Thursday, December 31, 2009
The star has been struck with another lawsuit, but while on Saturday it was reported that an investment company was suing Cage for $36.7 million by People, and picked up by Access, it appears the lender is actually seeking around $3 million from the star. People's original report also claimed that the financially troubled actor had been accused of fraud, which has since been determined was incorrect.
According to the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 18, and obtained by Access Hollywood, Red Curb Investments is suing the actor for at least $2,943,486.64 related to a loan which Red Curb claims Cage is in default on.
Red Curb is seeking $1,093,216.97 for what they claim is an unpaid balance and accrued interest over default on a promissory note related to an original figure of $3.5 million, loaned in July of 2007. Additionally, according to the suit, Red Curb are asking a court to award them $1,850,269.67 related to a balloon note (a type of loan extension) with a guaranty of recourse obligation they claim was signed by the actor himself, and which they claim was due in August 2008.
The investment company is also suing for collection expenses, attorneys' fees and costs related to the promissory notes and guarantees.
Cage himself is only listed on some of the claims filed in the lawsuit, but other claims - including for fraud - are not directed at the actor.
A lawyer for Cage previously told People, "Any claims that Nic Cage engaged in fraud or wrongful conduct [are] absurd and ridiculous."
Instead, Red Curb levied those claims against a former business manger of the actor, a mortgage broker, a financial group and a real estate trust.
"[Red Curb] was assured that Cage had substantial assets consisting of high-end residential property, yachts, airplanes, antiques, custom automobiles, jewelry, furs, and other valuable assets sufficient to assure repayment of the... loan," the investment company noted in their filing.
"The representations made concerning Cage's financial condition were false and were made with the intent to deceive [Red Curb] about Cage's true financial condition," the paperwork reads. "By the summer of 2007, Defendants were aware that Cage was hopelessly in debt, yet continued to live in a lavish manner."
Red Curb is suing the other defendants for a minimum of $25 million.
The defendants do not yet appear to have filed a response in court, but a case management conference has been set for April 7, 2010.
Cage's lawyer told Access on Wednesday afternoon, "Any claim that Nic engaged in wrongful conduct is ridiculous."
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, Cage recently lost two of his New Orleans homes due to foreclosure auction and the IRS has claimed the actor currently owes over $6 million back taxes.
After playing in 1,400 screens last weekend, the Weinstein Company, which is behind "Nine", said on Tuesday it expects the movie to play in 800-900 screens in big U.S. cities in coming weeks.
"The movie is performing very well on about 890 key screens," David Glasser, an operations executive for the independent Weinstein Company told Reuters.
"The movie's doing well in those areas and obviously in some smaller cities, it was not doing as well," Glasser said, adding that the studio expected "Nine" to perform well in the weeks ahead.
"Nine" was one of the most anticipated movies of the year and cost an estimated $64 million to produce. But it finished eighth at the North American box office on its second week last weekend with a modest $5.5 million in ticket sales.
The poor showing came despite five Golden Globe nominations for the Federico Fellini-inspired song and dance spectacular whose cast includes Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench and Nicole Kidman.
Harvey Weinstein, who earlier this year sought restructuring advice for his cash-strapped independent Weinstein Company, has long made a strategy of turning awards show buzz into box office success.
Movie industry watchers had expected "Nine" to finish in the top five over the Christmas holiday weekend in a crowded field that included action films "Avatar" and "Sherlock Holmes."
"Nine" opened in limited U.S. release on December 18 and expanded widely on December 25.
"It's got to be a major blow to their strategy," said Larry Gerbrandt, principal with Media Valuation Partners.
"(Weinstein) really needed this to work. I don't know if the blow is fatal or not, but this is certainly a setback," he said of the box office figures.
The film, based on an award-winning Broadway stage musical, follows an Italian movie director through a mid-life career and personal crisis and his entanglements with women.
Two weeks ago it got five Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild nominations. But it left movie critics unimpressed, earning a meager 37 percent approval rating at review aggregating website rottentomatoes.com .
Movie goers have been kinder. Show business buzz tracker Fizziolo.gy reported nearly 50 percent of the 12,500 messages posted online about "Nine" fall into the "positive" category.
Success at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards shows in January is widely seen as a precursor to an Oscar nomination in February.
But Pete Hammond at the Los Angeles Times awards show tracker "The Envelope" wrote that "Nine's" poor box office could hurt its chances for a best picture Oscar nod.
"It may take all of Harvey Weinstein's considerable magic touch with Oscar to pull this one out of the hat," Hammond wrote.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
In their first official wedding photo, published on the cover of People magazine, Kevin wore a custom Brooks Brothers tuxedo with a bow tie, while his blushing bride wore an elegant strapless gown from Vera Wang.
"I've never seen a more beautiful bride," Kevin said of his ladylove.
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, the two tied the knot earlier this month on the East Coast, despite a blizzard.
According to People, the wedding, which was held at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York, had a fairy tale theme and included a castle and an enchanted forest.
Kevin also gave his bride glass slippers in her size.
"I knew that my princess needed her glass slippers and her castle," Kevin told the mag.
"I always wanted my wedding to have that princess feel," Danielle added. "I couldn't have imagined this."
Danielle's dad, Thomas "Bucky" Deleasa, walked his daughter down the aisle to "Bella Notte" from "Lady and the Tramp," the mag reported.
Kieron Williamson kneels on the wooden bench in his small kitchen, takes a pastel from the box by his side and rubs it on to a piece of paper.
"Have you got a picture in your head of what you're going to do?" asks his mother, Michelle.
"Yep," Kieron nods. "A snow scene."
Because it is winter at the moment, I ask.
Do you know how you want it to come out?
And does it come out how you want it to?
"Sometimes it does."
Like many great artists, small boys are not often renowned for their loquaciousness. While Kieron Williamson is a very normal seven-year-old who uses his words sparingly, what slowly emerges on the small rectangle of paper in his kitchen is extraordinarily eloquent.
This month, Kieron's second exhibition in a gallery in his home town of Holt, Norfolk, sold out in 14 minutes. The sale of 16 new paintings swelled his bank account by £18,200. There are now 680 people on a waiting list for a Kieron original. Art lovers have driven from London to buy his work. Agents buzz around the town. People offer to buy his schoolbooks. The starting price for a simple pastel picture like the one Kieron is sketching? £900.
