The great actress Dixie Carter, who starred as the outspoken Julia Sugarbaker on Designing Women for seven seasons, died Saturday morning at the age of 70.
She is survived by her husband, Hal Holbrook and her two daughters.
I found out about her passing just before dinner in West Hollywood when my friend Ted arrived and delicately shared the news. He knew how I felt about Miss Carter who is one of the stars I’d enjoyed meeting and interviewing the very most.
She had such grace and class and I’ll never forget first meeting her at a Designing Women reunion at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills and sitting directly her and former co-stars Delta Burke, Jean Smart and Annie Potts. I do believe it was the last time the fab four made a public appearance together.
She had some of the most delicious lines on that show including her famous “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” speech (posted HERE on Thursday) which I did part of with her when we did an interview a few years back.
“We were told right away that gay bars all over the country were showing the show and bars in Atlanta and L.A. would do the “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” speech,” Dixie told me.
Dixie said she loved doing Julia’s famous speeches but after they were filmed “I’d have to drop all that information as soon as we drive off the lot in order to clear the brain for next week’s script!”
In the pilot, her character got the most laughs so this was a real showcase for the actress. One of my favorite lines of Dixie’s is when obnoxious Ray Don Simpson (”I want to thank you…RAY DON…”) tries to join the women for lunch at a sushi restaurant saying they look like they could use a little male company. Dixie puts down her chop sticks, looks at him and says: “Trust me when I say that you have completely misjudged this situation.”
Carter’s favorite episode? The episode when Charlene (Jean Smart) wants to become a pastor and Julia gets to sing How Great Thou Art at the end. Carter’s mother was dying and that was the last episode of the show she ever saw, her daughter by her side. “She got to see her little girl sing this great Methodist hymn for the whole country.”
After Designing Women left the air, Dixie spent four years playing an attorney on the CBS drama Family Law and earned an Emmy nomination for her juicy recurring role of Gloria Hodge on Desperate Housewives.
She also has performed her one-women show all around the country and is one-half of one of showbiz’s great marriages: she and Hal Holbrook celebrated their 25th anniversary last year.
She never looked happier than when she accompanied Mr. Holbrook to the Academy Awards two years ago when he was nominated for best supporting actor for Into the Wild.
He released this written statement on Saturday: “This has been a terrible blow to our family. We would appreciate everyone understanding that this is a private family tragedy.”
Carrie Bradshaw was dating the world’s most perfect man – Aidan – when she stupidly embarked on an affair with her ex Mr. Big. Then even more stupidly, she ends up confessing all to Aidan on the morning of Charlotte’s wedding to Trey.
Aidan is devastated and in this scene, meets Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) at the wedding to tell her it is over: “I just know myself. This isn’t the kind of thing I’m going to be able to get over,” he says. “I just need to be on my own for awhile.”
Of course they do get back together down the road before parting ways for good. Or is it for good? Aidan (John Corbett) runs into Carrie in the Sex and the City 2 movie!
The star of In Bruges, Pride and Glory and The Recruit recalls his memories of how his gay brother Eamon Farrell was terribly treated when they were young and growing up in Dublin.
Here is an excerpt:
Intolerance is not genetically encoded – it is taught. It is learned at home. It is learned in the classrooms and it is learned anywhere else we gather as a group. But it is usually learned early and added onto from there. If there is nothing to feared, there is nothing to hate. If there is nothing to hate there is no pain.
My brother was so forceful in standing up for who he was, and for the good that he knew was inside of him. Many people missed out on an opportunity, not only to enjoy him, but to enjoy themselves by embracing his “difference”.
They missed out because they saw him as a threat – not as a testament to the kaleidoscope and diversity of this beautiful world. Bullying is torture, it is another betrayal of basic human decency and its scars reach way into the future of its survivors. But the saddest truth is that not all children survive it. It is a potentially fatal societal illness and must be respected and not feared. Respected and dealt with as a very real problem and as an adversary of a potentially harmonious world, that should have no place for bullies or bullying.”
What I really loved about Friday’s episode of As the World Turns is that Van Hansis got the chance to remind us of what a superb actor he is.
There’s a reason he has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award three years in a row!
Things come to a head for Van’s character of Luke Snyder when he finds out that blind and very annoying ex-boyfriend Noah (Jake Silbermann) has a date with another guy.
“Look, it’s just easy to be with Richard … and I don’t feel any pressure to be the old me.,” Noah tells Luke. “… He doesn’t love me but he doesn’t try to fix me.”
Says Luke: “This sucks. … I want you to get what you need more than you will ever know but I’m not going to sit here and watch it happen.”
