For the first time in 13 years, Rosie O’Donnell returned to The Oprah Show to reflect on love, life and the ever-evolving definition of family. Since she walked off The View, Rosie says she’s been at home, trying to figure out what to do with the second chapter of her life.
“I think as a child I never thought I would live past 40, because my mother didn’t,” she told Oprah. “And my goal was to do everything I could before I was 40 and then retire and wait for the doctor to say, ‘Well, you’re going to die.’”
When that didn’t happen, this 47-year-old mother of four began to look inward. Like many women, Rosie says she wanted to find a way to balance work and family.
Even after her ex Kelli Carpenter moved out more than two years ago, Rosie says they tried to save their relationship: “We tried very hard to make it work in different configurations and to try to stay together and allow each other to grow and evolve and find joy,” she says.
Even after a breakup, Rosie says like most lesbian couples, they stay connected: “It sounds maybe a little bit elitist, and I’m not trying to say it’s better. I just think it’s a different paradigm. [For] women, usually in relationships, the emotional connection is really the most intense, and so when they break up, I have found they stay connected. Every woman that I have ever been with, besides one, is still in my life.”
Rosie says she did feel unspoken pressure to stay with Kelli and be a role model for other gay couples.
“I remember when Melissa [Etheridge] and Julie broke up, I called Melissa and said: ‘Come on. There’s so few,’” she said. “And she said, ‘Ro, your first goal in life is to be true to yourself, and your children will look at you and know when you’re living an authentic life.’”
Rosie says this resonated with her, and from then on, she approached her divorce with honesty. “I wanted to show people that gay families are just like every other family, and sometimes, divorce happens,” she says. “No one ever goes into a marriage expecting or wanting a divorce. … It was a difficult thing to get through. I have to say it was the most difficult thing in my adult life.”
One night, Rosie says she was crying in her room when her oldest son, 14-year-old Parker, came in to see what was wrong. “He’s like, ‘What’s up, Mom?’ And I was like, ‘I can’t imagine that you’re not going to be here, and I’m just going to miss you so much.’ And he said: ‘Mom, I’m always going to be your son. It doesn’t matter where I am. You’re okay. I love you. We’re connected. It’s all right,’” she says. “He’s like my little Yoda.”
Now, Rosie says she and Kelli have found a free-flowing way to share equal time with their children without really ever being without them.
After her mother died (Rosie was just 10) and her father was too grief-stricken to care for his children, Rosie says women who lived in her Long Island neighborhood stepped in as surrogate mothers.
“I was raised with love, compassion and grace by women who were not connected to me by biological means, and that’s exactly what I ended up doing,” she said.
From age 10 until her freshman year in college, Rosie says she never spoke of her mother’s death. In response, Rosie’s parenting style is the opposite of her father’s. In her home, every child is encouraged to share his or her feelings. “In fact, it’s to the point that it almost annoys my children now,” she says. “I’m constantly saying: ‘Are you okay? What are you feeling? Can we talk?’”
Even though she and Kelli are no longer a couple, Rosie says she wants her children to know that family is forever.
“[I want them to know] they can survive challenges, even unexpected ones that are terrifically sad,” she said. “And that change is inevitable, and you can always survive it. … There is always something new in the future, and you don’t know what it’s going to be, but it’s got the potential for tremendous joy.”
Rosie says her blog actually brought her and new current love, Tracy Kachtick-Anders, together. After Tracy wrote to Rosie and asked if she wanted to trade art, Rosie read an article about this single, lesbian mom. She discovered that Tracy had six children, five she adopted from foster care and a baby she gave birth to, a boy who has Down syndrome. The article also said Tracy worked for gay foster care rights and liked to surf, garden and recycle.
“I wrote her and I said, ‘Are you for real or is this a joke?’” Rosie says. “Because if I had gone on Match.com and put ‘What do you want in a person?’ it would have been everything that was in that article.”