Kieron lives with his dad Keith, a former electrician, his mum, who is training to be a nutritionist, and Billie-Jo, his little sister, in a small flat overlooking a petrol station. When I arrive on a Saturday afternoon, Kieron and Keith are out. When Kieron returns in football socks and shorts, I assume he has been playing football. But no, he has been replenishing his stock of pastels in Holt, a chichi little place where even the chip shop has grainy portraits for sale on its walls.
From Jan Lievens to Millais, there have been plenty of precocious geniuses in the art world. Excitable press coverage has compared Kieron to Picasso, who painted his first canvas, The Picador, aged eight.
"We don't know who Picasso is really," says Keith.
"I know who Picasso is," interrupts Kieron. "I don't want to become Picasso."
Who would he like to become? "Monet or Edward Seago," he says.
These days, however, we are often suspicious of child prodigies. We wonder if it is all their own work, or whether their pushy parents have hot-housed them. People who don't know the Williamsons might think Kieron is being cleverly marketed, particularly when they hear that Keith is now an art dealer.
The truth is far more innocent. Two years ago, a serious accident had forced Keith to stop work and turn his hobby – collecting art – into an occupation. The accident also stopped Keith racing around outside with his son. Confined to a flat with no garden, surrounded by paintings and, like any small boy, probably influenced by his dad, Kieron decided to take up drawing. Now, father and son are learning about art together.
Kieron is rubbing yellows and greys together for his sky. "There's some trees going straight across and then there's a lake through the centre," he explains. Is this picture something you have seen or is it in your imagination? "I saw it on the computer and every time I do the picture it changes." he says, handling his pastels expertly.
Keith ducks into the kitchen and explains that Kieron finds pictures he likes on the internet. Rather than an exact copy, however, he creates his own version. This winter scene is imagined from an image of the Norfolk Broads in summer.
At first, Kieron's art was pretty much like any other five-year-old's. But he quickly progressed and was soon asking questions that his parents couldn't answer. "Kieron wanted to know the technicalities of art and how to put a painting together," says Michelle. Hearing of Kieron's promise, one local artist, Carol Ann Pennington, offered him some tips. Since then, he has had lessons with other Norfolk-based painters, including Brian Ryder and his favourite, Tony Garner.
Garner, a professional artist, has taught more than 1,000 adults over the last few decades and Kieron, he says, is head and shoulders above everyone. "He doesn't say very much, he doesn't ask very much, he just looks. He's a very visual learner. If I did a picture with most students, they will copy it but Kieron is different. He will copy it and then he will Kieronise it," he says. "It might be a bit naive at the moment but there's a lovely freshness about what he does. The confidence that this little chap has got – he just doesn't see any danger."
Garner says his parents have been brilliant at shielding Kieron from the business side and the pressure this invariably brings. Keith and Michelle are extremely proud, and protective, and perhaps slightly in awe of their son. They insist that Kieron only paints when he wants to.
"We judge ourselves every day, wondering whether we are making the right choices," says Michelle. "Kieron is such a strong character you wouldn't get him to do anything he didn't want to do anyway. It's a hobby. Some could argue he's got such a talent, why aren't we doing more for him in terms of touring galleries every weekend. We are a family and we've got Billie-Jo to consider; you've got to strike a balance."
With all the people wanting paintings, I ask Kieron if he feels he has to do them. He says no.
So you only paint when you want to? "Yep."
Do you have days when you feel you don't want to paint?
So you only do it when you're in the mood?
How many paintings or drawings do you do each week? One or two? "About six."
Is he a perfectionist? "You've got a bit of an artist's temperament, haven't you?" says Michelle, softly, as Kieron continues wielding his pastels. "You get really frustrated if it doesn't work out. You punched a hole in the canvas once, didn't you?"
That was rare. Sometimes, however, Kieron will produce "what we classify as a bag of trosh," says Michelle. "He's just got to go through the motions. It's almost as if it's a release. It's difficult to explain – it's the process that he enjoys, because there are days when he is not really focused on his work but he just enjoys doing it."
Sometimes, when they have taken Kieron out on painting trips in the countryside, the little boy has had other ideas: he has gone off and played in the mud or a stream. He is still allowed to be seven years old.
What do his school friends think? Are they impressed? "Yep." A few moments later, Kieron pauses. "I am also top of the class in maths, English, geography and science," he says carefully, rubbing the sky in his picture.
Kieron explains he is sticking to landscapes for now but plans to paint a portrait of his 98-year-old nan when she turns 100. What does he think about people spending so much money on his paintings? "Really good." Would he like to be a professional painter? "Yep." So he doesn't want to be a footballer when he is older? "I want to be a footballer and a painter."
Kieron enjoys playing football and, like his dad, supports Leeds United ("I haven't ever pushed him into it," says Keith quickly). What other things does Kieron like doing? "You played on the Xbox but then you got bored of it didn't you?" says Keith.
"You said I could have it out when Christmas comes," says Kieron.
"You can have it out in the holidays," promises Michelle. "He's a bit all-or-nothing with whatever he does, like the artwork. You have to pull the reins in a bit because otherwise he'd be up all night."
What would his parents say if Kieron turned around and told them he was not going to paint any more? "Leave him to it. As long as he's happy. At the end of the day, he's at his happiest painting," says Keith. "It's entirely his choice," says Michelle. "We don't know what's around the corner. Kieron might decide to put his boxes away and football might take over and that would be entirely his choice. We're feeling slightly under pressure at the moment because there is such a waiting list of people wanting Kieron's work, but I'm inclined to tell them to wait, really."
I doubt many artists could paint or draw while answering questions and being photographed but Kieron carries on. When he finishes, we lean over to look. "Not bad. That's nice," says Keith, who can't watch Kieron at work; I wonder if it is because he is worried about his son making a mistake but Keith says he just prefers to see the finished article.
"Is it as good as the one I did this morning or better?" asks Kieron.
"What do you think?" replies Keith. "It's got a nice glow on it, hasn't it?"
I would love one of his pictures but, I tell Kieron, he is already too expensive for me. "I can price one down for you," he says, as quick as a flash.
No, no, I couldn't, I say, worried I would be exploiting a little boy who is eager to please. I thank him for his time and hand him my business card. And Kieron trots into his bedroom, comes out with his business card and says thank you back.
Kieron's tips for landscape painting
1 "Go on holiday to where you really want to go, and be inspired."
2 "Start with acrylics, then watercolours, then pastels and then oils"
3 When you set out to do a landscape, "start with the sky first, top to bottom."
4 "When you do distance, it's lighter, and when you do foreground it comes darker."
