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Greg In Hollywood chats with Jaason Simmons of “Baywatch” fame about being an out actor Simmons, who played the role of Logan Fowler on Baywatch, came out publicly as a gay man in 2008.

We spoke at last week’s Laugh Out Loud benefit and the 40-year-old actor from Australia said his life has been “no different” since he went public with his sexuality three years ago.

“I’ve always been out to my friends and family and everything,” he explained. “Professionally I wasn’t only because I was a shy kid and I didn’t talk about my private life anyway. But it comes to a point that you realize you have a responsibility so it wasn’t about me anymore.”

Although his life is not so different since coming out, the initial wave of publicity was something of a shock.

“It was an amazing experience,” he said. “The week that it was announced it was a small story in Australia and it went global within 24 hours which we didn’t expect it to do and that was the overwhelming part. I think because I was on Baywatch and having a gay guy on it was a headline. So the original part was a bit daunting but afterward, it’s just back to life and back to everything.”

He stays in touch with “about seven or eight” of his former Baywatch co-stars including Alexandra Paul and David Chokachi.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,baywatch.jpg


FILE UNDER: Interviews, Out Stars

Matt Damon’s thoughts on kissing Michael Douglas Damon and Michael Douglas are starring in a biopic about Liberace and they will be locking lips in it.

“I never thought I would get to kiss Michael Douglas,” Damon, who will play the boyfriend of Douglas’s Liberace, told PEOPLE last week at the premiere of the documentary His Way. “I kind of think of it in algebra terms, back to my high-school days. It’s like the transitive property – by kissing Michael Douglas, I am making out with [his wife] Catherine [Zeta-Jones].”

“I was actually kind of upset that I never got to kiss Catherine,” said Damon who appeared with Zeta-Jones in Ocean’s Twelve, “but now I get to kiss Michael. I thought it would have been better if I could have at least kissed them both.”

Of the kissing, Damon added: “There’s scripted that there’s actually more than one.”


Tuesday Morning Man: Andrew Rannells!

The talented actor Andrew Rannells is currently starring in The Book of Mormon on Broadway, a new musical with a satirical bite written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame and composer-lyricist Robert Lopez from Avenue Q).

The show follows a pair of mismatched Mormon boys sent on a mission to a place that is as far from Salt Lake City as you can get… Uganda.

It has been getting raves.

Andrew, who has been an in-demand voice actor for years and can do various accents, made his Broadway debut in 2004 when he played the role of Link Larkin in Hairspray.

He then played the role of songwriter Bob Gaudio, the youngest member of the Four Seasons, in the national tour of the musical Jersey Boys then took over the role on Broadway for six months in 2009.

Andrew Rannells

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

Lunch Break Video: Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak face off in 1980′s “The Mirror Crack’d” week’s videos are going to be all about Elizabeth Taylor.

There is a treasure trove of material as Miss Taylor was in the public eye for 70 years!

Today’s clip is a dandy: In 1980, the great star returned to the big screen for the first time since 1977′s A Little Night Music. The film was The Mirror Crack’d which also starred Rock Hudson, Angela Lansbury, Tony Curtis and Kim Novak.

This scene is a delicious between Taylor and Novak who play rival actresses who clearly do not like each other!


Out rugby star Gareth Thomas has been invited to wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton rugby star Gareth Thomas will most certainly be wearing more than this when he attends next month’s Royal Wedding!

Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton have invited the United Kingdom’s first openly gay rugby star to their April 29 nuptials at Westminster Abbey.

“I’m in London to get a suit fitted,” the hunky Thomas told Mandrake at a party to launch the Nintendo 3DS. “I’m a friend of William through rugby. I’m just going to the service. I’m not nervous about it. It will be really good.”


Darren Criss performs at opening of The Office in West Hollywood to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles night marked the grand opening of West Hollywood’s newest bar and restaurant: The Office WeHo.

And who better to kick things off with than Glee sensation Darren Criss who performed several songs including Let It Be, Desperado, Teenage Dream and the beautiful ballad That’s All, among other songs.

