Just finished reading a new People magazine interview with Chaz Bono with the headline: “I’m a Happy Guy.”
I felt so happy for Chaz and also that he is so articulate and open about his journey because I am quite sure it is helping other transgender people out there who believe they were born the wrong sex. It is also helping other people to understand just what they are going through.
Chaz is obviously the former Chastity Bono, the only child of Cher and Sonny Bono and at the age of 40, decided to honor his true identity and live his ife as a man. He had his breasts removed this fall and had already begun testosterone treatments.
Chaz had gained a shocking amount of weight in recent years and even gone on VH1′s Celebrity Fit Club program in an attempt to trim down. He is now working out with a trainer.
“Before, I was really detached from my body so it was hard to really care about it,” he said, “Because no matter what I did, it always looked in a way that was incredibly uncomfortable for me. … My body is starting to respond in the way that I always wanted it to so it’s a lot easier to put effort into it.”
Here is a quote that I just love because it explains why Chaz or any transgender person is willing to go through the difficult journey of changing their gender:
“Once I began to actually deal with [my identity issues], everything in my life got easier. I’m a better version of myself. I’m much more present now and more engaged. … It’s hard for me to articulate how this feels – when you’ve lived your whole life and have everyone relate to you as something you don’t feel. When that finally gets righted, it’s amazing. I finally get to live my life the way I’ve always wanted to.”
Judy Garland had been a superstar for nearly three decades when her daughter Liza Minnelli’s star began to rise.
Thank God they had several opportunities to perform together onstage before Judy died far too soon.
If she had lived longer, she would have no doubt been so proud of her oldest child who has successfully conquered just about every showbiz medium and, best of all, has survived and is still going strong.
Here are some joint performances of these two showbiz icons:
Actors and Others for Animals President JoAnne Worley wisely decided to bring together some of her old pals from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In for a reunion last month to raise money for her pet cause which is dedicated to the promotion of the humane treatment of animals.
The always lively Miss Worley was joined by such cast members as Gary Owens and Artie Johnson (pictured above) who were key parts of the the landmark series that ran on NBC from January 22, 1968 to May 14, 1973. It’s trademark was a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches that sometimes included sexual innuendo and were often politically-charged.
“When we did the show, I had no idea as to what its popularity would be, I had no idea what would come of it ultimately,” Johnson told me at the event held at the Universal Hilton. “I recognized after the first 5-6 shows that it had some kind of an impact. I was doing what I enjoyed doing and it was pleasant and it was fun – great surroundings. But there was a time when it was over and it was over. And now I’ve discovered that it’s not always over.”
Laugh-In launched the career of Oscar winner Goldie Hawn who did not attend the event but was there as a cardboard cut-out!
Nancy Sinatra appeared several times as a musical guest on Laugh-In and it was on the show that she met her late husband, Hugh Lambert, who was a choreographer during the show’s first three seasons.
“I’m so glad to be here to celebrate Laugh-In. It meant a lot in my life,” she told the crowd.I was so thrilled when JoAnne (Worley) called. She didn’t use the phone, she just opened the window.”
“Oh the skimpy outfits we wore,” she recalled. “The napkins you have on your table? You put a little fringe on them and I could have made them into a skirt! And the crazy hair back then. I had more wigs than anybody.”
Of her late husband, she said: “Laugh-In was the perfect place for us to meet because it was so happy and our lives were filled with love and laughter.”
Gary Owens, pictured with Laugh-In creator George Schlatter and JoAnne Worley, remembered the show fondly: “What laughs and what a wonderful, talented cast and writers too. You couldn’t ask for a funnier show. George Schlatter hired me in a men’s room of the Smokehouse Restaurant in Burbank. Well, it’s not lime it sounds, at all.”
So what was Agent 99 from Get Smart doing at the event? Well, it turns out that Barbara Feldon helped get the show off on the right foot: “I did the first five episodes of Laugh-In when I was on hiatus from Get Smart so I’ve always sort of been contingently associated with Laugh-In. I’m a friend of JoAnne Worley’s and she called me in New York and asked if I’d consider flying out for this event. I said I’d love to.”
