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Liza Minnelli reprises “Arrested Development” role

One of the funner things Liza Minnelli has done in her acting career is play the part of Lucille Austero in Arrested Development.

Liza made several appearances during the show’s original run as the older girlfriend of socially awkward Buster (Tony Hale). What made the character even more hilarious was that she was so wobbly! She had good reason: she suffered from debilitating vertigo.

With the show being revived for about a dozen episodes to be released sometime next year, the cast has reunited – and that includes Liza!

The Oscar winner has just arrived in LA to begin shooting her scenes.

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Zac Efron: The Advocate Interview

Zac Efron chatted with Brandon Voss of The Advocate about all things gay.

It’s a good interview and Efron comes off well.

Here are some excerpts:

On gay marriage: “It’s an issue that affects so many people in my life — a lot of my close friends and some of the most influential people around me. I just want them all to be happy. It would make me so happy to see them able to live their lives and do what they want to do.”

On gay rumors: “I don’t like to live in fear about things like rumors and backlash to begin with — that’s the way I was raised — but I just can’t see what’s so wrong about being gay.”

On gay roles: “I’d never take a role just for the sake of playing gay, but I’m always looking for a role that’s challenging, different, and entails some risk, so there’s no doubt in my mind that one of those characters will be gay at some point in the future. It’s always interesting to delve into unexplored territory, and that would be a new avenue for me. I definitely wouldn’t be afraid.”

On gay fans: “It’s very flattering. After High School Musical and Hairspray, I’ve always felt embraced by the gay community, and I feel incredibly grateful and honored. This is actually a very special interview for me. I’m extremely aware of the support I’ve gotten from you guys over the years, and it’s amazing that it’s taken this long to sit down and actually discuss it, but please know that it hasn’t gone unappreciated. I’m so excited to be talking to you.”

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Wanda Sykes political special is on LOGO tonight!

The first of two NewNowNext Vote with Wanda Sykes specials airs tonight at 10 p.m. on LGBT-focused cable network Logo.

With Wanda at the helm, you know it’s going to be smart and funny.

To promote the special, she had a chat with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts last week about various topics – including gay marriage.

She joked that Republicans, especially those on the hard right, should not be threatened by marriage equality.

‘It’s not going to be mandatory,’ she said. ‘It seems like gay people are crazy and we go around and canvass the whole neighborhood: ‘Come to my big gay wedding, come on, it’s mandatory.” ‘If you don’t agree with it, then chances are you don’t know anyone who is gay or are close to someone who is gay,’ she added, ‘So that even increases your chances of never being invited to a same-sex wedding.’

Sykes came out publicly as a lesbian nearly four years ago at a rally against California’s Proposition 8 which successfully banned gay marriage in the state.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

FILE UNDER: Politics

Happy 22nd Birthday to Chandler Massey!

They grow up so fast.

It seem like it was just yesterday that Chandler Massey was an unknown teen actor who took a break from his studies at UCLA to take a job on a daytime soap opera.

Today, this fine young man turns 22 and instead of having a college degree hanging on his wall, he has an Emmy Award on his mantle for his outstanding work as Will Horton on NBC’s Days of Our Lives.

There are a lot of good looking, young actors on these soaps but Chandler has been able to show to viewers – and Emmy voters – that he is something special.

And this is only the beginning!

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Monday Morning Man: Francesco Totti!

Today’s Morning Man Francesco Totti is an Italian footballer who is the captain of Serie A club Roma where he has spent his entire career.

Francesco, 35, is known for celebrating his goals in exuberant manner. Since 2005, he has been married to Ilary Blasi, a former showgirl who has been a co-host of Italia 1′s hit show Le Iene since 2007. They are often referred to as the “Italian Beckhams.”

But, fortunately, Francesco has fewer tattoos than David!


FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

US Open thriller: Serena edges Azarenka!

