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Cover of Ricky Martin’s upcoming memoir unveiled!

You know the anticipation is mighty big when we are making such a fuss over a book cover!

Well, here it is: the cover of Ricky Martin’s upcoming memoir Me. (The Spanish version’s title is Yo.) It goes on sale in November and in it Ricky will open up about his early childhood, his experiences as a member of the boy band Menudo and coming to terms with his sexuality. He will also share with readers his life as a father of twin sons and about his work with children around the world.

In a press release about the book Ricky says: “Writing this book allowed me to explore the different paths and experiences that have led me to be who I am today. I’ve had to tie up loose ends that I’d never attempted to tie up before, to work deeply into memories that were already erased from my mind. Allowing myself to do this was not easy, but once I started an incredible spiritual healing began….. and I wanted to share my sense of discovery.”

Ricky, by the way, recently offered congratulations via Twitter to Neil Patrick Harris who is expecting twins with love David Burtka via surrogate: Congratz!!! rest a lot sleep, cause you wont ever again… hehe blessings to you and your family.


Wayne Brady back on set of “How I Met Your Mother” as Barney Stinson’s gay brother James! of my favorite episodes of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother have been when Barney’s brother James (Wayne Brady) pays a visit.

Neil Patrick Harris, up for the Emmy for the fourth time for his performance as Barney, has posted an update on Twitter that he is currently shooting another episode with Brady who was in the cast of the NPH-directed production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this month: “Just spent the day on set with Frances Conroy/Wayne Brady. Very proud to be their son/brother. Excited about season six of HIMYM.”

We first met the character of James back in 2006 and the whole set-up was delicious: Barney obviously is a real skirtchaser who is played by a gay actor. Wayne plays his brother (they have different fathers…duh) who is the gay version of Barney…a real dudechaser who finally decides to settle down. Barney was not happy about it.

They were two peas in a pod in terms of personality and attitude and had been each other’s wingman on the single’s scene forever and even scored a brother and sister once!

Not sure what is in store for Brady’s latest appearance as James but I look forward to watching it!

FILE UNDER: Television

Thursday Morning Man: Tomasz Schafernaker!

Tomasz Schafernaker Don’t you just love naughty boys?
That’s how I would describe adorable BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker who was caught on camera jokingly flipping an anchorman who was teasing him the bird!

Apparently the 31-year-old hottie thought he was off camera and quickly put his hands to his face once he realized he had flipped off a nation.

His embarrassing gaffe came as newsreader Simon McCoy joked Tuesday morning: “Now we will have the weather forecast in a minute and it will be 100% accurate… I have just seen Tomasz preparing for it, so I am not entirely sure, oh.”

At that point the camera caught Schafernaker raising a finger at McCoy. The newsreader, sitting next to Fiona Armstrong, tried to stop smiling then added: “Every now and then there is one mistake and that was it.”

Tomasz, who was born in Gdansk but came to the UK as a child, is no stranger to controversy. He had to apologize previously for referring to the Western Isles as “Nowheresville” during a weather forecast. He has also stumbled over his words and referred to Glastonbury as a “muddy shite” rather than a “muddy site”, and called Devon “Devil”.

Also, in May 2008, he was seen on air tearing out his earpiece and saying “Well I don’t know if I’m on air on not so Gary over to you.”

He sounds like a riot!

Anyway, apparently eyebrows were raised earlier this year when the studly Tomasz showed off his impressive physique, shirtless, on the cover of the gay magazine Attitude Active.

Don’t ya just love this guy?

He joined the BBC Weather Centre in 2000, working as a broadcast assistant, and became a presenter in the same year; this made him the youngest man to present the BBC Weather.

There is actually a Facebook page titled: BBC Weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker should do the weather in skimpy shorts. I clicked “Like” on that lickety split!

