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Jennifer Lopez to receive GLAAD Vanguard Award

http://image3.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/jennifer_lopez(11).jpgPeople still bring up the year Jennifer Aniston received the Vanguard Award from GLAAD and still wonder why.

Aniston herself did not seem to know why as she accepted it.

But enough time has passed and GLAAD announced today that another famous Jennifer will be getting the prestigious honor next month and few should have a problem with it: it’s Jennifer Lopez.

Lopez will receive  the award which is presented to artists and media professionals who, through their work, have increased the visibility and understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Past recipients include Antonio Banderas, Drew Barrymore, Kristin Chenoweth, Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Hutcherson, Janet Jackson, Eric McCormack, Liza Minnelli, Sharon Stone and Elizabeth Taylor.

No mention of Aniston in the press release.

Lopez is one of the Executive Producers of ABC Family’s The Fosters, which is a GLAAD Media Award-nominated drama series about a lesbian couple raising a family of biological, adopted, and foster children.

Her inspiration for producing The Fosters came from her late aunt, who faced prejudice because of her sexual orientation and was unable to have her own family. She saw the series as an opportunity to create change and tell the story of an authentic and loving family that happens to have two moms at its helm.

She can currently be seen as a judge on American Idol, which, for the first time, featured an openly gay competitor, MK Nobilette.

Lopez has been a strong advocate of LGBT visibility in entertainment media, as well as a strong supporter of marriage equality, saying “when it comes to gay marriage, I just believe in love. I believe that when two people find each other and love each other, they should be able to spend their lives together with all the same benefits and privileges as everyone.”

GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis said of Lopez: “Through her work to bring The Fosters to life and by consistently speaking out as a powerful ally, Jennifer Lopez has not only sent a message of acceptance to LGBT adults and young people, but inspired new support for our community among her many fans around the globe. Family is about love, and that’s a message Jennifer has shared with millions through her groundbreaking work on The Fosters.”

Additional special guests for the April 12 Los Angeles event include: Kelly Osbourne; Sherri Saum, Teri Polo (The Fosters); Shane Bitney Crone, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Bridegroom); Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall, John “Long Jones” Abdallah Wambere (Call Me Kuchu); GLAAD National Spokespersons, Wilson Cruz and Omar Sharif, Jr., and GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. Additional honorees, presenters, and LGBT advocates will be announced.

In January, GLAAD announced 93 nominees in 20 English-language categories, and 37 Spanish-language nominees in nine categories. Nominees for the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards can be found here. The New York GLAAD Media Awards ceremony will take place on May 3 at the Waldorf Astoria New York.

FILE UNDER: Awards, GLAAD

Lunch Break Video: Bette Midler and Wynonna team up for an absolutely lovely duet of “The Rose”


Just came across this last night as I was looking for Cher concert videos and knew I had to share it with you. I’m not sure what year it is from but it appears to be some kind of Wynonna Judd TV special. Wynonna invited Bette Midler to the stage and these two divas team up for Bette’s classic hit The Rose.

It works!

Morning Man Encore: Eddie Redmayne!

Getting a late start today and to top it all off, I’m offering you a Morning Man rerun!

But this guy, originally featured on Dec. 17, 2012, is certainly worth a second look!

It’s so nice to see someone becoming a big star who is actually very talented – who can act and sing and is really good looking to top it off!

That would be Eddie Redmayne who is one of the stars of the big screen adaptation of Les Miserables which I watched last week.

Eddie leaped onto my radar starring opposite with Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn which earned him a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination.

The 30-year-old actor won the 2010 Tony Award for his performance in the play Red. He originated the role on the London stage and won the Olivier Award for his stellar work.

He’s a beauty with brains: Eddie attended Eton College and went on to study art history at Cambridge and graduated in 2003.

By that time, he had made his professional stage debut for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in Twelfth Night.

The photogenic Eddie became a model for Burberry in 2008 and he has been juggling his sstage career with film roles in such movies as The Other Boleyn Girl, Savage Grace, The Good Shepherd, Powder Blue and The Yellow Hankerchief.



FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Cher kicks off her “Dressed to Kill” tour!

The one and only Cher kicked off her Dressed to Kill tour last night in Arizona – the final final farewell tour.

Hey, I hope she never stops!

