Jennifer Hudson, who finished sixth when she competed in the third season of American Idol, has gone on to become the most accomplished alumnus of the talent competition.
She won the Academy Award and just about every other showbiz award for her searing performance as Effie in the feature film version of Dreamgirls and since then has enjoyed success with hit albums and roles in other films including playing Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant in the first Sex and the City movie.
Today is Jennifer’s 30th birthday and in honor of the milestone, here is her stellar version of the Dreamgirls show-stopping power ballad And I Am, Telling You I’m Not Going.
After it was announced that Chaz was going to be a contestant on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, which has its season premiere Sept. 19, there was flack from people who object to a transgender person being part of the popular reality show competition.
Chaz, the only child of Cher and the late Sonny Bono, talked about the controversy with EW.com at the Creative Arts Emmys over the weekend.
”I didn’t completely expect it,” he said of the negative reaction. “It’s really pretty much rolled off my back and I’m just trying to concentrate on dancing because it’s hard. … You treat it as I’m not going to be doing anything on the show other than dancing.”
Not that Chaz isn’t used to going toe-to-toe with anti-LGBT folks: . ”I’ve been into activism since ’95. I’m really used to this. I debated Jerry Falwell and I’ve had people picket events I’ve been at, so it’s not that big of a deal. I have a very thick skin … otherwise you’d be upset all the time. I look at it as a chess game. These people have an agenda. And I have one as well.”
Trevor Donovan has been one of the more thoughtful actors to ever take on a high-profile gay role on television. It has been clear from the very beginning that playing Teddy Montgomery on 90210 has been a career high point for the actor and his various comments in the past year have been insightful.
So the actor was mortified by the tone of an interview he did with Life & Style magazine in which he said about playing Teddy: “It’s been good for me. Girls want to challenge it. They kind of assume I’m [gay in real life] and try to change me back. Of course, I let them!”
He has clarified his comments: “Dear @Life_and_Style,” the actor writes. “Although I appreciate the interview/article, but the headline ‘Playing gay gets me girls’ was an off the cuff, joking around remark, & feel takes away from the real meaning of the discussion/interview, which was the importance of the Teddy storyline and what influence a simple storyline can have & mean to some people.”
“I grew up in a small town and understand the hopefully positive impact an important story like Teddy’s could have on teens growing up in rural areas. Again, thank you for the interview, but for the record I did not see playing Teddy or ‘Playing Gay’ as a way to get girls, but as an opportunity to embody a challenging role and do it with purpose.”
Tom Whitman and Joe Everett Michaels are proud to present the return of MOMMIE QUEEREST to its original home in West Hollywood.
The hit LA Weekly Theater Award-winning comedy opens Sept 22, four days after the 30th Anniversary of the movie “Mommie Dearest,” on which the parody is based.
As the fifth stop on its national tour, MOMMIE QUEEREST will play six performances at Cabaret Ultra Suede under the Direction of Christopher Kenney.
About The Show JOAN CRAWFORD. Oscar winner. Clean freak. Child Protective Services worst
By now you know the story of Christina Crawford’s tell-all about her tumultuous relationship with her famous mother. First the book, then the 1981 movie that became an instant cult classic. Yes, it’s been 30 years since Faye Dunaway donned those famous arched eyebrows and big shoulder pads making us all go back in the closet and question our choice of clothes hanger.
For the last seven years Jamie Morris’ twisted version, MOMMIE QUEEREST, has had
sold-out audiences across the country re-thinking the oft-quoted tale with the
simple premise, “What if Joan had really been a man all those years?”
Told by an all-male cast of four, MOMMIE QUEEREST entertains the notion that Crawford was actually a man in drag, a fact she hid from her fans, her children, and the world. Even when Christina finds out, takes revenge, and writes “Daddy Dearest” it’s Joan who still has the last laugh.
Original stars Jamie Morris and Brooks Braselman are reunited as Joan and Christina. Morris and Braselman were both nominated for Best Comedy Performance at the 2005 LA Weekly Theater Awards. Morris was also nominated for Best Adaptation.
Christopher Kenney, who won for Best Comedy Direction, is once again at the helm.
With his daytime talk show, Anderson, making its debut, I thought I’d do two things: re-post this photo of Anderson Cooper and me shortly before Barack Obama spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention; and share with you this silly little US Weekly feature on The Silver Fox which is actually really fun. Did you know he was a Dungeons and Dragons freak as a kid and met Charlie Chaplin when he was six? Well, now you know all that and more! Anderson is just becoming more and more open all the time.
