"I thought about it again at Tina Turner's wedding... because Tina was like, 'Oprah, you need to do this!' I was just thinking, 'Would things be different... No, I don't think so.'" Oprah Winfrey has no plans to marry longtime partner Stedman Graham.
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey forced herself to take a step back from her heavy workload last summer (12) after realising she was on the brink of a nervous breakdown as she struggled to turn her TV network into a success. The TV icon walked away from her hit talk show in May, 2011, after 25 years at the top, to focus on the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) with bosses from cable company Discovery Communications.
However, the channel struggled to attract viewers in its first year on air and Winfrey was forced to take a serious look at reshuffling its programming line-up in order to appeal to audiences.
The superstar admits she was really feeling the pressure to turn OWN's fortunes around, but it was only when she interviewed Jason Russell, the man behind the high-profile KONY 2012 campaign, about his emotional breakdown which led to his bizarre naked rant and arrest last year (12), that she recognised she was experiencing similar mental issues.
She tells People magazine, "Jason was talking about having a nervous breakdown, and I was thinking, 'I have those symptoms'."
Winfrey's breaking point came just days later as she headed into the OWN headquarters in Los Angeles to record voice-overs for her shows: "I remember closing my eyes while I was reading. I thought, 'I cannot have another thing enter my brain.' I needed to pull back."
She confesses the harsh press criticism of her network hit her hard, and she credits her longterm partner, Stedman Graham, with helping her soldier on to overcome the disappointing start.
She says, "After 25 years of being number one, I had become accustomed to success. I didn't expect failure. I was tested and I had to dig deep. The schadenfreude (pleasure from misfortune of others) was very painful for me, because I had never experienced it.
"(Graham) was amazing. He said, 'You can't eve think about quitting. You have been in cruise control. It's gonna turn around, but you've gotta do the work.'"
"I was just recently with Tina Turner, who, at 73, put a ring on it, and she's like, 'It's time for you!' I go, 'Y'know, just because you crossed over doesn't mean that now everybody else wants to cross over too'... I think it works pretty well the way it does." Oprah Winfrey insists she and longtime partner Stedman Graham have no plans to get married.
Oprah Winfrey had a scary run-in with an African elephant while on a recent vacation with her beau Stedman Graham in Tanzania. The iconic TV talk show host was on a tour of the Serengeti when an aggressive elephant approached the vehicle they were in and charged at the car - twice.
Fortunately no one was injured in the scary incident, but Winfrey admits the encounter left her a little shaken up.
She says, "We had literally just gotten into the truck, because we had gone for (a) walk and then we saw some elephants doing their elephant waterhole thing and one was a little irritated..."
Winfrey shared a video clip of the ordeal during an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday night (01Aug13).
Did you know that one of the original gay icons, Dolly Parton has faced gay rumors? Even though she's been married for 46 years to her husband Carl Dean? Apparently the world just doesn't like women having close friendships without at least the hope of some sort of secret homosexual dalliances hidden in a closet somewhere. Oprah and Dolly should start a club. Being successful and a woman means there's just no way you could be into dudes (or that dudes could be into you)! That's some messed up caveat to the American Dream stuff, eh?
While promoting her new memoir, Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You, the 66-year-old country superstar is hopeful that her words will finally put all that tabloid speculation to rest.
Parton discusses her fellow lady-in-gay-rumor-arms, Oprah Winfrey, who's lifelong friendship with Gayle King has driven tabloids crazy for years—to say nothing of the fact that she's never married her partner of 26 years, Stedman Graham—and Parton seems to relate to their friendship's scrutiny.
"Like Gayle, her friend, Judy, my friend...they just think that you just can't be that close to somebody," Parton explained. "Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade. We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we're not romantically involved."
But it's not all serious talk with Parton (is it ever)? The country icon also chatted about that time she entered—and lost, which is pretty amazing when you think about it—a drag queen celebrity lookalike competition. "They had a bunch of Chers and Dollys that year, so I just over-exaggerated [Ed. Note: how is that even possible?] made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything. So I just got in the line and I just walked across, and they just thought I was some little short gay guy...and I got the least applause!" She went on to explain her love of a community that has embraced (and imitated) her so, say that if she wasn't born a woman that "I'd be a drag queen." Oh Dolly, please never change.
What do you think about the gay rumors surrounding Dolly? As surprised as we are that she lost a drag queen competition? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: DailyCeleb]
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It happened. You did it. You've finally won an Emmy. And as the camera pans to your face, awe-stricken as you stand from your auditorium seat and manage your way to the stage, trembling all the while, many a thought zooms through your head: "Now's my time," you say to yourself. "Now's my time to pour out all the thoughts I've been bottling up since I first decided to get into show business as a way of sticking it to everyone I went to high school with. Now's my time of gushing sentimentally on the support of my grandparents, and preaching emphatically on whatever international crisis everybody seems to be ignoring. Now's my time to say everything I've always wanted to say!" Well, no. It's not. You can't do that.