5 "If you're doing a figure in the winter, do a brown head, leave a small gap, do a blue jacket and brown legs. Then with the gap get a red pastel and do a flick of red so it looks like a scarf."
6 "Keep on painting."
A full moon occurred on Dec. 2. It will appear again on Thursday in time for the New Year's countdown.
"If you're in Times Square, you'll see the full moon right above you. It's going to be that brilliant," said Jack Horkheimer, director emeritus of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium and host of a weekly astronomy TV show.
The New Year's Eve blue moon will be visible in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Africa. For partygoers in Australia and Asia, the full moon does not show up until New Year's Day, making January a blue moon month for them.
However, the Eastern Hemisphere can celebrate with a partial lunar eclipse on New Year's Eve when part of the moon enters the Earth's shadow. The eclipse will not be visible in the Americas.
A full moon occurs every 29.5 days, and most years have 12. On average, an extra full moon in a month — a blue moon — occurs every 2.5 years. The last time there was a lunar double take was in May 2007. New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years. The last time was in 1990; the next one won't come again until 2028.
Blue moons have no astronomical significance, said Greg Laughlin, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
"`Blue moon' is just a name in the same sense as a `hunter's moon' or a `harvest moon,'" Laughlin said in an e-mail.
The popular definition of blue moon came about after a writer for Sky & Telescope magazine in 1946 misinterpreted the Maine Farmer's Almanac and labeled a blue moon as the second full moon in a month. In fact, the almanac defined a blue moon as the third full moon in a season with four full moons, not the usual three.
Though Sky & Telescope corrected the error decades later, the definition caught on. For purists, however, this New Year's Eve full moon doesn't even qualify as a blue moon. It's just the first full moon of the winter season.
In a tongue-in-cheek essay posted on the magazine's Web site this week, senior contributing editor Kelly Beatty wrote: "If skies are clear when I'm out celebrating, I'll take a peek at that brilliant orb as it rises over the Boston skyline to see if it's an icy shade of blue. Or maybe I'll just howl."
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tyra Banks is ending her daytime TV talk show.
The supermodel-turned-TV-mogul announced she that she will wrap up her talk show at the end of its current season - its fifth -- this coming spring.
"This will be the last season of 'The Tyra Show,'" she wrote on her Web site. "I've been loving having fun, coming into your living rooms, bedrooms [and] hair salons for the past 5 years."
And Tyra was quick to claim she isn't ending her show due to the ratings.
"The thing is, 'The Tyra Show' is not leaving because of YOU. Most times, a show leaves the air because not many people are watching. Well, you all ARE watching, in record numbers. You must know this love and support is always felt by me and it's given me the courage to take more exciting steps in my life. So I thank you for that."
Instead of sitting down to talk to guests on a daily basis, Tyra will shift her focus to Bankable Studios, a film production company based in New York, which she is set to launch.
"This year I'll be unveiling some HUGE surprises from me and my company Bankable - new out-of-the-box projects," Tyra wrote. "And I'm incredibly excited to announce that I'll be launching Bankable Studios soon, which means my company will be making MOVIES!!! And what I love about creating new projects is that it also creates new jobs for talented people, in front of and behind the camera."
Oprah Winfrey also recently announced she would end her daytime TV talk show run in September 2011 in order to concentrate on another project - in Oprah's case the Oprah Winfrey Network.
And Tyra referenced Oprah's big move as she thanked her loyal "Tyra Show" fans.
"Before I go, I have to pay homage to the ultimate Queen of Talk, Oprah, who made a huge impact on my life by giving me my first shot in daytime TV. We all know she announced that her last year with her talk show will be in the 2010-2011 season. We will all miss her show so much," Tyra noted. "And to you Oprah: You have had, and continue to have, such an amazing impact on me. I salute you."
Tyra will stay committed, however, to her longtime reality competition, "America's Next Top Model," which recently crowned its first petite model winner, Nicole Fox. The show will return in 2010 with its 14th cycle.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Nicolas Cage's financial difficulties are getting worse.
The star has been struck with another lawsuit, this time for $36.7 million, according to People.
The mag reported that Red Curb Investments is suing the star, alleging that the tax-troubled actor did not repay over $5 million in loans nor did he disclose his tax problems, notably a $6 million debt.
"Our client was assured that Cage had substantial assets consisting of high-end residential property, yachts, airplanes, antiques, custom automobiles, jewelry, furs ... to assure repayment of the loan," the company claimed in the suit, according to the mag. "But the values of Cage's assets were grossly exaggerated."
However, a Cage lawyer told the mag that "Any claims that Nic Cage engaged in fraud or wrongful conduct are absurd and ridiculous."
Cage, embroiled in a lawsuit of his own against former business manager Samuel Levin over his recent financial issues, is also facing another recent lawsuit from ex Christina Fulton, who is suing the star for $13 million.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
For one of the biggest stars of the past decade, Jennifer Lopez has flown relatively low on the radar for the past few years. She has not released a studio album since 2007's "Brave," and her last movie, "Monster-in-Law," debuted over four years ago. In a media culture when "any press is good press," the low tide of PR comes with good reason: Lopez gave birth to twins in early 2008, opting to focus on her family since then.
For many celebrities, this kind of spotlight scarcity can spell career trouble. Not so for Jennifer Lopez. The J. Lo tide is rising again, surging strong into the new year. This month, she released a new single "Louboutins" off her new album "Love?," which slated to come out April 2010. But that isn't the only Jennifer Lopez debut this month. The theatrical trailer for her upcoming film "The Back-up Plan" came out late last week right here on Yahoo! Movies.
Lopez not only seeks to recharge her singing and acting careers, but she continues her trend of living up to high expectations. With new twins at home and an ever-demanding professional life, Lopez looks vibrant and youthful as ever at 40. At the American Music Awards recently, she continued her trend of dazzling cameras on the red carpet.
But hip and hype aside, Lopez is a moneymaking force that means serious business. "Monster-in-Law," "Shall We Dance," and "Maid in Manhattan" combined tallied almost half a billion dollars in worldwide box office between 2002 and 2005. And between her 2001 album "J. Lo" and 2002's "This Is Me...Then," Lopez sold over 10 million records worldwide. With "Love?" coming out next year, the album title poses a truly million-dollar question: will Jennifer Lopez, now 40, fill the shoes of her superstar legacy?