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

My deeply-felt thanks to “Greg In Hollywood” readers for their staunch support over the Emmy snub

Greg Hernandez on red carpet at 2008 EmmysWhen I wrote last week’s post Greg In Hollywood snubbed by Emmys! about my request for media credentials to cover the Prime-Time Emmy Awards and Creative Arts Emmys being denied, it was for purposes of venting.
But readers who posted comments on the blog as well as on Twitter and Facebook got me a little fired up – and also made me feel extremely grateful for their loyalty and support.
Reader Frankie wrote: I am very dismayed that the Academy has made this arbitrary decision. It was my understanding that they have gone on record supporting efforts to increase participation and include more diversity in all aspects of their work. This shortsightedness again demonstrates that Hollywood is still stuck in the past as it wonders why the TV audience is moving on to other media.
Reader Mike commented: Too bad and is their loss as your site is class all the way, but, I guess they’ll give one to TMZ and the other gossip sites, next year we’ll have to get a petition for you to get your credentials.
Reader Scottzo remarked: Where do we write to express our Gay outrage? I’m thinkin’ email campaign, faxes, letters, boycotts, demonstration… power to the people! Power to the (Gay) press! What about your celebrity friends… they oughta be willing to send a tweet or update a status here and there to get a webroots campaign started! If we can get Betty White on SNL we can get you into the Emmys!
Mario Lopez and Neil Patrick Harris at 2008nThese and other supportive words got me thinking about past Emmys and the unique coverage I have brought to them (this post is peppered with photos I’ve snapped at past ceremonies).
So today, I decided to send emails to various folks at PNKBNC, which is handling credentials for the Television Academy, to ask them to reconsider.
I pointed to my previous coverage and made the point that this is an LGBT entertainment site seeking to cover the awards during a year where there are many LGBT nominees – including three in the outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series category alone.

Kathy Griffin chats up Hoda and Kathy Lee at 2008 EmmysWould this do any good? I do not know. But I had to make every effort to try and be included and to give them an opportunity to do more than send me a form letter.

I got this email just now from PNKBNC’s Lewis Kay sealing my fate once again with essentially the same form letter. But I must say, it was a very speedy reply!

Greg, Unfortunately, due to space limitations, we were forced to make some tough decisions and had to deny many worthy outlets, including yours, from access to the red carpets for both the Creative Arts and Primetime shows.  Due to some new elements on both carpets, we have less space this year than in the past.

We aimed to communicate this information with outlets as soon as we were aware of how many outlets we could accommodate.  There really is nothing we can do this close to the show.

Once again, I am sorry we cannot make it work this year.

Betty White at 2009 Creative Arts Emmys

Moments later, I got this very speedy – and generic – reply regarding the Creative Arts Emmys:

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your interest in the Creative Arts Awards. The red carpet and press room is at capacity and unable to accomodate more outlets. We hope we can work with you in upcoming Television Academy events that would be of interest to your readers.
Thank you.
So there it is folks, Greg In Hollywood is shot down twice! I’m not happy about this nor satisfied with the explanations but I did want to go the extra mile for all of you – and for myself.

I’m still excited about the Emmys and all the LGBT nominees. I’ll let you know of my Emmy weekend plans as soon as I firm them up.

David Burtka at 2008 Emmys
Neil Patrick Harris, Kris Jenner at 2008 Emmys
Mary Louise Parker at 2008 Emmys
FILE UNDER: Awards, Controversy

Luke contronts Reid about his disappearing act in today’s episode of “As the World Turns”

Dr. Reid Oliver is between a rock and a hard place with Luke Snyder today thanks to little tattle-tale Noah Mayer!

Noah saw Reid helping an ailing Chris into a hotel elevator and planted the unfaithful seed into Luke’s pretty little head. Luke is skeptical but after Reid fibs about being at the hospital, Luke wants to know this: “Dammit Reid. Who are you seeing behind my back?”

I love it!

Reid finds out it was Noah who ratted him 0ut and he says to Luke: “He over-stated, you’re over-reacting. And it’s not very comforting by the way. … If you don’t trust me Luke, then what the hell are we doing here?”

They smooth it over and Luke accompanies Reid to a meeting with hospital trustees that he must wow in order to be named chief of staff. It is here that we are reminded of why we have come to LOVE this coupling. They are so fun and flirty together and the actors Eric Sheffer Stevens and Van Hansis just crackle with chemistry.

Again, I love it!

Enjoy today’s scenes.

FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Thursday Briefs: “Dr” Laura signing off; S Club 7 singer Jon Lee is out; Prop 8 rally in WeHo tomorrow Wednesday everyone!

So you thought Christian Bale looked good in a bat suit? You oughta check The Dark Knight star out wearing only briefs – and far less – in the cult classic American Psycho.

He is scary good! THE BITCH BE BACK? Speaking of scary, I’ve thought Laura Schlessinger was a horrid woman even before she described gay people as “biological errors.”

