Veteran pop star Paula Abdul is reminding women to regularly check themselves for lumps with a catchy new song and dance routine for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Straight Up hitmaker, 52, has teamed up with bosses at beauty brand Avon for the appropriately-titled Check Yourself video, in which she highlights the importance of self-exams and demonstrates how to do them properly with the help of a new dance move.
Abdul admits she jumped at the chance to front the campaign for the month of October because her sister, Wendy Emkin, fought and won her battle with the disease back in 2000.
The sisters even appear together in the promo, which features a slew of other breast cancer survivors and their family members.
Discussing how she became involved with the cause, she tells U.S. news show Access Hollywood, "They (Avon bosses) didn't know that I had my own personal (connection to the disease), it was very near and dear to my heart because my sister is a breast cancer survivor. I immediately thought, 'I need to put her in the video...'
"I had a blast (making the promo), they're just amazing people. Over 100 people volunteered their time and 80 per cent of the people that are in this (video) and around it (involved in it) are (personally) affected somehow by breast cancer, and the whole idea about this is I wanted it to be celebratory, as opposed to, you know, it's daunting, and there's so much information and facts and everything..."
In a campaign statement, she adds, "My hope is that this new video will inspire women and men to take charge of their own breast health through screening, detection, and treatment."
Actor Bradley Cooper has invested in a good chiropractor and an inversion table to make sure he doesn't hurt himself while contorting his body to portray John Merrick in The Elephant Man on the Broadway stage. The Hangover star is preparing to reprise his role as severely deformed Merrick in the Bernard Pomerance play next month (Nov14), and he's refusing to rely on prosthetics to help him twist his posture for the eight shows a week.
Cooper is already prepared for the aches and pains he may encounter, so he has purchased a new therapy table and hired a medical professional to help him stay limber, and decompress after each performance.
He tells the Associated Press, "I have an inversion table. That's a new thing."
However, the actor is convinced his dedication to his art will pay off, because Merrick's story is one he has become very fond of.
Discussing what drew him to the project, he says, "There's this love story and you also get a sense of Merrick being a real survivor and having a real wisdom about him. It's sort of heartbreaking in the face of reality and the limits that faced him."
Cooper previously starred in The Elephant Man at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in 2012.
Brad Pitt gave a World War Two veteran the red carpet treatment by inviting the war hero to be his guest at the premiere of his new movie Fury in London on Sunday (19Oct14). Pitt and his co-stars attended the London Film Festival gala screening of their film, and instead of bringing his new wife Angelina Jolie as his date, the Hollywood actor arrived with Peter Comfort, 91, the last World War Two survivor of the 13/18th Royal Hussars who was assigned to the Sherman tanks.
Pitt portrays a defiant Sherman tank commander in the film, and while shooting in England last year (13), he asked Comfort for his advice and first-hand account on the subject.
Comfort even had the chance to visit Pitt the set in Hertfordshire, but the war vet admits he didn't have any idea who Pitt was before they met.
He tells Britatin's Daily Mail, "Mr Pitt was very friendly and charming actually but I didn't know who he was. I said to him, 'Until last night I didn't have a clue who you were and then I Googled you and you've been in quite a lot of films'.
"They (the cast and crew) all rolled about laughing when I said that. I don't do modern films. I am a fan of actors like Alec Guinness, but of course he is dead now."
Comfort met up with Pitt again on Sunday as the two posed for photos on the red carpet together before heading in to watch a screening of the film, which hit number one on the North American box office chart this weekend (17-19Oct14).
Reese Witherspoon and Renee Zellwegger added star power to The Walk to Defeat ALS in Los Angeles on Sunday (19Oct14) to support Hollywood publicist Nanci Ryder, who was recently diagnosed with the disease. The actresses participated in the charity event to raise money for the ALS Association, an organisation dedicated to finding a treatment and cure for the progressive neuro-degenerative disease.
Witherspoon and Zellwegger, who are both long time clients and friends of Ryder, participated in the two-mile trek in downtown Los Angeles to show their support for their pal, and even wore shirts with "Team Nanci" printed on them.
The Walk the Line star shared a photo of herself with Ryder on Instagram following the walk, along with a caption which read: "This morning, I participated in The Walk To Defeat #ALS, with my good friend Nanci, who was diagnosed with ALS in August. I love this lady so much; she's a symbol of incredible strength, grace, and beauty as she fights ALS.
"Thanks to everyone who participated in #icebucketchallenge and supported the fight against this disease! (P.S. Remember it doesn't end when all the ice buckets are put down. It's not too late to donate! And let's keep reminding ourselves to do good, dream big, and make change!! Agree?!)