See Jennifer Lopez Sexy pictures
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
"I'm happy to confirm that Carrie Underwood is engaged to Mike Fisher, and the couple couldn't be happier," the rep tells Us. "No wedding date has been set at this time."
According to the Ottawa Sun, he also confirmed the news at a press conference Monday. He said he popped the question Sunday, but declined to offer any other details.
"It's true," he said. "We're both obviously excited and very happy."
His teammate Chris Neil said Fisher, 29, called him shortly after he proposed. "I think it's great," Neil told reporters. "It's a long time coming. There's going to be a lot of broken hearts in Ottawa with all those girls who are in love with Mikey."
Underwood, 26, and Fisher have mostly been hush-hush about their relationship since they began dating last year.
But lately, they've been opening up.
Underwood gushed about the hockey player, 29, on the liner notes of her new CD, Play On.
"Thank you #12," she wrote, referring to his jersey number. "You are the most amazing addition to my life! You are such a wonderful person and have had such an amazing hand in the building of this album and in the growth of me as a person. I love you so much! You make my life better in every way! I thank God for you every day... xoxo, Carrie."
He also praised her singing during a recent chat on The Sens Show, a Web news program for his team.
"She can sing anything I like it when she sings a good rock song," he said.
Despite their tough schedules, "we always find a way to make it work," he said.
In the January issue of Self, she opened up about wanting to start a family.
Before romancing Fisher, Underwood has dated Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford and former Bachelor star Travis Stork.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Lindsay Lohan: "My deepest condolences go out to all of Brittany Murphy's loved ones& may she rest in peace....She was a great talent w/a beautiful soul xo"
Kim Kardashian: "I am in shock that [Brittany] Murphy has died! Clueless is my all time favorite movie. My prayers go out to her family & husband"
Khloe Kardashian: "OMG!!!! This is horrible news when anyone passes. I'm so sorry for her family. Send prayers out please!"
Jessica Simpson: "Brittany Murphy was an incredible ray of Light to so many people. Her smile was contagious. My prayers are with her family and loved ones."
Russel Simmons: "I met Brittany murphy before her star rose its tough to find peace in fame. I wish her peace and happiness in her next lifetime"
Alyssa Milano: "[Brittany] and I did a USO Tour together in 2003. [Love] She was a sweet soul, with a lot of talent and heart."
Hilary Duff: "RIP Brittany Murphy forever in our hearts"
Fred Durst: "What a sweet human being. My prayers are with her friends and family."
Film critic Roger Ebert: "She had a genuine quality."
Actress Soleil Moon Frye: "I was so blessed to know your grace...I will never forget the beautiful school girl you were and woman you became."
Jeff Bowler, who produced the just-released film Across the Hall co-starring Murphy, tells UsMagazine.com: "It's truly a tragedy what happened. She was a great person with a huge heart."
Celebrity talent agent Mike Heller tells UsMagazine.com, "My heart is broken. She was an icon and an extremely talented actress and a good friend. She will definitely be missed."
Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart said.
Murphy was transported to the hospital after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at 8 a.m. at the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Murphy apparently collapsed in the bathroom, and authorities were looking into her medical history.
An official cause of death may not be determined for some time, since toxicology tests will be required, but "it appears to be natural," Winter said. He said an autopsy was planned for Monday or Tuesday.
Winter said Murphy's family was cooperating with the coroner's investigation. Funeral arrangements have not been announced, he said.
Los Angeles police have opened an investigation into Murphy's death, Officer Norma Eisenman said. Detectives and coroner's officials were at Murphy and Monjack's home Sunday afternoon but did not talk to reporters. Paparazzi were camped outside the multistory home, located above the Sunset Strip.
Messages left for Murphy's manager and agent by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Neighbor Clare Staples said she saw firefighters working to resuscitate the actress Sunday morning. She said Murphy was on a stretcher and "looked as though she was dead at the scene."
Murphy's husband, wearing pajama bottoms and no shoes, appeared "dazed" as firefighters tried to save her, Staples said. "It's just tragic," she added.
TMZ.com first reported Murphy's death Sunday morning.
Murphy's father, Angelo Bertolotti, said he learned of her death from his son, the actress's brother, and was stunned.
"She was just an absolute doll since she was born," Bertolotti said from his Branford, Fla., home. "Her personality was always outward. Everybody loved her — people that made movies with her, people on a cruise — they all loved her. She was just a regular gal."
He said he hadn't heard much about the circumstances of Murphy's death. Bertolotti divorced her mother when Murphy was young and hadn't seen Murphy in the past few years. He said he used to be in the mob and served prison time on federal drug charges.
"She was just talented," Bertolotti said. "And I loved her very much."
Meanwhile, Murphy's publicist, Nicole Perna, said in a statement: "In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy."
Born Nov. 10, 1977, in Atlanta, Murphy grew up in New Jersey and later moved with her mother to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
Her career started in the early 1990s with small roles in television series, commercials and movies. She is best known for parts in "Girl, Interrupted," "Clueless" and "8 Mile."
Her on-screen work had lessened of late, but Murphy's voice gave life to numerous animated characters, including Luanne Platter on more than 200 episodes of Fox's "King of the Hill" and Gloria the penguin in the 2006 feature "Happy Feet."
She is due to appear in Sylvester Stallone's upcoming film, "The Expendables," set for release next year.
Her role in "8 Mile" led to more recognition, Murphy told AP in 2003. "That changed a lot," she said. "That was the difference between people knowing my first and last name as opposed to not."
Murphy credited her mother, Sharon, with being a key to her success.
"When I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me," Murphy said. "I was really grateful to have grown up in an environment that was conducive to creating and didn't stifle any of that. She always believed in me."
She dated Ashton Kutcher, who costarred with Murphy in 2003's romantic comedy "Just Married."
Kutcher sent a message on Twitter Sunday morning about Murphy's death: "2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine," Kutcher wrote. "My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon."
Thursday, November 5, 2009
In 1978, a live 40-foot Colorado blue spruce was transplanted from York, Pennsylvania to its present site on the Ellipse, the grassy area south of the White House. In 1954, a "Pathway of Peace," 56 smaller, decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia were planted surrounding the National Christmas Tree. Each year sponsoring organizations from each state provide tree decorations that are encased in a protective plastic globe to shield it from the weather.
