Yesterday marked the final appearance of out actor Scott Evans as gay cop and new father Oliver Fish on the ABC soap One Life to Live.
The young actor recently spoke with AfterElton.com about his breakthrough storyline and its unfortunate end. Here are some excerpts:
AfterElton.com:How are you feeling about everything that happened?
Scott Evans: Sad. That’s the best way to describe it. I mean I could have been mad and angry, but you know what? You can’t be mad. If a storyline gets written off or something changes and you lose a job, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Everybody loses jobs, and that’s fine. I’m more sad about the fact that gay people need to be seen on TV in order to find acceptance — not so much tolerance, but acceptance — and for us to be written off is sad.
AE:Do you buy the reasons?
SE: I don’t know the reasons. The reason they say was that the focus groups and the backlash, and Nick Rodriguez [ex-Nick Chavez] came forward and said all our coworkers were saying stuff. So I don’t know. If that’s what they need to resort to in order to make it okay, then fine. It just sucks. It really, really sucks.
AE:Were you surprised when if happened? How did you find out?
SE: I was surprised, but only because I had done a couple of interviews the week before all this came out, and they asked what’s the future, and I was like, “I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out. There’s the baby storyline.” And then I find out online, and I was like, “What’s happening?” I asked Brett what was going on, and he said, “I found out yesterday that I was being let go.”
They didn’t need to let me know I was being let go because I’m not a contract. They didn’t need to tell me. As a recurring character all they need to do is stop calling me.
There are few life stories as compelling as that of Billie Jean King, the great tennis champion who has devoted her life working for gender equality and later LGBT rights.
She’s an amazing woman and a real hero of mine and interviewing her for a few magazine profiles and meeting her at various events has been a real highlight for me.
When I was living in Long Beach for much of the 90s, I’d often play tennis at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center which was named after the city’s most famous daughter.
Billie Jean is back in the city filming spots in and around Long beach for an upcoming episode of ESPN’s Homecoming with Rick Reilly. The six-time Wimbledon singles champion has already filmed a segment at Poly, where she attended school, and Houghton Park, where she first played tennis.
She was at one of my fave hangouts – Legends on Second Street in Belmont Shore – filming at lunchtime.
Then tomorrow night (Wednesday), they’re filming the long segment at Recreation Park where the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in located.
No doubt Billie Jean will have plenty of stories to tell and profound things to say. Her Homecoming episode will air July 3.
GLEEKING OUT: Any true “Gleek” already knows that tonight is, at long last, the return of Glee.
But you may not know that if you are recording it, you need to set that DVR for 9:28 p.m. because Fox is starting the episode a little early.
This is the first of nine new episodes that will take us through May following the first 13 originals that aired in the fall. It’s been a long wait but the hype has not stopped and is now at fever pitch! Awards, a performance at The White House, a slew of magazine covers including the current issues of Rolling Stone and TV Guide.
Tonight marks the first appearance of guest stars Idina Menzel (Wicked) and Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening) as rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline’s coach and star singer, respectively.
Songs performed in the episode include All American Rejects’ Gives You Hell, the Beatles’ Hello Goodbye, the Doors’ Hello I Love You, and Lionel Richie’s Hello.
When the character of Sid Fairgate (Don Murray) was killed off in the third season of Knots Landing, it seemed like a tall order to find someone else to pair up with the show’s heroine Karen Fairgate (Michelle Lee).
Enter Mack MacKenzie at the beginning of season four. With the charges dropped against Sid Fairgate’s killers, an angry Karen marched into the office of federal prosecutor M. Patrick “Mack” McKenzie (Kevin Dobson). Mack was as upset as Karen, and they brought the men to justice. They fell in love, and married half-way through the season.
These scenes are a hoot because they not only show the deep love the couple had for each other, but also the great humor they shared which surfaces at their incredibly tacky wedding.
It was opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain that Heath Ledger gave the performance of his career.
Both actors were nominated for Academy Awards for their portrayals of two men who fall in love while working at a sheep ranch one summer and embark on a secretive affair for many years after.
The story in the movie ended tragically with the death of Gyllenhaal’s character. In real life, it was Ledger who died far too soon and Gyllenhaal talks a bit about him – for the first time since Heath’s death – in the new issue of GQ magazine.