He storms out then later when he runs into the diner to get some takeout food, Luke sees Noah and Richard having their dinner and he is clearly angry and devastated. He’s made so many sacrifices for Noah only to be pushed away and now he feels the sting of rejection and possibly betrayal.
But as one door closes, another is opening if Luke lets it: He has come to the aid of Dr. Reid Oliver (Eric Sheffer Stevens) who finds himself on suspension while a malpractice suit against him is investigated by the medical board.
It becomes clear to us that without the ability to be a surgeon, his life feels meaningless. It’s as if he is naked and gone is the sarcasm and ego.
“If I can’t work … you might as well shoot me,” he tells Luke.
Luke asks his grandmother to help out, she pulls strings and gets an emergency hearing scheduled. As the episode ends, Luke and Reid are jetting off to Texas together. What will happen in the Lone Star State?
Don’t know how I came across this guy but I’m sure glad I did.
His name is Ethan Boroian and he is best known for his time on Britain’s X-Factor show which was created by Simon Cowell and will have a US version in 2011.
He’s just 20 years old and looks to have a bright future ahead of him. According to Ethan’s Facebook page, he began playing guitar at 13. He joined the band Jona’s Basement with two of his friends after playing guitar for only a few months. The band, focused on rock music and played various clubs, including New Morning in Paris.
After the band broke up in 2003, Ethan began approaching different styles of music. He spent a year of playing strictly Blues and Jazz then decided to move forward looking at other genres.
Ethan started to write his own music at the age of fifteen, and has never looked back. Now living in England while he studies at Royal Holloway University of London, he still finds the time to write music and dreams of people all over the world listening to his music.
Who wouldn’t want to knock on someone’s door and have this guy answer?
It’s Mark Wahlberg in a scene from the comedy Date Night which hit theaters today. We’re used to seeing Mark in far more intense roles like his Oscar-nominated turn in The Departed or in such action flicks as The Shooter, The Happening and We Own the Night.
In Date Night, the former Calvin Klein underwear model has a role that has his still buff bod on full display. He plays a hunky former real estate client of Tina Fey’s character named Holbrooke Grant who just happens to be a security expert. He also refuses to put on a shirt when Fey and Steve Carell, on the run from mobsters in a case of mistaken identity, come to him for help.
Carell has talked about Wahlberg’s stunning physique on more than a few talk show’s recently including The Late Show With David Letterman. “He did not put on a shirt the entire time,” Steve tells Dave. “Not even between takes.”
It’s so good to see this terrific movie get a theatrical release.
If you live in LA or New York, find out where you can see La Mission which stars Benjamin Bratt as a reformed inmate and recovering alcoholic. He’s a single father whose joie de vivre lies in socializing with his circle of friends and transforming old cars into lowrider masterpieces. When he discovers that his high schooler son, Jesse (Ray Valdez) is gay, his world is thrown into turmoil.
In the film, directed by Benjamin’s brother Peter Bratt, the actor is not afraid to go to dark places and his rage is palpable and disturbing.
As a Latino gay man, I may have felt it more deeply than most because I could relate to the parent wanting so badly to love the child but unable to get past their own homophobia. And I loved how the son in the film has such a strong sense of himself in his teens and realizes that while painful to him, it really is his father’s problem.
Here is the trailer:
La Mission was the opening night film at Outfest last summer and on that occasion, Benjamin pointed out that the film’s shoot in San Francisco happened to coincide with the filming of Milk: “I kind of like to think of La Mission as the opposite side of the same coin as Milk is on because while they are both very different films, they both depict the struggle for gay civil rights and the fight to find tolerance in the culture and acceptance. It’s interesting too because when you think about San Francisco, it’s really just seven miles by seven miles and yet there are just these unseen borders and it’s not the least bit ironic that the Mission District butts right up against Castro and yet they seem like two entirely different worlds. Like Milk, we hope that our film is a kind of bridge between communities and a spark to have a dialogue that continues to be ongoing.”
Everyone sings on Glee. Everyone, that is, except Sue Sylvester.
That will change when the meanest coach in town, played so deliciously by Jane Lynch, takes on Vogue in the show’s upcoming Madonna episode.
The LA Times Showtracker blog asked co-creator/executive producer Brad Falchuck how big of a challenge was it to get Lynch to take on Madonna?
“It wasn’t hard,” he said in a conference call with reporters. “No, we just gave her the script. It was in the Madonna episode, which is truly, I think, probably our most spectacular episode to date. It is truly a spectacular that you watch and you can’t believe you’re watching a television show.”
So how is Lynch’s vogue?
