While Jane Lynch may be best known for her role on Glee, it was her spot on Two and a Half Men that got her into the biggest role of her life: motherhood.
While at a gala for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lynch first met Lara Embry, a fan of Two and a Half Men. Within a year, Lynch was married with children. In between filming season 2 of Glee, Lynch became immersed in motherhood.
“I became wifely,” she recalls, having run the errands while Embry worked. “I loved taking care of my girls.”
Jumping back to her Hollywood life, Lynch, whose role on Two and a Half Men brought her a different audience than her work on Glee, recognizes that costar Charlie Sheen is going through a tough time. Nevertheless, she has nothing but praise for the actor.
“He’s one of the nicest guys and a true leader on that set,” she says. “He’s going through his stuff now, but there’s a really solid, wonderful person in there, and I love him very much.”
Lynch has praise for another A-list costar, Cybill Shepherd, who has two lesbian daughters, and who Lynch ushered through her first love scene with a woman as costar on The L Word.
“Of course, we were both clothed because no one wants to see us middle-aged broads flopping around in bed,” Lynch remembers, laughing. “I had one love scene under my belt, and I’m a lesbian in actual life, so I’m expected to take the lead, which I did.” Off camera, Shepherd has been just as supportive of LGBT people. “She marched in the parades before it was fashionable,” Lynch notes.
Despite her openness in Hollywood, Lynch doesn’t believe it helps her career.
“If anything, I think people respect me for not hiding,” she says. “But what it comes down to is we’re all just people. At the end of the day, I happen to go home to a woman. In Hollywood, all that matters is do you do your job and do it well.”
Because of this mantra, she prefers not to give advice to actors about coming out.
“Everybody’s going to have their own story, and we have to leave it up to them to decide how and when they’re going to come out. I would never give anybody advice that way. It’s so personal.”
This sounds like a one-night only concert not to be missed!
Friday night at 8:30 p.m. is New York’s Finest: The Leading Men of Broadway which will star (in alphabetical order) David Burnham (The Light in the Piazza), Brandon Victor Dixon (Tony nominee for The Color Purple), Sam Harris (Tony nominee for The Life and Star Search champion), Chad Kimball (Tony nominee for Memphis), Million Dollar Quartet Tony winner Levi Kreis, and American Idol alum Ace Young.
These multi-talented men will heat up the open-air stage by recreating the original performances that thrilled Broadway audiences in hits such as Wicked, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, Memphis, the recent revival of West Side Story, The Lion King, the recent revival of Hair, Sweeney Todd, Jesus Christ Superstar, and many others.
Harris is directing and promises “a powerful and seductive evening of extraordinary entertainment with a rare combination of New York’s hottest stars.”
Showtime is 8:30pm, and tickets are on sale now. Admission is $40 for reserved seating, and a $75 VIP package includes premium seating, post-performance artist meet and greet, and much more. Student and senior discounts are also available. To purchase tickets, go to FordAmpitheater.org or call (323) 461-3673.
He may have turned 85 last month, but the great Tony Bennett is still as current as anyone in the music business. His latest album, Duets II, will be released on Sept. 20.
Bennett recently sat down with AARP magazine at his art studio overlooking Central Park in New York to talk about, among other things his recording with Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse.
Here are some excerpts:
On his desire to share his own experiences with Amy Winehouse: “I wanted to tell Amy, I wanted to talk to her and her dad about what happened to me, and how I stopped and how it helped. Everybody loved her so much. Her fans really loved her. They were all rooting for her. And she was such a sweet child. And it was so tragic that she died so young.”
On Lady Gaga: “I think if she keeps going the way she’s going now, that she will become bigger than Elvis Presley. She will become the main rage of the entertainment world. I’ve never met anybody, I don’t care what age, who is more intelligent about what to do as a performer than Lady Gaga.”
“She did ‘The Lady Is a Tramp’ with me. It was so fantastic. She showed up in the most gorgeous dress I’ve ever seen. On Elizabeth Taylor or Marilyn Monroe — the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen on a human being! And she had a wild green wig on. But when she went into it, ‘Bam!’ The song just took off. So she’s absolutely brilliant with what she does. She’s a very, very magnificent performer and she does know how to sing, and she does know how to play the piano. I see great things for her. She has no boundaries and she knows what she’s doing. You know, I’ve performed with everybody, being 85 years old. I’ve seen it all. And I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen anybody that intelligent when it comes to knowing how to perform properly.”
