Selma Blair: A Beacon of Bravery
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Honoree Selma Blair speaks onstage during the 26th annual Race to Erase MS in Beverly Hills

By Jaeson “Doc” Parsons & Samar Khoury

It began in 2011. Selma Blair didn’t know where it all came from—the overwhelming fatigue, anxiety, depression, neck pain, and severe vertigo.

She didn’t understand why that after she’d drop her son, Arthur, off at school, she was so exhausted that she had to get back into bed. She was puzzled by the sudden loss of feeling in her leg.

Selma would go to doctors seeking answers, but they dismissed her symptoms, believing her exhaustion and fatigue were the result of her becoming a new mother. As the constant pain continued, Selma began to self-medicate to dull the pain.

“When I first suspected that something wasn’t right with my health, with my brain, was when I was pregnant with Arthur,” Selma shared with DIVERSEability Magazine. “I really knew something was wrong when I ran into a UPS truck…literally. I mean, I just skimmed it, but I realized my perception was really off. That’s when I went to the eye doctor thinking it was just my eyes, but it was a perception coordination thing. I’d felt exhausted for years, but it really reached a point that I couldn’t deny it when I was first pregnant with Arthur, and certainly right after his birth.”

It wasn’t until 2018, when she was filming the movie After, that Selma finally got answers.

“When I was in Atlanta the first time shooting the beginning of the film, I had extreme vertigo on steps; I was walking with Josephine Langford down some steps, and I was like, ‘whoa, something’s really happening.’ I couldn’t feel my left leg or my right side and was having difficulty writing and texting, so I sent my manager a video telling him that something very strange is going on.”

Selma heeded the advice from a new doctor who urged her to get an MRI, during which she was in tears, frightened of what was happening to her body.

The results were undeniable: 20 lesions on her brain—it was multiple sclerosis.

Selma Blair looking stylish in long flowy formal gowm with one arm extended and the other balancing a cane
Selma Blair attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California. PHOTO BY EMMA MCINTYRE /VF19/WIREIMAGE

“I cried. I had tears. They weren’t tears of panic—they were tears of knowing I now had to give in to a body that had loss of control,” she said in an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. “There was some relief in that, ’cause ever since my son was born, I was in an M.S. flare-up and didn’t know. I was giving it everything to seem normal.”

The Journey with M.S.

Multiple sclerosis, or M.S., is a potentially disabling disease. It impacts the brain and central nervous system. It gradually affects the entire body. It causes the immune system to eat away at the protective covering of the nerves.

Having M.S. is an emotional, painful, and unpredictable ride, sometimes leaving people who suffer from the disease wanting to give up.

But, for Selma, that is not the case. “There’s no tragedy for me,” she told Vanity Fair. “I’m happy, and if I can help anyone be more comfortable in their skin, it’s more than I’ve ever done before.”

The 48-year-old actress is resilient, using M.S. as a way to fight, giving hope to others suffering from the disease, and being an advocate for people with disabilities.

Through her journey with M.S., Selma decided that she would open about her disease and not hold anything back from the press or social media. “This is my journey…and all are welcome here,” she writes on her Instagram page.

“It just made sense to be candid. At the time, I was in a long flare and was very symptomatic. It was all new to me, and I just didn’t want to bother playing any type of game of peekaboo,” she said.

This candidness is evidenced through her interviews, such as her appearance on Good Morning America, in which she appeared with a cane and her statement of wanting to make canes chic, which touched many viewers who witnessed the interview, many of whom have their own canes.

Selma poses backstage in hot pink pantsuit and heels, balncing with a cane and smiling
Selma poses backstage during the TIME 100 Health Summit at Pier 17 in New York City. PHOTO BY CRAIG BARRITT/GETTY IMAGES FOR TIME 100 HEALTH SUMMIT

Selma rocks her cane, viewing it as a great fashion accessory. When she first stepped out with a cane at the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Selma turned heads, and prompted others to show the same courage. Twitter feeds were filled with praise for the star:

“The real winner of Oscar night is Selma Blair.”

“#SelmaBlair in tears as she attends the @VanityFair #Oscars party made me cry. I’ve often been walking on aid and exhaustion can just hit and you think, how am I going to do this? But you keep going. She is amazing.”

