This 30-year-old actor sure is easy on the eyes and I’m kind of surprised that I’d never heard of him before.
Then I was lured into watching a movie on the Lifetime Movie Channel called My Nanny’s Secret during a recent visit with my mom and Eric Johnson caught my eye.
Eric starred in the Sci-Fi Channel series Flash Gordon in the title role and was previously best known for his role of Whitney Fordman during three seasons on Smallville. He will be one of the stars of the ABC series Rookie Blue which premieres this summer.
His resume is quite impressive with movies and TV guest spots in various prime-time series dating back to the early 90s.
More recently, he headlined Everest with Jason Priestley and William Shatner, a 2007 miniseries based on the true story of the first Canadians to ever make it to the top of the world’s tallest and most historic peak.
Eric also appeared on Ghost Whisperer, Criminal Minds, The Dead Zone, and The Unit.
Brett Claywell’s last appearance as Kyle Lewis on One Life to Live is on April 12. We all know it’s a completely bonehead move by the show’s producers and the network which has alienated a huge segment of new fans by writing off Kyle and his boyfriend Oliver Fish played by Scott Evans.
But if we have to look at the bright side, which we should, the story gave us the opportunity to not only fall in love with the characters, but also with the wonderful actors who inhabit them. Both have built a tremendous fan base that will no doubt follow whatever they do in the future.
Brett, who is straight in real life, has been so articulate about how playing this gay man has changed his life and it makes a lot of us so grateful that the role of Kyle was in such good hands.
Here is an excerpt of an interview Brett has done with Entertainment Weekly:
Why do you think Kish resonated with fans?
We were the first [gay] love scene in daytime. It had a lot to do with the writing, but it also has a lot to do with the way Scott and I played the roles. We made a choice in the beginning that we were going to underplay a lot of this storyline. We just wanted it to be really honest and really authentic and just simple. Just tell a love story. That was the most important thing to communicate — love between two men, honestly, on television. I think that people really responded to that because there weren’t a lot of bells and whistles.
Why the decision to go with a sex scene?
I don’t think they were intentionally building towards something. I think that scene came because of fan reaction. It was more from demand than anything. Because there is a community out there, a large percentage of people who are misrepresented in media, in television, in all forms of art.
Did you think the sex scene was explicit?
No. I keep saying that if you take Milk and you take Brokeback Mountain and you take the work we did, I feel like we stand toe-to-toe with the work that was done. But we told the story differently. The love scene between Oliver and Kyle…it was a moment where one man was finally coming to terms with sexuality after years of denying it and after his family disowns him. He was finally coming to terms and accepting the fact that he is comfortable with this man loving him. For Kyle, my character, it was a moment to be nurturing and loving towards somebody who’s going through a really hard moment to become comfortable with himself.
America’s top tennis player beat Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-4 to win the prestigious Sony Ericsson Open on Sunday, his biggest title in several years and second tournament win of 2010..
It was Roddick’s fifth title in a Masters 1000 tournament—one level below the Grand Slams—and his first since 2006. The runner-up two weeks ago at Indian Wells, another Masters 1000 event, Roddick has a record of 26-4 this year, best on the men’s tour.
“The last month has been real good for me,” said Andy, the 2003 U.S. Open champ. “I’ve played well on the big moments. I’ve been able to have a game plan and execute it, regardless of what kind of shots it takes. So it’s all good. It’s all encouraging.”
At 27, he’s showing he can win with more than just a big serve. He surprised Rafael Nadal in the semifinals by frequently charging to the net.
“A lot of people say the serve is fine and the rest of it’s pretty average,” Roddick said. “That’s all right. But there are a lot of guys with big serves who are pretty average, so there’s got to be some difference.”
It was one of those nights so special that anyone who was there will never forget it.
Thank God I was one of those folks in the audience last night for Coco Peru’s In Conversation with Lily Tomlin held, appropriately, at the Lily Tomlin Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center.
“My head is about to explode,” an excited Coco said before bringing Lily onstage for close to three hours of stories and clips from the great star’s 45-year career on television, in movies and on stage.
Jane Wagner, Lily’s personal and professional partner of nearly 40 years, was in the front row of the packed theater and as the evening progressed, you realize just how crucial she has been to this brilliant career that has resulted in eight Emmys, two Tonys, a Grammy and an Oscar nomination among many other accolades.