National Christmas Tree Lighting CeremonyThe lighting of the National Christmas Tree is the beginning of a three week Washington, DC Christmas tradition. Nationally known entertainers and a military band perform and the President brings a message of peace to the nation and the world.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Mendes was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban parents and was raised in Los Angeles by her mother after her parents' divorce; Mendes has said that her mother "suffered so much to make my life OK" during her early years. Her father was a car salesman and her mother, also named Eva, is now an elementary school principal. She is one of the youngest of four children (she has two sisters and a brother). Eva Mendes was raised Roman Catholic and aspired to be a nun. As a child, Mendes was teased about her "buck teeth".
Mendes never saw herself as an actress while she was young and decided to pursue other interests. She attended Hoover High School in Glendale and later attended California State University, Northridge to study marketing, but dropped out after wanting to begin an acting career. She studied with Ivana Chubbuck.
One day Mendes caught the eye of an agent who convinced her to pursue acting more steadily. She worked her way up through commercials to music videos, including an appearance in Will Smith's video "Miami" and the Pet Shop Boys music video for "Se a vida é (That’s the way life is)" in 1996 and Aerosmith's video "Hole in My Soul" in 1997, to guest roles in soap operas and supporting film roles. Her first film appearance was in the direct-to-video Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror.
Mendes received her first big-screen break when she appeared in Training Day. That performance led to roles in Stuck on You, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and as the female lead in the comedy Hitch opposite Will Smith. Her role in Once Upon a Time in Mexico also earned her a nomination at the Teen Choice Awards. Mendes has also been in commercials for Gushers, Revlon, and Levi's. Mendes costarred in Ghost Rider with Nicolas Cage, and recently starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Robert Duvall in the film We Own the Night, and Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson in The Spirit.
Along with acting, Mendes is employed by Revlon Cosmetics as an international spokeswoman. She joins such actresses and models as Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and Cindy Crawford, who appear in Revlon's television and print ads. She is also a supporter and active participant in Revlon's campaign to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Maxim ranked Mendes #7 in its 2007 Hot 100 issue. She also made her second Maxim cover in the November 2007 issue.
Mendes appeared naked in Flaunt Magazine. Mendes said about the shoot, "I actually did a little nude shot. You won't see anything. I was covering myself... but I love 'Flaunt.' I think their artwork is some of the best artwork out there as far as photography is concerned, so I took it off. I felt really comfortable, it was fun. There's something really liberating about it." She also appeared nude in an ad for Calvin Klein's Secret Obsession perfume. In this ad she is seen rolling nude in a bed, exposing her right breast and nipple.
In December 2007, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used a nude photo of Mendes for their anti-fur campaign alongside the tagline "Fur? I'd rather go naked." Mendes is also a spokesmodel for the 2008 Calendar of Campari, inspired in fairy tales, by photographer Marino Parisotto.
In 2008, Mendes starred in The Women, a comedy ensemble film featuring Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Debra Messing. The film, which was produced by Victoria Pearman and Mick Jagger of Jagged Productions, Bill Johnson of Inferno Productions, and English, is being released by Picturehouse, a joint venture of HBO and New Line Cinema.
Mendes was voted as No. 4 in the 2008 and No. 1 in the 2009 edition of AskMen.com's Top 99 Most Desirable Women.
Mendes posed topless for "Vogue Italy" in May 2008.
Mendes was announced as the international face of Australia's 30 Days of Fashion & Beauty event in July 2008. She will make guest appearances in that country at the month-long festival in September.
On September 4, 2008, Mendes announced she was launching a line of bed linens that will be available in Macy's stores later in the month. In October, she toured various Harrod's stores across Europe to promote Calvin Klein's Seductive Comfort line of lingerie.
Mendes is in negotiations to star in the American remake of acclaimed Mexican film Y Tu Mamá También. She is also starring in Last Night with Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet.
Mendes also appeared in the music video "The End Has No End" by the Strokes.
In early 2008, Mendes was reported to have been in a rehab facility in Utah for several weeks. In a statement, her representative said that she had been "working hard for the past year and made a positive decision to take some much-needed time off to proactively attend to some personal issues that, while not critical, she felt deserved some outside professional support."
In 2008, Mendes was outspoken in her support for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Mendes and long-time boyfriend, George Gargurevich have been together for six years.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
In 2009 she was honored by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Excellence in Media Award.
Tyra Banks was born in Inglewood, California, the daughter of Karolyn (née London), a fashion manager and NASA photographer, and Donald Banks, a computer consultant. The couple divorced in 1980, when Banks was 6 years old. However, the relationship between her parents, and between her and her brother Devin Banks (born 1968), stayed friendly. Later, Carolyn married Clifford Johnson; she now goes by Carolyn London-Johnson. Banks attended John Burroughs Middle School and graduated in 1991 from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She was accepted by colleges such as USC and UCLA for television producing.
Move into television and film
Banks's television career began on the fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, in which she played lead character Will Smith's old friend Jackie Ames. She made seven appearances in the series. Other TV credits include Felicity, MADtv, Nick Cannon's Wild 'n Out (in which she was featured as a special guest host and team captain) and The Price Is Right (guest-starring as a "Barker's Beauty"). She also appeared as a guest in the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast in an episode entitled "Chinatown."
Currently, Banks can be seen on television as the hostess, judge and executive producer of The CW Television Network show America's Next Top Model. In addition, she hosts The Tyra Banks Show, a daytime talk show aimed at younger women, which premiered on September 12, 2005. The show features stories about everyday people mixed in with celebrity interviews, much like the early format of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Under the slogan "Every woman has a story...and it happened to Tyra too," Banks promotes her show using emotional flashbacks to her own childhood and adolescence. Many of the episodes deal with issues facing women today.
Banks and other experts give women advice on fashion, relationships and more. The first two seasons of the show were recorded in Banks' hometown of Los Angeles but, beginning with the fall 2007 season, the show moved to New York City. In 2008, Banks won the Daytime Emmy Award for her work and production on The Tyra Banks Show.
In late-January 2008, Banks got the go-ahead from The CW Television Network to start work on a new reality television series based on fashion magazines called Stylista. The show premiered on October 22, 2008.
Banks's first big screen role came in 1994 when she co-starred in the drama Higher Learning. She went on to co-star with Lindsay Lohan in the Disney film Life-Size, playing a doll named Eve who comes to life and has to learn how to live in the real world. Other notable roles include Love Stinks (1999), Love & Basketball (2000), Coyote Ugly (2000) and Halloween: Resurrection (2002).
Tyra Banks is stripping down to promote the new season of The Tyra Banks Show, which will premiere on September 8, 2009 on The CW.