Still fantastic looking at 76, Miss Feldon remains busy: “I’m writing mostly now, I wrote a book called Living Alone and Loving It, a book of essays on living alone that’s in bookstores. And I’ve just done a website called Artists Share where I did an audio version of the book and I wrote a novel which I also do an audio version of. I love writing. It’s something I always wanted to do, even when I was acting.”
Bruce Vilanch was an inspired choice to host the program as he was both very funny but also able to provide nice historical perspective: “There was Laugh-In on Mondays and Smothers Brothers on Sundays. This was before Saturday Night Live and the only place on television – at the time there were only three channels and whatever Julia Child was cooking on public television – and so we all watched it. It was the only shot we had at the counter-culture on TV. … It had a profound influence on a whole generation of people like me. … It was a new way of expressing ourselves.”
The force of nature that is JoAnne Worley made the event happen and should be very proud of what was a wonderful event. For more information about Actors and Others for Animals, here is a LINK.
Did you know that Ed Burns wrote, produced, directed and starred in his first film, The Brothers McMullen, while working as a production assistant at Entertainment Tonight?
That was a pretty impressive kickoff to his film career and Ed followed it up by wearing the same hats for She’s The One which had in its cast Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Amanda Peet. Next came Sidewalks of New York starring Ed and Heather Graham.
John has had roles in such films as Saving Private Ryan, Life or Something Like It, The Holiday and 27 Dresses. He also played Debra Messing’s boyfriend fior awhile on Will & Grace.
But my favorite film of Ed’s is The Groomsman which he, you guessed it, wrote, directed, starred and produced. I loved it because it dealt with a man (John Leguizamo) leaving his hometown and close-knot group of buddies without explanation. He returns eight years later for a wedding and reveals that he left because he is gay and didn’t think he’d be accepted. He finds out that he was very wrong.
Ed did a screening of the film at Outfest and I hung around after for the Q&A and was very impressed with his sensibilities. Plus, c’mon, he’s so HOT!
Supoermodel Christy Turlington thinks so too: she’s his wife!
If your mom was the star of one of the most beloved movies of all time, you’d probably want to watch that film from time to time.
Not Liza Minnelli.
Her mother, Judy Garland, is the star of The Wizard of Oz which is celebrating its 7oth anniversary this year and continues to enchant generation after generation of kids.
But Garland’s character of Dorothy and her friends Scarecrow, Tun Man and the Cowardly Lion have to fight off the Wicked Witch of the West and other horrors as they make the journey to Emerald City to seek the help of The Wizard of Oz.
“I just loved her so and for some reason ‘The Wizard of Oz’ bothers me when I see it,” Liza tells the Associated Press. “They do terrible things to her. … That’s ’cause it’s my mom.”
As long as we’re talking about this, I admit that to this day, the flying monkeys still creep me out – a lot!
Just watching these videos of the second-to-the-last Tonight Show gives me a little tingle. This is the last night that Johnny Carson would have any guests as he ended his 30 year run as the king of late night.
He could not have chosen better than Bette Midler who was at her absolute best throughout the show giving Carson a wonderful sendoff. She even won an Emmy for her appearance!
Here are some of the most memorable moments from that night in May of 1992.
Don’t you wish there was a kid like Justin Suarez on TV in the 70s or 80s?
I sure do. This character on Ugly Betty, portrayed by Mark Indelicato, is clearly gay and has been since day one of the show. What’s been wonderful is that his Latino family has celebrated who he is, encouraged his interest in fashion and in performing on stage. Even his late father, who tried to make him toss around the football with him at one point, came around and saw what a beautiful soul his son has.
The Advocate has posted a new interview with Ugly Betty creator Silvio Horta talks about Justin’s journey and a host of other things related to this wonderful show which, thankfully, is being moved from its current dead-end Friday time slot to Wednesday nights.
I recently re-watched the pilot and was again struck by how breakthrough the character of Justin was in terms of being a young, unapologetically femme character. Can you talk a little bit about casting Mark Indelicato and how you direct a young actor to play gay?
Well, Justin was written as an effeminate eleven or twelve year old – I think that’s what the stage direction said – and Mark came in and did such a good job at the audition. He just nailed it. He took it beyond being just a punch line – he made it a real character and a real performance. That was one of the great early surprises on the show. He was so young coming in so you really don’t know what he’s going to be capable of over the course of the series. He’s been terrific.
