September 28, 2008

People Week in Review

By Randy McMullen

Young Daniel Radcliffe debuted as a Broadway actor. Clay Aiken and Lindsay Lohan came out. And Joan Rivers once again got defensive when someone suggested that her comedy was in poor taste and not funny (hey, we can relate).

CLAY AND LINDSAY'S COMING-OUT PARTY: Clay Aiken confirmed to People magazine his longtime secret that pretty much everyone already knew: Yes "... he thinks Paula Abdul's a little loopy. Seriously, his confirmation that he's gay surprised almost no one, and earned him words of support and encouragement from folks ranging from Lance Bass to Simon Cowell. The singer and actor told People that he decided to come out after his son, Parker Foster Aiken, was born (the child was conceived via in vitro fertilization with his BFF, music producer Jaymes Foster), and he realized he did not want to undertake such a serious responsibility as bringing up a child while keeping secrets about himself. Wouldn't it be cool if politicians thought that way?

Not so cool: Reports on Friday claimed People magazine paid Aiken $500,000 for the interview.

Meanwhile, Lindsay Lohan confirmed another well-known "secret": She's dating her constant companion Samantha Ronson.

Or did she?

Early in the week, she said during an interview with Los Angeles radio station KROQ's Ted Stryker that she's been "going out" (Stryker's words) with Ronson "a very long time" (Lohan's words). But on Friday, Lohan rep Leslie Sloane-Zelnik told celebrity blogger Perez Hilton that Lohan was joking and that, for God's sake, she is not a lesbian. Almost no one in the celebrity gossip game picked up on Zelnik's pathetic little attempt at spin control, a move that might have been prompted by Lohan's father Michael, who reportedly does not like Ronson or his daughter's relationship with her (yes, the world would be so much better if we were all family-ruining heterosexuals such as Michael Lohan).

RADCLIFFE COMES OUT "... AS A BROADWAY ACTOR: After generating raves in London for his starring role in the psychological drama "Equus,""Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe made his Broadway debut in "Equus," and earned more positive feedback.

"Making his Broadway debut in Thea Sharrock's oddly arid revival of Peter Shaffer's 'Equus,'" wrote the New York Times, "the 19-year- old film star Daniel Radcliffe steps into a mothball-preserved, off- the-rack part and wears it like a tailor's delight -- that is, a natural fit that allows room to stretch."

Much has been made of the role because it calls for young Radcliffe to occasionally appear nekkid onstage, further calling attention to the fact that our young wizard is growing into a mature actor.

"He's growing up so fast -- you couldn't shake a stick at it," said Richard Griffiths, his co-star in "Equus.""And the quality of his acting is such that it's taken big strides. And it's terrific to see. He's not a kid anymore. He's a young man and he deserves whatever breaks that brings."

A STICK FIGURE STICKS UP FOR HERSELF: "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Shenae Grimes last week fought back against those who've been saying that she and co-star Jessica Stroup are too thin.

"I would like to say once again that neither me or Jessica have issues with our weight or bodies," Grimes wrote on her MySpace page, confirming the little-known scientific theory that people with less than 1 percent body fat begin to lose command of grammar. "I happened to be very small built, and ive always been skinny. So I personally think that people need to stop criticizing everyone in the media these days about their issues."

Us Weekly recently reported that "90210" producers and co-stars were considering taking drastic action, if necessary, to make Grimes, (18 years old, 5-foot-3, 90 pounds) and Stroup (21, 5-foot- 8, 105 pounds) gain weight.

Grimes also defended her smoking habit. "I smoke. My choice. Im sorry if you don't like it, but this is who I am."

STORK REPORT: There's another baby face in the Babyface family.

R&B singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and his girlfriend, Nicole Patenburg, have welcomed their first child together, People magazine reported. Daughter Peyton Nicole Edmonds was born in Los Angeles on Sept. 9, weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces.

DAVID LETTERMAN'S TOP 10: Top 10 George Bush Ideas for Fixing the Economy:

10. Why fix it if it ain't broke?

9. Drill Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for loose change.

8. Sell cupcakes in front of the White House.

7. Flip all them charts upside down.

6. Encourage Americans to spend more -- If they don't, Cheney peppers them in the face

5. Most things seem better after half a bottle of Jim Beam.

4. Let's just say the Lincoln Memorial is now the Tostitos Lincoln Memorial.

3. Invent a car that runs on root beer. Come on, we have an unlimited supply of root beer. And we make it here in America. Am I the only one thinking?

2. Put on a pair of glasses and shoot a moose.

1. Is Hillary still available for a 3 a.m. phone call?

Today's People Week in Review was compiled by Randy McMullen from staff and wire service reports. Questions? Comments? Contact him at 925-943-8262 or [email protected]


Birthdays: Actor William Windom (85), actor Arnold Stang (83), blues singer Koko Taylor (80), actress Brigitte Bardot (74), singer Ben E. King (70), singer Helen Shapiro (62), actor Jeffrey Jones (62), movie writer-director-actor John Sayles (58), actress Sylvia Kristel (56), rock musician George Lynch (54), Zydeco singer- musician C.J. Chenier (51), actress-comedian Janeane Garofalo (44), country singer Matt King (42), actress Mira Sorvino (41), TV personality Moon Zappa (41), actress-model Carre Otis (40), actress Naomi Watts (40), country musician Chuck Crawford (35), country singer Mandy Barnett (33), rapper Young Jeezy (31), actress Hilary Duff (21), actress Skye McCole Bartusiak (16).

Originally published by Randy McMullen, Contra Costa Times.

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