“I fell madly in love with her as I laid eyes on her,” Lily said of Jane. “So that was that.”
Tomlin’s genius shines through as she tells stories about her various movies and TV specials. The stories about her family are just as interesting including ones about her brother who once sawed the family’s sofa into three pieces so they could have a sectional. But he was never punished because he and Lily “dominated the home.”
She has an amazing memory, interesting insights and entertaining anecdotes about so many topics including remembering exactly how much she was paid ($750 a week) when she started on Laugh-In in December of 1969 (the show’s third season).
By the time she left the show, she was earning $2,250 a week and her characters of Ernestine and Edith Ann had become iconic.
Ernestine came about because Lily hated the telephone company and wanted to make fun of them: “Ernestine just loved herself.”
The character also had a repressed sexuality: “She was going to be a tough Bronx operator but she started squirming and snorting and it was so organically sexual.”
Lily was offered $500,000 to perform as Ernestine for AT&T ads but the offer – which she turned down – did not bring her joy: “I just started weeping. I felt completely a failure because the phone company thought they could buy Ernestine.”
Then she added, jokingly, that in hindsight: “I sure wish I had taken the money.”
In addition to Laugh-In, Tomlin’s various acclaimed series of TV specials – mostly from the 70s – were discussed with clips shown capturing her brilliance.
Then the conversation moved to her movie career which was kicked off in 1975 with an Oscar-nominated performance in Nashville. “It never occurred to me that I couldn’t be in movies,” she said of a time when TV stars were rarely able to cross over to films and movie stars never did television. She went on to star in The Incredible Shrinking Woman (which she and Wagner also produced), All of Me opposite Steve Martin, Flirting With Disaster, Big Business with Bette Midler, Short Cuts and, of course, her biggest box office hit 9 to 5 with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton.
“There’s nothing that bonds you like a number one movie,” she said of she, Fonda and Parton who all remain friends. During the filming of 9 to 5, she never once say co-star Dolly Parton without her wig and to this day wonders what Dolly’s real hair looks like.
She also bonded with Meryl Streep when they played sisters in Robert Altman’s final film A Prairie Home Companion: “She’s very fun and likes to play,” she said of Streep. “There’s just no touching her. She’s out of sight.”
Lily’s stellar stage career was also given ample attention and I especially enjoyed the backstage anecdotes like when after a performance of her Broadway show Appearing Nightly, legendary actress Claudette Colbert came backstage to say hello: “She told me her real name was Lily.”
During the run of the Broadway smash Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe, she learned that Katherine Hepburn, Meryl Streep and Barbra Streisand had all been in the audience. When Hepburn came backstage, Lily was so flustered that she kissed Hepburn all over her face: “I don’t think that’s something you normally do to Katherine Hepburn but she tolerated it.”
There could not have been a better host for this evening with Miss Tomlin than Coco Peru who allowed Lily the freedom to share her stories but also get things flowing and covered a lot of ground. Coco was also amazingly prepared and knew the details of the movies, TV specials and stage performances which made for a richer experience for all in attendance.
What a glorious night. Proceeds from the “Conversation” benefit the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center.
It’s Easter Sunday so this week’s showtune is a bit of a no-brainer: Easter Parade!
This 1948 classic musical starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire featured the music of Irving Berlin and is one of the best-remembered films for both of its legendary stars.
On the day before Easter in 1911, Don Hewes (Astaire) is crushed when his dancing partner (and object of affection) Nadine Hale (Ann Miller) refuses to start a new contract with him. To prove Nadine’s not important to him, Don acquires innocent new protegee Hannah Brown (Garland), vowing to make her a star in time for next year’s Easter parade.
BONUS VIDEO: This is the deleted number Mr. Monotony that was deemed too risque for a movie set in 1912.
Best known for his seven-year run as officer Jim Reed on Adam 12, Kent McCord starred in 175 episodes of the police drama opposite Martin Milner.
He was also one of the leads in the ABC sci-fi series Galactica 1980, had a recurring role on seaQuest DSV in the mid-’90s. His semi-regular role of Jack Crichton on Farscape, a sci-fi TV cult hit that ran from 1999-2003, gained him lots of younger fans. There’s also been plenty of voiceover work, scores of television guest spots and some movies (Airplane II-The Sequel, Predator II, and Megiddo-The Omega Code 2).
