If you are a fan of the ABC daytime soap All My Children, then you know doubt have noticed the oh-so-handsome Jordi Vilasuso who has played the role of Griffin Castillo since last November.
The 29-year-old actor is best known for originating the role of Tony Santos on the CBS soap Guiding Light, a role for which he won a Daytime Emmy in 2003 for outstanding younger actor.
After leaving that soap, Jordi appeared in the movies The Last Home Run, The Lost City, Heights and La Linea and did guest spots in such television series as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CSI: Miami, and 8 Simple Rules.
Ricky Martin was honored on Saturday night by Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the the Vito Russo Award presented to someone presented to an openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.
When he took the stage at the New York ceremony, Martin said: “GLAAD has helped me so much. A couple of months ago, I was being attacked by someone in the media in Puerto Rico, and I called GLAAD and I said ‘What do you do? Because I’m new at this, I really don’t know what to do.’ And they said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.’ And they hopped on a plane and they went to Puerto Rico and they did what needed to be done. And today, Puerto Rican television is one step closer to being free from hate, thanks to GLAAD.”
The singer, who came out publicly last year and released a candid memoir called Me, added: “I just want to be free. I can say today I’m free. And for that I definitely need to thank my parents for being so supportive, my mother and my dad for their unconditional love, and my friends, my family, my fans. And my partner in crime and my boyfriend Carlos.”
GLAAD, which promotes positive images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the media, will present additional media awards in Los Angeles on April 10 and San Francisco in May 14.
DROPPING: My favorite tennis player, Roger Federer, has dropped down to number three in the world rankings.
Roger has been ranked number one or number two nearly every week since early 2004 so it is a bit of a shock to see this great champion – winner of six Wimbledons and five US Opens – ranked a mere third in the world.
Roger’s nemesis in the last six months has not been his great archrival Rafael Nadal but Serbian star Novak Djokovic who beat him yesterday in the semifinals of the the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
It was painful to watch Roger lose to Australian Open champ Novak for the third time this year (his only losses) especially since Roger had every opportunity to win before he seemed to lose concentration and go down 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Novak will face Nadal in today’s final.
Djokovic and Federer will switch spots when the latest rankings are released on Monday, with the Serbian moving up to No. 2 and Federer slipping to third with an 18-3 mark this season. All three of his losses have been against Djokovic, who is 17-0.
“It’s the crown for my achievements this year. I think I deserve it,” Djokovic told reporters. “I’ve played the best tennis of my life in the last three months. I have been very dedicated, very professional, and I want to keep on going.”
Federer became just the fourth player to take a set off Djokovic this year when he won the second. Federer lost to him in straight sets in the Australian Open semifinals and in the Dubai final earlier this year.
“My approach to the matches against Roger is maybe different than it was in the past two years. Right now I kind of have more self-belief when I step on the court against him,” Djokovic said. “Before it was, `Let’s hope that I can play well.”’
Said Federer: “I had my chances. I know I wasn’t far away at all because I really had him going. I guess he escaped. I guess confidence is a big thing for him at the moment.”
Roger had the chance to leave the tournament as a winner in doubles but he and partner Staniskas Wawrinka lost a close final to Alexandr Dolgopolov and Xavier Malisse 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-7. Federer and Wawrinka are the reigning Olympic champions in doubles.
It’s not like Federer has been playing badly so I have every confidence that he will remain in the mix for all the big titles this year. He remains in good form but does need to solve the Djokovic problem – and soon!
It was great to run into Doug Spearman at The Counter on Wilshire on Friday!
It’s always nice to see one of the former core cast members of the Noah’s Arc series and movie (Doug played college professor Chance). It’s especially nice when they have some good news to share: One Tuesday, Doug will film a guest spot on ABC’s All My Children.
Doug has landed the role as the administrator of Pine Valley Hospital. His character is named Mr. Kepner (we don’t know the first name yet) and he works for Greenlee Lavery played by Rebecca Buddig.
The show is Doug’s all time favorite soap.
“What’s wild is I’ve watched the show almost the entire time it’s been on from the very first episode,” he told me. “I was home sick from school and happened to flip through the channels looking for the Dating Game and it was on.”
Doug even wrote and produced promos for the show when I was a daytime writer/producer at ABC.
Right now it’s a one day role but hopefully it will be the first of many appearances.
Remember Victoria Jackson from Saturday Night Live?
She was pretty funny playing various ditzy characters on the NBC show from 1986 through 1992.
