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Greg In Hollywood chats with Casey Deidrick about leaving the role of Chad on “Days of Our Lives”

Casey Deidrick has been one of my favorite actors on NBC’s Days of Our Lives ever since I started watching the show a few years ago.

My interest in the show came with the introduction of the gay character of Sonny Kiriakis then, of course, the coming out of Will Horton and all that led to the daytime supercouple of WilSon.

Casey’s character of Chad DiMera was good friends with the gay characters from the beginning and established himself right away as a straight ally who was supportive and protective of his friends.

So I was sad to learn that Casey had decided to leave the show and the role of Chad which he had played for more than four years. His last episode airs on October 31.

I’m not sure what will happen to Chad but on recent episodes, he’s been having headaches and the doctor said he might have a brain tumor.

This would be a terrible development because not only is Casey incredibly tall and handsome, but he has the best head of hair in all of daytime TV and a tumor would probably mean they would have to shave it off!

Anyway, I chatted with Casey recently about his decision to leave Days and about Chad’s loyalty to Sonny and Will.

‘I’m kind of bummed because they kind of dropped the Will and Sonny and Chad storyline,’ he says. ‘A lot of the fans were responding to it. I so enjoyed working with those two. It was so much fun. It just kind of went away. i know the fans enjoyed our scenes together, liked the three of us together. I thought that was one of the cool things about Chad because you were gay, so what? No matter what you are my friend, I love that they wrote my character that way.’

Chad has had plenty on his plate besides his bromance with Will and Sonny. He was the object of Gabi’s affection to the point where she hired a fake stalker who then kidnapped his then-girlfriend Melanie. After Chad found out what Gabi had done and Melanie had left him, the usually upbeat character turned dark and ruined Gabi’s wedding to Nick by announcing to the entire church that Gabi was pregnant with someone else’s baby (he did not know that someone else was his gay friend Will!)

“That was the most fun I think l’ve had on the show,’ Casey admits. ‘Everyone wants to play someone they are not. I’m such a chill, relaxed guy. I got to do a lot of cool stuff. I’m thankful they gave me a chance to play that.’

But it wasn’t enough for him to want to extend his time on the show.

‘I basically just wanted to pursue other opportunities,’ he says. ‘I feel like I learned everything that I could from the soap opera, it was my boot camp. It was never my end game in the first place But I’m thankful for the time I had and the people I got to work with.”

Since he taped his final episode earlier this summer, Casey is now adjusting to days of his life without the soap.

‘It’s a transitional period,’ he says. ‘Change is always hard and weird at first. I’m keeping myself busy with auditions and my music.’

He has signed with the United Talent Agency and is looking to land roles in feature films and prime-time shows and ideally sees himself on one of the younger-skewing shows on The CW.

“I feel like that’s my calling, the CW,’ he says. ‘I’d also love to get on an HBO show. I’m obsessed with Walking Dead.

Casey did a guest spot on Glee last season and it turned out to be the last episode that series star Cory Monteith ever appeared in. Monteith wrapped up his season a bit early in order to enter a drug rehab. He died last month from a toxic mixing of heroin and alcohol.

“He was a super down to Earth, a really fun guy to be around,’ Casey says. ‘When I first heard the news I was in shock. It was so much fun to work with him. We got to talk a bit and he made my experience enjoyable.’

Casey is also keeping busy with his heavy metal band called The Last of Us whose members also include Chandler Massey who plays Will Horton on the soap. They will soon begin production of their first video for the song Sixty-Five Roses about the experiences of someone living, loving and dying with the tragic illness.

Let’s hope that’s not Chad’s fate!

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

Tuesday Morning Man: Lincoln Palomeque!

So last Friday evening, I had dinner at my dad’s house in Huntington Beach and we ended up watching one of the Spanish language telenovelas after our meal.

I don’t remember what it was called but I do remember making a mental note to myself: the actors on these shows are amazingly hot – Morning Men material left and right!

So today I present to you this stunner: Lincoln Palomeque!

