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Valerie Harper says she can “feel” the love from the public, she can feel the hugs.

I’m so glad.

This interview with The Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie is deeply moving and inspiring.

It’s all I could do not to blubber right here on my laptop.

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Anderson Cooper on being gay: “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of it, even before I knew what it was or the name of it”

Anderson Cooper is in Rome covering the election of a new Catholic Pope but found time to do an interview with Michelangelo Signorile.

He talks about receiving GLAAD’s prestigious Vito Russo Award to be presented to him later this month in NYC by Madonna.

The CNN anchor and daytime talk show host says the award has ‘tremendous meaning’ to him and comes less than a year since he came out publicly as a gay man.

“I certainly don’t think I’m worthy of it, but if it helps GLAAD and if it helps have more people know who Vito Russo is, then I think it is certainly worthwhile,” he says.

Of being gay he says: “I’ve always known I was gay from the time I was a little kid. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of it, even before I knew what it was or the name of it.”

Of his decision to become a journalist: “If you feel like an outsider, you tend to observe things a lot more. Early on I felt very much like an observer, because I knew I was gay, I knew I was somehow different.”

Cooper also tells Signorile that “being gay is a blessing” and he that he “couldn’t be more proud.”

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Gay films cost James Franco ad campaigns

It’s ironic that James Franco just had the biggest box office opening of his career as a lead – in a Disney movie of all things – and some companies have an issue with his image.

That image, at least three companies believe, is tainted by some of the recent gay-themed films the Oz the Great and Powerful star has been in.

The films Kink and Leather Bar premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year and caused much buzz. Now at the South by Southwest Film Festival with Spring Breakers, Franco talked about the fallout.

‘I’ve lost three kind of advertising campaigns now because the companies say they don’t like my image,’ he tells ‘But I know that it’s directly related to the films that I put out at Sundance. So you could say that there’s still this kind of homophobia or prejudice against certain kinds of material in mainstream cinema.’

Franco, 34, has long mixed commercial films like Oz and the original Spider-Man trilogy with edgier independent fare. He won the Independent Spirit Award for his performance as Harvey Milk’s boyfriend in the film Milk.

In the April issue of Attitude, Franco also speaks of losing commercial gigs because of his choice of roles.

‘It is a risk,’ he says. ‘I was supposed to do a commercial with this company and they pulled out because they weren’t happy, they didn’t like the subject matter of my films.’

But he won’t let it impact his future artistic choices.

‘If I’m at the threshold of doing a project and the question comes up, “Will this be harmful to your career?,” I never want that to be the deciding factor.’

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Ellen’s daytime show renewed for 4 more years!

A lot has changed in 16 years.

Back in 1997 when Ellen DeGeneres came out as gay on her ABC sitcom as well as in real life, her show did not last much longer and her career lost much of its heat.

But she bounced back and for 10 years now, has been the host of the daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show which has been a perfect for her talents – humor, warmth, intelligence, and great dancing skills.

It’s just been announced that Ellen’s show has been renewed for at least four more years.

“Ellen is quite simply the best,” said Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, in a press release. “Day in and day out she and her team produce a unique and compelling hour of entertainment which is appointment television for legions of women.”

Yay for Ellen!


Happy 46th birthday to John Barrowman!

He’s had me since Central Park West. and I watched Titans only to see him.

The talented and gorgeous John Barrowman, star of stage and screen, is celebrating his birthday today and he has a lot of fans wishing him well.

I’ve loved John back when I was just hoping he was gay and he has only grown in my affections since then.

Torchwood and the role of Capt. Jack Harkness have finally brought John the mainstream stardom he’s long deserved and now he’s finally on an American hit with Arrow.

Here’s to much more success to this delicious talent.

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Monday Morning Man: Charlie Weber!

Well, happy Monday everybody!

Look who I have for us to kick off the week with: the gorgeous Charlie Weber.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans may know Charlie best from hos recurring role of Ben. He played an intern who shared his body with female god Glory but, unfortunately, his character was killed off at the end of season 5.