Selma was—an is—an icon.

Advocating and Raising Awareness

Selma aims to bear all and to help raise awareness for those suffering from this little understood disease and those who, like Selma years ago, have no idea they have M.S.

Selma shared her insights into the struggles that impact her not just as a woman but also as a single mother.

“One of the bigger things is honestly the fatigue. As a mom or anyone trying to do something primarily by themselves with a little tiny person witnessing everything you’re doing, it can feel unsustainable. Figuring out intricacies of neurological disorders is a constant reckoning of how to do better, when to sleep, what you can do, what is very emotionally triggering, you know. There are many layers of it that I now see, people with the disabilities are so busy in our minds.”

Through the sharing of her journey, Selma makes it her mission to help those struggling with M.S. and other disabilities. She credits others who have taken this path of openness and advocacy, such as Michael J. Fox, with inspiring her to do the same.

“I remember when I was younger and Michael J. Fox came out. I was

Selma in a sidewise angle smiling hoding on to her young son in a suit smiling
Selma and Arthur attend the 26th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. PHOTO BY AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC

such a humongous fan of his, and seeing him be so candid about something that seemed so far away from me at the time. I’ve kind of held his example, and I’ve learned that there is an intrinsic value in opening up some of your experiences to people, because the conditions we deal with are often very isolating and when there’s someone that’s out there that could possibly really shed a light on it and bring more attention.”

Her grace and humility as well as her willingness to be a light shining into the unknown darkness for people with disabilities is heroic, though she shrugs off such a label.

“I’m not a hero. I make no bones about that in my life. But I am very honored if my experience, my mess ups and my triumphs help other people,” she said.

For those who are struggling with the disease or for those who have recently been diagnosed, Selma offers some insight and advice:

“Some people said you’ll be better right away. Some said no, healing is not linear. It can take two years. I kind of have fallen in between all that, and I think I would tell someone, ‘Your whole mind can change. Try not to be afraid. I’ve learned so many things, and I pray that you continue to search for what can make you happy and calm. But it takes time. I’m just starting to feel like I’m learning now.’”

“Mommy’s Brave”

To 9-year-old Arthur, his mom is a hero, and he does not view her experiences negatively. “He says, ‘Mommy’s not sick. Mommy’s brave,’” Selma shared with People.

Selma’s commitment to Arthur has remained steadfast and honest. He has seen her face these challenges but remains extremely proud of his resilient mother.

Selma with cast of Cruel Intention onstage in a group photo
Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Molly McCook, Emma Hunton and Katie Stevens attend “The Unauthorized Musical Parody Of Cruel Intentions” at Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images)

She stated, “He said, ‘I love when you come to school because you make the kids laugh and you answer all their questions.” She remains completely open about her struggles, even with Arthur’s classmates, explaining to them why she may walk differently.

“I explain what’s happening and that my voice doesn’t hurt, and we have really decent exchanges. I had no idea Arthur was proud of that. I thought ‘I’m probably an embarrassment,’ but to know I’m not was one of my proudest moments.”

Always Resilient

Selma’s resilience started at a young age. She was born outside of Detroit, Michigan, in the suburb of Southfield. Her interest in acting took hold at an early age, and she credits a high school English teacher, Mr. Toner, with pushing her forward, telling her never to give up, which would serve her well in years to come.

Moving to New York, she was torn between acting and photography.

“When I went to New York, the purpose was a toss-up,” Selma stated. “I didn’t know if I could be a photographer or an actress, but with acting, you can at least go to a class and do workshops, but it was hard to just be an assistant for someone without a lot of experience as a photographer and break-in, so they were both passions.”

Over the years, Selma has played many roles with more than four dozen short and feature films. Her most favorite role was her first major picture, the 1999 film Cruel Intentions with Selma starring opposite actors Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Reese Witherspoon.

“It was kind of the dream come true first job. After studying in New York, I went to LA, and my first major part was in a real studio film. And while I had done a few small roles before that, that was really my first substantial role with stars that I had loved and they were basically my contemporaries, but, of course, they are already established actors. I laughed and laughed and laughed, and that’s when I kind of realized I really loved what comedy could be and how it could feel.”

