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“Glee” star Matthew Morrison on his solo album

http://blog.zap2it.com/thedishrag/matthew-morrison.jpgWe all know Glee star Matthew Morrison can sing but does he have what it takes to be a big-selling solo artist?

We’ll find out when he releases his first CD  next year which, he told MTV this week at the Glee premiere party, is coming along well.

Matthew says he hooked up with former boy bander JC Chasez for one of the tracks on the album.

“I wrote about half the album so far, but I’ve definitely co-wrote. I’ve definitely teamed up with some great producers, some great songwriters,” he said. “And yeah, I just did this great song last week with JC Chasez that was very, very cool. It turned out really well. He’s such a good songwriter.”

Matthew revealed the name of the track: Dancing in the Rain.

There are other collaborations but no naming names just yet: “It’s very eclectic. I’m doing some great duets. I can’t release who they’re with yet, [but it's] some people that you’ve probably heard of before, that you’ve definitely heard of before.”

“It’s gonna be a little adult contemporary,” he adds. “And there’s gonna be some pop songs that you can shake your moneymaker to in the club.”

FILE UNDER: Glee

Thursday Morning Man: Jason Thompson!

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http://www.abcmedianet.com/showcontent/daytime/gh/gh_i/thompson.jpgJason Thompson has played the arrogant yet brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Patrick Drake on ABC’s General Hospital since 2005 – a character so popular that it was central in the prime-time spinoff General Hospital: Night Shift which ran for two summers on SOAPNet.

The handsome Canadian actor is 33 and before he committed to acting full-time, he had a thriving runway, print and commercial modeling career.
He managed to quickly amass acting credits though with lead roles in such plays such as The Academy, More Than You and Jakob. In film, he had starring roles in Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy and Divide. His non-GH television roles include episodes of MTV’s Undressed, Felicity and Zoe.
His GH character is the son of Dr. Noah Drake who was played by Rick Springfield in the early 80s. Springfield returned to the show in recent years as part of Jason’s storyline including Patrick donating part of his liver to save his father’s life.
Jason recently answered some random questions for Soap Opera Weekly. Among them was a question about his strangest fan encounter: “I was in the grocery store, and this woman asked, ‘Are you the doctor on General Hospital?’ I said, ‘Yes ma’am, I am.’ She’s like, ‘Mmm, I’m 85 years old, and you still do it to me honey!’ That was pretty much the coolest thing anybody’s ever said to me.”

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Luke mourns Reid on “As the World Turns”

Reid is really dead and Chris has his heart.

Now our Luke Snyder must deal with finding Reid’s next of kin and his parents come to his aid on this.

It’s interesting that this much emotion is being felt for a character who was new to the show. It’s a real credit to the performance of Eric Sheffer Stevens as Reid.

If it has been Chris Hughes (played by Daniel Cosgrove) who had died instead, I don’t think the emotions would be as palpable for some reason.

Van Hansis as Luke is heartbreaking in this episode as he deals with his grief.

I don’t have much commentary, just the clips.


FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Out newsman Thomas Roberts: “If viewers know me professionally, why not know me personally?”

DIVERSITY: When I was among those who got laid off from my job at the LA Daily News last year due to deep budget cuts, I was disappointed for many reasons but one of the biggest was that I had been a very loud gay voice in that newsroom.

Usually the only gay voice.

I had started weighing in on and suggesting LGBT-themed stories from the beginning of my days at the paper in 2001 and by 2006, had started a gay-themed entertainment blog – something virtually unheard of at a daily mainstream paper.

With the newspaper business in such dire straights and other TV news also struggling, it’s easy to lose track of objectives like having diversity in a newsroom and to remember why it is important. That’s why I’m so proud to be producing Greg In Hollywood – entertainment and pop culture coverage through an LGBT lens.

Picture 2 That’s also why I’m thrilled that openly gay TV journalist Thomas Roberts is not only working for MSNBC right now, but that he is bringing a gay perspective to stories when he feels it’s appropriate.

