So glad to read about what T.R. Knight has been up to in a new article on Huffingtion Post.
The 37-year-old actor did what hardly anybody does: He left a hit network series (Grey’s Anatomy) at its peak because he felt that it was time for him to move on.
“It was time to go,” Knight says of his decision. “Looking back, I learned so much and it was so valuable. But there are times in anybody’s job where you feel the best decision is to move on. It doesn’t detract from the knowledge that I gained, and it doesn’t detract from my gratitude. … People like to add up all the dollar signs and how much you’re walking away from, and let them. That’s cool. I’m the one that’s walking in my shoes.”
He is currently appearing on Broadway with Patrick Stewart in a David Mamet play in A Life in the Theatre.
“I’m in some amazing company and very lucky to be included,” Knight says. “You set your expectations low so you’re not disappointed and then something like this happens and it’s fantastic. So then you go to the next job and it’s like, ‘Now I’ll never work again.’ We choose a job where we’re rejected 99 percent of the time. We have to be just completely bonkers in order to do that.”
On a more personal note, he isn’t sure yet how publicly coming out has changed his acting. “As far as the effect of it, I really think that I’m just too in it,” he says. “I’m too close to it. That’s for others to decide. And everyone has an opinion.”
The great Carol Burnett, who will be playing Sue Sylvester’s mom on an episode of Glee this season, is going to appear at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s Anniversary Gala alongside fellow comedy geniuses Jane Lynch (honoree) and Lily Tomlin (host). Matthew Morrison of Glee has also been announced as a presenter.
Wow! This could be even better than a few years back when Shirley MacLaine showed up to honor Jenifer Lewis!
I grew up watching The Carol Burnett Show and her characters of Eunice and Miss Wiggins are classics as are her spoofs of classic movies – especially her take on Scarlett Ohara in Gone With the Wind and Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.
Of course she was also brilliant as Miss Hannigan in Annie, a hoot as Helen Hunt’s mother on Mad About You, and has done stunning dramatic turns in such films as Friendly Fire and Pete & Tillie and in an episode of Law & Order: SVU last year.
I read Miss Burnett’s second memoir, I’m So Glad We Had This Time Together, over the summer and it was a nice read filled with anecdotes both funny and sad.
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s 39th Anniversary Gala & Auction will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. The gala is an occasion to recognize both individuals and organizations making a difference in the fight for LGBT equality.
Here are the Teddy-Ian scenes from last night’s episode of 90210.
The two are on detention for fighting (Teddy started it because he can’t handle the fact that he slept with Ian) and he remains distant and hostile to his openly gay classmate.
Ian tells Teddy that no matter how he behaves, he can’t erase what happened between them: “Every time you see me at school, you’re going to remember what happened. … You’re gonna have to face it. You can’t run away from who you are.”
It is not just a typical celebrity profile on actor Cheyenne Jackson in the new issue of OUT Magazine.
It’s a well-written piece on how this star of stage (All Shook Up, Xanadu) and television (30 Rock, Glee) grew up and came to terms with his sexuality in a deeply Christian family.
Here is the first part of the piece by Aaron Hicklin with a link to the rest at the bottom. Enjoy!
Fast-forward past the small-town childhood, and the stubborn, insistent facts of an austere upbringing– an outhouse, no running water (“I promised my mom I would quit talking about it.”). Skip the reproving sign atop the TV set — If Jesus lived here would you be watching this? — and the ban on unwholesome music. Start, instead, in the Gulf of Mexico with the bang of an epiphany — every good story needs one, and Cheyenne Jackson’s is a peach.
It is July 1993. Along with his fellow teen missionaries, the young Jackson is handing out New Testaments, bumper stickers, and smiles. The bumper stickers read diga no a la pornografía (say no to pornography), and the trick is to catch drivers as they pause at the stoplight. “It was so bizarre and misguided,” says Jackson. “People were shamed into letting us put them on their car, but then the light would turn green and — you know, bumper stickers! You have to do it clean and smoothly.” He mimics the act of smoothing out the wrinkles as cars lurch forward, the smiling missionaries staggering in their wake. It’s a funny image; the kind of thing Tina Fey might crib as back story for Kenneth the Page, the doltish office drudge on 30 Rock, in which Jackson has a recurring role. But it’s not a punch line on NBC, and the memory stirs complicated emotions for the teller. Jackson’s instinct is to charm and entertain, but the easy grace he projects is also a smoke screen. There are things still being worked out, processed. “This is gonna get deep,” he warns. “I don’t know if I want to say this.” He swallows, composes himself, and summons the memory.
