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New “Idol” judge Ellen DeGeneres signs on for three more years of her day job

Three More Years of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'I gotta say, you really can’t have too much of Ellen DeGeneres.
That’s why it’s so good to learn that Warner Bros. has renewed The Ellen DeGeneres Show for three more years through the end of the 2013-2014 television season.
Here’s what Ellen had to say about it today in a statement: “I’m so excited to sign on for three more years at NBC. They were the ones that believed in my show from day one. So, I’m thrilled to know I’ll be here ’til at least 2014. Things will be a lot different by then. I won’t be dancing over my coffee table anymore. Through the magic of 3-D, I’ll be dancing over YOURS!”

Ellen also made her debut this week as the new judge on American Idol and her reviews so far have been excellent.

Yep, she’s pretty terrific.

FILE UNDER: Daytime TV, Lesbian

Molly Shannon has been cast as Jane Lynch’s faculty nemesis on “Glee”

http://www.celebritywonder.com/picture/Molly_Shannon/MollyShannon_Granitz_15920756.jpgNow this is very cool news.

No one has really been able to match wits with Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester during the first half of the season on Glee but now come word that the mean cheerleading coach will meet her match in Molly Shannon!

If you recall, Molly really spiced things up on Will & Grace for a few episodes when she tried to replace Grace in Will’s life. She was brilliant.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the Saturday Night Live alum will portray Brenda Castle, a character described as the busty 45-year-old new astronomy teacher and badminton coach at McKinley High School who is both an alcoholic and a pill-popper.

It’s a recurring role and Shannon’s first appearance comes in May.

Y-E-S!!!

FILE UNDER: Television

Natasha Richardson remembered by mom Vanessa Redgrave, friend Meryl Streep at amFAR gala

Vanessa RedgraveNatasha Richardson, the Tony Award winning actress who died last March in a skiing accident at the age of 45, was remembered beautifully at last night’s amfAR gala to raise money to fight HIV/AIDS.

Her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, paid tribute to her daughter saying, “My darling Natasha, I’m so proud of your courage, your hard work, your total commitment and your beautiful, life-giving spirit. Thank you.”

Meryl Streep and Lady Gaga performed at the event emceed by Stanley Tucci. Other participants included sister Joely Richardson, Alan Cumming and Juliana Margulies.

Natasha devoted herself to helping to fights HIV/AIDS after her father, director Tony Richardson, died of AIDS-related causes in 1991,  She was the driving force behind “Unforgettable: Fashion of the Oscars,” an auction of Academy Award gowns that raised more than $1.5 million for AIDS research in 1999 and joined AmfAR’s board of trustees in 2006..

Streep sang the traditional Irish folk song The Parting Glass and as the song ended, she sang, “But as it falls unto my lot that I should rise and you should not, I’ll gently rise and I’ll softly call, ‘Goodnight and joy be with you all!’ “

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Singer John Mayer is suffering from a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease

http://www.layddee.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/John-Mayer.jpgI’ve posted a photo of John Mayer holding his guitar with the hopes that it will encourage him to do less talking and twittering and do more singing.

This guy has gotten himself into all kinds of trouble in recent days from being very ungentlemanly in talking about his sex life with ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson then he used the n-word racial slur and the f-word gay slur in an interview with Playboy. The gay slur was used when he talked about making out with Perez Hilton, something Perez shared with the world long ago.

“It was New Year’s Eve and I decided to go out and destroy myself,” Mayer explained. “I was dating Jessica at the time, and I remember seeing Perez Hilton flitting about this club and acting as though he had just invented homosexuality. All of a sudden I thought, I can outgay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody—almost as if I hated fags. I don’t think my mouth was even touching when I was tongue kissing him, that’s how disgusting this kiss was. I’m a little ashamed. I think it lasted about half a minute. I really think it went on too long.”

Nice.

He stopped playing during a concert last night in Nashville to apologize for his big mouth saying: “I quit the media game. I’m out. I’m done. I just want to play my guitar.”

Let’s hope he sticks to that!