On how his singing and painting interrelate: “My father died when I was 9 and I couldn’t believe it as a young boy. All my aunts and uncles and nephews and nieces, they would come over every Sunday and make a circle around my brother, my sister and myself. And then they saw the way I painted. They said, ‘Look at his painting. He paints these beautiful flowers.’ So it gave me a passion, not realizing as of today, that my passion is even stronger than it was then. But my whole life has been about painting and singing. Music and art. Truth and beauty. Those are the things that I work on. That’s all I know, and I keep studying it.”
On his retirement plans: “When somebody says, ‘Are you going to retire?’ I say, ‘Retire to what?’ Because I’m not going to stop learning. There’s so much to learn! And I’ve had a beautiful life thinking that way.”
Rugby week continues with the blond and beautiful David Strettle.
My close friend, Lorna Harris, and I loved to have a glass of wine or two and surf the net for Morning Men when we get together. Rugby week was her idea because of World Cup and when she came across Mr. Strettle, she said, “He might be a bit too pretty for you.”
Are you kidding me? He’s perfect!
The 28-year-old is an England Rugby Union player who plays for Saracens after playing four seasons for the Harlequins from Rotherham. He also plays in international competition for England.
In May 2007, Strettle was named as the Professional Rugby Player’s Association Young Player of the Season.
SUPERSTAR: Since the Open era of tennis began in 1969, only Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander, Roger Federer (three times) and Rafael Nadal had managed to win three or more of tennis’s four grand slam titles in a single calendar year.
We can now add Novak Djokovic to that elite group of all-time greats.
The Serbian star continued to have one of the best seasons any male tennis player has ever had by winning his first US Open. He came from two match points down to beat Federer in the semifinals on Saturday and earlier today, beat defending champ Nadal in four sets in the final.
His 2011 record improved to 64-2 with 10 tournament titles (including Wimbledon and the Australian Open) in a simply spectacular year.
“I’ve had an amazing year,” Djokovic said after the match, “and it keeps going.”
His dominance has come at the expense of Nadal and Federer. Nadal, the reigning French Open champion, has lost to Djokovic in all six finals they have played this year including three on hard courts, two on clay; and one on grass at Wimbledon in July.
Jennifer Hudson, who finished sixth when she competed in the third season of American Idol, has gone on to become the most accomplished alumnus of the talent competition.
She won the Academy Award and just about every other showbiz award for her searing performance as Effie in the feature film version of Dreamgirls and since then has enjoyed success with hit albums and roles in other films including playing Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant in the first Sex and the City movie.
Today is Jennifer’s 30th birthday and in honor of the milestone, here is her stellar version of the Dreamgirls show-stopping power ballad And I Am, Telling You I’m Not Going.
After it was announced that Chaz was going to be a contestant on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, which has its season premiere Sept. 19, there was flack from people who object to a transgender person being part of the popular reality show competition.
Chaz, the only child of Cher and the late Sonny Bono, talked about the controversy with EW.com at the Creative Arts Emmys over the weekend.
”I didn’t completely expect it,” he said of the negative reaction. “It’s really pretty much rolled off my back and I’m just trying to concentrate on dancing because it’s hard. … You treat it as I’m not going to be doing anything on the show other than dancing.”
Not that Chaz isn’t used to going toe-to-toe with anti-LGBT folks: . ”I’ve been into activism since ’95. I’m really used to this. I debated Jerry Falwell and I’ve had people picket events I’ve been at, so it’s not that big of a deal. I have a very thick skin … otherwise you’d be upset all the time. I look at it as a chess game. These people have an agenda. And I have one as well.”
Trevor Donovan has been one of the more thoughtful actors to ever take on a high-profile gay role on television. It has been clear from the very beginning that playing Teddy Montgomery on 90210 has been a career high point for the actor and his various comments in the past year have been insightful.
So the actor was mortified by the tone of an interview he did with Life & Style magazine in which he said about playing Teddy: “It’s been good for me. Girls want to challenge it. They kind of assume I’m [gay in real life] and try to change me back. Of course, I let them!”
He has clarified his comments: “Dear @Life_and_Style,” the actor writes. “Although I appreciate the interview/article, but the headline ‘Playing gay gets me girls’ was an off the cuff, joking around remark, & feel takes away from the real meaning of the discussion/interview, which was the importance of the Teddy storyline and what influence a simple storyline can have & mean to some people.”