As soon as Tracy ties up loose ends in Texas, Rosie says they plan on moving in together and blending their families. That would give them a total of 10 kids under one roof!
“I said to my kids, ‘Your mommy does a lot of things that people don’t understand.’ When I was adopting children, and I didn’t have a partner, people thought that was crazy,” she said. “My kids know me, and when I told Parker, I had told him about her. Then I told him, ‘I’m going to be dating her.’ And he goes, ‘Well, Mom, it sounds pretty perfect.’”
I was reading the obit on actor James Mitchell in the LA Times last night and there were plenty of surprises for me.
I had no idea that the man who played the gruff patriarch Palmer Cortlandt for more than three decades on ABC’s All My Children was 89 years old! I didn’t know that he had the lead roles on Broadway in such musicals as Paint Your Wagon, Billion Dollar Baby, Brigadoon and Bloomer Girl and toured with Chita Rivera in The Three Penny Opera. Mitchell also had many movie roles including The Turning Point, The Band Wagon, Oklahoma and Deep in My Heart.
And most importantly – to me – is I did not know he was gay!
I learned it from The Times which, at the end of the second paragraph, attributes the information about his death last Friday to his longtime partner Albert Wolsky.
Mitchell’s last All My Children appearance was earlier this month on the show’s 40th anniversary episode which was taped sometime in December. Palmer was gruff on the outside and could be quite a ruthless schemer in days gone by, but at the core of it was a deep love for his family.
I still remember when he first came on the show was the over-controlling father of the beautiful Nina. Once she finally got a life of her own, he had a lovely remarriage to Daisy (Nina’s mom) then a terrible one to Cynthia and also marriages to Donna and Opal – I think! I catch the show from time to time but have not watched it regularly in many years.
“He really enjoyed it,” Wolsky said of his work on the soap. “The meaner he could be, the happier he was; actors love to play the villain.”
AUSTRALIAN OPEN: It’s always painful when your favorite players lose but even more so when they go down with an injury.
That was the case for both Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal who both lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open when their bodies betrayed them.
Andy, still seeking hi first title in Melbourne, was in great form after winning the warm-up tournament in Sydney a few weeks ago and he entered his match Wednesday on an 11 match winning streak. But he struggled with a shoulder injury and lost to Marin Cilic 7-6 (4), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3.
Who knows how things would have gone had Andy not been playing hurt – or if he had won that first set!
There were no set wins for defending champ Rafael Nadal who couldn’t even finish his match against Britain’s Andy Murray. Nadal, who struggled with bad knees for much of last season, had a flair-up against Murry and finally retired while trailing 6-3, 7-6, 3-o.
Nadal said he didn’t want to risk more damage by playing and potentially having to spend long periods off the tour with knee tendinitis.
“Similar thing that I had last year,” Nadal said of the pain. “It was impossible to win the match.”
I think Murray was very tender and sweet in consoling Rafa after the match. I have a feeling they just felt like making out right there and then! Did I really just write that?
Fans of Pushing Daisies are still mourning the cancellation of that wonderful show after just two seasons. But its talented and handsome leading man, Lee Pace, is just getting started.
By the time he took on the role of Ned on Daisies, a pie maker with the power to bring dead people back to life, Lee had already made a major splash In 2003′s Soldier’s Girl in the role of Calpernia Addams, a transgender woman dating Army soldier Barry Winchell (Troy Garity) who was murdered because of his sexuality and his relationship with Addams.
“I didn’t come to the audition dressed in drag, I was just wearing a T-shirt and jeans,” Lee told me in 2008. “I knew how to connect and mean what I say. I don’t know how to play a drag queen.”
After he was cast, he told director Frank Pierson and he was having a difficult time finding his way into the drag queen element of the character: “Pierson just said, ‘Play the woman and the story will be clear. All I had to do was play the integrity of it, falling in love with someone else, getting away from her past. All I had to do was focus on is falling in love. After that, the make-up people will do their job.”
