Oprah Winfrey, actor Neil Patrick Harris, comedienne Chelsea Handler and actress Scarlett Johansson will be feted by veteran U.S. newswoman Barbara Walters as part of her 2014 10 Most Fascinating People TV special. Last year's broadcast of the annual countdown was billed as the last, because Walters was planning to retire - but bosses at America's ABC network have brought the special back.
A statement from Walters reads: "I was absolutely delighted when ABC approached me to do another year of 10 Most Fascinating People. I know we said last year was our last, but there are just too many fascinating people out there... and you never pass up the opportunity to interview Oprah, Neil, Chelsea or Scarlett."
More names from the list will be announced in the coming weeks, and the most fascinating person of the year will be revealed during the broadcast on 14 December (14).
Scottish singer Susan Boyle has cancelled a concert in the U.S. after falling sick with a throat infection. The I Dreamed A Dream star kicked off her tour in San Diego, California on Wednesday (08Oct14), but struggled through the set as she battled ill health.
According to Britain's Sunday People newspaper, she told the audience, "It's typical, I wake up on the first day of the tour and I have a sore throat. Still, us British carry on."
She later saw a throat specialist who advised her to cancel her Thursday night (09Oct14) show in Santa Barbara.
A source tells the publication, "Susan's suffering from a bad throat infection - she was relieved to get through the concert and did so well to finish her set list on the night... She just wants to get back to her best. She has had the best care possible so hopefully that, plus three days of resting her voice, will achieve that."
Veteran U.S. newswoman Barbara Walters had a breast cancer scare more than five years ago.
The former The View co-host was the top honouree at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation luncheon in New York City on Thursday (09Oct14), and when she took to the stage to accept the accolade, she confessed she secretly survived the disease years ago.
Walters said, "Some years back, more than five now, I discovered a small lump in my own breast. Under the expert care of my doctor I had a lumpectomy."
"I haven't talked about it. There was no need to. There were other choices that were possible. This was mine. I told a few people and I'm fine. I wasn't worried because I knew that the advances made in treating breast cancer including lumpectomies were possible. Research made my treatment possible."
She added, "I can remember when it was a death sentence and it terrified me. It still frightens me. But now we know there is treatment."
It isn't the first time Walters has had a fright with the deadly disease. While talking about Angelina Jolie's preventative double mastectomy on The View last year (13), the journalist admitted she had both of her ovaries removed after her sister passed away from ovarian cancer.
Patrick Duffy's murdered parents had a cameo in the reboot of his TV hit Dallas after the actor dug out a box of family photos dating back to the 1920s to complete a crucial prop. Crewmember Andrea Cantrell was tasked with creating a Ewing family photo album when the sex-and-scandal drama returned to screens after a 21-year absence in 2012.
She struggled to find appropriate pictures as many of the new cast members could only provide recent snaps, and her efforts were further hampered because the image of two original Dallas stars - late actors Jim Davis and Barbara Bel Geddes - are controlled by the handlers of their estate.
However, just when Cantrell thought her task was hopeless, veteran star Duffy provided a cache of old family photos, and his own parents looked so convincing as Ewings that the images were placed in the photobook and appeared onscreen in the show.
In a blog post for UltimateDallas.com, Cantrell writes, "This photo album was a very tough prop to fabricate because the images that I had of our current cast members were too recent and few to fill up several pages.
"I really wanted to bring back the nostalgia of the original series by using old photos but unfortunately I was unable to use Barbara Bel Geddes or Jim Davis' photos because their estate owns the rights to their images... I was running out of time...
"Then Patrick Duffy became my hero. He asked his wife to send a box of pictures. The pictures I received from Patrick were perfect! They were black and white photos from the 1920s through the 1980s of Patrick's parents and him as a baby through teenager to young man. Patrick's mother had a resemblance to (Ewing matriarch) Miss Ellie which made a photo of her holding baby Patrick exactly what we needed. So I started the process of getting clearance, I asked Patrick if he could get permission for the use. He told me that his parents were no longer alive and he would sign consent for use. I was elated!"
Duffy's parents Terence and Marie were shot dead during a robbery at the bar they owned in Montana in 1986, and Cantrell insists she became emotional when she heard the tragic tale, adding, "I had at least 150 original photos on my desk of Marie and Terrence (sic). I had all of Patrick's memories in my hands and I was brought to tears by this act of generosity and trust. This turned out to be the most important prop of my career."
Late singer/actor Sammy Davis Jr.'s address book is back on the auction block. The little black book from the 1980s contains the names and numbers of a slew of the Rat Pack star's celebrity friends, including Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Michael Jackson, according to the New York Daily News.
The address book, which failed to sell during another auction last year (13), has been up for grabs online for the past two weeks, but at press time, no offers had been made on the lot.
Bidding starts at $4,000 (£2,353) and the item will remain on sale until Thursday night (31Jul14).
Davis passed away in 1990.