I’ve been really down on women’s tennis for awhile but this year’s US Open really redeemed the female side of my favorite sport.

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka played the best women’s championship match since Steffi and Monica faced off in 1995 and the match could have gone either way right up until the end when Serena managed to pull out a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory.

Azarenka, the reigning Australian Open champ and world number one, was poised for victory up 5-3 in the third but Serena shifted into a higher gear and reeled off the last four games to claim her fourth US Open crown.

“Oh my god,” said Williams in her on-court speech. “I honestly can’t believe I won. I really was preparing my runner-up speech, because I thought, ‘Man, she’s playing so great.’ ”

The victory caps off a stellar summer for Serena who won her fifth Wimbledon crown in July then her first Olympic Gold Medal in singles in August. She and sister Venus also won their fifth doubles crown at Wimbledon and their third gold medal in doubles at the Olympics.

Already the best player of her generation, Serena is also one of the greatest female players of all time with 15 grand slam singles titles overall. But she is still behind Margaret Court (24), Steffi Graf (22), Chris Evert (18) and Martina Navratilova (18).

But Serena is displaying the same kind of longevity as those champions and is still going strong at 30. Her first US Open title came back in 1999 when she was just 17.

“I never thought I would even come close to breaking those records,” she said after the  match. “But if I can play consistently and play some more matches at Wimbledon, then it will be awesome. We’ll see. If I could win two a year it would be great.”

FILE UNDER: Tennis

Roddick and Agassi hug it out at US Open



Before Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka staged the best women’s final at the Us Open in more than a decade, former champion Andre Agassi returned to the stage of some of his biggest triumphs to be inducted into the tournament’s Court of Champions.

And who better to induct the charismatic American star than another charismatic American star, Andy Roddick?

Agassi competed in the tournament a men’s Open-era record 21 consecutive times, from 1986 through 2006. In 1994, he became the first unseeded player in the Open era to capture the title. He won again in 1999, part of his eight career Grand Slam championships.

“I wish I had the words to describe the sound you make during critical matches, the roar, the applause, the love,” the 42-year-old Agassi told the New York fans during the ceremony. “It’s like a jet engine and a giant heartbeat.”

Agassi’s career was winding down as Roddick was on the rise and in 2003, both won grand slam singles titles and spent brief periods of that year ranked number one.

“He had a whole generation of kids wearing jean shorts and pink tights,” Roddick joked.

Agassi used the opportunity to pay tribute to the retiring Roddick, too.

“Thank you for the years you’ve given us,” he said before the two embraced. “I think I can speak for all of us here today that we are so proud of you.”

FILE UNDER: Tennis

Will and Sonny still not connecting on “Days”

Clearly the new writers (who are the old writers) have put Days of Our Lives back on track.
Will is no longer blackmailing EJ with a stupid smile on his face and is instead a young gay man trying to find his way.

We are in for a bit of a treat today as we get a nice Will and grandma Marlena scene which are always so natural and wonderful and we finally, after about a year without, get a brief scene with one-time BFFs Sonny, Will and dreamy Chad.

Sonny and Will are still trying to find their way to each other. I have a feeling this is going to take awhile.

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Showtune Sunday: In a diva showdown between LuPone vs. Buckley. whose “Meadowlark” do you prefer?

I knew that both Patti LuPone and Betty Buckley have regularly performed the wonderful song Meadowlark in their concerts for many years now.

But what I did not know until surfing the net just now is that there has been a bit of a tussle in the past between these two great Broadway divas over who originated the song.

Apparently Betty has claimed it was written for her while LuPone claims it because she sang it in the doomed pre-Broadway tour of the disastrous The Baker’s Wife which closed before making it to New York.

LuPone doesn’t mention Buckley in her memoir in the chapter about The Baker’s Wife but that could be because she was too busy maligning her leading man who does sound like a nightmare!

Anyway, the fact is, they are both amazing, I’m a huge fan of both, and I honestly cannot choose between the two versions of the song.