“If viewers know me professionally, why not know me personally?” he said in an interview with Andrew Bolonsky for Death & Taxes. “I mean, to a point we all have our private lives, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with my personal life, so why not share it with everybody?”

That was exactly what some suggested after Roberts interjected his personal experience into an interview about Ken Mehlman’s coming out last month. “I think for probably most heterosexual Americans this isn’t going to come as a big deal, but I think for millions of gay and lesbian Americans—me included—find this to be kind of a shocking admission,” he told his guest, gay Republican activist Chris Barron.

Says Roberts: “For all the people watching that interview, it added a point of interest coming from a person that understands why some people would want to know why this person chose to come out. I was curious.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Wednesday Briefs: Ellen does Letterman Top 10; Barbara Walters talks “The View” and Rosie; NFL TV host to apologize for anti-gay comments

Ellen DeGeneres' Thoughts on 'American Idol,' Her Gay Marriage -  and MoreEllen DeGeneres dropped by The Late Show With David Letterman last night to deliver a top 10 list about “Things that have been on my mind.”

The funniest one was number 8: “For the last time, I’m not Jane Lynch, I’m the other one.”

Also funny was number 6:  “I never should’ve let Paris Hilton hold my purse.”

And the number one thing on the mind of the woman married to Portia de Rossi comes as no surprise: “Man, my wife’s hot.”

http://msnbcmedia4.msn.com/j/ap/nyet12212212045.grid-4x2.jpgHER VIEW: Barbara Walters talked to USA Today about her return to The View after heart surgery (“I feel great! There’s nothing I can’t do.”) and about how the show has survived and thrived for 14 seasons.

“I never thought we’d go for more than one year,” she said. “I spent most of the first year calling affiliates and nagging them [to air the show]. I think they said, ‘Oh God, it’s her again.”

The show got some of its highest ratings and biggest buzz during the year that Rosie O’Donnell was on board as a co-host.

“Rosie was a difficult period,” Barbara said. “There was a time under Rosie when people would tune in to see the anger. That’s not true now. They want to hear the arguments.”

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slideshows/357/slideshow_35713/display_image.jpg?x=768343BONEHEAD: Sorry for the name calling. It is not my usual style. I’m just feeling frustrated with people like Dan Hampton, NFL Hall of Famer and a co-host of the TV show Pro Football Weekly, who in this day and age still don’t know what is innappropriate.

During a discussion about the NFC East, Hampton predicted that the Dallas Cowboys would be unable to win the division because they “think they are Clint Eastwood; they’re more of the Brokeback variety if you know what I’m talking about.”

Are you KIDDING ME?

There’s gotta be gay players on the field right now and they sure as heck can’t come out because of attitudes like this. And there are gay kids on the playground or in junior high or high school or college who are gay and are capable of playing great football. There’s nothing stopping them.

Additionally, this Hampton dude was talking about the season-opening game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints and said the Vikings need to go into New Orleans and “hit the town like Katrina.”

Of course he publicly apologized for the Katrina gaffe, but has not yet addressed the Brokeback comment. Pro Football Weekly publisher Hub Arkush told GLAAD that Hampton will be leading this weekend’s show with an on-air apology for both statements. Arkush said “it shouldn’t have happened” and assured GLAAD that similar incidents will not happen again.

Obviously he’s only apologizing to keep his job. Let’s hope he really thinks about what he said and learns from it. But if he can get this far in life and still be so thoughtless, I do not have high hopes.

FILE UNDER: Briefs

See photos from Christian and Oliver’s wedding on German soap “Forbidden Love”

Wouldn’t it have been great to see Luke and Reid get married and ride off into the sunset on the finale of As the World Turns?

Well, we all know that didn’t happen (today’s heartbreaking scenes will be posted this afternoon).

So, I’ve gone in search of some happy news involving a same-sex soap couple and had to go all the way to Germany to find it! Well, I actually only had to click onto AfterElton.com! That is where I found some beautiful photos of the wedding of Christian and Oliver of the German soap Forbidden Love.