Actor Andy Whitfield, the original star of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has died after an 18-month battle with cancer.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Andy Whitfield,” Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement Sunday. “We were fortunate to have worked with Andy in Spartacus and came to know that the man who played a champion on-screen was also a champion in his own life. Andy was an inspiration to all of us as he faced this very personal battle with courage, strength and grace. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. He will live on in the hearts of his family, friends and fans.”
The Wales native died of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Sydney, Australia. He was diagnosed after season one of Spartacus was filmed and production on season two was halted for about a year in an attempt to give him time to recover from the disease.
During that time, producers shot a prequel series titled Gods of the Arena without the actor. For a time, it seemed Whitfield would recover. He was cleared to start work on season two and made a triumphant return appearance at Comic-Con. But he soon relapsed and with his blessing, Starz and producers opted to hire newcomer Liam McIntyre to replace him in the lead role.
His family has released this statement: “On a beautiful sunny Sydney spring morning, surrounded by his family, in the arms of his loving wife, our beautiful young warrior Andy Whitfield lost his 18 month battle with lymphoma cancer. He passed peacefully surrounded by love. Thank you to all his fans whose love and support have help carry him to this point. He will be remembered as the inspiring, courageous and gentle man, father and husband he was.”
Andy had won the role in Spartacus after a worldwide search. he grew up in Wales and studied at Sheffield University in England. He then spent five years working in the construction industry in London before moving to Australia a decade ago. Once there, he attended drama school in Sydney and started to land acting roles while still working as a diagnostic engineer – a job that required him to rappel down tall buildings!
I got to chat with Andy at the Television Critics Association press tour in January 2010 and he told me he had to get into incredible shape for the action adventure series on which he plays the title role.
“I’m tired physically, obviously,” he said then, unaware of his illness then. “You get to a certain point and you get injuries and you have to carry on around those injuries. But also emotionally it was very draining as the series progresses you’ll really what happens with these characters.”
There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that Serena Williams would win the US Open today.
But Samantha Stosur of Australia pulled off a huge upset by beating the three-time champion in straight sets in a match that saw Serena come out flat and never catch fire.
Having to start her semifinal past 10 p.m. last night against Caroline Wozniacki no doubt had an impact but all credit to Stosur who played almost flawless tennis from the first point to the last. The 2010 French Open finalist was not at all overwhelmed by the occasion.
Serena had a huge run-in with the umpire over a call in the second game of the second set that is getting a lot of attention. But Serena, who is now 13-4 in grand slam finals, deserves credit for being a very gracious runner-up and just being grateful to be back competing at a high level after missing a year due to a series of very serious health scares which included two foot operations, clots in her lungs and a gathering of blood beneath the skin of her stomach.
“It’s been an arduous road. Six months ago in the hospital, I never thought I’d be standing here today,” Williams said. “I didn’t think I’d be standing, let alone here.”
Another 9/11 reflection, this one from singer Sam Harris who shared this via Facebook:
“Thinking about 10 years ago. I was to take a flight, and make my official move, to LA from NY on Sept 11th, and changed my flight to the 10th as I had finished working on Liza’s segments of the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary show. On this day, my phone rang and rang at the crack of dawn. It was Liza saying “they’re bombing NY” and I turned on the TV and watched the world change forever. Danny was stuck in Las Vegas. Wherever I live, NY is the home in my heart. Our hearts are heavy today.”
Television personality Kyan Douglas posted his Sept. 11 thoughts on Facebook and I thought I’d share them:
I remember what a beautiful morning it was in the city that day. I remember the moment I knew it was an act of terror I was witnessing as a second plane did the most horribly unnatural thing. I remember the acrid smell that lingered in the air for months. I remember the fallen- their pictures posted everywhere. I remember how I felt for their families as hope simply faded. But more than anything, I remember the quality of Human Spirit that showed up in all of us. And THAT I will never forget.
As if she wasn’t already perfect enough, now Gwyneth Paltrow has an Emmy to go along with her Oscar.
She was named winner of the Emmy for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for her performance as substitute teacher Holly Holliday on Glee.
It’s frankly been Paltrow’s best role in years. Polly is far more feisty and interesting than her supporting role on the Iron Man flicks and I never got around to seeing Country Strong.
She gets to be funny ad sweet on Glee and also gets to sing which she does so very well as we got to see with her renditions of Cee Lo Green’sForget You, Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide and and dueting with Matthew Morrison on a sexy, tango-infused Kiss by Prince.
Gwyneth was not on hand at Saturday night’s Creative Arts Emmys ceremony which traditionally takes place one week before the Prime-time Emmys but she will be invited to present next Sunday. Also absent was Justin Timberlake who won in the guest actor in a comedy category for hosting Saturday Night Live.