Correction: you can do that (until they yank you off the stage with the musical interlude version of a hook-cane). But you shouldn't. It makes for bad television. See, there are very specific components that go into a halfway decent Emmy's speech. You need a bit of humor. You need a bit of schmaltz. And if the mood strikes, a political maxim can find its way into your delivery. And no need to worry if you don't actually have any genuine thoughts of your own to make up a speech — there are enough scattered pieces out there to comprise a whole new sermon with which to address your esteemed small screen peers. Individual great moments that, together, with their distinct styles and sensibilities, might just form the greatest Emmy acceptance speech of all time.
You've got to start off with something humble. An introduction that will assure the audience that you haven't quite let this glory go to your head just yet (even though you most certainly will have... it's an Emmy! The popular clique was wrong about you!). Something along the lines of Robert Guillaume's 1985 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy series win for Benson.
"I'd like to thank Bill Cosby for not being here."
After a spirited laugh from the audience (what are they gonna do, not crack up obligatorily?), you can move on to something a bit more grounded. A meaningful tribute to the parents that encouraged you to follow your dreams — but don't use the humor just yet! A 2008 Tina Fey, after having just snagged the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Award for 30 Rock, balanced the funny with the moving in her expression of gratitude to her mother and father.
"I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done."
Following this, you're going to have to drive down the mood a bit. Not too heavy yet, just a bit sweeter and more sincere. A good focal point for this kind of ambiance would be a significant other — it works especially well if you're romantic life has been the subject of many a headline, so try and strive for that. Oprah Winfrey mastered the feat with her Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech in 1998 (yes, yes, this was a Daytime Emmy Award... but come on. It's Oprah!), when the icon poured her heart out to longtime boyfriend Stedman Graham.
"You're the sweetest man. With the greatest integrity. Thank you for helping to be everything I am, and all that is to come."
Then comes the real power of the speech. Your opportunity to shock and awe with a bombastic statement about the world and its follies, a challenge to the human race to be better. You're an Emmy winner now. You're the right person to point out the problems with society. And the great Sally Field — who corners the market on acceptance speeches of all kinds (Emmy, Oscar... she must have torn down the house after her "Best Dressed: Class of '64" win at Birmingham High School) — can give you a lesson. In 2007, Field nabbed Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Brothers and Sisters, delivering a heartrending diatribe that capped with a fervent declaration.
"If the mothers ruled the world, there would be no g******ed wars in the first place!"
And in flow the cheers. The applause should last for quite a while, so you'll have a few seconds to kill. Now, there are two ways to handle this. You can stand with dignity, nodding and welling up, beaming with delight over your victory and celebrating the opportunity to express this message... or you can do something more fun. Something along the lines of what Steve Carell did at the 2007 Awards, when he accepted the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series on behalf of Ricky Gervais for the latter's starring role on Extras. Carell and awards presenters Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (old friends and collaborators of Carell's from his The Daily Show days) devised a most vivid visual depiction of joy... even though none of them had actually won anything.
Following this, you'll have the room's energy up to 11, and just the right blend of lightheartedness and sincerity to deliver your ka-pow moment. You know, the real drive-it-home, I'm-the-greatest, look-at-me-now-Dad exclamation of your newly achieved glory. In this category, you should look to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who had solidified her defeat over the dreaded "Seinfeld curse" that was said to follow her and all of her fellow former cast members after the conclusion of their hit show. In 2006, Louis-Dreyfus took home the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Award for The New Adventures of Old Christine, driving home one hell of a ka-pow with her speech.
“I'm not somebody who really believes in curses... but curse this, baby!"
Finally, it's about time to wrap up, and nothing stays with an audience better than one last laugh. A mean-spirited jab at your less-than-victorious opponents? A snarky bit of social commentary about the sitting president? The one about the priest and the rabbi? No. This one has to remind them that you're still on Earth with the rest of us. An undercut of this achievement you know to be well beyond anything that anyone else has ever earned. A take-down of your own spotlit swagger. Some good old fashioned self-deprecating humor. And there are few who top the great Larry David when it comes to this art form. The 1992 Emmy Awards offered David a platform for his patented self-directed mockery. Even after winning Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for Seinfeld's memorable fourth season episode "The Contest," David wasn't able to steer his mind away from his own personal shortcomings.
“This is all very well and good, but I'm still bald."
Boom. Mic drop. Off the stage. You're done here. Your 15 minutes (contracted into about 90 seconds, give or take) are over, but if you follow this guidelines, you'll have made it through like a champ. You'll be able to hold onto the fact that you delivered what might well be the greatest Emmys acceptance speech of all time. And who cares if you won for Reality Competition Program? An Emmy's an Emmy! Mazel tov — you've showed 'em all!
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Relationships in Hollywood are notoriously short-lived, but one couple has managed to go the distance, despite the fact that they never tied the knot. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell have been together since 1983 and raised four children together (they have one son together and three kids from previous relationships), yet Hawn says they have no intention of getting married.
