Actor Michael J. Fox was "stunned" to learn his late friend Robin Williams was secretly suffering from the early stages of Parkinson's Disease at the time of his death on Monday (11Aug14). The tragic Oscar winner was found slumped in a chair at his home in Marin County, California, after apparently taking his own life.
The news of Williams' death was accompanied by speculation concerning the state of his mind, and rumours about his finances and past addiction battles.
His publicist addressed the gossip on Wednesday (13Aug14), insisting Williams had no financial woes, and his widow, Susan Schneider shed light on Williams' state of mind at the time of his death by revealing her husband was sober but still coming to terms with a recent Parkinson's disease diagnosis in a statement released to the media on Thursday (14Aug14).
And following the announcement, Back to the Future star Fox, who has been battling the same debilitating condition since the early 1990s, took to Twitter.com to share his thoughts.
He wrote, "Stunned to learn Robin had PD (Parkinson's Disease). Pretty sure his support for our Fdn (Foundation) predated his diagnosis. A true friend; I wish him peace."
Fox, who was diagnosed with the disease in 1991, disclosed his condition to the public in 1998 and established The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research in 2000.
Since then, his organisation has become the largest non-profit funder of Parkinson's Disease research in the world, and has invested in more than $350 million (GBP209.7 million) in finding a cure.
Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe has revealed he is homosexual during a TV interview. Speaking with British TV journalist Sir Michael Parkinson for a chat to be aired on Australia's 10 Network on Sunday night (13Jul14), the five-time gold medallist explains he only felt comfortable opening up about his sexuality over the past fortnight after previously insisting he was straight.
He tells Parkinson, "I've thought about this for a long time. I'm not straight. And this is only something that very recently, we're talking the past two weeks, I've been comfortable telling the closest people around me, exactly that. I've wanted to (come out) for some time but I couldn't, I didn't feel as though I could. What happened was I felt the lie had become so big that I didn't want people to question my integrity."
The revelation stands in stark contrast to Thorpe's insistence of heterosexuality in his 2012 autobiography This Is Me, in which he wrote, "For the record, I am not gay and all my sexual experiences have been straight. I'm attracted to women, I love children and aspire to have a family one day... I know what it's like to grow up and be told what your sexuality is, then realising that it's not the full reality. I was accused of being gay before I knew who I was."
The conversation with Parkinson also covers Thorpe's battle with depression, which led to a stint in a rehabilitation facility earlier this year (14).
Comedian and TV personality Michael Palin praised his late pal Alan Whicker as "a towering figure" in British broadcasting at a London memorial service on Wednesday (28May14). The BBC journalist and TV presenter died last July (13), aged 87, after a battle with bronchial pneumonia, and friends and family gathered at the Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair to honour his memory.
Monty Python veteran Palin, who once spoofed Whicker on TV, was among those who delivered touching eulogies, telling the crowd, "(He had the) enviable ability to deliver introductions and summings up that were as crisp and precise as the clothes in which he delivered them."
Fellow broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson also shared his memories of the Whicker's World host and hailed him for having "inspired an entire generation of young journalists" to pursue a career on TV.
Parkinson added, "He never let celebrity cloud the business of being a proper journalist."
Acting icon Robert De Niro and crooner Michael Buble were honoured for their philanthropic efforts at Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night on Saturday (12Apr14). The 20th annual event attracted stars from movies, music and sports to the Phoenix, Arizona gala, which raises funds in support of the legendary boxer's fight to find a cure for Parkinson's disease.
The Raging Bull star was given the night's big prize, the 2014 Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Award, which was handed to De Niro by his Analyze This co-star Billy Crystal.
Singer Buble was also presented with the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award by country artist Reba McEntire, who served as the host for the evening.
Ali himself was not able to attend his event due to a stomach bug, but other celebrities, including Sex and the City's John Corbett and politician Robert Kennedy, Jr., were on hand to support the cause.
Country music siblings The Band Perry took the stage to entertain attendees, while Buble, McEntire and Kenny Rogers also performed.
A live auction was also held during the event, where a VIP treatment package at the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 sold for $15,000 (£8,967), while two lucky bidders each paid $500,000 (£298,918) to have dinner with McEntire in her home. But the biggest draw of the night was a dinner with De Niro, Crystal and former New York Yankees general manager Joe Torre, which went for $1 million (£597,836).
Over $8 million (£4.8 million) was raised during the event, boosting the total raised in the 20 years of Celebrity Fight Night to $95 million (£56.8 million). Funds will benefit the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and Medical Center's Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as other charities.
Veteran actress Jane Fonda threatened to end her relationship with boyfriend Richard Perry if he didn't start taking his battle with Parkinson's disease seriously. The 76-year-old Oscar winner began dating the record producer in 2009 and was made aware of his condition on their first date.
Fonda has now opened up about her experience of dating someone with the degenerative illness, and admits she handed Perry an ultimatum to make him prioritise his health.
In a candid blog on her official site, Fonda writes, "Richard Perry, the man I live with, has Parkinson's. He's had it for over 10 years. He told me about it four and a half years ago on our first date... Frankly, I didn't pay it much heed. After all, it was just a date.