This season, Justin is sadly the target of bullies at his less-than-queen-friendly Queens high school. Were you a bullied at school for being gay?
I wasn’t a target of that kind of bullying, no. Nothing that bad.
Michael Urie’s character Marc St. James advises Justin to be in on the bully’s joke. Did you ever get that kind of advice?
That wasn’t specific advice that I got but I know that concept came from the writers’ room.
Were you lucky enough to have a Marc-like mentor in your early life?
No.Can you talk to me about the creative decision to have Justin announce “I’m not gay” in the recent episode “Backseat Betty?”
We want to tell a story of Justin coming to terms with his identity over the course of this whole year and I think when he says that, it’s really the beginning of telling the story, as opposed to the end. It gives us a place to go to. He’s gonna be struggling with his identity and that’s part of it that’s very realistic and relatable. Not really knowing who you are or what you are.
Brent Hartinger of AfterElton.com looked back on some of television’s gay character that didn’t get to stay on the airwaves as long as Will and Jack on Will & Grace, Steven Carrington on Dynasty, Jodie Dallas on Soap, Keith and David on Six Feet Under, Scotty and Kevin on Brothers & Sisters, and the entire gang on Queer as Folk.
Brent picked some good characters including the cast of Noah’s Arc singling out the characters played by Doug Spearman and Rodney Chester. I’m still trying to figure out why the heck the show was yanked after just two seasons on Logo. There were so many stories left to tell and while the feature film that followed the series was nice, the plug was pulled far too soon.
I also agree with Brent’s pick of the Fred Savage character on Crumbs, the short-lived ABC comedy that also starred Jane Curtain. I interviewed Fred for Frontiers Magazine about this role so watched just about all the episodes. Sadly, ABC canceled the show along with another short-lived comedy that I liked even more: It’s All Relative.
Also on Brent’s list, and mine, is Zachary Qunito’s role as Tori Spelling’s gay BFF on the shortlived So NoTORIous which really deserved a second season. The make-out scene in the sauna was especially memorable.
HEARTTHROB: Chace Crawford has been a real hottie ever since bursting onto the scene in Gossip Girl in 2007. But he seemed like just a kid – cute, but very young.
Well, somebody is growing up!
A photo spread in WWD shows a sophisticated young man with a classic leading man look. This lead paragraph really says it all: Like the Pussycat Dolls or Brad Pitt, Chace Crawford is the kind of perfect human specimen that should be freeze-dried and put in a time capsule so that, in several thousand years, whatever manlike species can get a sense of just how good we looked.
The article also details how he sort of fell into acting which was not originally part of his plans:After high school, Crawford enrolled in Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., with the intention of studying broadcast journalism and business. This lasted all of a few semesters. “I didn’t really like it that much,” he says. On the urging of a friend of a friend in Los Angeles, he met with a commercial agent, who connected him with a theatrical agent. He shook some hands; people seemed to be interested. So with his parents’ blessing, he dropped out to see where some acting classes and auditions might lead. To supplement his income, he was a valet at the swanky seaside restaurant Geoffrey’s Malibu.
Parking Porsches didn’t last long. “Too many things fell in the right place at the right time,” says Crawford, who shot a made-for-TV movie, the 2006 supernatural thriller The Covenant and “a couple of indies” before he read the Gossip GirlGossip Girl] comes around—the right character, the right people to do the show, the right cast—that formula for success is difficult.”
Earlier this week, I wrote about One Life to Live star Nicholas Rodriguez’s (Nick) new side jobs as one of the stars of a new web series Then We Got Help.
Well, today the first episode premiered and I wanted to share it with you.
Help! is the brainchild of actress/writer/director Julie Ann Emery (pictured, bottom left) and is a relationship comedy in the style of Modern Family and The Office. It focuses on four struggling couples who need therapy. They get each other instead on a show that is basically group therapy without the therapist.
Hopefully this will be a big success for all involved!
Sorry for the lack of fresh posts today. Had a lengthy breakfast meeting followed by WiFi issues that basically made me want to throw my computer across the room – even if it’s not the computer’s fault.
It’s a good thing that today is the day I chose to launch “I Love Lucy Fridays” as a regular part of the blog’s Lunch Break Video feature. Watching clips of this zany redhead and her partner in crime Ethel always makes me happy – always.