His appearance no doubt pumped up ticket sales for the event which is a good thing since it was a benefit for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

Here is video of some of Darren’s performance:


“Glee” star Matthew Morrison talks about making music for his upcoming album with Gwyneth Paltrow

Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth PaltrowWhen they were working together on Glee, Matthew Morrison and Gwyneth Paltrow made beautiful music together when they dueted on Singin’ in the Rain.
Their characters, choir teacher Will Schuester and substitute teacher Holly Holliday became romantically involved during Paltrow’s second guest spot in February (she returns for a third episode on April 19).
But they have another collaboration going on as well: Morrison tells Entertainment Weekly that he asked Paltrow to sing on the album during her work on Glee, but admits the conversation was slightly awkward.
“The hardest part of doing this album was asking these people favors, like Elton [John] and her,” says Matthew. “I’m so not that guy.”
The song Matthew chose to sing with Gwyneth is one Glee fans will remember from the last episode of the first season: Over the Rainbow.
“People kind of know me for that song now,” says Morrison. “I wanted to do a duet with a female. I thought that was a good song to do, and we really did a different arrangement of it. It’s a lot of strings, and it’s beautiful.”

Monday Morning Man: Mike Catherwood!

Since he scored the lowest on Dancing With the Stars last week, it looks like Mike Catherwood won’t be around the competition very long.

So I thought I’d feature him today!

Catherwood is better known by his radio name of Psycho Mike and works at KROQ-FM on Kevin and Bean and as the co-host of Loveline with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

He is known for performing many vocal impersonations, including Gene Simmons, Kevin Federline, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Spencer Pratt, among others.

He also performs a character named Rudy who is his own invention.  The heavy-accented Rudy is an ex-con with a penchant for marijuana and  manscaping.

Mike, who is 32, is also an amateur body builder and a certified personal trainer and has appeared in several segments educating listeners about exercise and nutrition.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

Happy Birthday to Nicholas Rodriguez! not want to let the day pass completely by without wishing a happy birthday to the talented and really cute actor Nicholas Rodriguez who turns 34 years old today.

Nicholas is one of the stars of the terrific web series Then We Got Help which I post each week and he is best known for the role of Nick that he played on ABC’s One Life to Live in 2009. His character came between the characters of Kyle and Oliver in daytime TV’s first gay love triangle.

Although all of the gay characters were written out of the show in the early months of 2010, the storyline had clearly touched all kinds of people.

Nicholas told MetroWeekly last year: ”In New York I had this one kid come to me and say, ‘I watched you propose to that boy with my grandma.’ This gay, 13 year-old boy was so excited that he got to see a man propose to another man. It was so incredible.”

This openly gay star is a veteran of the stage and last year starred in the role of the young, lovestruck Italian shop clerk Fabrizio in Arena Stage’s production of The Light in the Piazza, played Jesus in a touring company of Jesus Christ Superstar and appeared on Broadway as the King of the Apes in Tarzan.

Nicholas Rodriguez

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Showtune Sunday: See Elizabeth Taylor sing “Send in the Clowns” in film version of “A Little Night Music” is an encore post of a Showtune Sunday selection from last September. For obvious reasons, I thought I’d post it again:

Catherine Zeta-Jones won the Tony Award for her performance as actress Desiree Armfeldt in the Broadway revival of A Little Night Music. She left the show soon after and was replaced by the legendary (and many say far superior) Bernadette Peters in the role.

It’s a juicy role for an actress and many would clamor for the role of Desiree should a feature film version ever be made.

Wait a minute! One has been made and you’ll never guess who starred as Desiree: Elizabeth Taylor!

The year was 1977 and Miss Taylor, between marriages to Richard Burton and John Warner at the time, starred with Len Cariou, Lesley-Anne Down and Diana Rigg in this 1977 production. Cariou, Laurence Guittard and the delicious Hermione Gingold reprised their Broadway roles.

Gingold played Madame Armfeldt, a role played by Angela Lansbury in the Broadway revival. Miss Lansbury left the production along with Zeta-Jones. Her replacement was a doozy: Elaine Stritch!

Anyway, here is Miss Taylor’s painful, but interesting to watch, rendition of Send in the Clowns.

FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Kevin Costner!

I don’t know when people decided Kevin Costner was no longer cool but I’m still a fan of the Oscar winning director whose films include Dances With Wolves, Field of Dreams and Bull Durham.

Costner is the first major movie star who I ever interviewed – a few years before I began writing about entertainment exclusively. It was in 1999 and I was covering the restaurant industry for the Business section of the Los Angeles Times. Costner, Robert Wagner and golfer Fred Couples were opening a restaurant called The Clubhouse near South Coast Plaza and I covered the press conference and chatted with Kevin after.

The first movie I ever saw of his was 1987′s No Way Out and I was quickly smitten. I soon caught up on anything he had been up to that time including Fandango, American Flyers, Silverado and The Untouchables.