According to We Love Soaps, he’s just signed on to play Willy Delgado in Santa Diabla, Telemundo’s new original telenovela premiering Tuesday, August 6.

He will play a passionate musician named Willy who marries his childhood sweetheart named Santa Martinez with whom he has a son. But something must go very awry between the couple because Willy becomes the reason why Santa devotes her life to plotting justice and revenge.

Lincoln is 36 and was born in Columbia and is a two-time TVyNovelas Awards winner for best actor and best villain.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

See video of a rare reunion between Motown pioneers Diana Ross and Mary Wilson with Berry Gordy

Back in April, I posted a photo of Diana Ross and Mary Wilson – childhood friends, one-time singing partners and at times bitter enemies – together on the same stage on the opening night of Motown, the Broadway musical about the history of the legendary Detroit-based record label that launched their careers.

That posting generated 44 comments and let me know there are still plenty of people out there interested in the love-hate relationship between these two former Supremes.

Here is footage of their first time together in 30 years on the red carpet. I like seeing them smiling and on their best behavior. At Saturday night’s Hollywood Bowl concert, Miss Ross flashed photos of the Supremes and other Motown alums during a Supremes number. It was a nice touch that I had not seen before.

FILE UNDER: Icons, Music

Will Arizona and Callie’s marriage be able to survive infidelity on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” ?

I have to confess to no longer watching Grey’s Anatomy very often if ever anymore but I’m glad to see it is still going strong.

I’m mostly glad because it prominently features a lesbian couple!

But fans were shocked at the end of last season when Jessica Capshaw’s character of Arizona cheated on her wife Callie played by Sara Ramirez.

Creator Shondra Rhimes said this week that the storyline will play out dramatically when the long-running medical drama returns in the fall.

‘We’re going to get to see a very interesting journey for both women. I’m excited about it,’ Rhimes tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Rhimes isn’t revealing which way things will go but does say this: ‘I feel like one of two things will happen: They’ll end up getting back together and we’ll see this journey and watch them fight through it, or they won’t and we’ll get to see what happens when there’s more than one major lesbian relationship on a big television show.’

Rhimes says that wherever the story goes, her goal is to not have Callie and Arizona be in what she refers to as ‘a lesbian ghetto’ and have them experience some of the same situations the heterosexual couples on the show do.

‘We let all the other characters on Grey’s Anatomy go through everything,’ she says. ‘It puts Callie and Arizona in a lesbian ghetto the way it does when there’s a black character on TV and they always have to be good and can’t do anything wrong. It puts them into a lesbian ghetto if they can only be happy and perfectly married.’

‘Let’s let them be complex,’ Rhimes adds. ‘Let’s let them have the same three-dimensional story lines that every other character on television has. Let’s let people root for them to get back together or root for them to grow apart. Let’s let them have everything that everybody else has; why do they have to be perfect?’

When Callie was married the first time on the show, it was to a male doctor (played by TR Knight) who had also cheated on her. Rhimes says that will play into how the infidelity impacts her.

‘It’s one thing to be cheated on by a spouse once, it’s another thing to have it happen a second time,’ she says.

FILE UNDER: Television

Cher’s “Women’s World” #1 on Billboard Dance Chart: See some of her terrific new radio interviews

I’ve just watched some of these recent radio interviews (WCBS-FM 101.1 and Z100) that Cher has done and she is so relaxed, animated and cool that it shows you why she is such a beloved superstar for 50 years or so.

These are great interviews that are a lot about music like the first time she heard herself on the radio (it was KFWB and the song was Baby Don’t Go w/Sonny Bono). Before that, she was a background singer who sang on such hits as Be My Baby and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.

We learn that Cher will probably tour next year, that one of her big career regrets was not being well enough to take the role that eventually went to Susan Sarandon in Thelma & Louise.

There’s a lot of heat around Cher even more than a month before the release of her new album because her single Woman’s World is number one on the Billboard Dance Chart.