“I grew up in a small town and understand the hopefully positive impact an important story like Teddy’s could have on teens growing up in rural areas. Again, thank you for the interview, but for the record I did not see playing Teddy or ‘Playing Gay’ as a way to get girls, but as an opportunity to embody a challenging role and do it with purpose.”
Tom Whitman and Joe Everett Michaels are proud to present the return of MOMMIE QUEEREST to its original home in West Hollywood.
The hit LA Weekly Theater Award-winning comedy opens Sept 22, four days after the 30th Anniversary of the movie “Mommie Dearest,” on which the parody is based.
As the fifth stop on its national tour, MOMMIE QUEEREST will play six performances at Cabaret Ultra Suede under the Direction of Christopher Kenney.
About The Show JOAN CRAWFORD. Oscar winner. Clean freak. Child Protective Services worst
By now you know the story of Christina Crawford’s tell-all about her tumultuous relationship with her famous mother. First the book, then the 1981 movie that became an instant cult classic. Yes, it’s been 30 years since Faye Dunaway donned those famous arched eyebrows and big shoulder pads making us all go back in the closet and question our choice of clothes hanger.
For the last seven years Jamie Morris’ twisted version, MOMMIE QUEEREST, has had
sold-out audiences across the country re-thinking the oft-quoted tale with the
simple premise, “What if Joan had really been a man all those years?”
Told by an all-male cast of four, MOMMIE QUEEREST entertains the notion that Crawford was actually a man in drag, a fact she hid from her fans, her children, and the world. Even when Christina finds out, takes revenge, and writes “Daddy Dearest” it’s Joan who still has the last laugh.
Original stars Jamie Morris and Brooks Braselman are reunited as Joan and Christina. Morris and Braselman were both nominated for Best Comedy Performance at the 2005 LA Weekly Theater Awards. Morris was also nominated for Best Adaptation.
Christopher Kenney, who won for Best Comedy Direction, is once again at the helm.
With his daytime talk show, Anderson, making its debut, I thought I’d do two things: re-post this photo of Anderson Cooper and me shortly before Barack Obama spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention; and share with you this silly little US Weekly feature on The Silver Fox which is actually really fun. Did you know he was a Dungeons and Dragons freak as a kid and met Charlie Chaplin when he was six? Well, now you know all that and more! Anderson is just becoming more and more open all the time.
Actor Andy Whitfield, the original star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died after an 18-month battle with cancer.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement Sunday. “We were fortunate to have worked with Andy in Spartacus and came to know that the man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life. Andy was an inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with courage, strength and grace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans.”
The Wales native died of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney, Australia. He was diagnosed after season one of Spartacus was filmed and production on season two was halted for about a year in an attempt to give him time to recover from the disease.
During that time, producers shot a prequel series titled Gods of the Arena without the actor. For a time, it seemed Whitfield would recover. He was cleared to start work on season two and made a triumphant return appearance at Comic-Con. But he soon relapsed and with his blessing, Starz and producers opted to hire newcomer Liam McIntyre to replace him in the lead role.
His family has released this statement: “On a beautiful sunny Sydney spring morning, surrounded by his family, in the arms of his loving wife, our beautiful young warrior Andy Whitfield lost his 18 month battle with lymphoma cancer. He passed peacefully surrounded by love. Thank you to all his fans whose love and support have help carry him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous and gentle man, father and husband he was.”
Andy had won the role in Spartacus after a worldwide search. he grew up in Wales and studied at Sheffield University in England. He then spent five years working in the construction industry in London before moving to Australia a decade ago. Once there, he attended drama school in Sydney and started to land acting roles while still working as a diagnostic engineer – a job that required him to rappel down tall buildings!
I got to chat with Andy at the Television Critics Association press tour in January 2010 and he told me he had to get into incredible shape for the action adventure series on which he plays the title role.
“I’m tired physically, obviously,” he said then, unaware of his illness then. “You get to a certain point and you get injuries and you have to carry on around those injuries. But also emotionally it was very draining as the series progresses you’ll really what happens with these characters.”
There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that Serena Williams would win the US Open today.
But Samantha Stosur of Australia pulled off a huge upset by beating the three-time champion in straight sets in a match that saw Serena come out flat and never catch fire.
