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Lance Bass talks about bullying and Perez Hilton

http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2009/galleries/bestquotes/090629/lance-bass-435.jpgE! Online chatted with Lance Bass at an event in Hollywood this week and the former member of N’Sync shared his thoughts about gay bullying and about blogger Perez Hilton’s vow to be kinder and gentler.

Says Lance about the movement to stop bullying: “It’s really important to me and it hits home obviously because I once was bullied, I once was a bully, and I’m gay. … Things are just starting to change, so it’s so nice to see that people are standing up for other people instead of tearing other people down, like we’ve gotten used to online.”

What does Lance think about Perez Hilton, the blogger who outed him in summer of 2006, vowing to no longer out people and to stop cyber bullying celebrities?

“I hope it’s sincere,” Lance said. “It’s good that he takes that responsibility because I do believe that he’s one of the reasons it taught the younger generation how to cyber bully. He started that. I mean, he outed me.”

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Ellen DeGeneres expands her TV empire

http://www.dollymix.tv/ellen_27.jpgEllen DeGeneres is taking over the world!

Okay, maybe not the world but our favorite funny lady is branching out beyond her daily syndicated talk show.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Ellen has signed an exclusive multiyear production deal with the Warner Bros TV Group that spans several different divisions of the company.

Ellen will build up her production company, A Very Good Production, which will be run by former Comedy Central president of original programming and development Lauren Corrao.

Under the deal, DeGeneres and her company will develop and produce scripted network shows for Warner Bros TV, cable fare and reality series for Warner Horizon, and syndicated programming for Telepictures Prods., which produces Ellen’s popular daytime talk show.

In addition, Warner Bros has a first-look deal with DeGeneres on social media and other digital projects. DeGeneres is a Twitter juggernaut with 5.4 million followers.

“I’m so happy to be expanding my relationship with Warner Bros,” DeGeneres said. “It’s kind of becoming a family affair. My brother works on the lot and fingers crossed, my mother’s up for the role of Charlie Sheen’s love interest on ‘Two and a Half Men.’  So this is really working out.”

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

See the new trailer for “I Love You Phillip Morris” starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor!

Barring yet another delay, I Love You Phillip Morris is finally going to hit theaters on Dec. 3 and here is a new trailer for the highly-anticipated film starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.

The film focuses on a love affair between a con man (Carrey) and his cellmate (McGregor). Carrey’s character commits all kinds of crazy misdeeds, like breaking out of Texas prisons four times, to be with his lover.

Morris premiered to raves at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 but has been stuck in a distribution nightmare all year.

This trailer is the best one yet and seems to be more representative of the film than any of the previous clips. I also like that we see much more of the talented Leslie Mann who plays Carrey’s ex-wife in the flick. It makes me really want to see it!

Before you play the trailer, realize that there are a few seconds in there NSFW!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to Carrie Fisher!

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Princess Leia was only the beginning.

The Star Wars trilogy made Carrie Fisher a star when she was just out of teens and her life has been a giant saga of ups and downs.

The daughter of movie star Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher had already experienced plenty of drama with her dad leaving her mom for Elizabeth Taylor in the late 50s when Carrie was just a baby.

After Carrie became a star in her own right, she married and divorced Paul Simon, married, had a child with, then divorced Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd who is now openly gay.

Carrie did more movies like The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally but her real talent was in writing as we found out with her sensational novel Postcards From the Edge which was later made into a film from her screenplay and starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.

Through it all, Carrie has struggled with addictions and mental illness and yet managed to keep her sense of humor and write about it all. She even wrote a book and made a Broadway show about it all called Wishful Drinking that will air on HBO soon.

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At the TV Critics Association Summer Press Tour where Carrie was promoting the HBO special she told us:  “What I realized that when I got sober, overdosed, went to a mental hospital – all these things – it went in the paper. And my thing is: “Wait a second, if it’s going to be out there, please let my version be in it. ” Also, there is the saying, ‘You’re only as sick as your secrets. If you can claim it, it has very little power over you. I want to live on one side of the magnifying glass or the other – on the side that makes big things small or small things big. And I live on the side that makes big things small. You meet a better class of people there.”

“When the things happened at the time, I was too ashamed to talk about them so there’s great relief in just sort of being able to own this – something that happened, that I learned from and wasn’t defeated by. And if I can do that – and some of the stuff was really hard – then anybody can do it.”