Shining Light, Bringing Hope

Selma’s journey is one of inclusion, a journey that many have been on and, sadly, many more are just beginning. Through her candidness, she is willing to share her triumphs and defeats with the world to help others learn, to be a pathfinder for those suffering from the debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis. She is a hero of advocacy.

And through it all—her slurred speech, aches and pains, exhaustion, and much more—Selma handles it all with a smile, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “…Take this opportunity to be the best you can be, to help your days along,” she said.

For Selma, there is no tragedy—only positivity. “I don’t know if I believed in myself or had the ambition before my diagnosis,” she said to Vanity Fair. “And oddly now I do, and I don’t know if it’s too late.”

This is her journey and all are welcome.

Alicia Keys Lends Voice to Athleta With New Partnership, Product Line Promoting Women’s Well-Being
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Alicia Keys wearing a pink jumpsuit during sunset posed to the side with one hand over her head and one on her own shoulder

By Stephen Garner, Yahoo! Life

Alicia Keys is lending her powerful voice to a strong cause.

The 15-time Grammy Award winner has joined forces with Athleta to further their mutual commitment to women’s well-being.

As such, Keys has signed on to Athleta’s “Power of She Fund” grant program as a mentor and advisor. According to Athleta, Keys will also work with the brand to connect with women through “meaningful community conversations” in AthletaWell, the retailer’s digital community that supports women’s well-being.

And, on International Women’s Day, which is March 8, the duo will release the Athleta x Alicia Keys collection. Athleta, a division of Gap Inc., said the collection will have exclusive products co-created and co-designed by Keys, who worked alongside the brand’s all-female design team. Among the items, which will be available in sizes XXS-3X on athleta.com and at all Athleta retail locations, will be Keys’ favorite piece — a pink jumpsuit. More details of the collection will be released closer to the launch, according to Athleta.

“Alicia has made a powerful commitment to well-being and we are thrilled to welcome her to Athleta’s community of empowered women,” said Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO of Athleta. “With a values-driven partnership like this one with Alicia, we are ideally positioned to continue to meet our customer’s needs in the well-being space and support her across all aspects of her life.”

“I was drawn to Athleta because we both want to encourage women to discover, accept and own their power,” added Keys. “We’re all about the uniqueness of women, body positivity and creating a lifestyle that showcases our immeasurable power within. It’s time to thrive – not just to survive – and my hope is that these offerings are another outlet for you to amplify your personal power, your possibility, and feel comfortable in your own skin.”

Keys joins a roster of powerful, like-minded partners, including Simone Biles and Allyson Felix.

Biles, a former Nike athlete and the country’s most-decorated gymnast, signed a long-term partnership with Athleta in April 2021. The deal includes a signature performance wear line designed with Athleta’s team and capsule collections for the company’s Athleta Girl sister brand.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

What Sarah Jessica Parker Eats in a Day to Stay Energized
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Sarah Jessica Parker

By Karla Walsh, Yahoo! News

Since hanging up her Manolos in 2004 at the conclusion of her groundbreaking role as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City (SATC), Sarah Jessica Parker has shown no signs of slowing. The 56-year-old actress and mom of 3 has since starred in movies (The Family Stone, Failure to Launch), appeared in guest stints on TV shows (Glee) and produced (Here and Now). Oh yes, and she partnered with husband Matthew Broderick to raise money for the Actors Fund amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, designed fashion for SJP boutiques, represented Garnier and launched a wine brand Invivo X, SJP.

And this year, she’s back to reprise her role and keep writing her story as Bradshaw on HBO Max’s SATC reboot And Just Like That.

No wonder Parker admits in her vulnerable and revealing January 2021 Grub Street Diet, “there is not typically a lot of regularity to my days. This is an unusual time because I feel like I actually have a conventional schedule, something I’ve almost never had for my entire life.”

She does have a few regular habits, however, including plenty of activity. But we’re not talking about crazy spin classes or boot camps…During an interview with The Doctors co-host Dr. Travis Stork, Parker shares that one of her keys to staying healthy is “I walk a lot…and I also live in a house with four or five flights of stairs.” She aims to hit 10,000 steps per day on her FitBit (buy it: $99.95, Target), and during summer, she loves swimming and kayaking.

So how does SJP stay so energetic to cover all of those steps in such style?

