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George Clooney Reveals Where He and His Fiancée Will Tie the Knot

George Clooney Reveals Where He and His Fiancée Will Tie the Knot

AFP/Getty Images(FLORENCE, Italy) — George Clooney has dropped a major tidbit regarding his upcoming wedding.

The actor, who is engaged to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, attended a fundraising event for the Andrea Bocelli Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center in Florence, Italy, on Sunday.

At the event, People magazine reports, Clooney shared this bit of news: “I met my lovely bride-to-be here in Italy, whom I will be marrying, in a couple of weeks, in Venice, of all places.”

The actor-director was at the event to accept a humanitarian award.

Meanwhile, E! News reports Alamuddin and her mother, Barria, stopped by the Alexander McQueen headquarters in London on Thursday, which may suggest that her wedding dress could come from the design house. Reportedly, she was there for two hours.

If Alamuddin does wear McQueen, she’d follow in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, who also wore an Alexander McQueen gown on her wedding day.

There have also been whispers that Clooney’s bride may wear Elie Saab or Zuhair Murad on the big day.

Clooney, 53, proposed to the 36-year-old Alamuddin in April. It had been rumored for a while that they’ll exchange vows in Italy, where he has a villa in Lake Como.

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More than $109 Million Raised from “Stand Up To Cancer”

More than $109 Million Raised from “Stand Up To Cancer”

Joe Corrigan/Getty Images for Stand Up To Cancer(LOS ANGELES) — More than 109 million dollars has been raised for cancer research in connection to Friday night’s star-studded Stand Up To Cancer telecast, its organizers have announced.

The telecast, which aired on all of the major broadcast networks as well as numerous cable networks, featured A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, who served as an executive producer of the fundraiser, as well as Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Bradley Cooper, Robert Downey, Jr., Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Stiller, Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon.

The telecast also included performances by The Who, Dave Matthews Band, Ariana Grande, and Lupe Fiasco with Jennifer Hudson and Common.

Stand Up To Cancer has been held every two years since 2008.

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Is Robert Downey Jr. Hanging Up the “Iron Man” Suit?

Is Robert Downey Jr. Hanging Up the “Iron Man” Suit?

Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — He’s arguably the most popular actor and one of the biggest box office draws in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Robert Downey Jr. might not appear in a fourth Iron Man film.

Legions of fans, including Ol’ Shellhead’s co-creator Stan Lee, feel Downey is the perfect embodiment of billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark — the armored hero’s alter-ego — but the actor told Variety over the weekend that a fourth go-round at this point is not in the cards.

“There isn’t one in the pipe,” the actor said at a press event at the Toronto Film Festival, at which his drama The Judge screened. “No, there’s no plan for a fourth Iron Man.”

When asked if he’d “let” someone else wear the suit, Downey laughed, saying, “I like that the idea is that it would be up to me, like I’m casting director for Marvel.” His Judge co-star Robert Duvall chimed in, “Don’t give it to anybody else.”

Iron Man 3 was a global blockbuster, earning 1.3 billion dollars for Marvel Studios, which is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

All told, the Iron Man trilogy not only put once-troubled Downey back on the map, but generated $2.4 billion in theaters — and made Downey the highest-paid actor in the world, with an estimated take-home between 2013 and 2014 at $75 million, factoring in his hard-fought, reported $50 million profit sharing deal for The Avengers.

It should be noted that Downey will appear as Tony Stark/Iron Man in 2015′s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and in the blockbuster series’ third installment in 2018.

It’s also very possible that Downey’s statement is an opening salvo in what will be a new round of tough negotiations with Marvel.

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Neil Patrick Harris Weds Longtime Partner

Neil Patrick Harris Weds Longtime Partner

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Neil Patrick Harris has married his longtime partner, David Burtka.

The Tony Award-winning actor announced the news via Twitter. “Guess what? @DavidBurtka and I got married over the weekend. In Italy. Yup, we put the ‘n’ and ‘d’ in ‘husband,’” he tweeted Monday. The tweet is accompanied by a photo of the two apparently exchanging vows.

According to People magazine, the grooms were married by Pam Fryman, director of How I Met Your Mother, the same show on which Harris starred for nine seasons before it wrapped up earlier this year.  The entertainment at the wedding reception was provided by none other than Elton John.

Harris and Burtka have been together since 2004 and are parents to fraternal twins, Harper and Gideon, whom they had via surrogate in October 2010.