Can you?

FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Kurt Russell!


Kurt Russell is the kind of movie star who has been around so long and appeared in so many movies that I think we might take him for granted a little bit.

But as I researched him a little bit for this post, I looked at his filmography and realize how many of his movies that I really enjoyed including Breakdown, Executive Decision, Backdraft, Tequila Sunrise, Overboard, Dark Blue, Vanilla Sky, Unlawful Entry, Tombstone, The Best of Times and Silkwood.

Those are just the ones that I remember seeing and liking.

Kurt has many more notable movies including Miracle, The Thing, Poseidon, Escape from New York and Escape from LA, Stargate, Swing Shift (the film that brought him together with Goldie Hawn), Captain Ron, Tango & Cash, Grindhouse, Big Trouble in Little China, among many others.

He was a child actor whose first TV credit was an episode of Dennis the Menace and after scores of other TV guest spots, Kurt began appearing in such family films as The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, Superdad, The Strongest Man in the World, The Barefoot Executive and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

Although he always had work on television and in films, his big breakthrough as an adult actor was his acclaimed Emmy-nominated performance as Elvis Presley in the 1979 ABC film Elvis.

Now 61, Russell has nearly 100 film and television credits and is still working steadily. He and Hawn have been a couple for 29 years and have a son, Wyatt. He also has a son with ex-wife Season Hubley.



FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)

“Torchwood” star John Barrowman wishes gay men and lesbians on TV weren’t so often stereotyped


John Barrowman
is as well known for his roles on stage in such musicals as Sunset Boulevard and Anything Goes as he is for his work on television’s Torchwood.

So who better than this multi-talented openly gay star to weigh in on the rise in gay and lesbian characters on such shows as Glee and Smash.

‘I love them,’ Barrowman says in the current issue of Desert Outlook Magazine. ‘I think that any show that brings diversity onto the screen, particularly in the way these shows are shown, I’m 100 percent behind.’

While he also notes that ‘America has the most gay men represented on television than any country in the world,’ Barrowman does have a few quibbles with the characterizations.

‘The only thing I wish they would do more often is not stereotype those gay men and women,’ he says. ‘It’s always the same type they choose. Rather than seeing camp, flouncy, girly men and butch heavy women, it would be nice to see other types. There are ‘lipstick lesbians,’ pretty girls. There are butch guys, guys who are into sports.’

FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Television

Kudos to the LGBT equality movement’s outspoken straight ally: Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe




When I featured Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe as a Morning Man back in June, I was already well aware that he was an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality and was using his celebrity to speak out against a November ballot initiative in Minnesota that would change the state constitution to define marriage only between a man and a woman.

But I had no idea just how fiery Kluwe could be when angry and defending free speech. The NFL star absolutely and unequivocally ripped Maryland state rep. Emmet C. Burns Jr. a well-deserved new one.

Burns was so bothered that Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke out in favor of gay marriage that he wrote a letter to team owner Steve Bisciotti asking him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee.” He also stated that “many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.”

Kluwe has written a scathing letter to Burns that has gone viral. Here are some of the delicious excerpts:

I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level.

*****

I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?

*****

P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.

Here is a LINK to the full text of the letter and below is Kluwe’s appearance on MSNBC last night:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday Morning Man: Tomas Berdych!

Since Tomas Berdych absolutely spoiled my US Open this year by beating my favorite player Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, I fear I had dismissed just how attractive this star from the Czech Republic is.

CBS commentator Jim Courier remarked the other day how the long shorts players wear these days obscure just how muscular Berdych’s thighs are. So I’ve been watching his semifinals against Andy Murray today trying to get a glimpse of those thighs!

Anyway, the Federer win wasn’t exactly a shock since Berdych is ranked seventh in the world and had defeated Federer in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2010 then Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing in the final to Rafael Nadal.