What Sarah Jessica Parker Eats in a Day to Stay Energized
Parker is not one for restrictive diets or detoxes, but she does have some very clear preferences. During Vogue’s “73 Questions with Sarah Jessica Parker,” the actress shared some hot takes about her favorite food (“Barbuto’s roast chicken”), least favorite food (“parsley”), what she loves on her pizza (“sausage, peppers, onions”), favorite drink (“Coca-Cola”), favorite dessert (“my sister’s brownies”) and dark or milk chocolate (“milk chocolate”).

The one food she needs to have every day? “I’m crazy for almond milk. I love it and can’t figure out if it’s thin and refreshing or thick like a milkshake. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving,” Parker tells Stork. (ICYMI, here are the 7 healthiest milks you can buy, according to dietitians.)

Her kitchen is always stocked with salami, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, Finn Crisps original crackers (buy it: $35.54 for nine 7-ounce boxes, Amazon) and avocados (which her daughters especially adore).

“I would prefer to have salty things if I have to than sweet, but we also always have tootsie rolls and york peppermint patties,” Parker adds to Stork.

Read on for more about her (spoiler alert!) absolutely delicious daily menu.

Breakfast
“I don’t usually eat breakfast unless I’m shooting, and when I’m shooting, I have a full, massive, crazy breakfast. When I’m home and going to work on my own, I’ll get up really early and just have coffee,” Parker admits in her Grub Street Diet.

When she does eat an A.M. meal, it might be a bagel from her neighborhood bakery Bagel Buffet slathered with Kerrygold butter, mustard and salami with a banana, or a soft-boiled egg with salt and pepper plus some mango, avocado and cottage cheese on the side.

“I love Breakstone’s 2-percent-fat cottage cheese. Love. I don’t like nonfat, because I think, What’s the point? It breaks my heart,” she tells Grub Street.

Lunch
For lunch, Parker prefers a spicy tuna sandwich (tuna, jalapenos, hot sauce and pesto, between bread) and a power shake (banana, strawberries, vanilla milk and ice) from nearby cafe Joe & the Juice. She also occasionally enjoys leftovers from a dinner made earlier in the week.

This might include a soup, stir-fry or anything simmered up in her now Instagram-famous orange Le Creuset Dutch ovens (buy it: $370, Le Creuset).

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! News.

How Jennifer Hudson and ‘Respect’ Could Set a Record for Black Women at the Oscars
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Jennifer Hudson in the movie 'Respect'

By Clayton Davis, Variety

Jennifer Hudson’s name is already written in the Academy Awards history books. At 25, she became the youngest Black woman to ever win an acting Oscar for her turn as Effie White in “Dreamgirls” (2006). She’s also the first to do it for a debut role. Her work in the Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” has her contending for two possible Oscar nominations: lead actress and original song, for the track “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home),” co-written by Carole King and Jamie Alexander Hartman. Already a Tony Award away from EGOT status, she could break another record if she lands those two coveted noms.

Hudson would be the first Black woman to be nominated in three individual categories if she snags both nods. Only three Black women have been recognized in two individual categories: Viola Davis, Whoopi Goldberg (actress and supporting actress) and Oprah Winfrey (supporting actress and best picture). For comparison, Warren Beatty and George Clooney have been nominated in six. When it comes to Black men, Spike Lee has been acknowledged in five, winning in adapted screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman” (2018).

Dual noms for Hudson would also mark the third time a Black woman has received multiple nominations in the same year. The first two were Mary J. Blige (nominated for supporting actress and for the song “Mighty River” from “Mudbound”) and Cynthia Erivo (nominated for lead actress and for the song “Stand Up” from “Harriet”). They’re not only the first Black women to achieve this feat, but also the first by anyone in Academy history.

Hudson’s possible recognition isn’t significant merely for herself; a nod in best actress would represent a historical accomplishment for her “Respect” director Liesl Tommy. Tommy would be only the second Black woman to direct a Black leading actor or actress to a nomination (behind Erivo by Lemmons). Noteworthy, when you add Leslie Odom Jr.’s double noms for the song “Speak Now” and supporting actor for his turn in “One Night in Miami” from Regina King last year, the three talents recognized for acting and song, have all been directed by Black women.

