Since I am among the 10 Amazing Gay Women/Men in Showbiz who are being honored by Power Up Films on Sunday, Nov. 4, I want to give the event a big shout out and let you know that tickets are still available.
DETAILS: The Power Premiere Celebrity Gala is a swank, celebrity-studded cocktail party with music, mixing & mingling and touching, inspirational presentations.
HONOREES: Michele Abbott, Kacy Boccumini Miriam Cutler, Sheila Di Marco Sophie B. Hawkins, Tristan Higgins, Aynee Osborn Joujon-Roche, Lynn McCracken, Lucy Mukerjee, Coley Sohn Howard Cohen, Eric d’Arbeloff, Jim Dobson, Gary Goldstein, Greg Hernandez, Dan Ireland, Larry Kennar, Jamie Mandelbaum, Christopher Racster, Guy Shalem
WHERE: EDEN, 1650 Schrader Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
TICKETS:$125General Ticket (7pm arrival) holders have a no host bar, complementary hors d’oeuvres, complementary desserts, tribute book, and arrive at 7:00pm; $500 Power Ticket (6pm arrival) holders have seating, complementary open bar, complementary hors d’oeuvres, complementary desserts, tribute book, tickets to the celebrity pre-party and arrive at 6:00pm.
All tickets are tax deductible and are not available at the door – must be pre-ordered. There are also tables available for a discount – here is a LINK to the order form! (If you are going and want to sit at my table, say so on the order form!)
ABOUT POWER UP FILMS: A nonprofit film production company and educational organization, POWER UP develops, finances, produces and distributes GLBTQ films and conducts educational programs, consisting of filmmaking classes and workshops. http://www.powerupfilms.org/
On last night’s episode of The Good Wife, today’s Morning Man made his latest appearance as drug kingpin Lemond Bishop.
He’s Mike Colter and he’s pretty damned dreamy.
Last season, Colter starred in The CW series Ringer which lasted just a single season.
He has worked steadily in television and film in the past decade including this year’s Men in Black 3 as well as Million Dollar Baby and Salt on the big screen. His small screen guest spots include roles on Blue Bloods, Royal Pains, and Law & Order: SVU.
So far, Colter has made six appearance on The Good Wife and hopefully there will be many more!
You win Wimbledon, you win the US Open, you win the Olympic Games, you win the year-end championships plus three other tournaments in single season and yet you are still only the third best female tennis player in the world – at least according to the silly computer rankings.
This is the situation with Serena Williams who earlier today won the WTA championships decisively over Maria Sharapova in Istanbul.
So what in the name of Caroline Wozniacki, Dinera Safina and Jelena Jankovic is going on here?
Basically, the computer is a joke and has been for a long time. It needs to be tweaked so that the winners of the grand slam tournaments get considerably more points because the top spot, once so prestigious, has largely become the real estate of the player who is able to grind out the most matches at lesser tournaments and either gets outplayed or chokes at the majors.
Serena may not have played as much as the other girls but she did have a stellar 58-4 win/loss record this year.
At least top-ranked Victoria Azarenka won the Australian Open and was the runner-up at the US Open while second-ranked Sharapova won the French Open and was runner-up at the Australian and at the Olympics.
They aren’t slouches.
But Williams had the best year and the rankings do not reflect that. She barely has more points than Agnieszka Radwankska!
Anyway, Serena is plenty happy to have won the year-end championship for the third time.
”Now that I can be honest, I really wanted to win,” she said after the match. ”I wanted it so bad, but I didn’t want to say it. … It was really important for me to end the year with this title in particular.”
At 31, Serena is the oldest player to have won the year-end title.
”I had such a good year, it was important to end on a good note,” she said. ”It was good for my sanity to win. I really wanted it although I didn’t need it. Like I don’t think I needed to do anything else this year.”
No, she didn’t need it. Because we already know she is the best player in the world right now and one of the greatest of all time.
Someone just needs to tell the WTA computer!
”If I’m playing well and doing everything right, it’s pretty difficult to beat me, without trying to sound too full of myself,” Serena said. ”And I hate to lose.”
She has won 12 straight against opponents ranked No. 1 or No. 2 and has not lost to a player ranked in the top 2 since 2007.
Will and Sonny are going there – but not on this episode of Days of Our Lives.
We knew this because Nov. 14 is the day. Still, looks like they are going to have some close calls until the actual day.