AfterElton chatted with actors Thore Schölermann and Jo Weil about the wedding and the future of their characters. Here is a taste of that and some lovely photos.

AE: What was the most enjoyable part of the wedding for you?

JW: The whole wedding was great. Before the shoot I was always asked if I was nervous. I always said: “No! It’s not a real wedding!” But when I stood in front of the altar, I suddenly realized I was actually getting nervous. I felt so happy for Olli that he is allowed to experience this great moment after all he had been going through. And it was a special moment when I looked in Thore’s eyes and saw that he was just as nervous as me. I think in this second we both were very proud of everything we had gone through together.

TS: The last scene when Olli and Christian drive into the sundown in an old convertible was very relaxing and it meant the end of a very nice but also exhausting shoot. After that, Jo and I had a beer and everything was perfect.

AE: Happy couples on soaps usually don’t get meaty stories or much airtime, a problem for Christian and Olli at times in the past. Do you worry that getting married will mean less drama?

JW: I really don’t hope so! I know that right after the wedding there will be a new storyline. Of course I can’t make any comments on that, but personally I think it has a lot of emotional potential. What’s coming next – well, everything is possible in Forbidden Love. Let’s see what’s going to happen.

TS: Oh yes, I’m actually afraid of that. But I think our authors will come up with good stories to keep it exciting.

Van Hansis talks to Soap Opera Digest about his years as Luke Snyder on “As the World Turns”

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How lucky As the World Turns fans have been to have had the role of Luke Snyder in the capable hands of Van Hansis.

We cared so much about Luke not because the storylines (which were sometimes preposterous!) but because Van is such a skilled and appealing actor. He talked to Soap Opera Digest in-depth about his years as Luke, the ending of the show, and about Luke’s great loves Noah and Reid.
“I’m going to miss playing Luke but more than that, I already miss the people,” he says. “A lot of good friendships were made there. It was a really wonderful time in my life.”
Here are some more highlights from the interview:
On Luke’s popularity: “I’m completely honored that this happened for the character and for me. After the coming out episodes and when Luke went a long time without a love interest, I started getting a lot of fan mail like, ‘We want to be with somebody and keep this story going.’ That’s when I realized this could turn into something big. It was a great thing that it did. The only thing I can say, especially to the fans, is thank you so much. I think it’s really wonderful to have people who care so much.”
On Luke and Reid: “I thought everybody loved Luke and Noah! Whenever anybody else came in as a potential third party, they never seemed to get much love from the fans, but people love Reid. Eric [Sheffer Stevens] deserves it; he’s fantastic.”
On his storylines: “I love it when my character goes through the ringer.  My favorite storylines have always been the ones that are not the most pleasant for Luke. It’s really cathartic, in a way, to be able to fully express really, really powerful emotions. I love it when I get to go someplace deep and a little bit scary because it’s more fun that way. It’s not safe. … The best part about [Luke's final storyline] is that he finally grows up. He’s always had a bit of childishness and youthfulness about him. That first time when something happens to you, the world is never going to be the same and that’s what happens to Luke.”
On the end of ATWT: “The last day of taping was kind of sad, but it was special. I was in the last episode and so is the majority of the cast, but a lot of focus is on the people who’ve been there the longest – as it should be. It doesn’t wrap everything up in a nice little bow, but I think it gives you a chance to say goodbye to each character.”
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FILE UNDER: Daytime TV

“Glee” gets a splashy premiere party in Hollywood!