“I don’t really like talking about it. That period of time was…it was difficult. He was very sensitive. He didn’t always have a sense of performance in his everyday life. He knew who he was. I think actors very often, they know how to present something, and that’s part of their job. I think he was just really sensitive. We often used to do a lot of things together, because people were very interested in him and I think we felt safe together. Even when we did Brokeback and stuff, it was like my work was the only thing that mattered to me. It was like I could only understand or define myself through doing that. Life, I didn’t totally understand. And I think I was afraid of life. And I had success in my work, enough success that you could keep going back there. But after that happened…I think I recognized that it was work. And I recognized that this is for real.”
Today’s Morning Man comes via special request from my friend Lorna and I waited to post it until she and her family returned from their vacation in Europe.
So here is actor Eric Stoltz who is currently starring in the TV series Caprica. The 48-year-old actor has been appearing in movies and on television since 1978 and broke through to stardom when he played Cher’s son – a teenager with a massive facial skull deformity – in the 1985 film Mask.
Then came such movies as Some Kind of Wonderful, Say Anything, Memphis Belle, The Waterdance, Pulp Fiction, Sleep With Me and many others.
Eric has been versatile and had recurring roles in several television series before Caprica including Chicago Hope, Once and Again, and Close to Home. He’s also directed episodes Nip/Tuck, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and several other shows.
Although Kyle Lewis will make an appearance later this week, Monday marked the final appearance on One Life to Live of Kyle (Brett Claywell) and Oliver Fish (Scott Evans).
It’s sad and makes me mad that the best-written gay couple ever to appear on a daytime soap in the US are being kicked to the curb. I will not be able to watch the show for awhile, if ever.
I’ve already been distancing myself from the show which is why you will find all of the Kish scenes from the past few weeks all here in one post rather than incrementally. In the episode that aired Monday, Oliver wins custody of Sierra Rose, the baby he fathered in a drunken one night stand.
“This baby will have everything she needs, especially love,” he tells the judge.
In the clips below, we see what went on leading up to the custody decision, how Oliver went from not wanting to be a father to being completely in love with his child. But, unless the show has a change of heart and can secure the services of the actors involved, we won’t get to see Oliver and Kyle as parents or see how Oliver’s parents would react to being grandparents, or see Oliver’s BFF’s Layla and Cristian be surrogate aunt and uncle.
No big exit for this new family, just last seen walking out of the courtroom into soap limbo.
They deserved better and the fans deserved better.
Reaction to the death of Dixie Carter over the weekend continues.
I shared Annie Potts’beautiful tribute earlier today and now Jean Smart, another one of the four original Designing Women stars, has talked to ET.com about her late co-star: “Dixie was such an amazing person. She was gorgeous, hilarious, incredibly talented and so devoted to her family. There was no one else like her and I was completely crazy about her. She exuded joy. I will really miss her and [my heart goes] out to her beautiful family.”
Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason also spoke about the passing of the TV star, telling ET, “Dixie was her own parade — a rare blend of charisma, good breeding and colossal talent. I wish every young girl who comes to Hollywood could buy a jar of what she had.”
Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, who worked for Miss Carter as a personal assistant during part of Designing Women and later wrote a juicy recurring role for her on his show, also opened up to ET about his old boss: “I started out as a fan, then became her employee and ended up as her friend. Sadly, there aren’t many people in this town with such class, dignity and integrity. She will be missed.”
While Dixie’s greatest post-Designing Women success was on the stage, she did spend four years on the CBS drama Family Law playing attorney Randi King.
Her co-stars on that series, Kathleen Quinlan and Tony Danza, also paid tribute to her on Monday:
“The world is going to have a little less color for me now that Dixie is gone,” Quinlan told Entertainment Weekly.
They first met Carter 35 years ago when the two costarred in a New York play called Taking in Marriage. Quinlan fondly recalled having dinners with Carter and her husband, actor Hal Holbrook, at the couple’s Hollywood home: “When you were greeted by Dixie, you were really welcomed into their home in the most gracious way you could imagine. The evenings were always warm, and Dixie always had someone who could play the piano. She sang, and her friends sang. They were some of the best dinners and times I’ve ever had with a fellow actor. … I keep thinking about her laugh. She could have the most boisterous laugh you’ve ever heard! She was a classic.”
Added Danza: “I was coming into the first drama I had done on TV, and I felt a little uneasy about coming in. But Dixie just told me to relax and have fun. She went out of her way to welcome me with open arms, and made my entrance a little bit easier. Also, our trailers were next to one another on the lot. I used to play the trumpet in my trailer, and she wouldn’t complain, which was, I think, very kind of her.”
