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Catching up w/Eve Plumb about what she’s up to now and how TV alter-ego Jan Brady is misunderstood

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http://blogs.mycentraljersey.com/channelsurfing/files/2008/12/jan.jpgEve Plumb is not one of those tragic child TV star stories.

When we met recently at an event in Hollywood, she was very gracious, articulate and clearly had something that many others in her position lack: perspective.

She’s an accomplished artist who utilizing oil on canvas to paint spontaneous still life. She recently had a gallery showing in New York City.

Eve, who played middle sister Jan on The Brady Bunch, has probably had more non-Brady acting roles than any of the TV siblings including the memorable 70s TV movies Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway, Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn and a television remake of Little Women which led to an NBC series in which she also appeared.

In more recent years, she played the mom on the Saturday morning show Fudge which I loved!

I asked Eve to name her favorite non-Brady role: “There’s so many but I would say any time you get a job it’s exciting. I loved doing Little Women because of the costumes and because it was a period role, that’s a lot of fun.’

It’s actually been about 20 years since she last inhabited the role of Jan. That was in the 1990 CBS “dramedy” The Bradys which was ordered after ratings went through the roof for the 1989 TV movie A Very Brady Christmas. Although she had famously skipped the cult fave The Brady Bunch Variety Hour in 1976-77, she did reunite with TV sister Maureen McCormick to co-star in the 1981 sitcom Brady Brides.

But just because Miss Plumb has not been playing Jan, she middle Brady sister lives!

Movie and television parodies have zeroed in on episodes of the original series focusing on her character’s insecurity over wearing glasses, being a middle child, embarrassment over not having a boyfriend, jealousy of her older sister Marcia and concerns over her future appearance.

First, Jan became a character on Saturday Night Live in which Jan was made by cast member Melanie Hutsell to be far more neurotic and jealous of sister Marcia than she ever was in the series.

Then Jan really came off as a wacko in the successful feature film The Brady Bunch Movie and its sequel in which her character was played by Jennifer Elise Cox and came off as a real psycho!

“I think that’s where it started, with that woman’s parody of me [on Saturday Night Live]. I don’t know why they chose that character to extrapolate all of that from. It’s very odd to me because I think it’s an interpretation that was overblown. I think the character is being interpreted differently than what was intended. But I have no control over that.”

Eve has been surfacing more frequently at Hollywood events including a performance last week at the popular cabaret event Cast Party held every month or so at The Magic Castle.

“I did Cast Party in New York and got up and sang a couple of times. It’s just a different phase that I’m starting. It’s a better time and there has been very good response.”

She and TV mom Florence Henderson reunited recently when they performed onstage together for the first time this spring in a benefit called Broadway Backwards in New York City.

“One of the fun things about that was that we were performing in a theater that was currently showing South Pacific and Florence is very famous for having played Nellie and I would say that I’m infamous for a production I did of South Pacific many years ago and I was probably awful. But there we were two Nellies in a Nellie dressing room. That was kind of fun.”

“It just seemed like the right time to start doing some things,” Eve added. “I hope that I will manage to keep it at a low level so it won’t be like, ‘Oh yeah, her.’ I was just in New York and signed with an agent there. I would love to live and work in New York City.”

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Friday Morning Man: Kyle Lowder!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_hivVNZt_eVs/SQXmk4rW2rI/AAAAAAAAA-g/g2tLTBz6Qhk/s400/Kyle_Lowder.jpgKyle Lowder has spent the last three years playing Rick Forrester on the CBS Emmy-winning soap Bold and the Beautiful. But fans of NBC’s Days of Our Lives know him from the five years he spent on that show as Brady Black.

It looks like the 29-year-old Kyle made the right decision when he dropped out of Syracuse University to pursue acting in Los Angeles. He’s from Pleasantville, New York and if he looks the part of a high school quarterback, that’s because he was!

When I met Kyle last week at an event at the Salvation Army, he said the best part about being in the daytime world is the loyalty of the fans: “It’s the best, it really is. It makes me want to be the best that I can be at this job.”

Kyle met his wife Arianne Zucker while they starred on Days of Our Lives and last December, they welcomed daughter Isabella into the world.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Happy Birthday to Sam Harris!

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Could it be that Sam Harris is the perfect man? He’s gorgeous, talented beyond comprehension and has loads of humor and charm.

I’m sold!

The first winner of the original Star Search competition in the early 80s, Sam went on to become a Broadway star, and was the best part of the short-lived CBS sitcom The Class. Sam and his partner Danny became parents in 2008.

It’s always great to chat with Sam, who turns 49 today. The last time we spoke was a year ago and I asked him his advice for looking so young and healthy: “Be happy, be grateful and have children.”

Previously: Catching up with Sam Harris and National Coming Out Day: Greg In Hollywood’s Honor Roll of Famous People Who Are Out and Proud

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Sean Hayes tries to discuss the Newsweek controversy on “The View” but co-hosts keep interjecting!

http://fashion.rightcelebrity.com/wp-content/photos/Sean_Hayes.jpgThe ladies of The View had the perfect opportunity this week to get reaction from Sean Hayes about the controversial Newsweek article by Ramin Setoodeh which claimed that he was not convincing as a straight man in Promises, Promises, a show for which he is nominated for a Tony Award.

