Latin superstar Marc Anthony is set to open a new orphanage and school in Colombia after the success of his first charity centre in the Dominican Republic. The salsa singer opened the Children of the Christ residence in the La Romana area of the Dominican Republic last April (14) via his organisation the Maestro Cares Foundation, and now he is planning to launch a second kids home in Barranquilla, Colombia, the native country of his charity co-founder Henry Cardenas.
They are aiming to open the new orphanage in April (15) to provide housing and care for more than 200 disadvantaged kids, double the capacity of the Dominican Republic centre.
Charity executives are also making plans for similar ventures in Mexico, Peru and Anthony's native Puerto Rico.
Sylvia Zaldivar, Executive Director of Maestro Cares, tells Fox News Latino, "The Foundation is taking off at warp speed. Marc Anthony has been leveraging his relationships to develop projects that are making a real difference in communities in need."
Anthony and Cardenas held their second annual Changing Lives, Building Dreams gala in New York City on Tuesday (17Feb15), raising more than $1 million (£625,000) for their foundation, and the singer admits the cause is one very close to his heart.
He tells People.com, "This is very personal... My kids in the Ninos de Cristo (Children of the Christ) orphanage, they're gonna eat, they're safe, they have their own beds, they have their own space. It comes down to dignity at the end of the day. I always say these children's beautiful, beautiful souls were dealt a rough set of cards, and at the very least (they deserve), a bed, food, education..."
Anthony has also taken his own children to visit the home in the Dominican Republic to show them how privileged they are.
He says, "I am on this mission to do what I'd do for my own children. I've taken my own children to the orphanage. We spent a weekend with the kids, and they came up with ways to make their existence better.
"My two older boys, Christian and Ryan, came up with a whole curriculum, like: 'Based on behaviour, I think we should have a movie night.' And they definitely see what I'm doing. That's just one of those pluses - you don't count on it, but they do see the example you set."
Anthony has four children from his previous marriages - sons Ryan, 11, and Christian, 14, with Dayanara Torres, and twins Max and Emme with Jennifer Lopez. He wed his third wife, Shannon De Lima, in November (14).
Veteran actress Anita Ekberg has died, aged 83. Ekberg passed away on Sunday (11Jan15) at a hospital in Rome following a series of illnesses, which left her wheelchair-bound. The cause of death was not disclosed as WENN went to press.
The Swedish-born actress is best known for her role as Sylvia in Federico Fellini's classic film La Dolce Vita, appearing in one of the movie's most iconic scenes, wading through Rome's Trevi Fountain in a strapless dress.
She appeared in numerous Hollywood films including War and Peace with Audrey Hepburn and 4 for Texas with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, and was even considered to play the first Bond girl in Dr. No, but lost the role to Ursula Andress.
Ekberg was also known for her string of relationships with Hollywood's leading men and was linked to stars including Errol Flynn, Yul Brynner and Sinatra.
Independence Day star Bill Pullman is planning a return to Broadway as Sarah Jessica Parker's dog. The actor will get down on all fours for the show, about a man obsessed with his pet.
He tells WENN, "I'll be back in New York in the fall of 2015 for the Broadway show called Sylvia with Sarah Jessica Parker, playing the part of the dog.
"It's about a guy in a mid-life crisis who gets a new dog and finds himself more obsessed by the dog than his wife. It's a very funny and very touching play."
Pullman previously graced the Broadway stage in a 2012 production of The Other Place.
Legendary Sugarhill Gang rapper Big Bank Hank has lost his battle with cancer at the age of 57. The hip-hop veteran died in his native New York in the early hours of Tuesday (11Nov14).
Born Henry Jackson, the star began his music career managing local rap group the Cold Crush Brothers in the mid-1970s, until his own talent was spotted by record executive Sylvia Robinson.
She paired him up with Michael 'Wonder Mike' Wright and Guy 'Master Gee' O'Brien to form the Sugarhill Gang, and signed them to her newly-established namesake label, Sugar Hill Records.
The trio became the first rap act to score a big hit with the 1979 classic Rapper's Delight, catapulting them to fame.
They went on score other hits with singles including Apache, Eighth Wonder and Showdown and released their last studio album in 1999, with Jump on It!.
His surviving bandmates Wonder Mike and Master Gee have since paid tribute to the rap icon, telling TMZ.com, "So sad to hear of our brother's passing. Rest in peace Big Bank."
Alain Siritzy, the brains behind the popular Emmanuelle erotic films, has died, aged 72. The producer passed away in Paris, France on Saturday (11Oct14).
He acquired the film rights to Emmanuelle Arsan's steamy 1959 novel in the early 1970s and helped create Emmanuelle in 1974.
The film, featuring late Dutch actress and model Sylvia Kristel, was an overnight sensation in France and quickly became an international hit, prompting Siritzy to make a sequel a year later.
He went on to produce over 80 Emmanuelle titles for film, television and video.
Veteran actress Sylvia Miles has been hospitalised with severe anaemia, according to a U.S. report. The Oscar-nominated star of Midnight Cowboy worried friends last week (ends25May14) when she failed to show up for a lunch date and then did not answer her cell phone or respond to the intercom at her New York apartment.
Building staff subsequently "broke her door down" and found her ailing, reports the New York Post.
The 81 year old was admitted to the nearby Roosevelt Hospital, where she is now in recovery and undergoing tests for what doctors believe is anaemia, a condition which occurs when the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells.
Representatives for Miles have yet to comment on the report.
Cara Delevingne had to battle to convince her co-stars she was more than a model when she began filming her TV debut. The British stunner turns her hand to television acting for the first time in Sky Arts show Timeless, in which she stars alongside veteran English actress Sylvia Syms as a young woman married to a soldier.
However, Syms was ready to dismiss Delevingne as nothing more than a catwalk beauty before they met, and apparently made her views quickly known when they first spoke.
Delevingne says, "The first thing Sylvia said to me was, 'I hear your some model tart'. It was the best moment ever, it was brilliant... As soon as we met she started putting me through my paces... She was testing me - I get that. I see people when I do things like this (thinking), 'You're just a model'. I'm fine with it, because I am ready to prove I'm more than that."
Syms' doubts were quickly dispelled, and the acting icon has even gone as far as to compare the model to Audrey Hepburn, saying, "Frankly, when I knew I was going to work with some... model I thought, 'Just a minute I spent 15 years on the board of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art'. (But) I literally fell in love with her the first day. The other girl I loved very much - she never got a decent break in England - her name was Audrey Hepburn."
Timeless is due to air in the U.K. on 19 June (14).
America Ferrera and her husband Ryan Piers Williams put their marriage to the test in new drama X/Y - the writer/director filmed his wife making love to rapper Common. In only his second feature, writer/director Williams cast the Ugly Betty star as Sylvia and himself as her ex, Mark - and then found himself behind the camera for voyeuristic sex scenes.
The couple knew the film would shock family members, so Ferrera and Williams sat them down before X/Y premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York last weekend (19-20Apr14), and attempted to explain why sex scenes between them and others were important for the project.
Williams tells WENN, "When I told my mum about it I was like, 'Mum, we have this movie in Tribeca and I want you to see it before you decide to come out or not! There's a lot of sex in it and it's very intense'. And she's like, 'Ryan, did you make a porn?' I was like, 'Mum, I did not make a porn. I'm not a porno filmmaker!'
"She watched it and called me crying after and loved the film. It was really touching to hear my mum respond in such a positive way."
Ferrera had a similar experience: "My sister was at the premiere and she really loved the film and came away with the emotional impact and journey more than, 'I can't believe I had to watch my sister and her husband make love!' All of the sex in the film is in service of something so much deeper.
"It's not as graphic as the experience of watching it might feel. It does feel incredibly intimate, like you're watching something between us that you probably shouldn't be watching. Sexuality is complicated and sometimes it's as simple as a hand touching the curve on your back and it's the most sexual, intimate thing you can experience. Of course, as an actor, I appreciated Ryan didn't get gratuitous with the sex!"
But Williams was really tested as a filmmaker when he had to shoot his wife making love to another man: "It's an intense experience to direct your wife in a sex scene or be in a sex scene yourself. You have to really make yourself vulnerable and that can be uncomfortable. Common was very respectful and my job was to make him feel comfortable and provide a space for him to do his best work in the scene."
The actress, who also reteams with her Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants co-star Amber Tamblyn in the film, admits the sex scenes weren't the most difficult thing about the movie - she also had to pretend her relationship with her husband had ended.
She tells Entertainment Weekly, "Some of the intense fighting scenes our characters had to go through were difficult. I also found that some of the moments where Sylvia is alone were tremendously sad. You have to put yourself in such a vulnerable position to convey those sorts of things and really feel them, which made sitting in these characters day after day really kind of hard."
Mad Men is one of those shows that takes very little improving – it's basically flawless. That said, here's a little list of things we think could make Season 7 the season to end all seasons:
Last season did not have nearly enough of Joan. How I wish all of the time we wasted on Sylvia Rosen's angst was spent on Joan instead. We never even got to see the moment that she successfully closed the deal with Avon! Though, presumably, with Avon as one of Sterling Cooper and Partner's biggest accounts, we'll be seeing a lot more of her.
Let's take all of Betty's screentime and donate it to the Joan Harris-Holloway fund. January Jones can be a real emotionless wooden plank sometimes, and on a show with such phenomenal performers, why give the time to her?
So, Ginsberg seemed to be slowly but surely losing it last season (what was with the Martian transmissions?). Unfortunately, everybody was too caught up trying to figure out who the heck Bob Benson was, so we lost out on some good Ginsberg screentime too.
More Don + Roger
Okay, let's be real: their chemistry is off the charts. Last season, we got shorted on Roger/Don scenes, as Don was busy drinking himself out of his senior partner position (no mean feat, when you think about it). But they did share a nice moment in the finale – even as they put him on forced leave, Roger looks remorseful (as remorseful as Roger can get, at least) as he utters the infamous "You s**t the bed in there" line.
More Peggy + Don
No, not that kind of "Peggy and Don." I ship a lot of pairings, but Peggy and Don are not one of them (though apparently, the real people they were based off of got married). That said, like Don and Roger, they have wonderful (platonic) chemistry. "The Suitcase" remains one of my favorite episodes, and their ultra-emotional goodbye at the end of season 5 packed quite the wallop.
More Pete + Failure
Now, there's something I ship. Pete falling down the stairs in a fit of rage/crashing a Chevy/"Not great, BOB!" were all some of the best moments of last season. I'm not pulling for a Lane Pryce-style exit (too soon?), but there is something lovely about seeing smarmy Pete's life come crashing down around his ears (just like his hairline).
Peggy + an actually good love interest
I just want Peggy to be happy, okay? Let her make Ted Chaouoaough eat his heart out. Lots of people want her to end up with Stan, but I'm not sure how I feel about that. He definitely gives off some deviant vibes sometimes.
So there's what I want from Season 7 – mainly for Peggy to take over the world and to finally stop going after married men who are way beneath her league. What do you want? Share in the comments!
Actress Amanda Peet has won positive reviews for her debut as a playwright after launching new Off Broadway drama The Commons Of Pensacola with Sarah Jessica Parker and Blythe Danner in the lead roles. The Something's Gotta Give star reunited Danner and Parker, who previously co-starred in a 1995 stage production of Sylvia, to play mother and daughter in the show, about a woman struggling to make ends meet after her financier husband is jailed.
The play opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club on Thursday night (21Nov13) and it appears to have won over the majority of New York's notoriously-tough critics.
The New York Times' Charles Isherwood calls Peet's efforts a "creditable debut", "engrossing and watchable", adding, "Ms. Peet writes easily flowing dialogue, laced with biting humor and a brash streak of vulgarity."
The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney echoes Isherwood's sentiments, branding the play "a pleasing debut", while a writer for Variety suggests the drama "isn't half bad in the hands of a superb cast" and a reviewer for New York Magazine's Vulture.com blog declares it "worthy of attention".
Parker, who portrays the daughter of the disgraced financier, is praised by Rooney as seeming "right at home" in her first Big Apple stage role in 12 years, and Britain's Independent newspaper critic applauds the actress for delivering a "captivating performance as the broken scion".
However, not everyone was impressed with The Commons of Pensacola - the New York Daily News' Joe Dziemianowicz claims Parker's performance can't save Peet's "unfocused" play, which he rated with just two stars out of a possible five.
The Commons of Pensacola runs until 26 January (14).