PHENOMENAL: It’s 13 days until Glee has its second season premiere (but who’s counting?!!) and the hype is really kicking into high gear.
Last night, a splashy premiere party was held on the Paramount Studios lot for the show that has become a pop culture phenomenon and won Jane Lynch her first Emmy less than two weeks ago.
Miss Lynch was joined by co-stars Matthew Morrison, Diana Agron, Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Corey Monteith, Heather Morris and more as well as the red-hot John Stamos!
BTW, I heard Matthew Morrison mention on TV last night say that while Stamos has true singing and dancing cred after starring in four Broadway shows, he was sure to mention that he himself has appeared in SEVEN!
Let the rivalry begin!
More photos from the event can be found at celebrity-gossip.net!
FILE UNDER: Glee

A first-look at John Stamos on “Glee”

TV Guide Magazine has provided this glimpse of new recurring Glee cast member John Stamos is a scene with adorable Mr. Schuester played by Matthew Morrison.
The television veteran of such hits as Full House, ER and General Hospital plays the dentist beau of the fragile guidance counselor Emma who Will is in love with .
So these two dudes, veterans of many a Broadway show, are playing romantic rivals.
“Just when Will thinks he’ll win Emma because he can sing and dance, we find out Carl used to be in an ’80s boy band,” John tells TV Guide.
The actor, who’ll likely sport a mullet for flashbacks, added: “I discover Will’s chewing his teeth, so the other day I had, like, four fingers in Matthew Morrison’s mouth.”

Lucky man!

John will be appearing in the Rocky Horror-themed Halloween episode: “I can’t tell you what character I’m playing, but I will be singing.”
FILE UNDER: Glee

“Real Housewives” star Danielle Staub talks to OUT!

http://cdn.babble.com/famecrawler/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Danielle-Staub.jpgI’m not into the Real Housewives franchise, just doesn’t do much for me for some reason. But I know tons of folks are fans of the Bravo shows and will be interested in what Danielle Staub of Real Housewives of New Jersey has to say about the recent explosive reunion special and much more.

Here are some excerpts from an interview she just did with Out.com:

What do you make of Andy Cohen on the reunion and Watch What Happens Live? He’s positioned as the moderator, but it doesn’t really seem like he’s on your side.
Yeah, I do feel slighted by Andy — I’ll be honest with you — and he’s someone that knows how strong my ties are to the gay community. Not only that, how he’s the executive vice president of Bravo. I would think he would want to treat us all at least equally. I, in no way, shape, or form, feel like I was treated as an equal. I’m not asking for favoritism, but I would have expected more from him. I truly would have. And I know he’s my boss and all that, but… I’m just going to speak the truth like I always do. I’m very disappointed, and I think he’s getting lashed out at by many, many fans — gay and straight. From what I’m hearing and what I’m reading, people are very unhappy that he did not, like, throw Teresa out for her behavior. I mean, she physically picked him up and threw him. And then he sat her down like a five-year-old and said, “Don’t get off the couch again, OK, little girl?” Instead of just like, “Get the f out of here. You can’t touch me like that.”

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On Teresa:
Why did what you said about her nephew make Teresa so mad in the first place?
Teresa never greeted her nephew. I have proof of that in email. She never said congratulations to her brother when her nephew was born. Her brother has been directly contacting me for the past year and a half, letting me know how he feels about his sister. And how he and his wife — pregnant wife — were thrown from her house because they brought my favorite cookies to Christmas Eve…Teresa threw a hissy fit. And not once do you see her with her brother and her sister-in-law and their beautiful children. Not once! But she glorifies everybody else. Why couldn’t she show her real family? Why? Just tell me why? Because they have more than her maybe? Because she’s jealous of them maybe? Or maybe they would have told the truth and said Teresa goes off like that all the time. “It’s not just Danielle. Teresa’s certifiably crazy.” I think they’re going to have their chance now to speak the truth. Go for it, I’m all behind you.

http://rachelscottagehouse.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/d1.jpgOn Dina:
Did you try to get Dina’s kids taken away from her?
No, I don’t even know her daughter’s last name. I do know that Dina did a whole article devoted to trying to make the world believe that I did that, but Dina’s not doing the show because she forged a legal document with her ex-husband’s name on it, giving her daughter permission to do season 1. And when her ex-husband found out about it, he forbade her to do season 2, leaving Dina with nobody in her immediate family — her daughter or her husband, who never taped with her once — to do anything with her. So she left the show because she was too embarrassed to say that she forged a legal document. I had to have my ex-husband sign for my children. She didn’t do that. But again, Dina lies, and everybody swears by it. Dina is more fake than the whole lot of them. It’s just that she’s the baby of the family, so Caroline’s going to keep backing her up. I am truly the only gay advocate. And I’ll tell you one thing, none of them can prove to me they’ve walked one foot in any Pride. Where I have walked, continuously over the years, a total this past year of eleven miles. In stilettos. To support and lift up, and be there, and hug and embrace my gay community. And I will continue to do that. I speak for equality, and I always have.