Guest panelist Ashlee Banfield did a solid job of bringing it up and asking the question but, frustratingly, Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd interjected with useless comment. This was not the Hot Topics segment so let the guest SPEAK!

Here is some of what Sean did manage to say amid the din about the notion that openly gay actors cannot convincingly play straight characters: “Where do you start? It’s a five-hour conversation about how assinine that statement is. It’s the same kind of argument as when people said Oprah was too white or white acting. What does any of it mean. There are spectrums of white people, there are spectrums of black people. You can’t pigeonhole anybody.”

Sherri Shepherd then says: “You’re turning ME on right now Sean.”

Interjected Kristen: “I fall in love with him eight times a week.”

Chenoweth, who very publicly defended Hayes in a written rebuttal, added: “I think Mr. Setoodeh , his first name is Ramin – we call him Ramon noodles – Mr. Noodles, he didn’t do his research.”

Added Sean: “I don’t think he knew what his point was. He’s young and he’s inexperienced and he doesn’t know what it’s like to be an artist. … What does masculine or gay mean? It doesn’t mean anything.”

FILE UNDER: Stage

ATWT Clip: Luke continues his maddening behavior, Noah makes me cry and they all end up at a party

I have to say, Jake Silbermann is terrific in this episode of As the World Turns, especially in a scene with Lily and Holden where he thanks them and say he won’t be seeing much of them from now on.

I got a little choked up!

Later, Luke (Van Hansis) comes home and Noah is in his room gathering some things he left there and Luke asks if he had come over “to break up with my family?… I never expected this to happen, not to us.” Luke has a flashback to their first kiss. It’s sweet but it is nothing compared to his makeout sessions with hot doc Reid!

Speaking of Reid (Eric Sheffer Stevens), he shows up just as Luke and Noah are having their little heart-to-heart and three is definitely a crowd! Reid explains that Luke invited him to a party Lily is having and that he is “physically incapable of turning down free food.”

Noah is furious and abruptly leaves.

Says Reid: “It’s nice of you to invite me into your bedroom where you two have undoubtedly made love countless times.”

(yeah, right!)

Luke tells him to “get out” because he’s making fun of his Noah’s young starry-eyed love. But the truth is, Reid is speaking for the audience: the Luke and Noah love story has been a joke for a long time now.

Luke and Reid? Now that’s another story!

FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

“I Love You Phillip Morris” delayed AGAIN!

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Release of the Jim Carrey-Ewan McGregor love story I Love You Phillip Morris had been postponed again – this time by the courts!

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and focuses on a love affair between a con man (Carrey) and his cellmate (McGregor). Its release date has been pushed back several times, most recently from February to March then to April and finally to July 30.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a California District Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction preventing the U.S. release of the indie comedy.

The movie was produced by French movie studio EuropaCorp, which licensed domestic rights to Consolidated Pictures Group. But the Luc Besson-backed EuropaCorp says it never got the full $3 million advance that Consolidated agreed to pay last year. An agreement between the two parties was amended in February to allow Consolidated to pay in three installments, but EuropaCorp says it still didn’t receive any money.

The latest target for release of the film is October.

FILE UNDER: Movies

Greg In Hollywood on the Red Carpet:”A Chorus Line” opening at Pantages in Hollywood was star-studded

BROADWAY CLASSIC: Enjoyed the heck out of the new production of A Chorus Line that opened at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood this week.

It’s a wonderfully performed show with a top-flight cast who sing and dance to perfection. It was a wonderful to see all the great numbers including my favorite What I Did For Love. Of course, there is I Hope I Get It and One and all the great material contained in this show about an audition for a Broadway show.

I would be remiss if I also failed to mention that Derek Hanson who plays director Zach in the show, is breathtakingly beautiful as well as very talented as a singer and dancer. And girls and gay boys, the body is hot! Hot! Hot!

It runs for two weeks only so if you want to go, get on it because it closes at The Pantages on June 13!

Among the stars who turned out for opening night including Oscar winner Shirley Jones, Tony winner John Lloyd Young, Grammy winner Melissa Manchester, Emmy winner Camryn Manheim, Olympic champion Greg Louganis, director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, actors Michael Gross, Paul McGill, Josh Sussman, Hal B. Klein, Michael Papajohn, actresses JoAnne Worley, Anne Jeffreys., Charlene Tilton, Jackie Zeman, Kate Linder and Dancing With the Stars pro Kym Johnson.

I was there to talk to with as many of them as I could. Here are some highlights:

Shirley Jones attended with husband Marty Engels and told me: “I was at the opening of the original A Chorus Line in New York.”

While she made her big splash as the leading lady in classic movie musicals such as Oklahoma! The Music Man and Carousel and won an Oscar for dramatic work in Elmer Gantry (there’s the Mrs. Partridge thing too, okay?), Miss Jones has spent a lot of time doing theater: “I did four Broadway shows before I came to Hollywood.”