From then on, I’d see any Costner film in the theaters soon after they came out. I loved him in JFK, Tin Cup and The Bodyguard and remember waiting in a long line outside a movie theater in Newport Beach on opening weekend of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

What I liked was that at the height of his fame, Costner took chances. He was terrific in a supporting role in the drama The War and played one of his few bad guys in The Perfect World which also starred Clint Eastwood.

Kevin took some real grief with the release of the expensive film Waterworld which was widely panned and grossed just under $90 million. But that was a huge box office success compared to the major flop The Postman was. After that film, Costner stopped helming big budget flicks and became more of an actor for hire in such films as Thirteen Days, For the Love of the Game and 3000 Miles to Graceland.

He decided to direct again in 2003 and did it with a budget of just $26 million. The film was the outstanding western Open Range which also starred Robert Duvall and Annette Bening. The film grossed nearly $60 million and was considered a solid success critically and commercially.

More recent films have seen Costner segue into character roles and this has led to some of his most interesting work. He was terrific in the widely-overlooked gem The Upside of Anger, very funny in Swing Vote and scary good in Mr. Brooks.

Costner, now 56, currently has a co-starring role in Company Men and has been cast in the upcoming film Superman: Man of Steel.

Here are my top-5 favorite Costner films: Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Open Range, The Upside of Anger and The War.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)

Openly gay stars of television and stage T.R. Knight and Jonothan Groff are both celebrating birthdays! Whenever there is a discussion over whether or not coming out will harm a gay actor’s career, I always say that the really talented stars seem to do just fine.

Two examples of that are T.R. Knight and Jonathan Groff who are celebrating their birthdays today! (pictured, left), is a very youthful looking 38 and came to fame playing straight guy Dr. George O’Malley on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. He was nominated for an Emmy, and had on-screen romances with characters played by Katherine Heigl and Sara Ramirez.

The actor left the show a few years ago to return to his first love: the stage. He recently appeared on Broadway in David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre and in 2009, starred at LA’s Mark Taper Forum in the musical Parade.

Jonothan, best known to television audiences for his role as Jesse St. James during the first season of Glee (he will return for an episode this spring!), has been a huge star on Broadway originating the role of Melchior Gabor in Spring Awakening earning a Tony Award nomination for best lead actor in a musical.

He most recently starred in a production of the play Deathtrap on London’s West End.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Episode 3 of the new season of “Then We Got HELP” features a new aggressively bisexual character! week, I posted the first two episodes of the terrific web series Then We Got Help about four couples in group therapy.

One of the couples is the seemingly mismatched Dan and Eric (played by One Life to Live alum Nicholas Rodriguez (pictured left) and actor Blake Hammond).

This week’s episode (the third of season 2) is titled Battle of the Exes and is a real hoot! Eric stays home “sick” but there is a new couple joining the group and we find out that the husband also has a boyfriend!



Happy 67th Birthday to Diana Ross!

Diana Ross is one of those rare talents whose talent and beauty have not diminished over time.

The great star, who turns 67 today, came to fame in the early 60s as the lead singer of The Supremes and their many hits including Baby Love, Stop! In The Name of Love, Where Did Our Love Go? You Can’t Hurry Love, Reflections.

In the 70s, she was a solo superstar with hit records (Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Touch Me in the Morning, Love Hangover, Do You Know Where You’re Going To) and memorable films (The Wiz, Mahogany and her Oscar-nominated performance in Lady Sings the Blues).

The 80s kicked off with some of her biggest solo hits: Upside Down, I’m Coming Out, It’s My Turn and Endless Love and continued with Missing You, Muscles, Mirror Mirror and her smash remake of Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

By the 90s, Diana’s ambition seemed to cool a bit with the albums out less frequently (1996′s Take Me Higher is terrific!) and her acting limited to a pair of television films: the excellent drama Out of Darkness and the enjoyable Double Platinum.

Her most recent album, I Love You, was her biggest seller in years when it was released in 2008 (It was her first new release in nearly a decade) and hopefully she will record again soon!

The mother of five and a new grandmother, Miss Ross still performs live at the biggest venues (I’ve seen her at The Hollywood Bowl and the Nokia Theater in recent years) and it’s always a treat to see her on television like last month’s appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

I hope Miss Ross continues to share her gifts with us for many years to come!

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

See Alec Baldwin’s very funny video for marriage equality: “No one tells a New Yorker he can’t marry Jesse Tyler Ferguson”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Videos: Elizabeth Taylor the AIDS and LGBT activist speaking out through the years extraordinary life of Elizabeth Taylor was, of course, dominated by a legendary movie career that brought her enormous fame at a very young age.

