Actress Valerie Harper is "close to remission" in her battle with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, according to her amazed doctors. In March (13), the Mary Tyler Moore Show star revealed she had been diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition in which cancer cells spread into the membranes surrounding the brain, and only had three to six months to live.
But she has been handed a lifeline and medical experts have confirmed her health U-turn has "defied the odds".
Harper began treatment that included chemotherapy and acupuncture, and, in June (13), she learned her condition had drastically improved and medics told her she was close to remission.
The upbeat actress accepts the situation could change at any time, but, for now, she is staying positive.
She says, "Spontaneous remission lives as a possibility. I mean it, it's there and I go, 'OK'. I think infinite possibility is beautiful in every area. A lot of stuff that looks impossible is not and everyday there's evidence of it."
In an upcoming TV special chronicling the actress' health battle, her neuro-oncologist Dr. Jeremy Rudnick insists Harper is far from clear of cancer - but confirms her life expectancy has been extended.
Harper, who turned 74 last week (22Aug13), is celebrating the good news by returning to TV - on Wednesday (28Aug13), it was reported she would be joining the cast of U.S. competition show Dancing with the Stars as a contestant, and U.S. newswoman Meredith Vieira TV special on the actress is set to air on 19 September (13).
Actress Valerie Harper is set to put her terminal cancer battle to one side to compete on U.S. reality competition show Dancing With The Stars, according to reports. The Mary Tyler Moore Show star, who turned 74 last week (22Mar13), was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, in March (13) and given just three months to live, but she is reportedly doing well and has signed on to compete on the popular TV show.
According to TMZ.com, Harper has been practising with her dancing partner Tristan MacManus and can't wait to continue her health battle on the dancefloor.
Other contestants rumoured to be joining the show include reality star Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi, actress Elizabeth Berkley, Glee star Amber Riley and singer Christina Milian.
Leah Remini, who hit the headlines when she quit the Church of Scientology earlier this summer (13), is also among those who will be dancing for the show's coveted mirrorball trophy on season 17.
Bruce Willis' actress daughter Rumer has defended her dad from critics who have blasted him for appearing awkward in interviews, revealing he probably can't hear the questions properly. She insists the Die Hard star doesn't go out of his way to be less than talkative when promoting movies, but a hearing loss issue means he is always struggling to make out what is being said by interviewers.
Rumer, who is Willis' eldest daughter with ex-wife Demi Moore, explains, "I think part of the problem is sometimes he can't hear... because he shot a gun off next to his ear when he was doing Die Hard a long time ago, so he has partial hearing loss in his ears.
"If me and my sisters get together and he's at a dinner table and we start talking about fashion and things, the poor guy..."
Willis' daughter also feels her dad has a reputation as an edgy, cool guy to keep up: "I think he just has this vibe where he feels like he's gotta kinda do a cool man (thing)."
Little-known Australian actress Stef Dawson has joined the cast of The Hunger Games film franchise. The newcomer has been plucked from relative obscurity to play District 4 victor Annie Cresta in the third and fourth films of the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2.
The latest casting news comes just days after Game of Thrones and The Tudors star Natalie Dormer confirmed she had signed on to play Cressida in the final two films.
The two actresses will join Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman, among others.
Star Trek Into Darkness got solid reviews and banked a healthy, if slightly lukewarm, $226 million at the U.S. box office. But there's one group of fans who are having none of J.J. Abrams' continued retooling of the franchise. Perhaps the most important group of fans, considering that this was a Star Trek film: Trekkies. (Or Trekkers, if you find the term "Trekkie" offensive. Whatever.) This week, legions of fans dressed in 23rd and 24th century costumes assembled in Las Vegas for the Star Trek 2013 Convention, and at one panel they collectively voted to rank all 12 Trek films from best to worst. Guess what film came in dead last? Star Trek Into Darkness.
And you know what? We here at Hollywood.com agree with that. Star Trek Into Darkness is a glossily shallow overhaul of Trek mythos that pays trivial lipservice to fans (ooh, a model of the NX-01 Enterprise? That means J.J. & Co. are just as big fans as we are, right? Wrong!) while striving to become some kind of machine-tooled Bourne knockoff with sci-fi trappings. While other filmmakers, especially those working for one Marvel Studios, increasingly recognize the power of going for a deep cut into geeky mythology that fans will love and bandwagoners will subsequently educate themselves about, Abrams opted for a full-scale whitewash. You get a sense that the filmmakers were so concerned about making Star Trek Into Darkness "cool" that they forgot to make it good. Here are 12 reasons why we agree Star Trek Into Darkness is the all-time worst Trek film.