It is July 12, and the missionaries are at the beach to celebrate Jackson’s 18th birthday. There is a cake, dyed blue. There is Jackson’s girlfriend, Willow (“We always said we were gonna name our kid Shiloh. Like, combine our names.”). The boys and girls are singing Jesus songs, playing guitar, weeping tears of gratitude and joy, but Jackson is not among them. He is out in the ocean, treading water, gazing back on the scene.
“I never felt further away from who I really am,” he says. “I’m ready to go out in the world and be who I’m supposed to be, but I am so conflicted because the church and everything in that world is telling me that who I am is wrong, just wrong. And I know I’m a good person, I know that I treat people with kindness and that I try to make the world a better place. How can who I am be wrong? And in that moment I just know that something has to change. I have to acknowledge it. I’ve never said it out loud, like ‘I’m gay.’ I go pretty far down underwater, not trying to hurt myself, or anything, but it’s the sense that I want to sink. And I look up and I can see the sun above the water, and it’s almost as if I feel something reach in and pull me up. And when I surface I am totally different. I’ve made a decision. And I look at the kids, and for once I don’t feel disdain or wish I could feel what they are feeling. I don’t wish that I could have real tears when I close my eyes to pray. I feel like this is the first day.”
Jackson turned 35 this summer, celebrating with a small birthday party at Paris Commune, a restaurant in New York City’s West Village. It was a typically low-key affair. The actor Alan Cumming came by with his partner. Ricki Lake stopped in for a quick toast. Jackson ordered the halibut and a gin and tonic. It was a busy time for the actor. He’d just filmed an episode for the eighth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm and was due to start filming a movie, The Green, starring opposite Julia Ormond, in which Jackson plays the partner of a drama teacher (Jason Butler Harner) caught up in a sexual harassment case. Although a project with HBO had recently fallen through, the actor had just been told that Ryan Murphy had written him into the third season of Glee, as the new coach of Vocal Adrenaline, and his mood was buoyant. In the eight years since he moved to New York City, he’s built an enviable résumé of successful Broadway roles, including Chad in All Shook Up and Sonny in the Tony-nominated pop opera Xanadu, as well as his role in 30 Rock, but he wears his fame lightly, never playing the diva or taking his success for granted. It’s a quality that sets him apart from many of his peers. “He’s just so low-key and undemanding and unpretentious with his approach and his delivery — there are no boundaries, no rules, which is unique in that business,” says the designer Kenneth Cole who knows Jackson through his work for amfAR, the AIDS research foundation of which Cole is chairman. For David Mixner, a long time gay activist and fundraiser, Jackson is “a man who not only has heart but gives it to this community unconditionally.”
A few months after that birthday dinner, Jackson and his partner of more than 10 years, Monte Lapka, walked into New York’s City Hall and registered as domestic partners. “We wanted to get as married as we could,” says Jackson. “I think we were filling in some forms for wills or insurance, and I just thought, Let’s just make this as legal as we can. It was with a bunch of Russian mail order brides, literally. And it was hilarious and it was romantic, just he and me, our little secret.” Although Lapka, a trained physicist, is apparently ambivalent about marriage proper, his status on Jackson’s Wikipedia page is already listed as “spouse.” The boy of 18 who had never said “I’m gay” has come a long way.
Who woulda thought Tim Gunn and I had such similar taste in movies? I mostly love his list of The 17 Movies That Shaped Tim Gunn that he compiled for Vulture.com. Here are some of the movies we have in common with Tim’s remarks:
Funny Face (1957) Gunn Says: This frolicking romp stars Audrey Hepburn as the ugly duckling turned swan, Fred Astaire as a fashion photographer loosely based on Richard Avedon, and the fabulous Kay Thompson as a fashion editor loosely based on Diana Vreeland. It’s a great behind-the-scenes look at fashion magazines. Think The Devil Wears Prada set to music. And after seeing this movie, you’ll always “think pink!”
The Women (1939) Gunn Says: This wickedly funny film paints a portrait of thirties society women whose lives revolve around beauty treatments, luncheons, fashion shows, and each other’s men. The script is laugh-out-loud funny and the entire film is a great escape, especially when I’m feeling bitchy and want to have a cathartic experience. (But please don’t waste your time with the 2008 remake. It’s sad.)
