Actor Zachary Quinto has written a touching article to commemorate Leonard Nimoy following his death on Friday (27Feb15).
The Star Trek icon, who played Spock in the sci-fi series, passed away aged 83 after a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Quinto has now paid tribute to the man for his "disarming humor" and "dignity and love". Quinto, who played a young Spock in J.J. Abrams' movies based on the cult show, bonded with Nimoy when he took over the role and began seeing the veteran actor as a father-figure.
He writes, "I lost my father at a very young age, and Leonard came to occupy a space in my life that was like a father figure. I had this person that I could look to with such respect. He was refined. And he cultivated a sense of dignity and respect for other people.
"When I publicly announced I was gay, Leonard's embrace was unconditional. I shared my relationships with him. We spoke of it often during that period in my life and afterwards. He was supportive and encouraging. He met my boyfriend, and we had dinner together.
"The first thing that I really took note of with Leonard was his sense of humour. He used it to disarm people. Those who had certain expectations were often surprised by how funny he was. Wise man that he was, he never took anything too seriously, yet he was a very serious man."
Welsh actor Michael Sheen has won praise from politicians and campaigners for his rousing speech in defence of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) over the weekend (28Feb15-01Mar15). The Frost/Nixon star hit headlines on Sunday (01Mar15) when he joined a rally in Tredegar, Wales and made an impassioned plea to politicians in the U.K. to do more to protect the institution, which provides free healthcare for all citizens.
Sheen told the crowd, "No one says they want to get rid of the NHS, everyone praises it... But for decades now there has been a systematic undermining of its core values. This is beyond party politics... You must stand up for what you believe, but first of all, by God, believe in something."
British Member of Parliament (MP) Diane Abbott is among those who have since praised Sheen for tackling such a sensitive issue, writing in a post on Twitter.com, "Brilliant speech by @michaelsheen in defence of our #NHS," while Welsh politician Phil Bale of Cardiff City Council adds, "Storming speech from @michaelsheen at the People's March for the NHS in Tredegar!"
Campaigner Paul Evans, of the NHS Support Federation, tells the Press Association, "Michael Sheen helps to highlight one essential truth that the NHS won't survive if we continue to put the market at its heart... It's good to see somebody express an honest view on the NHS."
Sheen's girlfriend, U.S. comic Sarah Silverman, also lavished praise on the actor, writing on Twitter, "Politicians take note... Beyond brilliant."
The actor writes on his own page, "The messages I've had... prove the last thing that's a problem with people of this country is apathy. Passion and compassion everywhere... It's been stunning to experience such strength of feeling and heartbreaking to hear how much people feel let down by what is being offered."
Actress Kerry Washington is set to be honoured by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) at its annual Media Awards. The Scandal star will be feted with the Vanguard Award, which recognises a member of the entertainment industry who has made a significant contribution to promoting equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
GLAAD's president Sarah Kate Ellis says in a statement, "Throughout her illustrious career, Kerry Washington has consistently brought to life characters that encourage acceptance of LGBT people. Her outspoken support for equality, both here at home and abroad, has sent messages of hope and empowerment to fans all over the world, fostering dialogue that builds understanding and helps moves hearts and minds."
Past recipients of the award include Liza Minnelli, Charlize Theron, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez.
Washington will be given the honour at the annual ceremony in Los Angeles later this month (Mar15).
George Strait has paid a touching tribute to Kent Finlay, the songwriter and club owner who helped the country music veteran land his big break, following his death on Monday (02Mar15). Finlay passed away at his home in Martindale, Texas, at the age of 77 and his old friend, Strait, has offered up a few kind words to mark the sad occasion.
In a statement, the I Cross My Heart singer writes, "Country music - and just music in general really - lost a great friend today. His legend will live forever in Texas, though. We'll never forget our friend Kent Finlay. Sad day."
Finlay was the owner of the Cheatham Street Warehouse in San Marcos, Texas, where Strait landed his first gig with his band, Ace in the Hole, back in 1975.
He was an early believer in Strait's talent and after the singer struggled to land a big record deal, Finlay and fellow songwriter Daryl Staedtler decided to team up with the artist and make regular road trips to Nashville to get his music heard.
Their efforts eventually led to Strait signing his first major label contract with MCA Records in 1981.
Daniel Craig is to film a one-off comedy sketch as James Bond for Britain's Comic Relief charity. The British actor, who is currently filming new 007 movie Spectre, is to reprise his role as the superspy in a pre-recorded skit which will air during Comic Relief's annual TV telethon on 13 March (15).
Other stars set to take part in the fundraising extravaganza include Rowan Atkinson, who is set to return as Mr. Bean, and Dawn French, who will reprise her role in U.K. sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.
The Harry Potter studio tour in Britain has been extended with the addition of the Hogwarts Express steam train and the magical Platform 9 3/4. The locomotive, which is featured in six of the eight magical movies, has been installed at the Warner Bros Studio Tour exhibit in Leavesden, England which features an array of artefacts from the production of the beloved movies.
The train is situated on a recreation of Platform 9 3/4, the fictional gateway to Harry Potter's ride to school at London's King's Cross rail station.
Mark Williams, who played the Weasley family patriarch Arthur in the movies, was one of the first visitors to see the latest addition to the extensive exhibition.
He says, "I've really enjoyed being back at the Studio Tour, seeing the original Hogwarts Express and the superb recreation of Platform 9 3/4. People don't always realise that the school train was in fact a real working locomotive which has been transporting passengers up and down the country since 1937. We always enjoyed filming on Platform 9 3/4 - it was the beginning of every adventure. The Hogwarts Express was a magical part of the Harry Potter film series."
Platform 9 3/4 is open to the public from 19 March (15).
Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian is reportedly in talks with bosses at E! show Fashion Police to replace Kelly Osbourne after her shock departure.
Osbourne walked away from the series last week (ends01Mar15) amid a scandal involving co-host Giuliana Rancic, who came under fire for making an ill-advised comment about actress Zendaya Coleman's dreadlocks.
Kim Kardashian's sister has now been tipped as the front-runner to take over Osbourne's role on the U.S. show, and a source tells People.com that the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star is already in talks with bosses at the show.
Kardashian previously showed off her fashion credentials by working as a red carpet commentator for E! at the Oscars last month (Feb15).
Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne has been offered a role in Australian soap opera Neighbours after citing two of the show's stars as his acting inspiration. The Theory of Everything star recently hailed Alan Fletcher and Jackie Woodburne, who play long-term soap couple Karl and Susan Kennedy, as "the greatest unsung acting duo in history".
The Aussie stars recently reached out to congratulate Redmayne after his Oscars win, and now Neighbours producer Jason Herbison has offered to give the actor a cameo role.
He tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "If we could cap off an incredible year for Eddie by writing a guest role, however big or small, it would be our privilege. I would ensure he moves into the Kennedys' - they are renowned for hospitality."
Kim Kardashian is embracing her musical side by hiring classical star Oksana Kolesnikova to give her piano lessons. The reality TV star, who is married to rapper Kanye West, is being tutored by the celebrated Russian-born pianist after resolving to learn the instrument.
Kolesnikova reportedly confirmed the news to TMZ.com and revealed she has invited Kardashian to show off her new skills at a private piano recital for her students in May (15).
Kanye West has courted controversy by calling for a cultural revolution to end luxury branding and make designer goods available at lower prices. The rapper was a guest lecturer at Oxford University in England on Monday (02Mar15), and during his address to students, he explained his ideas about class, consumerism and advertising.
West insisted advertising luxury products such as designer clothing and expensive cars creates a divide in society between the wealthy and the poor, and he insisted goods need to be repriced to redress the balance.
According to Oxford.tab.co.uk, he told the audience, "In America people really do wear $3,000 shirts. For real... We've been sold a concept of joy through advertising, through car advertising, through fashion branding. It's not the concept of time, time with your family, time with your friends, the little time that we do have on Earth and what we do with that. It was somehow sold to us through a Gucci bag or something.
"Time is the only luxury. It's the only thing you can't get back... It feels like people do everything in life to get this BMW, this (Mercedes) Benz, to get this townhome... And when you're sitting in traffic in your BMW, it's something that feels empty... It's illegal to not wear clothes, and also possibly too cold... Clothing should be like food. There should never be a $5,000 sweater. You know what should cost $5,000? A car should be $5,000. And you know who should work on the car? The people that work on the $500,000 cars. All the best talent in the world needs to work for the people. And I am so f**king serious about this concept that I will stand in front of anyone and fight for it... What good is anything that everyone can't have. Every 'ism'. They think we're done with racism. What about elitism, what about separatism, what about classism?"
West, who is a budding fashion designer, has previously partnered with luxury goods companies including Louis Vuitton and Giuseppe Zanotti.