Bank's has confirmed that she will appear in the fourth episode in Gossip Girl in the 3rd season as Ursula Nyquist, a larger than life actress who'll work with Serena.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Barkin was born in the Bronx, New York, to a chemical-salesman father and a hospital-administrator mother who worked at Jamaica Hospital. Barkin was raised in a lower-middle-class Jewish family, a descendant of immigrants from Siberia and the Russia-Poland border. Barkin received her high school diploma at Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. She then attended Hunter College and double majored in history and drama. At one point, Barkin wanted to teach ancient history. She continued her acting education at New York's Actor's Studio. According to Time, she studied acting for seven years before landing her first audition.
Barkin became a notable actress in the 1980s. Her break-out role was in Barry Levinson's Diner (1982), for which she received favorable reviews. Barkin was cast in the 1983 film Tender Mercies after impressing director Bruce Beresford during an audition in New York City, despite her inexperience and his lack of familiarity with her work. Actor Robert Duvall, who played the lead role in Mercies, said of Barkin, "She brings a real credibility for that part, plus she was young and attractive and had a certain sense of edge, a danger for her that was good for that part."
Barkin would later appear in several successful films, including the thrillers The Big Easy (1987), opposite Dennis Quaid and Sea of Love (1989), opposite Al Pacino. Barkin also appeared in off-Broadway plays, including a role as one of the roommates in the memorable Extremities, about a would-be rape victim played by Susan Sarandon who turns the tables on her attacker. About her performance in the play Eden Court, New York Times critic Frank Rich summarized: "If it were really possible to give the kiss of life to a corpse, the actress Ellen Barkin would be the one to do it. In Eden Court, the moribund play that has brought her to the Promenade Theater, Miss Barkin is tantalizingly alive from her bouncing blond ponytail to the long legs that gyrate wildly and involuntarily every time an Elvis Presley record plays on stage".
Barkin has also done work in made-for-television films like Before Women Had Wings (1997) and The White River Kid (1999). Currently, she voices the start of each Theme Time Radio Hour with host Bob Dylan on XM's "Deep Tracks". In 2005, Barkin set up a film production company with her brother, George, along with her ex-husband and billionaire investor, Ronald Perelman.
Barkin has a brother, George, who was formerly the editor in chief of National Lampoon and High Times. Barkin is the mother of two children, Jack Daniel (born 1989) and Romy Marion (born 1992), from her first marriage to actor Gabriel Byrne.
The two separated in 1993 and divorced in 1999, but are still close; Byrne even attended Barkin's 2000 wedding to businessman Ronald Perelman. According to New York Magazine, that marriage ended in a messy divorce in 2006 with Barkin receiving $40 million. Barkin is currently suing Perelman for $3.4 million in investment funds he reportedly promised to invest in their film production company, but has yet to deliver.
Friday, October 9, 2009
She first appeared in an advertisement when she was eleven months old. Barrymore made her film debut in Altered States in 1980. Afterwards, she starred in her breakout role in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. She quickly became one of Hollywood's most recognized child actresses, going on to establish herself in mainly comic roles.
Following a turbulent childhood which was marked by drug and alcohol abuse and two stints in rehab, Barrymore wrote the 1990 autobiography, Little Girl Lost. She successfully made the transition from child star to adult actress with a number of films including the unsuccessful Poison Ivy, Bad Girls, Boys on the Side, and Everyone Says I Love You. Subsequently, she established herself in romantic comedies such as The Wedding Singer and Lucky You.
In 1995, she and partner Nancy Juvonen formed the production company Flower Films, with its first production the 1999 Barrymore film Never Been Kissed. Flower Films has gone on to produce the Barrymore vehicle films Charlie's Angels, 50 First Dates, and Music and Lyrics, as well as the cult film Donnie Darko. Barrymore's more recent projects include He's Just Not That into You, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and Everybody's Fine. A recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Barrymore appeared on the cover of the 2007 People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful issue.
Barrymore was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). Since then, she has donated over $1 million to the program. In 2007, she became both CoverGirl's newest model and spokeswoman for the cosmetic and the face for Gucci's newest jewelry line.
Barrymore was born in Culver City, California, the daughter of American actor John Drew Barrymore and Ildikó Jaid Barrymore (née Makó), an aspiring actress born in a Displaced Persons camp in Brannenburg, West Germany to Hungarian World War II refugees. Barrymore is of Irish descent on her father's side through an ancestor, actor Maurice Costello. Her parents divorced after she was born. She has a half-brother John Blyth Barrymore, also an actor, and two half-sisters, Blyth Dolores Barrymore and Brahma (Jessica) Blyth Barrymore.
Barrymore was born into the acting profession: her great-grandparents Maurice Barrymore and Georgie Drew Barrymore, Maurice Costello and Mae Costello (née Altschuk) and her grandparents John Barrymore and Dolores Costello were all actors; John Barrymore was arguably the most acclaimed actor of his generation. She is the grandniece of Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore and Helene Costello, the great-great-granddaughter of John Drew and actress Louisa Lane Drew, and the great grandniece of silent film actor/writer/director Sidney Drew.She is also the god-daughter of director Steven Spielberg, and Sophia Loren.
Her first name, Drew, was the maiden name of her paternal great-grandmother, Georgie Drew Barrymore; her middle name, Blyth, was the original surname of the dynasty founded by her great-grandfather, Maurice Barrymore.
In 1991, at the age of 16, Barrymore became engaged to Leland Hayward, grandson of Hollywood producer Leland Hayward. However after a few months, this engagement was called off. Soon afterward, Barrymore was engaged to and lived with musician/actor Jamie Walters in 1992-93.
She was married to Welsh bartender turned bar owner Jeremy Thomas from March 20 to April 28, 1994. Her second marriage was to comedian Tom Green from July 7, 2001 to October 15, 2002. Green filed for divorce in December 2001. In 2002, Barrymore began dating Strokes' drummer Fabrizio Moretti, soon after they met at a concert. Their five year relationship, however, ended on January 10, 2007. She most recently dated Justin Long, however, they confirmed their split in July 2008. Although the two remain split up, Us Weekly reports that they have signed on to co-star in the upcoming film Going the Distance.
In the 1990s Barrymore was frequently described as bisexual, although she said in a 1997 interview that she hadn't "been with a woman in about two years." In 2004, she was quoted as saying "A woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else. When I was younger I used to go with lots of women. Totally. I love it".
In March 2007, former magazine editor Jane Pratt claimed on her Sirius Satellite Radio show that she had a romance with Barrymore in the mid-nineties.