So, why has their relationship lasted nearly three decades? Hawn tells Radio 4's Woman's Hour, "There's a trick. You have to like the way each other smell." She isn't talking about maintaining a certain standard of cleanliness. She explains, "I think it's that the pheromones haven't gone away. The chemicals are still popping."
That isn't to say that their relationship has always been rosy. "You don't aways agree with your mate. You don't even like them sometimes. But there is something there that sparks you. You have to focus on that as you move on," says Hawn, adding, "I think Kurt's an extraordinary person. I love being with him and I love our family and I love our family life."
In recent years a few notoriously unwed couples called it quits, including Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, who were together for 23 years, and Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend, who dated for 9 years. However, there are still quite a few couples who share Hawn and Russell's belief that marriage isn't a requirement for a long and happy relationship:
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick
Don't expect to see another Kardashian wedding special on E! anytime soon. Though Kourtney and Scott have been together since 2007 and are expecting their second child, she declared on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, "I definitely don't want to get married just for the sake of getting married. This is my life. I don't need a piece of paper to make it a family unit."
Jon Hamm and Jennifer WestfeldtThough Don seems to be headed into another ill-fated marriage on Mad Man, in real life Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt have been happily unmarried since 1997. In 2012 Hamm told Parade, "I don't have the marriage chip, and neither of us have the greatest examples of marriages in our families. But Jen is the love of my life, and we've already been together four times longer than my parents were married."
Liev Shreiber and Naomi WattsLike Hamm and Westfeldt, Liev Shreiber and Naomi Watts, who have been together since 2005 and have two sons, say their family history made them uninterested in marriage. “It’s not like I’ve grown up having this dream of a fairy-tale wedding,” Watts told Paradein 2009. “My mother married twice and had two divorces. And Liev comes from the same kind of background. Maybe one day we’ll just wake up and go, ‘Hey, let’s do this.’ And maybe not. He and I have a family. We’re very much together. We just don’t have that certificate, and that’s okay with both of us. He gave me a beautiful ring, although I’m not wearing it right now.”
Angelina Jolie and Brad PittThough we've been hearing rumors about their impending nuptials for the seven years that they've been together, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt famously declared that they won't even consider getting hitched until same-sex marriage is legalized. Though, recently Pitt told The Hollywood Reporter that they haven't ruled out the possibility.
He explained, "We made this declaration some time ago that we weren’t going to do it till everyone can. But I don’t think we’ll be able to hold out. It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot. And it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment."
Oprah Winfrey and Stedman GrahamOprah may be the most famously unmarried celebrity, but in May 2012 she told O, The Oprah Magazine that she and Stedman Graham were once set to marry -- she just didn't enjoy being engaged.
She said, "Actually, Stedman asked me to marry him, and at first I said 'Yes!' but it turned out that I wanted to be asked to be married more than I wanted to be married ... It just felt like the wrong thing for me. This was at the same time that I was supposed to have the book coming out. We were in Miami, in the back of a limousine, coming back from the party with the big shrimp, and Stedman asks, 'So when is the book coming out?' The book was coming out September 14 or something, and our wedding had been scheduled for September 8. We had a date and everything.
So Stedman says, 'Well, I don't want to have my wedding in competition with your book.' And I remember thinking, 'Yes! Really? Okay, great! I ended up canceling both, and we have not discussed it since that day."
Source: Press Association
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The TV queen began dating the businessman in 1986, but he has been notably absent from her side at public events in recent months, sparking rumours they are no longer together.
But Winfrey, who has had to fend off long-running rumours of a same-sex relationship with her best pal Gayle King, is adamant Graham is her only romantic interest.
And she is in awe of how he has managed to deal with her superstardom throughout the years.
In a TV interview with revered U.S. newswoman Barbara Walters, Winfrey says, "Yes. (He's) the love, the lover, the man, the mate (in my life).
"I cannot say that I know of another man on this planet who could have lived this life with such dignity, such grace and such respect and humility and still hold his own and be his own."
A Barbara Walters Special: Oprah, The Next Chapter will air in America on Thursday (09Dec10).
The couple, which has been together for over 20 years, was on vacation in Greece when they learned that his mum, Mary Graham, had passed away at her home in Whitesboro, New Jersey on 10 August (10).
A spokesman for the TV mogul confirms she attended Mary's funeral, which was held in Whitesboro on Saturday (14Aug10).
Further details surrounding the death had not been released as WENN went to press.
Oprah Winfrey has fuelled speculation her relationship with longtime partner Stedman Graham is in jeopardy--by leaving him out of her will.
The media mogul recently drew up the legal document, leaving none of her $2 billion fortune to her partner of 21 years in the event of her passing, according to MSNBC's The Scoop.
Instead, the talk-show queen has dictated her money will be donated to several charities and the three daughters she plans to adopt--without the help of best-selling author and motivational speaker Graham.
A source says, "(Adoption) is something she has always wanted to do.
"There's no talk of her adopting the children with Stedman--this is something she's going to do by herself."
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