All you have to do is listen to her radio show for three minutes and hear her be verbally abusive to her poor callers to know that this woman is wound up tight in all the wrong ways.

In the wake of her using “the N word” repeatedly on the air recently, Schlessinger appeared on Larry King Live last night to announce that she was leaving her radio show when her contract runs out at the end of the year.

“I want to regain my First Amendment rights,” she said. “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I’m sort of done with that.”

Now she can go say “the N word” all she wants I suppose. She must feel so liberated. Anyway, the folks over at are thrilled!

But before you pop open the champagne, realize that she will resurface. She’s got a book coming out and will stay active on the web and there are more than enough folks out there who think she’s worth listening to.

I’m obviously not one of them.

HE’S GAY: I hadn’t heard of former S Club 7 singer turned actor Jon Lee until today but I’m thrilled that the UK star has decided to come out publicly in an interview with UK’s Gay Times.

“If someone had said, ‘Are you gay?’ I would have said yes, but no one ever did,” Lee said in the interview. “I’ve never felt the need to leap out of the closet singing and dancing about it. I’ve always known I was gay, from a very young age.”

The 28-year-old achieved stardom in the late ’90s and early 2000s when S Club 7 was one of the biggest pop groups in the United Kingdom, put out five albums in as many years and racked up a number of hits.

After the group split up in 2003, Lee turned to the stage and indie films.

Of his sexuality he says: “If you are in the public eye I think people feel like they have a right to know, feel like they have a right to ask and that you should be completely open and honest about all these things,” he said. “And I think it depends.” FOR EQUALITY: It’s been such a roller coaster of emotions in recent weeks on the Prop. 8 front: The elation of Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling, the hopeful anticipation and weddings being planned as the end of the stay he ordered approached and the disappointment at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision to not allow any new marriages to take place during the appeals process.

With all of that, it seems like a very good idea to have a rally/demonstration and one is planned for tomorrow evening in West Hollywood. LA Weekly’s Patrick Range McDonald reports that people should gather in West Hollywood at the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards at 6 p.m.

“There’s a sense of frustration for why people can’t get married this week,” says Arturo Sernas, a Los Angeles-based gay rights activist. The protest, Sernas says, is a way to remind the public that “the LGBT community will continue to fight until full federal equality has been achieved.”


Spoiler Alert! Here are the major Luke-Reid-Noah plot developments that will wrap up “As the World Turns”
coupley.png image by daliaoz today, I’ll be posting the latest scenes involving As the World Turns’ gay trio of Luke and Reid and Noah.

But first, I am going to tell you to STOP reading this post if you don’t want to know how the storyline is going to wrap up in the coming weeks. I’ve known for awhile but sat on it until now and it is out there on various blogs anyway.

Since ATWT is going off the air, I don’t feel terribly invested in the ultimate fate of the fabulous coupling of Luke and Reid because no matter what happens, we won’t be seeing them anymore anyway.

Still, I think it still would be nice to have had them start a happy life together.

That is not going to happen.

Executive Producer Chris Goutman tells TV Guide Magazine: “Without giving too much away, I do think Luke and Noah will always have a deep and abiding relationship,” Goutman says. “Reid came along and challenged that love and his presence made Luke and Noah grow up. Their relationship will endure.”

That said, Goutman admits that if ATWT had not been cancelled, Luke and Reid could well have been a couple for the ages. “Their connection was immediate and they are dynamic together,” says the boss. “Soon after Reid’s arrival, we had a lot of diehard Luke and Noah fans suddenly rooting for Luke and Reid. It was the best of what soap opera can be.”

Reid and Luke will not live happily ever after because Reid will not live.’s Gays of Our Lives column writes: As for how Reid will die remains to be seen, though the prevailing rumor still seems to be that he’ll be critically injured in a train wreck. Reid’s death will not just affect Luke and Noah, but Reid’s BFF Katie Snyder and her beau Chris Hughes, who is dying of a heart ailment. And if you haven’t guessed that Reid’s heart will be given to Chris (a decision made by Reid himself, we hear) then you haven’t ever watched a soap opera.

It looks like Reid and Luke will consummate their love before Reid’s demise. Actor Eric Sheffer Stevens, a shoo-in for next year’s supporting actor Daytime Emmy, tells TV Guide Canada: It would be great if Luke and Reid could throw caution to the wind. I’m not sure what the reasoning is … Having said that, it is nice that World Turns is building up to that big moment. I think because Reid and Luke know each other very well and they’ve embarked on this beautiful journey together, their first time will be very meaningful. And who knows when the last time was that Reid even had sex!