A Star is Born (1954) Gunn Says: In this bigger-than-life movie about the rise of a nobody Hollywood extra into the motion-picture industry’s biggest star, Garland becomes seduced by a star (James Mason), but he’s a self-centered cad. Still, she marries him and stays by his side until … the end. Speaking of, there are few movies that I’ve experienced that end with the kind of welling of emotion that’s triggered by seven words spoken by Garland: “Hello, everybody. This is … Mrs. … Norman … Maine.”
Funny Lady (1968) Gunn Says: In this amazing musical, Barbra Streisand handles drama, comedy, music numbers, and tear-jerking sentiment with equal aplomb, and she does it all better than any actress before or since. And with the most fabulous hair.
Auntie Mame (1958) Gunn Says: Rosalind Russell was born to play the madcap Mame in this story of an eccentric, fast-living society woman of the twenties determined to “open doors” for her adoring nephew. Mame exposes him to everything from bootleg gin to oddball characters — all the while doing battle with her nephew’s ultraconservative trustee, who is equally determined that the boy’s life remain free of “certain influences.”
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) Gunn Says: I think about Edward Albee’s vituperative play about marital warfare every time I go to a really tense dinner party. If only all hostesses had Elizabeth Taylor’s sense of style!
The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Gunn Says: I went to see this movie with Grace Mirabella. Meryl Streep’s character is loosely based on Anna Wintour, who replaced Grace at Vogue under dreadful circumstances. Grace was as still as a statue during the movie, which made me nervous. When the lights came up at the end, I slowly turned to Grace, whose eyes met mine. I gulped. She broke into a wide grin and shouted, “I loved it!”
Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are comedy gold as Cameron and Mitchell each week on Modern Family.
But the two actors also share a wonderful chemistry together off-screen which I witnessed first hand a few weeks ago at the PFLAG LA event.
The two actors appear, as themselves, in a new PSA for The Trevor Project’s It Gets Better series.
Jesse, who is openly gay, talks about how he was picked on for being “different” when he was in school. But he had achieved success as an actor buy the time of his 10 year high school reunion where he said he was celebrated for being “different.”
Colombian golfer Camilo Villegas was not on my radar even though I’m a casual fan of professional golf.
But he sure is now after shedding his clothes to appear on the cover of ESPN magazine’s 2010 Body Issue.
The sexy golfer is included in the yearly issue of the magazine that features the naked bodies of the world’s top sports people.
In an interview with the New York Times, Villegas admitted it was “very uncomfortable” for him to take off his clothes: “Taking off your clothes before a camera is not what I do for a living. Especially at moments like that when I felt weird I just thought of having working very hard to obtain these results. This helped me to relax.”
Villegas poses on one of the six covers of the magazine in his traditional “spiderman” position, which golfing fans will recognize from the course.
Just 28, Camilo has accomplished a lot: After several different National Junior Championships in Colombia in the ages between 8 – 15, at 16 he became the first player in Colombian golf history to win the Amateur’s Grand Slam in the same year.
Then, in 2001 he became only the second player to win the Colombian Open as an amateur. His success in Colombian golf throughout the 1990s earned him the distinction of “Player of the Decade” issued by the Colombian Golf Federation.
And all that was before college! He attended the University of Florida where he was a four-time All-American.
He started playing on the PGA Tour in 2004 and has won three tournaments. In 2006, Golf Digest named him “Sexiest Player on Tour.”
He might be better known to casual fans like me if he were to break through at one of the major tournaments.
So far, he has a top 10 finishes only at the the US Open and the PGA Championship both in 2008.
Spending four days attending the Long Beach Q Film Festival served as a real reminder of why I love this city I called home from 1993 to 2000.
Kudos to the organizers of this terrific event that was filled with top-notch full-length and short films of various genres and also had some really good parties between and after some of the screenings.
I liked the intimacy of the event and the fact that 26 directors from across the U.S. were present and participated in post-screening Q & A sessions with audiences.
More than 200 people attended Opening Night on Thursday when two of the award winning films were screened.
The festival kicked off with the outstanding A Marine Story which won the best screenplay award for writer-director Ned Farr. It was followed by a screening of Undertow (Contracorriente), the superb Peruvian movie that won best picture and best director forJavier Fuentes-Leon.