She and son Patrick Cassidy also appeared together on Broadway in 42nd Street, the first time a mother and son ever appeared together in a Broadway musical.

“I was scared to death because I’m an old lady now and it wasn’t easy. But after about a month I was okay. And a wonderful thing about appearing on Broadway that I remembered right away was camaraderie people have about doing a show together. You just don’t quite get that in movies and television. You get a wonderful script, a wonderful story and a wonderful acting role but you don’t get the camaraderie that makes a show a show.”

Melissa Manchester is one of my all-time favorite singers. Could listen to her music all day. She won the Grammy for You Should Hear How She Talks About You and had huge hits with Don’t Cry Out Loud and Midnight Blue. But tops on my list is her ballad Come In From the Rain. One of the most gorgeous songs – ever!

Melissa’s most recent album is When I Look Down that Road. She says: “I’m on the road and writing and life is good.”

It was a thrill last month to watch Melissa perform at Cast Party, an event that takes place every month or so at The Magic Castle in Hollywood where performers drop in, unannounced, to do a number. I found myself at the table next to Melissa’s and she exuded such joy both while performing and while watching others sing.

“I was very happy,” she said of that night. I love the idea of it. It’s mostly what happens in my living room on Christmas. The fact that this has gone on for years and years and years is thrilling. I’ll be at the next one.”

JoAnne Worley is such a great star who really knows how to razzle dazzle. Such a talent and a blast on a red carpet. Although most famous for Laugh-In, Jo Anne has spent much of her career in the theater including a run at The Pantages a few years back in Wicked as Madame Morrible. She’s a big theater fan and said of A Chorus Line: “It’s such an emotional, fabulous show and it speaks certainly to performers. Of course it’s about life, but it really speaks to performers.”

Kenny Ortega, the director of the High School Musical franchise and who choreographed Dirty Dancing, was excited to watch the latest production of A Chorus Line: “I’ve been fortunate enough to be at a few of the Chorus Line openings including the original more than 30 years ago. I would not miss it. It’s just so fresh, such a genius idea at its core. Just the whole way that it came together. It still stands up conceptually as one of the bravest and smartest ideas ever.”

Next up for Kenny: “We’re in development with Universal Motion Pictures for the film version of In the Heights. I’m really excited about that.”

Actress Kate Linder, longtime cast member on The Young and the Restless, always adds lots of glamour to any event she attends. I snapped her with Charlene Tilton of Dallas fame. She was ready for a good show: “I’ve seen A Chorus Line I can’t even count how many times. I saw it on Broadway when Donna Mckechnie was in it. Meanwhile, Charlene tells me she has the rights to the life story of the late Tammy Faye Mesner and hopes to be before cameras in a movie about Tammy Faye later this year!

Olympic great Greg Louganis is a huge theater fan and an accomplished stage performer in his own right. We had a great chat which you can read HERE.

Jackie Zeman has played the role of Bobbi Spencer on General Hospital for more than 30 years. But she’s not on the front-burner like she once was, at least for now: “I’m recurring but not much, it’s just here and there. So I’ve been keeping busy, doing some designing with my jewelry, I’m traveling to Africa on behalf of the Gabriel Project in a couple of weeks – we bring over kids to the US for life-saving heart surgery. Plus I’m a mom and I have two teenaged daughters so I try to be a good example to them.”

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No matter what she’s doing, Jackie is always recognized by her fans: “There’s such a connection with the fans after being on television for so long in a role that has such a connection. Some of the fans are like family to me and I am to them.”

We had such a good chat that I didn’t want it to end but the curtain was about to go up and we had to find our seats. And whaddaya know, we ended up with seat RIGHT NEXT to each other! It was fun to enjoy the show with an actress who I great admire.

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Broadway star John Lloyd Young (pictured with Glee cast member John Sussman) has a strong connection to A Chorus Line: “This was one of the first Broadway shows I ever saw, I saw it in 1986, I was just a little kid. I was old enough to wait outside the stage door for autographs, I was fascinated by the show, I was so excited with the actors and I had no idea at that point that I’d be a Broadway actor myself.”

John, who starred in the indie comedy Oy Vey! My Son is Gay last year, won the Tony Award for Jersey Boys and I wondered what that accolade has meant to him: “Winning the Tony is sort of when I got my equity card when I was a really young actor. It’s a legitimizer, you’re a member of a club and you’ll always be  a member of it.”

He added: “But whether I won a Tony or not, Jersey Boys would have been a great legitimizer for any actor. It feels like a benchmark, they’ll never take it away and I’m very proud of it but what’s interesting about it is that it just means you were just good at that, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be good at the next thing. So you still have to work just as hard as if you are a struggling actor just starting out.”

Since he’s living in LA now, John said he’s love to do Jersey Boys again someplace like, say, The Pantages!

“There’s a market for it out here and I live here and I told them I’d like to do it so we’ll see if it happens.”