Video: Kathy Griffin was superb in defending same-sex marriage and dissing Dr. Laura on “Larry King Live” have I been more proud of Kathy Griffin than I was watching her last night on Larry King Live. In a very intelligent, articulate and informed manner, she discussed with Larry the recent developments in the Prop. 8 saga.

Kathy said she had been scheduled to perform a wedding after her appearance but the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals has granted Prop 8 proponents a stay on a judge’s ruling that makes same-sex marriage legal in California.

The NOH8 photo of Kathy holding her two Emmys was shown throughout the interview. She could win a third Emmy this weekend when the Outstanding Reality Show category is presented at the Creative Arts Emmys.

The episode of the Bravo series that earned the show a nomination is Kathy working on behalf of same-sex marriage going door-to-door and also chatting with LGBT youth who have been kicked out of their homes by their parents for being who they are.

Anyway, here is the full interview which also includes Kathy’s views on the departure of “Dr.” Laura Schlessinger who preceded her on King’s show to announce that she was leaving the radio airwaves at the end of the year.

FILE UNDER: Gay Marriage

Elisabeth Hasselbeck favors same-sex marriage: “I am not ultra-ultra-conservative on every issue” thing: Watching an encore episode of The View yesterday with Alec Mapa as guest host, I noticed America’s Gaysian Sweetheart getting along swimmingly with my least-favorite co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Alec actually made her seem more human than usual and it was nice. I still disagree with just about everything that comes  out of her conservative mouth but I so noticed a softer side that I even commented about it on Facebook.

Now comes this: In an interview with, Elisabeth makes clear that she is in favor of gay marriage: “I am not ultra-ultra-conservative on every issue. I actually support gay marriage. I think the gay marriage thing would definitely surprise people. I mean, for some people, it will surprise them to the point that they won’t want to hear it. ‘No, that can’t be, I really want to have this sort of idea of her in my head,’ so I sort of rain on their parade there.”

Elisabeth PortiaPerhaps she has become more enlightened from last December when she wondered to guest Portia de Rossi if all this gay marriage stuff is just a matter of semantics: “Take men and women. Women want all the rights of men, but they’re not asking to be called men. Do you think…is the word [marriage] more important than the rights?”

Portia’s reply was superb: “No, of course the word isn’t more important than the rights. Without the word, we don’t have equal rights. … Every citizen of this country should have that legal right to be married. “Marriage the word actually does mean something because people who see a gay coupling as a lesser thing in society can continue to [think] it’s lesser than marriage when really it’s the exact same thing. The exact same love, the exact same commitment, love of family.”


Cher says she is finally “taking baby steps” toward recording her first new album in eight years!’ve been so deprived of any new Cher movies and recordings for so long that I am now officially beside myself that the icon has Burlesque coming out in theaters in November and is recording a new album!

It has been eight long years since the release of Living Proof, the follow-up album to Cher’s worldwide smash Believe. I’ve been buying Cher albums since Take Me Home in 1979 and am more than ready for something other than her latest greatest hits compilation.

The woman who had at least one number one single in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s talked about what she’s working on with Entertainment Weekly:  “I just got some of the songs and I’m just learning [them] so I’m kind of at that beginning stage where you’re taking baby steps.”

The diva is working with hitmaker Diane Warren who also wrote one of Cher’s two big Burlesque tunes, the big power ballad You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me.

Cher says fans shouldn’t expect the same dance music heard on her 1998 album, Believe: “It really won’t be Believe-ish,” she says. “It will be more…I don’t know how to say it. I can’t put a genre to it. It’s a little bit more real instruments, like guitars and stuff like that.”

Sounds good to me!

FILE UNDER: Icons, Music

“Will & Grace” Wednesday: When Grace’s water-filled fake breasts sprung a leak at an art gallery Adler (played by Emmy winner Debra Messing) was born with beauty and intelligence but she was not born with very large breasts.

But in this episode of Will & Grace, her boobs appear to be huge in a newspaper photo (the lighting?) and it results in a call from an old artist friend suddenly very interested in her.

So what does Grace do?

