Boy, how’d you like to find this guy in your Christmas stocking?
Harry Connick Jr. is one of my all-time crushes and is the perfect artist to feature today because he’s back on Broadway these days in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
Harry has released two holiday albums and here are some of his performances from them. I especially love the When My Heart Loves Christmas because the entire thing is a close-up of Mr. Connick and those lips.
On World AIDS Day last week, the website We Love Soaps ran a tribute to the late Dack Rambo who died of AIDS in 1994.
He was, quite simply, one of the most handsome men on television.
Dack was just 52 when he died. He had most famously played Jack Ewing on Dallas and was discovered, along with his twin brother Dirk, by Loretta Young when the two were just 21 and sitting in a church pew. Sadly, Dirk was killed by a drunk driver in 1967.
Dack went on to appear as a regular on such daytime soaps as All My Children and Another World and prime-time series including Paper Dolls, Gunsmoke, The Guns of Will Sonnett, and Sword of Justice.
Such a tease! A few years back, Michael Muhney’s soap character of Adam slept with his lawyer Rafe to distract him from uncovering some sordid truth. We never saw the two kiss and the tryst took place off-screen.
So when I saw this Tweet tonight from Muhney while he was at dinner with co-star Daniel Goddard, my hopes soared:
HEARTBREAKING: His name is Jonah and he’s in eighth grade. He’s been bullied since the first grade and been cutting himself since the second grade.
He’s made a video that is catching the attention of people today, including Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black who wrote in his blog a supportive message to Jonah: You’re a magnificent creature, a beautiful soul and we need you in this world. I know I’m not alone in sending you my love and appreciation tonight.
It’s hard not to shed tears along with Jonah as he holds up a series of cards that express how he feels about being bullied and called names like Gay. Fag. Douche. Homo. Asshole.
A lot of people hate me.
I don’t know why.
But I guess I kind of do
Because I kinda hate me too.
But Jonah is determined not to be a victim:
I’m tired of [being] torn down.
And building myself up to only be torn down again.
I can so relate to his panic about being gay and not wanting to be. Unfortunately, I can also relate to his determination to make it work with a girlfriend even though he doesn’t feel a sexual attraction.
These scenes from Friday’s Days of Our Lives really hit home with me and are the beginning of a terrific payoff for long-suffering Will fans who endured him being saddled with the silly website storyline. (The shuttered website is mentioned briefly by Sonny as the gang gathers for dinner: “We’re upset about it but there’s not a lot we can do about it now,” he says, not sounding at all upset).
Will has been pushing hard for Gabi to move in with him but she knows there are issues telling her girlfriends: “Have you ever met a guy who shies away from sex? He’s in complete denial.”
When Will and Gabi have a talk, Will reminds me of my teenage self when he says with determination: “I’m confident we can make this work. Gabi, I know that I can.”
Gabi indicates she wants Will to want to have sex with her, he says angrily: “Why does everything have to be about sex? Why? Sorry if I want to be respectful and treat you like a human being and not a piece of meat!”
Thankfully, Gabi has too much self awareness to continue to blame herself: “You back off every time I touch you. So tell me what is going on. … It’s not me. It’s not.”
She breaks up with Will and he completely loses it, trashing his Aunt Maggie’s kitchen.
We see an unhinged side of Will who is reeling from seeing his mother having sex with her ex while his little brother was missing and now he feels panicked to be losing Gabi.
Lots of drama ahead and, no doubt, another Emmy nomination for a superb Chandler Massey. He is showing us what a top-notch actor he is by conveying so many emotions in a believable way and making us feel like we are embarking on this rocky and emotional journey with Will.
You may recognize Tuc Watkins as one-half of the gay couple that resides on Wisteria Lane. But this oh-so handsome and gifted actor has been woefully underused on ABC’s Desperate Housewives if you ask me.
It’s a good thing he has a day job.
Tuc has played the delicious role of David Vickers – the lying, scheming gold-digging, multi-married con man – on the daytime soap One Life to Live for more than a decade. He has been able to display both his amazing body (writers often find a reason for David to be shirtless) and his amazing comic chops.
“If soap opera is meat and potatoes, I provide the broccoli robb,” Tuc told me when we spoke at the Daytime Emmys last year. “It’s so much fun to play David Vickers. He’s the world’s stupidest smart guy.”
Tuc first appeared as David in 1996 and in the last 12 years, has taken leave from the show to do such things as The Mummy film, the terrific Showtime series Beggars and Choosers and the classic gay indie film I Think I Do…
But he has always been able to return to David: “He’s the kind of guy who can kind of come and go because you never know where he’s gonna be. It’s wherever the next scam is. There aren’t a lot of scams you can run in Pennsylvania (where the soap is set). He can go back there to kind of fill the coffers but you’ve got to go out into the world and experience other things in order to bring something new and different back.”