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
The sex comedy is a very tricky genre of film to get right. If it's too focused on the raunchier side of things it becomes an endless string of gags, all attempting to be outrageous for the sake of being outrageous. But if it's too worried about being over-the-top, it might as well be any other generic romantic comedy. Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel are the latest to try their hands at it with their latest film, Sex Tape, which hits theaters on Friday. In the film, they play a married couple who film themselves in the act in an attempt to spice up their lives... only to accidentally forward the explicit video to all of their family members, friends, and colleagues. Normally, we'd be a bit wary of any upcoming sex-focused comedy, but both Segel and Diaz are old hands at the genre, thanks to their experience in films by Judd Apatow and the Farrelly Brothers. Therefore, we can only hope that Sex Tape will be the latest film to join the highly-competitive pantheon of sex comedies that are actually good movies. It's a small group, but a prestigious honor to behold. Here are our picks for the films that have already earned the title:
The 40-Year-Old Virgin The film that helped Judd Apatow break into the mainstream and established Steve Carell as a movie star, The 40-Year-Old Virgin has a pretty obvious premise: Andy has made it to 40 without having sex, so his buddies try and help him step up his game. It could have been an unfunny, over-the-top movie about a loser and his creepy friends, but Apatow managed to subvert all of our expectations (well, maybe not the creepy friends), and create a movie with just as much heart as humor. A lot of that is due to Carell, whose Andy is not just awkward and nerdy, but also endearing, goofy, and a genuinely good guy.
Superbad The rare sex comedy that doesn’t actually feature any sex, Superbad was the movie that put Jonah Hill on the path to becoming a two-time Oscar nominee, made Michael Cera the face of awkward teenagers everywhere, and made everyone overuse the McLovin joke for a solid month or so. Much of its success is due to its ability to transform a tired plot – teenagers go on a mission to impress girls so they’ll sleep with them – into a love story between two best friends. Surprisingly sweet and heartfelt but still hysterically funny, Superbad proves that sometimes, a little heart can go a long way.
Easy A Like in her breakthrough film, Superbad, Emma Stone’s character doesn’t actually have sex in Easy A, but that doesn’t stop her from telling everyone she did in order to bolster her reputation. Where most teen sex comedies focus on the guys who are trying desperately to get some, Easy A takes a different approach and looks at the effects that rumors of promiscuity can have on a high school girl’s social standing, and the hypocritical ways that we, as a society, treat sex. A sharp, smart, and endlessly charming film, it’s no wonder that it was the film to turn Stone into a proper movie star.
Don Jon Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial and screenwriting debut centers on Jon, a Jersey-bred bartender who only cares about his friends, his family, his looks, and his porn. His attempt at a relationship with Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a rom-com-obsessed bombshell, fails when he refuses to give up his Internet addiction for her, and so he is forced to confront his perceptions of what sex and love are. Though the best parts of the film are centered on Johansson, Don Jon is also worth a watch for its original, humorous take on the typical romantic and/or sex comedy.
Screen Gems via Everett Collection
Friends With Benefits/No Strings Attached We’re going to tackle these two together since they’re pretty much the same movie, with slightly different casts. Both focus on wise-cracking, good-looking friends who are hooking up, eventually realize that they want more, and come together at the end for a slightly cheesy ending. But even though they cover a lot of the same material, they’re both funny, entertaining flicks starring two incredibly talented actresses – Mila Kunis, as sharp and funny as always and Natalie Portman, refreshingly relaxed and charming – that tackle that whole friends/hookup partners/couple dynamic in a realistic, goofy way.
Risky Business The second Tom Cruise slid across the screen in Ray Bans and tighty-whiteys, he became a star. Not just a movie, but a landmark moment in his career, Risky Business is also one of the best sex comedies ever made. From the dancing to the car crashes to the slapstick-laden Princeton interview, Cruise is at his best in this film: a little brash, plenty arrogant, and incredibly charismatic. It’s no wonder America instantly fell in love with him.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High Fast Times at Ridgemont High has become iconic for two things: a young Sean Penn playing the school slacker and the scene where Phoebe Cates climbs out of a pool in a red bikini. But Fast Times has endured hanks to its realistic portrayal of teenagers, their challenges, and their experiences. It’s hilarious, it’s awkward, it’s sometimes moving, but most of all, it’s relates to the teenagers it’s trying to appeal to, and the adults who can look back on it more fondly than their own high school experience.
There’s Something About Mary It seems only fitting to discuss Diaz’s latest sex comedy in relation to her first. As Mary, the irresistible object of everyone’s affections, Diaz is effortlessly funny and completely winning, but the rest of the film is excellent as well. The Farrelly Brothers’ signature gross-out humor is balanced by a healthy dose of heart, which helps us to sympathize with Ted and his quest to win back his dream girl. We get why everyone loves Mary, we get why these tree idiots would be willing to fight over her, and we get a hilarious, weird, and wonderful two hours of entertainment out of it.
The real-life inspiration for Michael Richards' Seinfeld character Cosmo Kramer has lost a $1 million (£588,235) defamation lawsuit against comedian Fred Stoller. Funnyman Kenny Kramer, a former neighbour of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, accused Stoller of portraying him as a homophobe in his recent memoir after describing how guides on Kramer's New York bus tour allegedly shouted one of the show's famous lines, "Not that there's anything wrong with that", at community members whenever they took tourists through the historically gay-friendly neighbourhood of Greenwich Village.
However, the suit was thrown out of a Manhattan court on Monday (14Jul14) after Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled there was nothing offensive about the mention in Stoller's 2013 release, Maybe We'll Have You Back: The Life of a Perennial TV Guest Star.
She noted, "The phrase expressly conveys the notion that there is nothing wrong with being gay. In that respect, it cannot be considered homophobic."
Stoller served as a comedy writer on Seinfeld for one season and also appeared onscreen as annoying character Fred.
Jessica Simpson celebrated America's Independence Day (04Jul14) on the eve of her wedding by hosting a barbecue with family and friends. The singer and her fiance Eric Johnson threw a 4th of July bash at the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara, California, where they will reportedly be exchanging vows on Saturday (05Jul14).
The couple also staged a small rehearsal dinner on Wednesday night (03Jul14).
Sources tell People.com, the pre-wedding Independence Day feast consisted of beef brisket, smoked barbecue baby back ribs, fried chicken and grilled shrimp, as well as a variety of pies and watermelon.
Wedding planner Mindy Weiss says, "Jessica didn't want her guests to miss out on the 4th of July. That's who they are. Their number one concern is for their guests coming all this way for the wedding."
Soul legend Bobby Womack has died at the age of 70. The singer passed away on Friday (27Jun14).
A former member of family gospel groups the Womack Brothers and the Valentinos, he went solo in 1965 and released his debut album, Fly Me to the Moon, in 1968.
His hits included Across 110th Street, That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha, Woman's Gotta Have It and If You Think You're Lonely Now.
Womack's successes were tinged with personal tragedy and controversy - he struggled with the deaths of his brother Harry and sons Vincent and Truth. Vincent committed suicide and four-month-old Truth died in 1978 after falling into a coma at the Womack family home in Woodland Hills, California.
In one of his final interviews, the soul star told WENN he never truly got over the tragedy and still blamed himself for leaving the baby unattended on a bed.
He said, "The baby had fallen down between the bed and the wall and he suffocated and that was the biggest hurt ever in my life."
The tragedy turned Womack onto hard drugs, which eventually robbed him of his creative edge, and he spent decades trying to get his passion for songwriting back.
He explained, "That death led to 'There's gotta be a better way... and from there, away I went. Every time I heard somebody had died - instead of going to the funeral, I'd go and get high.
"Eventually I reached out to God and said, 'Look, I'm in trouble. I don't even know who I am'. I wanted to get the true feeling back... My passion for music never died; I was just trying to figure out how you get it back."
He spent much of the 1980s battling his drug demons, eventually checking into rehab.
Womack also split fans of his music when he married late mentor Sam Cooke's wife Barbara three months after his death in 1964.
He suffered a series of health setbacks, including diabetes, pneumonia and colon cancer, and last year (13) he revealed he had been diagnosed with memory-robbing Alzheimer's disease.
The music veteran enjoyed a career revival thanks to British rocker Damon Albarn, who invited the soul man to join the Gorillaz on 2010 track Stylo. Womack also toured extensively with the group.
Albarn then produced his acclaimed 2012 comeback album, The Bravest Man in the Universe, Womack's first release in more than a decade.
The star was in the process of recording the follow-up, tentatively titled The Best Is Yet to Come, at the time of his death.
He recently told WENN that his new music included collaborations with Snoop Dogg and duets with Stevie Wonder and Rod Stewart. He had also reworked a cover of Billy Preston's With You I'm Born Again.
Bobby Womack was inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jenny McCarthy is leaving U.S. daytime talk show The View after less than a year on the panel. The blonde bombshell joined the long-running chat series last September (14), but has decided to walk away just nine months into the job after her co-anchor Sherri Shepherd announced she was leaving.
Shepherd confirmed her exit on Thursday night (26Jun14), saying in a statement, "It's been seven wonderful years on The View and after careful consideration it is time for me to move on. I am extremely grateful to Barbara Walters and (executive producer) Bill Geddie for giving me the opportunity. I look forward to the business opportunities that lay ahead for me and I am incredibly grateful to my View family and my fans for supporting me on this journey."
McCarthy then took to Twitter.com to tell her followers she is also leaving the programme. She writes, "If Sherri goes... I go too. #sisters... My View will be changing too. As will with many hard working folks. Thanks to everyone at the show for your dedication and an amazing year."
If Sherri goes... I go too. #sisters
— Jenny McCarthy (@JennyMcCarthy) June 27, 2014
My View will be changing too. As will with many hard working folks. Thanks to everyone at the show for your dedication and an amazing year.
— Jenny McCarthy (@JennyMcCarthy) June 27, 2014
A statement from bosses at U.S. network ABC confirmed their departures: "The View will be moving in an exciting new direction next season and ABC has made decisions to evolve the show creatively."
The pair's exit comes months after creator and executive producer Walters retired in April (14). She launched the Emmy-winning show in 1997.
Actress/comedienne Whoopi Goldberg will be the show's only returning host when the programme comes back for its 18th season this autumn (14).