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Broadway and film actor Paul McGill came to the show as an audience member but he very well could have been up there on the stage. Paul appeared in the most recent Broadway revival of the show for two-and-a-half years in the role of Mark and will return to Broadway Aug. 1 in Memphis.

“It’s going to be good to just sit back and have nostalgia and just remember all my firends and the good times that I had,” he said. “It was the time of my life. I did it from the ages of 18-21.

After Chorus Line closed back East, Paul headed to L.A. and got cast in last year’s feature film remake of Fame and also has a role in the upcoming film House Hunting.

He has found comfort in having a growing number of Broadway performers out here too: “It’s a tightly knit community. LA is such as film and television-based town. Everyone who has done Broadway and come to LA, we kind of congregate and we get along really well. It’s nice to have the Broadway community here.”

Things had gotten quite chaotic on the red carpet by the time Michael Gross and his wife made their way down so I did not get the chance to chat with the former star of Family Ties. But I did snap a quick photo!

Dancing With the Stars pro Kym Johnson was so happy to have won the crown with Donny Osmond last fall that she took the spring season off from the show and worked as a correspondent for E! News:”I wanted to do something else … I’ll probably go back next season.”

I wondered what it was like to have spent so much time with Donny who has been a star for 40-plus years: “I love Donny Osmond, he’s the hardest working man in showbiz. I was in Vegas with him a lot and the fans, I’d never seen anything like it. He’s the nicest man.”

Devon Werkheiser, star of the Ned’s Declassified franchise on Nickelodeon. I had no time to chat but I’m glad I snapped a pic of the kid!

HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS: This handsome man is not a movie star! He’s my friend Trevor Daley and he was my guest at the opening. It’s always so much fun to go to the theater with Trevor who works for Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

FILE UNDER: About Town, Stage

Jane Lynch’s character of Constance will be getting married in the season finale of “Party Down”

http://www.variety.com/rbidata/photogallery/variety/30638.bmpIf a little show called Glee had not come along and propelled Jane Lynch into superstardom as Sue Sylvester, the busy actress would have been working on the second season of the Starz comedy Party Down.

Jane was in the cast during the show’s first season as Constance Carmel then moved onto Glee. Megan Mullally was brought in for season two in a different role to fill the void. But Jane returns as Constance in the season finale set to air on June 25 at 10 p.m.

There will be a bit of art imitating life as Constance is getting married in the episode which airs less than a month after Jane’s own nuptials over the Memorial Day weekend to Dr. Lara Embry.

Here is a rundown of the episode according to a press release I got this morning: Constance is getting married,and she’s hired all of her best Party Down friends to make sure they attend. Roman (Martin Starr) takes an unplanned “trip,” that helps him understand everything and Ron (Ken Marino), guided by Constance’s wisdom to “follow your heart,” makes a desperate bid for the love of Danielle, even though it may mean losing the job of his dreams, operations manager for Party Down.

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FILE UNDER: Television

Bradley Cooper dreamed about being Solflex guy

http://chuvachienes.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/imgBradley-Cooper2.jpgOh man, remember those Soloflex commercials?

The guys on those commercials were these such muscular perfection that you were tempted to pull out a credit card each time one of the spots came on. But you ended up not ordering it because you were so mesmerized by what was happening onscreen.

Well, Bradley Cooper was watching those commercials too. For his latest role in the upcoming feature film adaptation of The A Team, he’s developed a physique that could make one of his childhood dreams come true: “As the movie progressed, I got in increasingly better shape. There’s this one fight scene with Liam Neeson toward the end, where it’s, like, the apex of the work … I swear to God, it looked like my head was digitally superimposed onto someone else’s body. I was like, ‘This cannot be me—that’s the way I look?’ … ‘Cause as a kid I only fantasized about looking that way. Remember Soloflex commercials? That was huge when I was a kid. It was like, ‘I wanna be the Soloflex guy. Mom, can we get the Soloflex?’”

Towleroad.com has some pics from those classic ads!

FILE UNDER: Guy Candy

Remembering “Golden Girl” Rue McClanahan

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http://www.theatermania.com/images/show/img/137584img1.jpgGOLDEN STAR PASSES: It’s not easy saying goodbye to one of our Golden Girls.Rue McClanahan has joined former co-stars Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty at that big TV Land in the sky. I hope they are enjoying a nice, big cheesecake together right now.
Her death this morning leaves 88-year-old Betty White—currently enjoying a Facebook-fueled surge of popularity—as the last surviving Golden Girl. The top photo of Rue, Betty and Bea is the last time they appeared together – two years ago at the TV Land Awards.
Betty said in a statement today: “Rue was a close and dear friend. I treasured our relationship. It hurts more than I even thought it would, if that’s possible.”

The actress, who won an Emmy for her performance as the sexually liberated Southern belle Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls for seven seasons, has died at the age of 76. Before suffering a stroke earlier this year, she was still active in stage roles and television parts including the Logo series Sordid Lives: The Series.