But a column she recently wrote is certainly no laughing matter when it comes to her remarks about the recent episode of Glee where gay high school students Blaine (Darren Criss) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) share their first kiss.
Here is what she wrote:
Did you see “Glee” this week? Sickening! And, besides shoving the gay thing down our throats, they made a mockery of Christians – again! I wonder what their agenda is? Hey, producers of “Glee” – what’s your agenda? One-way tolerance?
This is one of the loveliest songs from Dreamgirls.
It is the ballad I am Changing which Effie sings after she’s been out of the group for awhile and is on the road to getting her act together and making a comeback.
There are three versions here: Jennifer Hudson who won the Academy Award for her perfomance in the film version; Jennifer Holliday who won the Tony for originating the role in the Broadway production; and a very young Whitney Houston.
It’s bittersweet seeing Whitney when her talent was in full flight before her later troubles diminished her gifts.
Tonight, Facts of Life alum Geri Jewell is one of the headliners of tonight’s Laugh Out Loud benefit to raise money for the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s Center’s LifeWorks Mentoring program.
Here is part three of my interview with Geri who will be performing stand-up for the first time since she came out publicly. She confessed to being a bit nervous at the prospect:
“This is all new territory for me,” she said. “I’ve never been out in such a big way. Truthfully, I had so much growing to do myself before I could be at this place. I know I’m going to get criticism, I’m prepared for it. I think when you come into the world with something like Cerebral Palsy and live with that from the time you were born, nothing you can change or hide. You have to cope and deal with it. I think because I had that psychology of being different coming into the world with this difference and having to cope with so much prejudice and discrimination and isolation, it actually gave me a greater tool to deal with any kind of opposition that I am going to get for being gay. Granted I could still hide it if I wanted to. When I was in my 20s, I remember saying to a reporter that if I could hide CP in my pocket and just be an actress, I would. I would only use it if I needed a parking space. That’s my youth. It’s the same thing. I don’t want to hide my being gay anymore either.”
Tomorrow: The fourth and final part of out interview has Geri talking about how her acting career was revived with HBO’s Deadwood and why she decided to write her autobiography.
MCDREAMY NO. 1: Patrick Duffy made his first big splash on television in the late 1970s as the amphibious superhero on Man From Atlantis. But it was his role as Bobby Ewing on Dallas that made him a household name. He starred with Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal, Linda Gray and the rest of the prime-time soap’s large cast during most of its historic run from 1978-91.
After a few years, Duffy decided to leave the show and filmed a scene in which he “died.” Fans were upset at his departure, he recalled when we spoke this week.
It was so fun to talk to Patrick back in 2008, one of my early TV crushes. He was the McDreamy of his day and pretty much still is
“After the episode aired, a few days later I went shopping and a woman accosted me in the parking lot of Gelson’s,” he said. “She was wailing and crying and saying: How could you die?”‘
Duffy was persuaded to return to Dallas, and writers had to figure out a way to bring him back. In a plot twist that required viewers to suspend disbelief, writers made his death and the entire 1985-86 season, a really bad dream.
He was reintroduced to viewers when Pam Ewing (Principal) opened the shower door, sees Bobby lathering up and tells him of her nightmare.
“That resurrected another three years of my life on the show and I appreciated it to no end,” he said. “Anytime you can be even a small percentage connected to an iconic moment in TV, it’s like a little Medal of Honor.
“I feel the same way about the shower scene and I know Larry feels the same way about the `Who Shot J.R.?’ episode.”
Duffy still works regularly in television with a recurring role on CBS’s Emmy-winning daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful. He will also reprise his role on Bobby Ewing in TNT’s Dallas reboot which focuses on the offspring of Bobby and JR Ewing.
Duffy had followed his decade-plus run on Dallas by starring for seven years on the ABC sitcom Step By Step with Suzanne Somers.
“It was the most fortunate set of circumstances to go from working with my best friend Larry Hagman then I met Suzanne Somers and she became my new Larry Hagman (on `Step By Step’),” Duffy said. “We stay in touch with each other and we love each other. When I’m in L.A., Linda, Larry and I still have our lunches and dinners. But I can’t tell you where.”
Last year, I posted every episode of the online series Then We Got HELP and I’m happy to do the same this year now that it has begun its second season!
The premise: Four struggling couples need therapy. They get each other instead. Group Therapy without the Therapist. A relationship comedy in the style of Modern Family and The Office.