I’m sure there were times that Carrie never thought she’d make it to her 54th birthday but she has and is proving herself to be a real survivor just like her mom.

Happy birthday Carrie!

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FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Thursday Morning Man: Steve Burton!

http://cdn.blogs.sheknows.com/blog.soapoperafan.com/2009/04/steve-burton.jpgIt’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 20 years since Steve Burton made his debut on General Hospital as Jason Morgan.

He remains front-and-center on the ABC soap and even starred in the prime-time spinoff General Hospital: Night Shift while maintaining his day job.

It was only in 2000 and 2001, when he left to pursue other career opportunities, that Steve was not a regular on the show but he still made numerous guest appearances.

It’s been a juicy character for the buff 40-year-old actor as Jason has been in a coma and woke up with total memory loss, has been in the mob, had numerous relationship woes and was involved in the plot featuring guest star James Franco.

Steve, who has won a Daytime Emmy for his performance as Jason, got his first big acting break as a surfer on the sitcom Out of This World then landed the role of Harris Michaels on Days of Our Lives.

In a new interview with We Love Soaps, Steve talked about the key to his longevity on General Hospital: “I would say, don’t get lazy. You can’t take the job for granted. I have seen a lot of people do that. To me, one of the reasons I think I have survived this long was that I have always worked hard at my job and I have never gotten lazy.”

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FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Video: Gloria Estefan says: “It Gets Better”

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If more “stars” had just a little bit of the class and dignity of Gloria Estefan, the world would be a far less annoying place!

Here is a woman who rose to fame on talent alone and has never really gone around bad-mouthing anyone.

That is why she is beloved by her fans.

Gloria has contributed a video to the It Gets Better campaign which was launched in response to the recent suicides in the gay teen community.

In the video, Gloria shares the struggle she faced of caring for her dad and the support she received from her family to help carry her through the tough times.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Elton John weighs in on “The Dilemma”

http://whatisthetrend.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/elton_john.jpgElton John has gotten a lot of flack for being so chummy with Rush Limbaugh but he won’t get any grief here for agreeing with another friend, Anderson Cooper, over the gay joke in the Vince Vaughn comedy The Dilemma.

Anderson attended Elton’s AIDS fundraiser this week (and even agreed to have a lunch with him auctioned off and it raised more than $60,000!) and the singer praised  Cooper’s very public objection to the line in the film when Vaughn’s character says: “Ladies and gentlemen, electric cars…are gay.”

Here’s what Elton told US Weekly about it: “Enough already! I hate bigotry. I hate racial hatred. I hate sexual hatred.”

Of Anderson he said: “His heart is in exactly the right place — same as mine. He thinks the way I do. He’s intelligent, and he’s on the side of what we’re on.”

So Elton sounds very wise on this one but then you think about his hanging out with Rush Limbaugh and, sadly, whatever he has to say about anything loses a little bit of credibility.

Oh well.

By the way, I went to see Red this weekend which I loved and the trailer for The Dilemma came on and it did not contain the gay joke. And you know what, the movie looks to be funnier than I thought it would be and has many funnier bits to feature than that stupid joke. It does not need it at all.

FILE UNDER: Controversy

“Sex and the City 2″ out on DVD Oct. 26!

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B002ZG98ZA.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpgIn hindsight, it probably wasn’t a very good idea for a bulk of the action in Sex and the City 2 to take place in the United Arab Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Our girls Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte are New Yorkers and their going way on vacation together took them away from the Big Apple where they were so glorious during six seasons of the show and in the first feature film in 2008.

But Sex and the City should not be considered a flop even though the critics were way over-the-top in their contempt for the film which comes out on DVD next Tuesday, Oct. 26.

It grossed more than $95 million at the domestic box office last summer and another $193 million in foreign markets for a worldwide box office haul of more than $288 million.

I think there are at least 288 million reasons to make a third feature film and return our girls to Manhattan!

Sarah Jessica Parker stars as Carrie Bradshaw and Chris Noth stars   as Mr. Big in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
As far as the second film goes, say what you will about the its plot etc. but you gotta say that Sarah Jessica Parker is, as always, glorious as Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie is married to John Preston (aka Mr. Big) and into her 40s trying to navigate marriage and realizing that kids are not for her.
Big (Chris Noth) at one point says to her that as a couple, they are simply “too much” to expand their family. I like that they address this and that they make a decision that is right for them even if some people don’t understand – or approve.
Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon   in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
Kim Cattrall stars as Samantha Jones in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex   and the City 2 (2010)
The four main characters are essential to any SATC outing but it’s a no-brainer why the movies were held up until Kim Cattrall was ready to step back into the pumps of Samantha Jones.
God, I love her.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_4VHe1TY8C6k/StoAhj1lmyI/AAAAAAAACg4/-rMiQKHcHSQ/s400/miley-cyrus-gira-sex-and-the-city-2-15.jpgSamantha is still take-no-prisoners but this time around, she’s fighting menopause big-time and this gives Cattrall some fun scenes to play. Past 50, she insists on looking and feeling good no matter how many vitamins and hormones she has to take. And when  a salesgirl remarks that the dress she picks out to wear to a movie premiere might be a little young for her [Miley Cyrus shows up in the same dress!), Samantha says emphatically: “I’m 50-fucking-2 and I’m gonna rock this dress!”
You go girl.
I love Samantha’s wit when she’s interacting with the girls and flirting and having sex with the men and making no apologies for it.
While Samantha is a mess without her hormones and vitamins (they were not allowed into the country), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) is freaking out over leaving her hubby and daughters back in NYC with the braless nanny and Carrie is distracted by the appearance of Aidan (John Corbett) and a bad review for her book in The New Yorker, Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) has done a lot of research on Abu Dhabi and planned several outings for the girls beyond shopping and eating.
Kristin Davis stars as Charlotte York and Cynthia Nixon stars as   Miranda Hobbes in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
From the early days of the series, the one thing Charlotte York has always wanted was children. Now she has two and even though she has a supportive hubby and a nanny, she’s finding it awfully tough to not have a meltdown – especially with the younger daughter on an endless crying jag. This heart-to-heart with fellow mom Miranda is one of my favorite scenes because it touches on the deep friendship between these women and how they are able to open up to each other – with the help of a little bit of booze!
John Corbett stars as Aidan Shaw and Sarah Jessica Parker stars as   Carrie Bradshaw in Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)It’s taken me a long time to realize that even though Aidan Shaw is my dream man, he’s not Carrie’s. I always felt like it was the biggest mistake of Carrie’s life to let this sweet-natured, low-maintenance hunk of a man go – twice! But this movie revisits the relationship when Carrie and Aidan happen to bump into each other in Abu Dhabi. Their attraction to each other is undeniable but as we see Carrie in her life now, we realize that Aidan never would have been enough for her, would not have been able to keep her stimulated and interested. Heck, Big barely can!
If you are a fan of the show and of these characters, you’ll have a good time. The first movie was better because the Carrie-Big wedding plot was a lot to deal with. But I consider this a fun middle movie in what I am certain  will at least be a trilogy.
A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' Sex and the City 2 (2010)
FILE UNDER: DVD

Singer Susan Boyle on Oprah: “Once you give bullies that power, they’ve really got a hold on you.”

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/22/alg_susan-boyle.jpgAfter finishing Patti LuPone’s new memoir, I was in the mood for another celebrity autobiography and picked up a copy of Susan Boyle’s new book The Woman I Was Born to Be.

I admit, I skipped right to the part about Britain’s Got Talent and its aftermatch when everyone thought poor Susan had lost her kind. It turns out all she really needed for a few nights of solid sleep!

Susan is doing great these days and along with the new book, also has a second CD coming out next month called The Gift.

She appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show yesterday and performed. She also sat down with Oprah for a chat and talked about the hot topic of the day: bullying.

It turns out that this Scottish singer, an overnight sensation in her late 40s, put up with plenty of taunts when she was growing up for being different. Bullies did things like “burning my clothes with a cigarette” and being “hit on the head.”

But that wasn’t the worse part, Susan said: “That is the physical, but the more hurtful is the psychological. Name-calling. Really repeating name-calling. It made me feel as if nobody loved me. I didn’t really matter. I was just a target. Once you give bullies that power, they’ve really got a hold on you.”

And even now, she says, “some of the bullies are still around.”

Oprah has a pretty good suggestion for Susan: “Send them a signed autographed CD saying ‘how ya like me now?’”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns on “Ellen”

Ellen DeGeneres Praises Gay City Council Member Joel Burns on  SpeechFort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns decided last week to share his story of being a suicidal, bullied gay teen at a council meeting last week and his honesty has won him all kinds of admirers including Ellen DeGeneres.
Ellen had the councilman on her talk show today and told him that his speech “was so real and raw and moving. You are a great example. You are successful. You went through it. You got through it and things do get better and I think that is the message to send. Look at your life now. Look at what you’re doing and how successful you are.”
Burns said on the show: “I have to tell you that on Monday of last week, when a young man named Zach Harrington in Oklahoma committed suicide after attending a city council meeting where a bunch of unfortunate anti-gay rhetoric was thrown about, and he killed himself, I thought if there is any better venue to take this on it’s at my own city council meeting.”
As for his message to bullied kids, Burns told DeGeneres: “There are so many happy memories that will be made. You just have to live long enough to get to them.”
FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Actor Jason Stuart: “I could have been Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi or any of the other teens that recently ended their young, precious lives.”

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http://www.jasonstuart.com/images/press/gayblade.jpgPeople reaching out to teens and sharing their own deeply personal stories continues in the wake of the string of suicides in recent weeks by bullied gay teens.

But few stories have been as powerful as the one told by openly gay actor Jason Stuart whose story appears today on The Huffington Post.

Jason is a very funny stand-up comic and a talented actor whose film credits include 10 Attitudes and Coffee Date and who recently did guest spots on The Closer, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Everybody Hates Chris.

I know Jason some but had no idea how tough things were for him when he was younger because when I see him, he seems so confident in who he is.

That was not always the case I have learned. Here are some excerpts from his essay:

I could have been Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi or any of the other teens that recently ended their young, precious lives. I grew up in the 1970s when being gay was still considered to be a mental illness by some. I would go to sleep hoping not to wake up, simply because I liked men. While much has changed over the last 30 years, feelings of isolation remain, much of it brought on by peers.

Like those boys and so many others, I was bullied in school. I guess my locker had some pheromone that attracted people that hated people that were somewhat different, because in the first week of 7th grade a kid scraped the word “fag” on my locker with something sharp like a pocket knife or a nail. Even though I could only see that word when I fumbled with the combination, the sadness and loneliness that the word made me feel lingered in the back of my mind every day of those horrific three years, a feeling that continued until I finally came out publicly on television in 1993. This one act and other daily forms of abuse by my classmates changed my life and my ability to learn and participate in friendships and relationships. The fear that I had because I was different was so strong it convinced me not to attend college; I was not prepared for what the repercussions might be if people knew I was gay.

When I was 21, I made a call to a suicide prevention lifeline because I realized I needed help. I was starting to have thoughts of suicide and I needed someone to stop me, to save my life. I began seeing a counselor after that, who I knew kept everything confidential, but even with my back to her chair, I sat there and lied that I was bi-sexual, uncomfortable to even speak the truth to a professional. It was too hard and I was afraid for my life.

Career-wise, I wanted to be an actor while some in the industry would say I was “too light in the loafers.” Memories of all these kids who beat me up and humiliated me all through school came back to me repeatedly in my early years of pursuing my career. Being afraid of people and re-learning how to trust them is a daily reminder of where and how far I have come.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Florence Henderson voted off “Dancing With the Stars” while Bristol Palin lives to dance another week

'Dancing with the Stars'' Bristol Palin (l.) shocked Florence  Henderson by being kept on the show in place of her on Tuesday night.I don’t know what’s more surprising: the fact that Florence Henderson was voted off of Dancing With the Stars last night or the fact that I’m so upset about it!

The television icon, still dazzling at 76, this week had her best performance yet which was a tango danced to the theme song of The Brady Bunch. If ever there was a week when America’s favorite TV mom seemed safe, it was TV week on Dancing With the Stars.

Meanwhile Bristol Palin, who wore a gorilla suit during part of her dance to the theme song from The Monkees and got the lowest scores of all the competitors from the judges, has made it to the sixth week of the competition.

http://media.masslive.com/entertainment/photo/8978621-large.jpgThe always classy Florence appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America earlier today and said: “It surprised me a little bit. …That’s the show, you never know. I think that’s part of the excitement in watching it. You never know who’s going to go. … I had such a ball.”

When she learned of her fate on last night’s show, she flashed a smile and kissed her professional partner, Corky Ballas.

I have been in TV for over 50 years, and I have to say in all honesty that this is one of the best-produced shows I’ve ever been on,” she said after learning her fate. “I’ve loved this show since it began. I think it’s just a tremendous show. I hope I’ve inspired people to get up off their behind and move and dance and live and enjoy life.”

Florence has long been a fan of the show and I’m just shocked it took producers this long to invite her to compete while scores of reality show “stars” have come and gone over the show’s 11 seasons (there are two seasons per year).

Her charm and humor will be missed on the show which I’d give up on for the season if I were not so enamored with Jennifer Grey and her partner Derrick Hough!

Miss Henderson will no doubt carry on splendidly with her one-woman show which I’ve seen twice and is just terrific. She is also working on a memoir which no doubt will be well worth a read. She not only has all the Brady Bunch material, but a fascinating life as the youngest of 10 children, a mother of four, and a star of Broadway in the 50s and 60s, the woman on The Today Show and the first female guest host of The Tonight Show.

She really is such a lovely lady.

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FILE UNDER: Reality

Wednesday Morning Man: Matthew Settle!

2614670908_d443e3eec8_o.jpg image by EwanRox On a CW show with hunky young male stars including Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley and Ed Westwick, you wouldn’t expect one of the parents on the show to be just as hot as the younger set.

But Gossip Girl had the good sense to cast Matthew Settle as Badgley’s dad and I’d say he’s the hunkiest of them all! (He’s also the father of raccoon-eyed Jenny but why ruin a good post!)

The 41-year-old actor plays Rufus Humphrey on the Monday night hit now in its fourth season. He was previously best-known for his role as Capt. Ronald Speirs on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Fans of Brothers & Sisters will also remember him from season one of the show. He was Kitty’s fiancee, the one who she left back in New York to take a TV job in Los Angeles.

He also had recurring roles on ER and The Practice and has appeared in the films The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The In Crowd, The Celestine Prophecy, U-571 and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer.

Matthew was born in Hickory, North Carolina and is the youngest of six children.



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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “It Gets Better” message for teens: “Please remember that your life is valuable.”

http://www.rightpundits.com/wp-content/photos/hillary_clinton_45.jpgThe woman who many people – including me – believe would have made one heck of a President of the United States, always seems to be the smartest person in the room.

That’s why I’m happy to see that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the former U.S. Senator from New York and former First Lady of the United States, has decided to speak out with a message for teens who have been bullied.

Her participation gives huge political backing to the It Gets Better video campaign which has soared into the spotlight following a string of suicides earlier this month of bullied LGBT teens.

“All Americans have to work harder to overcome bigotry and hatred,” Clinton says in her message.

She tells teens to take heart and to have hope and adds: “Please remember that your life is valuable, and that you are not alone. Many people are standing with you and sending you their thoughts, their prayers, and their strength. Count me among them.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Supreme Mary Wilson, Carol Channing, Tippi Hedren and others honor publicist extraordinaire Harlan Boll

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Greg Hernandez, Harlan Boll and Tippi HedrenHONOREE: It didn’t matter to me who was on the guest list. All I knew is that Harlan Boll, one of my all-time favorite publicists, was being honored by The Southern California Motion Picture Council last night and there was no way I wasn’t going to be there.

Harlan is one of the great publicists and that’s why so many stars showed up at the dinner in Studio City last night where one of his longtime client and friend, Carol Channing, was also honored for the work she and her husband Harry Kullijian are doing to bring the arts back into the public schools.
My friend Mark Kellam and I enjoyed the dinner and the crowd which included movie legend Esther Williams, Oscar winner George Chakiris (West Side Story), Donna Mills (Knots Landing), Stefanie Powers (Hart to Hart), Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinatti), Bruce Vilanch, Dee Wallace (ET), Rip Taylor, Margaret O’Brien (Meet Me in St. Louis) Bryan Reesman (one of the main munchkins from The Wizard of Oz), and Kate Linder (The Young and the Restless) who read off some of Harlan’s many accomplishments before Tippi presented him with his award.

Rose Marie of The Dick Van Dyke Show fame, is recovering from a broken hip and could not attend. But she wrote a letter that was read aloud at the dinner as was a letter written by Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie) who was working in Paris.

Another of Harlan’s famous clients, Florence Henderson, had a good excuse for not being at the event: she was busy competing on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Before he began his acceptance speech, Harlan asked everyone to pull out their cell phones and gave the number for people to dial and vote for Florence.

Mary Wilson and Greg HernandezSo I gotta say, the most exciting star where as far as I am concerned was Mary Wilson, one of the the original members of The Supremes.
I love Mary and have interviewed her a couple of times. Still, I turn into kind of a dork when I see her because to me, she’s like one of The Beatles. We chatted a bit and she posed for a picture with me and it was all I could do to not ask her to do the Stop! pose from Stop! In the Name of Love.
At 66, Mary is still as glamorous as ever and she has written two best-selling memoirs: Dreamgirl: My Life as a Supreme about her years traveling the world with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard (and later Cindy Birdsong) and Supreme Faith about the post-Ross Supremes who continued on until 1977.
I asked Mary if there is a third book in store and she said: “Yes. But it’s a long time from now.”
We can wait. Everyone will want all the details of how a reunion tour of The Supremes fell apart in 2000 and bad blood resurfaced between Mary and Diana.
Mary keeps on singing and recently had an engagement at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood and will tour the UK next year.
FILE UNDER: Awards

Happy 50th birthday to Jennifer Holliday!

http://www.bet.com/Assets/BET/Published/image/jpeg/b1817a7d-67a5-8017-9ae7-5b20b27632fb-ent_outabout0420_holiday.jpgIt’s hard to believe that it has been nearly 30 years since Jennifer Holliday won the Tony Award for Dreamgirls for her performance as Effie, the powerful singer kicked out of a fictional group based loosely on The Supremes.

She not only won the Tony for the role, but also a Grammy for her classic version of the show-stopper And I’m Telling You (I’m Not Going).

Jennifer has released many more albums over the years and returned to the stage in 1986 to tour in the musical Sing Mahalia Sing. In the early 90s, she lost a substantial amount of weight and no longer resembled the Effie character on Dreamgirls.

But she still sounds like her!

Here is Jennifer singing I Am Changing, one of my favorite songs from Dreamgirls. The second video is her stunning performance at the 1982 Tony Awards. It is not to be believed.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Louis van Amstel talks to OUT about why he and Margaret Cho were voted off of “Dancing With the Stars”

Margaret Cho and Louis van Amstel on  Dancing With the StarsLouis van Amstel is the openly gay dancing pro who was paired with Margaret Cho this season on Dancing With the Stars.

They were voted off the show after just three week. Margaret wore a striking dress that was the color of the gay rainbow flag and talked about the tough week it was for the gay community (it was just days after a string of well-publicized suicides).

Here is an excerpt of an interview Louis did for Out.com and it has left me with no sense of who this guy is and what he is trying to stand for or not stand for. He is delusional if he thinks his dance with Margaret that night had nothing to do with the gay community or that her dress was not the gay flag.

Decide for yourself. Here is an excerpt:

Do you think labels had an effect this season on you and Margaret Cho being eliminated?
Unfortunately it was a very labeled, in-your-face message that wasn’t even Margaret’s and my message. I was angry. If you want to be accepted as a gay guy, don’t label yourself, because what is the message? Boom. You get voted off. In the end, that means you missed opportunities each week to let people like you for who you truly are. Margaret was so on a roll. She was such an advocate for everybody that felt weird about themselves — maybe they were overweight or they were anorexic like her, almost killed themselves — and this woman is growing as a person. That was our message. Unfortunately, the judges and the production company decided not to share our real message.

What do you think they tried to change it into?
It turned into a whole gay pride thing. In the package, Margaret said she wanted to celebrate that everyone should be proud of who they are. Bruno said, “Oh, I love that you are wearing the gay flag as your dress.” In my package interview I stated very clearly why I chose those colors, because for me the rainbow represents this planet where seven billion people live under the rainbow. The colors all represent that we’re all different. It had nothing to do with the gay community. ABC decided not to portray that, and I was so pissed off but I decided not to make myself look like an ass. I didn’t say, “Oh, by the way Bruno, it’s not the gay flag,” because they always make you look like the bad guy if you talk back to the judges. It was a very disappointing evening. Margaret thinks different.

What’s her reaction?
She felt you have to be proud of who you are, and, because her demographic is the gay demographic, she went with it. And then when we were with Brooke, she said “The gay suicides just got to stop. Enough.” And I thought, What about all the other families who lost their kids who were straight or maybe overweight or maybe they were redheads or maybe they were bullied for other things than being gay? We talked after the show. She said, “You have that one moment where you can take a stand and make a message and it’s powerful and it will be remembered.” Tuesday morning I broke down. I cried. I was so disappointed because I work all my life to not be labeled. I was bullied for being fat and gay and short. And all my life I worked hard to overcome that and be an advocate for anyone who’s being bullied.

http://bumpshack.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/evan-lysacek-samba-swing-dance-marathon-dancing-with-the-stars-photos.jpgIt sounds like you and Margaret have the same goal just different approaches.
Absolutely. That’s why I love her, and we had such a great conversation because we want the same [thing]. But the bottom line is that was not our storyline. Why do people have to come out? Just be who you want to be. To me that’s the next step. Another example I can give you is what happened last season with Evan Lysacek. Evan was on the show, Johnny Weir was not. And Johnny Weir wants to be on Dancing With the Stars. He’s pushing for Evan to come out and I’m like, “If Evan is gay, it doesn’t really matter.” The fact is he won the gold medal. Johnny Weir, why don’t you win the gold medal? Put the pedal to the medal. To me, that’s how you change people’s minds about the gay community.

So Evan just doesn’t want a label?
Nope, and that’s why I love him.

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Tuesday Morning Man: John-Paul Lavoisier!

http://dirkmancuso.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/81967574.jpg?w=395&h=532It’s a pity I didn’t take more notice of John-Paul Lavoisier when I was still watching ABC’s One Life to Live.

This 30-year-old blond beauty plays Rex Balsom on the show and from the looks of the pics I found on the Internet, he’s shirtless a lot.

I’d like to check him out sometime but I have not forgiven the show for what it did to its gay characters earlier this year, just jettisoning off Kyle and Oliver and Nick in one fell swoop because of a ratings drop.

But anyway, back to John-Paul since this is about him. He’s been on the show since 2002 but also has stage chops. He is a member of the advisory board of the theater production company Streetlight Productions, Inc, and has performed in various off-Broadway plays including Discordant Duets and Counterfeit Garden.

John-Paul has also had guest roles on Gossip Girl and Sex and the City and appeared in the film Wolves of Wall Street.

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Sara Gilbert and company premiere “The Talk”

99787_D0907b2_LSSara Gilbert is credited with creating the new daytime show The Talk on which she is featured with co-hosts Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Sharon Osbourne.

Will is become a big hit like The View?

The show premiered today and the LATimes has already posted a review of the first airing. Here is an excerpt: Gilbert, who, for the record, seems like precisely the sort of mother you’d like to see sitting across from you in a parenting group, needs to speak up more — the show was her idea, after all, and of all the hosts, she seems the best capable of “real.”  But Remini is a fun and frank presence, as is Winokur. Though the world already has far too much access to the thoughts of Sharon Osbourne, she does know the format up, down and sideways, which is helpful, especially in these early days, while Peete, who has four kids, including 13-year old twins, has in-the-trenches credibility.

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Stephen Collins was a very welcome addition to last night’s episode of ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters”

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/stephen-collins-no-ordinary-family-large.jpgSince so many of us have had a crush on Stephen Collins for like decades, what a treat it was to have him appear in a gay role on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters last night.

Post-7th Heaven, the 60-something Collins (still dreamy) has been taking on all kinds of different roles including being a big, bad villain on another ABC series, No Ordinary Family.

On Brothers & Sisters, he wasn’t a villain, just a heartbreaker. Poor Saul. He and Charlie (Collins) had been getting along terrifically with Charlie even pitching in to help sew stage costumes for Sarah’s son’s school play.

Saul later confides to Kevin and Scotty that he is afraid of telling Charlie that he is HIV-positive but a short time later, just as they are about to kiss, Saul does tell him.

Charlie backs away and says it’s not because he’s afraid of catching the virus, it’s that he lost his lover of 20 years to AIDS. He just did not have it in him again to lose someone like that. Saul assures him that he’s never been healthier.

Saul (Ron Rifkin) tells Charlie that he’s glad that he had love in his life that way. Sal was hoping he too would have that.

I think, and hope, this leaves the door wide open for Charlie to have a change of heart and re-enter Saul’s life. But I’ve read that Richard Chamberlain will be guesting as part of Saul’s storyline so that wouldn’t be too bad of a replacement!

Saul tells Kevin and Scotty: “Keep pushing me [to date], I can always use a little shove.”

Kevin next wants to set him up with a lawyer in his office: some dude named Stanley.

Meanwhile, SPOILER ALERT!!! Everything looked peachy with Kevin and Scotty in this episode so it will be interesting to see how they arrive at Scotty cheating in two weeks time.

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