So every Friday, I’ll be sharing some of my faves. Today’s is a hilarious episode when Lucy must tell the truth for a certain period of time in order to win a bet with Ricky, Fred and Ethel. The problem is, she has a bridge game with the girls the next day and not lying to their face about ugly furniture and ridiculous hats is going to be impossible.
As we all know, Lucy rises to the challenge and, in fact, feels liberated by the truth telling. Here is my favorite part of the episode. Enjoy!
I’ve read an interesting interview with director Tom Ford on The Wrap and he talks about his debut film, A Single Man. There has been controversy over the marketing of this film about a gay man played by Colin Firth. There has been some controversy about the film’s marketing including a poster that gives no hint it is a film about a gay man. Apparently, neither does the trailer.
Ford talks about that and more in this interview. Here is some excerpts:
There’s been a lot of talk about the latest trailer for “A Single Man,” which removes all of the most overtly gay elements from your original trailer. Were you comfortable with that?
I wasn’t comfortable with it at all. I think our society is a bit twisted. The first trailer is the one that I cut before we had a distributor, and I wish I could have left it intact. But we had to do a trailer that was more broadly accessible to a wider audience. Kissing between two men is considered adult content, and there are only certain places that you can run trailers that show it. It’s very strange, because you can turn on HBO and see full-frontal male nudity — but for some reason, things are more restrictive in cinema.
What’s next? Back to fashion design, or more films?
Oh, I hope I’m lucky enough to make many more films. Really, I’m more proud of this than anything I’ve accomplished in my life, apart from personal relationships. I’m not somebody who necessarily fears death, but while I was making this, I was terrified that I was going to die before I finished it. It was that important to me.
It was the most fun I’ve had in my entire life, and it means the most to me. Because I think it’s the first time, maybe, that I have really expressed things that are very personal. I’m usually quite reserved, and I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve or show my emotions in a way that people can see.So to put that much of myself into something, and then send it out into the world, it was really the first time I’d ever done that.
In a state that passed the anti-gay marriage measure Proposition 8 last year, an openly gay man has been selected as Speaker of the Assembly for the first time.
That man is John Perez, a Democrat from Los Angeles who said in a statement: “It is a humbling privilege. I will work every day to justify that faith and to earn the enormous honor of having been drafted as Speaker.”
Perez gets the job during his first year in the Assembly! To learn more about him and the reaction from other political leaders, read my pal Karen Ocamb’s piece posted on her blog LGBT POV.
COMING SOON: The second Sex and the City movie doesn’t come out until the spring but the build up has already begun with the release this week of a teaser poster featuring star Sarah Jessica Parker.
I can’t wait to spend time with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte again and I hope this movie is such a smash that they will have to immediately begin production on a third.
We don’t know much about the plot of the second film but there will be some celebrity cameos and the photo of this fab foursome is a still from the flick. Sing out girls! Pictured L-R are Cynthia Nixon, SJP, Kim Cattrall and Kristen Davis.
SIGN HER UP! We already know that Kathy Griffin is the hardest working woman in showbiz. But the Grammy-nominated D-lister really plans to outdo herself on Dec. 23 when she plans to hold THREE signings of her best-selling book Official Book Club Selection.
Kathy wrote on Twitter late Thursday: On Dec 23rd, I’m gonna see if I can do (Oh, I WILL) THREE book signings in SoCal in 1 day! LA (prob SM), OC & SD.
Meanwhile, Kathy’s former Suddenly Susan co-star Sherri Shepherd will be in LA today holding a book signing of her own. The View co-host is scheduled to appear at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove to discuss and sign copies of her book Permission Slips.
I was at the Barnes & Noble yesterday and wondered how Sherri would feel is she knew her book was already on the 50 percent off table. Maybe we just won’t tell her.
I don’t think there is anyone more dreamy than a young Paul Newman – except maybe James Dean!
Dean was already cast as the lead Cal Trask in East of Eden. Newman at the time of this screen test was the up and coming actor, was auditioning for the part of brother Aron Trask that eventually went to Richard Davalos.
What a missed opportunity!