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Joan Rivers’ Memorial Service: Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin and Others Send Icon Off in Style

Joan Rivers’ Memorial Service: Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin and Others Send Icon Off in Style

Brian Bowen Smith/E!(NEW YORK) — Comedians, celebrities and loved ones paid their last respects to Joan Rivers on Sunday.

The comedy icon’s memorial service took place at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan’s Upper East Side in her hometown New York.

The funeral was a who’s who of the comedy and celebrity world, with the likes of close friends Kathy Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg, Howard Stern and Rosie O’Donnell showing up to pay homage to their late friend and legend, who died Thursday.

Other A-listers like Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Sawyer, Geraldo Rivera, Donald Trump, and her Fashion Police co-stars Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne were also in attendance. The guest list reflected how many people Rivers touch in her more than 50 years in comedy.

As early as an hour before the 11 a.m. service, two dozen or more attendees began to line up at the temple. Across the street, more than 75 fans were waiting outside.

The service was private and there was no red carpet, but in typical Joan Rivers fashion the service was a grand celebration of her life and legacy.

ABC News learned earlier in the weekend that Oscar nominee and Rivers fan Hugh Jackman sang the late comedian’s favorite song from “A Boy From Oz” — “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on the Stage” — at the service.

In addition, Howard Stern gave a touching speech about his “best friend,” and Audra McDonald also performed, moving guests to tears, according to People magazine.

After the service ended, bagpipes began playing “New York, New York” as a way to cap off the one-of-a-kind tribute.

Close family friend Deborah Norville told ABC News last week that Rivers’ daughter Melissa had been instrumental in planning the beautiful service.

“Melissa’s unbelievable. But I’m not at all surprised because she’s so much like her mother,” she said. “She is doing a spectacular job planning her mom’s funeral, making sure that the people she loved have a role to play, making sure that everybody that Joan would want there is notified and has ample time to get there.”

Rivers died a few days ago “peacefully,” surrounded by friends and family at the age of 81, Melissa Rivers said on Thursday.

The comedic legend had been at Mount Sinai Hospital sedated for a week after she went into cardiac arrest following a procedure at a local New York clinic. Rivers was undergoing what close friend Deborah Norville described as “a diagnostic procedure … [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy.”

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“Guardians of the Galaxy” Holds Top Spot at Weekend Box Office

“Guardians of the Galaxy” Holds Top Spot at Weekend Box Office

Buena Vista(NEW YORK) — Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy maintained its number one spot at the box office this week, bringing in a weekend profit of more than $10 million.

The superhero film, which totaled nearly $300 million since its debut, stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and drama If I Stay rounded out the top three slots, bringing in $6.5 million and $5.75 million this weekend.

Director Luke Greenfield’s Let’s Be Cops jumped from fifth on the list to number four this week, with Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. playing dress-up as law enforcement.

Here are the top ten films of the weekend according to boxofficemojo.com:

1. Guardians of the Galaxy: $10.16 million
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: $6.5 million
3. If I Stay: $5.75 million
4. Let’s Be Cops: $5.4 million
5. The November Man: $4.2 million
6. As Above/So Below: $3.723 million
7. When the Game Stands Tall: $3.7 million
8. The Giver: $3.591 million
9. The Hundred-Foot Journey: $3.2 million
10. Lucy: $1.95 million

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Reddit Bans Page Featuring Leaked Celebrity Pictures

Reddit Bans Page Featuring Leaked Celebrity Pictures

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Online forum Reddit banned a page on its site that featured several leaked celebrity photos involved in a recent hack.

In a statement Saturday, website representatives said they “deplore the theft of these images” and “do not condone their widespread distribution.”

Nude photos purporting to be pictures of A-list celebrities surfaced last week and included Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton.

“We understand the harm that misusing our site does to the victims of this theft, and we deeply sympathize,” the site’s blog post reads.

The page was taken down after requests from lawful owners of the content.

Still, Reddit representatives said they are “unlikely to make changes” to their existing site content policies.

“The philosophy behind this stems from the idea that each individual is responsible for his or her moral actions,” the statement continues.

“We uphold the ideal of free speech on reddit as much as possible not because we are legally bound to, but because we believe that you – the user – has the right to choose between right and wrong, good and evil, and that it is your responsibility to do so. When you know something is right, you should choose to do it. But as much as possible, we will not force you to do it.”