She won Oscars and made classic films that we will love forever.

But it was her second act that I believe is her greatest legacy. She was in her early 50s when she became an AIDS activist and it was her most important role for the rest of her life.

Here are some videos of Miss Taylor at some major events over the years where she spoke about AIDS, about LGBT equality and about her activism.

When she was presented with the GLAAD Vanguard Award in 2000, she told the crowd: “I didn’t become an activist to win awards, I became an activist to help people … I knew that somebody had to do something.”

She added: “All my life I’ve spent a lot of time with gay men – Monty Clift, Jimmy Dean, Rock Hudson. … I never thought about who they slept with. They were just the people I loved.”

And I love this line in her speech from that night: “There is no gay agenda. It’s a human agenda. All of us should be treated the same.”

With her passing this week, it’s important to remember all that she did for us.


Happy Birthday to Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Sarah Jessica Parker and Gloria Steinem! musical legends celebrated birthdays today: Elton John and Aretha Frankin.

New daddy Elton, who paid tribute to his friend Elizabeth Taylor this week, turned 64. Aretha, the undisputed Queen of Soul, turned 69 and appear to be on the mend from a serious health scare that has led to her losing a substantial amount of weight.

I was not aware that these two superstars had collaborated musically on occasion including on the song Through the Storm for a live performance of the song Border Song (see video).

Also, happy birthday to Carrie Bradshaw herself, the wonderfully talented and lovely Sarah Jessica Parker turned 46 while feminist, journalist, and social and political activist Gloria Steinem is 77.

Happy birthday to all of these amazing people!

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Happy Birthday to Thom Bierdz! Thom Bierdz, who plays Phillip Chancellor III on The Young and the Restless, turns 49 today!

The talented actor, artist and author has been through a lot of rough times in his life which he details in his harrowing memoir Forgiving Troy.

But he has proven himself to be a survivor and it is extraordinary how Thom has been able to launch a second showbiz act after 20 years away from acting.

He was a closeted young actor when he first played Phillip in the 80s but when he returned to the show in 2009, his presumed-dead character was very much alive and like the actor in real life, he was gay!“After coming out I had a unique opportunity in 2009 to play the same part I did 20 years ago on Y&R, Phillip Chancellor III, who was straight,” he said in a recent interview with Frontiers IN LA. “And now all these years later, as in my own life, the writers have brilliantly written Phillip as gay, and as a son, brother, father, with an ex-wife he adores. My character on the soap has been loved since he was born in the ’70s, and now viewers—even those who think they don’t know any gay people—know Phillip is gay and that the actor playing him is also gay; so they have to/get to experience Phillip as a multidimensional gay man who is as worthy of love as the other legacy characters on daytime.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Lucy Friday: When Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton did a hilarious guest spot on “Here’s Lucy” DO COMEDY: The year was 1970 and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton agreed to guest star on Lucille Ball’s third sitcom Here’s Lucy.

The Krupp Diamond, given to Elizabeth by Burton during their first marriage, is at the center of the comedy here as Lucy gets it stuck on her finger and can’t get it off!

Elizabeth, looking tan and gorgeous, was in her late 30s by that time and is very funny in her scenes with the famous redhead. Here is a LINK to part of the episode.


FILE UNDER: I Love Lucy Friday

Friday Morning Man: Hudson Taylor!

It’s a real pleasure to share with you a Morning Man who is not only a straight ally, but someone who is actively working to combat homophobia in sports.

This handsome guy is Hudson Taylor who graduated from the University of Maryland as a Division I three-time All-American wrestler last year and currently ranks among the top-five pinners in NCAA history. He is now wrestling coach at Columbia University.

Committed to civil rights and social justice, Hudson wore a HRC sticker on his wrestling headgear in college to show solidarity — as a heterosexual athlete ally — with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. This single act drew media attention around the country and prompted thousands of inspiring, personal messages. With this encouragement, Hudson became committed to speaking louder as an athlete ally.

Hudson serves on the Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Sport’s Project’s Advisory Board. This initiative works with K-12 schools to create an athletic environment that encourages respect, safety and inclusion for all students and coaches.

He also has a website called Athlete Ally that encourages athletes to take a pledge so “we, as an athletic community, can take proactive steps to end homophobia in sports.”

The video below is Hudson’s terrific interview about Athlete Ally this week with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC.


Hudson Taylor

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2011)