Other award winners: Outstanding Documentary: On These Shoulders We Stand; Best director (short film): Dominick Domingo for Outpost; Best Short Film (Drama) Remember Me in Red; and Best Short Film (Comedy) Cried Suicide.
I raved about Undertow (Contracorriente)and aboutA Marine Storyin previous posts. Of the other award winners, I thought Outpost was very, very good and I hope director Dominick Domingo, who I chatted with at the after-party, can make this into the full-length this feature deserves to be. Also, Cried Suicide, part of the comedy shorts program on Sunday, is damned good!
Among the other favorites that I saw was last night’s closing film Role/Play which I saw at Outfest but liked even more this time around. Director Rob Williams and stars Steve Callahan and Matthew Montgomery (pictured at top of post) have been tearing up the festival circuit this fall and I hope lots of people get to see the movie when it is released on DVD early next year.
Rob told me there has been some tweaking since the world premiere at Outfest and I noticed. It’s a better movie now and I told Steve and Matthew at the party how impressed with all the dialogue they had to master. It’s a very smart script with a lot in it.
On Saturday, I attended a program of men’s shorts that included Outpost and also this wonderful comedy You Can’t Curry Love (The very attractive cast are in the second photo in this post). I gabbed with writer-director Reid Waterer at the after-party as well as cast members (and future Morning Men) Ashwin Gore, Rakshak Sahni, Russell Reynolds and Rajan Velu.
What a charming and talented group of guys and what a funny and fresh movie they have made. I hope to see this at LA’s Outfest next year because it will be a certain crowd-pleaser!
Speaking of crowd pleasers, I have to admit right here that even though I have done several posts about Chico’s Angels, I had never seen the hilarious drag parody of Charlie’s Angels until Sunday (the cast is in the third photo, above). It’s a scream!
Congratulations to all the filmmakers, the award winners and to festival organizers including Ron Sylvester, Robert Cano, Chris Carpenter and Holly Light.
Universal Pictures has agreed to change its offensive trailer for the upcoming comedy The Dilemma starring Vince Vaughn and Queen Latifah and directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard.
Anderson Cooper complained a few times in his CNN show about it then got a lot of attention when he repeated the complaint during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Anderson had seen the trailer while at the movies two weekends ago.
In a scene in the trailer, Vaughn’s character says in a workplace scene: “Electric cars are gay.” He goes on to make clear that he doesn’t mean “homosexual, gay, but, you know, my parents are chaperoning the dance, gay.”
GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) wants the studio to take things a step further and remove the joke from the movie entirely before it is released in January. GLAAD also charges that Universal has merely removed the trailer online and not yet pulled it from theaters.
States GLAAD: “It plays on the sorts of stereotypes that give license to bullies and should be taken out. After talking to GLAAD, Universal promised to edit it out, but didn’t make good on the commitment. Then, when CNN’s Anderson Cooper denounced the trailer last week, Universal again promised to remove the anti-gay joke from the trailer. But the trailer is still running in theaters. Worse still, the studio tried to hide behind GLAAD, alleging that we didn’t see the need to have it removed–despite two weeks of conversations.”
“Making gay people the butt of a joke–even when the joke says they’re not–feeds into damaging bias against gay people. “Dilemma’s” use of the word “gay” as an insult contributes to a social environment in which gay people are ridiculed, discriminated against–or even worse. Most troubling are the impacts to gay youth who endure bullying with such epithets: movies like “The Dilemma” that use anti-gay humor give a green light to negative words and hurtful acts that contribute to gay children’s low self-esteem, perceived lack of safety and even–as we have seen in recent series of bullying-related suicides and anti-gay attacks–violence.
Rather than ignoring current events, Universal Pictures should be especially sensitive to the power of words and the message they send young people about their self-worth.
GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in a statement: “When ‘gay’ is used as a pejorative in such a public way for millions to see and laugh with, it legitimizes and propels the many taunts that gay people endure. Amidst a rash of bullying related suicides and anti-gay hate crimes, we need to tell Universal and America that our community is tired of being used as a punch line.”
GLAAD has several ways you can take action if you want to protest the scene. Go to their homepage for more information.
As a young actor on Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, Chad was cruelly outed by the tabloids. Chad weathered the storm and years later, he came out on his own terms.
He’s been an outspoken activist and continues to be an in-demand actor on stage (Looped, The Little Dog Laughed), television (Donald Strachey Mysteries) and in films (Save Me, End of the Spear).