What any nutcase would: she shows up to the dude’s gallery opening in a water-filled bra that makes her look stacked! All is well until Karen’s broach catches onto Grace’s sweater and the poor girl springs a leak!

Some great physical comedy here. Enjoy!

Wednesday Morning Man: Rugby star Dan Carter!

282cf1cbc4f542148ba022493d9e630f.jpg Dan Carter.jpg image by  ccrokeHow is it that I had never even heard of rugby star Dan Carter?

Even if I don’t follow his sport, he should have been on my radar since he is also an underwear model for Jockey!
Oh well, I’ve discovered him now and damned glad I have so I can share this slab of beefcake from New Zealand with you!
Though not yet as famous as David Beckham or Cristiano Ronaldo, the New Zealand hottie was named the third sexiest male athlete in the world by E! Entertainment earlier this year and it is easy to see why. It all began at home: In 2004 and 2005,the 28-year-old Carter was voted sexiest New Zealand male in a survey, receiving 35.7 percent  of the vote in 2005.
He has played for Canterbury since 1999, the Crusaders professional team since 2001 and on the New Zealand national team since 2003.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men

LA-bound Noah’s back in town and faces truth about Luke’s love for Reid on “As the World Turns” Mayer is back in Oakdale before heading to LA where he is going to begin his new life as a filmmaker. He meets his old boyfriend, Luke, for coffee and laments how Luke will not be accompanying him out west.

Luke wonders is Noah is only feeling regret because Luke is now dating the dashing Dr. Reid Oliver.

Noah: “My asking you to come with me has nothing to do with Reid.”
Luke: “To be honest, my staying here does have something to do with Reid. … It’s serious.”
Noah points out that he and Reid “aren’t exactly the same type” and Luke sweetly tells him: “There will never be anyone else like you. Not for me.”

It’s great to see Jake Silbermann back as Noah. It can’t be easy having to play a role that is, often, so poorly written much of the time. He pushed Luke away in a way that was never really convincing or plausible then regretted it and, I fear, the confusion creeps into the actor’s performance. In these scenes, Noah is angry, nostalgic, jealous, sad for like three seconds. You don’t believe any of the emotions.

Things get more fun though when Noah sees Reid helping an ailing Daniel into the hotel elevator and thinks the good doctor is cheating on Luke!

FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Tuesday Briefs: Rachel Maddow to get Cronkite award; Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach still in Air Force; Rosie O’Donnell on “Drop Dead Diva” afternoon all!

Hope your day is going splendidly.

So why have I chosen Mark Wahlberg to illustrate today’s “Briefs” column?

He was on my mind because my sister and I watched Date Night over the weekend and Mark was shirtless throughout!

The former Calvin Klein underwear model-turned-Oscar nominee has held up damned well over the years! Plus, the movie – which stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell,  is an absolute riot. Rent it! MADDOW: God, it’s so wonderful to have such a sane and intelligent voice on television each night. Rachel Maddow is not interested in sensationalism, just the truth. So it seems fitting that Maddow will be presented with the 2010 Walter Cronkite Faith & Freedom Award at a gala dinner in New York in October.

The award “recognizes individuals who courageously promote democratic values, defend religious freedom and reinvigorate informed civic participation,” according to The Huffington Post.

The description seems to fit the MSNBC journalist to a tee!

Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy said of Miss Maddow: “Rachel’s passionate coverage of the intersection of religion and politics exhibits a strong personal intellect coupled with constitutional sensitivity to the proper boundaries between religion and government.”

Previous media recipients of the award include Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Larry King, and Bill and Judith Moyers. DISCHARGE ON HOLD: Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach (pictured with activist Dan Choi)  is an American hero and fighter pilot who during an 18-year career in the military, completed 88 combat missions, 2,189 total flying hours, 1,487 fighter hours and 488 combat hours. He has received eight air medals, one for Heroism, and was hand-picked to protect the Washington, D.C. airspace after 9/11. He flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, targeting the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

His reward? Being discharged – just two years short of retirement – because he is gay. man is a high-profile example of why the military’s discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy against gays must be abolished now. Toward that end, there seems to be a bit of a breakthrough in Fehrenbach’s case.

