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TV Guide celebrates 3,000 issues with Matt Bomer, Kathy Griffin and Joan Rivers among those on hand

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5mxw-sYc_F0/TBcDhDxRRLI/AAAAAAAArMg/E3jIDtQykKs/s1600/tv_guide_cover.jpgTrue story: I knew I was in love with a guy once when I looked in his closet and saw stacks of old issues of TV Guide magazine.

The love affair didn’t last but the friendship has and so has my love for TV Guide which celebrated its 3,000th issue with a party in New York City last night.

I’ve had a subscription for as long as I can remember but when I was in junior high, I had to convince my parents to buy me a copy at the supermarket. My dad would say, “There’s a TV Guide in the newspaper!” I’d have to say, “But dad, there’s articles in there!”

Like most newspapers and magazines, TV Guide has had its struggles but I still love it. I love when the latest copy arrives in the mail and reading all of William Keck’s exclusives and I love how it has grown to full size in recent years.

I hope it has another 3,000 issues in its future and that several of them feature the dreamy Matt Bomer of USA’s White Collar who shares the next cover with Mark Feuerstein from Royal Pains and Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice.

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FILE UNDER: About Town

Wondering what Neil Patrick Harris wants for his 37th birthday? He’s made a list that includes Disneyland!

http://media.herald-dispatch.com/blog/tuned/uploaded_images/HIMYM--Neil-Patrick-Harris--Eric-McCandless--FOX-738364.jpgNeil Patrick Harris took to Twitter to make his birthday wishes known.

It all sounds quite reasonable. See for yourself!

Things I Want for my Birthday (6/15), Chapter 1: an iPhone 4, magical automatons, original Banksy art, and 1 million followers.

Things I Want for my Birthday, Chapter 2: Haunted Mansion memorabilia, an actual Muppet, the superpower to eliminate oil from water, a pony.

Things I Want for my Birthday, Chapter 3: a working, authentic fortune teller booth, and Danielle Staub’s sex tape – but only on Blu-Ray.

Things I Want for my Birthday, Chapter 4: a saltwater aquarium, rad clothes from All Saints, wood burning brick pizza oven, and Disneyland.

What I Want for my Birthday, Chapter 4: Panasonic 152″ 3D plasma TV, Red Dead Redemption for Xbox, the ability to donate blood, and NPH.com.

Things I Want for my Birthday, Chapter 5(ish): Giant labyrinth hedge maze, many lengthy massages, an Immunity Idol from Survivor, and socks.

Changed my mind. Instead of socks, I want a three bedroom loft in SoHo.

Things I Want for my Birthday, Chapter 7: a goose that lays gold eggs for Easter, map to One-Eyed Willie’s treasure, lifetime supply of Tums

Things I Want for my Birthday, Chapter 8: A rolla bolla, VIP seats to the US Open, this skill: http://tiny.cc/77gtw and a spider monkey.



FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Happy Birthday to Neil Patrick Harris!

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Neil Patrick Harris turns 37 years old today and like fine wine, he just seems to just get finer with each passing year.

The thrice-Emmy nominated star of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother has been busier than ever with his series, a guest spot on Glee, directing a production of Rent at Hollywood Bowl this summer, and an increasing amount of movie work.

Neil has already filmed the features The Best and the Brightest and Beastly and is in New York City now shooting The Smurfs. He stars as a father-to-be who comes across the li’l blue creatures in Central Park.

E! Online’s Marc Malkin asked NPH if he planned on returning to Glee next season:”I doubt it,” he said. “I loved doing it but I’m very contractually obligated to a different network. … As much as I’m sure they like the recognition of my name involved with Glee, I think they’d prefer my name be involved with How I Met Your Mother. I can hardly blame them.”

Related posts: Neil Patrick Harris throws surprise B-day party in NYC for David Burtka *** Neil Patrick Harris and Kelly Ripa talk about how they pulled off David Burtka’s surprise party *** Video: Matthew Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris duet on “Dream On”
FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Freddie Ljungberg says he’s “proud” of gay rumors

http://www.free-football.tv/content_images/West%20Ham/ljungberg.jpgRetired soccer star Freddie Ljungberg did a lifestyle piece with New York Times magazine in which he says it’s a really big deal for him to not be participating in World Cup right now.

