Elizabeth Taylor was a two-time Oscar winning actress and one of the great humanitarians of our time.
She also turned out to be a pretty astute businesswoman who launched a wildly successful line of perfume that included Passion, Black Pearl and White Diamonds. Her last fragrance was called Violet Eyes (for obvious reasons).
While she certainly wasn’t the first celebrity to come out with a scent, she was the first to do it well. White Diamonds is still the best-selling celebrity fragrance in the world, bringing in $76.9 million globally in 2010.
At this week’s FiFi Awards (yes, that’s really what they’re called), Miss Taylor was inducted posthumously into the Fragrance Hall of Fame.
Also, the Fragrance Celebrity of the Year was re-named to The Elizabeth Taylor Fragrance Celebrity of the Year.
I don’t know about you, but I like my Brad Pitt clean-shaven!
The handsome star, accompanied by his love Angelina Jolie, is seen here earlier this week at premiere of Fox Searchlight Pictures’ The Tree of Life at Bing Theatre at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The film recently won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Tony winners Harvey Fierstein and Marissa Jaret Winokur, who created the roles of, respectively, mother Edna Turnblad and daughter Tracy Turnblad in the original Broadway company of Hairspray, will reunite for the Hollywood Bowl’s summer production of the Tony-winning musical.
They lead an all-star cast that also includes: Corbin Bleu (Seaweed), Drew Carey (Wilbur Turnblad), Diana DeGarmo (Penny Pingleton), Mo Gaffney (Prudy Pingleton, the Gym Teacher, the Matron), Nick Jonas (Link Larkin), Darlene Love (Motormouth Maybelle), Tara Macri (Amber) and John Stamos (Corny Collins).
Three performances of the Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan musical, which is based on the film of the same name, will play the Bowl Aug. 5-7 and will be directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell was the original choreographer of Hairspray on Broadway.
In summers past, the Bowl has presented acclaimed productions of Rent, Les Miserables and Guys and Dolls.
This is the most wonderful video of Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who talks about growing up gay in a religious and military home.
“Different was not good,” he says. “Now I think different is fabulous and fantastic and I strive for it. But at the time, you didn’t want to stick out because you felt you would somehow bring harm to yourself or shame to your family.”
He was college roomies at UCLA with his best friend from home, also gay, but it took him some time to finally come out to him. He finally did by writing on the bathroom mirror with a bar of soap: “I am gay.”
Entertainment Weekly talked exclusively with Glee co-creator/executive producer Brad Falchuk about the New York City-set finale as well as what’s in store for season 3.
Here are some excerpts:
Why are Sam and Mercedes hiding their relationship?
We’re gonna have to wait and discover that. They have their reasons. That was something that was born out of the prom episode. We felt the chemistry there.
It seemed like a lot of people were hoping Santana was going to come out of the closet. Was there any thought of that?
No. When we (co-creators Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan) talked about doing that story and about her really being gay, it was a big conversation because it’s a big deal. She’s a major character. We knew we were going to get some blowback, frankly. I think we’re all very progressive but the reality is a lot of the country isn’t as progressive yet. But we wanted to take the risk because it was a group of people that weren’t truly identified on the show. We were so respectful on the Kurt story and really have focused so much on that and the character and making the sure the struggle of a gay teen in Ohio was looked at. We wanted to do the same as this one. We knew it was going to take some time. We didn’t wanna rush it. We didn’t have the time to really tell that story. I’m not gonna just have her come out in the last scene of the episode. That’s a big deal. We dedicated two episodes to Kurt coming out and then it went on. We want to give it some time so we’re giving it some time and we’re going to get into it next season.
Can you give any kind of tease for season 3?
If I could, I would. Just know that we have some really great, big ideas. I am under the opinion it will be the best season.
One of my favorite websites, We Love Soaps, has had a multi-part interview with actor David Sutcliffe and I want to share the section where he talks about playing a gay man in the 2003 film Testosterone.
As you can see in the clip at the end of this post, he was not afraid of the physical part of the role which called for him to passionately kiss more than one male co-star and to be naked with co-star Antonio Sabato Jr.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: In the middle of your successful run on GILMORE GIRLS, you took a step off the traveled path of family friendly fare by starring in TESTOSTERONE, a gay psychological thriller, that involved a lot of nudity and you doing hot intimate scenes with other guys. What led you take what many would consider a kind of unconventional “risk”?