"But then there comes love and I entered a committed relationship and I said, 'Richard, if you don't take your disease seriously and become an expert in it so you know exactly what your options are, I'm not hanging around.' And he did become an expert. He has a top notch motor-disorder neurologist, he works out every day, does yoga, he takes his meds (medication)."
The Barbarella star admits she wrote the blog to show her support for other Parkinson's sufferers, including actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with the condition in the early 1990s.
Fonda adds: "Richard and I are both grateful that more and more people are talking about their Parkinson's disease, most especially and importantly, Michael J. Fox. So, with this blog, we're publicly joining the discourse."
Veteran actress Joanna Lumley and British royal Charles, Prince Of Wales were among the leading figures who attended a memorial service for late broadcaster Sir David Frost in London on Thursday (13Mar14). More than 2,000 guests descended on the U.K. capital's Westminster Abbey to remember Frost, who died aged 74 after suffering a heart attack last August (13).
The Prince of Wales, a close friend of the journalist, was joined by his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as well as his brother Prince Andrew, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their daughter, Princess Beatrice.
Among the celebrity attendees were Lumley and Frost's broadcasting peers Sir Terry Wogan and Sir Michael Parkinson.
Frost enjoyed a long and successful career in political reporting, as well as hosting comedy and lifestyle shows, but will be best remembered for his candid interviews with U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1977, in which the disgraced politician admitted his part in the Watergate scandal. The meeting was transformed into a hit movie Frost/Nixon in 2008, with Michael Sheen and Frank Langella playing Frost and Nixon respectively.
British singer Ellie Goulding was branded a "goth" as a teenager due to her long black hair, multiple piercings and rebellious behaviour. The Lights hitmaker looked very different at the age of 14, and admits she was a "rebel" who dabbled in drink and drugs.
Goulding tells British TV interviewer Michael Parkinson, "I very nearly did go down that (bad) path, I was a bit of a rebel when I was 14. People would call me a goth, I had long black hair which was real, I had piercings and I liked heavy metal music, and the rest of it."
Asked whether she dabbled with drugs, Goulding adds, "Yeah. I definitely had a period of drinking and being a bit crazy. I had no idea what my future was going to be then."
The interview airs in the U.K. as part of the Parkinson Masterclass in April (14).
A host of famous faces turned out to help Michael J. Fox raise awareness of Parkinson's disease at his foundation's annual gala in New York City over the weekend (09-10Sep13). The Back to the Future star, who has been battling the debilitating condition since the early 1990s, was joined by the likes of Blake Lively and her husband Ryan Reynolds, Julianna Margulies, Seth Meyers and Tina Fey at the glitzy bash at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Saturday night (09Nov13).
Fox joined Coldplay star Chris Martin on guitar for a musical performance, while Reynolds, whose own father is battling Parkinson's, admitted he was impressed by the work of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, saying, "You meet the people who work with this foundation, and so many of them have absolutely no affiliation with the disease whatsoever other than their job, and they were brought to it by a common denominator, which is Michael, and he's so inspiring and you just see the people that work with this foundation and how tirelessly they give everything they have to it and you start to forget that you're only here because someone you care about has Parkinson's. I was really blown away by the whole operation."
Marguiles insisted she turned out at the event to help raise cash for the cause, saying, "When you raise awareness, you raise money. I mean, it's the brutal truth."
Fellow guest, actor John Slattery, added to The Hollywood Reporter, "We're trying to find a cure. Research is expensive, and the more people know about it, that's everything, so that's what he's doing."
Maybe we're a bunch of crotchety old people, but the new trailer for I, Frankenstein, looks nothing like the 19th century gothic horror classic that we all pretended to read in high school. We certainly don’t remember Frankenstein's monster surfing on top subway trains (or maybe that Sparknotes summary had more holes than we thought).
At least there's a logical reason for these disparities: I, Frankenstein draws from the graphic novel that it's based on rather than Mary Shelley's original novel. Kevin Grevioux, the author of the graphic novel, also wrote the screenplay for the film.
This continuation of the Frankenstein lore features a handsomely scarred Aaron Eckhart, stitched together with various parts of murdered Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue models, fighting off gargoyle monsters that explode into fiery tendrils. He also found time, in between the monster vanquishing to go to the nearest Hot Topic and buy the perfect hoodie that symbolizes all of his immortal angst. One that he takes off quite frequently to show off that hot bod.
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Actor Michael J. Fox turned to booze to help him cope after learning he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. In a new interview with U.S. shock jock Howard Stern, which aired on Wednesday (25Sep13), the Back to the Future star admitted he came close to giving up on life after he was told about his condition in 1991, and feared he'd never be able to act again.
He explained, "It just felt helpless. It felt unfair in a way. My first reaction to it was to start drinking heavily. I used to drink to party, but then I was drinking alone... Every day."
Fox finally sought therapy and admitted, "It all started to get really clear to me."
He explained, "My marriage got great and my career started to (take off again)."
After a series of guest roles on TV and a documentary about happiness, Fox is now leading the cast of his own new show, The Michael J. Fox Show, about a newsman with Parkinson's disease who returns to the air.