But one thing that is not a big deal to this Swedish born athlete, who spent some time as a Calvin Klein underwear model, is if someone says he is gay.

“There’s been a gay rumor for a long time,” he says. “I don’t mind at all. I am proud of that. I love fashion, and I think so many gay people have amazing style. So that is a compliment to me. I really don’t know why people are so interested. I just made a decision that I won’t talk about it.”

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FILE UNDER: Sports

Season six of Kathy Griffin’s “My Life on the D-List” premieres tonight with Liza Minnelli as a guest!

http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/blog/kathy-griffin-my-life-on-the-d-list.jpgThe legendary Liza Minnelli will appear on the sixth season premiere of Kathy Griffin: My Life On the D List tonight because Kathy’s show just isn’t gay enough already.

Ha!

Apparently this is how Liza is worked into the episode. Kathy, as we know, was cast in a guest spot on Law & Order: SVU. Since she hadn’t acted in awhile, she calls the Oscar-winning Liza for advice.

Kathy’s nervous but before she has a nervous breakdown, Kathy rushes to see Liza, and the experience is both A-List and encouraging. Minnelli, who has guest-starred on Law & Order herself, runs lines with her and gives her some great advice on how to tackle the gig as only a living legend can do.

Here is the season six teaser for the two-time Emmy winning series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List airing tonight at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

FILE UNDER: Television

Tuesday Morning Man: Mark Sanchez!

NEW YORK - JUNE  13: Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets speaks onstage during the 64th  Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010 in New York  City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Good grief, how gay am I that it took New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez appearance on Sunday’s Tony Awards for him to make his way onto my radar?

He was looking awfully dapper as he took the stage at Radio City Music Hall to introduce a musical number from Memphis.

The 23-year-old football hunk explained his unlikely appearance on the show this way: “I’ve become a huge fan of musicals since I’ve come to New York and I’ve taken some heat from guys on the team, believe me.”

Apparently Mark’s casual interest in theater reached full bloom about a year ago,when he moved from Southern California to the East Coast to join the Jets and began exploring New York. He saw Wicked and was hooked and has since seen Billy Elliot, In the Heights and Memphis several times.

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Neil Patrick Harris says “Bravo, Sean Hayes!”

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In case you were wondering – and you know you were – what last year’s Tony Awards host thought of this year’s host Sean Hayes’s effort, you don’t have to wonder any longer.

A few hours ago, Neil Patrick Harris posted this on Twitter:

Bravo, Sean Hayes! You helmed the Tonys with charm, grace, and humor. Very well played, sir.

FILE UNDER: Awards

Here it is: Adam Lambert’s new “If I Had You” video

Remind me who won American Idol last year?

Okay two years ago?

How about this year?

Whoever those singers are there is no way they are generating the excitement that Adam Lambert has been creating since the release of his first big studio album.

Adam, currently on his Glam Nation tour, tweeted to fans that the video would be premiering on vh1.com and adamofficial.com.

It’s so sweet how he keeps up informed!

FILE UNDER: Videos

LA Gay Pride Parade: Grand Marshals Kelly and Sharon Osbourne shout down anti-gay protesters

Kelly OsbourneJust got goose bumps reading about this and I’m thrilled to share it.

Kelly Osbourne, grand marshal of the 2010 LA Gay Pride Parade with her mother Sharon Osbourne, did not sit quietly when she passed by a group of homophobic “Christian” protesters along the parade route.

Sharon berated the protesters, taking to the loud speaker  and shouting: ‘You should be ashamed of yourselves!’ according to a report in the Daily Mail.

Kelly said into her microphone: “My God loves gays!”  She then led the crowd in a chant of “God loves gays!”

How cool are these women?
They have got to be the best choices for grand marshals in parade history and really seemed to enjoy the heck out of the experience which also included several pre-parade events last week.
Thank you to Sharon and Kelly for being there and for showing your love and loyalty.
FILE UNDER: Pride, Pride Events

Video: See a gay romantic scene on the third season premiere of HBO’s “True Blood”

Don’t watch the show, have NO idea what is going on, but I feel it is my duty to share this clip with you from last night’s season premiere of HBO’s True Blood. Note to self: Add HBO to my cable offerings!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Greg In Hollywood Interview: Georgia teen Derrick Martin talks on taking boyfriend to prom, getting kicked out of house

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Derrick Martin got me thinking about my prom way back in the 80s. I asked the cutest girl I knew to go with me and she said “yes.” She wore a sexy red dress and I had a white tuxedo with little red details on the ruffles of the shirt (yes, ruffles!).

