Originally posted January 15, 2010 – definitely worth an encore!
If you’re a fan of the BBC soap EastEnders, then you know who John Partridge is. In case you don’t, I’ll tell you a little bit about this handsome actor who not only portrays a gay man on the show, but is openly gay in real life!
The 36-year-old actor plays the role of Christian Clarke on the show and most recently had a steamy storyline as he was involved in an affair with Syed (Marc Elliott) who recently married a woman.
Partridge was born in Manchester, England, and trained at the Royal Ballet Lower School. John left college at 17 to tour the UK to tour with the original touring production of Cats. He has also appeared in productions of Grease, Tommy, Rent, Miss Saigon, Starlight Express and Taboo.
I had already been a big fan of Andy Roddick but my affection for him soared earlier this month when he was among the first of famous athletes to post congratulations on Twitter to NBA player Jason Collins after he came out as gay.
The next day, Andy joined the group Athlete Ally to fight homophobia in sports.
Andy retired from tennis last September after a stellar career that included winning the 2003 US Open, becoming the number one ranked player in the world, winning the Davis Cup and reaching the finals of Wimbledon three times.
With his intelligence, quick wit and good looks, he seems like a natural for television and that’s exactly where he’s heading!
It was announced today that Andy has been hired as one of the co-hosts of Fox Sports Live, a three-hour news, opinion and highlight show that will air nightly on Fox Sports 1 between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET. The show is Fox Sports’ challenge to ESPN’s SportsCenter and will debut when the network launches Aug. 17.
This is a full-time gig that will have Andy on the air 4-5 times a week and require living in Los Angeles much of the time (he has a home in Austin, Texas).
“It was a fascinating process for me,” Andy tells SI.com of landing the job. “I really haven’t had to earn my keep in a given job since I was 18 years old. Getting the gig is a start, but I am certainly prepared to put the work in and learn about this side of it, and try to prove my worth to the guys taking a shot with me.”
Serena Williams has won four straight tournaments and is enjoying the longest winning streak of her career.
She’s number one in the world at the age of 31 and the reigning Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic champion.
But is she the best ever?
Chris Evert, on the three players who I think ranks above Serena in terms of greatness (the others are Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova) thinks Williams ranks above her, Steffi, Martina and all the rest.
Evert, now a commentator for ESPN, said during a conference call with reporters this week: “I think with her serve and her athleticism, her power, her court mobility, I just think when she’s on, she’s the greatest player we’ve ever seen, ever. Now, whether her record is the greatest remains to be seen because she hasn’t retired yet. But I think she is really the greatest player. I have seen Martina and Steffi at their best. There are little chinks in those players’ armor, but it was a different era, where you didn’t need to be the perfect player.”
“On the one hand I hate comparing generations because I feel the current generation is going to be better, but on the other hand it’s hard to imagine a better player than Serena when she’s playing well. I don’t even know if that was the question, but I just had to answer it that way. If you talk about Grand Slams, you know, to me she’s going to pass Martina and I. It’s still a reachable goal for her to win 22 and match Steffi. If she plays another two, three, four years healthy, she can break all those records.”
Today is the day in California when we celebrate “Harvey Milk Day” which commemorates the May 22 birthday of the late civil rights icon’s birthday.
Had he not been murdered, Harvey Milk would have been 83 today.
He was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. His story, message and legacy are celebrated to give hope and inspire disenfranchised communities.
Milk fought hard against discrimination – including Proposition 6, a ballot initiative that would have made firing gay teachers—and any public school employees who supported gay rights—mandatory. It lost by a million votes. As a supervisor, Milk was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city but just 11 months into his term, he and Mayor George Moscone were murdered at City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White.
Milk was just 48 years old and had been a gay rights activist for less than a decade.
Cleve Jones worked alongside Milk and wrote on his Facebook page today: “There was so much still ahead.My friend and mentor, Harvey Milk, was born on this day in 1930. Harvey fought for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He fought for working people, for renters, kids and seniors. He believed in coalitions and understood that our struggle was part of the larger struggle for peace and for social and economic justice. He was a kind and funny man who loved his people and his city. Meeting him was the single most important event of my life.”
Los Angeles has elected a handsome new mayor and his name is Eric Garcetti!
Garcetti took 54% of the vote compared with 46% for opponent Wendy Greuel, according to preliminary results.
“We have sent a message tonight and that message is that L.A. is ready to put the recession in the rear-view mirror and to become the city of opportunity that I grew up in once again,” Garcetti said early Wednesday in thanking his supporters.
The 42-year-old mayor-elect is a three-term councilman who represented Hollywood, Silver Lake and Echo Park for 12 years.
Garcetti has always been supportive of LGBT causes,
“I kind of cut my teeth as an activist working on issues of equality and civil rights,” Garcetti told Frontiers in a Feb. 13 phone interview. “When I was in college in New York, I worked with ACT UP. I was the leader of a group called the National Students Coalition Against Harassment, which was a nationwide student organization dealing with hate crimes—sexism, homophobia and racism on college campuses. In some ways, I started my work as a political activist around issues of human rights and taught human rights as a professor. I headed up the Young Advocates for Human Rights Watch, worked for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights dealing with issues of homophobia. Back then, that was more of what we were dealing with than the issue of equality.