I get a real kick out of the gay couple of the group, Dan and Eric, because they remind me a bit of Mitchell and Cameron on Modern Family. Dan is played by talented stage star Nicholas Rodriguez who we, of course, know best from his role as Nick on ABC’s One Life to Live when that soap actually had gay characters. Eric, who is a riot, is wonderfully played by Blake Hammond.
The show’s creator, Julie Emery, tells me that the couple will be navigating their way through the adoption process this season and the show will also have a bisexual man who can’t make up his mind between his girlfriend and his boyfriend later this season.
The cast of Glee appeared this week at Paley Fest and revealed some spoilers coming up when the show returns with new episodes in April.
Quit reading NOW is you want to remain in the dark about what is in store!
Okay, you’ve been warned!
The big news, the wonderful news, is that our wonderful Kurt (Chris Colfer) will be returning to McKinley High after his stint at Dalton Academy. The actor let it slip that he was “happy to be back” with his New Directions cast members.
So where does this leave Kurt’s love Blaine played by Darren Criss (pictured left)? Creator Ryan Murphy hinted that Blaine may be trying out for the New Directions in season 3.
When she had a recurring role on The Facts of Life, Geri Jewell not only played the cousin of rich and preppy Blair Warner, but she was also close friends with Lisa Welchel who played Blair.
Geri, who is now 54 and an out lesbian, was in her early 20s at that time of the series and coming to terms with her sexuality. In part 2 of our interview, she talks about that secretive time in her life. (Here is a LINK to part 1)
“The only person that knew was Lisa Welchel at least to my knowledge,” Geri tells Greg In Hollywood. “We were very close, we were roommates and spent a lot of time together.”
Welchel is famously Christian and the two did not stay in touch after Jewell stopped appearing on the show: “I have total and 1000 percent respect for Lisa. Even though we did not see eye to eye on religious issues, I’m very spiritual. I have a very strong spiritual base. I make sure every action and word I speak comes from a spiritual place for the highest good of everyone concerned. I was raised Catholic.”
“At the the time, of course, Lisa wanted me to be born again, that was her passion, her love, and I understood that. I did not resent her for that. I was just so conflicted. I was just trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do and struggling with so many issues: my sexuality, financial issues, not being an adult but being a child after being so protected by Special Ed for so many years. It was kind of a jungle. It”s a amazing that I even survived.”
“I hope ultimately [Lisa] is pleased with what I wrote about her in the book. I told the truth and, hopefully, what is conveyed is the respect and the love and the fact that we were kind of like sisters when we were roommates, looking out for one another.”
Geri’s autobiography, I’m Walking As Straight As I Can, comes out April 1. Former co-stars Charlotte Rae and Mindy Cohn have been publicly supportive of Jewell since she came out.
“It means the world to me, I am grateful for that,” she said. “I don’t know how Lisa Welchel will respond but the truth of the matter is I know you can love someone and not approve of a lifestyle and there’s nothing is wrong with that.”
Coming Sunday: The final part of Geri’s interview with Greg In Hollywood.
Anton Hysen is only the second professional footballer in Europe to come out (after Justin Fashanu in 1990.)
He’s just 20 years old is the son of former Liverpool star and Swedish heartthrob Glenn Hysen (pictured with his son, below) and talked to UK’s The Sun about the reaction to his news: “I have so many reasons to be positive about the situation. You have to teach some homophobic people how to think but I am happy I did it. Everyone asks me if I know any other gay footballers but I don’t. I would encourage them to come out and support each other.”
He’s got a great attitude and sense of humor about it all: “It is sad no one has the guts to come out. I respect the fact we all deal with situations in a different way and I joke about the situation. When we are in the showers, I obviously say stuff like ‘Don’t drop the soap’. I really don’t care. When I walk into the dressing room I say ‘Watch out, he’s here’ – but I know they respect me. And I respect them.”
I know Tallulah Bankheadwas a big movie and Broadway star but if not for her hilarious guest appearance on the funniest of the 13 one-hour I Love Lucy one hour specials, I probably would not be aware of her!
Die-hard I Love Lucy fans like me pretty much know every half-hour episode from the show’s 1951-57 run. Less well-known are these 13 one-hour episodes that followed from 1957-60.
Bankhead plays her movie star self and she and Lucy end up living next door to each other for the summer. Lucy invites her to dinner early on and in order to impress, has the Mertz’s pretend to be servants. They then have a series of misunderstandings that results in them being at war with each other.