The Advocate reports that the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. district court for Idaho have reached an agreement on the case of Fehrenbach that temporarily prevents the Air Force from discharging him under “don’t ask, don’t tell” until the court schedules a hearing in his case.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis praised the fairness of the arrangement and said: “The agreement recognizes the immediate harm to Lt. Col. Fehrenbach and insures that he will eventually get to make his case at a full-blown hearing without losing his job.” THE DIVA: We have gotten so used to Rosie O’Donnell as herself that it’s easy to forget that she is a darn good actress! In such movies as A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle and Beautiful Girls, Rosie was terrific. She was also a hoot in her recurring role as Dawn Budge on FX’s Nip/Tuck and has headlined on Broadway in Grease and Suessical the Musical.

Her latest role has Rosie guesting on the Lifetime hit Drop Dead Diva on Sunday, according to

Rosie will reprise her role as Judge Madeline Summers “in a very, very unusual way,” executive producer Josh Berman tells the site.

In the episode, Judge Summers will lend a hand to a desperate Jane (Brooke Elliot) in an effort to save her client.

Rosie, of course, will also be returning to daytime television via Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network with a new talk show set to debut next year.


Neil Patrick Harris clears up some crazy rumors: “I’m absolutely not leaving LA or the business”

Neil Patrick Harris, Daniel Burtka Neil Patrick Harris, seen at Disneyland over the weekend with love David Burtka, has become pretty adept at shooting down false reports about himself.
The actor, who has confirmed that he and Burtka are expecting twins, took to Twitter this morning and posted this message to his followers: Rumor Watch 2010: I’m absolutely not leaving LA or the business. Errant reporting, Popeater. Total bunk. Oh, and good morning everyone!
Popeater had quoted a “friend” of NPH as saying: “Neil has been working his butt off since he was a little kid. Everything was about his career until he met his soul-mate, David. Now, with twins due in October, Neil is thinking about taking a break. Moving from Hollywood to New York City to be a full-time daddy.”
Some “friend.”
Thanks to Neil for clearing it all up!

Neil Patrick Harris at Disney California Adventure Park


“True Blood” stars Alexander Skarsgard, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer nude on cover of Rolling Stone!

Well, well, what do we have here?
Probably the highest-selling issue of Rolling Stone of 2010 is my guess!
This sexy True Blood trio is providing something for everyone: For the gay guys and straight girls, there’s a naked Alexander Skarsgard and Stephen Moyer and for the straight boys and gay girls, there’s Anna Paquin!
The cover isn’t any more shocking than a scene on the HBO hit but we do learn that for those nude scenes, Moyer and Paquin (engaged in real life) wear small pieces of cloth to cover their privates. Not so the blond and beautiful Skarsgard who tells Rolling Stone: “I don’t want a sock around it, it feels ridiculous. If we’re naked in the scene, then I’m naked. I’ve always been that way.”

Happy 50th Birthday to Sean Penn!’s been nearly 30 years since Sean Penn burst onto the scene as surfer-stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High spouting lines like “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buds, and I’m fine.”

Loved him then and really love him now.

Since Ridgemont, there have been Oscar wins for Mystic River and Milk and memorable performances in Dead Man Walking, 21 Grams, I Am Sam, Sweet and Lowdown, Casualties of War, Colors, She’s So Lovely, Carlito’s Way and The Falcon and the Snowman, among many others.

During a three-year marriage to Madonna, Sean was at loggerheads with the spotlight but over the years, he has learned to use the spotlight for causes he finds important including Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. He has long been a concerned citizen who is not afraid to step-up no matter what detractors say.

Never has this been more apparent than after the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year. He has basically moved to the devastated island nation and founded J/P Haitian Relief Organization which has been running a 55,000 person tent camp.

Sean’s desire to speak his truth has never meant more to me than on Oscar night 2009 when he won the Academy Award for best actor for his performance in Milk.