Well, we appreciate it. On the gay note, why are you being so coy about your alleged relationship with Lori Michaels?
You know, anyone can see — Helen Keller can see — what Lori and I are to each other. I don’t feel it’s necessary for me to have to confirm it or deny it. I’m just living my life. I’m a public figure, and it doesn’t mean that people have to get inside of that right now. When I’m ready to talk about it, it will be my decision. I’m not going to be forced because I’m a public figure to speak about my private life any further. When I’m ready, how about I come to you and let you know?

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Wednesday Morning Man: Matt Walton!

http://mattwalton.net/intro1.jpgIf I were still a viewer of One Life to Live (sorry, still not over the Kish snub), then I would really enjoy looking at Matt Walton, the handsome actor who has played Elijah Clarke since 2009.

Matt, who is 37, has been busy with roles on stage and screen for a long time. Gay audiences discovered him early one when he was one of the leads in the 2003 indie flick 200 American. He played He’s the CEO of an ad agency who is still in love with his ex-boyfriend and he hires a young Aussie hustler named Tyler – first for a night and then to work for his company.

Matt was born and raised in rural New Jersey who won a scholarship to the Boston Conservatory where he earned his BFA in Theater, co-founded the Conservatory’s first newspaper, and also performed in and directed dozens of plays and films.

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Matt returned to New York City to debut Off-Broadway starring as Berger in the 30th Anniversary Production of Hair in 1997, and would later reprise the role back in Boston and at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY. Off-Broadway roles: William Hanes in the American premier of The Tailor Made Man; eventually creating the roles of Sonny in the premier of The Sweepers, Oedipus in We’re All Dead, Thomas Jefferson in Rush’s Dream, the Gorilla Man in Gorilla Man; leads in the revivals of Beirut, Boy’s Life, and A Few Good Men.

His television roles include Guiding Light, As The World Turns, Law & Order: SVU, and a six month recurring role on All My Children. Film roles films include Holier Than Thou, Favorite Son and Montclair, Flannel Pajamas, London’s’ Bridge, the upcoming Whipper Snapper, and the Red State Project.

He’s also a very in-demand voice actor!

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Venus rising at U.S. Open!

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 07: Venus Williams afteTHREE TIMES A LADY? This might be the year that Venus Williams is able to, at last, win that elusive third US Open singles crown.

The 30-year-old star advanced to the semifinals Tuesday night with a straight sets victory over reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone. Venus made her debut at this tournament in 1997 at the age of 17. She had strings of white beads in her hair and managed to make it all the way to the final!

But her sister Serena Williams would be the first member of the family to take home the trophy when she won in 1999. But the next year, Venus won the tournament and repeated again in 2001, this time over Serena in the final. She would lose to Serena in the final in 2002 and, believe it or not, that’s the last time she made it to the title round!

Not that Venus was an under-achiever: she has won five Wimbledon singles crowns in the past decade, three Olympic gold medals (one in singles, two in doubles), won the year-end tour championships in 2008, and has teamed with Serena to win 12 grand slam doubles titles including two at the US Open and four at Wimbledon.

But what is really cool about Venus – besides the cool tennis outfits she designs herself – is that she has grown into a gracious champion and wonderful spokeswoman for her sport.

She would be a very deserving US Open champion this year.

Two more matches to go!