But Charlie lives on and currently has recurring roles on 90210 and on the series Underemployed.

The 34-year-old actor has done scores of TV guest spots over the years on such shows as Bones, Burn Notice, Dirt, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, House, Veronica Mars and Reaper.

Charlie has also been in several feature films including The Broken Hearts Club, Cruel Intentions 3 and 2010′s Vampire’s Suck.

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Valerie Harper to talk about her cancer on “The Doctors,” “The Today Show” and “The Talk”

I read the People magazine story this weekend on Valerie Harper and felt really sad and terrible for her. Then I found a video she made for People (see third video below) and she is so inspiring, so amazing.

Although she has been given a terminal diagnosis, Valerie feels good now and is making some television appearances to talk about her condition and her outlook.

She will appear on the syndicated talk show The Doctors on Monday as well as on The Today Show. Then on Wednesday, she will appear on The Talk.


Showtune Sunday: All about Shirley Bassey!

Ever since the Oscars two weeks ago, I’ve been all about Shirley Bassey.

I’m late to the party, really had to idea how completely fabulous she is.

But now I do so today’s Showtune Sunday is all about Dame Bassey.


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Morning Man Classic: John Lund!

John Lund is best known for his role in 1948′s A Foreign Affair directed by Billy Wilder as well as his dual role in 1946′s To Each His Own. opposite Olivia de Havilland.

The handsome blond-haired, blue-eyed actor didn’t become a major star but he had some other impressive film credits including 1949′s My Friend Irma which marked the film debut of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

He also starred opposite Gene Tierney in 1951′s The Mating Season, with Joan Fontaine in Darling How Could You! and in High Society with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.

Lund retired from movies in the early 60s and went on to become a successful Hollywood businessman.

He died in 1992 at the age of 81.

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When Vivian Vance guest-starred on Rhoda

Next to Lucy and Ethel, the greatest female sitcom duo would have to be Mary and Rhoda.

So how great was it that in 1976, Ethel (Vivian Vance) and Rhoda (Valerie Harper) appeared in an episode of Rhoda, the spinoff from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Vance played a new neighbor of Rhoda’s and they become thick as thieves. This is sweet but Rhoda’s mom Ida (Nancy Walker) feels threatened.

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Weekend Video: Lily Tomlin talks to the ladies of “The View” about her new movie “Admissions”

Lily Tomlin, who plays Reba McEntire’s mom on ABC’s Malibu Country, is playing Tina Fey’s mom in the new movie Admissions.

Lily reveals that her real name is Mary Jean Tomlin and that she took her mother’s name which was Lily Mae. The Malibu Country character is named after her mother.

And I love the little the update in Ernestine and that Barbara Walters brings up that Lily and Jane Wagner have been together for 41 years.


A reformed Brett Ratner to be honored by GLAAD

Nice to see someone turn what was an ugly incident into something positive.

We all remember how Brett Ratner (Tower Heist, Rush Hour), was asked after a screening whether he rehearses with his actors before shooting a scene.

He replied inexplicably: ‘Rehearsing is for faggots.’

The backlash was so great that resigned, under pressure, from producing the 2012 Oscars gig in November 2011.

But he didn’t just issue an apology and move on.

Since then, he has been working with GLAAD on a ‘Come Out for Equality’ public service announcement series. It features a diverse group of Hollywood celebrities, athletes, musicians and politicians ‘coming out of the closet’ as supporters of equality.

It will premiere at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York City on March 16 – the same ceremony where Anderson Cooper will be presented with an award by Madonna.

‘Out of anybody I’ve ever worked with, Brett has been the most humble and willing to put his money and actions where his mouth is,” GLAAD president Herndon Graddick tells The Hollywood Reporter.

‘In terms of an ally and what someone can do after an incident that was negative like that, I’ve never worked with someone who displayed such genuine interest in helping the community,’ Graddick added. ‘There’s no one who deserves this more than Brett does.’

‘GLAAD’s interest is in bringing allies in to join us in our fight for total equality, and he really did that. I now consider him a friend.’