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GRL Singer Simone Battle Dies at 25

GRL Singer Simone Battle Dies at 25

Nino Munoz / FOX(LOS ANGELES) –  Pop singer and former X-Factor contestant Simone Battle, a member of G.R.L., has died, her representatives told ABC News. She was 25.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic news of the loss of Simone Battle of G.R.L.,” Reign Deer Entertainment, Robin Antin, Kemosabe Records, and RCA Records said in a statement. “Simone was an exceptional young talent and human being, and we are all devastated to learn of her passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and loved ones at this time.”

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Elizabeth Banks Dishes on Her Last Day on the “Hunger Games” Set

Elizabeth Banks Dishes on Her Last Day on the “Hunger Games” Set

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) –  Elizabeth Banks said she loved being a part of the Hunger Games franchise.

However, her last day on set was depressing for more than one reason.

“It was a sad day and I wrapped on a day when no one else did,” she told ABC News. “It was really sort of lonely and depressing.”

Still, Banks, who said she “cherished” her character, Effie and the storylines in general, is already onto other projects. For one, she’s helping to judge a Frito-Lay Super Bowl commercial contest, in which filmmakers submit commercials for Doritos. The winner will win a “dream job” with Universal, the studio behind her upcoming film, Pitch Perfect 2.

“Everybody has to start somewhere in this business and what I really love about this contest is that they’re gonna really give somebody their start in the entertainment industry,” she said. “I just felt like it was a really amazing opportunity to be supportive of young filmmakers … who want to submit their material and get seen by industry professionals.”

Banks, 40, is taking on new challenges too. The actress is making her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, the sequel to the popular 2012 movie Pitch Perfect.

“It’s a big responsibility, but I was really excited to take it on and try to do it confidently,” she said. “[The original] was lightning in a bottle and it was such a surprise to see how the movie was received. The whole ‘Cups’ phenomenon was a surprise to all of us. It came from the authenticity of the movie, and this time around we were really aiming to do that again and be pure in our intention to tell more of the story of these characters that people have fallen in love with.”

Two people who aren’t in on the phenomenon are her two young sons, Felix, 3, and Magnus, 1. Balancing her personal life with her career is a goal, Banks said, as is being a role model to her boys.

“I need to get on Sesame Street,” she said. “They’ll be my biggest fans!”

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Amanda Fuller on the Brittany Murphy Biopic: ‘The Intent Was Only to Honor Brittany’s Memory’

Amanda Fuller on the Brittany Murphy Biopic: ‘The Intent Was Only to Honor Brittany’s Memory’

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Amanda Fuller grew up watching Brittany Murphy so much so that her and friends would throw Clueless parties. Now, Fuller is stepping into the late actress’s shoes for The Brittany Murphy Story, set to air Saturday night on Lifetime at 8 p.m. EST.

“It’s very surreal to be in this position,” she told ABC News. “Beyond [Clueless] like Girl Interrupted, and all the films she was a part of, I feel like molded me as an actor. Maybe there was a reason why it all came together this way.”

“I knew her more from her blockbuster career, then came to realize [through her Indie movies and other smaller roles] she’s an incredible talent that was totally under utilized,” Fuller said, comparing the late star to the likes of Marilyn Monroe.

Murphy had her big break in the 1995 classic hit featuring Alicia Silverstone, but went on to forge a career all her own, starring in other movies like Just Married and Sin City. She married Simon Monjack in 2007 and mysterious died in 2009 at the age of just 32 after going into cardiac arrest. She had been suffering from pneumonia at the time of her death.

Years, later Angelo Bertolotti, Murphy’s father, claimed she was poisoned.

“I have a feeling that there was a definite murder situation here,” he told Good Morning America last year.

Fuller, 30, is more inclined to agree that pneumonia and related anemia caused her death.

“I truly believe that what we know to be true from the coroner’s report is what is true,” she said. “I don’t play into any of the controversy stuff, murder and all that.”

The movie will show how Murphy changed quite a bit physically over her career — losing weight and going blonde. Fuller said that is something she can relate to a bit.

“I think most actors go through that,” Fuller admitted, saying there have been people who focused on her weight and other physical attributes. Despite that, Fuller has risen to the ranks of TV elite, starring alongside Tim Allen in Last Man Standing.