Here are some excerpts from Chad’s story, in his own words:
The day I came out to my mom and dad was one of the toughest days of my life. The truth is I really thought I hated my dad. I was wrong. I loved him. I really only ever wanted him to accept me, to be proud of me. I just didn’t think that was possible, especially now, when he couldn’t even look me in the eyes. I hated myself and I wanted to die.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know I was gay. I may not have known what to call it, and for a long time, I probably wouldn’t have even associated it with sexual attraction. But, I knew something about me was different.
I have been acting since I was a child. On one of my very first jobs I was playing a sick kid on some bad TV show and Alec Baldwin was giving me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Alec Baldwin! I couldn’t wait to get to work. I would sit and stare at him all day long. I couldn’t stand not to be around him. I think I was eight years old at the time.
When I started high school, I was a full-fledged television star and girls had pictures of me pinned up on their bedroom walls. I was a teen heartthrob for God’s sake, untouchable. But, it didn’t matter. Somehow they knew my secret. Years before I’d ever experienced the first amazing brush of another mans lips across my own, somehow they knew. I’d hear hateful words shouted across the hall, or scribbled across my binder, “ACTOR FAG.” They were like razor blades across my soul.
When I was 20, I was “outed” by a major tabloid magazine. Shortly before that, I had made the long drive home to sit in front of my parents and tell them I was gay. Sitting there, I wondered if my dad would ever look at me again. I thought my life was over, but it was only the beginning.
Coming out has lead me on the most extraordinary journey of discovery and usefulness I could ever imagine. I have learned to love well and I am proud of the life I live today.
I have long held the belief that those of us who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have been given an extraordinary gift. We are forced to go inside ourselves and determine, once and for all, that we are good. If we have anything at all to give the world, we are going to find it somewhere along that journey. We are going to show it to the world in a declaration of brilliant defiance against society and its rules. We only go looking because our sexuality forces us to. How lucky are we? But, it’s easy to forget the pain that forces us to go searching in the first place.
I’m coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I’m coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show
There’s a new me coming out
And I just had to live
And I wanna give
I’m completely positive
I think this time around
I am gonna do it
Like you never do it
Like you never knew it
Ooh, I’ll make it through
The time has come for me
To break out of the shell
I have to shout
That I’m coming out
I’ve got to show the world
All that I wanna be
And all my abilities
There’s so much more to me
Somehow, I have to make them
I got it well in hand
And, oh, how I’ve planned
I’m spreadin’ love
There’s no need to fear
And I just feel so glad
Everytime I hear:
I’m coming out
I want the world to know
Got to let it show
I’m coming out
I want the world to know
I got to let it show
Shhh. I won’t tell anyone if you won’t: actor Trevor Donovan, who plays gay high school student Teddy Montgomery on 90210, turns 32 today!
Hey, at least he isn’t as old as Andrea Zuckerman in the original 9021o. She was clearly in her 40s from day one!
Anyway, no matter what age he is, I think Trevor is doing a terrific job as Teddy and what’s even better is that as an actor, he has had some insightful things to say about the storyline that has his tennis player student grappling with being gay and hooking up with another male student.
“It’s true to real life, it’s happening at a pace I think it would actually happen and it’s going to unfold very realistically, [and be] very heartfelt,” he tells TVGuide.com. There’s more layers [this season]. On a show that can tend to be superficial we really dug down into more substance and more crucial issues.”
He expects more outbursts as the tennis jock struggles with understanding who he is: “Everything is so internal. He’s battling with himself. He’s creating his own problems and … there’s going to be a lot of external struggles from other people mostly caused by his frustration, his anger, his denial and confusion.”
Kudos to Trevor for making a PSA for The Trevor Project’s It Gets Better campaign. He says of the recent well-publicized bullying and suicides: “It’s not like teen suicide or bullying is a new problem, but it has come to the forefront and it’s been nationally publicized and … it’s been an amazing opportunity to educate people.”
When I think about why I love Liza Minnelli, it’s because of her strength as a performer in her live stage shows and in films including Cabaret, New York, New York, and The Sterile Cuckoo.
But when I watched Liza being interviewed on Larry King Live last week, I was struck by her ability to say nothing.
I wondered if Larry was off his game at first but soon realized that Liza is a far better performer than she is an interesting or introspective interview.
This new cover story in the new issue of The Advocate is further proof, in my opinion.