I’m a few days late on passing along the word on this but better late than never: the truly superb A Marine Story was released on DVD this week.
At Outfest last summer, the film won the Audience Award for Outstanding Dramatic Feature Film AND the Grand Jury Prize for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature Film. In addition to that, the film’s star, the sensational Dreya Weber, took the home the jury’s award for outstanding actress.
With Weber as the star and a producer along with JD Disalvatore and writer-director Ned Farr behind this film, you knew going in that thiswas probably going to be a pretty good movie. It turned out to be a great movie.
Here’s a synopsis: A Marine Story is set against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy of the United States Military. A decorated Marine officer (Weber) unexpectedly returns home from the war and is quickly recruited to help a troubled teen (Paris Pickard) prepare for boot camp. But when the true reasons for her return become known it threatens the future for both of them.
The movie features first-rate acting by Weber and the storytelling and production values are top-notch. We find out through a few key flashbacks why this marine, named Alexandria, is discharged just before she was to have gotten her military pension. She had taken great pains to hide the fact that she is a lesbian – even marrying a fellow soldier – but someone has it out for her.
It’s been an infuriating policy that, thankfully, is being dismantled.
A superior officer says to Alexandria: “Just so we’re clear, I don’t see how you being a lesbian makes a damn bit of difference … it’s not a matter of unit cohesion or troop morale, it has to do with [gay] marriage.”
She tries to slow the wheels of the investigation down so she could get her pension and says: “I just want to be free to do my job.”
Back at home in her small town, one of Alexandria’s friends has the most wonderful line: “I wish ignorance was painful.”
I have been a huge fan of Dreya Weber ever since seeing The Gymnast which screened at Outfest a few years back. I had seen it on a DVD screener before the festival and remember bumping into Dreya at the festival’s opening night party by the silent auction tables. I gushed like a groupie. We laughed about it last summer when I saw her again at Outfest.
The DVD comes loaded with bonus features including commentary, deleted scenes and a special behind the scenes slide show. It’s also be available on VOD, including Comcast, Time Warner, Amazon.com, ITunes, Netflix, Vudu and many more.
All right, I’ll admit it. Not only did I recently get hooked on Bravo’s Bethenny Ever after during a marathon last weekend, but a few weeks back I spent a Saturday Morning watching at least five consecutive episodes of Million Dollar Listing.
Just love that show! Last month I shared with you an interview I did with Madison Hildebrand who is one of the three real estate agents who make a fortune selling multi-million dollar properties in the most exclusive neighborhoods in LA.
The others are Josh Altman and today’s Morning Man: Josh Flagg!
According to press materials sent to me recently, Josh began working in high-end real estate immediately after graduating from Beverly Hills High in 2004. Within the first four years of his career, he participated in several record sales, including the highest sale in the history of Brentwood Park and the highest sales on the exclusive Roxbury, Foothill and Monovale Drives, making him one of Los Angeles’ hottest agents. He has participated in sales up to $25,000,000.
In his new book, he writes about having travelled to more than fifty countries, his years growing up in one of the most famous cities in the world (Beverly Hills) and how to develop a successful career in high-end real estate.
Josh also officially comes out during Million Dollar Listing’s current fourth season.
I think we’re all really looking forward to seeing Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer in the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic J. Edgar with a script by Dustin Lance Black.
The gifted DiCaprio, who played gay in Total Eclipse many years ago, stars in the film as late FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover. Hammer is on Hollywood’s A-list after his breakthrough in The Social Network. He plays Hoover’s protégé and rumored lover Clyde Tolson.
E! Online’sMarc Malkin reports: From what we hear, it sounds like things got pretty hot and heavy between the two men with a source saying: “It was on Friday when they had their kissing scene, and it was very passionate.”
Sure, it’s St. Patrick’s Day but I’m in the mood to share with you some pics of a Spanish tennis pro and one from Argentina.
They are Tommy Robredo and Juan Martin Del Potro!
Both were entered in the BNP Paribas Open but only one of them is still in the tournament at Indian Wells. Robredo, seeded 25th, withdrew before his quarterfinal against del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion.
The handsome Robredo (pictured above) strained a left abductor muscle in his match a day earlier.
“The doctor here says not to play,” he told reporter today. “We have been delaying it as much as possible because we were contacting our doctors in Spain to see what they feel about, and now the decision is done. I am out of here, and I am out of Miami, as well.”
Del Potro is in the semis for his fourth straight tournament after injuries derailed him for much of last year.