David Sutcliffe: I was curious. It was a fascinating character who was sexually twisted. And even though I’m not gay, I related to that element of it. I was interested in exploring that darkness. It was an opportunity to go down to Argentina, I was in every scene in the movie, I thought there was a chance to explore a completely different side of myself and put that out there. I’m not 100% satisfied with how the movie turned out, but I’m satisfied with it, and I’m grateful for it. The experience was incredible, and going to the dark areas inside of myself was a chance to grow as an actor.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Even in 2011, many actors are told “don’t do the gay stuff.” You made this movie ten years ago. Did you get a lot of that feedback? David Sutcliffe: Not really. My manager was a pretty open cool guy and he saw the value in me taking a risk. I think he understood that I was interested in exploring that. My agents were a little…suspect. They weren’t quite as sure because I was building a career as a romantic lead, as a nice guy. I think they had some resistance. But agents figure it out, actors are going to do what actors are going to do, they have to surrender to it. That didn’t enter my mind to be honest. I was not going to make decisions with that.
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I think that is very courageous, and not typical of actors working in Hollywood. What was it like for you as a straight guy to be doing love scenenaked with Antonio Sabato Jr.? David Sutcliffe: (Laughs), It was a little strange. I’ll be honest. I was trying to find my inner gay man. I’m not sure I entirely succeeded in that. It was interesting to explore it. Antonio clearly had his own issues as well. We were kind of in this together, trying to figure it out. I think both of us had a willingness to explore it, see what it was, and get past whatever judgments we may have.
Ultimately people are attracted to whomever they are attracted to, but human sexuality is human sexuality. Longing, desire, the need for contact is all the same thing whether you are going for that in a man or a woman. I think the hardest part for me was to connect with the lust of it, or to see Antonio and connect to the lust. I can see him as an attractive man but I didn’t have that “GRRRR” thing that I have with women. So I had to use my imagination and deal with it that way. It was fun to be honest with you. He’s a good guy, he’s a good sport, and he really showed up. I wasn’t sure how he was going to be, but when it came to the shoot he was a real pro.
A fellow tennis fan emailed me yesterday to point out that the guy who played Roger Federer in the second round of the French Open was mighty cute!
His name is Maxime Teixeira is a 22-year-old Frenchman who had never played in the main draw of the tournament before and only did so this year because he was given what is called a “wild card” from tournament officials – his ranking is not high enough to qualify directly.
He reached his highest ATP singles ranking, No. 191 on April 4, 2011, and his highest ATP doubles ranking, No. 759, on February 7, 2011.
Hopefully bigger things are ahead for him.
Against Federer, he started well reaching 3-3 in the first set. But the 2009 French Open champion then seized control and never looked back winning the match 6-3, 6-0, 6-2.
“I gave it all. I did what I could,” Teixeira said after the match. “To play against Roger is an incredible experience. I’ll never forget it and it will be great memories.”
Justin Bartha may be best known as one of the stars of the Hangover and National Treasure flicks but another one of his roles was in the hit Failure to Launch which he starred in with Matthew McConaughey and Bradley Cooper.
So Justin stopped by E!’s Chelsea Lately last night to chat up Hangover 2 which opens this weekend and ended up telling a terrific story of when he and Cooper (another of the Hangover stars) stopped by McConaughey’s trailer on the set of Launch to say hello before shooting began.
“He answers the door of his trailer and he’s just wearing this pair of little sweat shorts — no shirt — and it hurts your eyes how beautiful he is … and then he sits down and I’m looking down the barrel of his sweat shorts and he doesn’t wear underwear either, so it’s like the whole time I’m just staring at McConaunuts.”
I guess any choice is better than Paris Hilton several years ago (I know, I should get over that one but it was ridiculous).
Olympic skater Johnny Weir, who has been openly gay since last year, has been chosen as the grand marshal of the 2011 LA Pride parade in West Hollywood on June 12.
I think he can expect a wild reception along the parade route.