I’ve got my tickets for July at Staples Center in LA and cannot wait.

Billboard reviewed the opening night show and reported Cher saying during her opening monologue: “If I fall on my ass, my shoes are slippery tonight. It’s not me. It’s not drugs or drinking, as everybody on Twitter accuses me of… I’m kind of amazed anyone showed up. I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, they’re out there. What are they? Crazy?’”

Below is the opening number which is Woman’s World, the single that Cher released last summer ahead of her latest album Closer to the Truth.

It’s a fun song to dance to but it’s not my favorite Cher opening. I will always love best the opening number from the Believe tour when she came out in what she described as her ‘Bozo the Clown meets Braveheart’ outfit singing U2′s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, a fabulous song perfectly suited to Cher’s voice.

Following that are three wobbly videos of three of my favorite songs: You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me, Just Like Jesse James and Heart of Stone.

Enjoy!



FILE UNDER: Music

Sunday Night Video: See Paris Barclay’s wonderful speech while accepting the HRC Visibility Award

So glad HRC has put this up on YouTube so you can see it for yourself.

The prolific director Paris Barclay was honored at last night’s Los Angeles gala with the HRC Visibility Award. He was introduced by Glee star Darren Criss which was fitting since Paris directed the 100th episode of Glee that aired last week.

In all, he has directed more than 130 episodes of television including Sons of Anarchy, The Good Wife, In Treatment, NCIS: Los Angeles, CSI, NYPD Blue, ER and The West Wing among others.

Paris, the president of the Director’s Guild of America, told the HRC crowd about how he went to an all boys high school and one of his classmates was John Roberts, the current Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

‘John was a very nice gentleman there, I have nothing against John Roberts,’ he said of the George W. Bush appointee.

Then he shared this gem: ‘We were in a play together, it was You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. I played Snoopy and future Chief Justice John Roberts played Peppermint Patty. … Since this was an all boys school, this was a performance that was done in drag. Now did you see one of those pictures when he was up for his nomination? You did not see one, single picture of John Roberts in that wig. But I have them.’

He added jokingly: ‘And I will release them!’

As for his own performance Paris said: ‘Snoopy is a very gay role. He’s crazy, he’s funny, he’s independent, he’s fashion forward with the scarves. He has the best songs, he’s exuberant. But at that time I was very much in the closet and so I hid behind the extremely extroverted role – a very visible role but I was invisible in it.’

Be sure to watch the entire speech below when you have time!

Before the dinner began, I chatted with Paris on the arrivals carpet after he posed for photos with his husband Christopher Mason and their sons Cyrus and Williams.

‘This is a family affair for us tonight,’ he said. ‘The Human Rights Campaign is one of the reasons why we could eventually get married and actually have this family so it’s a way of giving back to the organization that helped us get to where we’re at.’

I had to ask Paris about directing last week’s landmark 100th episode of Glee which brought back most of the regulars from previous seasons as well as two of the show’s most popular past guest star Gwyneth Paltrow and Kristin Chenoweth.

‘It was really emotionally draining – it looked like a lot more fun than it was,’ he said candidly of the eighth episode of the show he has directed over five seasons. ‘It was one of the longest Glee’s that I’ve ever had to shoot in terms of getting all the (musical) numbers together (see some of them HERE).’

He added: ‘I thought Gwyneth Paltrow was amazing – I’ve never worked with her before. That was really great.’

FILE UNDER: Benefits

My gallery of HRC gala arrivals carpet: George Takei, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Meredith Baxter and more!



The Human Rights Campaign gala in LA last night had its share of celebrities and I worked the “blue carpet” before the start of the dinner.

Chatted up Jesse Tyler Ferguson, George Takei, Meredith Baxter, Peter Paige, Bob Harper and others and will have those interviews for you in the coming days. Just wanted to get some of the photos up right away.

It was Bob Harper’s first major LGBT event since coming out publicly on an episode of NBC’s The Biggest Loser on which he is one of the trainers.

HRC has just provided us with such a nice summary of the evening, I’m just going to post it verbatim because I’ve got a breakfast to go to:

Vice President Joe Biden gave the keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign’s Annual LA Gala at the JW Marriott hotel in downtown Los Angeles on the evening of Saturday, March 22nd.