Having to start her semifinal past 10 p.m. last night against Caroline Wozniacki no doubt had an impact but all credit to Stosur who played almost flawless tennis from the first point to the last. The 2010 French Open finalist was not at all overwhelmed by the occasion.
Serena had a huge run-in with the umpire over a call in the second game of the second set that is getting a lot of attention. But Serena, who is now 13-4 in grand slam finals, deserves credit for being a very gracious runner-up and just being grateful to be back competing at a high level after missing a year due to a series of very serious health scares which included two foot operations, clots in her lungs and a gathering of blood beneath the skin of her stomach.
“It’s been an arduous road. Six months ago in the hospital, I never thought I’d be standing here today,” Williams said. “I didn’t think I’d be standing, let alone here.”
Another 9/11 reflection, this one from singer Sam Harris who shared this via Facebook:
“Thinking about 10 years ago. I was to take a flight, and make my official move, to LA from NY on Sept 11th, and changed my flight to the 10th as I had finished working on Liza’s segments of the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary show. On this day, my phone rang and rang at the crack of dawn. It was Liza saying “they’re bombing NY” and I turned on the TV and watched the world change forever. Danny was stuck in Las Vegas. Wherever I live, NY is the home in my heart. Our hearts are heavy today.”
Television personality Kyan Douglas posted his Sept. 11 thoughts on Facebook and I thought I’d share them:
I remember what a beautiful morning it was in the city that day. I remember the moment I knew it was an act of terror I was witnessing as a second plane did the most horribly unnatural thing. I remember the acrid smell that lingered in the air for months. I remember the fallen- their pictures posted everywhere. I remember how I felt for their families as hope simply faded. But more than anything, I remember the quality of Human Spirit that showed up in all of us. And THAT I will never forget.
As if she wasn’t already perfect enough, now Gwyneth Paltrow has an Emmy to go along with her Oscar.
She was named winner of the Emmy for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for her performance as substitute teacher Holly Holliday on Glee.
It’s frankly been Paltrow’s best role in years. Polly is far more feisty and interesting than her supporting role on the Iron Man flicks and I never got around to seeing Country Strong.
She gets to be funny ad sweet on Glee and also gets to sing which she does so very well as we got to see with her renditions of Cee Lo Green’sForget You, Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide and and dueting with Matthew Morrison on a sexy, tango-infused Kiss by Prince.
Gwyneth was not on hand at Saturday night’s Creative Arts Emmys ceremony which traditionally takes place one week before the Prime-time Emmys but she will be invited to present next Sunday. Also absent was Justin Timberlake who won in the guest actor in a comedy category for hosting Saturday Night Live.
And finally – and I’m really thrilled about this – the great Loretta Devine won the Emmy for outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her role on Grey’s Anatomy. Whether it’s starring on Broadway in Dreamgirls, in films like Waiting to Exhale, This Christmas and Dirty Laundry, or in such television shows as Boston Public and Eli Stone, Miss Devine is always top notch.
It’s great to see such a hardworking and truly gifted star finally get her due.
Mark Bingham was among the heroes on United Flight 93 who are thought to have fought their hijackers 10 years ago today. Their plane went down in Pennsylvania instead of a government building in Washington D.C. as was planned.
Mark’s inspiring story is the subject of the outstanding documentary With You which screened at Outfest this summer. It is such a wonderful thing that so much video exists of Bingham from throughout what looks to have been a very full and happy life.
We see him in younger years then on the rugby field, in college, on trips abroad and through the eyes of his dynamic mother, Alice Hoagland, who is really something special. You will wish you had her in your life!
Alice has done a remarkable job of keeping the spirit of her rugby-playing openly gay son alive and talked to journalist Karen Ocamb prior to Outfest about when he son came out to her.
“I became grateful then that Mark had enough confidence in me and love for me and thought enough of me that he wanted me to be one of the first people in his life to know something very fundamental and true about himself. Even though he knew that my attitudes towards gays was vague and not accurate. I would say that I was vaguely antigay –imbued with stereotypes. I’ve had to fight through that. I am one of those lucky human beings that has done an about face and rejected a lie and embraced the truth. But I wish I had had the courage and goodness of heart to do that on my own.”
“But it took my son to do that for me by acknowledging, by telling me – challenging my stereotypes and telling me, “Mom, I’m gay.” Because of him, I have gone on a different journey in my life. And with all the important things in my life – and all the accomplishments that I have – most of them have been because I had a little boy who grew up to be a man who set me on an important life’s quest.”