Although we see improvements in representation for POC in the Academy, the showing for Black women is among its most notable shortcomings. There have been just over 3,100 Oscar statuettes handed out in 93 years. Of that, only 17 were awarded to Black women. Again, for comparison, one man, Walt Disney, was rewarded with 26 Oscars from 1932 to 1969, nine more than the total number of Black women from 1929 to 2021. Additionally, two Black women have been granted honorary statuettes (Winfrey and Cicely Tyson). Disney himself was given four (even one that had seven miniature Oscars on it for “Snow White”).

Hudson’s turn as the Queen of Soul has many devoted fans among awards groups. However, recency bias and mixed reviews have created significant hurdles for “Respect’s” awards prospects. Opening in mid-August, three weeks before Venice and Telluride, the positive buzz for the movie was swallowed up by premieres of more prominent titles. And with the releases of fellow MGM/United Artists Releasing counterparts “House of Gucci” and “Licorice Pizza,” both of which had better reviews and box office, “Respect” seemed to have become an awards season afterthought.

Click here to read the full article on Variety.

Eva Longoria on loving her Latina roots and challenging Hollywood’s expectations: ‘Being Mexican is who I am’
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Eva Longoria s creating new molds in Hollywood for Latino voices. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

By David Artavia, Yahoo! Entertainment

The star power of Eva Longoria should never be underestimated. A proud Mexican-American from Corpus Christi, Texas, the multihyphenate powerhouse has won the hearts of television viewers since her breakout role in ABC’s Desperate Housewives.

Now, the icon is all smiles in an interview with Yahoo Entertainment when speaking about how her Mexican heritage, specifically Tejana culture, inspires her perspective on life — from daily activities to the way she runs her businesses, which include several restaurants and a production company, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

“Being Mexican is who I am,” Longoria says. “For me, it exudes in everything that I do every day from how I style my hair, to putting on my lip liner, to putting on my hoops, to what I make for breakfast, how I have my café con leche, how I drive. It seeps into every aspect of my life.” (Longoria prefers to make her Cuban café con leche using a cafetera, in case you were wondering.)

A staunch activist for gender equality, she’s also used her platform to shine a light on issues impacting Latino communities, specifically Latino visibility on and off-screen, something she says is vital in preserving the wellbeing of Hispanic communities.

“The problem is when you don’t have a person of color within your community, if your neighbors aren’t Latino, the only reference you have of us is the news. And that doesn’t do a very good job of portraying who we are,” Longoria explains. “And so, representation in TV, in film, in music, in art, it matters because it educates the community about who we are.”

The concern is warranted. According to UCLA’s 2021 Hollywood Diversity Report, Latinos accounted for only 5.7 percent of all film roles in 2020 — up slightly from 2019 when it was 4.6 percent. While the uptick is promising, she says it’s not enough.

Longoria also stresses the importance of having Latinos behind the camera and in other positions of power. After all, “that’s why I became a producer and that’s why I became a director,” she says. “It was to make sure that our stories are told because it’s important. It educates people about who we are. It educates our community about who we are, and that is even more important. If I am a Latino watching, literally, the erasure of my culture, then I think, ‘Oh OK, I am not worthy. My stories don’t matter.’ And that’s way more dangerous. We need to make sure that we share our own community, our worth — and celebrate it.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment.

Michelle Obama’s guest appearance on ‘Black-ish’ excites fans while also serving a purpose
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Michelle Obama Smiling at the camera in a white sweater and blue jean pants

By Kyle Moss, Yahoo! Entertainment

On the eighth and final season premiere of Black-ish Tuesday, Michelle Obama made a guest appearance after the show’s main characters attended an event for When We All Vote, an organization that Obama founded to help register and turn out voters across the country.

What began as Andre (Anthony Anderson) and Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross)’s chance encounter with the former first lady turned into a casual dinner at the Johnson house.

Obama’s main scene mostly consisted of the rest of Dre and Bow’s family interrupting with attempts to try and impress her. And there were also a few moments of conversation among Obama, Dre and Bow about what it’s like having teenage kids.

“When our girls were that age, you should have seen how they rolled their eyes, especially at their father,” Obama said during the episode.

But clearly the cameo for Obama, who was personally asked to appear on the show by Ross herself, was all about getting the word out about voter registration. And while it was subtle within the episode, Obama reiterated the objective with a tweet after the show aired, reminding people to get themselves and others registered.

