The last time Meryl Streep’s name was announced as the winner at a BAFTA Awards ceremony was way back in 1982 for The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
After that, it was nine nominations and nine losses in addition to three nominations pre-1982.
So going into Sunday’s BAFTA Award ceremony in London, Miss Streep’s record was one win, 12 losses.
But she finally got her second win when her name was announced by Colin Firth as winner of the best actress award for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
She beat Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn), Viola Davis (The Help), Berenice Bejo (The Artist) and Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin).
Streep appeared surprised and relieved when her name was called. She dashed up the stairs to the stage and lost her shoe at the top step. Streep continued up to the podium, wobbling a bit, and a quick-thinking Firth dashed over, retrieved the shoe, and placed in on Miss Streep’s foot.
“That couldn’t be worse,” an embarrassed and breathless Streep said as she began her speech.
“I’m very proud of the film,” she said after thanking her director, co-stars and others connected to the film.”Thank you very, very much. I’m so grateful. So grateful.”
It remains to be seen if this long-awaited second BAFTA win will result in a long-awaited Oscar win for Streep next month. It has been 29 years since she last won the Oscar – for Sophie’s Choice in 1983. She has since lost 12 straight times. Her Oscar competition is Davis, Williams, Glenn Close (Albert Hobbs) and Rooney Mara (Girl With the Diamond Tattoo).
Well, I’m sure many of you have been watching CNN or some other channel with non-stop Whitney Houston coverage.
It’s a very sad end for this amazingly talented woman.
What a pity that her gifts were diminished by her drug use but you still rooted for her to come back and do more recordings and films.
So that brings us to all the great work that she left behind, those soaring vocals from the 80s and 90s that we will never forget.
I’ve selected four of my favorites to share on Showtune Sunday: Whitney’s unforgettable 1991 performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl which was so good that it ended up topping the charts.
My three favorite power ballads of Whitney’s were I Will Always Love You, The Greatest Love of All, and One Moment in Time.
Just heard the news that Whitney Houston has died at the age of 48.
It is a shock.
Here is an excerpt from the AP story:
Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.
News of Houston’s death came on the eve of music’s biggest night – the Grammy Awards. It’s a showcase where she once reigned, and her death was sure to case a heavy pall on Sunday’s ceremony. Houston’s longtime mentor Clive Davis was to hold his annual concert and dinner Saturday; it was unclear if it was going to go forward.
At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.
She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
This is a historic time to be a reporter covering LGBT news.
I spend a lot of my time now monitoring what is going on in states such as Washington and New Jersey but this week, much of the focus was on California.
On Wednesday, the 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.
This has led to all kinds of excitement and cautious optimism among the LGBT community and its straight allies.
At a rally in West Hollywood that night, the mood was jubilant.
On a night like that, this just seemed like the perfect place to be.
“West Hollywood was the first to recognize domestic partnerships,” West Hollywood Mayor John Duran reminded the crowd.
“You’ve got to think about where this came from. Why did we need domestic partnership laws? Because gay men with HIV and AIDS were dying in 1984 and were being denied hospital visitation, being denied the right to inheritance, being denied the right to their children. Because lesbians were losing their kids in custody battles. You’ve got to think about where this came from. Why did we need domestic partnership laws? Because gay men with HIV and AIDS were dying in 1984 and were being denied hospital visitation, being denied the right to inheritance, being denied the right to their children. Because lesbians were losing their kids in custody battles.”
On Wednesday morning, I had driven to downtown Los Angeles from my home in Silverlake for a press conference held by the American Foundation for Equal Rights and was so happy to be able to sit with my friends Karen Ocamb, news editor of Frontiers IN LA and Ted Johnson of Variety’s Wilshire & Washington for the proceedings which I wrote about in this story.
I was also fortunate to be in the front row a few seats away from AFER board members Rob Reiner and Dustin Lance Black so I was able to get comment from them after the press conference.
“This is a very, very big piece of the puzzle,” Reiner said. “This is a very big building block so we’re really happy about it.”
(Karen, bless her heart, took a photo of me chatting with Lance Black which I was not aware of so that was cool to see later. She also snapped Ted interviewing attorney Theodore Olson.)
I had to rush home to write a series of stories about the decision for Gay Star News but did a quick interview with my old friend Carol Rock who is news director for KHTS-AM radio station. She wanted to get my thoughts on the ruling so I talked off the top of my head for a few minutes. Here story is HERE.
A little rain wasn’t going to stop Rebecca Peterson Fisher from taking to the streets of West Hollywood this week to celebrate a key legal victory in the three-year legal battle to overturn California’s Proposition 8.
The 32-year-old was among the several hundreds of people who had gathered for a rally and a march in the hours after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
‘I think I’ve been out to every marriage equality rally that I could be since my first one when I was 16 in The Valley in 1996,’ she told me as she marched down Santa Monica Boulevard with wife, Gretchen Peterson Fisher, and some of their friends.
‘When Prop. 8 passed and there were protest rallies, my wife and I – we weren’t married then – I flew in from New York,where I was living then, to participate in the protests,’ she said.
The couple (pictured) got married in New York last year. They had been together only a short time when Proposition 8 was passed by voters in 2008. There was only a brief legal window in 2009 when same-sex marriages were being conducted in the state.
‘We had just met and we thought about it but we didn’t want to get married on the right wing schedule,’ Fisher said. ‘We got married in New York in August and we got domestic partnered here.’
If same-sex marriage does return to California, they plan to have another wedding in Los Angeles where they now live.