We love our out celebs and I’ll be right there cheering loudly myself.
Rodney Scott, Christopher Street West Board President, said of the selection: “Johnny lives a life with a defined purpose, is dedicated to helping young people and is not afraid to be himself, sometimes not always an easy thing for a world-class athlete. As an out professional athlete, the visibility he brings is immeasurable.”
And here is what Johnny himself had to say: “I never think of myself as an activist in any capacity, but I am glad that people can find strength and inspiration in my triumphs and defeats.”
He became more open following the recent epidemic of gay teen suicides hoping his story would help others. Among the numerous charities he supports are The Trevor Project, Elton John AIDS Foundation and UNICEF.
Jared Max had been living a gay life in New York for years frequenting Boxers and G in Chelsea and bringing family and friends to Therapy in Hell’s Kitchen.
But because he’s a radio guy, no one ever recognized him by his voice.
The ESPN 1050 host changed that last week when he came out publicly on the air and got a lot of attention for it.
He talked to Outsports about the experience so far: “If I’d only known all the fear and anxiety could dissipate by taking care of this. It was weird how easy it was to do this today. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. What a schmuck I am for waiting so long.”
It was great to have the talented (and very cute!) Jonathan Groff around for the last several episodes of Glee which aired its season finale last night.
The actor, who came to fame on Broadway in Spring Awakenings and is openly gay, talked to Broadway World about the show. Here are some excerpts:
Q. What do you think about the show as a fan?
A. Oh, I have to say that I think all of the character development that has happened this season has been great. I have been excited to get to know Santana a little bit more – and, to get to hear her sing more. And, Heather [Morris], too – to get to see her do her thing in the “Britney” episode and everything. Yeah, I am really enjoying getting to know all of the other characters. I think it’s great. And, it keeps it interesting for everyone watching.
Q. What about your relationship with the star of the show and la piece de resistance de GLEE – Lea Michele.
A. Oh, yes – hello?!
Q. Literally, “Hello”.
A. (Big Laugh.) We had so much fun – and we always have so much fun together. I mean, we wrapped the show about a week and a half ago and it was like 3 AM or something and we were on the set and we were walking back to our trailers and we just had a moment of, like, “Wow, I can’t believe that we met five years ago. At that callback of SPRING AWAKENING, who would have ever guessed that now we’d be on the set of this TV show?”
Q. It must be mind-blowing.
A. It was completely surreal. I mean, to go through an exciting thing and have an exciting thing happen in your career is always really fun, but to be able to do it with someone and to experience things with someone is so much more fun. I feel really lucky to experience all the things I’ve gotten to experience with her. It’s just been a blast.
Q. Is it true you suggested her to Ryan Murphy?
A. Well, she came out to visit me when I was doing that pilot we were just talking about that didn’t get picked up [PRETTY/HANDSOME], and, Ryan was like, “Oh, my God! You would be so perfect for this role on GLEE!” So, I just introduced them.
Q. Was she visiting the set?
A. Yeah, she had come out to visit me just for like a weekend when we were shooting out there in LA.
DAYTIME BOUND: As the most recent season of 90210 came to a close, Teddy (Trevor Donovan) and Marco (Freddie Smith) seemed to have become a pretty solid couple and even danced together at the prom.
‘m not sure what the plans are for them next season but AfterElton’s Gays of Our Lives column reports that Smith has joined the cast of Days Of Our Lives in a contract role.
He will play the son of Days supercouple Justin and Adrienne Kiriakis who have four sons, none of whom have been seen on screen since they were children. Smith will play Sonny Kiriakis, the youngest of the couple’s children.
Days spoiler sites are reporting that Sonny will be the love interest of Will Horton, played by Chandler Massey, as part of Will’s coming out drama. Soap Opera Weekly reports that show insiders are saying the same. Still, nothing has been confirmed by the show itself.
Smith recently began taping and will likely appear on screen late in July to early August.
In case you were wondering what goes through a straight actor’s mind when he portrays a gay man and the role involves kissing, Armie Hammer has talked to Entertainment Tonight Canada about it.
The handsome actor from The Social Network got to lock lips with Leonardo DiCaprio in the Clint Eastwood-directed flick J. Edgar.