Well, we know Dean was at least bisexual so you gotta figure it was not unpleasant to be testing with Newman and the two do seem to have a good and fun chemistry.
So was there anything more to it?
If you believe Darwin Porter’s book Paul Newman: The Man Behind The Baby Blues, the author quotes Marlon Brando as saying of Newman: “He never fooled me. Paul Newman had just as many on-location affairs as the rest of us, and he was just as bisexual as I was. But, where I was always getting caught with my pants down, he managed to do it in the dark.”
The author claims in the book that Newman and Dean dd have an affair. Newman’s family has dismissed the entire book as “disgusting.”
Adam Lambert has appeared TWICE on ABC this week and the Earth did not stop turning on its axis.
Adam had been uninvited from a trio of ABC programs following his controversial live performance on the American Music Awards where he shoved a dancer’s face in his crotch and – gasp! – made out with a guy!
Of course ABC,which musta been afraid that Adam might shove Sherri Shepherd’s face in his crotch while performing, pre-taped Adam’s appearance on The View which aired this morning. Last night, Adam was on Barbara Walters’ annual 10 Most Fascinating People special.
Adam showed a sense of humor when he stepped ont0 the set and greeted the ladies: “Protect your children, people!”
There was some other good moments, nothing groundbreaking or controversial. When Joy Behar remarked that Adam is not a good Jewish boy, he replied: “I am a little different. The dreidel spins the other way.”
The outspoken Behar also said that in her opinion, the controversy surrounding Adam’s performance on the AMA’s was “homophobic” and he agreed.
“That’s part of the double standard,” Adam said.
He admitted though that the AMA performance was “a little bit lewd.” Still, he added: “It wasn’t meant to be an announcement of, ‘This is the way I’m going to be all the time.’
During his appearance, Adam also sang What Do You Want From Me off of his debut album, For Your Entertainment. No simulated sex, no kissng guys, no flipping the audience the bird.
Here is video of part of Adam’s appearance. Sorry, I don’t have skills to edit Elisabeth Hasselbeck out of it!
Not that I’m having one! My allergies decided to flair up so I’m sneezing waiting for my meds to take effect. Could not get WiFi at home so I’m at Java Detour sitting far away from everyone trying not to sneeze too much.
It reminds me of an old episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show when Mary has a really bad day – including a weird “hair bump.” Since I have so little hair, I know that won’t happen to me!
But enough about me. How about that Joy Behar?
The best thing about The View has been flourishing with her own nightly show on HLN and this week, had record ratings with just under 1 million viewers on Tuesday when she hosted Roseanne Barr. A day earlier, Joy averaged a then-record 824,000 viewers when her guests were Levi Johnston and Andrew Sullivan.
This is well-deserved for this smart, opinionated and very funny lady. I rarely watch The View anymore except for clips online but caught it on Monday. Barbara Walters seemed to chide Joy for mentioning her night time show one too many times and Joy retorted by mentioning the endless mentions of Barbara’s memoir a few years back.
MAD FOR MADDOW: Another red-hot and very relevant cable news personality, Rachel Maddow, showed her lighter side this week during a guest appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s late night show on NBC.
Rachel has been focusing on such topics as the war in Afghanistan and about frightening anti-gay bills in Uganda. That doesn’t leave her much time to discuss the scandals of Tiger Woods.
“Tiger Woods never said, ‘Buy Nike, I’m faithful to my wife,’” she said. “He never made claims to be the superior moral being. So I have a hard time thinking we should cover it.”
But Rachel, who is a lesbian, joked to Jimmy that even she had slept with Tiger: “I think it’s going to hurt his reputation when everybody finds out about me.”
My favorite line though is when Rachel said the lack of an index in Sarah Palin’s book is “an insult to reading people everywhere.”
She has not read it.
GOOD EVENING AMERICA: Good Morning America news anchor Chris Cuomo confirmed this morning that tomorrow (Friday) will be his final day as a regular on the popular show.
He joins Elizabeth Vargas as co-host of 20/20.
The very appealing Chris was passed over to replace Diane Sawyer as co-host with Robin Roberts in favor of George Stephanopoulos. I think it’s a mistake to further break up a team that viewers had so embraced. But for Chtis, it’s a great opportunity.