“Make-believe is a wonderful way to make a living,” Kent told me a few years ago. “When you get into my age range — and for women it happens quite younger — you are being excluded from this American scene if you watch the programming that is going on. But there are people who revel in the fact that mature people can have interesting lives.”
It’s no surprise that the LA native’s first acting gig was on “The Adventure of Ozzie and Harriet” since he was a buddy of Ricky Nelson, whom he met at USC. McCord appeared in about 50 episodes from 1962-66, and remembers one scene particularly well.
“I started on that show working background, standing in for Ricky. One day, they were doing a fraternity show where there was a party going on — early-day ‘Risky Business’-type thing — while Ozzie and Harriet were away from the house. They came home early and I was standing at the door with at my date. Ozzie asked, ‘Where’s Rick?’ and I said, ‘Who’s Rick?’ Those were the first two words I ever said in pictures.”
In recent years, however, Kent’s most notable role has been as a leader in the Screen Actors Guild. He was elected to its National Board of Directors in 1972, as treasurer in 2001 and was most recently first national vice president.
He has juggled acting and union work with a home life with his wife of 47 years, Cynthia — his sweetheart at Baldwin High School — and their children, Kristen, Megan and Michael.
BROADWAY IN LA: There are nights when you go to a big Hollywood event with high expectations and are let down because the biggest stars skip the red carpet or the film or play are not very good.
I went to The Magic Castle on Thursday night for the Cast Party event with no expectations and ended up having one of the best times ever! In the intimate setting where the castle has been holding its increasingly popular cabaret events, dozens of performers dropped by to perform a song in the West Coast premiere of this impromptu variety show.
It’s a bring your own sheet music kind of affair filled with surprises that has been taken place at legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night for the past seven years.
STAR-STUDDED NIGHT: Performers on Thursday included Cybill Shepherd, Melissa Manchester, Joely Fisher, JoAnne Worley, Coco Peru, and many other established stage stars including Julie Garnye, Erich Bergen, Sharon McKnight, Shelly Goldstein, and Aleks Pevek among others. POWERFUL DUO: The amazing Billy Stritch was at the piano for most of the numbers and keeping the evening flowing and filled with laughter was emcee Jim Caruso who recently appeared alongside Liza Minnelli in the smash hit Liza’s At The Palace!
My favorite moment was when Billy and Jim teamed up for Sonny and Cher’s All I Need is You with Jim doing a perfect Cher imitation and Billy a very solid Sonny.
The night got off to an interesting start when I made my way to the little table I was assigned to sit at. There were three people already sitting there and it was a bit of a tight fit. I recognized the woman across from me as singer Roslyn Kind who I did a newspaper profile on a few years ago then realized that next to me was her nephew, Jason Gould. They are better known as Barbra Streisand’s sister and her son!
Roslyn is a fantastic singer and will be performing in Palm Springs this month while Jason starred with his mom in The Prince of Tides and also directed and starred in an acclaimed short film.
The photographer for the event, Brian Putnam, came by to take a photo of the table and Jason wanted no part of it! Saying he was allergic to cameras, he excused himself and Brian snapped a photo of Roslyn and I. When Jason returned, I assured him that while I as covering the event for my site, anything said at our table was off-the-record so he should relax and have fun.
I will tell you that Jason’s biggest concern seemed to be the tie he was forced to wear which is part of the dress code at the castle. If you walk in without a coat and tie, they will provide one for you. Jason thought his tie was a bit funky looking and didn’t like it but actually, he looked really nice in it.
It’s a pity Roslyn didn’t sing because she has one heckuva voice and is just looking gorgeous these days.
The room was dark and crowded so it was just one surprise after another when a star would emerge to take the stage. I did not realize that Melissa Manchester was sitting about five feet from me until her name was announced. But Cybill Shepherd (pictured with me) is hard to miss. She is very blond and very gorgeous and seemed very relaxed and happy. I’m told another event is scheduled for May but meanwhile, there are several cabaret shows planned at the castle and all credit goes to Matt Patton who came up with the idea. LA has been in desperate need of a venue for cabaret.
My big wow moment was the performance of the sensational Aleks Pevek (pictured with me above) who was such a knockout. His performance of a George Michael song brought the house down and I was very happy to meet him after the show.