This marks the eighth time Cher has topped this particular Billboard chart. The first time was with Believe in 1998 followed the next year with two singles from the Believe album: Strong Enough and All or Nothing.

In 2002, she topped the dance chart again with Song for the Lonely and A Different Kind of Love Song then again the next year with When The Money’s Gone. Then after a eight-year hiatus from recording, Cher’s single You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me from her movie Burlesque brought her back to the top of the chart in 2012.

Her latest success is the continuation of a legendary career that dates back 48 years ago to her first number one single, I Got You Babe, with then-husband Sonny Bono. While she and Bono had other hits such as The Beat Goes On, most of her recording successes have been solo and have been spread across six different decades.

They include Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), Half Breed, Gypsies Tramps and Thieves, Dark Lady, Take Me Home, I Found Someone, If I Could Turn Back Time, Just Like Jesse James, among many others.

Woman’s World is the lead single off of Cher’s forthcoming album Closer to the Truth to be released 24 September. It’s her first full album of new material in 11 years.


Raven-Symonè elaborates on coming out tweet

Okay, so Raven-Symonè didn’t actually write the words ‘I am a lesbian’ in a tweet last week but we got the message loud and clear.

She wrote: ‘I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you.’

Didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure she was referring to gay marriages beginning taking place in Rhode Island and Minnesota last week.

Through her representatives, the former star of Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven and the popular Cheetah Girls movies, issued a statement elaborating on her tweet and clarifying that she is not getting married.

‘I am very happy that gay marriage is opening up around the country and is being accepted,” she states. “I was excited to hear that more states legalized gay marriage. I, however am not currently getting married, but it is great to know I can now, should I wish to.’

Yay Raven!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Lady Gaga has message for Russian gays: ‘You are not alone. We will fight for your freedom’

Lady Gaga is taking on the Russian government and its anti-gay law that prohibits anyone from showing support for LGBT people.

The singer defied the law when she performed in the country last December when she said during her performance: ‘Tonight, this is my house Russia. You can be gay in my house.’

On Twitter this afternoon, Gaga issued this challenge to the government: ‘Why didn’t you arrest me when you had the chance, Russia? Because you didn’t want answer to the world?’

She also sent out support to the gay community in Russia.

‘Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia,’ Gaga tweeted. ‘The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia?’

‘The Russian government is criminal,’ she added. ‘Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom.’

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Monday Morning Man: Kevin Bishop!

Yesterday was ABC day at the TV Critics Association Summer Press Tour and this good looking blond was there as part of the cast of the new comedy Super Fun Night.

He’s Kevin Bishop and I remember him from the 2002 film Food of Love in which he played a music student who is offered the chance to be the page turner for an acclaimed pianist and they begin an affair.

While that film was a drama, the 33-year-old Bishop is an English comedian best known for a series of comedy roles including a well-known satirical spoof on Tom Cruise from the series Star Stories.

He then went on to star in hos own sketch comedy series for two seasons called The Kevin Bishop Show.

Kevin’s first big break came back in 1996 with his first film role in Muppets Treasure Island.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

Diana Ross dazzles at the Hollywood Bowl

At 69, Diana Ross doesn’t dance and run around the stage the way that she used to and has the costume changes down to about three or four.

But that marvelous voice and larger-than-life stage presence is still intact as the crowd at last night’s sold out concert at The Hollywood Bowl was happy to discover.

We were in the cheap seats way in the back at The Bowl – a completely new experience for me. Back where we sat, people did not hold back – there was unabashed dancing and singing from the first number to the last and a wonderful camaraderie that seemed to instantly develop.

One of my favorite moments from last night was when my friend, David Trudell, leaped up and started dancing to Diana’s classic disco hit The Boss – pointing his finger at the lady in the row in front of us who was also dancing and had been channeling Miss Ross from the very first number.

We all did the Supremes choreography during Stop! In the Name of Love and boogied during Love Hangover, Take Me Higher, I Will Survive and Upside Down.

Other Supremes hits performed last night were Love Child, Where Did Our Love Go, You Can’t Hurry Love, My World is Empty Without You and Baby Love.

A real highlight of the show was Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Miss Ross’s first number one hit as a solo artist. She also performed her next solo number ones: Touch Me in the Morning and Theme From Mahogany.

She did a beautiful Don’t Explain from Lady Sings the Blues but did not perform the sublime Good Morning Heartache.

When you have as many hits as Miss Ross, there is not time to do them all. The group of women in front of us were waiting to hear Muscles and I had to tell them she has not done song that in concert in years.

She also long ago stopped doing Reach Out and Touch during which she would wade into the audience and have some real touchy feely moments. These days Miss Ross doesn’t talk much to the audience except when introducing band members.

But we were surprised she did not perform the big hit ballads Missing You, It’s My Turn or Endless Love or the dance song Chain Reaction which she used to open concerts with at one point.

The show was a family affair with the star’s actress daughter, Tracee Ellis Ross, serving as a charming and funny hostess. She introduced the opening act which was her sister, Rhonda Ross as well as her brother, Evan Ross.

Both are talented and solid but nowhere near as unique or charismatic as their famous mom who, let’s face it, is one of a kind.

FILE UNDER: Greg's Reviews

Showtune Sunday: Duets with Dolly Parton!

Dolly Parton is such a big superstar that she doesn’t need to share the stage with anyone to give a wonderful show.

But Dolly can also be a wonderful duet partner and she has proven time and time again since her early days with former singing partner Porter Waggoner.

I’ve selected a quartet of her various duets over the years. Of course Kenny Rogers is in there and beautiful duets with Carrie Underwood and Norah Jones.

And, just for kicks, I’ve included a duet Dolly did with Oprah Winfrey!

FILE UNDER: Showtune Sunday

Morning Man Classic: Randolph Mantooth!

Here’s a Morning Man Classic who was a total TV heartthrob in the 1970s on NBC’s Emergency! as paramedic Johnny Gage.

He’s Randolph Mantooth who, at 67, still looks pretty darned handsome!

After Emergency! ended its seven-year run in 1979, he starred in the miniseries The Seekers then went on to a series of daytime soap opera roles on ABC’s Loving, The City and One Lives to Live and CBS’s As the World Turns.

More recently, he guest-starred on two episodes of the FX series The Sons of Anarchy.

FILE UNDER: Morning Men - 2013

Gay Olympic champ Matthew Mitcham on Russia: “It’s really sad, the way they are persecuting people” will forever respect and admire Australia’s Matthew Mitcham for being the only athlete competing in the 2008 Summer Olympics in China to have the guts to be openly gay.

The only one.

So it was sweet justice that this courageous young man went on to win the Gold Medal in the 10 meter platform.

Imagine if those Olympics had been held in Sochi, Russia where a recently enacted law criminalizes any kind of support, no matter how modest, of the LGBT community and includes a provision that allows the Russian government to arrest foreign tourists for up to 14 days for supporting LGBT equality.

There is concern over how athletes and spectators might be impacted.

“It’s really sad,” Mitcham tells The Daily Telegraph. “The way they are persecuting people in Russia is quite horrific.”

He adds: “The Olympics is the best experience you will ever have as an athlete. Their whole memory and experience is going to be marred by this stuff. They are going to be made to feel unacceptable, inappropriate, and it is a really awful, awful feeling.”

“The Olympics are supposed to be somewhere where they can go to be relieved of that feeling. A place where you can compete and feel that gender and sexuality is not an issue.”

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Cheyenne Jackson opens up about his split and rumors: “I didn’t want to have to say anything”

Cheyenne Jackson is speaking out about getting divorced and trying to clear up rumors connected to his getting tattoos and growing a mustache.

Jackson and husband Monte Lapka were married in 2011 and had been together for 13 years.

‘Sometimes I think I am a little naive to think that people even care, but they do,’ Jackson said today on SiriusXM OutQ’s The Frank DeCaro Show in an interview transcribed by

Jackson, who has starred on Broadway in Xanadu and appeared on televisions Glee and 30 Rock, had been hoping to keep the split low-key.

‘I know that our marriage meant a lot to a lot of people … so that’s not lost on me, and I respect that,’ he says. ‘I didn’t want to have to say anything. … But the fact of the matter is, I did have to say something. It was getting a little ugly.’

What was getting ugly were reports that Jackson had a much-younger boyfriend, was living in West Hollywood, in Alcoholics Anonymous and had transformed himself physically with new tattoos and a mustache.

He says: ‘I do have a mustache, but it’s for the new Ira Sachs movie with Alfred Molina and Marisa Tomei and John Lithgow, so that’s what that’s for. I do have a new tattoo, and it’s personal.’

Jackson explains that the tattoo is song lyrics from an old Elvis Presley song that his dad used to sing to him when I was little and was an early Christmas present for his father.

‘It was a beautiful, beautiful moment between us and, you know, it’s very special – and for that to be kind of reduced to gossip fodder is obnoxious,’ he says.

He’s also angry that one of the ‘fucking’ stories revealed that he is in AA.

‘That happens to be true,’ he says. ‘I started my recovery last summer, and it became something I really wanted to focus on in my life, and repairing relationships with my family and such, so this is a really strong, beautiful time for me, personally.’

‘It also is a very sad time because I’m going through a divorce, but yeah, I mean, you know, some members of my family didn’t even know I was in Alcoholics Anonymous, so that was pretty fucked up to actually have people (find out that way).’

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Days of Our Lives: Will continues to be insecure about Sonny and worries about his jailed mom

This seems to be yesterday’s entire episode so there is more than just Sonny and Will – put there is plenty of our boys in them.

Brent continues to be a thorn in Will’s side with his constant presence and invitations to Sonny to go to parties and now to go on a week-long hiking trip.

It’s kind of annoying to have this same thing playing out again – we just went through it. Would be more interesting to actually have Sonny attracted to Brent and deal with that.

Meanwhile, Will visits his mom in jail and continues to blame himself for her predicament.

FILE UNDER: Days of Our Lives

See Clay Aiken in his very colorful costume for ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

Clay Aiken has returned to the stage in a colorful outfit!

There’s a good reason for it: Clay is starring in a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

It’s the show that Donny Osmond starred in for many years.

Like Donny did, Clay stars as the title character and the show is opening at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine.

“This is a show that I have known for years,”Clay recently told the Portland Press Herald. “I grew up as a teenager listening to this music. I remember listening to it on a CD Walkman, so there’s a little history for me with it.”

This is not Clay’s first foray in the stage: He appeared as Sir Robin in Spamalot on Broadway in 2008.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Stage

Raven-Symonè appears to comes out in tweet: ‘I can finally get married! Yay government!’

Last year, when a tabloid ran a story alleging that actress Raven-Symone was a lesbian and in a relationship with a model named AzMarie, she took to Twitter to say: ‘My sexual orientation is mine, and the person I’m datings to know. I’m not one for a public display of my life.

Not a confirmation, not a denial. Just a none of your beexwax.

Earlier today, the beautiful and talented Raven made another statement on Twitter that seems to be her way of publicly coming out: ‘I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you.’

Reading between the lines of the tweet, it would seem that the one-time kid on The Cosby Show is referring to one of the recent marriage equality victories.

It was five weeks ago that the US Supreme Court handed down rulings that resulted in gay marriage becoming legal again in California and this week, marriages also began taking place in Rhode Island and Minnesota.

Raven, 27, followed her Cosby stint with a role on the sitcom Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. She then starred in her own Disney Channel series That’s So Raven and released a series of albums both solo and as a member of The Cheetah Girls with whom she also made a series of TV movies.

Her film career includes roles in The Little Rascals, Dr. Dolittle, Dr. Dolittle 2 and College Road Trip.

More recently, Raven starred in the short-lived ABC Family comedy State of Georgia. Last year, she made her Broadway debut as the lead in the musical Sister Act.


Snapped! Mario Lopez looking very sweet!

Mario Lopez, host of The X Factor and Extra, poses next to a 300 pound Dove Mint chocolate bust of himself! I wonder if the sculptor got him to personally pose! Love the ingredients: Bulging biceps, sculpted abs, chocolate dimples!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

In their 10th anniversary year, Chico’s Angels are better than ever in show at The Cavern Club Theatre

This is the third summer in a row that I’ve gone to The Cavern Club (located in the basement of Casita del Campo restaurant in Silver Lake) and taken in the latest episode of Chico’s Angels.

It’s, of course, the brilliant drag parody of Charlie’s Angels now in its 10th yeart and it just seems to get better and better each year.

On Wednesday night, I watched them in their new caper Pretty Angels All in a Row directed by Kurt Koehler.

It is set in a beauty pageant and the Angels are called in because the contestants keep getting murdered. So Kay Sedia and Chita Parol go undercover as contestants while Frieda Laye is pretending to be a TV reporter covering the pageant.

These “girls” are a hoot. Totally self-absorbed, slutty, and never funnier than when they are having petty cat fights with each other.

A highlight is when during the talent portion of the contest, Kay Sedia sings the power ballad For Your Thighs Only – sung to the tune of For Your Eyes Only. It was a hilarious parody and Kay soldiered through it with gusto despite a very drunk lady in the audience drawing attention to herself. Good grief, learn to handle your liquor!

What’s great is each Angel has her moment to shine and are each so individually funny. I love Chita’s maniacal laugh and equally maniacal cry, Frieda is so naughty and can really milk a laugh when asking to be tied up or working her way out of a tacky jumpsuit to reveal a glamorous gown underneath. And finally, Kay, the diva. Those eyes alone can make you fall over laughing. The comic timing is brilliant and the self-absorption is total. Love it!

Supporting cast is rock solid, as usual. Alex Patino is back as Bossman (the Bosley character) and Natalie Lander (Miss Texas), Nora Miller Francis (Miss Hawaii) and Brittany Ross (Miss California) each get to shine.

And finally, the production’s hunk. He’s Kevin McNamara is various roles, the most prominent being Buck. That’s me pictured with Kevin after the show because like Frieda, Kay and Chita, I also had the hots for him!

The show closes on Sunday and has been sold out during its entire run – even with two added shows! Here is the LINK to ticket sales in case there are some cancellations.


Ellen DeGeneres to host 2014 Academy Awards!

This is a GREAT choice!

Ellen DeGeneres will return to host the Oscars for the second time, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have just announced.

“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” Zadan and Meron said in a joint statement. “As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theater, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”

Ellen said in a statement: “I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm.

Ellen hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007, for which she received a Primetime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.”

The Academy Awards will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014 on ABC.


Lunch Break Videos: Gearing up for Diana Ross this weekend at Hollywood Bowl with a few tunes

Can you believe how excited I still get in the days before I’m going to see Diana Ross in concert?

She will be at The Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night and my pal David Trudell and I are ready to do some singing and dancing as if we were a coupla Supremes.

I’m trying to keep track: First saw her in 1989 during the Workin Overtime tour at the Pacific Ampitheatre then two years later at Universal Ampitheatre during the Force Behind the Power tour. Next was in 1995 (or maybe ’96) for the Take Me Higher – again at Universal.

Then some time passed before I saw Miss Ross again except for a splashy event on the Paramount Studios lot for the DVD release of Lady Sings the Blues where she came with her five kids and her date: Jon Voight!

Saw her in concert next at Hollywood Bowl in 2008 then not long after at the Nokia for what I think was the I Love You tour. And most recently, saw her at the Nokia again at a corporate event for Herbalife which was a bit auto-pilot.

But I know she will be giving it her all at The Bowl this weekend. I look forward to adding another concert memory to my list!