories of their All-American Boy that got away. … That made me realize this is why I did this – to connect people and to connect with people.’
While it seems like US society is making more strides towards acceptance of LGBT people, Grand knows there’s still a long ways to go.
“While people say this is no big deal anymore. Who cares? You know who cares are the kids that are really struggling with this. The kids who feel like they would still rather be dead than live life as a gay person,” Grand also says in the video. “I’m thinking about them all the time when I’m doing these things. Because deep down we really all just want to loved, we want to experience love, we want to give love, we want to take in love, and we want to feel valued and understood.”
Jack Falahee knows people want to know how much he is like his very sexually active gay character on ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder.
They just really want to know if he’s gay in real life too.
He’s still not telling.
‘We don’t ask the actor playing James Bond what his sexual preference is,’ he said this week on SiriusXM Progress. ‘So I don’t know what it is, really, with trying to out actors who portray gay characters on television. But it is some sort of fascination in society.’
The freshman series wraps up its season next week and Falahee’s law student character of Conor Walsh and his memorable trysts with several different men have catapulted the previously unknown actor to stardom.
With that stardom comes this persistent curiosity about his personal life.
‘I think we’re projecting onto actors in a way,’ he says. ‘I think we’re expecting them to be their characters when, at the end of the day, this is my job and I’m an actor portraying a role on a fictitious television show.
‘I just think it’s interesting because I have a body of work before Conor Walsh that is primarily heterosexual and yet people want to ask — you know, no on asks any other man, or woman, on my show, about their sexuality, and that’s what fascinates me.’
Lady Gaga has signed on for her first major acting role as one of the stars of the next edition of American Horror Story.
Fresh off her triumphant performance at the Academy Awards, Gaga is the first major star to be announced for season 5 of the popular FX anthology series which will be titled American Horror Story: Hotel.
Little is known about the premise beyond the title or Gaga’s role.
The show has drawn big names in its past four installments – many who have appeared in multiple seasons in different roles. They include Oscar winners Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates as well as Neil Patrick Harris, Zachary Quinto, Adam Levine, Angela Basset, Sarah Paulson, Joseph Fiennes, Patti Labelle, Patti LuPone, and Matt Bomer.
Gaga has previously had cameo roles in the films Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Machete Kills.
The storyline is on fire and this emotional conversation between Sonny in Will about Paul really packs a punch. Will says some terrible and very immature things as Sonny continues to be one with maturity and integrity. Paul is determined to stay in Salem longer even as his mom wants him to leave town.
By the way readers, I interviewed both Guy Wilson (Will) and Sean Christopher (Paul) at the Out at NBC Universal event in West Hollywood last night (pictured below). Will post in the coming days.
Say what you will about Madonna but be sure to say that she is a showbiz trouper. A short time ago while performing at the Brit Awards, the Material Girl took a hard fall on the steps leading to the stage. It seems she was unable to unfasten her long, flowing cape and a back-up dancer pulled back on it.
I’m so impressed with how quickly Madonna got back up and continued with the performance.
She later posted on Instagram: Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I’m fine! ❤️#livingforlove
Sonny has it in his mind that Will somehow knew about his past with Paul and slept with his ex in some calculated act of revenge.
Meanwhile, Will is feeling betrayed because Sonny never told him about his very significant relationship Paul.
The women in their lives are trying to help them sort it out.
The expressionless Marlena listens as Will confesses his infidelity which she, of course, already knows about. And Kate goes to visit Sonny and he let’s her know that he knows that she knew about the Will-Paul tryst.
Paul’s mom also arrives in Salem and wants to whisk her son away and take him home to San Francisco.