My friend Harlan Boll, who handled the PR for the event, told me that Eve Plumb had also attended the show but TV’s Jan Brady had left by the time I got the chance to say hello. I think she should’ve performed! And no, not Sunshine Day. I know she’s moved on!
Here is Eve pictured outside the castle before the show with Kate Linder, Melissa Manchester and Teresa Ganzel.
His Niles Crane on Frasier is one of the most delicious comedic characters in the history of television and David Hyde Pierce has four Emmy Awards to show for it.
During the run of the series, we never really knew too much about Pierce who turns 51 today. But when he won the Tony Award for Curtains in 2007, he thanked his long-time partner, television writer, director and producer Brian Hargrove “because it’s 24 years of listening to your damn notes — that’s why I’m up here tonight.”
The couple was married in October 2008 just before the passage of California’s Proposition 8.
We didn’t deny anything, we just said, ‘We’re going to live our lives,’” he told Joy Behar in December. “But what happened was the whole ‘live and let live started to feel like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and I didn’t want that. So that’s when I started to be more public.”
Before Ricky Martin came out publicly this week, Barbara Walters expressed her regret at asking him if he was gay during an interview about a decade earlier.
Now it’s Billy Bush’s turn.
The Access Hollywood host reveals that seven years ago, he asked Ricky the gay question and the singer cut the interview short, tearing off his mic and leaving the set.
The interview was not live and the footage never aired. Billy went to Ricky’s dressing room and the two had a private chat and Ricky explained that he had just returned from two years off during which time he had tried to come to terms with his sexuality.
He wasn’t ready to come out then. Thankfully, he is now.
America’s top male tennis player Andy Roddick is on a roll both on and off the court. Earlier today, he upset third-ranked Rafael Nadal to reach the final of the Sony Ericcson tournament.
It’s the fourth final of 2010 for the 27-year-old star who won the U.S. Open in 2003 and has been runner-up at Wimbledon three times including last year.
Off-court, the heartthrob with the model looks has been tapped as the newest face for Lacoste’s Challenge fragrance.
“I’m thrilled that Lacoste invited me to be the face of its men’s fragrance, Challenge,” Andy said in a statement. “This fresh, and dynamic fragrance represents well the image of Lacoste as a chic, sporty and elegant brand.”
John Forsythe was the never-seen voice of Charlie Townsend who sent Farrah, Kate and Jaclyn (later Kris, Tiffany and whatever the last one’s name was) on Charlie’s Angels.
Then he moved on to his most famous onscreen role of oil tycoon Blake Carrington on the long-running ABC soap Dynasty. Blake was devoted to wife Krystal (Linda Evans) but ex-wife Alexis (Joan Collins) never stopped loving him – or scheming!
He and Alexis had four children: Gay son Steven (Al Corley then Jack Coleman) who turned straight or bi for awhile and married Sammy Jo (Heather Locklear). He also had his hands full with daughter Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin then Emma Sams) and his long-lost kidnapped son was Adam (Gordon Thompson). In later seasons, Amanda (Catherine Oxenberg), the daughter he never knew about, showed up out of nowhere.
Sadly, Blake was no PFLAG father – especially when he accidentally killed his gay son Steven’s lover Ted Dinard in season one. That really bugged me and makes me cringe to this day. Blake is convicted for Ted’s death but does not serve any jail time.
He remained homophobic a few seasons later when learns that Steven is living with his attorney, Chris Deegan, (Grant Goodeve). Suspecting that the men are more than friends,Blake decides to sue Steven for custody of Steven’s son Danny. Blake argues that a homosexual cannot be a good parent, while Steven argues that Blake, as a convicted murderer, is worse.
In season five, Steven’s affair with Luke (Billy Campbell) strains his relationship with Blake, especially when Steven invites Luke to be his escort to Amanda’s wedding to Prince Michael of Moldavia. Steven is heartbroken when Luke is killed in the terrorist attack at Amanda’s wedding.
It was not until the 1991 reunion miniseries that Blake finally stops acting like a total homophobe and formally accepts Steven and his partner Bart.
But Forsythe, of course, was not Blake Carrington. He had a very long film and television career including the Alfred Hitchcock film The Trouble With Harry as well as Madame x and In Cold Blood and the series Bachelor Father and To Rome With Love.