HRC President Chad Griffin was joined by keynote speaker Vice President Joe Biden and wife Dr. Jill Biden, as well as VEEP’s Reid Scott and fiancé Elspeth Keller, Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mikita, Scandal’s Jeff Perry and wife Linda Lowy, Glee’s Darren Criss, 12 Years a Slave producer John Ridley, Star Trek’s George Takei and husband Brad Takei, Family Ties actress Meredith Baxter and daughter Mollie Birney, Iron Chef star and restaurateur Cat Cora and President of the Director’s Guild of America, Paris Barclay in support of the HRC Annual LA gala.

VEEP’s Reid Scott and Scandal’s Jeff Perry sat next to each other and caught up like old pals throughout the evening, while George Takei and Reid’s new fiancé, Elspeth Keller, took photos posing with Takei’s signature Star Trek hand gesture.

CA Attorney General Kamala Harris opened the evening and introduced Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who made multiple references to John Travolta’s now-infamous Oscar flub, introducing HRC President Chad Griffin as the “wickedly talented, Sade Grisim.”

Chad Griffin thanked guests for helping make 2013 “the most successful year in the LGBT movement” while re-telling the story of Prop 8 plaintiffs Paul Katami and husband Jeff Zarrillo, who were in the audience with their wedding ceremony officiator, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

While on stage to announce the “Biggest Winner” of the evening’s raffle, Biggest Loser star Bob Harper thanked HRC for giving him the courage to publicly come out on his show after 15 seasons.

After an inspiring speech Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden went backstage to take photos with select guests. The VP walked straight up to HBO’s VEEP star Reid Scott and said “make sure you give me the same advice you give your boss on the show!!!” in reference to Julia Louis- Dreyfus.

Glee star Darren Criss presented Paris Barclay with the Visibility Award stating “I defy you to flip through the channels on your TV and find a show that Paris Barclay didn’t have his hands in- Glee, Sons of Anarchy, West Wing, Cold Case and so many more.

PHOTOS: 1. George Takei and husband Brad Altman 2.Meredith Baxter 3. Jesse Tyler Ferguson and husband Justin Mirka 4. Prop. 8 plaintiffs and newlyweds Jeff Zarillo and Paul Katami 5. Bob Harper 6. Oscar winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), US Congressman Mark Takano and CA State Sen. Ted. Lieu. 7. Peter Paige 8. Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons) and HRC President Chad Griffin 9. Chad Griffin with honoree Paris Barclay and his family. 10. Darren Criss introduces Paris Barclay 11. Since Joe Manganiello wasn’t at the event this year, I took a photo of his book at the silent auction. You’re welcome.

VP Joe Biden praises LGBT community at HRC Gala: “It’s been the honor of my lifetime to work alongside so many of you”

It was terrific attending last night’s Human Rights Campaign gala and seeing Vice President Joe Biden speak in person for the first time.

He was introduced by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who said ‘I’m so proud of Joe and his commitment. … a man who always speaks from the heart’

I was very moved by how the veep spoke about the LGBT community saying we ‘have never been silent and never lost hope even in some very difficult times. You demand respect. … Many of you paid a personal and professional price for speaking out. Every one of you in this room stepped up – I’m astonished at the bravery that resides in every one of you in this room.’

He also later said: ‘It’s been the honor of my lifetime to work alongside so many of you.’

The VP reminded the sellout crowd that they have made ‘a lot of progress in a relatively short amount of time but, guess what: There’s so much left to be done.’

Biden pointed to the fact that in far too many states LGBT people can still be fired for being who they are. He predicted that a few decades from now people will wonder: ‘How the hell was that even allowed? It’s almost beyond belief in 2014. It is bizarre, it really is. I don’t even think most Americans even know that employers can do that.’

Biden also talked about some of the anti-gay laws and atrocities being committed against LGBT people in other countries such as Russia and Uganda.

“A country that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not respect the rights of its neighbors.”

“And we’re seeing that today,” said Biden, a reference to the current crisis in Ukraine.

So how did the veep get so LGBT friendly?

It goes back a long way and the example his father set.

He remembered being in school and being taken by his father to city hall to apply for a job as a lifeguard. In the car parked in front of them, he saw two men kiss each other goodbye. He remembers his father looking at him and saying: ‘They love each other.’