“When she saw it and saw what she’d be doing she was so excited. When you see her do this Vogue it is … awesome. It’s incredible. So it wasn’t hard,” Falchuck said. “She was being modest, I think, when she told you she would never sing.”
We were so excited last summer by the arrival of Michael Muhney as Adam Newman on The Young and the Restless.
He was an emergency recast last summer for Chris Engen and walked right into a storyline that had his character partially blind and sleeping with his lawyer and friend Rafe (Yani Gellman) to get out of a jam. It was disappointing that the Adam and Rafe storyline did not develop further or that the two never even shared an on-screen kiss.
But Muhney, previously best known for his role on Veronica Mars, was just terrific in the role and it is sad that Adam was killed off. He had gotten so evil it seems there was no way to let him live!
On his Twitter account today he wrote to fans: You all stop worrying about me! You’re too kind. I couldn’t be happier with my predicament. Lots 2 be thankful for in my life! Life is good!
Earlier this week he thanked fans for their support: Really touched by all the love from you all…now I’ve got to decide what to do & where 2 go next. Such is the life of a professional actor.
After the Adam-Rafe storyline fizzled, Michael told TV Guide Canada writer Nelson Branco that he was game for a same-sex lip-lock if the script had called for it.
“Let me tell you something, as an actor, the Rafe seduction really whet my appetite. First of all, as an actor I have no boundaries whatsoever. A character who will do anything to get what he wants will always draw me in as an actor. Adam blurred the lines of sexuality when he seduced his gay friend for the sake of self-preservation. That told the audience that there isn’t a line he won’t cross. Which makes Adam the ultimate threat because he refuses to fail or lose. … Let me tell you, if the kiss was written into the script, I would completely embrace it with open arms. I’m an actor. That’s what I do — act. I would’ve gone the distance. As I always have and always will.”
If you were looking forward to finally seeing the long-awaited I Love You Phillip Morris at the end of the month, you’ll have to wait even longer.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and focuses on a love affair between a con man (Jim Carrey) and his cellmate (Ewan McGregor, playing the titular Phillip Morris).
The Los Angeles Times reports: Consolidated Pictures Group, the start-up that was poised to release the Sundance title, has postponed the release once again. And this time it’s indefinite. … Movies can sit on the shelf without a distributor for years, but it’s rare for a title with such high-profile stars and a fair dollop of media attention not to see the light of day.
Well, here are a few a trailers for the movie which, I hope, is not all we’ll ever see of it!
Okay, I officially cannot wait to see Sex and the City 2 next month.
This new trailer just seals the deal: it’s got Aidan in it! Aidan, the true love of Carrie Bradshaw’s life (at least according to me) played by John Corbett who is the true love of MY life. Carrie bumps into him in, of all places, Abu Dhabi!
There’s also the superstar cameos: Penelope Cruz, Miley Cyrus and best of all Liza Minnelli performing at Stanford and Anthony’s wedding.
Best of all, we have our girls: Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis).
We well know that I Love Lucy is the funniest TV series ever.
But I think another reason why the show has stayed in our hearts since its 1951-60 run is its heart: the love between Lucy and Ricky (and later little Ricky), the deep friendship between Lucy and Ethel and the bond between to Ricardos and the Mertzes.
This collection of songs from the series highlight those themes and especially moving is the last one sung by guest star Edie Adams. The actress appeared with husband Ernie Kovaks in the very last episode of the series which coincided with the real-life divorce of stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
Her rendition of the song That’s All brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
Cynthia Nixon is one of those amazing people who seems to just get better with age.
The Tony, Grammy and two-time Emmy winning actress turns 44 today and is at the peak of her profession with acclaimed roles on stage, television and movies.
She, of course, is best known for her role as Miranda on Sex and the City and reunites next month with her TV co-stars for the second feature film based on the much-loved series.
She had spent more than a decade with the man who is the father of her two children but she came out publicly in 2006 after falling in love with activist Christine Marinoni.
She has become an articulate and fearless voice for LGBT equality most recently making a video for Fight Back New York which seeks to vote out of office state senators who voted against same-sex legislation last year.
It was a real thrill to meet Cynthia in late 2008 and asking her about her high-profile political work: “Entertainment is one thing, but when you’re talking about politics and when you’re talking about things that really affect people’s lives, where they live and their kids, it’s just a whole different kind of experience. People think they know you from the parts that they play but when you’re able to come and be honored – which is so lovely – and to also talk to them about your life and what it’s like. It’s a whole different kind of interaction with an audience when it’s you as opposed to a character.”