‘It’s an emotional roller coaster and it’s been really frustrating because it’s influenced a lot of decisions that we’ve made about when to bring our relationship to certain stages,’ Fisher said. ‘We feel like we haven’t been able to do that on our own schedule without considering all of this legal roller coaster that’s been going on in New York and in California over the past several years.’
They were a hoot together for four seasons on Ugly Betty as scheming magazine editor Wilhelmina Slater and her trusty assistant Marc St. James.
Since that fabulous series left the air in 2010 (far too early if you ask me), Vanessa Williams has joined the cast of ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Michael Urie has been busy on the Broadway stage first in play The Temperamentals and now in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
The two were together again this week with Miss Williams paid a visit to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre to catch a performance of How to Succeed in Business.
Williams is a Broadway veteran herself starring in Into the Woods, Sondheim on Sondheim and The Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Have you seen the promos for ABC’s new series Off the Map?
At first I was intrigued because one of the cast members is Mamie Gummer, a terrific actress who has appeared as an attorney in several episodes of CBS’s The Good Wife and also happens to be Meryl Streep’s daughter.
But my attention was soon fixed on the hunky Martin Henderson, the 36-year-old New Zealand actor who had, somehow, not previously been on my radar.
Martin has been acting professionally since he was 13 when he landed a role in a local television production. Then from 1992-95, he starred in the TV drama Shortland Street then went on to star in various Australian films and television shows.
He moved to the US in 1997 to pursue acting and his first stop was a two-year training program at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City.
Once he got to Hollywood, he got his first break in a major film in 2001′s war film Windtalkers followed by the horror film The Ring starring Naomi Watts. His first major lead came in the 2004 film Torque followed by the films Bride and Prejudice, Little Fish, Flyboys, Battle in Seattle and Smokin’ Aces.
Martin then conquered the stage starring in an acclaimed production of Fool For Love on London’s West End. He was then cast in a television pilot based on the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith but it was not picked up as a series.
Thankfully, Off the Map has been picked up and premieres next month!
We all know that Channing Tatum has a new romantic drama out today called The Vow.
It’s about a couple who have to start over after the wife (Rachel McAdams) wakes up after a car accident and can’t remember being married to her husband.
Now how can you forget you are married to Channing Tatum???
Anyway, the film we really want to see starring Mr. Tatum is Magic Mike which is based on the hunky actor’s experience working as a male stripper back in the day. It also stars Alex Pettyfer (pictured with Tatum), Matthew McConaughey, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello, among others.
The Hollywood Reporter chatted a bit with Tatum about Magic Mike at this week’s premiere of The Vow.
“We really want it to be good,” he said. “I know it’s getting a lot of press and a lot of hype and it’s scary when that happens because you just want people to like it, or to understand it.”
Tatum is also a producer on the film.
“It’s not all my life, but it’s definitely all my experiences,” he said. “I basically poured all my memories and stories out. We just kind of wrote something entirely unique to itself.”
I’ve written before about my big crush on Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt.
Well, just could not resist posting this photo of his backside as he took a tumble during a Davis Cup match against China’s Zhang Ze.
Hewitt, a former number one player who has won Wimbledon and the US Open, won the match 6-2, 6-1, 7-6.
As an added bonus, Hewitt and the rest of the Australian Davis Cup team are being coached by the very hunky Patrick Rafter, a two-time US Open champion who also reached the finals of Wimbledon twice. Rafter reached the number one ranking as well but I hesitate to mention because he only held the ranking for one or two weeks!
Until I read an interview with him on AfterElton.com yesterday, I was not familiar with Jake Nodar.
Now I can’t get his blue eyes out of my head!
Jake is a horse trainer and reality television participant whose latest series, Full Metal Jousting, premieres on Sunday night at 10 p.m. on The History Channel.
“I have never jousted prior to this experience,” he tells AfterElton. “No experience whatsoever. i think one time I got in a grocery cart and had a friend push me at someone else with a broomstick, but that was pretty much the extent of it, and that was nothing like what we were about to do.”
Jake is gay and came out to his fellow contestants during the filming of the series.
He says: “I’ve been out for a long time, and I’m very comfortable with it, but going into something like this where you’re with fifteen alpha male types who are all very competitive, and we’re all living together in the same quarters, I definitely had some reservations about it. But the bottom line is, we’re all there chasing after the title and the $100,000 prize, and that was my primary focus.”
The world’s number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, is one of a kind.
Or is he?
The superstar now has a wax double!
Djokovic attended a ceremony revealing his wax sculpture in the Wax museum in the central Serbian town Jagodina. He returned to Serbia, where he is considered a national hero, after winning the Australian Open for the third time in the longest final in the history of the tournament.
True story: I was dating a guy quite a bit younger than me around 12 years ago or so. We were driving home from a movie and he was flipping through my CDs in the car and said: “Who’s Carole King?”
I knew right then and there that this summer fling just had to end!
There were other issues, of course, but that was a moment where it dawned on me that this would never work!
Carole King is only one of the greatest songwriters to ever sit behind a piano (Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Locomotion, One Fine Day, You’ve Got a Friend and on and on and on), she also had one of the biggest selling albums in history: Tapestry.
I want to honor Miss King, on her 70th birthday, by sharing with you some of my favorite songs of hers. I had trouble narrowing it down but here are four of my faves: So Far Away, I Feel The Earth Move, One Fine Day and It’s Too Late.
Thank you Carole for all the great tunes that span my entire life.