FILE UNDER: Benefits

Showtune Sunday: “Defying Gravity,” “Raise Your Glass” & other songs from 100th episode of “Glee”

I love the way Glee has allowed its lead characters to grow and age in real time with some of them moving to NYC and others soon to follow.

But how wonderful it was to see all of them reunited at McKinley High for the show’s 100th episode.

It reminds you of the magic of those early seasons and two of the show’s most popular guest stars, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kristin Chenoweth are on hand for what I believe is the third guest spot for each of them.

Enjoy!

FILE UNDER: Glee, Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Jon-Erik Hexum!

I still remember the first time I ever laid eyes on the dreamy Jon-Erik Hexum.

It was in the 1983 television movie The Making of a Male Model opposite Joan Collins. The Dynasty diva played a successful modeling agent who meets the young and handsome ranch hand Tyler Burnett (Hexum) in Nevada while attending an outdoor shoot. She notices his good looks and invites him to move to New York and start working as a male model.

Hexum had already starred in the TV series Voyagers! which lasted one season. But I had never watched it so this movie was my introduction to him. By 1984, he had landed the lead in another series: CBS’s Cover Up opposite Jennifer O’Neill. Hexum played a former Marine Special Forces Operative working undercover as a male model.

Sadly, the young actor was killed on the set of the show after completing just seven episodes. He was playing with a gun loaded with blanks and shot himself in the right temple. He was declared dead six days after the accident.

But he’s never been forgotten.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_SFCtB2aOcNM/TIaxVpv9OjI/AAAAAAAAAv0/e6mC6WyELA8/s1600/jon%2Berik%2Bhexum%2Bblue.jpg
http://pdhexum.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/.pond/jonerik1.jpg.w300h238.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_cQpT7M648Ew/S0ZHC7jl7uI/AAAAAAAABgg/LZBgwQdwiqI/s320/JEH10.jpg

FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

Must See Video: Kevin Bacon revives his “Footloose” moves for epic “Tonight Show” entrance

This is absolutely delicious – scrumptious.

It’s the 30th anniversary of the original Footloose which propelled Kevin Bacon into stardom.

He’s still a cutie pie and still has the moves as you will see in this delightful bit from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Love it!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Tom Daley may have a boyfriend but that doesn’t stop guys from coming up and offering sex

Olympic diver Tom Daley is in a high-profile relationship with Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black.

But that hasn’t stopped guys from hitting on the 19 year old.

He says in a new interview with The Sun that “some people just come up and offer [sex] there and then.”

“Yeah, it does happen quite often,” he said. “Some people come up to me and say, ‘Do you want to go back?’ And I’m like ‘What do you mean? The whole reason I did this (coming out publicly) was because I have a boyfriend.’”

Of his decision to come out in a video, Daley said: “I was at the point where I thought, ‘You know, who cares?’ I just didn’t want to feel I had to hide, or when I went out to dinner have to bring lots of people. It always had to be a group dinner.’”

FILE UNDER: Sports

Dan Bucatinsky on being killed off Scandal: “To their credit it was also beautiful and emotional and very well done”

Emmy winner Dan Bucatinsky, one of the few openly gay actors playing a gay role on prime-time television, was killed off of ABC’s Scandal last night.

Bucatinsky found out in mid-January that his character of James Novak, the journalist husband of the President of the United States’ often questionable Chief of Staff, was a goner.

“The threat of death on a show like this, if it doesn’t pay off occasionally, the audience begins to scream bulls–t. I feel like I understand the decision,” Bucatinsky tells The Wrap.

Bucatinsky also said he was proud of the way the episode unfolded, including James and husband Cyrus’ very public declaration of their love during a White House event.

“To their credit it was also beautiful and emotional and very well done,” he said. “I thought that if you’re going to have to die, then you definitely want the episode to tell a story the way that one did. It wasn’t only respectful to me as an actor and my character, but it also tells almost a complete story, like a movie, of Cyrus’ coming out.”

Still, Bucatinsky hates to see one less gay character on TV.

“That’s just personal, you want there to be as may depictions as possible of gay characters,” he said. “But, Cyrus is gay and is still very much alive and kicking in Washington, and it will be very interesting to see how he plays out being a single dad and a widower and how they dramatize that. But, the show has a subversive way of telling a tale that has everyone in the world seeing themselves reflected.”Bucatinsky leaves the show as its only Emmy winner which he won over the likes of Michael J. Fox, Nathan Lane and Harry Hamlin.