“She had the need to and desire to be great and for people to love her,” Fuller said of Murphy. For example, “she was obsessed with high heels, because she was so small.”

“I think what was so ironic was people fell in love with her in the beginning as her authentic self,” she added. “A crazy girl from Jersey with that quirky spirit and she never lost that spark.”

As for looking like Murphy, Fuller is not blind and fully aware the two aren’t twins.

“The movie is more about trying to capture her essence that she had and shed light to that struggle she had as she went further into the business,” she said. “The producers told me ‘This is not a look-alike piece.’ Hopefully once people get into the story, they forget that I don’t look exactly like Brittany, but follow the journey of the relationships.”

Fuller said she learned a lot about Murphy she didn’t know while filming this movie.

“I didn’t know her mom battled cancer and both those times, Brittany basically dropped her career to be there for her mom,” she said, adding that during those times, Murphy got hounded by the media for various reasons like alleged drug abuse that Fuller believes is not true.

One person who does not agree with the story line of this movie is her father, Bertolotti.

“I am disgusted and outraged,” Bertolotti told Examiner of the project. He said the story is “completely untrue.”

Fuller said Bertolotti has gone as far as to tweet directly at the actress portraying his daughter.

According to his tweets, Bertolotti claims he’s upset that the biopic refers to his daughter as a “chunky monkey,” among other gripes.

Sharon, Brittany’s mother, has not been involved, but Fuller said, “I think if she were to see the film, she would see the intent was only to honor Brittany’s memory and bring her beautiful spirit to life.”

Fans of the late actress have also spoken out about the project on social media and Fuller is unfazed and proud to be a part of the film.

“It comes with the territory,” she said. “Everyone’s going to have their opinions.”

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Joan Rivers: What We Know So Far About Yorkville Endoscopy and Rivers’ Death

Joan Rivers: What We Know So Far About Yorkville Endoscopy and Rivers’ Death

Virginia Sherwood/NBC(NEW YORK) — When Joan Rivers died Thursday after spending a week in the hospital following a cardiac arrest, attention turned to what procedure she was having done at a local New York City clinic and what the circumstances were surrounding her death.

The New York State Health Department told ABC News that it has opened a “full investigation” into Yorkville Endoscopy Center. As of now, there is no suspicion of wrongdoing and the investigation is routine, a source briefed on the case told ABC News.

Here’s the information that ABC News has gathered after talking to a variety of sources close to the comedian:

  • Rivers was undergoing what close friend Deborah Norville described as “a diagnostic procedure … [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy.”
  • The call to 911 from Yorkville Endoscopy came at 9:39 a.m. By 9:46 a.m., paramedics and other first responders were on scene. Rivers arrived at Mount Sinai Hospital at 10:08 a.m. She was already on life support and her condition at the time we are told was near death.
  • Norville added that Rivers had been in a “medically induced coma” for the past week.
  • According to a source briefed on the case: Rivers was under general anesthesia when she went into cardiac arrest at Yorkville Endoscopy on the Upper East Side.
  • According to a Yorkville Endoscopy spokesperson, the clinic “as a federally and state licensed facility, has the same level of life-saving and resuscitation devices (such as state-of-the-art cardiac defibrillators, airway management equipment, etc.) found in any hospital emergency room or hospital-based operating room.”
  • The Yorkville spokesperson adds, “Yorkville Endoscopy has performed 18,000 procedures since it opened in February 2013. Yorkville Endoscopy has maintained an exceptional safety record that far exceeds the national average.”
  • The New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office said the autopsy is complete but will not release results, pending the outcome of further testing.

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Joy Behar Remembers Joan Rivers as a ‘Great Role Model’

Joy Behar Remembers Joan Rivers as a ‘Great Role Model’

ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) — Joan Rivers was one of the hardest-working comedians in the business before her death Thursday. Even at the time of her death, the 81-year-old was supposed to be in New York City covering Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for E!’s Fashion Police.

Joy Behar explained on Friday’s Good Morning America why Rivers, her longtime friend, worked so hard.

“I said, ‘Joan, what is it with this empty calendar that makes you so…’ [She said] ‘Oh sure, sure! You have a husband. You have someone to hang out with.’ She was right. It was like, you know, she was a single widow and she needed to do things with her life,” Behar recalled.

Behar said the comedy legend just wasn’t just a role model to other female comics, but to women in general.