She was my girlfriend for awhile then after the prom, she broke up with me. I was pissed but deep down, I didn’t care. I was gay! But there was no way I could’ve taken who I really wanted to take without causing a riot.

Wouldn’t have even considered it.

Today, most kids still don’t – especially kids who live in states like Georgia. But Derrick  Martin wanted to take his boyfriend, Richard Goodman, to his prom last month and did so despite a wave of controversy. His determination and the surrounding publicity got him kicked out of his house by his parents.

When I spoke with Derrick on Saturday at the Life Out Loud event in Hollywood where he was honored for his courage, I found him to be so humble and decent and mature far beyond his years.

Here is our interview:

Q. How was was the prom?

A. “It was a lot of fun.”

Q. And was it worth it all?

A. “Definitely.”

Q. People have come to feel protective of you and we want to know where you are living?

A. “Right now, I’m in between places. I’m half living with [boyfriend Richard Goodman] and half living with a really, really close friend of mine. I’m just playing it by ear. I haven’t spoken to my parents in awhile.”

Q. What are your plans now?

A. “In the fall I’ll be going to Georgia Southern University to study pre-law under a full scholarship so that kind of saved me. It includes one year of housing.”

Q. What is the status of the relationship with your parents?

A. “I think the best thing is time. Give them time to repair themselves and think about who they are and what’s going on in their lives. Just to overcome any obstacles that they’ve had because of all this media. Then once it all calms down maybe we’ll have a chance to sit down. It was mainly the media [attention] that really upset them.”

Q. Will he continue with your LGBT advocacy?

A. “Definitely. I’ll march on any street in any town, whatever I have to do.”

Q. How do you feel about all the attention you’ve been getting?

A. “I just think the LGBT community is such a great family. Everyone just looks out for everybody. People I don’t even know are asking, ‘Are you okay? Do you need anything? Do you need a house? Do you need money?”

Q. Will you and Richard still be able to see each other?

A.Yes, he’s going to the same college (laughs).

Dm1

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Tony Awards red carpet men: Ricky Martin, Ryan Reynolds, Matthew Morrison and Jonathan Groff!


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Openly gay Levi Kreis wins Tony Award for best performance by a featured actor in a musical!


A big congratulations to Levi Kreis for winning the Tony Award last night for his performance as Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet!

With Sean Hayes losing out in the lead actor category to Douglas Hodge, Levi turned out to be the only openly gay winner in the major performing categories. (He and Sean shared the piano keyboard in the telecast’s opening number).

Levi ’s competition was  Kevin Chamberlin (The Addams Family), Robin De Jesus (La Cage aux Folles), Christopher Fitzgerald (Finian’s Rainbow), and Bobby Steggert (Ragtime).

Backstage in the press roon, Kreis said he was “still speechless” after hearing his name called as the winner. He also said that his co-stars were a major factor in his staying with the show over the past six years, from workshops to out-of-town performances.

“It’s all about the camaraderie of the guys,” he said. “I would not have taken it as far as this point without the camaraderie of these guys.”

His advice for aspiring performers was this: “Don’t take no for an answer, and don’t set limits.”

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FILE UNDER: Awards

Tony Awards recap: Hollywood takes Broadway

And the winners were: Denzel Washington? Scarlett Johansson? Catherine Zeta-Jones?

Hollywood A-listers won some big prizes last night at the Tony Awards and I would’ve felt better about it if Denzel, best actor in a play winner for Fences, had known the name of the body giving him the prize or at least faked it better. Anyway, now he’s got a Tony to place between his two Oscars.

Catherine Zeta-Jones also has a Tony Award to go next to her Oscar after winning lead actress in a musical for A Little Night Music. Seated in the front row with her movie star husband Michael Douglas, she reminded the audience that she gets to sleep with him every night. Michael is still an attractive man in his 60s but 20 years ago, we might’ve been more envious. I’m not sure why Zeta-Jones always comes off as so phony in these moments. Also, she performed Send in the Clowns during the telecast and all I can say is I am sure her replacement, Bernadette Peters, will do it far better justice.