He’s got plenty else to keep him busy

as a consulting producer on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, is a producer and actor on Showtime’s Web Therapy, and co-produces the documentary series Who Do You Think You Are.

‘It’s wild that they are all happening at the same time but I’m going with it,’ he told me last fall.

FILE UNDER: Television

General Hospital: Catching up w/Lucas, Brad & Felix!

The Lucas-Brad-Felix triangle is a tough one because I like all three of them.

Felix is a great guy and he deserves someone cool while the chemistry between Lucas and Brad is just too delicious.

But Brad is in on some kind of baby switch that involves Lucas’ cousin Lulu so if that all comes out, which I’m sure it will, things could get complicated.

BONUS VIDEOS: I only just started following the Felix and Brad storyline but came across a few past episodes that help flesh out the storyline a bit.




FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Friday Night Video: Sam Harris interviewed on “Extra” about the book and show “Ham: Slices of Life”

I’m so glad I’m not going to see Sam Harris in his one man show until Sunday night because I still need some time to recover from seeing his pal Liza Minnelli last night with Coco Peru.

Sam will be performing at the same venue as Liza appeared – the Renberg Theatre in West Hollywood. I’m told Saturday night is sold out but there are still a few tickets for Sunday so click HERE for more info.

I’m a huge Sam fan and cannot wait!

He’s promoting the show and his new memoir of the same name: Ham: Slices of Life.

“It actually plays like a musical – the music moves the plot forward,” he tells Extra in this new interview.

Sam will be telling his hilarious story about Liza’s wedding to the man whose name cannot be mentioned (sorry, it’s David Gest).

‘She is such a testament to die hard tenacity,’ he says of his great friend.

FILE UNDER: Stage

Johnny Weir-Victor Voronov split gets uglier with court orders, cops, tears and a battle over their dog

Yeah, I’m writing about Johnny Weir and Victor Voronov again – it’s only been a few days since the split.

Heck, it’s been about a decade since Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston split and that still gets written about!

I just don’t worry, as some readers do, that the increasingly ugly split between Johnny and Victor somehow casts a bad light on the whole gay marriage movement. It’s just one couple and it didn’t work out – just like Britney Spears or Donald Trump’s first two marriages did not.

Same-sex couples have every right to be as silly as straight couples – every right – and the anti-gay marriage forces will always find plenty of things to try and use in their losing battle.

I did not see the federal judge in Michigan today in overturning that state’s marriage ban cite Jane Lynch’s divorce last year as a reason not to rule that the ban is unconstitutional.

Anyway, now that I’ve had that little soapbox moment, the latest Johnny and Victor news:

The split took an even uglier turn on Friday (21 March) with a scene at their New Jersey home that involved police, tears and the family dog.

The former couple, who married in December 2011, were both in court making emergency legal filings.

According to TMZ Sports, Victor obtained a restraining order against Johnny who he alleged attacked him on March 5 by hitting him in the arm and throwing jewelry and a wooden Russian doll at him.

Yikes! More biting?

Victor had filed a police report against Johnny last summer alleging another biting incident. A judge agreed to drop that case earlier this month before the couple’s split became public.

Meanwhile, two-time Olympian obtained a judge’s order allowing him into the couple’s apartment for 30 minutes to collect his belongings.

He was accompanied by police officers.

TMZ reports that Victor returned from court while Johnny was there and sobbed as Johnny took his belongings – including their dog, a Japanese Chin named Tema.

The pair are reportedly returning to court next week for a hearing about the dog and other matters.

Johnny announced the split this week on Twitter and Victor responded by tweeting that he was blindsided by the split. He later said he only just learned that Weir had filed for divorce from him months ago.

Both guys had changed their tone on Twitter by Friday.

Weir posted a series of upbeat tweets about being in New York to interview Lady Gaga for Access Hollywood and having dinner with friends.

Victor’s only tweet was a photo of himself, biceps bulging, with the caption: ‘Releasing endorphins.’

He later tweeted: ‘Very hard day. Feels like a bad dream but I still believe in love.’

It was just Thursday that Johnny gave an interview to Access Hollywood saying he was in ‘a very threatening marriage.’