Leslie Jordan, her co-star on Sordid Lives shared this memory with Entertainment Weekly today: “I got really close in the twilight of Rue’s life. She’s one of the true Southern ladies. She showed up in Shreveport, La. to play my mother on the series Sordid Lives with a portable sewing machine, and she wanted to make her own hats. She just said, ‘I just think that this lady would have made beautiful Sunday hats.’ We got so close, though, Rue and I. We did a tour of comedy from the show. She was in a wheelchair, I think after a hip replacement, and rather than stand-up comedy, she called it sit-down comedy. Honey, we wheeled her out [and] I thought we were going to have to get the hook! We said, ‘You have 20 minutes.’ Well, she had that audience on the palm of her hands. … She was a lady, but she was a bawdy lady too. She could get down with the best of us. She was filthy. She will really be missed.”

As the saucy, slutty Blanche, she became an Emmy winner and a gay icon for playing waaaay against type. Betty White had played the slutty Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show while Rue was to play sweet and childlike Rose. But in the end, thankfully, they switched roles and the rest is history.

Marc Cherry, a writer-producer for part of The Golden Girls said Thursday that his “favorite character to write for was Blanche Devereaux, In the hands of lesser actresses Blanche’s vanity and sexual appetite would have been off-putting. But in Rue’s brilliant hands, that character became one of the most beloved in the history of T.V. Rue’s kindness, generosity and enormous talent will be sorely missed.”

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Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, Betty White, Golden  Girls

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She had a chat with The Advocate a few years back and was asked why she thought gay men loved her character of Blanche Devereaux so much – aside from her glamour and way with men.

Said Rue: “She always bounced back from disappointment very quickly. I think that’s why a lot of people loved her. Underneath she was insecure, or she wouldn’t have been so man crazy. It wasn’t a driving physical need for her, but she sure did love sex.”

She and Miss Arthur were close friends off-screen and had also starred together for six seasons on Maude. I did one of the last interviews with Bea before she died last year and she told me a funny anecdote about Rue: “When we started ‘Golden Girls’ and Rue, my darling Rue, suddenly found herself a so-called TV star. I remember she couldn’t believe that I did my own grocery shopping! But I did and would usually meet Angela (Lansbury) in produce.”

Rue’s other television credits included playing Vicki Lawrence’s sister on Mama’s Family, the short-lived ABC comedy Apple Pie, the 1999 season Safe Harbor and one season of The Golden Palace, the series Golden Girls transitioned to after Bea left the show in 1992. She also did scores of guest spots on dozens of TV shows when she was between series including the recurring role of Mary Hubble on The Love Boat.

In addition, Rue starred in many highly-rated TV movies and has more than 100 televisions credits in all starting with roles on the daytime soaps Another World on NBC and Where the Heart Is on CBS. Last year, she did a guest spot on Law & Order. It was last November that her health began to fail. She underwent bypass surgery then suffered a minor stroke in January. It was a massive stroke that took her life earlier today.

She began acting on Off-Broadway in New York City in 1957 and made her Broadway debut in 1969 when she portrayed Sally Weber in the original production the musical Jimmy Shine with Dustin Hoffman in the title role.  She won the 1969 Obie Award for the Off-Broadway play Who’s Happy Now and went on to star on Broadway in Father’s Day, Sticks and Bones, California Suite, The Women, and most recently, the delicious role of Madame Morrible in Wicked.

Off screen, Rue was married six times and had been with her last husband, Morrow Wilson, since 1997. She wrote a memoir about her life in 2007 called My First Five Husbands … and the Ones that Got Away.

Update: My friend Karen Ocamb of the LGBTPOV blog has written a tribute that includes some information not in any of the obits filed so far on Rue: But a quick note from me: McClanahan’s character Blanche Devereaux appeared at a time in 1985 when gay men were dying almost as quickly as they were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Their lives shifted dramatically from the fun of sexual liberation to the darkness and depression of equating sex with death. McClanahan’s sex-obsessed, often ego-centric characterization of Blanche gave so many frightened gays a vicarious escape into a magic world when sex was unabashedly fun. Just the sheer laughter at her foibles was itself a treasure. For that, McClanahan and her “Gold Girl” co-stars will always be gratefully cherished. Thank you, Rue.



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FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to Anderson Cooper!

For the past several months, I’ve had this photo of me and Anderson Cooper on my Facebook profile just for kicks. I met the CNN anchor while covering the 2008 Democratic National Convention when I was on loan to the Denver Post for  a week to cover the celeb scene there.

Anderson, one of the hardest-working reporter/anchors in the news biz, also shows his lighter side during his frequent stints sitting in as a guest host on ABC’s Regis and Kelly.

The silver fox, who turns 43 today, has such a great sense of humor and recently displayed an unusual skill:  he’s real good at flipping Oreos from his forehead into his mouth!

Now that’s talent!

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Click here to find  out more!

Anderson Cooper Oil Spill

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

“Designing Women” Thursday: Suzanne Sugarbaker goes bowling but refuses to trade in her shoes

http://newdressaday.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/designingwomen.jpgIn this episode from season four, the ladies challenge an obnoxious all-male design firm to a bowling match as they compete for a redecorating job.

Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke), who has probably never stepped foot into a bowling alley before, is appalled when the woman behind the counter asks Suzanne to leave behind her designer high heels in exchange for a pair of bowling shoes.

The former beauty queen assures the woman that she has no intention of trying to walk off with a pair of “clown shoes” with the sweat of untold numbers of “poor people.”

Sunanne ends up bowling in her high heels.

Thursday Morning Man: Jeremy Hubbard!

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Whenever I’m having trouble sleeping, I end up watching some of ABC’s World News Now, the overnight newscast that gave Anderson Cooper his start and also served as a launching pad for rising star Ryan Owen.

When Ryan left the show, he was replaced by this very handsome fellow: Jeremy Hubbard.

Jeremy himself is a rising star at the network and it’s just been announced that he too will be leaving the telecast to expand his reporting duties at the network. He already contributes to Good Morning America, World News With Diane Sawyer and Nightline.

What’s so great about ABC World News Now is that the anchors get to show their personalities by interacting each other in a relaxed and often light-hearted fashion and also do a fun headlines segment on the show.

Here are some highlights from Jeremy’s career – so far: last year he co-anchored ABC’s continuous coverage of the commuter plane crash near Buffalo, New York that killed all 49 people onboard and one person on the ground.

Prior to his assignment at the anchor desk, Hubbard was a Chicago-based correspondent for NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News. NewsOne provides live and packaged news reports for more than 200 affiliates and clients in the U.S. and around the world.

He joined the network in spring 2007, reporting from across the country on politics, the economy, severe weather and breaking news. While at NewsOne, he covered the August 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Omaha mall shootings in December of that year; and deadly school shootings in both Cleveland, Ohio and DeKalb, Illinois.

Before joining ABC News, Hubbard was a reporter and anchor at KDVR-TV in Denver, where he extensively covered the battle over illegal immigration. He traveled to the Mexican border, documenting the efforts of the controversial “Minuteman Project” to keep illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. Hubbard wrote, produced, and reported “Battle for the Border,” an award-winning documentary on the issue.

From 1998-2004, Jeremy worked at KMBC-TV in Kansas City, where he covered several high-profile national stories. He reported from Texas after the Space Shuttle Columbia explosion, and traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana for the execution of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Hubbard co-produced, co-wrote and anchored “Eye for an Eye,” an award-winning documentary about McVeigh’s execution.

From 1996-1998, he worked at KWCH-TV in Wichita, Kansas.

He is a man who has paid his dues!

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Outfest 2010: The 28th Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival announces “Howl” as opening night film

http://www.saltlakemagazine.com/Blogs/Sundancing/January-2010/Sundance-Film-Review-Howl/howlIII.jpgOutfest is always one of my absolute favorite times of the year. It is 11 glorious days of LGBT films of all genres, terrific panels and parties and the venues are just filled with gifted filmmakers and appreciative audiences.

It is heaven and I know plenty of people who just clear their calendars and try and see as many events as they can at nation’s leading LGBT festival and the oldest film festival in the city.

I’ll be doing plenty of pieces leading up to the July 8 to 18 event since Greg In Hollywood was asked to be one of the sponsors this year!

But for now, let me just give you some of the highlights of what is to come. I’ll have more tomorrow because tonight is the official kickoff party which is always a lot of fun.

The opening night gala gets things into high gear and I don’t recall ever being disappointed with the film selected. This year it will be the debut narrative feature from acclaimed documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. It’s called Howl and what a cast: James Franco, Jon Hamm and David Strathairn!

http://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/40288.jpgPrior to the screening of Howl, Jane Lynch will receive this year’s Outfest Achievement Award. Fellow Glee cast member Chris Colfer and director Paris Barclay will present the award to Lynch who was married over the weekend to Dr. Lara Embry.

The closing night movie will be the feature debut of actor-turned-writer/director J.B. Ghuman called Spork.

Outfest Executive Director Kristen Schaffer said today in a statement: “This year’s incredible line-up celebrates all of the forward-thinking artists that push the boundaries for LGBT rights and equality. From Allen Ginsberg’s quest for personal and artistic liberation to stories that challenge the status quo in the age of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and gay marriage bans, this inspiring collection of films is sure to impact both gay and straight audiences.”

Other gala screenings include: Cheryl Dunye’s hybrid thriller/documentary “The Owls” as the U.S. Dramatic Centerpiece and the feature debut from Outfest Screenwriting Lab fellow Javier Fuentes-León, “Undertow (Contracorriente)” as the International Dramatic Centerpiece.

Outfest is also celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation, a collaboration with the UCLA Film and Television Archive – the only program in the world dedicated to saving and protecting LGBT moving images. To celebrate this milestone, Outfest has asked 5 filmmakers, musicians and journalists to select and introduce a favorite film from the Legacy Collection. Selections include Clueless, Hustler White, Mädchen in Uniform,Out of the Shadows/Sign of Protest and Macho Dancer.

In its 4 in Focus series, Outfest celebrates a quartet of first-time feature film directors who have boldly established their careers with accomplished, independently-produced debut features.