“In England, when I was a Rhodes Scholar, I was active in human rights work for the LGBT community there—the age of consent, issues of same-sex partner benefits, education access for gay teachers and other things like that in my time at Oxford. So no matter where I’ve been, it’s been a strong current of my work and how I evolved as a political activist.”
The Liberace film Behind the Candelabra premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week and it is getting raves. Remember, this is the movie that is airing on HBO on Sunday instead of opening theatrically because every major movie studio turned it down – despite a production budget of just $5 million and the involvement of three Oscar winners: Stars Michael Douglas and Matt Damon and director Stephen Soderbergh.
From the reviews I have read so far, it looks like Douglas should make some room in his trophy shelf for an Emmy to place alongside his Oscars for acting (Wall Street) and producing (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).
Here are some excerpts from various reviews:
The Wrap: Michael Douglas hits a career high with Steven Soderbergh’s masterful “Behind the Candelabra,” the love story about Liberace and Scott Thorson slated for an HBO debut on Sunday. One of the best films to play in Cannes so far, it’s really about the lengths gay men had to go in decades past to have a relationship that equaled marriage and the difficulty for an icon like Liberace to even admit he was gay at all. Soderbergh has made his best film in years, an honest rendering of a passionate, sometimes silly love affair between Liberace and the much younger Scott Thorson. … At some point watching the film, you forget you’re watching Michael Douglas at all. His voice, expressions, body language, movements — he entirely disappears. He speaks warmly, through a tight smile, and offers himself up without vanity. Flabby, aging, balding (Douglas really isn’t) — Soderbergh doesn’t shy away from unflattering angles, and Douglas doesn’t flinch.
The Hollywood Reporter: Behind the Candelabra is fabulous — so much so that, were it not for the fact that it reveals everything about his private life that he worked so hard to conceal, Liberace himself might well have loved it. The big screen’s loss is HBO’s gain in what is billed as Steven Soderbergh’s farewell to the cinema, at least for the time being. Superbly scripted, brilliantly directed, smart but never smarmy and led by a lead performance by Michael Douglas so good you often forget you’re watching an actor rather than the famous character he’s playing, this is a rarity, a fully realized biographical drama shot through with real feeling and an abundance of sly humor. It’s a winner all around.
Variety: Ironically, despite being the most bigscreen-worthy film that director Steven Soderbergh has made since “Che,” this eye-popping biopic will unspool Stateside on HBO, while receiving theatrical treatment abroad, where the star power of Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will draw masses to performances unlike any in their careers. … The essence of the character comes across via Douglas’ meticulous technique, whether vocal or physical. It’s an uncanny impersonation and, quite astonishingly, the first nonfictional character the actor has portrayed onscreen. But this is no mere caricature: Douglas brings real dimension to the role, exploring the difference between the pianist’s on- and offstage personas, grappling with the effects of age on an entertainer and trying to reconcile Liberace’s pattern of attraction to young men with what the pic paints as genuinely paternal feelings.
Last year, actor Wilson Cruz became a staff member at GLAAD and since then, has become one of the most visible representatives of the organization.
Last week, GLAAD President Herndon Graddick resigned after just 13 months on the job for personal reasons.
Wilson and I chatted about that on Sunday at the 2013 Voice Awards.
‘The real story is Herndon took a leave of absence a couple of months ago for personal reasons,’ he says. ‘And it’s the same personal reasons that have led him to the decision to resign.’
Wilson declined to say what those personal reasons are.
‘He’s doing great, we’re doing great,’ he adds. ‘Herndon is a part of our family, he will still continue to be present and welcome. He left us in a really great place and we continue. GLAAD has been here for 28 years and we’re not going anywhere.’
Michael Douglas and Matt Damon may play lovers in the HBO film Behind the Candelabra but the Oscar winners stuck to the philosophy of never giving it away for free during a photo call at the Cannes Film Festival.
The actors happily posed for the throngs of photographers but did not lock lips in any of their poses. But they do that an more in the film about Liberace and his former much-younger lover Scott Thorson.
The film premieres on Sunday and is directed by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh.
In these photos, Michael looks just like his father, movie icon Kirk Douglas who starred in such films as Lust for Life, Spartacus and Young Man With a Horn.
This is just too sweet and makes me smile. Ricky Martin takes his twins boys, Matteo and Valentino, out to the park in Syndey, Australia. They sure have inherited a great head of hair from daddy – and his good looks!
Not everyone loved the short-lived CBS comedy Partners but I sure did.
Michael Urie had a comedy tour de force each week and Brandon Routh has never been more appealing.
But it was canceled by CBS with seven of its episodes never aired.
Urie, of course, has bounced back with a new film and a new play, but he does lament the fact that the show was not given more of a chance to succeed.
“I still think they should have given us more time,” he tells The Backlot. “We had six and a half million viewers. If we’d been on NBC we would be renewed for three more years. It was so much about the climate of CBS. Why CBS didn’t give us a chance on another night, or didn’t at least wait for The Voice to be over [and] see how we’d do. I’m sure we lost a lot of viewers to The Voice, people that would have watched our show instead.”
He added: “You know, maybe we didn’t share the same sensibility as the audience that was watching How I Met Your Mother and Two Broke Girls, which we were sandwiched in between. Maybe we would have been better served following a show like Mike & Molly or a show like Two and a Half Men, that was a little bit more, I don’t know, a little more mature. I’m not sure. I’m not really sure.”
Maybe CBS will air the ‘lost’ episodes of Partners over the summer.
Since I’ve missed huge chunks of Nashville this season – love the show but am just behind – I was not familiar with actor Tilky Jones when I saw him on the red carpet at the 2013 Voice Awards in LA on Sunday.
So I began the interview by asking, “So your name is Toby?”
But he just laughed and corrected me.
Tilky was in five episodes of the ABC series as playing Sean Butler, the love interest of Hayden Panettiere’s character Juliette Barnes. The couple got married but the union was short-lived.
“Just being able to sing and act in the same project was kind of a big deal,’
The series has been renewed for a second season and Tilky reveals that he will reviving his role at some point.
“There’s plans for a revisit for Sean in the second season,” he said.
But he does not yet know what the storyline will entail or in how many episodes he will appear.
He’s also got an EP out on iTunes right now called Aesthetic Experience.
“I’m really proud of it and would love for people to check that out,” he says.
Before branching out into acting, Tilky was a member of the band Take 5. After the band broke up, he began landing TV and film parts including recurring roles on One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars and a role in the 2008 film Never Back Down.
Jane Lynch debuted last week on Broadway as Miss Hannigan in Annie and there has already been a surge in ticket sales.
She’s done a terrific interview with Playbill.com that you’ve got to read.
Here is an excerpt:
In your memoir, “Happy Accidents,” you describe your life and career as a series of happy accidents. Do you consider Annie one of them?
Yeah, I didn’t set out to do this. Way in the back of my mind, I thought, “I’d love to play Miss Hannigan someday.” I’d love to play Mame and Mama Rose too, but will that ever happen? Probably not. When my agent said we’d gotten the call about Annie, I started to create reasons in my mind why I couldn’t do it, so I told her no. I was in a coffee shop about a week and a half later, sipping a macchiato by myself, and I went, “What is the matter with you, Jane? You’re making up excuses because you’re afraid.” When I called my agent to tell her I’d do it, she said, “I knew you’d come around, so I never told them no; I’ve been working on the deal.”
What were you afraid of? That I was going to fail. That it’s a huge deal and everyone would be watching. I love being the person who surprises everyone, like, “Who’s that?” Now that people know who I am, they’re like, “Alright, Jane Lynch, prove to me you’re worth the hype.”
You go into horrific detail in your memoir about how miserable you were after moving to New York City briefly during the ’80s. Are you more excited about being in NYC this time around?
Oh, yes. The difference between now and 1984, when I first lived here, is that now I’m staying in a very nice hotel, people drive me places, I get good dinner reservations… People smile at me on the street now, as opposed to how mean the city felt in 1984.
Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, Sean Hayes, Michael Urie, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessie Tyler Ferguson, Tuc Watkins, Jonathan Groff, Luke Macfarlane, Chris Colfer, Victor Garber, Nathan Lane, Cheyenne Jackson and on and on and on.
They are openly gay male actors whose careers have continued to thrive – and sometimes soar – after coming out publicly.
Back in 1993, actor and comedian Jason Stuart beat them all out of the closet when on Geraldo Rivera’s syndicated daytime talk show, he came out.
Jason wasn’t as big a name as the guys in that list then, and he isn’t now. But he’s worked steadily in television, films and comedy clubs being best known playing “Dr. Thomas”, the gay family therapist on My Wife and Kids.
He writes on his Facebook page: “20 years ago I came out on TV in the workplace as an actor and comedian. It has been a journey. I have been very lucky in some ways. I have worked with some terrific artists and some really talented people.”
He adds: “Still looking for equal opportunity. Still hoping to move to the next level in my career. Still grateful I’m still here. Still.”
Below are Jason’s Geraldo appearance and a more recent clip of him talking about being gay in the workplace.
Had a terrific time covering the 2013 Voice Awards yesterday and will have plenty of coverage from the event coming up.
But first I want to share with you a real highlight for me: chatting with soccer pro Robbie Rogers. He bravely came out as an openly gay man in February then stepped away from his sport.
Now he wants to come back and if a deal can be worked out, he could be playing for the LA Galaxy which would allow him to be near his family in Huntington Beach.
I’m going to send you over to Gay Star News to see the full interview which is HERE.
But as a special bonus exclusively for Greg In Hollywood readers, I also got Robbie’s thoughts on the retirement of David Beckham: ‘He probably felt it was time for him, what an amazing career he had and such a role model to footballers and also other people around the world. He’s the guy who I very much looked up to as a soccer player and as a person so I’m happy for him.’