The Ice Bucket Challenge became a phenomenon in America over the summer (14) as celebrities and dignitaries around the world tipped freezing water over their heads to raise awareness about ALS.
Ryder, who is also a breast cancer survivor, told E! News she greatly appreciated the outpouring of support from her colleagues and friends, saying, "I'm overwhelmed. I feel so loved. I think we tend not to appreciate that, but now I really do."
Also on hand to support the charity were celebrities including Emmy Rossum, Katharine McPhee, Rosanna Arquette, Rose McGowan and Mae Whitman.
British singer Jessie J is adamant fellow pop star Ariana Grande has been unfairly branded a "diva" because of untrue rumours about her bad behavior.
The Problem hitmaker was recently accused of scrapping her entire promotional schedule in Australia because she was unhappy with pictures from a photoshoot, while a group of fans in the U.S. called her rude for shunning them at a meet-and-greet session. Grande has insisted the incidents have been blown out of proportion, and now her Bang Bang collaborator Jessie J has spoken out in her defense.
The Price Tag singer tells the New York Daily News, "She's wonderful and she's had an extraordinary amount of success and the media sadly can't keep celebrating that, so they have to find something that they feel people would want to be more nosily interested in. I've had the 'diva' stamp, too... and there's a very fine line between diva and survivor.... (The accusations are) complete and utter bulls**t and you can put that in (your story)!"
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.
Rocker John Mellencamp has personally thanked the surgeon who saved his life at birth, 40 years after learning how close he came to death. The Jack & Diane hitmaker was born with spinal bifida at a time when little was known about the condition, but thanks to the efforts and skill of Dr. Robert Heimburger and an experimental procedure, he survived and thrived.
Mellencamp recently told CBS News he didn't know about his potentially life-saving operation until he was nine, when a school pal asked him about the scar on his back.
The rock star said, "I went home and asked my parents. They said, 'Oh, don't worry about it. You had an operation.'"
Over 50 years after the surgery, Mellencamp finally met Heimburger a few weeks ago and learned he was the only survivor of the experimental procedure.
He explains, "They did three operations. One (girl) died on the table, another girl lived, I think, 'til she was 14, and then she died. And then me. They basically cut my head off... laid it open, cut that thing off then put all the nerves into my spine."
As for the cost of the pioneering work, he adds: "He (Heimburger) charged my parents $1. I was a guinea pig."
Asked about his meeting with the man who saved his life, the rocker says, "We talked about faith, 'cause I have very little faith in anything. (He) just kept grabbing my hand and saying, 'John, you need to have faith'."
Never-before-seen topless shots of thyroid cancer survivor Brooke Burke and clothed images of beauties Karolina Kurkova, Adriana Lima and Laetitia Casta are to feature in a new exhibition of Andre Plessel's work. The German photographer's Visions will open at the Lilac Gallery in New York on 17 October (14).
Burke's photos were taken in the late 1990s when she agreed to take a trip along America's iconic Route 66 with the photographer.
Singer Melissa Etheridge has moved to clarify remarks she made about Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy last year (13), after calling the actress "fearful" for undergoing the operation. The Tomb Raider star stunned fans when she revealed she had drastic surgery to remove both her breasts after doctors discovered she was at risk of developing cancer.
Shortly after the announcement, Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor, criticised Jolie by saying, "I wouldn't call it the brave choice. I actually think it's the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer."
However, the Come to My Window hitmaker insists her comments were not meant to be malicious, and she clarified her statements during an appearance on U.S. late night talk show Watch What Happens Live on Wednesday (01Oct14).
She explains, "I have never even ever spoken to Angelina. But I didn't mean that comment meanly. I certainly want to clear that up.
"I just felt that calling it 'brave' was not something I would do. To cut healthy tissue off is fearful because you're fearful of getting something. Brave to me would be different. And that's all... People can do whatever they want. It's their bodies, their health."
Etheridge used to be good friends with Jolie's husband Brad Pitt, and even performed at his wedding to Jennifer Aniston in 2000, but the singer admits she hasn't spoken to the actor in 10 years. Pitt and Aniston split in 2005.
"If I could have, I would have chosen not to go through cancer or my divorces in public. Yet you can't say, 'I'm only going to let the public see the good stuff.' Whenever I sit down with someone, I need to know that I'm not hiding anything." Singer and breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge on the pitfalls of fame. She endured a nasty divorce from longtime partner Tammy Lynn Michaels in 2010, when they fought over custody of their twins.