1. Because The Klingons Have Never Looked Worse — No, I'm not talking about the acting of the thesp who played the Klingon who interrogates Uhura. I'm sure he has skills. I'm talking about the absolutely horrendous makeup job the Star Trek Into Darkness team gave him. Suddely Klingons have forehead ridges that extend around the back of their heads and curl around the ears as if they're cousins of the Ferengi? Abrams' reboot is supposed to rewrite the history from the early 2030s on...not alter the very genetic structure of one of the franchise's most iconic alien species! But that wouldn't even be so bad if the makeup in question didn't look like it was made of plastic.
2. Because Qo'NoS is Just an Irradiated Wasteland — Yeah yeah, I know, Khan only hid out in a part of Qo'NoS that was an irradiated wasteland. But why not show us at least as much of that planet as The Next Generation did 20 years ago? Khan obviously hid out in a dead zone just so Abrams & Co. wouldn't have to engage in any meaningful worldbuilding.
3. Because There Is Absolutely No Reason Why Carol Marcus Should Be in the Film Or Why Alice Eve's Character Should Even Be Carol Marcus — Marcus was established in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as not just one of Kirk's old flames, but someone with whom he felt he could have a child. Not only are there no such sparks between Kirk and Marcus in Into Darkness, she has nothing to do, period. She places herself onboard the Enterprise so that she can investigate the 72 long-range torpedoes her father has installed aboard the ship. We see her scanning them and she helps McCoy disable one, sure. But she's really just there so we can see her in lingerie. I mean, Trek has given us plenty of eye candy before — but rarely so gratuitously and pointlessly. Seven of Nine wears a skin-tight catsuit...but she's also just about the best character on Star Trek: Voyager, the Spock to Capt. Janeway's Kirk, and their relationship defined the heart of that show. What does Alice Eve's Marcus really add?
4. Because Uhura's a Less Progressive Character in 2013 Than She Was in 1966
When Star Trek first aired, Nichelle Nichols' Uhura was a competent professional who was defined by her intelligence, her skills, and the ambition that saw her serve aboard the bridge of a major Federation vessel. By Star Trek Into Darkness, however, Zoe Saldana's Uhura is defined entirely by her romance for Spock. Not to mention that unlike most other incarnations of Trek, Into Darkness doesn't even pass the Bechdel Test.
5. Because Actually All the Characters Are Reduced to SNL-Parody Versions of the Themselves — Bones is an ornery quote machine. Chekov has difficulty with v's. Kirk's a reckless horndog. Screw logic, Spock's really just wanting to slug somebody. These aren't characters anymore. They're types.
6. Because Abrams Felt He Needed a Star Wars-style Canyon chase — We get it, J.J. We really get it. You like Star Wars more than Star Trek.
7. Because, Um, Why Would a Starfleet Admiral Want to Utilize the Skills of a 300-Year-Old Cryosleeper? —The idea of Peter Weller's Admiral Marcus wanting to have Khan build a new generation of ships and weapons for the Federation to fight the Klingons would be like if we decided to revive Horatio Nelson to help us build up our 21st century Navy. Maybe he'd know something about tactics, but he'd definitely need a years-long technological refresher course.
8. Because the Story of an Evil Admiral Betraying the Federation's Values While Pursuing Its Security Has Been Told So Much Better Before — See Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the "Homefront"/"Paradise Lost" two-parter from Deep Space Nine, and the much-maligned, but sorely underrated, Star Trek: Insurrection for better examples.
9. Because the Special Effects Are as Ugly as Gagh — Somehow the epic space battles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine were the apex of computer-generated special effects and it's all been downhill since. Abrams is trying to go for the handheld, caught-on-the-fly space battle approach of Battlestar Galactica, but he has none of the appreciation for impressionistic action that showrunner Ronald D. Moore brought to that series. (Oh yeah, Ronald D. Moore also served as an EP on Deep Space Nine.) It just makes the effects Abrams does have look cheap and like he's trying to cover them up with slight of hand.
10. Because It Just Becomes a Silly "Greatest Hits" Album of a Movie — You get the sense of little kids reenacting their favorite movie scenes with action figures. This time, though, Kirk has to die, and Spock gets to shout "Khaaaaaan!!!" Except that when Spock died, Kirk had to spend an entire movie to bring him back to life, and sacrifice the Enterprise, his Starfleet career, and his son's life in order to do it. You know, stakes. When Kirk dies there are no stakes, and a Tribble can revive him five minutes later. If Abrams can't take his own movie seriously, why should we?
11. Because San Francisco Is Destroyed and No One Seems To Care — Man of Steel may ultimately have one-upped Into Darkness in terms of destruction porn, but San Francisco still got pummeled pretty bad when Khan crashed the USS Vengeance into Starfleet Headquarters, destroying much of the city with it. Also, though Roberto Orci may claim they didn't want to cast an actor of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent as Khan to avoid stereotyping those regions' ethnic groups, why did they turn Khan into the 23rd century equivalent of a 9/11 hijacker?