Some examples include when she was asked about the affinity she and her mother, Judy Garland, had for gay men. Both married at least one gay man. Liza at first said she had to go to the john. Then she said, “I haven’t really thought about it.” And finally she tells the writer she’s glad he said it and brought it out there but: “Honey, I wish I had more to say about it, but I don’t.”
It is perhaps most disappointing that Liza apparently has no idea why the gays are so devoted to her: “I don’t know what gay people see in my music. I really haven’t thought about it. I think they see what everyone else sees in my music.”
Gee, suddenly I’m not so interested in adding her latest CD, ironically called Confessions, to my collection. I’m sitting here wondering what the heck I like about it anyway.
Liza was clearly aware that she was not very forthcoming about certain topics and tells the writer: “I’m sorry I wasn’t dreary enough for you. … I think you wanted me to talk about pain and darkness and suffering and difficulty, and I think I disappointed you, because I see the glass as half full, and I want to talk about what’s happy and positive, because that’s what life it about.”
Fair enough. Besides, we can’t really expect Liza to want to talk about why on Earth she ever married David Gest!
It was four years ago that I put together my first National Coming Out Day Gallery of famous out people and I remember thinking, ‘Boy, there sure are a lot!’
Well, that was nothing.
So many people have taken that public step of coming out since then that I cannot possibly include everyone in this post.
I settled on 100.
Since last year’s National Coming Out Day, among the people who are new to the gallery are Ricky Martin, Meredith Baxter, Chris Colfer and Chely Wright who have all not only come out, but become such eloquent voices in the fight for equal rights.
It’s so powerful to have these people come out and we have also learned in recent weeks, following a string of teenage suicides, how they have been willing to step up and speak out.
Wanda Sykes, Neil Patrick Harris, Tim Gunn, Chaz Bono, Jake Shears, Ellen DeGeneres, Nate Berkus, Lance Bass, Colfer and Wright made high-profile videos or statements or talk show appearances and spoke from their hearts.
Many of the faces here are household names from the worlds of television, movies, Broadway, television news, music and sports and some are on my radar for their work in LGBT independent film and TV series.
I admire them all for being out and for living their truth.
Who will be next to join this ever-growing group?
PICTURED, in order: Ricky Martin, Meredith Baxter, Chely Wright, David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris, Jane Lynch, Jonathan Groff, Cynthia Nixon, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeGeneres, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Martina Navratilova, Adam Lambert, Wanda Sykes, Sean Hayes, Chris Colfer, Rachel Maddow, Elton John, Lily Tomlin, Tom Ford, John Barrowman, Nate Berkus, Dustin Lance Black, Alan Cumming, Cherry Jones, Scott Evans, Ryan Murphy, Sara Gilbert, BD Wong, Tim Gunn, Luke Macfarlane, Billie Jean King, Gavin Greel, Gareth Thomas, Rex Lee, Darryl Stephens, Charlie David, Brian Batt Matthew Mitcham, Cheyenne Jackson, Lance Bass, Chaz Bono, Amelie Mauresmo, Ian McKellan, George Takei, Thom Bierdz, Rosie O’Donnell, Nicholas Rodriguez, Nick Adams, Kelly McGillis, Suze Orman, Alec Mapa, Dave Koz, Michael Urie, Anthony Rapp, Chad Allen, Jill Bennett, Steve Callahan, Candis Cayne, Harvey Feirstein, Heather Matarazzo, Rufus Wainwright, Coco Peru, Jeff Lewis, Peter Paige, Clay Aiken, John Amaechi, Nathan Lane, Sarah Paulson, Robert Gant, David Hyde Pierce, George Michael, Michael Feinstein, Clementine Ford, Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, John Benjamin Hickey, Alexis Arquette, Matthew Montgomery, Sheryl Swoops, Jonathan Slavin, Billy Bean, Jason Stuart, Greg Louganis, Melissa Etheridge, T.R. Knight, Randy Harrison, Michelle Wolfe, Thomas Roberts, Wilson Cruz, Ross Mathews, Jake Shears, Christopher Sieber, Sam Harris, KD Lang, Doug Spearman, Reichen Lehmkuhl, Leslie Jordan, Tab Hunter, Richard Chamberlain.
Jane Lynch was, of course, terrific as host of Saturday Night Live.
The show opened with a painfully unfunny Gloria Allred sketch that, thankfully, was not indicative of the rest of the show. Once a confident and positively radiant Jane walked out to greet the audience, I knew we were in excellent hands.