FILE UNDER: Tennis

Paul McCartney, Jerry Herman and Oprah Winfrey (?) are among the 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees

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http://showbiznewsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/oprah-winfrey.jpgIt’s no surprise to see that Paul McCartney has been selected to receive the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. A few years back, he was to be honored but had to turn down the opportunity because of an important family event so organizers honored Paul Simon instead!

Well, now Paul is back and apparently to show up!

This is one legendary performer and the honor is well-deserved. His history as one of The Beatles is one thing but the fact that he also sang lead on so many of the biggest hits and co-wrote them with John Lennon only adds to his legend.

Then there has been the post-Beatles career which has thrived for the last 40 years first with his band Wings then as a solo artist.

As a huge Broadway fan, I’m thrilled to see the inclusion of composer Jerry Herman as one of the five honorees. The man who won Tony Awards for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles made his Broadway debut in 1960. His other major hit was Mame which won Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur Tonys.  Herman is one of only two composers/lyricists in history to have three musicals run more than 1500 consecutive performances on Broadway.

Rounding out the five 2010 honorees are choreographer Bill T. Jones, singer Merle Haggard and … wait for it … Oprah Winfrey!

C’mon! Oprah? The woman who has everything, including her own network! – is only 56 years old! This honor is for accomplishments in the arts and entertainment and there are so many people – a lot of less-sung heroes – who could have been included instead of Miss Winfrey.

It seems premature to me although I know Oprah has accomplished so much in television, been nominated for an Oscar, produced a Broadway show and movies. It just kind of feels like when President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a feeling of, “Really?”

Anyway, the ceremony will take place Dec. 5 at the Kennedy Center and CBS will air the two-hour special on Dec. 28. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be on hand to present the medallions to this year’s winners.

FILE UNDER: Awards

The tragic end to the Luke Snyder-Dr. Reid love story plays out today on “As the World Turns”

It’s just too much.

Reid, on his way to try and secure a heart for a dying friend, is hit by an ongoing train.

Now it is his heart that saves the life of Chris Hughes.

It just doesn’t seem fair: we don’t care about Chris, not in the least. But we care about Reid. He won us over just like he won Luke over.

And now Luke, who finally has found a man mature enough to share his life with, must endure this horrific loss.

Here is today’s episode of As the World Turns:


FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Tuesday Briefs: Barbara Walters returns to The View! Dolly to visit Nate Berkus and Zac Efron poses!

Season 14 Premiere with Barbara Walters, David Letterman and Mario  CantoneHope everyone has recovered from their Labor Day weekend festivities!

If you are a fan of The View, then you will be happy to see this photo of co-host and executive producer Barbara Walters back in the studio with the brilliant Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar and the not-so-bright Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd.

The View has survived the departure of original moderator Meredith Viera and her fiery successor Rosie O’Donnell as well as the messy departure of Star Jones (yes, Lisa Ling came and went but it was all very friendly and well, does anyone even remember Debbie Matenopoulos?)

The glue that has held it together from day one of the amazing Miss Walters who, at 80, is recovered from heart surgery and ready to resume her historic career. Younger fans of The View may not now that Barbara was the first female co-host of NBC’s The Today Show and the very first female co-anchor of a network news broadcast (at ABC). Then there were those nearly 25 years as co-host of 20-20, the countless celebrity specials and the many exclusive interviews with world leaders.

So there was Barbara this morning looking terrific as the show kicked off its 14th season as popular as ever.

http://www.countryhound.com/sites/countryhound.com/files/u6/Dolly-Parton.jpgHELLO DOLLY: I was on a conference call this morning with Nate Berkus that was set up for him to talk about his new show which premieres on Monday, Sept. 13!

I’ll have more from the call in the coming days but wanted to quickly share with you some of the guests set for the premiere week. On Tuesday, Sept. 14, Nate will play host to … Dolly Parton! That’s a good way to give a new show a jump start no?

Then on Friday, Sept. 17  – which happens to be Nate’s 39th birthday – he will welcome the classy and smart Elizabeth Edwards to the show.

Look forward to watching both!