Meanwhile, viewers on Twitter celebrated Obama’s appearance on the hit series with plenty of praise and even a few requests like, “Please decide to be president in 2024” and “I too would like to invite you over for dinner.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Entertainment.

BETTY WHITE HOMETOWN HONORS HER WITH OWN DAY … On Her Birthday
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betty white next to a logo of oak park

By TMZ

Betty White’s life and career won’t just be celebrated in one corner of Illinois — the village where she was born is creating a full-on holiday to honor the late actress … TMZ has learned.

“Betty White Day” will be recognized in Betty’s hometown on January 17, which would have been her 100th birthday.

The president of the Village of Oak Park, Vicki Scaman, tells TMZ … despite moving to California as an infant, OP residents have been grateful that over the course of her life Betty spoke very highly of Oak Park. She continued to visit relatives there years after heading west.

We’re told that since she passed away, folks in Oak Park have been vocal about wanting to honor Betty, and that surely will be happening now. A few days before Betty’s birthday, Village Prez Scaman will read a proclamation for “Betty White Day” during a memorial for community members in Oak Park.

For Betty’s special day, the Oak Park small business community is banding together to offer discounts to customers and “Betty White specials.” For example, Mickey’s Restaurant will be offering a special consisting of a hotdog, fries, and diet coke — one of Betty’s favorite meals, and Turano Bakery is planning to make a giant birthday cake. Scaman tells us cutouts of Betty will cover walls in the downtown area.

The celebration will continue with a Betty White mural contest, in which the winning mural will be painted downtown. And, there’s a bonus … most everyone in town will already be off from work as BWD happens to fall on a national holiday — MLK Jr. Day — this year.

Click here to read the full article on TMZ.

Betty White’s Agent Says He Always Told Her How Beloved She Was By Fans: ‘She Knew It’
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By Liz McNeil and Nicholas Rice, People

Even in her final days, Betty White knew she was beloved by her fans, according to her agent at APA and longtime friend Jeff Witjas.

While speaking with PEOPLE after her death at age 99 on Friday, Witjas opened up about the late star and their years-long relationship, as well as how White appreciated the kindness she received from the world over.

“She knew it, but I would tell her often,” Witjas says. “Even when she wasn’t working, I said, ‘Betty, millions of people out there are still asking for you. You’re getting your fan letters, I’m getting offers for you.’ ”

“I don’t know if she ever embraced it, [or] really, really felt it. The extent of it. I really don’t,” he continues. “I would always reinforce it with her because I always felt she should know that. I never wanted her to think while she was sitting at home, that the world has passed her by. It never did.”

“Betty lived a great life and she lived a life that she chose. She was happy,” Witjas adds. “Every time I told her, ‘Betty, you’re loved,’ she would look at me with a wry smile and say, ‘Really?’ I hope she knew. I think she did. It was something beyond love.”

Witjas — who previously confirmed to PEOPLE that the actress “died peacefully in her sleep” — had a close bond with the Golden Girls star, who he considered to be not only a work colleague, but a dear friend.

Click here to read the full article on People.

THE WALTONS’ HOMECOMING
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The Waltons' Homecoming promo poster

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the TV movie that launched the long-running series, THE WALTONS’ HOMECOMING is set in the Depression Era and told through the eyes of John Boy Walton (Logan Shroyer – This Is Us).

The series also stars Prodigal Son’s Bellamy Young and Richard Thomas, who starred in the original series.

#TheWaltonsHomecoming

First deaf ‘Bachelor’ contestant, Abigail Heringer, celebrates her disability with photo of cochlear implant
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Abigail Heringer with her back facing the camera as she lifts her hair to show her new cochlear implant

By Kerry Justich, Yahoo! Life

Abigail Heringer made history with her appearance on Season 25 of The Bachelor as the franchise’s first deaf contestant. Now, the 26-year-old is reflecting on her experience and sharing gratitude for how Bachelor Nation welcomed her.

“As 2021 starts to wrap up, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for this past year. The amount of support and love I’ve experienced through DM’s, comments and more continues to blow me away,” Heringer wrote alongside a slideshow of photos of her wearing her cochlear implant — a small electronic device that helps to provide her with a sense of sound, although she was born completely deaf.

