Frank Sinatra'S widow Barbara has brushed off rumours Mia Farrow's son Ronan may have been fathered by the late singer, dismissing the reports as "junk". The Rosemary's Baby actress admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine that the 25-year-old journalist could "possibly" be Sinatra's son instead of the offspring of Woody Allen, who Farrow was married to at the time of Ronan's birth.
The actress and Sinatra were married from 1966 to 1968 and allegedly remained close in the years following their divorce, and rumours had long been spreading that Ronan may have been their lovechild, before Farrow added weight to the speculation.
However, Sinatra's widow has dismissed the rumours, telling news website The Desert Sun, "I can't hardly believe that... It's just a bunch of junk. There's always junk written, lies that aren't true."
Fans devastated by the loss of Mexican-American singer and reality television star Jenni Rivera, who tragically died in a plane crash on Sunday, will still get to appreciate the body of work she left behind. In the week following Rivera's tragic death, Spanish-language network mun2 is running a marathon of Rivera's reality series I Love Jenni on their channel, continuing Tuesday night and Wednesday night, as well as the show which she executive produced, Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis 'n Control, airing on Thursday and Friday.
Like other stars who passed before their time, Rivera had a yet-to-be-released project. The 42-year-old had her debut film role in the indie drama Filly Brown, which screened at 2012's Sundance Film Festival. In the film about an aspiring poet/rapper (Gina Rodriguez), Rivera plays Maria, the incarcerated mother of the rising star who tries to maintain a relationship with her daughter. Rivera, pictured here in a scene from the film, had just a few scenes, but they were standout, emotional ones, nonetheless.
The movie is slated for a limited April 2013 release (starting in approximately 100 theaters) and those who worked with Rivera on the project are coming to terms with the loss of their co-star, who many said had a generous nature on set.
In a statement released to E!, Rivera's Filly Brown cast mate Edward James Olmos said, "The world lost an extraordinary talent in the realm of Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand, and Frank Sinatra, who took their singing artistry and became dramatic artists in film and television. Jenni Rivera was destined to surpass any artist that we have ever seen coming from the Mexican American culture. She was just starting. My love to her family, especially her children and her mother and father."
During an interview with the Los Angeles Times, one of the film's directors Youssef Delara (who said that Filly Brown would have marked "just the beginning of Jenni's acting career") recalled that Rivera anonymously gave her payment for the movie to a photographer on the production who seemed to need the money. Rodriguez noted her generous spirit as well, telling the LA Times, "On set, she found out the second assistant director's mom loved her and then brought her a signed picture, perfume and CD ... She empowered all and still will."
Michael Olmos, the film's other director, put it simply: "She was so honest and open with her life. There was never a wall between her in a professional level and her in a personal level."
[Photo credit: John Castillo]
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Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
Cabaret star Minnelli kicked off the ceremony, which honours movie, TV and music icons, with a performance of Frank Sinatra classic New York, New York at Big Apple venue the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Winners included Travolta, who was reunited with his castmates from Welcome Back, Kotter, as they were handed the 35th Anniversary Award by Glee actress Jane Lynch.
The night also saw a reunion for Fox, who was presented with the Fan Favorite Award by funnyman Stiller alongside his former Family Ties colleagues.
Meanwhile, Wonder gave an impromptu performance of Higher Ground as he handed the Impact Award to the cast of The Cosby Show.
Other winners included singing duo Daryl Hall and John Oates, who picked up the Music Icon trophy, the stars of Hot In Cleveland handed over the Pop Culture Award to The Facts of Life cast, and U.S. TV host Regis Philbin was presented with the Legend Award by Barbara Walters.
The veteran producer passed away on Monday night (15Nov10) at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack last week (ends14Nov10).
Self began his career as an actor in the 1940s, starring in four films under the direction of famed moviemaker Howard Hawks, including cult classic The Thing from Another World in 1951.
In the 1950s, Self stepped behind the camera as a producer, working on The Frank Sinatra Show and The Twilight Zone, before he was hired by the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, where he rose through the ranks to become the firm's Vice-President.
He also worked for CBS and later set up his own production company.
Self is survived by his daughter Barbara and son Edwin.
Will Barbara Walters manage to make Tom Cruise cry? We'll see when the veteran newswoman airs her 21st annual pre-Academy Awards show on ABC March 24. She'll be talking to Cruise, Monster's Ball Best Actress nominee Halle Berry and Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker. The special will air at 7 p.m. EST and will play immediately after the Oscars on the west coast.
In more Cruise news, the charismatic star has signed on to play a colonel in The Last Samurai. In the story, his character assists 19th-century Japanese samurai in new fighting techniques. Edward Zwick (Legends of the Fall) will be directing.
In the season finale of NBC's Friends, Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) will give birth in a rather long and drawn-out labor--it's a guarantee, say show creators Kevin Bright and Marta Kaufmann. She won't die in childbirth, however, despite a recent tabloid report. Bright told Reuters, "This year, we know Rachel is going to have a baby," and Kaufmann quickly added, "And she's not dying in childbirth." Whew, that's a relief!
Musician Bob Dylan is making his way to the big screen for the first time in 15 years, starring in a film tentatively titled Masked and Anonymous for Intermedia Films. The 60-year-old will play Jack Fate, a "wandering troubadour who is brought out of prison by his former manager for one last concert," Variety reported. It'll be a stretch for him, but we have every confidence he can pull it off.
After the California Supreme Court overturned the "Son of Sam" law last week, allowing convicted criminals to sell their life stories to the media, Hollywood Reporter reported that Showtime was given the go-ahead to start production on Stealing Sinatra. The cable film, which will star David Arquette, William H. Macy and Thomas Ian Nicholas, is based on kidnapper Barry Keenan's account of the 1963 kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. It may also get a theatrical release before it premieres on Showtime.
Late Night talk show host Conan O'Brien should be feeling the love now. His contract with NBC has been extended for four more years, which will give O'Brien nearly $8 million a year. O'Brien, who decided to stay with NBC after being approached by Fox, said in a statement, "I'm very excited to be staying at NBC. By my 13th year, we should really know if this thing works or not."
Cynthia Nixon, the winsome actress who plays cynical lawyer Miranda Hobbes on HBO's Sex and the City, is speaking up to get more funds allocated toward New York public schools. The New York Gov. George Pataki and his administration is appealing a landmark 2001 state court decision that ordered the state to spend more than $1 billion more on New York City schools, the Associated Press reported. "If Miranda were real, I would try to persuade her to send her son to a public school because I believe in them," Nixon told AP in Albany on Tuesday, as she lobbied state legislature.
NBC wins the gold with the Winter Olympics. The peacock network came in first place in both total viewers and the coveted 18-49 demographic, winning the Nielsen race for all 17 nights of the Olympics. Fox and CBS shared second place in the 18-49 demographic, and CBS also took second in total viewership.
Bond has a new TV home. TNN, CBS and UPN--all owned by Viacom, Inc.--have joined forces to buy the exclusive two-year television rights to the first 15 James Bond films from MGM. The approximately $30 million pact was made after the titles became available when both ABC and TBS declined to renew their deals for the Bond flicks.
Hip-hop star Lil' Romeo will star in the film Shorty, produced by his father, Master P, about a diminutive alien who lands on Earth and becomes a rapping, hip-hopping partner with a 12-year-old (Lil' Romeo). They try and enter a MTV talent contest. You watch, it'll probably make a lot of money at the box office.
Actress Anne Heche will go on national television tonight to talk about how the sexual abuse she suffered from her father until she was 12 drove her "insane," Reuters reported.
"I remember entering the bed with him many times. I went through fighting to get him off me. I went through screaming at my mother. I went through the terror of thinking I was going to die. I went through thoughts of wanting to die," the actress confesses.
Heche, 32, who married cameraman Coleman Laffoon on Saturday, also tells Barbara Walters on ABC's 20/20 that she suffered from a split personality. Her alter ego's name was Celestia and she talked to God.
The actress will also talk about her mental breakdown, which lasted until after her breakup with comedian Ellen DeGeneres, who she touts as "the best sex I ever had," The New York Post reported.
Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis married her surgeon boyfriend of two years, Dr. Reza Jarrahy, 30, on Saturday in a small private ceremony in Wainscott, N.Y., her publicist has confirmed. "We are very happy and we look forward to spending the rest of our lives together," the couple said in a brief statement. This is the fourth marriage for Davis, 45, who was previously married to restaurant manager Richard Emmolo, actor Jeff Goldblum and director Renny Harlin.
The four-foot, one-inch tall Howard Stern sidekick known as "Hank the Dwarf" died Tuesday at the age of 39. The cause of his death is still undisclosed. Hank appeared more than two dozen times on the Howard Stern radio show, always wearing his infamous pink bunny suit. Ironically, he was voted the Most Beautiful Person in the World in People magazine's 1998 poll.
Reverend Gesner Jean, a Newark minister and father of the hip-hop star Wyclef Jean died at a South Orange, N.J. hospital after an accident that pinned him between his garage door and a car. Police are still investigating the accident, The Associated Press reported.
The Gospel Music Association announced on Tuesday that it will induct the king of rock n' roll, Elvis Presley, into its Hall of Fame. Presley will be honored along with other musicians including Doris Akers, Wendy Bagwell & The Sunliters, Keith Green, Kurt Kaiser, Larry Norman, The Rambos and Albertina Walker. "This year's class of inductees is outstanding and represents the wide diversity and musical heritage of Christian and gospel music," GMA President Frank Breeden told AP. The induction ceremony will take place in Nashville, Tenn. on Nov. 27.
Kenneth Branagh received an honorary degree on Sunday from The University of Birmingham for helping to popularize the work of William Shakespeare, Reuters reported. The actor has brought Shakespeare's plays to mainstream audiences in film adaptations such as Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing. "I am delighted to be associated with an institute that has done so much to further cooperation between the theatre and academic life," Branagh said in a statement.
Director Spike Lee will be honored by the Directors Guild of America on Nov. 17 for "ushering in a climate of newfound respect for African-American filmmakers and actors," USA Today reported on Tuesday.
Eminem and his mentor, Dr. Dre, will take the stage at the Michael Jackson 30-year celebration, being held on Sept. 7 and 10 at New York's Madison Square Garden, ABCNEWS.com reported. It is still unclear what the rapper will perform at the event.
Mariah Carey has postponed a Sept. 12 interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters because "she needs more time to rest," Carey's spokeswoman Cindi Berger said in a statement. The 31-year-old singer has been staying with her mother since she was treated at a Connecticut clinic last month for exhaustion. No new date for the interview was given.
Nicole Kidman has joined British singer Robbie Williams on a duet of Frank Sinatra's classic, "Something Stupid," on his Swing When You're Winning Sinatra tribute album. Reuters reported. Williams invited the actress to sing on the album after he heard her singing for the film Moulin Rouge. "I have no desire to be a singer. I just did that for fun. I think he's very talented. I had a giggle," Kidman told Reuters.
Tom Cruise ranks 26th among the Top 50 leaders of the information age according to a list compiled by Vanity Fair magazine this month. Cruise is the only actor and one of the highest new entrants on a list dominated by entertainment and technology companies, Reuters reported. The magazine has called Cruise "one of the savviest businessmen in Hollywood," saying that he negotiated a back-end deal on last year's Mission: Impossible 2 that earned him about $75 million.
ABC is working on a musical adaptation of 1984's Footloose, which could air as a two-hour movie as early as next May, Reuters reported. Unlike the film, however, the characters will actually sing the songs in the movie. The network also announced last week that it is developing updates of Grease, Annie and Cinderella.
After Warner Bros. purchased the movie rights to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, the studio commented that they had wanted director Steven Spielberg to take part in the project, hoping he'd turn the film into a major franchise, People magazine reported. Spielberg, however, said that the project wasn't challenging enough for him to undertake. "I purposely didn't want to do the Harry Potter movie because for me, that was shooting ducks in a barrel. Just a slam dunk," he told Vanity Fair magazine. "It's just like withdrawing a billion dollars and putting it into your personal bank accounts. There is no challenge," he said.