Joy Behar is leaving “The View” after 16 years

Though Meredith Viera, Rosie O’Donnell, Star Jones, Lisa Ling and Debbie Matenopoulos have come and gone as panelists on The View, the two constants have always been Barbara Walters and Joy Behar.

Walters, 83, returned to the show last week after a six-week absence but Behar has just announced that she is leaving after 16 years!

It will be difficult to replace her mix of smarts and humor which is needed to counter-balance the often insufferable Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But Elisabeth may also be leaving, according to reports, and she will not be missed by me one bit.

Unlike Jones and O’Donnell, Behar is leaving on good terms and entirely on her own accord: ‘You can’t stay forever on a show’ she told “Good Morning America.”  “I am graciously exiting stage left. I’ve put in 16 1/2 years and felt the time was right. I want to explore other opportunities.’

She may not look or act it but Behar is 70 and has other things she wants to do. She currently hosts Joy Behar: Say Anything! on Current TV and previously hosted The Joy Behar Show on HLN.

Said ABC in a statement: “Joy Behar has been instrumental in the success of ‘The View’ from the very beginning.  We wish her all the best in this next chapter, and are thrilled that we have her for the remainder of the season.”


Cyndi Lauper tells it like it is when it comes to Donald Trump: ‘Become educated with facts. Don’t just be a sh*t-stirrer’

Leave it to the great Cyndi Lauper to just tell it like it is when it comes to Donald Trump.

She participated in Celebrity Apprentice a few years back to raise money for her True Colors charity but soon after told me she had hurt feelings that Trump came out so strongly against gay marriage.

Cyndi tells Next Magazine in a new interview :

“I’m not going to kiss ass with somebody like that…I felt that what he said about the gay community was disappointing because a lot of gay people work for him. It’s just sad. I thought he could have done better for his country than just go to the lowest common denominator and stir up the crap. It’s our country, it’s not wrestling. If you try and make our president fail, it doesn’t matter who he is, you make our country fail. And if you really are a patriot, if you really give a sh*t about our country, you don’t do stuff like that. First of all, you’re an entertainer, and you make ugly buildings, and you’re famous for it. And you have a reality show with very high ratings. Don’t step into the forum like that. Become educated with facts. Don’t just be a sh*t-stirrer. Our country is in trouble and he keeps wanting to make [Obama] fail. Let’s call a spade a spade. The guy’s a black man and that’s your issue? What kind of idiot are you? Come on.”

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Snapped! John Stamos and the cast of “The New Normal” get friendly at panel event

John Stamos did a memorable is he or isn’t he gay guest spot on The New Normal this season so who better than the sexy star to host a panel of the show’s star and creative team than him?

The panel was part of the 30th annual PaleyFest in Beverly Hills.

My favorite pic, of course, is of star Justin Bartha doing what so many of us have dreamed of doing: grabbing Stamos’s butt!

Co-creator Ryan Murphy (pictured above with Stamos) said of the rest of the season: “We’re building toward David (Bartha) and Bryan (Andrew Rannells), getting married, building toward a baby being born, and we’re building towards Gloria’s (Georgia King) character  really deciding if she is going to get back together with Clay (Jayson Blair) or continue on this independent path that she has created.’

Teased co-creator Ali Adler: ‘The marriage and the baby don’t happen the way you think they are going to.’

Stay tuned!

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Valerie Harper is longtime ally of gay community posted its 2006 interview with Valerie Harper yesterday and it just made me love her all the more.

The television icon, who is battling terminal brain cancer, was part of an early gay storyline on The Mary Tyler Moore Show when her character of Rhoda Morgenstern went out on a date with the brother of her nemesis, Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman).

The brother turned out to be gay and Rhoda reveals it in brilliant fashion to Phyllis who had wanted the brother to date perfect Mary and not hang out with Rhoda.