“I’m really proud of that film. When I broke it to my parents that I was playing Calpernia, my mom was like, ‘Oh, well, at least you’re not playing a killer.’ When I got cast in ‘Infamous,’ I was like, ‘Guess what mom.’”
In Infamous, Lee and Daniel Craig portrayed the two killers Truman Capote wrote about in his book In Cold Blood and the movie dramatized his research of the film. The movie had the misfortune of being released a year after a nearly identical film, Capote, won Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Oscar for his portrayal of the famed writer.
The film was shot before Craig was cast as the new James Bond but things were already in the works for him to become the next 007.
“We shot a sequence in Waco and I did this drive back with him and he was on the phone talking to someone about the Bond thing,” Lee remembered. “It was all coming together at that time. He was great to work with, he absolutely transformed himself.”
Lee was dazzling opposite Amy Adams in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day and has a nice scene with Colin Firth in the current release A Single Man and a role in the romantic comedy When In Rome .
If there one thing everyone can agree on about Rosie O’Donnell it’s this: the woman is candid!
Promoting the heck out of her upcoming HBO special A Family is a Family is a Family, Rosie is on The Oprah Winfrey Show this afternoon and speaks about the topics we all want to know about including her split from Kelli Carpenter pictured with Rosie and their four kids last week at the documentary’s premiere.
Here are some highlights:
On her split with Kelli Carpenter: “I think that what you want at 30 … is very different than what you want when you’re 40. A lot of things sort of changed and shifted. … [Post-split Rosie] wanted her in the same town. she was like, ‘I don’t know how good that’s gonna be for me.’ Like, what are you saying? You can’t exist – okay. Calm down. Breathe. Everything’s okay. … Although we co-parent, we share equal time but are never really without them. Some are here. And that’s the way we did it. It’s free-flowing, and we do nights together, too.”
“To be held up as some sort of role model for the gay community, I felt some sort of pressure. … Sometimes divorce happens. … It was a difficult thing to get through. It was the most difficult thing in my life.”
New love Tracy Kachtick-Anders: who has six children of her own. “”So she got out of the car in Miami and I was, like, zoinks, you know, because she’s absolutely gorgeous and, I don’t know, I felt like I knew her right away. It was very odd.”
She also says they plan to move in together in the near future and combine their families.
On a backstage blow-up with Barbara Walters: “For me at that moment, if I had been braver, I would have just cried and said you really hurt my feelings. … I think I scared her. I’m 200 pounds, when I stand up and say ‘do you not have a human heart?’ it’s crazy.”
On televised fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck: She acted “different on TV than in the dressing room. It was a betrayal of my friendship.”
CRUSHED: Greg In Hollywood crush Lleyton Hewitt will never be able to win his home tournament, the Australian Open, as long as he has to get through Roger Federer to do it.
Lleyton, a finalist in 2005, lost to Federer for the 15th straight time. The score shows that it wasn’t even close: 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 Monday night at Rod Laver Arena. Federer said he’d been playing Hewitt since they were 14 and they were old friends.
Whatever happens, cutie pie Lleyton has had a hall of fame career that includes being the number ranked player in the world for long stretches in 2001 and 2002. He also won the US Open and Wimbledon and two year-end championships.
Still, with all the hard work he continues to put in and the injuries he’s had to overcome, I’m rooting f0r him to have one big victory in one of the slams.
Meanwhile, good luck to Federer the rest of the way!
It’s no mystery why Valerie Harper won an Emmy for each of the first three seasons of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her portrayal of Rhoda Morgenstern made for one of the greatest characters in the history television sitcoms.
These clips are from the show’s glorious first season starting with how Mary and Rhoda met and Rhoda is still fairly heavy which made her all the funnier. In the photo, she has just told Mary she can’t have any snacks before her party because “I’ve got to lose 10 pounds by 8:30.”
She also makes Mary a cheese sandwich and when Mary bites into it and remarks that it tastes funny Rhoda says: “You were out of cheese so I used yogurt.”