He’s 26 and has won seven tournaments in his career. While he has yet to win any of the sport’s four major titles, he is solid on all surfaces so it’s not out of the question that he might bag one of them before calling it a career.



Sonny tries to settle things with homophobe Tad as Will tries to avoid him on “Days of Our Lives”

It’s so nice to see our gay characters on Days of Our Lives getting some serious screen time in recent episodes.

In these scenes, we see Will kind of jumpy and evasive about sleeping with Gabi as his mom Sami tries to pry.

Meanwhile, Sonny runs into homophobe Tad and instead of having another punching match, Sonny tries to reason with this idiot who so clearly had issues. Sonny is just a prince and is far more interested in having “T” patch things up with Will than with himself.

He’d be such a good boyfriend. If Will doesn’t want him, I’ll take him!

FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Out singer Frank Ocean wows at VMAs

R&B singer Frank Ocean, who came out as a gay man earlier this summer, wowed the audience at Thursday night’s MTV Video Music Awards with a serenely acoustic version of the song Thinkin Bout You from his debut solo album Channel Orange.

Ocean followed a rather rowdy set from Rihanna, A$AP Rocky and Calvin Harris and quickly calmed things down.

He performed in front of a faux campfire which helped to set the quiet tone as he started the song a cappella.

The performance and his soaring vocals drew quick praise from fellow performers including Lady Gaga who tweeted: ‘Watch frank ocean steal this whole show. I’m dead.’

Check it out for yourself:

Get More: Frank Ocean, Thinkin Bout You (Live), Music, More Music Videos

FILE UNDER: Music

From the Obamas, Barney Frank and more, gay mentions at the Democratic National Convention

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Matt Bomer steps into the ring on “White Collar”


Matt Bomer, already in terrific shape, got into even more amazing shape for his role as a male stripper in the summer hit Magic Mike.

As far as I’m concerned, we didn’t get to see near enough of Matt in the film but, thankfully, we get to see plenty of him in the weekly USA Network series White Collar.

In next week’s episode, his character of Neal Caffrey will be stepping into the ring for a little bout with his onscreen partner, FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim McKay).

In the episode: Neal discovers a boxing ring where traders fight for insider information. In order to take down the corrupt CEO, Peter and Neal must step out of the office and step in to the ring.

Below is a preview:

FILE UNDER: Television

“Hollywood to Dollywood” opens in LA today!

The documentary Hollywood to Dollywood got a rave review from The New York Times prior to its one-week run in New York. Today, The acclaimed film featuring gay twins Gary Lane and Larry Lane and directed by John Lavin, begins a one-week LA-area engagement today at Laemmle’s NoHo 7 in North Hollywood. There a two screenings per day through Sept. 13.


FILE UNDER: Movies

Zach Wahls gives powerful address at DNC: ‘I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine’

Zach Wahls was center stage at the Democratic National Convention Thursday  where he spoke eloquently about being raised by two moms and said to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney: ‘My family is just as real as yours.’

Romney supports a federal ban on same-sex marriage.

‘Governor Romney says he’s against same-sex marriage because every child deserves a mother and a father,’ Wahls said. ‘I think every child deserves a family as loving and committed as mine. Because the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us; that’s what makes a family.’

Below is video of his appearance:

FILE UNDER: Politics

Friday Morning Man: Beau Biden!


I did not realize Vice President Joe Biden had such a handsome son!

He’s Beau Biden who spoke yesterday at the Democratic National Convention when he placed his dad’s name into nomination.

“Four years ago, I told you that my father has always been there for me, my brother, and my sister, and that as vice president, he would be there for you. And he has,” the younger Biden said.

Biden, 43, is currently Attorney General for the state of Delaware. He served in Iraq as part of the Delaware Army National Guard in 2008-09 but retained his job as Attorney General. In 2010, he suffered form what doctors called a “mild stroke” but seems to have recovered fully.


FILE UNDER: Morning Men (2012)