‘I loved doing that episode,’ Valerie says. ‘When I tell Phyllis, she says, “Oh, what a relief!” Do you know, when I said that line “He’s gay,” we got the biggest laugh ever on the show? I mean, this was the ’70s, long before Will & Grace or Ellen; there really weren’t gay characters on television back then. The ­audience laughed and cheered for over a minute. They had to take most of the audience response out for the broadcast cut. It was amazing. That was an extremely well-written episode — we were blessed with brilliant writing on that show.’

Here is a LINK to that episode – the ‘He’s gay’ line comes near the end.

She knew from the start, back in 1970, that the gays connected with Rhoda who herself was in many ways an outsider.

Valerie recalls: ‘One of the earliest interviews I did about Rhoda was with [late author and AIDS activist] Vito Russo, who came to my dressing room to talk with me for The Advocate. My manager, who was gay, said, “Are you sure you want to do an interview for the gay press?” And I said, “Of course!” Vito was lovely — he had a star quality himself. We lost him way too soon. I’ve always felt very strongly about human rights, for blacks, women, and gays. Our Constitution is about equality for all — that’s got to mean something to all of us.’

Of the AIDS crisis she said: ‘I’ve always been so ­impressed with the way gays responded to that crisis in their community. They rallied the troops and protected the family. I think it’s ­incredible­.’


Friday Morning Man: Darryl Stephens!

Today’s Morning Man is also today’s birthday boy!

Happy birthday to gorgeous DTLA star Darryl Stephens who we, of course, know best from his title character in the Noah’s Arc television series and feature film.

Darryl, who has also had memorable roles in such films as Boy Culture and Another Gay Movie, has also done guests spots on such shows as Private Practice, Two and Half Men and Two Broke Girls.

He is also a busy stage actor and an author.

During an interview last fall, Darryl told me he was happy to be returning to the Logo channel in DTLA because the character is so different from who he played in Noah’s Arc which also aired on Logo.

‘So many people walk up to me and are surprised that I’m not Noah,’ Darryl told me during a chat at a premiere party for the show in October. ‘It’s due time to show them another side of what Darryl Stephens can do.’

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Snapped! James Franco gets his Hollywood star!

Hooray for James Franco who received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier today.

I’m even more excited about this now that I’ve seen him in Oz The Great and Powerful which I thought was just terrific.

The film opens tomorrow and I highly recommend.

It’s one of Franco’s best performances and the movie is far better than I expected it to be with 3D that is actually used really well and effectively.

Congrats to Mr. Franco who marches to the beat of his own drummer and does it very well.

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Matt Damon on his doggie style scene with Michael Douglas in their upcoming Liberace flick

Matt Damon and Michael Douglas are on the cover this week’s Entertainment Weekly a full two months before their Liberace film Behind the Candelabra debuts.

EW assures us that there are plenty of sex scenes in the flick.

The actors tell the magazine that shooting those scenes was as awkward as such movie scenes always are no matter who is involved.

‘The scene where I’m behind him and going at him, we did that in one take,’ says Damon, who plays Thorson.  ‘We do it. Cut. There’s a long pause. And then you just hear (director Steven Soderbergh) go, “Well… I have no notes.”’

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Anderson Cooper talks about the time he went to a Tampa strip club with a bunch of straight friends

I can really relate to a story Anderson Cooper told on his daytime talk show today about going to a strip club with straight guy friends and being bored out of his mind.

‘I had to go to one once for a bachelor party when I was in college and I literally was like talking to the ladies about their shoes,’ Cooper told guest co-host Lisa Rinna.

‘I was so not into it,’ he added. ‘I was like, “I’m not even going to fake this one.”‘

After Rinna admitted that talk of the strip club was making her ‘almost hot,’ Cooper said wryly: ‘Whatever floats your boat.’

It reminded me of the late 80s when I went to a strip club with two of my college pals. We went to a place in San Diego called Pacers. I was not out to them yet and was trying to pretend to seem interested in what was going on on that stage.

When one of the women, who was not that attractive even to the straights, thrusted her bottom near my face, I turned to my friend Dave and said, ‘I just went limp!’

Little did he know then that I was limp all along.

But he eventually found out and told the story at my 40th birthday.

Anyway, enough about me! Here is the Anderson Live! clip:

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