Barrymore was formerly a vegetarian, but has since begun to eat meat.
Following her role as a Bond girl in Never Say Never Again (1983), Basinger received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in The Natural (1984). She won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award as best supporting actress for her performance in L.A. Confidential (1997). Her film work includes major roles in Batman (1989) and 8 Mile (2002).
Basinger was born in Athens, Georgia. Her father, Don Basinger, was a big band musician and loan manager who landed in Normandy on D-Day. Her mother, Ann, was a model, actress, and swimmer who appeared in Esther Williams films. The third of five children, she has two brothers, Mick and Skip, and two sisters, Ashley and Barbara. Basinger has German, Swedish and Cherokee ancestry and was raised Methodist.
When Basinger was sixteen, she started her modeling career by winning the Athens Junior Miss contest. She followed that by winning the title “Junior Miss Georgia”. Basinger then competed in the national Junior Miss pageant. It was there that Basinger was offered a modeling contract with Ford Modeling Agency. Initially turning down the offer in favor of singing and acting, Basinger reconsidered and went to New York to become a Ford model.
On October 12, 1980, Basinger married makeup artist Ron Snyder-Britton, whom she had met on the film Hard Country, but the marriage ended in divorce in 1989. He would later write a memoir titled Longer than Forever, published in 1998, about their time together and about her rumored affairs with singer Prince and actor Richard Gere, with whom she starred in No Mercy (1986) and Final Analysis (1992).
In 1990, she met her second husband, actor Alec Baldwin, when they played lovers in the film The Marrying Man. They married on August 19, 1993 and appeared in the remake of The Getaway (1994). They also played themselves in a 1998 episode of The Simpsons (which also includes Ron Howard), where Basinger corrects Homer Simpson on the pronunciation of her last name and also polishes her Oscar statuette.
Basinger and Baldwin had a daughter, Ireland Eliesse "Addie" Baldwin (born October 23, 1995). They filed for divorce in January 2001; it was finalized in February 2002. Since then, the couple have been locked in a contentious public custody battle. Alec Baldwin's book A Promise To Ourselves chronicles the lengths Basinger has gone to deny Baldwin access to their daughter since their separation.
Some of her family members recommended that Basinger buy the small town of Braselton, Georgia in 1989 for $20 million, with the hopes of establishing it as a tourist attraction with movie studios and a film festival, but she met financial difficulties and sold it in 1993. The town is now owned by developer Wayne Mason. In a 1998 interview with Barbara Walters, Basinger admitted that "nothing good came out of it," because a rift resulted within her family. Her financial difficulties were exacerbated when she pulled out of the controversial film Boxing Helena, resulting in the studio suing and winning an $8-million judgment against her. Basinger filed for bankruptcy and also appealed the jury's decision to a higher court, which sided with her. Eventually, she and the studio settled for a lesser amount.
While Basinger is close to her sister Ashley and father Don, she is estranged from her brother Mick and her mother, Ann, who has been sympathetic to ex-son-in-law Baldwin in the aftermath of the divorce. "Kim has just written off the ones who don't agree with her", says a source close to the family.
Basinger has devoted energy to animal rights issues, most notably by posing for anti-fur advertisements with PETA. Most recently she has been doing letter writing campaigns, asking fashion designers such as Yohji Yamamoto to stop using fur in their designs.
Ambrose was born Lauren Anne D'Ambruoso in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Anne, an interior designer, and Frank D'Ambruoso, a caterer. She is of Italian descent on her father's side, and attended Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, Wilbur Cross High School, High School in the Community, and the ACES Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven. She is also a trained opera singer who studied voice and opera at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Ambrose has been married to professional photographer Sam Handel of Needham, MA since September 2001. The couple have a son, Orson Handel (b. January 16, 2007) and currently live in Stockbridge, MA.
Ambrose began her career in New York theater, mainly in Off-Broadway productions. Her early career also included television appearances, most notably playing supporting guest roles on Law & Order, and a feature guest role on the show as a mentally-challenged young woman raped by a group of popular high school students. Her first film role was In & Out (1997), which was followed by a more prominent role in the chaotic high school comedy Can't Hardly Wait (1998). She was the ingenue lead, Florence "Chicklet" Forrest, in the cult favorite Psycho Beach Party (2000). Ambrose began her role on Six Feet Under in early 2001. She was nominated for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Emmy Award twice, following the 2002 and 2003 seasons of the critically-acclaimed drama.
In 2006, Ambrose made her Broadway debut in the Lincoln Center Theater revival of Awake and Sing!. In 2007, she appeared as Juliet in the Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, to great critical acclaim. In 2008 she appeared as Ophelia in the 2008 performance of Hamlet for Shakespeare in the Park. Lauren recently returned to Broadway in Exit the King (by Eugene Ionesco) at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on Broadway, opposite Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon.
Allen was born in Ventura, California. Allen has an older brother, Dalton Earl Allen, Jr. She grew up in Houston and later lived in Austin, Texas, going to school at Austin Community College and majoring in education. Krista eventually graduated from the University of Texas with an education degree. She considered teaching as a profession but ultimately decided to move back to California and pursue an acting career.
Allen appeared on the television shows Days of our Lives (as Billie Reed, 1996–1999), Married with Children "Calendar Girl" (1996) and Baywatch Hawaii (Jenna Avid, 2000–2001). Allen has also appeared in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Anger Management, and the Project Greenlight horror film Feast. Allen is also well known for playing a sexy virtual reality character Maitreya/Jade Blue Afterglow in an episode of The X-Files, and is remembered for her brief appearance as the "Elevator Girl" in the Jim Carrey comedy Liar Liar.
She also played the lead role in the erotic series Emmanuelle in Space (1994). She appeared in Married with Children episode Calendar Girl as Crystal Clark (a male, turned into a female) (1996).
In 2002, she appeared in an episode of Friends, The One Where Joey Dates Rachel as Joey's girlfriend Mable. In 2005, she appeared in the short-lived Fox sitcom Head Cases. In both Smallville and Mutant X, Allen played a woman who could control men with her sex pheromones. In 2001, Krista guest starred in supernatural TV series Charmed as "The Oracle" for three episodes, She also appeared in Toby Keith's video "A Little Too Late", and had a small role in CSI as Kristy Hopkins, a hooker who caught the eye of Nick Stokes, in the pilot episode on October 6, 2000. She returned later in the first season as a murder victim.