“When I first got the call saying that they wanted to cast me for The Bachelor, I called my mom in a panic,” she wrote. “I was excited but also so scared and unsure if I wanted to talk about my hearing loss on tv, especially on a show that hasn’t had much disability representation.”

While Heringer was ultimately celebrated for being on the show and bravely sharing her story during her first meeting with bachelor Matt James, she explained that she had reservations about being so open about her disability on television.

“After countless awkward interactions growing up, I had become so used to trying to ‘act normal’ which meant to me, undermining my hearing loss. Acting like I had nothing different about me,” Heringer shared. “I wouldn’t tell new friends, first dates, teachers and I felt guilty about it. I had something beautifully different about me and so when my mom said ‘if sharing your story can help just one person, one family, you should do it’, that’s all it took for me to say yes.”

Heringer went on to explain how going on the show changed her life “overnight.” More importantly, however, it was just the beginning of a longer journey to finding confidence to fully embrace her cochlear implant, which has long made her feel different.

“It took me 26 years,” she said of showing off her device. “But I got here and I’m not ready to stop sharing. I’d like to think a lot of you are here because either you have a similar situation, know someone that is deaf or hard of hearing, or simply just curious and want to learn more. And I’m happy you’re here.”

Heringer received an outpour of love and support in the comment section from fellow Bachelor contestants turned friends.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

How much pain goes into a movie? Kristen Stewart, Lady Gaga sound off in our roundtable
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Photos of actors and actresses (Photos by Jay L. Clendenin, Christina House and Allen Schaben / L.A. Times; Matthew Brookes/For The Times)

AMY KAUFMAN, LA Times

Lady Gaga had been holding back.

Fifteen minutes into a conversation with five of her peers — Penélope Cruz, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Hudson, Kristen Stewart and Tessa Thompson — the performer had yet to speak unless spoken to. It was so unusual for her that she decided to interrupt the conversation to offer an explanation.

“I really apologize that I’m so quiet,” Gaga said, joining the actresses virtually from Las Vegas, where she was slated to go on stage for her residency later that evening. “But I’m so fascinated listening to you. I feel like I’m learning so much about all of you and the way that you approach your craft and the way your personal lives are interwoven into everything you do. I feel like being vulnerable for a second and sharing that.”

The “House of Gucci” star, 35, went on to describe herself as a “masochist” when she acts, “completely detached from real life.” She said she was opening up about her “totally unhealthy” process in the hope of both connecting with the others on The Envelope’s Actress Roundtable and seeking advice from women who have more film experience than she does.

Gaga’s role in “House of Gucci” is just her second major turn as a movie star, following her Oscar-nominated part in 2018’s “A Star Is Born.” In the new Ridley Scott film, she plays Patrizia Regianni, the real-life Italian whose stormy marriage to the head of Gucci nearly brought down the famous fashion house.
Compare her with Stewart, who at 31 has appeared in more than 50 films. The “Twilight” veteran, who began acting when she was 8, appears most recently as Princess Diana in “Spencer.” In the movie, Stewart depicts the late royal in the fragile final days before she separated from the Prince of Wales.

Dunst, too, has been in front of the camera since childhood. The 39-year-old began auditioning for commercials when she was just 3, spending her youth in films as varied as “Little Women,” “Interview With the Vampire” and “The Virgin Suicides.” Her latest role comes in “The Power of the Dog,” in which she plays a newlywed whose ornery brother-in-law refuses to welcome her to the family.

Hudson, who like Gaga began her career as a singer, pivoted to movies with her Academy Award-winning turn in 2006’s “Dreamgirls.” Now, the 40-year-old can be seen as Aretha Franklin in “Respect,” which follows the legendary soul artist from her church origins through alcoholism to global superstardom.

Thompson, 38, has been acting for the majority of her life but first made an impression on the industry in the 2014 Sundance hit “Dear White People.” Now a member of Marvel’s “Thor” franchise, she is still loyal to her independent roots with her new film “Passing.” Set in the 1920s, the movie is the story of a Black woman who realizes her old friend is passing through New York society as a white woman, causing her to reassess her own life choices.

Click here to read the full article on the LA times.

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