Rhoda slimmed down in future seasons but stayed funny. She left after season four to star in the spinoff Rhoda which lasted five seasons and won Harper a fourth Emmy.
I’m a few days late in posting the latest episode of Then We Got Help because I wanted to watch it first. I loved it! As you know, this is a web series written and directed and co-starring Julie Ann Emery about four couples who form their own therapy group to save money. It’s group therapy without a therapist!
This week, the episode is Someone Else’s Shoes and the participants take on their partner’s personality traits in a role swapping exercise and the results are hilarious.
I’m of course most interested in the gay couple Dan (Nicholas Rodriguez) and Eric (Blake Hammond) and they are so deliciously bitchy to each other that I was laughing out loud. Dan is the fit hot half of the couple and is always getting hit on and encouraging his overweight partner to eat better and work out.
It shows why they are in therapy!
The other couples have some funny showdowns too. If you want to catch up on previous episodes, go to the Then We Got Help web site.
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Joe Everett Michaels escorted Golden Globe Award winner Chloe Segivny up the stairs to the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, her Valentino gown looking quite striking.
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Chloe seems stunned by her win as outstanding supporting TV actress for Big Love and the handsome Joe seems like very steady support.
Joe almost has Chloe to the podium … but disaster is about to strike!
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Chloe cannot believe the train of her dress has ripped! Joe’s foot accidentally landed on top of it when they parted ways. Chloe mentions it as she begins her speech and talked about it backstage, clearly in no mood to laugh it off: “I can’t believe you just ripped my dress!”
Joe, a 41-year-old theater producer, gave a full account of what happened to Greg In Hollywood last week. Here is an excerpt: When I got her up there, I lifted my hand off to have her release and let go and as she pulled away, I went to the left and she was going right. The train of the extraordinarily beautiful dress she was wearing got caught under my foot and as I started to walk, I heard it rip. It was really loud.”
It clearly was an unfortunate accident and hopefully Chloe isn’t mad anymore. But just to make sure, it would be cool to have Joe present her with some flowers or something on The Ellen DeGeneres Show or Regis and Kelly?
MTV’s Jersey Shore, which focuses on the escapades of eight 20-somethings thrown together at a summer shore house, just finished its first season.
What a phenomenon it has become! And one of the biggest reasons why is Mike Sorrentino who is better known as The Situation.
What a knockout body! He also likes to speak his mind. Here are few fun quotes from interviews with the dude:
I’m very confident in being Italian,” he says. “I’m proud to have spiky hair and to have my six-pack. Whoever doesn’t like it, I’m not really too worried about it because everybody should love themselves. If you don’t love yourself, who will?”
On his appeal to gays: “I’ll be honest, I definitely like the attention,” he says. “I’m flattered if there are guys that have crushes on me.”
The video below is from The Tonight Show last month when Mike explained to Conan O’Brien his nickname:
I would feel pretty silly writing about Anderson Cooper’s tight bicep-revealing tee wardrobe in Haiti so I’ll just share an excerpt of what The New York Times has written:
If journalists in Iraq still wear heavy armor for whatever protection it provides against bombs, certain journalists in Haiti are also armored, but with outsize pecs and gym-bunny arms.Viewers who watched CNN’s earthquake coverage this last week were bound to be struck by correspondents who looked a lot less like the usual disheveled examples of those in the profession than like bendable action figures.
You could call it the Anderson Cooper effect. Mr. Cooper has rarely missed an opportunity to showcase his buff physique (as anyone would know if he or she remembers his stripping to a bathing suit to quiz Michael Phelps). But Mr. Cooper isn’t the only CNN correspondent with a self-conscious taste for form-fitting charcoal T-shirts, accessorized with a tiny microphone clipped at the neck. Looking somewhat sheepish about it, a newly sleek Dr. Sanjay Gupta moved through Port-au-Prince wearing a snug gray T-shirt, his hair styled in the obligatory CNN crop. His colleague Jason Carroll, reporting on Wednesday’s aftershock and looking like a guy who had done 20 quick pushups before going on air, wore a T-shirt so snugly revealing it called into question whether a disaster zone is the place to flaunt one’s gym physique.