Annie Potts starred with Dixie Carter in all seven seasons of Designing Women with her character of Mary Jo Shively a perfect compliment to Carter’s Julia Sugarbaker.
Miss Potts paid tribute to her friend and former co-star on Monday in a statement to Entertainment Weekly: “Dixie Carter was a Goddess. Beautiful and brainy, smart and funny, prim and sexy, wickedly talented and divinely sweet. The kind of wife and mother that every mother hopes their daughter will become and the kind of friend that is absolutely irreplaceable. She loved fiercely and was adored in return. To have known her a little was a delight to all. To have known her well, a treasure beyond reckoning. And now, a loss beyond measure.”
I wrote last week that the April release of the Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor love story I Love You Phillip Morris had been postponed indefinitely.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and focuses on a love affair between a con man (Carrey) and his cellmate (McGregor).
Now there is a new date that’s just been announced but my advice is take it with a grain of salt because we have been here before: Variety reports that the movie will hit theaters in limited release on July 30 then expand into more theaters a week later.
Oh good grief, release the movie already! And if you think audiences or exhibitors can’t handle the gay subject matter and sex scenes, then put it out on DVD and let people make up their own minds.
There are some really awful people in this world and among them are those responsible for duping lesbian teen Constance McMillen into attending a fake prom in Mississippi recently.
It would be one thing if it were just kids but you have so-called adults involved in this act of homophobia and cruelty. But there are also plenty of good people in this world and former ‘N Sync member Lance Bass is one of them. He will join celebrity chef Cat Cora and members of Green Day in sponsoring a gay-friendly prom on May 8.
The event is being organized by the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition and is open to all students, regardless of sexual orientation. The American Humanist Association will also donate $20,000 for the inclusive prom.
The Itawamba School District refused to allow Constance to bring a same-sex date to her prom. After a U.S. district judge ruled that the school could not bar Constance and her date, the district canceled the prom and allowed parents host an off-site prom inviting everyone but McMillen and a handful of other students.
In an interview on Monday with The Advocate, Constance said that she and her date showed up at a prom on April 2 in Fulton, Miss. attended by a sm
all number of her peers, including two students with learning disabilities.
“They had two proms, and I was only invited to one of them,” she said. “The one that I went to had seven people there, and everyone went to the other one I wasn’t invited to.”
As infuriating as the behavior of some of these district officials, parents and students has been, I thank God for brave teens like Constance who have the courage to stand up for their equal rights. God knows I didn’t have the guts to even begin to speak out until I was in my 30s and had less to lose.
I hope everyone has a great time at the prom.
Here are some recent television appearances by Constance including a chat with another hero: Ellen DeGeneres:
Former CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts, currently host of The Advocate’s new television newsmagazine, has bravely spoken out in the past about the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest at his Catholic high school.
Thomas spoke with GQ.com The Wire about the Catholic Church and its handling of the abuse scandals that envelope it. Here are some excerpts:
What would you ask Pope Benedict if you had a chance to sit down with him?
I think I would ask why a man in his position doesn’t feel a greater sense of compassion for the victims…why he doesn’t just be like, The buck stops here. This is unacceptable. People are watching and do care about how [the Church] reacts, so I’d think they’d want to act with more swift justice so they can provide the confidence people need to still want to be Catholic.
One of many excuses the Vatican gave in the case of the priest who molested 200 deaf boys was that the incidents exceeded the church’s statute of limitations. As someone who waited almost 20 years to come forward, how do you feel about this? Were you in denial?
Oh, I was in complete denial. I considered myself to be a strong and intelligent person, and to place yourself in the “victim” category is very hard to do. I thought that I had been able to deal with what life had dealt me. Unfortunately, I was wrong. I’m happy that I was able to confront these demons that had been chasing me for a really long time and extinguish them.
So you came out to your family when you were 27. Later, when you were 33 you began opening up about the abuse. Some people see a causal relationship between abuse and sexuality. Did you worry that people would try and draw those lines?
For me these are two very separate, distinct issues, and I don’t want them to ever be confused. No one ever asks a woman who was abused as a young girl if she grew up and decided she was straight. I had the complete love and support of my family though, and that was most important thing.
Let’s imagine Meryl Streep wasn’t the greatest actress of all time – living or dead. Let’s pretend that she couldn’t act her way out of a bag and those 16 Academy Award nominations never happened.
That would leave her with only a magnificent singing voice that has been overshadowed by her tremendous acting gifts. But Miss Streep has been given the opportunity to sing in some of her movies and in recent years and actually headlined a full-blown musical: Mamma Mia.