FILE UNDER: Controversy

Wilson Cruz to be honored at Outfest Fusion fest

http://nuckfut.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/wilsoncruz.jpgThis is such wonderful news.

It’s just been announced that stage, film and television actor Wilson Cruz will receive the 2010 Fusion Achievement Award next month when the two-day festival takes place.

Wilson made television history as an openly gay teenager on the acclaimed My So-Called Life and came out off-screen when he was just 19 making him one of the very few out actors back in the mid-1990s.

Hehas not stopped working since with credits that include TV’s Noah’s Arc, Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World and ER and the feature films All Over Me, Party Monster, Coffee Date, Bam Bam and Celeste and He’s Just Not That Into You. His most recent film, People I’ve Slept With, is the gala film at the Fusion festival which takes place March 11 and 12.

He’s also been prolific on stage including playing Angel in the Broadway production of Rent.

To see a full schedule of Outfest Fusion films, HERE is a link.

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FILE UNDER: Out Stars, Outfest

Lunch Break Video: Stockard Channing talks about how she’s changed in “Six Degrees of Separation”

http://l.yimg.com/eb/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/mgm/six_degrees_of_separation/_group_photos/donald_sutherland2.jpgStockard Channing is so damned good in everything she does from First Lady Abby Bartlett in The West Wing to bad girl Rizzo in Grease.

But I don’t think this two-time Emmy winner has ever been better than in her Oscar nominated role of Louisa (‘Ouisa’) Kittredge in the 1993 film Six Degrees of Separation co-starring Donald Sutherland, Will Smith, and Ian McKellen, among others.

This scene comes at the end of this fine film and shows how Ouisa’s comfortable world as a New York City art dealer is turned upside down by a young man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her son’s friend from Harvard – and the son of Sidney Poitier.

Many things happen and the film is filled with a lot of smart and funny moments – and some heartbreaking ones too. Great performances all around but Channing is the anchor and this scene shows you why.

Enjoy!

FILE UNDER: Lunch Break Video

Look who turns 18 today …

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Happy Birthday to Taylor Lautner!!!

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FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Thursday Morning Man: Ed Harris!

http://api.ning.com/files/yVDdHA0Mkf2M-id1of8Zt7jl2wTXO84YAPOf4IsOGPIMYnmX-pnAUB0fQ2HpTSs6rabQTh8nzi5n0f5EaqRCej0vohOV6vTT/246454EdHarrisPosters.jpgEd Harris is one of those immensely talented people who manages to year after year to deliver excellent performances in movies like Pollock, The Hours, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence and Apollo 13 and direct quality movies like the superb Appoloosa and Pollock.

The 59-year-old sex symbol first gained fame playing astronaut John Glenn in 1983′s The Right Stuff, the same year he won the Obie for his performance in Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love.

He met future wife Amy Madigan when both had roles in the film Places in the Heart, They have been married since 1984.

Ed opened this week at The Geffen Theatre in Neil Labute’s Wrecks. He plays a grieving middle-aged Midwesterner at a funeral parlor, sorting through complex feelings following his wife’s death.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Daytime Soap Clip: Luke and Noah have entered an annoying stretch on “As the World Turns”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/00/Luke_and_Noah-Main.png/300px-Luke_and_Noah-Main.pngVan Hansis is a fine actor but it has to be frustrating for him to be getting such crap scripts from the writing staff of As the World Turns. His Luke Snyder character is all over the place fight now – obsessed with missing bio-daddy Damian while forgetting his loyalty to Holden, the man who raised him and to whom he had always been genuinely close.

Luke has always been loyal to those he loves but he has been getting very annoying. And poor Jake Silbermann and this terrible “Dr. Oliver’s rules” plot that is supposed to keep Luke and Noah apart – it’s just plain stupid even by soap standards. Is this once promising storyline going to get as lame as the one with Mason?

If so, I will mourn the pending demise of ATWT far less.