The Screen Actors Guild really got it right by honoring Betty White at its awards last night.
Her longevity is astounding and she remains as busy as ever at the age of 88! She co-starred in The Proposal last year and appeared on the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful and in recent years had a recurring role on Boston Legal and played a hilarious version of herself on Ugly Betty.
She’s been on television regularly since the late 40s and, of course, is best known for her Emmy winning roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls.
“Seventy-one years ago when I sang on an experiment thing and it was called television, who would have dreamed it would culminate in an evening like this,” she said while accepting her award. “Back when I first started, it would never have even occurred to me to imagine such a thing as this moment. And I still can’t believe I’m standing here. This is the highest point of my entire professional life. To the Screen Actors Guild, to each and every one of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Betty’s SAG Award was presented by her Proposal co-star Sandra Bullock who joked that she finds White annoying because she has accomplished so much over her career, including having no less than four TV series named “The Betty White Show.”
In vintage Sue Ann Nivens style, White took the stage and retorted: “It’s amazing to see how far a girl as plain as she is can go.”
Elaine Stritch sings her signature song Ladies Who Lunch from Company.
I just love it! Got the chance to ask her last fall if she ever gets tired of singing the tune. She said: “I want to sing Ladies Who Lunch once in awhile. I did it every night for two-and-a-half years so I’d like to make the spaces larger between renditions.”
In that case, thank God for YouTube!
I personally never get tired of watching this from the opening line of “I’d like to propose a toast” to that great finale: “Everybody riiiiiiiiiiiiiise! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiise! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise!”
Marlon Brando has a long career in movies that spanned over a half-century. In middle age, he won a second Academy Award for The Godfather and starred in both The Last Tango in Paris and Apocalypse Now. Then he gained a tremendous amount of weight and his later movie roles were every uneven although there were some later gems such as A Dry White Season for which he received his last Oscar nod and Don Juan DeMarco with Johnny Depp.
But these photos are from his earlier years when he dazzled in such classics as A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, The Wild One and Guys and Dolls, among others.
He definitely would have been named People mag’s sexiest man alive!
Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy-winning legend Liza Minnelli, currently enjoying a very good stretch in her sometime turbulent life, will be doing a multi-episode guest stint on ABC’s Ugly Betty.
And what a perfect role they have written for her: Liza will play the outrageous Lena Korkinka, the high school drama teacher of Justin’s (Mark Indelicato).
Liza is set to begin filming episodes next week through mid-February.
This sounds like the perfect kind of gig for Miss Minnelli who was a smash during her recurring guest role on Arrested Development several years back. She won a Tony Award last year for her one woman show Liza at the Palace.
Ugly Betty has been struggling in the ratings so far this season after being relegated to Friday nights. Now back on Wednesdays, hopefully Liza’s involvement can restore some much-needed buzz to this still terrific show.
Jon Prescott is one of the stars of the new film Howl which opened the Sundance Film Festival this week.
In Howl, the handsome 28-year-old actor plays Neal Cassady, one of the central figures in a group of artists, writers and uninhibited live-livers known as the “Beats.” the film focuses on the obscenity trial brought about by the 1956 publication of beat poet Allen Ginsberg’sHowl and Other Poems.
Jon had previously been best-known for his role as Mike Kasnoff on the CBS soap As the World Turns which is now in its final year. He’s had several prime-time TV guest spots since then on such shows as Rescue Me and Law & Order and has also completed a role in the film Doesn’t Texas Ever End.
Jon’s first regular television role came in the 2005 comedy series Hot Properties which he landed just two years after graduating from Emerson College in Boston where he majored in theater studies and music.
We look forward to watching his career continue to unfold!