As for Miss Johansson, I want to hate her because she happens to be married to my dream man Ryan Reynolds. But when she won for featured actress in a play for A View From the Bridge, her speech was just too gracious and she looked so cute, that I didn’t find myself muttering “bitch” under my breath once. She went on a tad too long and mentioned that she squeezed in her run of the play between Iron Man 2 shoots so there’s a few points off for that but overall, Scarlett handled herself beautifully and showed proper respect for the theater community.

Scarlett’s award was presented by Daniel Radcliff and Katie Holmes. Daniel is a bonafide star of stage and screen while Katie is Mrs. Tom Cruise. What was she doing there and why didn’t she bother to rehearse so it did not seem like she was reading the words for the first time?

One winner is a movie star AND a Broadway star: I was so happy to see Viola Davis win lead actress in a play for Fences and in accepting the award, she really set the standard for acceptance speeches. Although many of us were not familiar with Viola until her shattering Oscar-nominated performance in Doubt, this was in fact her second Tony Award and it could not have happened to a more deserving actress.

Also especially moving was the acceptance speech of Kate Finneran who denied Angela Lansbury a record sixth Tony, had a message: “I want to talk to the kids at home watching. I was a kid and I watched this show and it seemed so far away from me … With the world moving so fast, I want to remind you to focus on what you love, because it is the greatest passport, it is the greatest road map to an extraordinarily blissful life.”

I was thrilled that Eddie Redmayne, featured recently as a Greg In Hollywood Morning Man last month, took home the featured actor in a play award for Red. Eddie (pictured, left) originated the role on the London stage and won the Olivier Award for his stellar work.

Other moments I enjoyed: Douglas Hodge’s performance from La Cage Aux Folles, especially when he sang to Mathew Morrison in the audience. …  Morrison and Glee co-star Lea Michele belted out a few numbers which they nailed … Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane, both past Tony winners but overlooked this year for The Addams Family, were a wonderful pair of presenters and poked fun at their non-nominee status … It was very touching when Kelsey Grammer, presenting with Frasier co-star David Hyde Pierce, got choked up when telling the audience about David receiving the Isabelle Stevenson Award earlier in the evening for his work on behalf of Alzheimer’s research. It appears Kelsey is a Republican with a heart.

FILE UNDER: Awards

Sean Hayes a big hit as host of Tony Awards

kristen-chenoweth-sean-hayesSean Hayes was terrific as Tony Awards host last night!

Whether he was playing the piano, wearing a Little Orphan Annie outfit or Spider-Man suit, Sean was upbeat and fun and we saw just enough of him – especially when he came out dressed in ballet tights as Billy Elliot and obviously had stuffed a sock down there to appear HUGE.

But the most brilliant bit of all was his big makeout with Promises, Promises co-star Kristen Chenoweth. It was full of tongue. Those two were playing tonsil hockey on live TV!

Then Sean said: “I know what you’re thinking … She’s too short for me.”

This was their very funny rebuttal to the ridiculous Newsweek article in which the writer wrote that the openly gay Hayes was not believable as a love interest for Chenoweth.

I also love when Kristen came out later to present an award with Sean and dropped to the floor when he told her she had not been nominated this year. It was cute.

Sean aced his opening monologue with jokes like this: “At the World Cup, when somebody scores, they yell ‘Gooooooal!’. At the Tonys, when somebody scores, they yell ‘Girrrl,’”

Here is video of Sean’ opening and of him and Kristen presenting (when she faints!):

64th Annual Tony Awards – Show
NEW YORK - JUNE  13: Actors Sean Hayes and Kristen Chenoweth performs onstage during the  64th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010 in New  York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE  13: Host Sean Hayes speaks onstage during the 64th Annual Tony Awards at  Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by  Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
FILE UNDER: Awards

Morning Man: Chad Kimball!

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Douglas Hodge may have won the Tony Award last night for lead actor in a musical but it was the adorable Chad Kimball who won my heart.

Chad was nominated for Memphis which won the coveted best musical prize and it was a real treat to see him perform in a few numbers from the show.

Memphis has been a great triumph for the 33-year-old Chad who originated his lead role of Huey Calhoun at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2008 before bringing it to Broadway a year later. He had previously been on Broadway in Into the Woods, Good Vibrations, The Civil War and Lennon and appeared in regional productions of Sweeney Todd, Little Fish and Baby.