Here are the Luke and Noah scenes from Wednesday, if you can stand it:


FILE UNDER: Daytime Soap Clip

Helen Mirren says she couldn’t say no to playing Ellen DeGeneres’s love interest but would find Leo DiCaprio a distraction

http://www.realistichair.com/store/images/helen_mirren.jpgHelen Mirren sure seems like someone comfortable in her own skin. That’s why I love reading or watching interviews with the Oscar winning star of The Queen who has been nominated again this year for The Station Agent.

Here are some excerpts from her conversation with The Advocate’s Brandon Voss:

If you do play a lesbian … whom would you pick to play your love interest?
I would just want a wonderful actress, gay or straight, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to Ellen DeGeneres. I’m such a huge fan of hers and I’ve loved her from a distance for such a long time, so it was quite a moment for me this year to do her show, stand on her set, and see her right there in front of me.

Out of the many actors you’ve worked with, which one have you found the most distractingly handsome?

Well, Liam Neeson in Excalibur was a big one. He was pretty distracting, but it worked out, luckily, because I subsequently dated him for four years. And if I were to work with Leonardo DiCaprio, I think I would find him quite distracting as well.

In her acceptance speech at the Palm Springs Film Festival, Mariah rambled on about meeting you that night. Have you ever had one too many before accepting an award?
Oh, yes, I have, and it’s a terrible mistake! [Laughs] But I thought she was so sweet and lovely—and blasted, yes, but why not? It was her night to celebrate. It wasn’t officially televised, so she should’ve been free to be whatever she wanted to be, but the trouble nowadays with YouTube is that everyone records everything. I thought she accepted her award with great charm.

You and Dame Judi Dench, with whom you’ve only appeared in 1968’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both got Oscars for playing Queen Elizabeths. When you won for The Queen, you beat Dame Judi, who was nominated for Notes on a Scandal. Forgive my gay propensity for celebrity feuds, but is there any rivalry between you two?
No, I wouldn’t say so. Like her, I work in film, television, and theater—which is a very British attitude—but she came ahead of me, so I’ve always been following in her footsteps in many ways. Certainly, I’m an incredible admirer of hers, and I aspire to work the way she works. So no, Brandon, we don’t arm-wrestle.

FILE UNDER: Interviews

Tommy Cruise returns to “Mission Impossible”

http://mithrasblog.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/tom_cruise_mission_impossible_2_010.jpgThe last time Tom Cruise stepped into the role of Ethan Hunt, the box office results were far below expectations and Paramount Pictures seemed to sever ties with the star who was seen as damaged goods following some bizarre behavior during interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Matt Lauer.

But Paramount Pictures confirmed todat that another action-packed, adrenaline-pumping Mission: Impossible adventure will hit theaters next year with Cruise as the star.

Tom seems to have rebounded a bit especially after his late 2008 movie Valkyrie grossed more than $80 million domestically. But this fourth MI movie will be a true test of what remains of his drawing power as an action star.

Cruise does indeed seem to have been humbled by the backlash against him a few years back and no longer inserts the controversial Scientology into interviews. Then there his adorable daughter Suri (mother is Katie Holmes) who has softened his image a bit.

So, what do you think? Does Tom have what it takes to score another blockbuster?

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Channing Tatum shows Ellen some dancing moves

Good afternoon all!

Sorry for the lack of posts all day. I’m been engrossed in a project and am just now coming up for air! And what better person to come up for air for than box office king Channing Tatum whose movie Dear John is a box office sensation.

The handsome actor paid a visit to Ellen DeGeneres’s daytime show this week and showed Ellen some of his moves from his days as a stripper! Pity he’s not doing that anymore!

FILE UNDER: Guy Candy

Anne Hathaway’s decision to leave the Catholic Church in support of gay brother is topic on “Behar”

Anne Hathaway BrotherWe can always count on The Joy Behar Show to do a nice job covering gay-related topics. Last night, Joy and guests, including Michelangelo Signorile, discussed actress Anne Hathaway’s decision to leave the Catholic Church because of its anti-gay stance.
The decision came after her brother, Michael, shared with the family that he is gay.
Apparently Anne used to want to be a nun!

FILE UNDER: Uncategorized

Wednesday Morning Man: Leonardo DiCaprio!