There are some really cute scenes here with the interaction between the two so adorable. They have some very fun chemistry with the joking and teasing – wait until you see them talking to each other, straight-faced, with Groucho Marx mustache and glasses on.
Gaby is completely rooting for the couple but her new boyfriend, Nick, has some issues with them. Is he a homophobe or is it because Will dated Gaby?
Had a lot of fun researching today’s Morning Man Classic.
He’s silent movies leading man Charles Farrell who was able to make the transition to early talkies and later found work in television.
Is this guy handsome or what?
Farrell is best remembered for starring opposite Janet Gaynor in 12 different movies between 1937 and 1934. She was the first winner of the Academy Award for best actress and starred in the first version of A Star is Born (Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand went on to do remakes).
He and Farrell starred together in 7th Heaven, Street Angel, Lucky Star, High Society Blues, Sunnyside Up, The Man Who Came Back, The First Year, and Change of Heart.
“Janet Gaynor and I were always receiving wedding-anniversary presents in the mail, care of the studio,” he once said in an interview. “The fans didn’t even know what date our anniversary fell on, which is logical, since we were never married.”
In real life, Farrell was married to Virginia Valle from 1931 until her death in 1968.
He became a star in the 1926 film Old Ironsides but was also left partially deaf from an explosion on the set of the film – something he worked hard to hide. His other films included The Rough Riders, The River, Princess and the Plumber, Body and Soul, After Tomorrow, The Big Shakedown, and Moonlight Sonata.
A decade after his movie career began to fade in the early 1940s, he reinvented himself as a television star playing Gale Storm’s father in the popular series My Little Margie which ran for three seasons. He followed that up with The Charles Farrell Show.
He left showbiz behind in the early 60s and moved to Palm Springs where he became mayor. Farrell lived a long life dying in 1990 at the age of 89.
I watched Rosie O’Donnell on The Dr. Oz Show yesterday and was so happy to see her looking good and seem to be feeling good.
Since her heart attack in August, she has been on a plant-based diet and is walking at least 30 minutes a day.
She says she really wants to live and is using her life-threatening experience to spread the word about the symptoms of a heart attack for women which can be different from men.
Rosie says the ‘stupidest’ decision she ever made in her life was not calling for emergency help when she feared she might be having the heart attack.
It turns out she was having one – the kind that usually kills people. Somehow she survived despite an artery being 99 percent blocked.
‘I did not call 9-1-1 and I should have,’ she said. ‘I’ve come to find out that 50 percent of women while having heart attacks and suspecting they’re having a heart attack do not call 9-1-1. And it was the stupidest decision I ever made in my life.’
Rosie learned that she had the heart attack early in the morning and it was not until a full day-and-a-half that she went to the doctor.
‘I thought it was the flu,’ she explained. ‘When I went to the doctor I did not expect them to say, ‘You’re going over to the hospital and you’re having a stent put in.’
That morning, she and her wife, Michelle Rounds, went to a shopping mall and encountered a woman stuck in her car – a woman O’Donnell estimates was somewhere between 400 and 500 pounds.
‘I went to help her and it was a lot more difficult than I had imagined, she didn’t really have the strength to help me help her. But I got her up and helped her to her walker and went about my merry way. Two hours later, I had severe pain in both biceps and I had pain in my right breast. And I thought it must be pulled muscles.’
She went about her day, painting with her son and visiting her therapist. While at the therapist’s office, they Googled heart attack symptoms and they concluded it was probably just panic.
She got home and found herself feeling more tired than she had ever been in her life.
‘So tired that walking up the stairs to the bedroom felt like Mount Everest,’ she said.
Rosie took a three-hour nap then joined her family for dinner. She ate a few crackers and told them she really didn’t feel good and thought she might be having a heart attack. She went back upstairs and vomited.
‘It did not feel like the stomach flu or after a night of too much drinking in college. It felt like out of nowhere almost like your body saying: ‘Warning!’
But she still did not seek medical attention. Instead, Rounds gave her four aspirin then she fell asleep.
‘At what point do you prioritize your own health?’ Rosie now wonders. ‘If it was Michelle, if it was one of my children, I would have been at the hospital within 20 minutes. I wouldn’t have listened to them of they protested, I would have said, ‘Get in the car!’
Rosie is now on a plant-based diet and walking for at least 30 minutes a day. She admits that in the months leading up to the heart attack, she had been overeating mostly junk food to deal with the stress of Rounds’ illness. Her wife, who she married last June, had surgery to remove desmoid tumors, a rare and potentially fatal disease that took some time to diagnose.