He told viewers on Thursday’s show: “It is a dream job for a journalist like me, but it was also a very difficult decision, because I am leaving a special place and crew and all of you and you are all part of my family,”
Plenty of us gay guys have straight BFFs who help us navigate our way through life and vice-versa. But you don’t often see this portrasyed on television unless it’s in some kind of flamboyant gay sidekick way.
But leave it to ABC’s One Life to Live, which is doing so many things well with its gay storyline, to develop the straight-gay alliance between Oliver Fish (Scott Evans) and Cristian Vega (David Fumero).
“I was glad they wrote Cristian the way they did, because that’s what I believe in,” Fumero says of his gay-friendly character. “We gotta grow up in this country, you know? I mean, we have way more important issues than … taking freedom away. What are we about? We’re a country about freedom. Let people live their lives, let them experience their free will… To forbid people that love each other to spend the rest of their lives [together] or to just have equality, just like straight people, is just ridiculous. It just makes no sense to me.”
The scenes between Fumero and Evans have an ease to them which is nio doubt helped by the fact that the two actors have become good friends off-screen and he’d like to see more of their humor injected into their scenes.
“Scott and I sometimes … we had one or two days there where it was just hard to keep a straight face. I don’t understand why they don’t write it more. I think it’s a different dynamic, and I think it’ll add to any story. You know … there’s a certain template that they use for soap operas that a lot of the time, I don’t know what it is … they’re afraid to go out of the box because [they’re afraid] it’s not gonna be received well. But most of the time, I think they underestimate the audience. People that watch daytime also watch prime time, and also watch films: it’s just entertainment! So I think it’d be cool if there was just no genre, if it just kinda broke, just simple storytelling.”
As Noah is off at some kind of rehab for the blind, Luke is on his own and has to deal with his crazy family.
His aunt Meg is looking nutso and his mother Lily is just pathetic. I mean, how could Lily for a second choose to be with Luke’s biological father Damian when Holden, the love of her life and the man Luke calls dad, has come back from the dead?
Damian is a creep and Holden is a stud. Anyway, Damien may have been poisoned and, unfortunately, it looks like he will survive. Since the show is coming to an end in September, you know that Lily and Holden – the show’s longtime super-couple, will end up back together.
We’re going to be hearing and reading a lot about A Single Man which is getting a lot of awards buzz. A lot of the buzz surrounds leading man Colin Firth who lucky Brandon Voss got to chat with over coffee at Manhattan’s swanky Carlyle Hotel for an Advocate interview.
Here are some excerpts:
A Single Man is about a gay character based on a story by a gay author and directed by a gay man who grafted parts of his own life onto the story, but Tom Ford has repeatedly said that “this is not a gay film,” a statement which has understandably disappointed some members of the gay community who hunger for the next Milk or the next Brokeback Mountain.
I know. But as militant as you can get on this issue is to actually say that it’s incredibly important that we get to a place where we don’t care one way or another. The world is full of battles where a minority is struggling for its rights, so of course I certainly get that you need a militant front. I’m not saying that all gays should be depicted in a way where it doesn’t make an issue of it, but it should be considered a triumph when you finally have a character whose sexuality is secondary to the plot. It’s just about human feeling, and I think that’s wonderful.
There’s been some controversy over the “de-gaying” by the Weinstein Co. of the film’s new one-sheets and trailers, which focus less on the gay love story and more on the platonic relationship between George and Julianne Moore’s character, Charley. Do you think that does a disservice to the film?
Yes, I do. It is deceptive. I don’t think they should do that because there’s nothing to sanitize. It’s a beautiful story of love between two men and I see no point in hiding that. People should see it for what it is.
Whether you’re flirting at a bar or just reading together on the sofa, you appear so comfortable on-screen with Matthew Goode, who plays George’s partner, Jim, in flashbacks. Because you don’t share the same sexual experiences with men in real life, is it any more challenging to achieve that truthful level of intimacy with a man than it is with a woman?
No, I didn’t find it difficult. Matthew’s a good kisser, for a start, but there’s not that much of a difference, quite frankly. If you really dislike or aren’t attracted to your acting partner anyway, it doesn’t make much difference if it’s a man or a woman. I’m still channeling something that comes from myself about what it is to ache for somebody or want to have sex with somebody, so you use your imagination regardless.