In 2005, she was one of the stars of HBO's Unscripted, playing herself as an actress who struggles to overcome her sex symbol status in order to win more serious roles. Allen is featured in Maxim magazine's Girls of Maxim gallery and was Named #70 on the Maxim "Hot 100 of 2005" list.
Allen had a recurring role on the ABC series What About Brian as Bridget, a reluctant but potential love interest for the main character Brian, played by Barry Watson. In 2007, Allen appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round, she matched up against skateboarder Tony Hawk and rodeo champion Ty Murray.
In addition to acting, Allen also has a t-shirt line called SuperEXellent.
Allen appeared on the second season of Denise Richards: It's Complicated which premiered on June 7, 2009.
She has received three Academy Award nominations; she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Nixon (1995) and The Crucible (1996), and for Best Actress for The Contender (2000).
Her other films include Face/Off (1997), Pleasantville (1998), The Notebook, The Bourne Supremacy (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007).
Allen, the youngest of four children, was born in Rochelle, Illinois, the daughter of Dorothea Marie (née Wirth), a homemaker, and James Jefferson Allen, a gas station owner. She has an older brother, David, and two older sisters, Mary and Lynn. Allen attended Rochelle Township High School, and was voted most likely to succeed. She transferred to Northern Illinois University in 1976, where she graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance.
Allen began her performing career as a stage actress and on television before making her film debut in the movie, Compromising Positions (1985). She has been a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble since 1977.
In 1989, Allen won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut performance in Burn This. She also starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Heidi Chronicles.
She received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her roles as Pat Nixon in Nixon (1995) and as Elizabeth Proctor, a woman accused of witchcraft, in The Crucible (1996). She was also nominated for Best Actress for her role in The Contender (2000), in which she played a politician who becomes the object of scandal.
She had starring roles in the drama The Ice Storm directed by Ang Lee and the action thriller Face/Off directed by John Woo, both released in 1997, as well as in the comedy Pleasantville (1998).
In 2001, Allen starred in the mini-series The Mists of Avalon on TNT and earned an Emmy nomination for the role. In 2005, she received many positive notices for her leading role in the comedy/drama The Upside of Anger, in which she played an alcoholic housewife.She played CIA Department Director Pamela Landy in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. Allen appeared in a remake of the film Death Race, playing a prison warden.
On November 6, 2008, TV Guide reported that Allen would star as Georgia O’Keeffe in Lifetime Television’s biopic chronicling the artist’s life.
Allen returned to Broadway in March 2009 when she played the role of Katherine Keenan in Michael Jacobs' play Impressionism opposite Jeremy Irons at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
In 1990, Allen married actor Peter Friedman. The couple separated in 2002, but live close to each other to share time with their daughter, Sadie, born in 1994. She has a Boston Terrier named Pippie.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Chenoweth has a distinctive speaking voice. In FHM's March 2006 issue, she compared her voice to that of Betty Boop.
Chenoweth is a classically trained coloratura soprano, and well known for her skilled singing technique and artistic interpretations. She has a vocal range of four octaves. Chenoweth is able to sing the note "F6" (1396.913Hz), also known as "F above High C".
Adopted at birth, Kristi Dawn Chenoweth grew up in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Her lineage includes one-quarter Cherokee ancestry. Her vocal ability and talent were realized at a young age, performing songs for local churches. A highlight of her childhood was a special solo appearance at the Southern Baptist Convention national conference at the age of 12. She performed the song "I'm Four Foot Eleven and I'm Going to Heaven" for an audience of approximately 40,000 delegates.
Chenoweth attended Oklahoma City University, where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta (Beta Omicron) Sorority. She earned a degree in musical theatre and a master's degree in opera performance, studying under voice instructor Florence Birdwell. Professor Birdwell has trained other notables such as Miss America 1981 Susan Powell and three-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara. It was Birdwell who suggested to Chenoweth that she add an "n" to her first name, reasoning that the name "Kristin" was perhaps more classically suited for an opera singer. While at OCU, Chenoweth won the title of "Miss OCU" and went on to win second runner-up in the Miss Oklahoma pageant in 1991. For a period of time, she performed on stage at Opryland USA in Nashville, Tennessee.
Chenoweth won a number of competitions, including a "most talented up-and-coming singer" award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, which came with a full scholarship to Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts. Two weeks before school started, she went to New York City to help a friend move. While there, she auditioned for the Paper Mill Playhouse's production of the musical Animal Crackers and got the role of Arabella Rittenhouse. She turned down the scholarship and moved to New York to do the show and pursue a career in musical theatre. She is 4 ft 11 in (150 cm).
Chenoweth has written a memoir about her life, A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages, describing her adoption, her turn in Wicked and her time in Hollywood. She has stated that the book is not a "tell all", and instead focuses on "how I got where I am so far". The book was released on April 14, 2009. The book spent two weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List.
Chenoweth has spoken publicly about her faith; she describes herself as a "non-judgmental, liberal Christian". Raised as a Southern Baptist, she later chose to have a personal connection to a faith that is not based in any one denomination. When in California, she attends a non-denominational church in Malibu. In New York, she attends a United Methodist Church.
Chenoweth also has a large gay fanbase, and was uninvited from a Women of Faith conference in September 2005 "due to her publicized and heartfelt beliefs that God is accepting of all people on earth," including homosexuals.
Chenoweth released an album in April 2005 called As I Am, a mixture of hymns and contemporary Christian music, with adult contemporary arrangements. To promote the album, she made an appearance on The 700 Club, an appearance that upset some of her gay fans. She later said she thought that the "Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of the world are scary" and that she regretted appearing on the show.
Chenoweth was once engaged to actor Marc Kudisch and previously dated virtuoso violinist Joshua Bell and Survivor host Jeff Probst.
She has dated and remains close friends with producer/writer Aaron Sorkin. In Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, the character of Harriet Hayes bears significant resemblances to Chenoweth, and the relationship between the Christian Hayes and "East Coast liberal Jewish atheist" (her description) Matt Albie is modeled after that between Chenoweth and Sorkin; Chenoweth's decision to appear on the 700 Club and her falling out with Women of Faith were depicted with the Hayes character.
Chenoweth has Ménière's disease, an inner-ear disorder which can cause vertigo, among other symptoms. She has said that, during some performances, she has had to literally lean on her co-stars to keep her balance.
Chenoweth was awarded an honorary doctorate in Performing Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts on May 30, 2009, where she was the commencement speaker.
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