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http://access.nscpcdn.com/gallery/i/d/dicaprio/3C7V390104444.jpgHe was king of the world in The Titanic.

But by the time that 1997 blockbuster came around, its handsome leading man, Leonardo DiCaprio, had already built up an impressive acting resume.

He had already earned an Oscar nomination as Johnny Depp’s younger mentally handicapped  brother in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and starred in The Boys Life, Marvin’s Room, Total Eclipse, The Quick and the Dead, Romeo + Juliet and The Basketball Diaries.

Then came Titanic and superstardom along with all kinds of lucrative offers.

But DiCaprio has been quite choosy with his roles post-Titanic and has been most fortunate to have teamed with the great director Martin Scorsese on Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed and now Shutter Island which opens Feb, 19.

His work without Scorsese has been equally impressive with an Oscar-nominated turn in Blood Diamond as well as stellar performances in Revolutionary Road and Catch Me if You Can.

At 35, Leo’s just getting started.

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FILE UNDER: Morning Men

Luke trying to figure out what the heck happened to his bio-daddy on “As the World Turns”

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0V88Ov8kRQE/Sgw_RUuJHlI/AAAAAAAADMo/fjHyqO_C0UM/s400/jpi_episode13527_104504.jpgI realize that Luke Snyder doesn’t care what I think but I just want to say, ‘Hey Luke! Damian’s gone! Count your lucky stars – and your inheritance!)

But Luke is determined to find out what happened to the creepy Damian and goes to the Oakdale cops who, I’m sure, will be of no help since they never are! Holden, the man who raised Luke, is not happy with this because, well, he may have killed Damian in a fight.

“I need to find Damian and I need him to explain this to me to my face,” he tells Holden who’s probably thinking, ‘Not gonna happen, he’s toast.”

Holden reminds Luke that “family is more than DNA … you’re a Snyder – always have been.”

FILE UNDER: Daytime TV

Sam Pancake chats with The Advocate: “I knew fairly young that it was Burt Reynolds for me and not Suzanne Somers”

http://l.yimg.com/l/tv/us/img/site/96/28/0000009628_20060920163546.jpgI’m always looking forward to seeing who Brandon Voss is going to talk to next for Advocate.com and his latest interview is with the always busy actor Sam Pancake who has done memorable guest spots on many TV comedies and was a cast member on the short-lived gems Lovespring International and Kitchen Confidential.

Her currently stars In Pretty, a mockumentary Web series on PrettyTheSeries.com and FunnyOrDie.com Sam plays a dim-witted pageant dad named Michael Champagne who has a precocious 5-year-old daughter (played by adult actress Stace McQueen).

Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

Tell me about Michael Champagne, the pageant dad you play in Pretty. We know from the first episode that he loves everything Disney — including Zac Efron.
He really loves sparkle, glitter, and glitz, but according to Steve — and I don’t know how this will play with your gay magazine — Michael is supposedly straight. We find out later that he and his wife do have sex, even though she’s cheating on him with his brother. If he is gay, he’s in deep denial or doesn’t have the self-awareness to understand that he’s gay. He’s a Christian, he’s a little bit racist, and he’s not very smart. In the second episode he says, “I’m a doer; I try not to think,” which I think sums up everything about him. We’ve chosen to make him from southern West Virginia, as am I. He moved to L.A. to make it as an actor, but that didn’t work out. Now he’s delighted to be entering his daughter in pageants because, you know, it’s what she really wants.

http://willwilkinson.net/flybottle/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/znaniBurt%20Reynolds.jpgWhat was your experience growing up gay in Romney, W.Va.?
I knew fairly young that it was Burt Reynolds for me and not Suzanne Somers. I also knew everyone around me would not be cool with it, so I tried to keep that under wraps as much as possible, but I just couldn’t. I was a pretty theatrical, high-strung little boy, so anyone with half a mind could figure out why I loved the show tunes and wasn’t so great at basketball. My mom was always trying to butch me up, telling me not to say certain words, but my stage debut was ironically in the Romney Women’s Club Minstrel Show, where I had to dress up as Minnie Pearl and do numbers from Hee Haw. Like Michael Champagne, I wanted to be around sparkly things like Hollywood.