“We’re trained to be nice and to be good little girls and don’t speak your mind. She’s the opposite and so all of us women comedians are like that,” said Behar.  “We just say whatever. So we took a page from Joan. She was a great role model.  [She said] just go out there and say whatever and be funny and don’t worry if the men don’t think you’re sexy or if they don’t like it, too bad! You know, that’s a very important thing for women to understand.”

Behind-the-scenes, Behar said Rivers was just a regular person: “She was normal.  She picked up a check. She had a conversation. She was a normal person. You would’ve enjoyed her conversation I think. Not one of these people that has to be funny 24/7.”

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Katie Couric’s Mother and ‘Best Friend’ Elinor Dies

Katie Couric’s Mother and ‘Best Friend’ Elinor Dies

Lou Rocco/ABC(NEW YORK) — Katie Couric had to say goodbye to her “best friend” Thursday.

“My heart is broken. I lost my mom and best friend. We love you and miss you, Mom/Granny,” she tweeted along with a sweet picture of her late mother, Elinor H. Couric.

 

My heart is broken. I lost my mom and best friend. We love you and miss you, Mom/Granny. pic.twitter.com/gamqIxqlIz

— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) September 4, 2014

She also posted on Facebook that her mother lived from 1923 to 2014 and died at the age of 91.

“She loved fiercely and was fiercely loved,” she added.

 

Fans immediately shared their condolences.

Couric, 57, took care of her mother after she lost her father to Parkinson’s in 2011.

The veteran news anchor just remarried herself, when she tied the knot to John Molner in June.

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Art Exhibit Plans to Showcase Celebs’ Hacked Photos

Art Exhibit Plans to Showcase Celebs’ Hacked Photos

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — A Florida gallery says it’s going to showcase the hacked photos of starlets — including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton — as part of an art exhibit about privacy in the age of the Internet.

The leaked images will be printed on huge canvases and added to Los Angeles artist XVALA’s ongoing “Fear Google” project, Cory Allen Contemporary Art said on its website. The St. Petersburg, Florida, showroom will put the images on display on Oct. 30, as part of XVALA’s “No Delete” show.

“The artist and myself were both really inspired and encouraged by the way people are reacting to this — both positive and negative,” founder Cory Allen told ABC News. “It’s inspiring to see that people are angry, and that they care about privacy in an age where everyone gives away their information.”

The point of the project is “to show how technology is consuming us,” Allen added.

The latest installment is part of a seven-year art project about privacy, he said. It also includes paparazzi photos of celebrities.

The timing of the celeb photo hack was a coincidence, he said.

Allen said he and the artist aren’t too worried about police interference, and won’t show any photos they believe were taken of the celebrities when they were underage. As for any potential legal hurdles, he said “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

And they will probably have to, according to attorney Brad Shear, who specializes in digital issues.

“Their fair use claim would be very weak, because at the end of the day these are just stolen images,” Shear told ABC News.

The artist and gallery owner could potentially be violating privacy laws, revenge porn laws and copyright laws by using the images, he said.

Allen stressed that the gallery doesn’t condone hacking, but the goal of the exhibit is to continue the social conversation about privacy.

Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence vowed to go after hackers after the leaked images surfaced.

“This is obviously an outrageous violation of our client, Kate Upton’s, privacy,” attorney Lawrence shire said. “We intend to pursue anyone disseminating or duplicating these illegally obtained images to the fullest extent possible.”

Liz Mahoney, a spokesperson for Jennifer Lawrence, has said the actress will “prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos.”

Mahoney and Shire did not immediately respond to ABC News request for comment on this specific matter.

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Joan Rivers Wanted Her Funeral to Be a ‘Huge Showbiz Affair’

Joan Rivers Wanted Her Funeral to Be a ‘Huge Showbiz Affair’

Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) — Joan Rivers detailed how she envisioned her funeral in her 2012 book, I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me, and described it as a “huge showbiz affair.”

In a chapter of the book titled, “Death Be Not Proud,” the 81-year-old comedienne provides the following instructions to her daughter Melissa:

“When I die (and, yes, Melissa, that day will come; and, yes, Melissa, everything’s still in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras and action. I want craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way. Don’t give me some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents. I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing ‘Mr. Lonely.’ I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce’s.”

The New York City medical examiner’s office has completed an examination of Joan Rivers’ body but wants to do additional study before determining the cause and manner of death.