She did a theme some to Glee during the opening that was funny, was Sue Sylvester in an amusing but not hilarious Glee meets Gilly sketch and had to play second fiddle in a very funny Denzel Washington working retail sketch.
Jane’s highlights were the “The New Boyfriend Talk Show” sketch and a pair of pre-filmed bits including Jane as the mom of a college kid who joins Facebook and Jane as a perverted shrink.
A game show sketch that was clearly inspired by the old To Tell the Truth show was funny to me because Jane seemed to be a combination of Phyllis Diller and Peggy Cass and Kristin Wiig was doing a takeoff on Kitty Carlisle who used to glide in looking fabulous.
You don’t hear much about handsome actor Lee Majors these days but he managed to remain one of televisions biggest stars through the 60s (The Big Valley), the 70s (Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law and The Six Million Dollar Man) and the 80s (The Fall Guy).
He also, of course was the man married to Farrah Fawcett during her meteoric rise from a model-actress doing television commercials and TV guest spots to a television superstar in Charlie’s Angels whose fame soon eclipsed his.
Their nine-year marriage ended when Farrah, who died last year, left him for Ryan O’Neal with whom she embarked on an on-again, off-again three-decade love affair.
Lee, now 71, made his film debut at the age of 25 in the Joan Crawford film Straighjacket. He then beat out 400 other hopefuls for the coveted role of Heath Barkley in a new ABC western series The Big Valley. Barbara Stanwyck played his mother and Linda Evans his sister in the show which ran for five seasons.
His star rose even higher in 1973 when Lee was cast as Colonel Steve Austin, an ex-astronaut with bionic limbs in The Six Million Dollar Man.
He made several little-seen feature films after the show was canceled in 1978 but returned in 1981 with another hit series: The Fall Guy.
Majors played Colt Seavers, a Hollywood stuntman and part-time bounty hunter. The Fall Guy ran five seasons and allowed Majors an opportunity to show off his comedic abilities, something audiences hadn’t yet seen. He was also a producer and a director on the show, and even sang its theme song, the self-effacing The Unknown Stuntman.
Lee stepped back into the role of Steve Austin for a series of Six Million Dollar Man-Bionic Woman movies with Lindsay Wagner in the late 80s and early 90s and more recently had recurring roles on The Game and Weeds and guest starred on Human Target, Community and According to Jim.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) presented the stars of ABC’s Modern Family with the Respect Award for embracing diversity on the Emmy-winning sitcom.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays Mitchell and is openly gay,was among the show’s stars who were on hand Friday night in Beverly Hills to accept the award.
On the red carpet, he talked about recent reports of gay teens who committed suicide because of bullying.
“I do have the same sort of mixed feeling, in the light of everything that’s happened,” he told the Associated Press. “However, I think an event like this echoes the sentiment that we need to change. This cannot continue happening.”
He remembers getting tormented when he was growing up, at one point having to switch school to escape the bullies.
Modern Family co-star Sofia Vergara said acceptance is even further away in her native Colombia: “The Latin community is a very Catholic community. So, it’s always a problem for people to accept it, and they live in denial for many years, the parents, and prefer not to address the problem. And that’s when tragedies and things happen. And, you know, it’s hard. You’re not going to change things in one day.”
Other stars attending the awards show were (pictured below) out country singer Chely Wright, out stage, film and TV star Wilson Cruz, the legendary Florence Henderson who is currently dazzling us on Dancing With the Stars, and the Oscar winner screenwriter and LGBT rights activist Dustin Lance Black.
It was two years ago that Yoko Ono and I chatted for my column for the LA Daily News. On the 70th anniversary of the birth of her husband, John Lennon, here is our 2008 interview:
I admit it, the prospect of calling up Yoko Ono at her home at the famed Dakota apartment building in New York City made me a little nervous. She’s such an iconic figure and her marriage to the late John Lennon is one of the great love stories of all time. But once we began to chat, I was surprised at how friendly and candid she was.
“Every day, I’m thankful that I’m still alive,” Yoko said. “Every morning, I wake up and I see that I have about 20 different things you have to do and I keep doing it. One is artwork and music as well, and the business, and John’s work. it’s totally packed.”
It’s John’s artwork that Yoko wanted to talk about most since more than 100 pieces of it will be on display on Friday and Saturday at the new Neiman Marcus store inside the Westfield Topanga Mall in Canoga Park.