GROWING UP: And finally, Zac Efron left the High School Musical movies behind with his dramatic turn in the recent movie Charlie St. Cloud. (He has since finished filming the drama The Lucky One).

Wonderland magazine, for its fifth anniversary issue, features the 22-year-old star on its cover in glorious black and white.

FILE UNDER: Briefs

Happy Birthday to skating champ Rudy Galindo!

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It’s interesting – and frustrating – that in the 14 years since former US National Champion Rudy Galindo came out, we have not had an American ice skating star follow suit.

Not even Johnny Weir who doesn’t believe in “labels.”

Well, being open about his sexuality just makes Rudy even more of a hero in my book and I will give him the labels of hero and champion.

Rudy, who turns 41 today, excelled as both a singles and pairs skater. He was the junior world champion in 1987 and the US national champion in 1996. When he won that national title, he became the oldest male to win it in almost 50 years. He followed this win with a bronze medal at the 1996 World Championships.

As a pairs skater, he competed with Kristi Yamaguchi and was the 1988 World Junior Champion and the 1989 and 1990 U.S. National Champion.

Rudy had some health setbacks after retiring from competition in 1996: he was diagnosed as HIV positive and he underwent hip replacement surgery. But he continued to skate with the Tom Collins’ Champions on Ice show until it closed down after the 2007 season.

Today, you can find Rudy back home in San Jose, Calif. teaching full-time at the same rink, Logitech Ice Arena, where he practiced en route to his memorable performances at the 1996 U.S. Championships.

In discussing his HIV with USA Today writer Christine Brennan in 2000, Rudy said: “I’ve made my mistakes, but I want to tell everyone that ‘safe sex’ is not an empty slogan. People always think that it can’t happen to them, but it can. I didn’t want to hide this illness. I didn’t want to live a lie. I’ve always wanted to be truthful.”

FILE UNDER: Birthdays, Sports

TMZ’s Harvey Levin on being gay in the news biz: “I was so terrified that somebody would find out.”

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Enjoy!

Harvey Levin is usually busy breaking news about other people.

But the managing editor of TMZ.com and executive producer and host of TMZ on TV got personal [last April] while hosting a fundraising event in West Hollywood for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

“I really wanted to do this and I’m really pleased and honored that you guys asked me to come here,” he told the crowd.

I’m a longtime NLGJA member and arrived at the East-West Lounge early with the hopes of snagging an interview with Harvey about being gay in the news business and how that has affected his life and career. He said his employer Warner Bros. isn’t keen on his doing such things without clearance.

http://www.judiciaryreport.com/images/harvey-levin.jpgI was disappointed at not getting an interview but then pleased when Harvey touched on many of the topics I’d wanted to discuss in his remarks to the crowd.

“I’m thinking back a long time when I was starting out as a TV reporter at a local station in LA and I remember at the time – I was probably in my late 20s – and I remember this hell-like fear that if anybody in that newsroom found out that that I was gay, that it would be over,” he said. “I built it up in my head. I was so terrified that somebody would find out.”

Now 59, Harvey remembers a time when he desperately tried to keep his lives separate: “I compartmentalized my life. Obviously friends knew I was gay but professionally I had to shut it out. And I believe, at the time, there was good cause for thinking I’d get fired. It got to a point where I was agoraphobic.  My biggest joy was just never having to leave my house.”

TMZ managing  editor Harvey Levin seen leaving the gym with a  protein drink in Venice,  CA.

He remembers that when he was out with friends and if they were in a gay establishment, he used his ability to scan a room “in three seconds” to find out if there was anyone he knew there.

“I’d would immediately look for someone who worked sat the station,” Harvey said. “I remember walking into this restaurant that was primarily a gay restaurant and I ran into this woman who worked at the station and I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s over.” … I was so upset that I left.”

“It got to a breaking point with me where I just finally said, ‘This isn’t worth it.” And I just let it go. And nothing happened.”