Heplays Clyde Tolson, Associate FBI Director under longtime chief J. Edgar Hoover (played by DiCaprio). It’s long been rumored that the two lawmen were secret gay lovers, a topic Eastwood’s biopic is embracing wholeheartedly.
“It wasn’t that weird – I have never kissed a guy – it’s not something I’m going to do in my private life, but at the end of it I was, like, man, there is a lot of weird hype,” Hammer said (via Just Jared). “You always have a special relationship with someone when you finish a movie with them, but…he’s got a bunch of stuff he is doing after that, I’ve got a bunch of stuff I’m doing….we didn’t start a book club together or anything.”
Happy birthday to Sir Ian McKellen who seems to be aging like fine wine.
The great actor was 49 when he came out publicly as a gay man and has since enjoyed the most successful phase of his career.
He’s been a part of two huge blockbuster franchises: The Lord of the Rings and X-Men, earned two Academy Award nominations (for Gods and Monsters and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring).
“If you’re going around telling a lie you may get by but you won’t be half as happy as you would be if you came out,” he told Popeater last year. “If that means you have to give up hopes of being one of the three or four young sex symbols in Hollywood so be it. You probably weren’t going to be one of those anyway. That happens by chance and it doesn’t last for very long.”
Alex Lundquist is a male Swedish model who has a lot more to offer than just looking pretty: He is also a professional paintball player for the team Jersey Authority in the National Professional Paintball League (NPPL).
The 39-year-old began his modeling career began in the summer of 1994, when he met photographer Bruce Weber and Sean Patterson, a Wilhelmina agent, who tracked him down after spotting his photo in an obscure publication. Versace immediately booked him for a worldwide campaign shot by Weber.
Alex has since appeared in magazines such as GQ, Playgirl, Elle, L’Uomo Vogue, and Top Model.
He speaks fluent English, Swedish and German and a bit of Italian and French.
Presenters for the 65th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre in New York City have been announced!
They include: Daniel Radcliff, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Alec Baldwin, Samuel L. Jackson, Kelsey Grammer, Viola Davis, Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Harry Connick, Jr., Christie Brinkley, David Hyde Pierce, Marg Helgenberger, Matthew Broderick, Angela Lansbury, Jim Parsons, Joel Grey, Patrick Wilson, Robert Morse and many others.
Pretty classy of Daniel Radcliffe to take part since he was not nominated, as he had been expected to, for his performance in How to Make it in Business Without Really Trying.
The awards honoring Broadway’s best will air live on CBS, on Sunday, June 12th 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay) and will be hosted by Emmy winner Neil Patrick Harris.
Bette Midler may be best known for her singing and spectacular live shows, but her fans know that she is one heckuva terrific actress.
The Divine Miss M is a two-time Oscar nominee for The Rose and For the Boys, films for which she won Golden Globe Awards. She also won the Globe for her performance in the TV movie Gypsy.
My other favorite Bette movies are Beaches, First Wives Club, Outrageous Fortune and Big Business and she is first-rate in the lesser-known gem Then She Found Me in which she plays Helen Hunt’s long-lost birth mother.
Anyway, I’m reviewing Bette’s movie career because she has been cast in a new film!
Miss Midler will star opposite Al Pacino in a Phil Spector biopic for HBO which is currently in development. She will play Linda Kenney Baden, one of Spector’s defense attorneys in his trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.
GLEEFUL: Well, if you are on the West Coast like me, then the season finale of Glee is just about to start so settle in for the gang from McKinley High taking New York where they will be performing in Nationals.
Here is video of the cast singing “New York, New York, It’s a Wonderful Town!”
Well, I guess it couldn’t have lasted forever but I wish it could have.
Deadline Hollywoodreports that Christopher Meloni is leaving NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit after 12 seasons.
The actor and the network reportedly could not come to terms for a 13th season. Meloni’s longtime co-star Mariska Hargitay, will be back next season but will have a reduced role after the first 13 episodes.
He is expected to be replaced by a “name” actor.
Deadline said sources close to the actor say he’d simply had enough.
“It was a great run and a wonderful experience,” the source said. “Now he is ready for the next chapter of his life.”