He died today at the age of 92 from cancer.
Here are some Dynasty clips – including the Dinard death.
Any movie Ryan Reynolds is going to be starring in, I want to know about!
Collider reports that the hunky and talented star of Van Wilder, Blade: Trinity, Just Friends and The Proposal will soon star in R.I.P.D. (Rest in Peace Department), based on Peter Lenkov’s supernatural graphic novel. Producer Neil Moritz hopes to make the movie early next year for Universal.
Moritz describes the film as a PG-13 buddy action/comedy about two dead cops — one recently deceased, the other a veteran gunslinger well past his expiration date – who work for the police department of the dead and try to keep the dead quiet. Reynolds will play the newly-dead officer who is desperate to reunite with his wife.
Ricky seems to be straining his eyes so Lucy takes him to the eye doctor. It turns out she’s the one with the vision problem and before she knows it, the doc puts drops in her eyes that make everything blurry.
Wouldn’t you know, this happens on the day Lucy is to dance the Jitterbug at the Tropicana.
Lucy is just brilliant when she is trying to get the drops out of her eyes by hitting herself in the back of the head. The doctor tells her: “You can’t SQUEEZE them out Mrs. Ricardo.” Then back at the apartment, she is talking to Ethel but keeps facing the wrong direction when talking to her pal: “Ethel I can’t, I just can’t!”
Then she does the Jitterbug at the Tropicana and it’s pure Lucy brilliance!
He said that Kim Cattrall is very different from her character, Samantha Jones, and that she would be on set in the middle of the night to film his (reportedly steamy) close-ups when she could have used a stand-in.
“She demanded to stay; she’s really intelligent and really there to work,” he said.
The 26 year old models for fashion houses such as Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors and walked runways for the designers in Milan and New York in last three seasons.
Glee, my favorite show these days, keeps collecting accolades just halfway through its first season.
The series already has won the Golden Globe Award for outstanding comedy series, the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding comedy ensemble and the People’s Choice Award for favorite new TV show.
This week, the Ryan Murphy-created gem has won a prestigious Peabody Award which are annual, international awards for excellence in radio and television broadcasting.
ABC’s Modern Family, which also has strong LGBT representation, was among the other winners. Representatives of the shows will receive their awards during an event hosted by Diane Sawyer on May 17 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
Let’s celebrate the Glee win with the images from upcoming episodes. The show returns April 13 with the first of nine new episodes.
This appearance took place earlier this week but I’m just getting around to posting it! Like she did with Glee star Chris Colfer back in December, Chelsea Handler remarks several times to Johnny Weir, “You’re gay.”
He never denies it but he never confirms it. So, it’s kind of annoying because I cannot fully embrace Weir as a gay icon until he does a public acknowledgment – even a casual one. Chris Colfer’s reaction was more definitive and it was not a big deal whatsoever.
As Johnny does all of these appearances, he’s going to have a harder time dancing around it. I think he’s so smart and fun and obviously one of the very best figure skaters in the world but my respect did drop a notch after watching this interview. He winked at Chelsea when discussing Olympic champion Evan Lysacek and seemed to hint that Evan’s ex-girlfriend was his “ex-girlfriend.” Was he hinting that Evan is gay when he won’t say the words about himself?
Did you SEE the slimmed-down Ruben Studdard on American Idol last night?
The season two champion looked and sounded great and he also had some news to share with fans: he and the runner-up from his season on the show are going on tour together this summer! That would be the now openly gay Clay Aiken.
According to Clay’s web site, the tour kicks off July 23, 2010 in Asheville, North Carolina. Clay and Ruben will bring their “Timeless” tour to 17 cities including appearances at famed venues such as New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, LA Nokia Live in Los Angeles, and Pennsylvania’s American Music Theater.
This is the first time the two artists will tour together.
“I couldn’t ask for a better tour mate. To be able to share the stage with him again is so exciting,” Clay said in a statement. “He is such a talented artist. He inspires me daily and I think that respect and admiration will truly be reflected in our show.”
Added Ruben: “It is truly a blessing and an honor to be on the stage with my friend. The relationship that we have built over these past eight years will definitely translate into a great show for our fans. And I’m really looking forward to singing the timeless classics every night.”