Chad performed his one man cabaret as part of Broadway.com’s “Broadway Spotlight Series” at Ars Nova  for which he received a Backstage Bistro Award for Best Cabaret Debut. He remounted his award winning cabaret at the eminent cabaret club, “Joe’s Pub” at the Public Theatre.

Chad is from Seattle and a graduate of Boston Conservatory.

Chad Kimball and  Montego Glover perform onstage during the 64th Annual Tony Awards at  Radio City Music Hall on June 13, 2010 in New York City.
FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Box Office Recap: “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” opens strong in limited release while “Karate Kid” rules

http://www.breakthrufilms.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/JoanREV_FINAL.jpgStarting this week, Greg In Hollywood will be providing weekend box office recaps courtesy of Hollywood.com’s box office expert Paul Dergarabedian.

Paul reports that the Joan Rivers documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, from IFC earned an impressive $171,500 in just seven theatres and a per-theatre average of $24,500.  Great reviews and Rivers’ high-profile made this a solid performer this weekend.

Now on to the top movies overall. Paul writes:

Who would have thought that the oft-maligned 80’s would come in and the save the box-office day with a pair of Phil Collins-era retro hits?  Well, if the much higher than expected gross on The Karate Kid is any indication, lovers of the 80’s are a much bigger group than anyone could have imagined.  With a whopping $56 million debut, Jaden Smith proves that the box-office apple does not fall far from the money tree.

ATEAMFollowing perfectly in the time warp theme of the weekend, Fox’s The A-Team provided a solid second place finish with $26 million.  Good reviews and solid word-of-mouth should keep this one in the summer mix for the next few weeks.   With an ensemble cast that includes Liam Neeson and the ever-popular Bradley Cooper, look for “A-Team” to remain a staple of the box-office top five.

Shrek is living forever after in the top tier of the box-office chart that is at number three with another $15.8 million.  The Paramount/DWA release has earned $210 million to date and still performed well in its fourth weekend of release despite the pull of The Karate Kid for families.

At number four is Universal’s Get Him to the Greek with a second weekend gross of $10.1 million.  Debuting last week at number two, the film got a high profile boost from the MTV Movie Awards with a memorable appearance by the stars of the film.  With a domestic total of $36.5 million, the film is performing in line with comedies from this creative bloodline and should continue to do well in the coming weeks.

Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate’s Killers starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl with a weekend total of $8.2 million and a total to date of $30.7 million.  After a debut at number three last week, the film remains in the top five and offers a nice date night at the movies for couples looking for something they can both enjoy.

FILE UNDER: Box Office

Teens Constance McMillen and Derrek Martin honored by LifeWorks Mentoring at Life Out Loud benefit

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LIFEWORKS MENTORING: I’m sick as a dog today with a cold and had to miss this morning’s pride parade in West Hollywood for the first time in ages. But I did manage to attend last night’s  annual Life Out Loud cocktail party at Sunset Gower Studios, benefiting LifeWorks, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s youth development program.

The party is always a wonderful way to kick off pride weekend and this year honored Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teen whose school canceled prom rather than let her attend with her girlfriend, and Derrick Martin, the Georgia teen whose parents kicked him out of the house when his plans to take a male date to prom generated media attention.

Both received the Courage Award at the event which was attended by such celebs as Hairspray director Adam Shankman, Olympian Greg Louganis, actress Charlene Tilton of Dallas fame and actors Doug Spearman (Noah’s Arc), actor and comedian Jason Stuart, Jason Gould whose mother is Barbra Streisand, and actor Gordon Thompson of Dynasty fame.

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P1030087 by you.LifeWorks Executive Director Michael Ferrera, said the event raised about $130,000.

“There are many areas of our world where people are still trying to keep the doors shut,” he reminded the crowd. Michael said Constance and Derrick were being honored as “examples of what happens when you stand up for your rights, when you show the true courage of standing up for your identity and showing the world that we deserve to be who we are. These two young people stood up and said, ‘We want to go to our prom, we deserve to take the people we love to our prom.”

Constance, whose advocacy has gained her lots of national attention and appearances on both Ellen DeGeneres and Wanda Sykes’s talks show, told the crowd: It was really hard what I went through. I realize now that what happened to me happens to people every single day … I hope that by standing up for myself and doing what I did, maybe it’ll inspire other people to stand up for themselves and then maybe one day, hopefully soon, we’ll have equal rights all around.”