The selections this year include: Myriam Aziza’s The Evening Dress (La Robe Du Soir), Javier Fuentes-León’s Undertow (Contracorriente), Adriana Maggs’ Grown Up Movie Star and Jake Yuzna’s Open.

Stay tuned for more information and previews! For more information go to Outfest.org.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Newlyweds Jane Lynch and Lara Embry are featured in the New York Times wedding announcements!


This is so lovely! A glowing Jane Lynch and Lara Embry are featured in the New York Times weddings section today. Here are some excerpts from the accompanying article to this wonderful photo:
The actress Jane Lynch and Lara Embry, a clinical psychologist, were married on Monday at the Blue Heron Restaurant in Sunderland, Mass. Jeannie Elias, a friend of the couple’s who became a Universal Life minister for the event, officiated.
We actually have a picture of the moment we met,” Ms. Lynch said, referring to the May 2009 San Francisco fund-raiser at which she was a presenter and Dr. Embry, who was among those being honored, instigated their introduction.“I said, ‘I want my picture taken with her,’ ” Dr. Embry recalled. “I thought she was cute.”

Both say that the attraction between them was immediate and that their differing professions played no part in it.

“It’s not like she’s marrying out of her species or anything,” Ms. Lynch said.

Dr. Embry noted: “I knew of her work, but not extensively. I was basically ignorant of it.” No sooner had they met than they had to part, Ms. Lynch to Los Angeles and Dr. Embry to Sarasota, where she was raising her daughter, Haden, now 8, and was seeking visitation rights with her adoptive daughter, Chase, 10.

They struck up a long-distance relationship, and during that time, Dr. Embry said, they discovered that “we’re actually more similar than different.”

“We are both fascinated by emotional experience and are essentially hopeful people, but that temperamentally we express it differently,” she continued. “I tend to be more calm and reserved, and Jane is not. She’s expressive and exuberant and gregarious.”

For her part, Ms. Lynch said that their personality differences have served to bring about adjustments for each of them. “Lara’s very patient,” Ms. Lynch said. “I move fast. I’m very impulsive, and we kind of process things at a different pace, so we’ve both had to step up in that area. I’ve had to slow down, and she had to get a move on.”

FILE UNDER: Gay Marriage

Fran Drescher’s ex-husband is gay: “We love each other dearly. We have even fixed each other up!”

http://cache1.asset-cache.net/xc/50733176.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=E41C9FE5C4AA0A144A1DF516F39ED15912B08E19689F1F5705CAD96B592B123EB01E70F2B3269972During the height of her fame on TV’s The Nanny, Fran Drescher would show up on red carpets with her oh-so-handsome husband Peter Marc Jacobson who she had been married to in 1978.

When they split up in 1999, there was no scandal. it just seemed like one of those Hollywood marriages that didn’t work out. But in a new interview with In Touch Weekly, Fran reveals that her ex came outas a gay man to her after their split!

Their relationship seems to have evolved into a real-life Will & Grace: “We love each other dearly,” she says. “We have even fixed each other up! I more successfully than him, by the way.”

They’re even working together on a new sitcom based on their relationship: “Peter and I feel so blessed to have met each other and to still have a caring, loving relationship. Love is what we’re all about.”

I love it!

In 2008, she and Peter co-hosted a cocktail party in LA to benefit a group seeking to block California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“Peter and I met when we were 15,” Fran tells In Touch. “We were just kids and didn’t know who we truly were. We went through a lot together.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Greg In Hollywood Interview: Greg Louganis reflects on Matthew Mitcham, being a mentor & living with HIV


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We lavish a lot of attention on people who have so little to say and accomplished so little in their lives. Reality stars, mistresses of famous men, duchesses who sell their ex-husband out.

So it is so refreshing to be able to spotlight Greg Louganis, one of the greatest Olympic athletes in history who overcame great obstacles in his life to reach the top of his sport and who remains an inspirational figure for so many.

Greg’s story means so much to me because I was coming out in a big way in the mid-90s and it was then that he also came out and wrote a deeply-felt memoir called Breaking the Surface in which he revealed that he had been HIV positive when he won his third and fourth gold  medals at the 1988 Olympics.

Greg attended last night’s opening of A Chorus Line at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and it was there that we had our chat.  He himself has appeared in many productions over the years including most recently, the play The Little Dog Laughed. He also appeared in the recent movie Watercolors as, you guessed it, a swim instructor.

It’s a role he’s ideally suited for not just because he is a champion swimmer, but he’s also back in the Olympic fold as a mentor.

“I’ve just been recently invited back into U.S. Diving as a mentor to work with the young kids and the coaches that are up and coming,” said Greg who won his first medal – a silver – at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal when he was still in high school.

“We only got one medal in diving in 2000, then absolutely no medals in 2004, no medals in 2008,” he explained. “So now our goal in the United States is to get a team or individual on the podium. That’s kind of what the thrust is for US Diving. So it’s great to be back involved.”