‘I think that my heart finally said, ‘I protest. I give up. You need to take care of me.’ It was my heart screaming to my body,’ she says. ‘This heart attack forced me into my body and to be conscious of my body in a way that I have never been able to get to.’
‘If you want to participate in this thing called life, this gift called life, you gotta take better care of yourself. … There’s nothing that makes you want to live more than being that close to death.’
Actor Max Von Essen, currently starring on Broadway in the musical Evita, is sharing a letter he wrote to a Facebook friend planning to vote for Mitt Romney for president of the US.
The 38-year-old actor, who is openly gay, details the reasons why he does not want Romney and running mate Paul Ryan to be elected on November 6.
‘I know people are suffering and the economy has not improved at a rate we all wish it would,’ he writes. ‘Yes, people are suffering but the gay and lesbian community has been suffering for hundreds of years and I am so tired of it. So tired of feeling that I am less than. So tired of knowing I have friends on here who will vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire lifetime.’
Von Essen points out that the Republican candidates are against gay marriage and favor a amendment to the US constitution that would prevent them from being recognized on a federal level. Romney has also stated that he thinks hospital visitation should be left up to states to decide.
‘They also believe that being at your partner’s side when he/she is dying is a benefit, not a civil right,’ he writes. ‘They could keep me from my partner dying in a hospital. Could you even imagine something like that in your own life? Being separated from your wife on her death bed? Could you imagine your marriage never being recognized and being told that your family is not a family and you do not deserve any federal rights that comes with marriage. Over 1100 rights.Did you know that? 1100.’
The actor makes clear that anyone who doesn’t think LGBT equality is important should remove him from their friends list.
He writes: ‘I need people in my life who love me and consider me 100% equal.’
Today is Neil Meron’s birthday so what a good day to celebrate him and some of the fabulous entertainment he has brought into our world.
Through their production company Storyline Entertainment, Neil and producing partner Craig Zadan have basically brought back the movie musical with 2002′s Chicago, 2007′s Hairspray and last year produced a new Footloose.
Then there have been a series of movie musicals for television: Annie, The Music Man and best of all, 1993′s Gypsy starring Bette Midler.
Of course there is so much more including my favorite new show Smash (it returns in January), the wonderful Drop Dead Diva and the Broadway musicals How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Promises, Promises.
Neil and Craig are producing the upcoming Academy Awards – I think the Oscars are in very good hands!
Here are a trio of musical numbers from movies they have produced:
Do yourself a favor, don’t wait for the very funny Gayby to come out on DVD when you have the opportunity to see it on with big screen, with an audience, and to meet the hilarious director and very talented stars of the film.
Gayby is writer-director Jonathan Lisecki’s debut feature and it tells the story of Jenn and Matt, a pair of single 30-somethings who set out to have a baby together. The fact that Matt is gay and that both are dating people as they try to conceive complicates things in funny and dramatic ways.
The leads are played by real-life BFFs Jenn Harris and Matthew Wilkas who share a wonderful chemistry and make the whole thing seem all the more real. And Lisecki has a supporting role in the movie as Matt’s unfiltered BFF. He’s a scream.
I’ve been crazy about this movie ever since I saw it at the LA Film Festival last June and enjoyed the Q & A with Lisecki almost as much as the movie itself – this man is very smart and very funny.
So meet him and the cast at the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. screenings tonight and Saturday at Laemmle Noho 7, 5240 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, 91601 (310-478-3836)
Back in 1961, Elizabeth Taylor became the first star to be paid $1 million to star in a movie when she signed up to do Cleopatra.
Now, 18 months after the legendary star’s death, she is still earning big bucks.
Forbes magazine reported Thursday that Taylor’s estate earned $210 million in the past 12 months surpassing the $145 million earned by the estate of her close friend Michael Jackson.
But Jackson is likely to out-earn Taylor next year since a bulk of the money came from a Christie’s auction of her famous jewelry collection as well as art, clothing and memorabilia. Taylor had spent several years preparing the auction and arranged for part of the proceeds from the sale to go to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation which was founded by the star in 1991 to assist with patient care.
The auction brought in $184 million while her White Diamonds perfume sold $75 million in retail in 2011. The remainder of her earnings are from property sales and residuals from her movies.