Rivers went into cardiac arrest last week at a clinic before she was rushed to New York’s Mount Sinai hospital where she died Thursday surrounded by family and friends. 

Her funeral is set for Sunday at New York City’s Temple Emanu-El.

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Tom Brady Admits He’ll ‘Pout and Whine’ to Get Attention from Wife Gisele Bundchen

Tom Brady Admits He’ll ‘Pout and Whine’ to Get Attention from Wife Gisele Bundchen

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Tom Brady is a star NFL quarterback who’s garnered plenty of attention for throwing touchdowns.

Off the field, however, he gets recognition for throwing hissy fits.

“I like attention from [my wife, Gisele Bündchen], so when I’m not getting it I let her know in immature ways, like a young, immature child would,” he told Man of the World magazine for its latest cover story. “You throw fits and you pout and you whine until you get what you want.”

“[But] she’s on to me. She knows all of my tricks,” he continued. “So now I have to learn new tricks!”

Brady, 37, has been married to Bündchen, 34, since 2009. Their oldest child, Benjamin, was born that December, while their daughter, Vivian, came along three years later. (Brady also has an 8-year-old son, Jack, from a previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan.)

These days, the supermodel’s expectations of Brady are high (“I’m a guy, what doesn’t she get on me for?” he joked. “That’s just what wives do!”) but she told Good Morning America that she’s always rooting him on.

“He’s a wonderful man and he’s so supportive. It’s great that way,” she gushed. “I’m his biggest fan and I think it goes both ways.”

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Movie Review: “The Identical” (Rated PG)

Movie Review: “The Identical” (Rated PG)

Freestyle Releasing(NEW YORK) — The Identical is a semi-ambitious but nonsensical story inspired by the fact that Elvis Presley had a stillborn twin brother. In this film, the identical twins live, though neither is named Elvis. Instead, we get Dexter and Drexel Hemsley, both of whom grow up with Elvis’ good looks and talent, but take very different life paths.

The twins are born to a poor couple living in Alabama during the Depression. One night, downtrodden and desperate to find work to support his infant sons, father William Hemsley stumbles upon a tent revival, where a passionate preacher named Reece Wade (Ray Liotta) delivers a moving sermon about selflessness, and shares that he and his wife, Louise (Ashley Judd), were recently told they wouldn’t be able to have children. 

Moved by the story, William convinces his wife to give Dexter to the Wades, who can better provide for the boy, leaving the Hemsleys with only one child to raise. It’s a scene, like so many others in this movie, that lacks the emotional punch it ought to have. 

The narrative then focuses on Dexter’s life with the Wades. Reece is doing his best to make sure his son, now named Ryan, follows him to the pulpit. Ryan’s a good son and tries to fulfill his father’s dream, but he knows the church isn’t his calling: he’s a gifted musician and singer, with little desire to be a preacher. 

In the meantime, Drexel Hemsley is becoming a music star. And that’s a problem, for this movie. Writer
Howard Klausner intentionally scripts Drexel’s career to mirror Elvis Presley’s, so we’re left with the impression that this world doesn’t have an Elvis: it has as a Drexel Hemsley. And that makes sense — until later in the film, when a character name-drops Elvis. In other words, Elvis exists in a world with another wildly successful singer who looks and sounds exactly him? DUMB. The conceit deflates an already struggling film whose only strength is the undercurrent of sadness born of the notion that a poor couple had to give up a child because they couldn’t afford to raise him.

Will Ryan and Drexel ever meet? I know the answer but believe me, it’s not worth finding out. The Identical’s heart is in the right place, and Ray Liotta delivers one of his more impressive performances, but it’s all for naught. With nonsensical character choices and plot points unworthy of a major motion picture, The Identical feels more like the kind of movie you’d find on TV’s Lifetime.

One-and-a-half out of five stars.

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Nicolle Wallace: Five Things to Know About the New “The View” Co-Host

Nicolle Wallace: Five Things to Know About the New “The View” Co-Host

William B. Plowman/NBC(NEW YORK) — When Rosie Perez and Nicolle Wallace were officially added to the panel of The View, most people knew of Perez, the actress from movies like White Men Can’t Jump.

Wallace, however, is a little more of a niche figure whom many in political circles recognize, but less so for the majority of The View fans.