She also sang a lot with Lily Tomlin in the recent film A Prairie Home Companion, the last film directed by Robert Altman and performed musical numbers in Death Becomes Her and Ironwood.
I became aware of her singing ability in 1990′s Postcards from the Edge where she did two terrific numbers that I have included here. Her mother in the film is played by Shirley MacLaine whose character is trying to persuade her actress daughter (Streep) to record an album: “You’re a much better singer than that Madonna person.”
We’ve heard it from the lady herself: Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky is not getting married for the ninth time no matter what US Weekly says.
The legendary actress, longtime AIDS activist and Dame of the British Empire took to Twitter today to clear up the report that she was set to marry her manager Jason Winter.
Tweets Miss Taylor: “The rumors regarding my engagement simply aren’t true. Jason is my manager and dearest friend. I love him with all my heart.”
What is disturbing is that the US report was picked up by ABC News and many other outlets and just a few minutes ago, I saw it being discussed by Barbara Walters and the ladies of The View as if it were fact!
Barbara Walters can pick up a phone and get to the bottom of it in about three minutes so this is annoying.
Anyway, Miss Taylor has done so much good for this world through her art and her humanitarian work that whatever she decides to do, I wish her nothing but happiness.
Daniel Cosgrove is a very good actor in search of a TV show that isn’ t going off the air!
He recently joined the cast of As the World Turns in the role of Chris Hughes but that will only last until September because the long-running CBS soap has been canceled. The 39-year-old actor knows the feeling: he previously played Bill Lewis on Guiding Light which went off the air last September. He had been with that soap off and on since 2002 and earned an Emmy nomination for best actor during the show’s final year.
He also ushered another show off the air, this one in prime time: he played Matt Durning on the last three seasons of Beverly Hills 90210.
But I’m sure he’s not to blame!
Daniel, who also had a recurring role on ABC’s Dirty Sexy Money and starred in the short-lived series In Justice, may still look like he’s in college but he and wife Marie are the parents of four kids!
BROADWAY BOUND: Linda Bloodworth-Thomason told me in 2006 that she had written and secured financial backing for a Designing Women Broadway play featuring Julia, Suzanne, Mary-Jo and Charlene as they would be today.
All would still be working at the design firm and would have a thing or two to say about what is going on in the world.
“Those four women are made for Broadway,” Linda said. “You just want to see them, high heels clicking and mouths moving. We never got to close the show, we never got to say good-bye to ourselves or the public. They would talk about how society views women today and that sort of vapid, superficial world we live in now where everybody has to weigh 90 pounds. I think Julia would take issue with that.”
The next year, I asked Jean Smart about the stage version and she didn’t seem interested in reprising her role of sweet Charlene even though she is itching to get back onto the New York stage once her son graduated high school.
“I love Linda and I think she has never really gotten the proper credit for the brilliant writing she did on that show,” she told me. “But to me, [the Broadway play] would sort of be like being in one, great big episode and I don’t know why I’d want to do that.”
Even if Jean changed her mind, the play can’t ever happen now with the passing of Miss Carter.
Dixie did make it to the Broadway stage in recent years though including the plum role of Maria Callas in Master Class and played the role of devilish Mrs. Meers in the Tony winning production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
You can expect to continue to see a lot of appreciation for Dixie Carter on this site in the coming days as her many fans try and process that the beloved star is gone.
The actress passed away Saturday from complications arising from endometrial cancer. She will forever live on through her many roles – especially that of Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women.
I wanted to share more from an interview we did in 2006.
Of the celebrated cast of Designing Women, which ran from 1986-93 on CBS and lives on in reruns and on DVD, she told me: “We are all kind of dazzled by the fact that we happened to be there, at that place in time, to do that show. It was love at first sight and we all thought very highly of each other’s abilities.”
Created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the show revolved around the workplace as well as the personal lives of its characters. It also tackled such social issues as AIDS, hunger, single parenting, gun control, aging, weight discrimination, racism, domestic violence and equal rights.
But it was all presented with humor and humanity. Julia was most often the social conscience of the group as well as the voice of reason, as the other characters sometimes got themselves into a bit of trouble.
“Julia’s acerbic nature softened as time went on, but she never lost her edge,” Dixie said. “The perception of Julia is that she got to be a woman of warmth and humanity as well as a woman of wit who would take no prisoners.”