Added Derrick:  “We’re nothing different than anyone else. We’re just attracted to someone different. We need equal rights, it’s not something special, it’s something we deserve as people.”

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Lorri L. Jean, executive director of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, told the crowd that since LifeWorks became a part of the center last year,
they have expanded their programs dramatically “because we know there is so much need out there among the youth of our community.”

Pictured below are 1) Greg Louganis 2) Greg Hernandez and Gordon Thompson 3) Michael Ferrera and Charlene Tilton.

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FILE UNDER: Benefits

Paul Lynde remembered on his birthday

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http://cdn2.ioffer.com/img/item/358/726/91/Poo-Lynde-1.jpgFor gay kids growing up in the 70s, there were very few gay role models on television.

Thank God for Paul Lynde who was born 84 years ago today.

Paul, of course, was not openly gay, but anyone with a bit of gaydar knew. He was so funny and wonderfully bitchy on Hollywood Squares for all those years and just a hoot as Uncle Arthur on Bewitched. But before those gigs, he made a splash on Broadway as the father in the original production of Bye Bye Birdie and reprised the role in the movie version.

On Hollywood Squares, he made all kinds of thinly-veiled references to his sexuality in his answers to questions such as:  “You’re the world’s most popular fruit. What are you?”, Lynde replied, “Humble.” In response to the question “How many men on a hockey team?” Lynde quipped, “About half.”

I did not realize until reading Cloris Leachman’s memoir recently that she and Paul had been close friends dating back to their college days. Here is an excerpt from her book:

From the start at Northwestern, there was a pulse. I met Charlotte Rae and Paul Lynde, both of whom later had glorious careers, and very soon they and I virtually ran the drama department. … The three of us were just so animated together, so full of imaginative ideas, that the rest of the drama students wanted to hang out with us, be part of what we were cooking up..
Paul Lynde as naturally funny. He was as funny at Northwestern as he was later in his career. He didn’t have to learn about comedy, it was native to him.  … I knew Paul was gay, but he did nothing to call attention to that fact. He didn’t have a companion, I never saw him in an intimate situation with another man. I don’t know if I should use the word gay, because we were at Northwestern  long before the word gay supplanted the word homosexual. Paul was gay in every sense of what the word meant then, in those days. He was humorous, he was generous, he was imaginative. He brought lightness and laughter to any gathering; he brought happiness to his friends. We never talked about his homosexuality. I don’t know if it was discussed by others on campus, but it had no importance to us.”

Paul died in 1982 at the age of 55 of a heart attack.

Cloris writes: “I grieved for him. I was stunned and heartbroken. We shared so many lively, life-giving hours together, some of the most important times of our lives. It seemed so incomprehensively wrong that his life should end so soon.”

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Roger Federer’s loss to Lleyton Hewitt in Germany is only his second on a grass court since 2003

Roger Federer congratulates Lleyton Hewitt following the  Australian's 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 victoryWe Roger Federer fans have had a pretty darn good run with our champ who has won 16 grand slam titles since 2003.

We’ve gotten pretty spoiled by our Roger who might have had his struggles on clay over the years, but thrived on hard courts and especially on grass. On grass, he had won every match he had played since 2003 except for the 2008 Wimbledon final which he lost to Rafael Nadal in five epic sets.

So Roger was 76-1 on the surface since 2003 heading into Sunday’s title match at a grass tournament in Halle, Germany against Lleyton Hewitt. The Aussie player, a Wimbledon winner in 2002 and a former world number one, edged Federer 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 to snap the top-seed’s 29- match win streak at the Wimbledon tuneup.

Wimbledon begins a week from Monday. Federer is the defending champion and has won six singles titles in the last seven years. After winning the Australian Open year in January, his year can only be described as disastrous. He has failed to win another tournament and lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open a few weeks ago, the first time he had lost before the semifinals of a grand slam event since the French Open in 2004.

We Federer fans will keep the faith and root our Roger on but we do so with a little less confidence than in year’s past.

“I was unfortunate not to come through today, but the loss here does not worry me in any way,” Federer told the press after the match. “I thought it was a good tournament for me. I have got to ensure I draw the right conclusions for Wimbledon.”

FILE UNDER: Tennis