Actors Alec Baldwin and Jason Alexander have teamed up to shoot a series of video ads urging New York politicians to stomp out corruption and pass new campaign finance reform laws. The stars have called on Governor Andrew Cuomo and members of the Senate to pass a new bill that would limit the influence of big money donors and force officials to rely on public financing to fund their election campaigns.
Encouraging legislators in the capital of Albany to take action, Baldwin says, "It's time to stop talking about cleaning up Albany, and start doing it. Pass Fair Elections for New York, and don't come home without it."
And, in his clip, former Seinfeld star Alexander adds, "I remember that old ad campaign, 'I Love NY'. Well, I did, and I do. And that's why I'm hoping Albany will get its act together and pass comprehensive campaign finance reform including small donor public financing. It will set the trend for the whole country, which is exactly what New York should be doing. Then we can all say, 'We will always love New York'."
Actresses Kathleen Turner and former Law & Order: Criminal Intent star Kathryn Erbe have also thrown their support behind the Fair Elections for New York Campaign.
Late rocker Levon Helm is to receive a permanent memorial in his adopted New York as officials move forward with plans to rename the road to Woodstock in his honour. The Band legend passed away last year (12) at the age of 71 after a battle with cancer, and local authorities plan to remember him with a special tribute.
Politicians have drafted legislation to rename a road in Woodstock, New York, where Helm lived, worked and held his famous Midnight Rambles gigs.
According to the plans, Route 375 will be given the new title of Levon Helm Memorial Boulevard and the proposal is expected to be given the green light by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Senator John Bonacic, who sponsored the bill, tells the New York Daily News, "(Helm) deserves this recognition... He's a national prominent artist and musician. He's touched many lives through his music."
The Mean Girls star has followed in the footsteps of straight celebrities like reality TV star Kim Kardashian and rocker Pete Wentz and stepped in front of the camera to shoot a new advert for the viral photo project to end bullying.
The star's decision to join the campaign is particularly timely - Governor Andrew Cuomo made history on Friday (24Jun11) after signing a bill to legalise gay unions in New York.
And Lohan couldn't be more thrilled.
After the announcement, she took to her Twitter.com and wrote, "Proud to be FROM NY! Nice work to Gov. Andrew Cuomo"
Governor Andrew Cuomo made history on Friday (24Jun11) after signing a bill to legalise gay unions in New York, and within minutes of the news breaking, a host of celebrities were taking to Twitter.com to share their delight.
Openly gay actor Harris wrote, "It PASSED! Marriage equality in NY!! Yes!! Progress!! Thank you everyone who worked so hard on this!! A historic night!"
Gaga, a New York native and gay rights activist, posted a picture of herself and pals with their arms raised in celebration, adding: "I can't stop crying. We did it kids... The revolution is ours to fight for love, justice+equality. Rejoice NY, and propose. We did it!!!"
Lohan 'tweeted': "Proud to be from NY!" while Cyndi Lauper echoed the sentiment in a statement reading: "I have never been prouder to be a lifelong New Yorker than I am today with the passage of marriage equality."
Lesbian comedienne Ellen DeGeneres told her Twitter followers, "I'm thrilled about the news from NY. Marriage equality! Every day we get a little closer. What an amazing feeling," while gay singer Ricky Martin writes, "Time to celebrate!!! Marriage Equality for NYers! It's about... love!"
Singer Pink added, "Congratulations!!!!!!!!! About time!" and John Legend writes, "Happy that New York passed marriage equality tonight. A victory for human rights. Progress."
New York joins Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and Washington, D.C., where same-sex marriages are allowed. Gay weddings are expected to start in New York within 30 days.
Top Story: Angelina and Billy Bob Make It Official
Time to throw away those blood-filled amulets. Yes, the passionate but brief marriage between Oscar-winning Angelina Jolie, 27, and Billy Bob Thornton, 47, is officially a done deal. Reuters reports court documents were filed Tuesday by Jolie on the grounds of "irreconcilable differences" and uncontested. It was Thornton's fifth marriage and Jolie's second. Jolie's lawyers told Reuters the couple had reached an agreement over support and visitation rights for their adopted Cambodian son Maddox but she declined to reveal details.
Garner Takes a Break
In coping with her recent split with husband Scott Foley, Alias star Jennifer Garner took a much-needed hiatus in Hawaii and also visited her parents in West Virginia. In an interview to air Thursday on Access Hollywood, The Associated Press reports Garner told Pat O'Brien, "I have such great girlfriends, and I was able to go away with them to Hawaii for almost a week and I went home to my parents in West Virginia for a week, so I had a nice time away."
Harrison Ford Gets a Walk of Fame Star…Again
Harrison Ford will get a star on the famed Hollywood Walk of Fame Friday, even though he thought he had already received one. It turns out the other star belongs to a silent screen actor of the same name, who got the star in 1960. Ford was selected in 1984 to get a star but never responded. "Sometimes that happens with the nominations,'' Ana Martinez-Holler of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce told City News. "They'll change publicists, they'll change management, and aren't aware they had already been approved.'' The mistake came when Ford took the word of someone who informed him--incorrectly--that the other Ford's star was his, Martinez-Holler said. Whew. Glad they got it all straightened out.
Reeves Set to Make Millions Off Matrix Sequels
Exactly how much will Matrix star Keanu Reeves be making with the two Matrix sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions? Good question. Variety reports the intricate back-end deal Reeves made in 1999 when he agreed to do the sequels--which included not only box office sales but DVD, video game, TV sales and ancillaries--could net the actor anywhere from $90 million to near $200 million, depending on the final estimates. His friends must be saying, "Dinner's on Keanu!"
More on Jackson's Legal Woes
The latest suit to enter the courtroom against Michael Jackson could be the singer's most costly, as details of his personal life may be revealed. Reuters reports a lawsuit brought by Jackson's former financial advisor, Myung-Ho Lee, and his firm Union Finance and Investment Corp., claims the onetime King of Pop is broke, having squandered his fortune in "bizarre" ways while egged on by a string of "charlatans." They are seeking $12 million for alleged breach of contract and fraud. Jackson has counter-sued, claiming that his trusted advisor--whom he called "Lawyer Lee"--and Union Finance stole millions from him and destroyed records to cover up their misdeeds, Reuters reports.
P. Diddy Joins Fight Against NY Drug Law
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs stood up with rap mogul Russell Simmons and U.S. housing secretary Andrew Cuomo to call for a repeal of New York's strict Rockefeller drug laws, AP reports. The laws, passed in the 1970s, can subject first-time offenders to 15 years to life in prison if convicted of selling as little as 2 ounces or possessing as little as 4 ounces of a controlled substance. Gov. George Pataki and the state Legislature have been unable to agree on how to reform or repeal them, AP reports.
Kelly Will Join Ozzy Onstage
Kelly Osbourne will team up with dad Ozzy later this year on a U.K. concert tour, Ozzy's first British gig in eight years, AP reports. "I couldn't be happier about doing my own dates in the UK and having Kelly on the bill with me," Ozzy said on the Web Site, www.ozzynet.com. "I decided that this would be a great opportunity to bring my full stage show over to rock the UK."
Role Call: Jovovich's Ultraviolet
Milla Jovovich has signed with Screen Gems to reprise her role in the Resident Evil sequel as well as to play the title character in Ultraviolet, a futuristic vampire tale. Variety reports the film is about a tough woman who finds herself the protector of a 9-year-old boy targeted for death. Backdrop is a civil war in the late 21st century between humans and a subculture turned into vampires.