During that period of time, Miss Carter had a personal assistant by the name of Marc Cherry who would go on to create a series called Desperate Housewives: “He was handling my personal business and picked up my underwear at Neiman (Marcus) sometimes,” she remembered, laughing.
“Marc was very memorable, a very memorable young man,” added the actress. “He was always observing. We knew he was a writer. He never got upset with a really kind of goofy household that Mr. (Hal) Holbrook (her husband of nearly 26 years) and I somehow rock along with. He never got upset with the zaniness of our life.”
Cherry wrote the role of Gloria Hodge just for his old boss during the show’s third season and her performance earned her an Emmy nomination.
“Marc called me, and it was really exciting,” she recalled. “He said, ‘I have something nice for you to do if you are willing to de-glam. The woman is older and needs to be gray and not made up.’ I said, ‘OK, fine, I’ll do it.’ The part is quite wonderful…I’m a bad mama. I like to hit the liquor cabinet, and they don’t like having me there on Wisteria Lane.”
“It’s a very heady atmosphere,” she said of her Housewives gig. “When you drive onto the lot, your little heart beats faster and you’re singing ‘Hooray for Hollywood!’ ”
It all began when Marc moved to Los Angeles in 1988 to be a writer. Designing Women was in its third season and and a friend of the unemployed Cherry said the Holbrooks needed help moving from Bel Air to Hancock Park.
He told TV Guide in 2006 that working for her was funnier than any project he has ever been associated with: “Every morning Dixie would sweep out of her bedroom and make an entrance. I’d say, ‘Dixie, I’m the only one HERE.’ It didn’t matter. That was when I knew she was a star…I remember one day I counted and there were two maids, a yoga instructor, a voice teacher, a chauffer and a cook in the house and I thought I was in the middle of Upstairs, Downstairs.”
On working with his old boss again: “I got very emotional when I introduced Dixie to the cast. I said, ‘This was my start in show business.’ And I had a momentary feeling like, ‘I guess I have come a long way.’ Ever since I started ‘Desperate Housewives.” When I covered the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards, It was so great to see Dixie and Hal on the red carpet. He was nominated for supporting actor for Into the Wild.
I asked Dixie how it felt to have her husband of nearly 25 years nominated for both the SAG award and an Oscar for his performance in “Into the Wild.”
“I am dizzy with delight,” said Dixie. “It’s dreamy and unforeseen and glorious turn of events as you can imagine. So I’m smiling all the time.”
And finally, here is my memory of the first time I ever saw the Holbrooks in person. It was around 2005 and me and my late friend Tim Fairholm – who also died too soon – went to see Bea Arthur’s one-woman show at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood.
We had dinner that night at the Eclectic Cafe and Tim spotted Dixie and Hal at a nearby table. Knowing I was obsessed with Designing Women, he kept daring me to go say hello. I never did because they always seemed to have food in their mouths! But when I told Dixie about it when we finally did meet, she said: “Oh, you SHOULD have!”
I’ve been a little indifferent to Brothers & Sisters lately but tonight’s episode was so damned good, just took me back to the first few seasons when it was can’t miss TV.
The shocker: We found out that a 14-year-old Kevin Walker left a boy paralyzed but didn’t know it. In a flashback scene, we see that four of the five Walker siblings are at an unchaperoned party at Ojai Foods one night. Kevin was hanging out with a cute kid named Aaron. When Aaron tried to kiss a conflicted and closeted Kevin, they start to fight and Aaron ends up falling off a platform and is paralyzed.
Kevin’s dad drove up just as it happened and later told Kevin everything was fine. So now, at the age of 38, Kevin finds out that his parents kept it a secret and bought off the silence of Aaron’s family.
Kevin (Matthew Rhys) is completely devastated. He feels betrayal, guilt and anger at his mother (Sally Field) who says she was trying to protect him.
In another flashback from later that night, we see Kevin telling Kitty that he had fought with Aaron but had in fact been wildly attracted to him and says: “Oh God, I’m gay aren’t I? I’m totally gay. Mom would have a breakdown and dad would kill me.”
There’s a lot of us who can relate to that feeling. It was awful.
Anyway, Kevin tracks Aaron down, pays him a visit and explains: “I was so scared of the way I was feeling.”
Aaron tells Kevin that he “had a lot of rage and I’m going to lie and say it wasn’t directed at you … But not anymore, I’ve moved on. That two boys couldn’t share a kiss and feel all the normal things you feel at that age was not your fault. … I made peace with that and you need to do the same. But not here, not with me.”