But my favorite role of Tuc’s was on Showtime’s late, great series Beggars and Choosers which cast him as television executive Malcom Laffley. Malcolm had to come out of the closet to clear himself of sexual harassment charges levied against him by a woman.
“Beggars and Choosers was one of the greatest shows I ever had the opportunity to be on,” Tuc said. “I loved that show and I loved playing that character. It was so well-written and I really wish that it had gone on 20 years. Everybody on it was great, we were all huddled together up there in Vancouver and only had each other to lean on. It was a real shame after the second year that the show kind of fell though the cracks.”
Just had to share this photo of two absolute theater legends: Stephen Sondheim and Bernadette Peters. They and the cast of Broadway’s Follies were at the Barnes & Noble on the Upper East Side this week to sign copies of the the new two-disc set Broadway cast album of the acclaimed revival.
While watching Neil Patrick Harris co-host Live With Kelly this morning, I was surprised to hear him use the word “tranny” while he and Kelly Ripa relived their experience of inhaling Sulfur Hexafluoride the previous day, making their voices deeper.
“I’ve never sounded more like a tranny in my life,” Neil said.
Of course he should have known better. But while the show was still airing on the West Coast, Neil was quick to take to Twitter to apologize: Truly sorry for saying the word ‘tranny’ on Live this week. Twice! Should have been more thoughtful. Didn’t at all mean to offend.
Ironically, when I spoke with Neil and his partner David Burtka at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center gala last month, he said something that foreshadows today’s reaction to his unfortunate choice of words: “… This [LGBT] community, unique to most, is filled with scrutiny when it comes to what you say and how you say it. So you find yourself having to be very hyper-aware of how you say things lest you ostracize yourself even further.”
GLAAD has this to say about the incident: “It’s heartening to see a celebrity of Harris’ stature recognize and apologize for using the slur in such a timely manner, and for greater media attention being paid to its use. Many people do not realize that the word “tr*nny” is one of the most hurtful and dehumanizing slurs that transgender people hear. Most transgender people associate that word with personal experiences of violence, hatred and derision.”
It’s great to see the terrific film Beginners getting some awards attention. It’s the story of a father (Christopher Plummer) and son (Ewan McGregor) and what happens when the father comes out late in life.
McGregor talked to Frontiers IN LA about the movie, his popularity with gay audiences and more. Here is an excerpt:
In Beginners, your character goes through a process that’s almost like a rediscovery of his father when Christopher Plummer’s character comes out at the age of 75. Did you personally discover anything about the gay community through the making of the film that you hadn’t known beforehand?
I learned a lot about American gay history, because I think Mike [Mills, the film’s director] really beautifully explores it in the montages where he’s looking back at his father’s life as a young gay man in the early ‘50s, with an aim to try to understand what that might be like and why his father made the choices that he made. He makes it very real, that history, and it doesn’t feel like a history lesson. It’s an exploration of his dad’s younger years. And then how not very long ago gay men were being thrown into the back of police trucks and arrested for going to gay coffee shops. That sort of stuff I found very interesting—how recently it happened, when it seems so long ago.
You’re a very popular actor among the gay community for many reasons, but primarily because you appear in films and roles that really speak to gay men. How do you choose which roles you take on?
Well, it’s just a very gut process really. I’m not very complicated about it—if I find a script I don’t want to put down and I like that it’s firing my imagination and I start to see myself in that role, and it’s about something I’m interested to talk about, then I’ll do it. It’s kinda as simple as that really. I try not to make it anymore complicated than that.
Occasionally it does [get more complicated]—I suppose the more you do it, the more you start thinking about directors. You know, I’ve made a lot of films, and you start thinking, “Well OK, now I want to make really good films.” You try to narrow down the possibilities of them not being good, so I suppose nowadays I take more note about the directors. But then again, if I love a script and it’s a first-time director, I’ll probably still do it because that first-time director is probably firing at 110 percent.
In regards to the gay community and myself, I’m delighted, but I’m just interested in people and life. I’m interested in sexuality and sex, relationships and love and what makes us tick, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s heterosexual or gay romance. I don’t really mind it, I just find it interesting. I’ve never really gone out to try to play a gay person, because I don’t really believe you could do that, and if you did, it wouldn’t be a very good portrayal of anybody. So I go out to play a person, and their sexuality is a part of what makes them up—of course, it’s a very important part of what makes us up, but it’s not everything—it’s not.
When I was playing Phillip Morris [in last year’s I Love You Phillip Morris alongside Jim Carrey], I wasn’t playing gay—I was playing Phillip Morris, who is a gay man, and I wanted to get that right. Especially with that role, I wanted to make him camp and sort of light and tender—and at the same time, that can be a real stereotype for a straight man playing gay, but I still wanted him to be that way. I had to walk the line and make him camp and light but at the same time make him real.