‘I was losing myself by being married to my husband,’ he said. ‘I was losing my objectives in life. I was very isolated from the world. He was not super accepting of the fact I work and I have to work this week in Russia, this week in Los Angeles, next week in Tokyo and that’s something that’s hard to wrap your head around.’

Johnny also said he was solely supporting the couple financially.

FILE UNDER: Marriage

Matt Bomer’s “White Collar” to get six episode as a final sixth season on USA Network

Gorgeous and talented Matt Bomer will have a chance to bid his television alter ego Neal Caffrey goodbye in a shortened sixth season of White Collar.

The final season of the show will consist of six episodes. The action will pick up from the season 5 cliffhanger that saw Matt’s con man turned FBI informant character abducted, according to Deadline.

There were negotiations between doing a full season of shows and a special miniseries sendoff so the six episodes appear to be a compromise.

Although White Collar’s ratings were still solid and Bomer one of the network’s biggest stars, the show was increasingly expensive to produce with its extensive location shoots in New York City.

Let us console ourselves with a video of various scenes of a shirtless Matt in White Collar:

FILE UNDER: Television

Liza Minnelli has a wonderful conversation with Coco Peru and raises $45,000 for LA Gay & Lesbian Center



It’s not for anybody that I would pay $75 to see and have a back row seat.

But Liza Minnelli having a relaxed chat with Coco Peru with long clips from The Judy Garland Show, The Sterile Cuckoo, Liza With a Z, Cabaret, Arthur and more, that’s pretty priceless.

And I had one of the cheap seats! Others were $250 and $500 for people who wanted to sit closer up and attend a VIP party with Liza and Coco which I watched through a window, tear streaming down my cheek.

Ha!

It was a fabulous evening and raised $45,000 for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. The sellout crowd included Lily Tomlin, JoAnne Worley, and Sally Kellerman, among others.

I can tell you this: Liza was in fine form. My photos are crap because I was so far back but trust me, she looked amazing and she was very relaxed, very charming, very reflective and very humble.

It was like watching two old pals have a gab about life and career and what made it all the better is that Liza and Coco (aka Clinton Leupp) really are close friends. Coco shared the weekend she spent with Liza in Atlantic City and flying back with her in a helicopter to New York City.

Some choice bits from the conversation:

Liza still isn’t laughing at the drag queen joke made at her expense by host Ellen DeGeneres: ‘To tell you the truth I was surprised and then a little hurt. We were there to celebrate mama.’

Liza was in the audience with sister Lorna Luft and brother Joey Luft to take a bow before the start of a tribute to The Wizard of Oz which starred their mother Judy Garland.

During her opening monologue, Ellen pointed Liza out in the audience and said it was ‘one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I’ve ever seen in my life. Good job, sir!’

Coco said the joke ‘really bothered me. You were there to celebrate your mom and it really landed flat.’

But Liza now says: ‘I thought, “Well, life goes on and that’s it.”‘

As for her own Oscar win for 1972′s Cabaret, Liza said such accolades were not on her mind while making the classic musical directed by Bob Fosse.

‘I didn’t even think about it,’ she said. ‘I was always loving the project and doing the work.’

But on the night of the Academy Awards in 1973, she thought Diana Ross was going to win for Lady Sings the Blues.

‘It was a wonderful time for Diana Ross,’ Liza remembered. ‘She presented (an award) and then went and changed her clothes and I thought, “That’s it.”‘

Liza also talked about the night she picked up her friend Rock Hudson to go to a dinner for Elizabeth Taylor and being shocked by his gaunt appearance.

She and the rest of the world were unaware that the handsome leading man was dying of complications from AIDS.

‘He looked dreadful,’ she said. ‘He was very thin and he physically looked awful. I took him down to the party and Elizabeth said: “What happened to Rock?”‘

It was a month later that Taylor called her determined to do something.

‘She was so mad,’ Liza remembered. ‘She was really furious. She would not put up with any crap. It was so great.’

Peru’s sold out conversation with Minnelli took place at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s Renberg Theatre and raised $45,000 for the center.

Miss Taylor, of course, would then go on to spend the rest of her life raising millions for AIDS research, treatment and care.

