The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is mourning the death of his mother, who inspired him to create his cartoon family matriarch Marge Simpson. Margaret Groening passed away in her sleep on 22 April (13) in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She was 94.
Her animator son famously based his blue-haired character on his mum.
Groening's cartoonist dad Homer - the inspiration for Bart Simpson's father - died in 1996.
Through all of their follies, fights, and failures, The Simpsons are an impeccably close-knit family. Yes, they're wont to choking one another and accidentally marrying other women in Vegas, but moreover, they're imbued with compassion. And that's because they were born from a real world family that is, itself, obviously embedded in love: Simpsons creator Matt Groening's. It has long been known that the animator based his iconic characters on his own clan, but we're reminded of just how special the connection is in the obituary for Groening's mother, Margaret Ruth Wiggum Groening. Seeing some similarities already?
Sadly, Groening's mother passed away in April, dying at the age of 94. Her newly released obituary gives readers a heartfelt glimpse into just how much affection son Matt had for his mother, father, siblings, and Northwestern hometown.
Giving her first name to Simpsons matriarch Marge, and her maiden surname to the merry Wiggum family (Police Chief Clancy Wiggum, his soft-spoken wife Sara, and fan favorite imp Ralph), Margaret Groening clearly contributed a good deal to Springfield. Alongside her, we have husband Homer and daughters Lisa and Maggie, making up the first names of the Simpson household. Left over is Matt's brother Mark, whose name kind of sounds like Bart... so we'll count it.
Although the passing of Margaret is a tragedy for the Groenings, it is a testament to the love of this Oregon family that their names have been preserved, forever, through son and brother Matt's world-changing art.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter
More:'Simpsons' Scribe Don Payne Passes AwayRay Harryhausen DiesComedy Central Won't Renew 'Futurama'
From Our Partners:Nina Dobrev, Julianne Hough Bikini in Miami (Celebuzz)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
Jessica Simpson isn't one to pass up a business opportunity, so naturally, the new mom to Maxwell Drew is working on maternity clothes to add to her extremely profitable fashion lines.
The Fashion Star judge said on Monday, "I'm so excited to partner with Destination Maternity to design a collection of fashionable styles that make you look and feel great! You want to wear clothes that are flattering to your baby bump; you want to show your bump off."
Jessica Simpson Maternity will launch this fall at Motherhood Maternity, Destination Maternity, and Macy's. The pregnancy ensembles will start at $36 and include vintage-print tops and jersey knit dresses — no word yet on whether there's a pair of elastic waist Daisy Dukes in the mix.
Jessica Simpson Finally Gives Birth
Jessica Simpson's Snakeskin & Mariah Carey's Body Art: The Most Bizarre Baby Bumps
'Time' Cover Mom on 'Today': My Son Will Breastfeed Another Year — VIDEO
What's so controversial about a mother and her son appearing on a magazine cover? Well, when the boy is three and standing on a chair so he can breastfeed, it tends to get people talking. The latest Time magazine cover has stirred up a massive controversy on motherhood and breasfeeding, and celebrities are weighing in on Twitter.
Some took to the site to defend attachment parenting, the subject of the cover story. Mayim Bialik, who's the most well-known advocate of the parenting style, says she's been inundated with interview requests and wrote, "i am going to bat about this TIME cover photo for all of the amazing women who helped me be the mother i was..." Alyssa Milano also spoke out against the cover choice, writing, "@Time, no! You missed the mark! You're supposed to be making it easier for breastfeeding moms. Your cover is exploitive & extreme."
Another famous figure used the cover to promote his own unrelated agenda. Rush Limbaugh said, "Improving Time's cover: Replace the mother with a Statue of Liberty... and you've got the Obama platform."
Of course, comedians couldn't resist the urge to mock the boob-related controversy. Dane Cook said, "Time Magazine's cover is pretty ballsy or t***tsy. The kid looks nourished. Wonder if they call that the yum yum chair." The Venture Bros.' James Urbaniak added, "I'm just glad the blindfolded woman on the Newsweek cover isn't able to see the woman breastfeeding the 3-year-old on the Time cover." And Jen Kirkman said, "You think TIME is controversial? I will be on the cover of Cat Fancy next month 'breast feeding' Marky Mark."
Celebrity Moms' Craziest Behavior: 7 In The Spotlight
Rosie O'Donnell Halted Her Partner's Breastfeeding
Pregnant Jessica Simpson's Nude Cover: 6 Moms-to-Be Who Bared All
Jessica Simpson can breathe a little easier, because while plenty of people are mocking her for gaining weight while pregnant, Snooki claims not to be among them.
Sure, last week, Nicole Polizzi told Us Weekly, "I would die if I were her size." While that certainly sounds like a dig about Simpson's weight, Snooki now insists she wasn't hating on another celebrity who's expecting. "I NEVER dissed Jessica Simpson you weirdo tabloids, get over it with your 'pregnant war' articles," she declared on Twitter. "I love the girl and her hot ass bump."
Snooki was wise to apologize, since she's only five months along and will likely be the target of some kind of weight-related criticism before welcoming her little guido or guidette. These days, it's more unusual for a celebrity mom-to-be to get through their entire pregnancy unscathed.
Simpson is certainly the worst example in recent memory. While it's perfectly natural for pregnant women to gain quite a bit of weight, her reported 50 pound weight gain has been a hot debate, as well as a "Hot Topic." Last month the hosts of The View speculated about how much Simpson had gained. Joy Behar declared, "The girl is fat." Simpson was then publicly defended by stars from Tori Spelling to Sarah Palin.
Amazingly, celebrities are also attacked for not gaining enough weight, or slimming down too quickly. Victoria Beckham, Rachel Zoe, and Nicole Richie have all been accused of endangering their baby's health in order to keep their figure because so-called experts felt they looked too skinny during their pregnancies. Famous moms remain targets even after their baby is born. Bethenny Frankel's post-pregnancy weight loss plan was deemed too extreme after she lost about 30 pounds in the first three weeks after giving birth. More recently, Beyonce's rapid slim down after having daughter Blue Ivy fueled more ridiculous rumors that she hadn't given birth to the baby herself.
If celebrities can't win the pregnancy weight wars, what hope is there for the rest of us? Pregnancy used to be a time when women could "eat for two" without judgment. Celebrities should be able to enjoy an extra helping of dessert in peace.
Snooki Disses Pregnant Jessica Simpson: 'I Would Die if I Were Her Size'
'Snooki & JWOWW' Preview: 'Shore' No More
Ryan Gosling's Not Dead: Enough with the Celebrity Death Hoax
Jessica Simpson is getting super excited to welcome her new bundle of joy to the world. The 31-year-old singer shared a video of her beautiful baby shower (which took place last month) on her website. The reel shows glimpses of Simpson's celebrity guests including Jessica Alba and her sister Ashlee Simpson enjoying a lavish buffet with organic ice cream from Sweet Lucie's. And Simpson also opens gifts with her ever-loving fiancé Eric Johnson.
Finally, there's another clue that the baby will be named Maxwell (Johnson's middle name) as the video ends with a close up of a letter "M" hanging on the wall. Check out the adorable footage below!
Jessica Simpson: Stop Congratulating Me, I Haven't Given Birth
Jessica Simpson: I Want to Give Birth Wearing Leopard
Tony Romo Beats Jessica Simpson to Delivery Room
Shortly after the Kim Kardashian divorce debacle, there were calls to boycott her shows, and many people proclaimed that her family's fifteen minutes were finally coming to a close. Yet, despite the bad publicity, the family is more popular than ever. In fact, they've just inked a deal that secures their place as the most enduring reality TV family of all-time.
The family's new deal with E! includes orders for seasons seven, eight, and nine of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The entire clan is covered, from Kim Kardashian to Kylie Jenner, and the agreement also extends the network's first-look deal with the family for any other reality projects.
While plenty of other families have made millions from airing their dirty laundry on television, the Kardashians are now in a class of their own. Though the Osbournes were massively popular during the first half of the last decade, they fizzled out after four seasons. In true Kardashian style, Newlyweds star Jessica Simpson managed to score a spinoff for her sister Ashlee Simpson, but together their shows only ran four seasons. Programs like The Simple Life, Kate Plus 8, and The Real Housewives of Orange County, all made it to five seasons or more, but conflict between the stars either led to cancelation or a new batch of costars.
It seems unlikely that the Kardashians will fall into these traps. For starters, there are too many of them. While Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey's divorce meant no more Newlyweds, if Khloe and Lamar Odom split, Kourtney and Scott Disick can take over spinoff duties for a season. Plus, the Kardashians are pros at the reality TV game. They aren't going to break under the pressure of sudden fame like Jon and Kate Gosselin, and if the sisters ever got into a serious feud, Kris would get them back in line before they ripped the family apart. (A little sisterly rivalry is great, but you can't have stars who refuse to work together like Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.)
Theoretically, the one thing that could end the Kardashians' reality TV reign is viewers losing interest, but there's no sign of that happening anytime soon. Though the Kardashians are America's favorite punching bag, the ratings don't reflect all the criticism in the media. Keeping Up With the Kardashians is E!'s highest-rated show of all time, and season six averaged more than 3 million total viewers. There's no sign of the family's popularity waning, so prepare yourself for Kim and Kanye Take New York, Kendall & Kylie: The College Years, and Kourtney & Scott's Elopement Special (the divorce backlash didn't amount to anything, but there's no way executives are taking a risk on another flashy Kardashian wedding special).
Kim & Kanye: Let's Name Their (Non-Existent) Reality Show!
Kris Jenner Shares Naked Pregnancy Photo
Jon Hamm Calls Kim Kardashian 'Idiot': Hollywood's Favorite Punching Bag?
Don't break out the pink balloons just yet. While various news outlets reported this week that Jessica Simpson had secretly given birth, she says she's still awaiting the arrival of her little girl.
Simpson Tweeted on Saturday, "To everyone who keeps congratulating me on the birth of my baby girl...I'm still pregnant!! Don't believe what you read ladies and gents." Sources claimed Simpson was due on April 20, but it seems her daughter wanted to avoid the notoriously, uh... laid back birthday.
Tony Romo Beats Jessica Simpson to Delivery Room
Even Jessica Thinks It's Ridiculous You're Calling Her Fat
Janet Jackson Unveils Slimmer Body in NutriSystem Ads
Simon Cowell's X Factor may finally be living up to its name. Britney Spears has almost agreed to judge the show next season alongside Cowell and record executive L.A. Reid, according to an Us Weekly source. Spears' team didn't manage to score the $20 million deal they originally asked for, but she's still looking an incredible $15 million paycheck. Spears would replace Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul, who were let go when the show's first season fell far short of expectations.
These days it's practically mandatory for reality competitions to have a pop princess at the judges' table, with Jennifer Lopez on American Idol, Christina Aguilera on The Voice, and Jessica Simpson on Fashion Star. In fact, we're now running low on major acts from the early '00s, so if there are any more talent shows on TV, they'll have to start mining from boy bands.
Hollywood.com contacted a rep for the X Factor, but they declined to comment on the negotiations at this time.
Britney for 'X Factor'? How Pop Princesses Became the Go-To Judges
Madonna To Britney: Kiss Me Baby One More Time
Kelly Clarkson Sings Britney Spears: The Best Celebrity Cover Performances