“I’m proud of every work that’s there,” she said. “I hand-picked them for good reason. They had to be artistically good and reflect his spirit. All I was thinking was, ‘OK, I want to do John’s art, I better do it because it’s there and John would have wanted me to do
“The Art of John Lennon” has been touring for about 15 years now and Yoko thinks she knows why it has had such staying power: “He was just being himself and himself was a guy who had an incredible sense of humor. It wasn’t about trying not trying to impress critics, he was just having fun doing it and it shows. People who see his work, the first thing they do is smile or laugh. There’s a warmth to his work. At a gallery, usually you see work that is very serious, there’s a lack of a sense of humor in art world.”
It’s pretty amazing to think that a few decades ago, the exhibit of John’s art was a bit of a tough sell.
“In the beginning it was a hard job to try and put it in different shows,” Yoko said. “People thought, ‘He’s so famous, it’s a musician dabbling.’ In the beginning it was sporadic. Now it’s a very popular program. The people started to notice it’s a good show and he’s a good artist and it took off very well. I’m so glad.”
Ironically, it was at an art gallery where the couple first met. “At the time I thought I’m an artist and he’s a musician. I didn’t know that he was an art student first. Meeting me in that environment, I think that kind of stimulated him, awakened that side of him. It was pretty interesting to watch. He was so good. I said, ‘You are too good to not be doing it.”
Her husband has been gone for nearly 28 years now and at 75 years old, Yoko is amazingly youthful. I wondered what the secret was.
“I have no idea, I’m just very lucky,” she said. “I think it has a lot to do with the way I think about things. There was a time when I was really feeling bad, the fact that John passed away. But I thought, ‘I have to not drown in this. I’m a mother. I think I have
to stay alive for Sean.”
And how is her and John’s son, musician Sean Lennon, doing these days?
“Sean is very well,” she said. “At one time he wasn’t, he was feeling so bad about the fact that his father is so big and it was difficult for him. But now he’s got his own gig and he’s happy about it.”
Last month, I was walking out of my chiropractor’s office in Studio City and walking in was Harry Hamlin!
I had seen him earlier in the summer when he and wife Lisa Rinna were promoting their new reality show Harry Loves Lisa which has gotten off to a strong start on TV Land. Anyway, we gabbed for a few minutes and he was very friendly and, for a man of 59, still pretty hot!
Harry has been out promoting the show and chatted with Out.com about it and other topics including Lisa’s famously big lips: “When I met Lisa, I had no idea that she had anything done to her lips. I love them the way they are. She confessed to me months after we got together that she had injections in her lips. I went, “OK, that’s like getting a tattoo I guess.”
Here are some other highlights:
Making Love has a lot in common with Brokeback Mountain in that it caused so much hoopla about straight actors playing gay roles — and particularly characters who have sex on screen.
That all changed with Philadelphia, I think. Our movie was made before the whole AIDS situation had even been discovered, so it was not a part of how people perceived the gay community then. There was a kind of innocence to the world we inhabited that hasn’t been there since. There’s always this thing in the background now. When Tom did Philadelphia, people began to accept that an actor is an actor and you can play any part. Before that, when we did Making Love, it was unconscionable that a straight actor would play a gay role as blatantly as we did. It hadn’t been done before. Perception blended us with our characters. We had to be gay or we wouldn’t have done it. I always found that kind of amusing. I never shied away from that. I never said, “You’re wrong.” I’d say 90% of the people who saw that film thought Michael and I had to be gay.
Did that affect your choices about future films?
Yeah. I don’t go so far as to connect the dots but Making Love is the last studio picture I ever made. You want to connect some dots there, you can. I was never able to make another studio picture after that.
Speaking of someone who thinks you’re sexy, Harry loves…Lisa’s lips.
I do. When I met Lisa, I had no idea that she had anything done to her lips. I love them the way they are. She confessed to me months after we got together that she had injections in her lips. I went, “OK, that’s like getting a tattoo I guess.”
It’s certainly something you and Brad Pitt could bond over — being with famous ladies with famous lips.
Well there you go. I’ve never used that as a conversation piece, but I will now.
Well, as someone with notable man-tresses, do you have a secret to great hair?
I water it everyday.
Harry Loves Lisa airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on TV Land. For more info, visit the show’s official website. Harry Hamlin’s new book, Full Frontal Nudity is now in stores.