Liza recalled her Hollywood childhood with Garland as her mother and Oscar winning director Vincente Minnelli as her father. Lana Turner lived next door in Beverly Hills, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall two doors over and Art Linkletter across the street.

And yet it all seemed so normal for the kids on the street.

‘All out parents did the same thing – they got up and went to work. It wasn’t fancy – yet.”

She didn’t think about a showbiz career for herself until she was 13 and saw Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway.

From then on, ‘I wanted to be on Broadway and in the theater.’

She recalled auditioning for her Tony Award winning role in Flora the Red Menace and producer George Abbott saying she was all wrong for the part and someone else was cast. But the part became open again, Abbott agreed to let her be cast and after her first rehearsal admitted to Liza that he had been wrong.

He was as wrong as could be and four Tonys, an Oscar, multiple Emmys and a Grammy Legends award later, Liza is still dazzling us with her talent and her charm.

Thank you Liza and Coco for a wonderful evening.

FILE UNDER: Benefits

Happy 52nd Birthday to Rosie O’Donnell!!!

Great to have Rosie O’Donnell appearing on The Fosters this season and to see her looking so healthy and happy.

She gave us a big scare with her heart attack in the summer of 2012 and she seems to be making the most of this new lease on life.

Whether she’s doing stand-up (Star Search), belting out Broadway showtunes (Tony Awards host), doing guest spots on TV shows (Nip/Tuck), hosting talk shows (Rosie O’Donnell Show, The View) or appearing in movies (The Flintstones, Sleepless in Seattle), I’m always interested in whatever Rosie is doing.

I even read her book Celebrity Detox!

Not sure what Rosie will do next professionally but she seems to be in a good place and exceptionally happy with her wife Michele and her five kids.

Happy birthday to Rosie!!!

Here are some random Rosie memories:



FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Morning Man Encore: Grady Sizemore!

http://www.toledoblade.com/image/2011/04/16/300x_b1a4-3_cCM_%232234/grady-sizemore.jpgI originally featured this baseball stud in 2011 but rediscovered him yesterday while doing my cardio at the gym.

No, he wasn’t on the machine next to me (I wish!), his team The Boston Red Sox were in the TV.

He’s 31-year-old Grady Sizemore and he is currently playing for the Boston Red Sox.

Since I don’t really follow baseball, I was not aware that since I last featured Grady as an MM, he’s had all kind of injuries and missed all kinds of time.

So he’s on the comeback trail. It’s been since 2011 since he played at the big-league level, and since ’08 that he was completely healthy.

Grady played his first full season in the majors in 2005 and was selected for his first all-star game a year later. Before the start of the 2006 season, he signed a six-year contract with the Cleveland Indians worth $23.45 million.

The photogenic Grady suffered some embarrassment when nude photos he sent to his girlfriend were posted to the internet by someone who hacked into her e-mail account. I’ve included one of the more modest shots and, as you can see, he has nothing to be embarrassed about!

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men: 2014

Johnny Weir speaks out about divorce: “I was losing myself by being married to my husband”

The latest breathless update in the Johnny Weir-Victor Voronov divorce story:

Johnny has given what he vows will be his only interview about what he describes as ‘a very threatening marriage.’

‘I’ve been having a tough time at home for a long time now and it’s something that I’ve kept from the public,’ Weir told Access Hollywood earlier today.

The three-time US figure skating champion announced the split from his husband of just over two years on Twitter on Wednesday.

‘I was losing myself by being married to my husband,’ he said. ‘I was losing my objectives in life. I was very isolated from the world. He was not super accepting of the fact I work and I have to work this week in Russia, this week in Los Angeles, next week in Tokyo and that’s something that’s hard to wrap your head around.’

Weir worked as a commentator for NBC Sports during the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, last month and recently was a fashion correspondent during the Academy Awards for Access Hollywood.

‘I had to travel to work, to support myself and support my family,’ Weir said.

Meanwhile, he says Voronov was not working despite having a law degree.

‘I was supporting two people and whether it seems like a big deal or not, I come from a lower middle class family that has had to work no matter what. If you can’t be an attorney this week, then you better go get a job next week, otherwise the bills won’t get paid.’

Voronov has claimed that he was blindsided by Weir’s announcement this week and that his husband had filed for divorce months ago.

TMZ reports that the divorce papers were filed on 12 February.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized