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Tuesday Morning Man: Ryan Carnes!

Was at a party last night celebrating  Hot Guys With Guns, a movie that begins filming next week, and ran into the adorable Ryan Carnes.

Desperate Housewives fans know Ryan from his stint on the show where he initially played a gardener hired by Gaby (Eva Longoria) then becomes the boyfriend of Andrew Van de Camp (Shawn Pyfrom).

Ryan, 29, first came to my attention as the star of the first Eating Out film in 2004 which he followed with the film Surf School.

He got his first big break in the role of Lucas Jones on General Hospital soon after graduating from Duke University. He went on to have roles in such films as Leaving Barstow (directed by Peter Paige) and Suicide Dolls and has guest starred in many television series including The Closer, Bones, NCIS, CSI: Miami and starred in the 2009 miniseries The Phantom.

Ryan tells me his next television appearance will be in the USA network series Rizzoli & Isles. He also appears in three episodes of the upcoming miniseries The Blackout.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

Celeb Tweets: Foreign policy debate edition

Don Lemon Don Lemon ‏@DonLemonCNN #Obama quote: “The 1980′s called. They want their foreign policy back.” #Debate 2012 #CNNDebate

Alec Mapa Alec Mapa ‏@AlecMapa If Mitt’s European trip this summer was a preview of his diplomatic style, we’ll all be dead by Xmas.

Official Wanda Sykes Official Wanda Sykes ‏@iamwandasykes You know POTUS is pissed he’s missing the Bears game. First his anniversary, now his MNF… I think Romney bought the schedule.

Bill Maher Bill Maher ‏@billmaher Aside from talking points, Mitt doesn’t know his Assad from a hole in the ground
Andy Cohen Andy Cohen ‏@BravoAndy @SandraBernhard if mitt doesn’t stop using “clear eyes full hearts” I am gonna seriously lose my shit Sandra

Kathy Griffin Kathy Griffin ‏@kathygriffin I wish they would address the Armenian threat: the Kardashians.

Bette Midler Bette Midler ‏@BetteMidler GO, O!!! No more nation building overseas!!! Fix the potholes on 96th St!!!

Joy Behar Joy Behar ‏@JoyVBehar Romney’s biggest foreign policy experience is in the Cayman Islands#current2012

Thomas Roberts Thomas Roberts ‏@ThomasARoberts “People vote for peace” – Romney. Is that why Obama won in 08? #msnbc2012

Chaz Bono Chaz Bono ‏@ChazBono The President trounced Romney in the foreign policy debate. He was clearly out of his depth and as usual flip flopped on all the issues.

Chely Wright Chely Wright ‏@chelywright I just fell asleep

FILE UNDER: Celeb Tweets, Politics

Former ice skating star Matt Savoie, a 2006 US Olympian, marries partner in Massachusetts

He may not be as famous as Johnny Weir but Matt Savoie does have a few things in common with the popular ice skating star: both have represented the US in the Olympics and both got married this year to their male partners.

Savoie, 32, married attorney Brian Boyle earlier this month in Massachusetts while Weir married Victor Voronov last January in New York City.

‘One thing that even our officiant talked about in our ceremony, and that Brian and I have experienced in this process, is that it’s really wonderful to be in a state that recognizes marriage between gay couples, to be able to be understood as a couple in the same way that our parents understood each other and understand other married couples,’ Savoie tells Ice Network. ‘That validation is hard to describe. It’s very important to us. We’re really proud to live in a state that supports it.’

It was back in 2006 that Savoie reached both the pinnacle then the end of his skating career.

He won the bronze medal at the US Championships that year which earned him a spot on the Olympic team, along with Weir, to compete in Turin, Italy.

Savoie finished seventh in the Olympics and retired from the sport that year. He had deferred his acceptance into the law school at Cornell University a year earlier in able to compete in the Olympics.

The skater met Boyle in law school and they both graduated in 2009. They became engaged last November.

‘We had a really lovely ceremony,’ he said. ‘Everyone was participating in the ceremony in some way. It was wonderful to have them there.’

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Canadian man gets apology for anti-gay high school yearbook slur – 42 years after it left him devastated

Robin Tomlin finally got his face-to-face apology.

It’s been 42 years since he received his Argyle Secondary School yearbook, opened it to the page with his picture on it, and saw the one word that was printed under his name: ‘Fag.’

Bullied while he was in school, Tomlin was haunted for years by the slur saying that because of the remark printed in the yearbook, ‘emotionally, they’ve been beating me with a stick for 42 years.’

On Monday, Tomlin met with the North Vancouver School District and emerged with what he had long sought: an in-person apology. Superintendent John Lewis apologized for the ‘cruel and offensive’ entry and for the ‘prolonged grief’ it caused the former student.

‘They made a very sincere apology,’ Tomlin said at a press conference held minutes he receiving the apology from district officials. ‘It’s a happy day.’

To read the full story, please go over to Gay Star News.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to Jesse Tyler Ferguson!

Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson turns 37 today and I hope he is having a wonderful day.

What I like so much about this Emmy-nominated star is how much he seems to be enjoying his time in the spotlight – he radiates happiness and positive energy.

I’ve seen him at many events and he’s always down to Earth and friendly and in the moment.

He uses his fame for causes he believes in including LGBT equality. Check out this video he appears in with other LGBT stars in support of President Obama being reelected.

Jesse announced his engagement to lawyer Justin Mikita last month , the same day the couple also announced the formation of their newly-created foundation Tie the Knot which will raise money for various organizations fighting for LGBT equal rights.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Catching up with William McNamara who appears in “DTLA” and produces “Animal Intervention”

Anyone who has ever seen the very memorable 1993 film Doing Time on Maple Drive will never forget the heartbreaking performance given by William McNamara as a closeted gay college student about to marry a girl to please his family.

The girl, played by Lori Loughlin, finds a letter from his ex-boyfriend and confronts him – and calls off the wedding. The terror in his eyes from fear of being found out was a scene I think a lot of us who spent time closeted could really relate to.

I shared this with Billy when I met him last week at the premiere party for the new Logo series DTLA in which he appears as the estranged husband of the main female character.

“It’s funny and an amazing thing,’ he said of Maple Drive. ‘That’s got such a life to it that one would never expect. Still to this day people email me or message me on Facebook about it.”

The film, directed by Ken Olin, also starred a pre-superstardom Jim Carrey as Billy’s older brother who had some problems of his own.

Billy has been acting in television and films since the late 1980s with one of my favorite early roles of his being Stealing Home opposite Jodie Foster. He is best known for the comedy Chasers and for playing a killer opposite Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver in Copycat. Then there was the two seasons he spent playing Hollywood agent Brad Advail on Showtime’s late, great series Beggars and Choosers.

Billy is excited to be returning to series TV with DTLA which premieres on Oct. 24.

“It was a lot of fun to be a part of it,” he says, “We got to do a lot of improv and for an actor, that’s a lot of fun.”

But that’s not all he’s got going. There’s a series pilot called The Trouble With Billy he hopes to sell to cable as well as the National Geographic series Animal Intervention which he created and executive produces. It airs on Tuesday nights.

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Hollywood star Joan Fontaine turns 95 today – she’s still not speaking to sister Olivia de Havilland, 96

One of the first celebrity autobiographies I ever read was No Bed of Roses by Joan Fontaine, the Oscar winning star of such Hollywood classics as Rebecca and Suspicion who turns 95 today.

She is one of the few surviving leading ladies from Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 30s and 40s with only two-time Oscar winners Luise Rainer (101) and Olivia de Havilland (96) older – at least that is all I can think of.

What’s amazing is that Miss de Havilland, the legendary star of Gone With the Wind, is Fontaine’s older sister and the two have not spoken to each other in nearly 40 years.

Their feud runs deep and it runs long.

In her memoir, Fontaine recalls the night in 1941 when she beat her sister (and Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and Greer Garson) to win the best actress Oscar.

She wrote that her sister, sitting across the table, hissed at her: “Get up there!” “The hair-pulling, the savage wrestling matches, the time Olivia fractured my collar bone, all came rushing back in kaleidoscopic imagery. My paralysis was total … I felt age four, being confronted by my older sister. Damn it! I had incurred her wrath again.”

De Havilland would go on to win her own Oscars for The Heiress and To Each His Own and at one Academy Award ceremony, very publicly snubbed her younger sister when she tried to congratulate her.

But they did retain an uneasy truce until 1975 when they had a major falling out over the death of their mother.

De Havilland has lived in Paris for many years and appeared at the 2003 Academy Awards to introduce a large group of former Oscar winners (second video below).

Fontaine, who lives in California, has not been seen publicly for many years. But she can look back on a great body of work that also included an Oscar-nominated performance in The Constant Nymph as well as such films as Jane Eyre, The Women, This Above All, Letter From an Unknown Woman, The Emperor Waltz, September Affair, Island in the Sun, and Ivanhoe.

The first video is a talk show appearance in the late 70s in which Fontaine talks about the feud with her sister and their final break.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Monday Morning Man: Barry Sloane!

Thanks to my friend Fabian for posting a photo of Barry Sloan on Facebook yesterday.

I had not heard of Barry before but the minute I saw him, I knew he was too yummy not to be today’s Morning Man.

This 31-year-old British actor has joined ABC’s Revenge this season which is his first US series. He had previously been a regular on Holby City and Hollyoaks.

But what really put Sloane on the map was the critically-acclaimed play Jerusalem first on London’s West End then on Broadway.

Born in Liverpool, Sloan trained as a musician and actor before landing his first professional acting role in the film In his Life: The John Lennon Story.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka in costume!

These two seem to have a lot of fun and good for them!

Here is a photo Neil Patrick Harris posted on Twitter yesterday of himself and his great love David Burtka taken at The Magic Castle in Hollywood at a party given by Katy Perry.

Tweeted NPH: Thank you @KatyPerry for having @DavidBurtka and me at your frightfully fun B’day Bash at the @MagicCastle last night!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Showtune Sunday: All About Roslyn Kind!

Yesterday I posted a video of Roslyn Kind singing a duet with her sister, Barbra Streisand.

Today, she gets the spotlight all her herself.

Roslyn began performing in her teens when she released her first album, Give Me You, and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show three times.” Next came her second album, This is Roslyn Kind. Her latest CD, Come What May, got a rave in the New York Times which proclaimed it “splendid and sizzling.”

Roslyn has the most wonderful voice and I’m so glad more people are hearing it these days. The 61-year-old has taken long gaps from performing which I talked to her about in an interview we did back in 2008.

A year later, I ended up being seated with Roslyn and her nephew, Jason Gould, at a cabaret show at The Magic Castle in Hollywood and she was just as shy and lovely then as she was the first time we met.

Here are three different numbers from Miss Kind with my favorite being the third one, Meadowlark from the flop musical The Baker’s Wife (here is a LINK to the dueling Patti LuPone and Betty Buckley versions).

Here is what Roslyn had to say about the song in our 2008 interview: “I did it on Broadway (in the musical revue ’2 From Brooklyn”) and it stopped the show every night so I hope it stops the show here. “Meadowlark” has always been, since I started doing it, a tour-de-force piece. I had so many people say to me, ‘You’re committing vocal suicide! Do you know how many divas do this in clubs?”

As you will see, she certainly holds her own.

FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Burt Lancaster!

The tall, muscular Burt Lancaster was one of the great leading men in movies for decades.

He starred in such classic films as From Here to Eternity, Elmer Gantry, Come Back Little Sheba, Birdman of Alcatraz, Gunfight at the OK Corral, Sweet Smell of Success and Judgment at Nuremberg, among others.

His film career spanned from 1946′s The Killers through Field of Dreams in 1989.

The New York City-born Lancaster did not set out to be an actor initially. He excelled in gymnastics in high school and got an athletic scholarship to NYU. But he soon dropped out of school and became part of an acrobat duo called Lang and Cravat which performed as part of the Kay Brothers circus. But an injury forced Lancaster to give up the life in the circus.

Lancaster died in 1994 at the age of 80. His final acting role came three years earlier when he starred opposite Sidney Poitier in the television movie Separate But Equal.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

See Barbra Streisand and kid sister Roslyn Kind duet on “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again”

Roslyn Kind is a mighty fine singer who we haven’t heard enough from over the years. But earlier this week, she emerged to sing a duet with her big sister, who happens to be Barbra Streisand. Their duet is one made famous by Streisand and Judy Garland in the early 60s: Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Morning Man Encore: Eion Bailey! posted Sept. 15, 2010

If you watched the season finale of Covert Affairs last night – as I instructed you to do! – then you are already familiar with the impossibly handsome actor who plays Ben Mercer on the show.

He’s 34-year-old actor Eion Bailey who was one of the stars of the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and also had roles in the films Fight Club, Center Stage, Mind Hunters, Almost Famous and Sexual Life.

One of his early breaks was as one of the leads in the short-lived TV series Significant Others in 1998 which also starred a then-unknown Jennifer Garner, Elizabeth Mitchell and Michael Weatherly.

He also had recurring roles on ER and Dawson’s Creek and done guest spots on Cold Case, House Rules, CSI: NY, Without a Trace and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

He grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley of California where his father owned a small airline service which flew people around the state.

The young Eion tagged along on flights and his father gave him flying lessons after dropping off passengers. His first lesson was at the age of twelve.

He struggled in school until he found his calling in his high school drama department. He then went on to study formally at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

In 2007, Eion won something that took Susan Lucci 19 times to achieve: he won a Daytime Emmy! The award was for his performance in the television movie Life of the Party.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Robert Reed was born 80 years ago today

Thanks to Ted Nichelson for reminding me that today would have been Robert Reed’s 80th birthday.

The man best known as the father on The Brady Bunch left us far too young.

During the five-season run of The Brady Bunch followed by The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, The Brady Brides, the TV movie A Very Brady Christmas and the final series The Bradys, the television viewing audience did not know that the man dispensing fatherly advice to Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby and Cindy was living a very gay life off-screen.

He was just 59 when he died of colon cancer. It became public knowledge after this death that he was also HIV-positive.

While the tabloids ran with the story in a most sensational way, in the years since, his Brady Bunch leading lady Florence Henderson has spoken so warmly and honestly of her TV husband and his dedication to his TV family – on screen and off – that I think she has helped people forget those tabloid headlines and focus more on the talent and legacy of this fine actor.

In her autobiography Life Is Not a Stage, Miss Henderson recalled the actor’s initial discomfort doing love scenes with his TV wife. Here is an excerpt:

We had been doing a love scene that had gone fine in rehearsal but wasn’t working to John’s liking the way was doing it. I felt like I had to step in and do something.

“Excuse me for a moment,” I said to Bob. I had suddenly realized the source of the problem. I left him and walked out of camera range and took [the director] off to the side.

“Just back off,” I told the director. “Don’t say anything or make a big deal out of this, but Bob’s gay. He’s nervous about this scene.”

I told him I knew how to handle it. I

went back on the set and we started up again. I don’t remember what I said specifically to Bob, but I took extra care with him to make sure he felt comfortable. In that moment, I tried to love him as hard as I could and make him feel great. I wanted him to feel romantic and sexy as all get out. And perhaps, if he knew I was comfortable about him and his sexuality, he didn’t have to feel bad about playing that role. I don’t think the crew caught on to this in the beginning as I had, but most did as the show went on.

Every time we’d do a romantic scene, the same nervousness would come up. We’d laugh as he came on to the set in his pajamas. I think on those days he would frequently self-medicate by drinking more than usual at lunchtime.

Although Reed decried the quality of The Brady Bunch scripts, he always returned for the reunions and subsequent series and was said to have enjoyed the ABC variety series the cast did in the mid-70s most of all.

Reed had other memorable roles including starring in TV’s The Defenders, the drama Nurse opposite Micheal Learned, the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man and a classic two-part episode of Medical Center which had him playing a man who undergoes surgery to become a woman more than 30 years before Chaz Bono made his real-life transition.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Honey Boo Boo and her uncle on Spirit Day

The truth is, I’ve never seen a single episode of Honey Boo Boo or Toddlers & Tiaras. I try and limit my reality viewing to Real Housewives of NY and maybe Beverly Hills.

But I gotta cheer for anyone who is speaking out for LGBT kids and against bullying on today, Spirit Day, or any day.

Honey Boo Boo, whose real name is Alana Thompson I just found out, had this to say: ‘Ain’t nothing wrong with bein’ a little gay. Everybody’s a little gay!’

Her gay uncle, Lee Thompson (known as Uncle Poodle apparently) has made the video below for Spirit Day in which he recalls being bullied but encourages the youth of today to be who they are.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Hear a snippet of new Cher song!

Cher has not released a full album of new material in more than a decade.

I know there were the two terrific songs from Burlesque but that’s been it.

Until now.

A few seconds of Cher’s new single Woman’s World has leaked onto the internet (interesting title since in 1996 she released an album called It’s a Man’s World).

Cher said on Twitter that she’s “pissed” about the song being leaked and here’s why: “I’m pissed cause its not the final version ! Final version is SO MUCH BETTER! What a drag .. I wouldn’t have picked that part!”

Don’t know the release date of the single but album due out by Christmas.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Thomas Roberts, Wilson Cruz and other celebs mark Spirit Day in purple

It’s pretty hard not to be aware that today is Spirit Day – a day to “go purple” as a statement against LGBT bullying.

Leading the way are various celebrities who have incorporated purple into their wardrobe today including Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (here with fiance Justin Mikita) who sported a purple bow tie and MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts who posed with new husband Patrick Abner in a purple shirt on the beach in Rio where the couple is honeymooning.

Sporting a more subtle purple is actor Wilson Cruz who now works for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) which is the organization promoting Spirit Day.

Cast members on NBC’s Days of Our Lives, including Freddie Smith who plays the gay character of Sonny, showed their support on the set.

And finally, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is looking mighty dapper in his stripped purple tie.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Lunch Break Video: On her birthday, revisiting Jennifer Holiday’s classic Tony Awards performance

Hard to believe but Jennifer Holliday, the Tony Award winning star, turns 52 today. She remains in fine voice and looks more beautiful than ever. But we turn the clock back 30 years to when she was starring in Broadway’s Dreamgirls and performed the showstopper And I’m Tellin’ You (I’m Not Going) during that year’s Tony Awards.
It’s a stunner.

Nate Berkus on growing up gay: “I spent my allowance buying decorative boxes on my way home from the bus stop”

Nate Berkus says his new book, The Things That Matter, was not supposed to be a memoir.

But he couldn’t help but share part about himself as he wrote about his and other people’s homes.

‘Everyone has their story and I think a story should be reflected in the home,’ he said on Current TV’s Jay Behar: Say Anything. ‘I realized that being gay, growing up around design, that losing my partner in the tsunami that I had traveled the world with and seen things that I never thought I would see, that all shaped and formed my own personal style so I included my home in the book.’

Berkus and photographer Fernando Bengoechea were vacationing at a beach resort in Sri Lanka when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami hit. Berkus survived but Bengoechea went missing and is presumed dead.

He talked about the ordeal and came out publicly during an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Although Berkus said he knew from a very young age that he was gay, his mother did not.

‘She made me play baseball. I had no desire to do that,’ he recalled. ‘I said, ‘Mom, I don’t like direct sunlight, I don’t like bugs, I don’t like grass, and I’d rather be in the house playing with your fabric samples. I spent my allowance buying decorative boxes on my way home from the bus stop.’

He finally came out in college.

‘Once I came out, I never went back,’ he said. ‘Most people come out when they are leaving for something, like Thanksgiving: Thanks for the turkey, I’m gay, see you later!’

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Friday Morning Man: Kenneth McNickle!

Okay, the 50 hottest bachelors, according to Cosmo magazine, have just been revealed – one from each state.

I started going through them on their website (somebody has to!) and this guy stopped me in my tracks.

I decided right there and then that the bachelor from Hawaii, Kenneth McNickle, had to be today’s Morning Man.

He describes himself as a musician, activist and lover of life.

“I find my life better when I am offering myself to the world more I am taking the offerings of the world for myself,” he wrote on his Twitter page earlier this month.

He’s 30 and a community activist who has obviously done some modeling.

The friend who nominated Kenneth writes: “Kenneth is everything a Cosmo Bachelor should be: smart, sexy, confident.”

FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)