And finally – and I’m really thrilled about this – the great Loretta Devine won the Emmy for outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her role on Grey’s Anatomy. Whether it’s starring on Broadway in Dreamgirls, in films like Waiting to Exhale, This Christmas and Dirty Laundry, or in such television shows as Boston Public and Eli Stone, Miss Devine is always top notch.
It’s great to see such a hardworking and truly gifted star finally get her due.
Mark Bingham was among the heroes on United Flight 93 who are thought to have fought their hijackers 10 years ago today. Their plane went down in Pennsylvania instead of a government building in Washington D.C. as was planned.
Mark’s inspiring story is the subject of the outstanding documentary With You which screened at Outfest this summer. It is such a wonderful thing that so much video exists of Bingham from throughout what looks to have been a very full and happy life.
We see him in younger years then on the rugby field, in college, on trips abroad and through the eyes of his dynamic mother, Alice Hoagland, who is really something special. You will wish you had her in your life!
Alice has done a remarkable job of keeping the spirit of her rugby-playing openly gay son alive and talked to journalist Karen Ocamb prior to Outfest about when he son came out to her.
“I became grateful then that Mark had enough confidence in me and love for me and thought enough of me that he wanted me to be one of the first people in his life to know something very fundamental and true about himself. Even though he knew that my attitudes towards gays was vague and not accurate. I would say that I was vaguely antigay –imbued with stereotypes. I’ve had to fight through that. I am one of those lucky human beings that has done an about face and rejected a lie and embraced the truth. But I wish I had had the courage and goodness of heart to do that on my own.”
“But it took my son to do that for me by acknowledging, by telling me – challenging my stereotypes and telling me, “Mom, I’m gay.” Because of him, I have gone on a different journey in my life. And with all the important things in my life – and all the accomplishments that I have – most of them have been because I had a little boy who grew up to be a man who set me on an important life’s quest.”
Greg In Hollywood has been provided with this exclusive new photo of Days of Our Lives star Chandler Massey who obviously has been spending plenty of time at the gym!
Chandler plays Will Horton who is part of the soap’s first gay storyline.
Will’s story is unfolding slowly with him currently in a relationship with girlfriend Gabby.
But Will seems more interested in video games and working on a new project with gay friend Sonny than being being intimate with the gorgeous Gabby.
I had lunch with the Emmy-nominated Chandler a few months back and I can tell you that he is a very thoughtful guy who told me he had no qualms about playing a gay character on TV: “I guess there was a time in the past when people would have been wary. But I feel like now it’s almost like empowering for a straight guy to play a gay character. It’s great because all these boundaries are being kind of shattered.”
I’m completely wrecked over Roger Federer’s heartbreaking five-set loss to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the US Open earlier today. After winning the first two sets convincingly and holding two match points while up 5-3 in the fifth set, I was sure he was about to advance to his second grand slam final of 2011.
But it was not to be.
Djokovic reeled off the last four games to win 6-7 6-4 6-3 6-2 7-5 and Federer’s marvelous streak of winning at least one grand slam title a year since 2003 was snapped at eight.
“Sure, it’s disappointing, but I have only myself to blame,” Federer said after the match. “I set it all up perfect, but I couldn’t finish it.”
Of his disappointing grand slam year he said: “I definitely had some serious chances to do a bit better, and I still made, what was it, semis (Australian Open), finals (French Open), quarters (Wimbledon), semis (U.S. Open)?,” he said. “But I think in a few of them I could have gone all the way, if not a step or two further.”
The five-time US Open champion and winner of a record 16 grand slam titles already had the heartbreaking loss in perspective: “It was a tough year in terms of some tough losses at some crucial stages of the season but look, it’s not the first time it’s happened. I have had big matches where I ended up losing some, but the majority I was able to win throughout my career. Some of them you just have to move forward with also losses like this and not get too down about it.”
He said it has only fueled his determination to come back stronger next season: “I guess I will be extremely hungry going to Australia next year. I know if I keep on working hard now that I’m feeling so good right now it will all pay off.”
Oscar winner Kate Winslet has been made up to look like the late Elizabeth Taylor in the latest issue of V Magazine.
Sorry, I don’t think she, or anyone, can even approach the beauty of Miss Taylor but nice try.
But Miss Winslet certainly has some of the same attitudes about gay people as Miss Taylor did as illustrated in this anecdote in the V article:
“I like being in the city. I like the diversity that my children are exposed to every day. I love the way their brains work. Joe [her son] turns to me the other day and says, ‘One day, I will have a girlfriend. But I might have a boyfriend. If I’m gay.’ He’s 7! And I said, ‘You might have a girlfriend or a boyfriend, darling.’ And he said, ‘Which would you prefer?’ And I said, ‘My love, that would be entirely up to you, and it doesn’t make any difference to me.’ But that he knows! It’s a real privilege. Talk about the best education.”