There isn’t much that Extra host Mario Lopez hasn’t done.
He’s been a sitcom star (Saved By the Bell), starred in some movies (Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story), done a reality show (Mario Lopez: Saved By the Baby), competed on Dancing With the Stars, hosted the Miss America pageant, headlined a Broadway musical (A Chorus Line), was part of a male version of The View called The Other Half, and even written a children’s book.
So what is there left for this buff and beautiful star to do?
Why launch an underwear line, of course.
It’s called Rated M which Mario says “stands for masculine, modern, Mario… make it whatever you want it to be.”
More than a decade before Neil Patrick Harris played the womanizing Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, Dan Butler had already showed the world that an openly gay actor could convincingly play a raging heterosexual on a television sitcom.
Dan, who turns 57 today, played the swaggering Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe on the long-running series Frasier and came out publicly on Entertainment Tonight during his second season on the show.
Over the years, Dan has had scores of television, film and stage roles including an Off Broadway play about his life called The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me. which which derives its title from a comment Butler’s father made when Dan came out to him. The show earned Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations during its New York run.
Dan also played himself in the indie flick Karl Rove, I Love You which he produced, co-wrote and co-directed.
On Thursday, Dan starred in a staged reading for World AIDS Day of Larry Kramer’s Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart in Vermont.
He told a local newspaper this week: “I saw “The Normal Heart” when it first premiered in 1985 and, yes, there was an immediacy to it then; however, many of the tough issues and themes its characters grapple with are as pertinent today — identity, acceptance, family, the right to health care, tolerance, coming out, forging a sense of pride about being gay.”
Neil Patrick Harris has been a complete joy this week co-hosting Live With Kelly with his pal Kelly Ripa.
It’s a pity NPH is still tied to the long-running sitcom How I Met Your Mother because I’d much rather see Neil every morning with Kelly than as Barney on HIMYM.
When a guy’s as talented as Neil, there are just tons of opportunities. In addition to his sitcom role, he had roles in the new Harold & Kumar flick,The Smurfs, The Muppets andBeastly and hosted this year’s Tony Awards.
This is something he talks about in a new interview with Details.
“Well, I’m having to say no to things, like a fun voiceover, that I would probably say yes to otherwise, because it involves an afternoon of driving to Santa Monica and recording. I need to stop carving out four-hour chunks to do random things and go home and watch my children grow up.”
The children are the twins he has with fiancee David Burtka. So will they be getting married anytime soon?
“It’s complicated,” he said. “David proposed to me five and a half years ago in New York on the same street corner where we met. The following year on Valentine’s Day in Santa Monica, one of my gifts was a ring and I proposed to him. Then, when the marriage-equality stuff was on the tipping point in New York, where we have residency because we have an apartment there, it seemed my responsibility to at least tweet about it—to say, “Please vote for marriage equality in New York, it would be nice to get married someday.” It passed, and then someone tweeted David asking if we were going to get married, to which David replied, “Yes, I proposed to Neil and he proposed to me.” Which I think sounded immediate and wasn’t. It’s exactly what we didn’t want to do, because we contemplated getting married in California, before the Prop 8 debacle, and I opted not to immediately because I didn’t want it to be a media event. I didn’t want to go marching down the street with camera crews. Oy. To get married? Really? It seems like you have an agenda when you do it that way. I wouldn’t want to get married to be an example. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get married in California soon, but there are no plans afoot.”
DETAILS: Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you’d like to explore? Neil Patrick Harris: I’d like to direct more theater and direct a feature film. Or puppets. I want to do something with puppets.
DETAILS: Well, you are in the new Muppets movie. Neil Patrick Harris: Yes. I deeply thank Jason Segel for that opportunity. The only fan letter I ever sent as a kid was to Jim Henson. I thought I was the biggest Muppets fan until I met Jason Segel.
DETAILS: There needs to be a Neil Patrick Harris variety show with Muppets and magic. Neil Patrick Harris: I just got a boner.
Today’s Morning Man is an English actor who is best known for his roles in the television series This Life, Coupling, FlashForward, Swingtown and as James Norrington in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Jack Davenport, 38, has now joined the cast of the new NBC musical drama series Smash which follows a group of people coming together to put on a musical on Broadway. Davenport plays the musical’s director.
Davenport studied at the British American Drama Academy but really has his mom to thank for his first big break in film. She suggested he write to John Cleese to request a crew member position on the film Fierce Creatures.
Cleese instead sent Davenport’s letter to the casting department and he was cast as a student zookeeper. He then got an agent and was cast in This Life.