Harvey went on to work steadily in television and in the entertainment business. He was legal reporter for KCBS in Los Angeles, legal consultant and later host for two incarnations of The People’s Court and prior to TMZ, was creator and executive producer of the show Celebrity Justice.

“I think a lot of people build it up in their heads and they need people to see that it’s not a big deal,” he said of his sexuality. “I think it’s important for people to see that you can survive and thrive and do well and prosper and there are no recriminations for the most part – although there are in some cases.”

“Still acknowledging that there are prejudices, that fact that what people build up in their heads is often way more than the reality than what it is,” he added. “Even if the reality isn’t freedom from that kind of discrimination, the feeling that ‘Who cares?’ and that you can push it and challenge it is also really important.”

FILE UNDER: Newsmakers

Enjoy some sweet US Open guy candy: Roger Federer, Tommy Robredo and Mikhail Youzhny!

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 06: Roger Federer

Apologetic Federer advances to US Open quartersThe US Open tennis tournament will be narrowed down to eight men by the end of the day and one of those men will be Roger Federer, winner of the tournament five of the last six years.

Last night, Federer easily beat some dude named Jurgen Melzer (ranked 13th in the world) to make it to the quarterfinals of a grand slam tournament for the 26th time in a row. (His streak of 23 consecutive semifinals was snapped in June at the French Open).

Next up for Federer in a match to be played on Wednesday will be fifth-ranked Robin Soderling, the guy who beat Federer in Paris.

The photos below are of two of the hunkiest men on the men’s tour: Russian stud Mikhail Youzhny (in the blue shirt) and Spanish heartthrob Tommy Robredo (wearing black).

Youzhny, ranked 12th, beat Robredo (a former top 10 player who has fallen to 41st) 7-5, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 07: Mikhail Youzhny

NEW YORK- SEPTEMBER 07: Tommy Robredo

FILE UNDER: Tennis

Tonight is summer finale for the terrific show “White Collar” starring gorgeous and funny Matt Bomer

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http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/dynamic/imgs/100630/Matt-Bomer-White-Collar_320.jpgCLIFFHANGER: You think I don’t know what you’re thinking?

Oh, sure Greg, the plots are why you watch White Collar every Tuesday night. Sure pal, and those dreamy blue eyes and chiseled good looks of series star Matt Bomer are not the main reason.

Well, I’ll tell you this: Matt’s good looks got me to sample the show. But his terrific performance week in and week out as con man-turned-FBI consultant Neal Caffrey and his solid chemistry with co-star Tim DeKay (as FBI special agent Peter Burke) make this one of the better shows on the air.

I love it! And Sex and the City alum Willie Garson is on hand is a very different role from Carrie Bradshaw’s gay BFF Stanford. Plus, there is Saved By the Bell and Beverly Hills 90210 alum Tiffani Theissen in the cast as DeKay’s very cool wife.

Tonight’s summer season finale (I imagine there will be a winter season early next year)  has Neal and Burke getting one step closer to finding out who killed Neal’s girlfriend and, according to USA Today, it all leads up to a killer of a cliffhanger that packs quite an emotional punch.

I’ll be watching tonight’s episode followed by a new episode of the terrific Covert Affairs costarring Greg In Hollywood fave Christopher Gorham.

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FILE UNDER: Television

Tuesday Morning Man: Paul Leyden!

http://www.unm.edu/~garciaa/paul3.JPGSoap opera fame is a unique thing. An actor or actress on a particular soap can either go about their business completely unnoticed or be completely mobbed. Someone you never heard of could just be HUGE in so many other people’s lives.

The rest of this week’s Morning Men will be a series of daytime hunks who I have never heard of but have had fun discovering. We start with Paul Leyden, a hunky Australian actor best known for his role as the womanizing Simon Frasier on the CBS soap As the World Turns.

We Love Soaps reports that Paul is returning to the world of CBS daytime soaps as he joins The Young and the Restless in the new role of Blake.

He begins taping scenes this week!

Paul, 37, also starred in the mini-series Tribe, and can be seen in episodes of Farscape, BeastMaster and Home and Away.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men