12. Because There Is a Fake Khan and There Is a Real Khan — I leave it for you to determine which is which, though there is obviously only one right answer.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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Fashion mogul Dame Vivienne Westwood took to the streets with protesters in the U.K. on Friday (16Aug13) to demonstrate against fracking. The designer marched past a proposed drilling site in West Sussex, England along with around 1,000 other activists as part of ongoing protests against the controversial gas-extraction method.
Westwood waved a placard as she marched, and later explained her involvement in the protest to the Press Association, saying, "I'm anti-fracking and I'm here to protest. There has been no debate. They are trying to rush this thing through, for what? It's not going to go away. We don't know whether it will do good or bad. I'm sure it's bad and the only people who are going to benefit from it is this energy company who are associated with the Government... It won't supply energy security whatsoever. It will actually store up trouble for the future, financially as well as environmentally."
Chrissie Hynde and Ray Davies' activist daughter, Natalie Hynde, was arrested during a protest at the same site last month (Jul13).
Fracking has also caused outrage in the U.S. - Yoko Ono set up a campaign against the practice last year (12) and won support from stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore and Lady Gaga.
Actress Lisa Robin Kelly has passed away at the age of 43 after a battle with alcohol abuse. The That '70s Show star went into a fatal cardiac arrest on Wednesday (14Aug13) at a rehab facility in California.
She had checked into the treatment centre on Monday (12Aug13), a day after her boyfriend had had her admitted to a hospital over concerns for her booze addiction.
A spokesperson for Kelly tells TMZ.com, "She had been fighting demons for a while and finally lost her battle."
Kelly had been struggling with alcohol problems for several years, and was just arrested for a suspected DUI in June (13).
She was previously busted for the same charge in 2010, when she was fined and sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation following an incident in North Carolina.
Last year (12), she was arrested again on a felony charge of corporal injury upon a spouse following a complaint filed by her ex-boyfriend, John Michas, and months later, she was slapped with allegations of assault against her husband, Robert Joseph Gilliam. She filed for divorce from Gilliam in July (13).
Born in Connecticut, Kelly began her acting career in 1992 after landing her onscreen debut in an episode of Married... with Children.
She went on to appear in shows like Murphy Brown, Charmed, The X-Files and Days of Our Lives, but will perhaps be best remembered for her role as Laurie, the promiscuous older sister of Topher Grace's character Eric Forman in That '70s Show.
She was a series regular for three years, but abruptly left and show writers attempted to cover up her departure by suggesting her character had been accepted into a beauty school.
Kelly made a brief return to the sitcom during the show's fifth season, before being replaced in 2003 by actress Christina Moore for the sixth.
Actress Emmy Rossum has reportedly found love with a Hollywood director following her split from her Shameless co-star Tyler Jacob Moore. The couple, which played lovers in the U.S. version of the British TV show, reportedly parted ways earlier this year (13), and Rossum has now been linked to the director of her new movie Comet.
Editors at New York Post gossip column Page Six report Rossum is now dating Sam Esmail, who directed her in the upcoming drama film.
Chloe Grace Moretz has dismissed rumours her upcoming horror remake Carrie is in trouble following a raft of delays, insisting the movie was pushed back to add more "intense" scary scenes. Moretz plays the role of the telepathic teenager in a new adaptation of the Stephen King novel, opposite Julianne Moore as her onscreen mother.
Carrie was due to hit cinemas in March (13), but horror fans were left disappointed when the release was pushed back until October (13), and Moretz is adamant the re-shoots will make the film well worth the wait.
She tells Fangoria magazine, "We prolonged a couple of scenes... to make it even deeper. It wasn't about cutting anything out or trying to edit around things; it was about adding more to make the movie scarier and more intense... We actually prolonged the film. We did some re-shoots, and added three extra scenes with Julianne and I to make the movie even deeper and darker."
Moretz also reveals the film will be very different to the 1976 version starring Sissy Spacek in the title role, even comparing it to Natalie Portman's Oscar-winning ballet thriller Black Swan.
She adds, "The script is totally different from the (original). It's more like the book. It's a more Black Swan version - it messes with your mind. You'll see things, and you don't know if you've seen them."
"This business has a propensity to force you to be more public than you probably want to be. I think I've learned how to restrict that public image, and over the years I'm starting to understand the value of privacy." Actor Ashton Kutcher, who is dating Mila Kunis, is trying to keep his private life out of the spotlight after his high-profile marriage and divorce from Hollywood star Demi Moore.