It looks like he is having the time of his life in Vancouver where he performed Thursday night and afterward tweeted: Had a great time tonight!!! The audience was A+ Saw u gorgeous ladies and to my delight saw all u fierce glammed out boys too!! Finally!
Adam had also tweeted about his mentor stint on American Idol next week: It’s true! In addition to performing on Idol April 14th, I will be mentoring the top 8 on the 13th. I feel honored to be asked. … Even though I’m just at the start of my recording career, I hope to lend some insight as one who’s been thru the Idol adventure. excited!! … Don’t worry America: I will be beyond family friendly. Relax and enjoy. For Your Entertainment.
This handsome guy with the hall of fame hair could very well end up winning American Idol.
But even if he doesn’t, there is no way Casey James isn’t going to end up being a star.
Casey, along with Crystal Bowersox, are the two contestants who have been consistently excellent week in and week out and who are ready, right now, to make an album. They know who they are as performers and that’s why I think they will end up as the top 2.
This week, Casey’s tender, emotionally raw performance of John Lennon’sJealous Man was his best yet and showed just how far ahead he is from most of the rest of the field.
Plus, you gotta love a guy whose hair never looks the same two days in a row!
According to the Idol homepage, Casey’s personal motto is this: “Be happy in your situation. It could always be worse.”
Good grief, I’m already completely smitten with actor Eric Sheffer Stevens and his portrayal of Dr. Reid Oliver. But right now, he’s just off-the-charts terrific as the good doc shows us the softer side of his personality.
He is so smitten with Luke (Van Hansis) while Luke is still focused on Noah (Jake Silbermann) – for now. It is only a matter of time before Luke and Reid get together. Until then, let’s just enjoy the anticipation!
Jennifer Lopez has a new romantic comedy, The Back-Up Plan, coming out in April 23 so she’s doing all kinds of interviews to promote it.
Fortunately, one of those interviews was with Brandon Voss for The Advocate.
Here are some excerpts:
Gay directors have helmed two of your most successful movies — Robert Luketic on Monster-in-Law and Adam Shankman on The Wedding Planner. Alan Poul, who directed The Back-Up Plan, is also gay. So that’s a good sign, right?
It’s true. I get along with the gays — what can I tell you? We click. Gay directors have a certain sensitivity when it comes to women’s issues; I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that’s what I feel. They also have a tremendous sense of humor about life, so they know romantic comedy. I love them.
Does The Back-Up Plan feature a “gay best friend” cliché — maybe the guy your character asks for sperm in the film’s trailer?
[Laughs] Everybody thinks he’s gay, but I don’t think he was intended to be. It’s not specified, but it’s funny that he’s coming off as that. No, there’s no gay best friend in this one, but out of all the romantic comedies I’ve done, I find this one to be the funniest.
Who’s your best gay friend in real life?
Oh, God, I have so many, but my closest is my manager, Benny [Medina]. He’s the godfather to my child, so he’s become a part of my family. We understand each other, we love each other, we have a certain type of chemistry, we have similar work ethics, and we can talk about everything.
More and more celebrities are supporting the gay community by vowing not to get married until all Americans can marry. I guess you didn’t get that memo, huh?
Yeah, I didn’t get that memo three times. [Laughs] When it comes to gay marriage, I just believe in love. I believe that when two people find each other and love each other, they should be able to spend their lives together. Especially being married now and having been divorced twice — being younger, more immature, and making those kinds of mistakes — I don’t think marriage is to be taken lightly for anybody. You have to work at it.
Not to invade your privacy, but I’d like to address some recent rumors. Are you bisexual?
No, I am not bisexual.
Have you ever kissed a girl and liked it?
No, I’ve never kissed a girl. Sorry.
Ryan Seacrest said at the top of the show that the results would be shocking and they were: Mike Lynche received the lowest number of votes on American Idol last night but he was saved from elimination by the judges.
Mike sang beautifully in his last-ditch performance so it felt right that he be saved. The results actually were right on with Andrew Garcia and Aaron Kelly joining Mike in the bottom three.
I was happy to see that Tim Urban and Katie Stevens were able to sing their way out of the bottom three so it shows that the audience is rewarding quality.
It was also great to see David Archuleta who performed John Lennon’s Imagine.
Next week, two finalists will go home. Everyone had better bring their A game!
Boy, Suzanne Sugarbaker sure was fortunate to have a big sister named Julia.
Julia had Suzanne’s back.
And never more so than in this classic scene from the show’s first season. Beauty queen Suzanne (Delta Burke) is helping judge a pageant and Julia (Dixie Carter) overhears a rival former queen named Marjorie making fun of her sister.