FILE UNDER: Out Stars

Bradley Cooper makes the premiere of “Valentine’s Day” in which his love interest is Eric Dane!

Bradley Cooper
Hollywood’s famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was the site of last night’s star-studded premiere of the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day and among the cast members in attendance was Bradley Cooper.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you are led to believe Bradley and Julia Roberts‘ character are an item but they’re not. They are just BFFs and she is advising him on his relationship with his boyfriend played by McSteamy himself, Eric Dane (pictured below with pregnant wife Rebecca Gayheart)!

Rebecca Gayheart

It annoys me that the trailer completely ignores the gay relationship while flaunting all of the others but I guess they are essentially deciding to woo the homophobes over the gay ticket-buyers. I’d like to think most people who would go to see this kind of movie wouldn’t be put off by onbe gay plotline intertwined with about a dozen heterosexual ones. (See earlier post HERE).

The movie opens on Friday and also stars, among others: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Patrick Dempsey, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Hathaway and Ashton Kutcher.

FILE UNDER: Movies

Happy Birthday to wonderful Judith Light!

http://www.insidesocal.com/outinhollywood/,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,judithlight.jpgJudith Light is the real deal.

Not only is she a great actress, but she is a great humanitarian. Judith, currently starring in ABC’s Ugly Betty,is beloved by the LGBT community for her extensive involvement in several causes like The Point Foundation and organizations like Outfest.

It all began in the early 1980s after she won two Emmys for ABC’s One Life to Live and was about to begin an eight-year run on ABC’s Who’s the Boss. Judith was horrified by the AIDS epidemic and the government’s lack of action when people, including her friends, were dying. She was one of the first celebrities, way back in the early 80s, to step-up and help to raise money and awareness.

“I’ve been part of the really dark days,” Judith told me at the Ribbon of Hope event back in 2007. “How it feels now is it feels mildly better but it’s not enough. I know that people are working really hard to make it be different and that’s what we have to keep doing …[HIV/AIDS is) out there and it’s not over.”

I love what Judith said at another awards show earlier that year about gay people: “You are my teachers, you are my role models. You risk everything to be authentic. Do you know how rare that is in this culture? …People who are out and who are willing to risk in order to lead.”

This wonderful woman turns 61 years old today and I hope she is having a terrific birthday.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays

Lunch Break Video: Birthday girl Carole King sings a few of her many, many hits

http://www.buzzine.com/media/data/albums/15/Carole_King_20071120.jpgHard to believe that the ever-youthful Carole King is 68 years old today.

She is touring the US with James Taylor and I hope to catch them at Hollywood Bowl.

Carole is responsible for co-writing and/or singing so many absolute classics: You’ve Got a Friend, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Natural Woman, It’s Too Late, Jazzman, I Feel the Earth Move, Locomotion, Where You Lead, Go Away Little Girl, Take Good Care of My Baby, One Fine Day, Up On the Roof and many more.

Her album Tapestry showed the world that she is as fine a singer as writer and is one of the biggest sellers of all time. I could listen to it all day – every track is sensational with my favorite being So Far Away.

Here is Carole singing some of her hits:

Kathy Griffin on her “SVU” kiss with Mariska Hargitay: “I was basically trying to get laid”

Actress Kathy Griffin films scenes for her guest appearance on an episode of "Law and Order: SVU.".
Mariska Hargitay is a beautiful woman, a fact not lost on Kathy Griffin who guest stars on Mariska’s Law & Order: SVU on March 3.
Gay icon Kathy, a two-time Emmy winner for My Life on the D List, plays a militant lesbian named Babs Duffy. Babs at one point plants a kiss on Mariska’s character who has gone undercover.
“Yes, we have a lesbian kiss,” Kathy tells TV Guide. “The director told us he needed the kiss to be longer, so we ended up really making out. I was basically trying to get laid.”
FILE UNDER: Television