Starting with Cleopatra, the beloved gay icon had as part of her contracts 1o percent ownership of her films which included Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Sandpiper, The Taming of the Shrew, A Little Night Music and The Mirror Crack’d. Her estate also collects money from Around The World in 80 Days, which was produced by her late husband, Michael Todd, killed in a plane crash in 1958.
Taylor and Jackson were far and away the biggest earners among dead celebrities. In a distant third place was Elvis Presley with $55 million.
Helen Reddy has not had the same kind of career longevity as her contemporary, Barbra Streisand, but she is well remembered by fans like me.
She turns 71 today so it’s as good a day as any to celebrate this great talent.
The first record I ever bought was her single Angie Baby which I think I bought for about 79 cents at the JC Penney in Huntington Beach! And my first concert was her show at the Anaheim Convention Center a few years later.
She had 15 top 20 singles in the 70s including I Am Woman, Leave Me Alone, You and Me Against the World, Peaceful, I Don’t Know How to Love Him, Delta Dawn, Angie Baby, Keep on Singing, You’re My World, Somewhere in the Night, and Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady.
It was a thrill to see her in Blood Brothers in London in the summer of 1997 and in 2006, I met her at a book signing in Santa Monica. She’s not a warm and fuzzy woman as you will see in the third video but what matters most is that she made some great records and she shared her talent with the world.
I still remember getting Chely Wright’sautobiography, Like Me, in the days before she publicly came out back in 2010. I read it from cover to cover and was so moved by her story of having to live in the closet within the gay-unfriendly world of country music.
Then I saw her appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show and could see that as good as her book was, seeing her speak her truth was so much more powerful.
Chely has gone on to become such an outspoken and articulate voice in the battle for LGBT equality.
“My advocacy opportunities are plentiful,” Chely told me when we spoke last year at an event. “I could work seven days a week with these opportunities to be talking about LGBT issues. It’s a big balance for me. I am a musician, I feel that is what I was born to do but now I have these amazing opportunities that I feel like I fought for. My life is very full and very busy. Before, when I was hiding, I was tired and it was a bad tired. Now I’m tired and it’s a good tired. This is a good reason to wear myself out and burn the candle at both ends.”
Chely, who celebrates her 42nd birthday today, was married to Lauren Blitzer in a ceremony last August and recently sang at the wedding of MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts.
Zachary Quinto is having trouble understanding why the the race for US president between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney remains so close.
‘The choice in this election is so fundamentally clear,’ the openly gay actor said on Chelsea Lately show on Tuesday night. ‘I feel like Mitt Romney’s reptilian self is barely able to suppress itself as we get closer to this election. That debate (Monday) night was so clear for me. How anybody could spin it that Obama did anything other than clean the floor with that guy last night, I have no idea.’
Quinto is so invested in Obama being reelected that he is a campaign volunteer who has spent weekends traveling to various swing states in support of the president.
‘I was just in Wisconsin last week and I’m going to Colorado and Nevada this weekend,’ he said.
‘As a gay man, is no choice in this election on a social level. This country is so in dire need of moving in the direction that Obama wants take us in. I just can’t understand how we’re so divided.’
Quinto, best known for his role as Mr. Spock in the most recent Star Trek movie, is appearing in the current season of American Horror Story.
My thanks to my pal Lorna Harris for recommending this handsome young lad for today’s Morning Man!
He’s actor Freddie Stroma (Lorna told me his name was Cormac McLaggen!). Cormac is the character he played in the last three Harry Potter films. She spotted her fellow Brit in the comedy Pitch Perfect.
Freddie is just 25 and was born in London to a Swedish father and a German mother. He took a break from his studies at University College London to take a role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But he did return to complete his degree.
His next film is the psychological thriller The Philosophers.
I happened to catch a few minutes of Anderson Live this afternoon and really enjoyed Anderson Cooper and guest co-host Lisa Ling going to town on Donald Trump.
Trump, of course, has been a bit of a laughing stock all day because he claimed to have some kind of “October surprise” that would be a hit to the reelection of President Obama.
Turns out to be much ado about nothing. Trump, it turns out, is offering to donate $5 million to the charity of Obama’s choice if he opens up his college records and applications, and passport application and records.
I think perhaps he’s lost his mind.
Anyway, Anderson and Lisa were incredulous about the whole thing and made fun of The Donald a bit – including some digs about his unusual hairstyle.
Said Anderson: ‘There’s a lot going on there. I think there’s weights and pulleys involved.’