While accepting that award, he used the occasion to speak out as Harvey Milk surely would have: “I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that way of support. We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Melissa Joan Hart talks to Greg In Hollywood about her “racier and edgier” new sitcom with Joey Lawrence to dump on Lindsay Lohan while the poor girl is in rehab but the Mean Girls star really is a cautionary tale on the travails of teenage stardom.
I couldn’t help but think of poor Lindsay when I chatted with Melissa Joan Hart recently, a teen star whose parents are not hungrier for the spotlight than their child (yeah you two, Dina and Michael Lohan) and who has managed to transition to adulthood happy and healthy and balanced.
Melissa, best known for her hit television shows Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Clarissa Explains it All, returns to television tonight in the ABC Family sitcom Melissa & Joey opposite fellow former child star Joey Lawrence.
Melissa, now 34 and a mother of two, took issue with the notion that childhood stardom is a bad thing despite the widely publicized troubles of Lohan, Britney Spears and the entire cast of Different Strokes.
” I think a lot of people forget about the good ones,” she said. “They go off to have families or maybe they dabble in directing, producing so you forget about them. But you look at Ron Howard, someone who came out of it and survived and thrived.”
It also helps to not have people like Dina and Michael Lohan as parents it would seem.
“For me, it all starts with my family,” said Melissa. “Also, I look at it as a job, as work. My family is most important and my job comes second. I want longevity, I want to be here a long time. I want to be on a set for the rest of my life. What do I have to do to make that happen? I’ve got to be nice to people, I’ve got to show up on time and I’ve got to be good.”
Melissa Joan Hart a balanced, business-like attitude doesn’t get you much publicity though I point out.
“I got married, I had kids. What? That’s not enough? I gotta do some blow and end up with a DUI and curse someone out? It’s like you have to be arrested and end up in jail in order to be interesting.”
I suggest she write some kind of guide book on transitioning to adulthood in the entertainment business and she said: “I think I might.’
Melissa continued to work in TV movies (including the hugely-rated Holiday in Handcuffs) after Sabrina went off the air in 2003 but she also got married to musician Mark Wilkerson and gave birth to sons in 2006 and 2008.
But the schedule of a TV series works well with her family life and that’s a big reason why she is happy to be doing Melissa & Joey which has a similar premise to the classic ABC sitcom Who’s the Boss?
Here is the premise: Melissa plays a local politician from a political family. When a family scandal leaves her niece, Lennox, and nephew, Ryder, without their parents, Mel takes them in. Meanwhile, Joe (Lawrence) is a former commodities trader–left bankrupt after a Ponzi scheme–who is searching for a job. So when Mel finds it hard to handle an instant family and her own life, she hires Joe to become the family’s new male nanny, or “manny”.

“It’s a little racier and edgier than people expect so as long as they aren’t shocked going into the first episode then it’ll be all good,” Melissa said of Sabrina fans who watch the new show. “Sabrina was the quissessential teen, not sure of her surroundings, not sure of her future, not sure what she wanted. Does she fit in? Does she want to fit in? She was always trying to figure out who she was for seven years and that’s hard to play. So now to be able to be self-centered, loosey goosey, kind of like Lucy. I get to do physical comedy and be silly and very female.”

Of working with Lawrence, she said: “We’ve known each other since we were four, great friends, our families are friends. We both have worked in the same industry in the same format for so long. There’s a great shorthand, we click really well and we both have the same objective which is let’s work hard, let’s make it fun and let’s go home to our families. It helps that we’re all on the same path.”

Former teenage TV stars Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence team up  in ABC Family's new comedy 'Melissa & Joey.'
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“Golden Girls” Tuesday: Sophia and Dorothy channel Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe” late, great Bea Arthur had gone on the record saying that this is one of her all-time favorite Golden Girls episodes.

Her character of Dorothy and mother Sophia (Estelle Getty) team up as Sonny and Cher to perform a duet of I Got You Babe for a local talent show. With Rose (Betty White) at the piano, it makes for quite a performance.

Plus, they just look so ridiculous!

Tuesday Morning Man: Zachary Knighton! Knighton was at the ABC party during TV Critics Assn. Press Tour a few weeks ago but I didn’t get the chance to chat with him.

But there’s no reason why we can’t enjoy this attractive actor as our Morning Man is there?

Zachary is part of the ensemble cast of the new ABC sitcom Happy Endings about a group of  friends whose little group will be rocked when the couple that brought them together, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) and Dave (Knighton), break up. This leaves the group in an awkward position of either trying to stay together or choosing sides. Alex and Dave decide to stay friends but there are many more complications down the road.

The series looks promising but no doubt the 31-year-old actor is keeping his expectations in check: last fall he was one of the stars of ABC’s highly-touted FlashForward and also starred on the short-lived series Related and Life on a Stick.

If the TV thing doesn’t work out, Zachary can always find work in films it seems. His movie roles include Surfer Dude with Matthew McConaughay, The Hitcher, The Prince and Me and the terrific gay indie The Mudge Boy which stars Emile Hirsch.

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