Greg had to sit out the 1980 Olympics in Moscow because of the US boycott but he was ready in 1984 when they were held in LA. He won gold medals in springboard and platform diving that year then repeated four years later.

If anyone can inspire the younger divers, it is a man who’s been there.

Greg was not openly gay when he competed in the Olympics and is very inspired by Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, the only openly gay male athlete at the 2008 Olympic Games, who soared to a gold medal in the 10 meter platform.

“I thought that was awesome, it was really great,” Greg said. “I think we’ve come a long way. We still, of course, have a long way to go. The whole coming process is such an individual thing. For him, it really freed him up to become the athlete that he could become because he felt stifled by all the secrets and I really commend him. I look forward to meeting him, I’ve never met him!”

Greg has long been an outspoken HIV awareness advocate and has a lot to say to young men out there who refuse to pay heed to the terrible toll the disease can take.

“It’s really terrifying,” he said. “I have a friend – a straight woman – who has a lot of young gay friends and she’s really upset about all these bareback parties. It’s so upsetting.”

When Greg announced that he was HIV-positive in the mid-90s, there were not yet the drugs available that prevent the disease from being a death sentence. But, he says, the breakthroughs are no reason to not remain vigilant.

“Sure, we’ve made great strides with medications and treatments. But what I try and share with young people is all the hardships. I wouldn’t wish my drug regiment on anyone. I swallow a lot of pills and the side effects from the medications are not pleasant.”

“The things that I’ve had to go through and endure and in and out of the hospital and that sort of thing. Yes, Magic Johnson and myself, we’re out and about, we’re active and we’re doing good things but it doesn’t mean that the disease is manageable. I can’t stress it enough how important it is to be responsible. It’s something that they can avoid! We’ve learned this through education and we’re trying to get that through to young people who think that they’re indestructible.”

“It’s really hard. A lot of it comes down to self-esteem and trying to build self-esteem in our youth and to get them to love themselves enough to protect themselves and those that they’re with.”

Well said Greg!

FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Sports

“Will & Grace” Wednesday: Jack’s “marriage” to Rosario starts to cause a rift between he and Karen

http://images.usatoday.com/life/_photos/2006/05/19/willgrace.jpgThe love-hate relationship between Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and her maid Rosario (Shelly Morrison) was one of the funniest on Will & Grace – especially when they two women would yell over each other in perfectly-timed insult-laden tirades.

For a time, Jack (Sean Hayes) lived with the women in Karen’s mansion. He and Rosario got married so she would not be deported and while they are a ridiculous couple, a real sweetness surfaced and Jack begins to look after his “wife” who must endure the reasonable demands of her boss.

But this throws off the equilibrium of the twisted relationship of Karen and her maid!

FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

Scott Evans lands a new role!

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http://static.tvfanatic.com/images/gallery/jon-prescott-pic.pngWriting Scott Evans character of Oliver Fish out of One Life to Live has got to be one of the biggest bonehead decisions in the history of daytime soaps.

The character had been on such a journey and had managed to continue to do his job as a police officer as he came to terms with his sexuality.

The exit of Fish and boyfriend Kyle Lewis (Brett Claywell) still makes me absolutely furious.

But Evans has moved on.

AfterElton.com’s Gays of Our Lives column reports that the actor will appear in the gay indie film The One, which will also star hunky Jon Prescott as Evans’ love interest.

Prescott recently appeared on As the World Turns where he played Mike Kasnoff and One Life to Live where he played persistently shirtless pool boy Chad.

The movie is described as “a quick-witted, tender romantic dramedy about a young, successful Manhattan investment banker who lives the charmed Upper East Side Manhattan life about to marry the woman of his dreams who, a month before his wedding, meets and unexpectedly falls in love with a charismatic man from his past.”

Evans and Prescott will reportedly have three love scenes. Hot!

Filming starts on the movie in June.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Details from Jane Lynch’s wedding!

Posted yesterday about Jane Lynch’s wedding at the Blue Heron restaurant in Sunderland, Mass. over the weekend to Dr. Lara Embry.
“There were no celebrities or recognizable faces there,” restaurant co-owner Deborah Snow tells PEOPLE. “Lara’s daughter was there, along with close, close friends of the couple. It was small, warm, intimate and very sweet. You could feel the love and friendship amongst the group.”
Snow also tells Entertainment Tonight the couple was married by a friend, and revealed that the couple was “warm and comfortable” to be around — devoid of any “bridezilla” moments.

After Monday’s ceremony, in which a friend of Lynch’s thanked the State of Massachusetts for being welcoming to gay and lesbian couples, the newlyweds and their 19 guests enjoyed a reception featuring a four-piece jazz combo.

Hors d’oeuvres included oysters, lobster triangles, Japanese crab salad, seared scallop with apple reduction and artichoke fritters with lemon aioli. For the main course: beet salad, striped bass with lemon buerre blanc, truffle mushroom salad, pan-seared breast of duck with duck confit, and herb salad.

The reception concluded around 10 p.m. with cheese plates and a house-made cake filled with chocolate mousse, vanilla butter cream and fresh strawberries.

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized