Award-winning actress/singer Audra Mcdonald used her vocal skills to sing the answers to a variety of random questions found online on Yahoo.com during an hilarious segment on America's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday (23Jul14). She was joined onstage by The Good Wife star Josh Charles and host Jimmy Fallon, who sat side-by-side at a grand piano and tickled the ivories to provide a little background music.
Courtesy Everett Collection
Alec Baldwin is leading the tributes to his TV mum, stage and screen legend Elaine Stritch, following her death on Thursday (17Jul14). The actor worked with the Two's Company star on his hit sitcom 30 Rock, in which Stritch played his sharp-tongued mother Colleen Donaghy - a role which won her an Emmy Award in 2007.
And he was among the first celebrities to honour her memory on Twitter.com on Thursday as the news of her passing broke. Sharing an article about the loss of the 89 year old, Baldwin writes, "A woman that I loved and admired, and a true one in a million, has gone to her rest."
Girls creator and star Lena Dunham celebrated Stritch's lengthy career by making reference to her Tony-nominated Broadway performance of The Ladies Who Lunch from Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical Company, tweeting, "Here's to the lady who lunched: Elaine Stritch, we love you. May your heaven be a booze-soaked, no-pants solo show at the Carlyle (New York hotel she once called home). Thank you".
Meanwhile, singer Josh Groban remembered the veteran actress as "one of a kind and just the wittiest", and Anna Kendrick added, "Elaine Stritch man. Hell of a performer, spirit and woman. This one really hurts. Today's work is for you ma'am. Crazy love."
Early tributes have also poured in from the likes of Christina Applegate, James Van Der Beek and writer/director Joss Whedon.
Jazz bassist Charlie Haden has died at the age of 76. Haden passed away on Friday (11Jul14) following a prolonged illness, according to Billboard.com.
The musician made his professional debut at the age of two as a yodeler alongside his family members.
In 1957, he joined saxophonist Ornette Coleman's jazz quartet.
Following a stint in rehab for drug addiction, he worked with composer Keith Jarrett's American quartet in 1967.
Haden also went on to found his own groups, including The Liberation Music Orchestra with Carla Bley, Michael Mantler, Roswell Rudd and Gato Barbieri, and the Charlie Haden Quartet West featuring saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Alan Broadbent and drummer Lawrence Marable.
Haden was the recipient of several Grammy awards throughout his career, including Best Jazz Instrumental Performance for Beyond the Missouri Sky in 1997, and two Latin Grammys for Best Latin Jazz CD for his album Nocturne and Best Latin Jazz Performance for his record Land of the Sun.
He is survived by his singer and guitarist son Josh Haden and his triplet daughters, Petra, Tanya and Rachel Haden, who formed the group the Haden Triplets.
Knocked Up actress Katherine Heigl contemplated turning her back on Hollywood for good after her screen reputation was torn apart in a brutal magazine article last year (13).
The former Grey's Anatomy star hit headlines in September (13) when she became the subject of a highly-critical profile in The Hollywood Reporter, with industry sources claiming she was difficult to work with and "not worth" the hassle. Insiders who had previously worked with Heigl also accused her of constantly bringing up "wardrobe issues" and "questioning the script every single day".
The actress, who was on hiatus from acting when the article was published, refused to issue a rebuttal statement, and instead continued to lay low, but now she has opened up about how hurt she was by the unexpected attack. In an interview with Britain's Marie Claire magazine, she says, "The thing that was my best friend for a long time (my career) suddenly turned on me. And I didn't expect it. I was taken by surprise and angry at it for betraying me."
Heigl admits the backlash prompted her to reconsider a planned return to acting and she admits she came close to quitting for good to live a simple life with her singer husband Josh Kelley and their two young daughters, Naleigh and Adalaide. She explains, "I had a moment where, I don't know, I was thinking I'd maybe open a knitting store, get my money out of retirement accounts and live off that, live off the land. I had my moment where it all seemed so complicated and all I wanted to do was simplify."
The actress accepts she probably wore out her stay in Hollywood by taking on too many romantic comedies, like film flops The Ugly Truth and Life as We Know It, because she just "couldn't say no", but she insists she's learned her lesson and now she's excited to be stepping back into the spotlight with new independent film Jenny's Wedding and TV drama series State of Affairs.
She adds, "There's a part of me that's a Hollywood animal as well. I can't wait to get into the writer's room and see how we do this. I feel like I'm finally rolling into the next phase of my adulthood."
Magnolia Pictures via Everett Collection
Actress/filmmaker Sarah Polley is reportedly set to adapt author John Green's Looking For Alaska for the big screen. Bosses at Paramount Pictures are in talks with the Dawn of the Dead star to work on a script and potentially direct the film version of the best-selling debut novel by The Fault In Our Stars author Green, according to Deadline.com.
Paramount executives bought the rights to the 2005 novel, about a 16-year-old boy and his adventures in an Alabama boarding school, the same year the book was released, and hired The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz to write and direct the film. Green stated on his website that despite the fact that he "desperately loved" the screenplay, "there was no enthusiasm for that kind of movie at Paramount".
However, thanks to the success of The Fault in Our Stars, which recently surpassed the $166 million (£98 million) mark at the worldwide box office, studio bosses have since revitalised the project.
Green's 2008 mystery novel Paper Towns is also set for a big screen adaptation, reuniting him with The Fault in Our Stars director Josh Boone, and actor/singer Nat Wolff, who appears in the cancer drama alongside Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.
Singer Josh Groban is working on a new album featuring music from movies and stage shows. The You Raise Me Up hitmaker's latest project will include familiar tracks from well-known productions, as well as songs from more obscure shows including Paul Simon's The Capeman and Chess by Abba's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice.
He tells Billboard.com, "Since I was 13 years old, I have wanted to record a film and stage songs album. The nice thing about a film and stage album is that you have so many songs. It's a matter of demoing them, seeing which are right for me and for the continuity of the album.
"The test is whether I can tell a story and whether or not my voice fits the story. There are plenty of shows where the songs are gems, but never got their fair share. I think Paul Simon's The Capeman is a show that just needed a little more time. We're desperate for great new shows."
Country singer Danielle Peck is a married woman after eloping with fiance Josh Smith in Ireland. The Findin' a Good Man singer tied the knot last Thursday (12Jun14) at the romantic 19th century Belleek Castle in Ballina.
Peck has shared the exciting news in a statement which reads: "This day was a dream come true for me. I've married my best friend and look forward to spending the rest of my life with the one I love, and I truly couldn't be happier!"
The pair first met at a party in late 2012, and Smith proposed to Peck in December (13).
The couple was planning on an elaborate wedding, but opted to elope while Smith was working as a tour production manager for the Eagles on the group's European tour.
Peck and Smith are planning a reception with their family and friends later this summer (14) in Nashville, Tennessee.
New U.S. talent show judges Kesha and Ludacris had a difference of opinion on a TV show on Tuesday night (17Jun14) after the rapper insisted he didn't know the Tik Tok singer before they started working together. The two stars were promoting Rising Star with fellow judge Brad Paisley and presenter Josh Groban on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when the talk show host asked them if they'd ever met before the programme.
Ludacris said, "No," prompting the singer to add, "You see, that's not true. We've played shows together."
The rap star then stated, "We've done shows together but we've never, like, formally met."
Kesha then attempted to jog Ludacris' memory further, adding, "My assistant made out with your tour manager!"
The rapper insisted the singer was lying, prompting Kesha to fire back, "I'm not lying."
Ludacris then used the disagreement to promote their new show, stating, "This is why you need to watch Rising Star live on television... I love it!"
He added, "At the end of the day, we both love tequila, so it doesn't really matter. I feel like I've known her all my life."
Justin Bieber and his fellow pop star Cody Simpson are joining forces in a recording studio. The Australian singer took to Twitter.com on Wednesday (11Jun14) to tell his fans he has spent some time collaborating with the Baby hitmaker on a new song.
He writes, "chill studio session last night with @justinbieber. wrote a beautiful guitar track. able to relate when it comes to love & women. good sht!" Bieber also retweeted a photo taken by engineer-producer Josh Gudwin, which shows the two singers in the studio as Bieber intently listens to Simpson playing guitar.
The news comes months after Bieber revealed he worked with another teen singer, Austin Mahone, after the two met up at a recording studio in April (14).
Singer FERGIE and actress Sarah Jessica Parker were among the stars who turned out for the amfAR Inspiration Gala in New York City on Tuesday night (10Jun14) to raise money for AIDS research. The Black Eyed Peas singer attended the star-studded event, held at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, with her actor husband Josh Duhamel, who was among the speakers, along with Parker.
The event featured a fashion show, which included a runway turn by model Tyson Beckford, and an auction to raise funds, as well as a performance by British music veterans New Order.
The charity was co-founded by Dame Elizabeth Taylor.