Well, Wallace, 42, is a formidable addition to the panel and someone who is accomplished in several mediums, including TV and print. She has even worked in The White House alongside the president himself.

Here’s five fast facts to know about the newest member on The View.

1. Presidential Ties

Wallace started working for then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in 1999 before she joined President George W. Bush’s White House staff as communications chief in the early-2000s, according to her website’s bio.

According to the Washington Post, her site adds, she served as “a voice for more openness with reporters.”

She also worked on the 2008 McCain-Palin campaign.

2. Her Likeness Has Been in Movies

American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson played Wallace in the 2012 movie Game Change, which followed the 2008 McCain presidential campaign. Julianne Moore played Palin. In the movie, Wallace grilled Palin on knowing current events and the status of noteworthy events with which the U.S. was connected, such as the Iraq War. 

3. Accomplished Author

Wallace wrote Eighteen Acres, which was published in 2010, and had a sequel published the next year. Both books received critical acclaim.

Amazon’s description of the book says, “From the former Communications Director for the White House and current political media strategist comes a suspenseful and smart commercial novel about the first female president [Charlotte Kramer] and all dramas and deceptions she faces both in politics and in love.”

Her website says the next book in the series in coming in 2015.

4. She’s Not New to TV

Wallace has been serving as political correspondent for MSNBC and appeared on shows like Morning Joe and Office Politics to talk about the status of the government. She isn’t afraid to say negative things about her own Republican party, saying “this is stupid politically” when the GOP threaten to shut down the government last year.

5. Famous Friends

In an article from More magazine in 2011, Wallace recounts how she became such close friends with Katie Couric. “Katie nurtured and mentored me professionally,” Wallace said. “And our friendship grew out of that.” The article adds that while they both live in New York City, they often meet for walks, breakfast or even go to movies.

Couric said, “When push comes to shove, there are few people you can trust with advising you on your career. Nicolle has always had my best interest at heart. I really value that.”

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

What to Expect from Oprah Winfrey’s “The Life You Want Tour”

What to Expect from Oprah Winfrey’s “The Life You Want Tour”

Oprah.com
(NEW YORK) — Iyanla Vanzant is one of the many stage personalities featured on Oprah Winfrey’s multi-city self-help tour called “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.” The self-help guru tells ABC News Radio what attendees should expect from…

Late-Night TV Hosts, Guests Remember Joan Rivers

Late-Night TV Hosts, Guests Remember Joan Rivers

Theo Wargo/NBC(NEW YORK) — Late-night TV hosts remembered Joan Rivers Thursday, following the icon’s death at age 81.

“We lost a comedy legend today,” Jimmy Kimmel said during the monologue of Jimmy Kimmel Live. He later discussed Rivers’ death with guest Sarah Silverman – who said she was “broken up inside” by the news.

“I think a lot of people, when they die at 81, you go, ‘Well, she was 81, she had an amazing life.’ But she wasn’t done! She, right now, was at her most vital,” Silverman said.

Silverman rattled off a series of put-downs to ex-boyfriend Kimmel, for Joan – “Oh my God Jimmy, I love your hair. You have to tell me where you bought it” – before sharing a recent interaction she had with her hero. Rivers had sent Silverman an email last week congratulating her on her recent Emmy win.

“She loved with her whole heart, and she also hated with her whole heart, which I loved,” Silverman said.

Conan O’Brien’s guest, Chris Hardwick, also discussed a personal connection with Rivers. Hardwick saw Rivers perform in Las Vegas when he was a child – and later, Rivers turned to the “@midnight” host for advice.

“She wanted to know about the internet, which is one of the reasons why I think she was so relevant for like six decades, is that she wanted to know how everything worked and how people were communicating now, and she wanted to understand digital content,” Hardwick said.

O’Brien remembered Rivers filling in for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.

“People would gather in the living room. Everyone would howl with laughter, and the next day they would talk about it. Because at that time she was so, so outrageous, and her comedy felt so out of the bounds, and people were just blown away,” O’Brien said.

David Letterman reflected on her pioneer status on Thursday’s episode of The Late Show.

“Talk about guts – she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable,” he said.

“The force of her comedy was overpowering.”

Rivers last appeared on Late Show in July, after Rivers had stormed off of a confrontational interview on CNN. Midway through the late-night segment, Letterman walked off – leaving Rivers alone on the set to ask herself about her sex life.

Craig Ferguson reflected on the impact of Rivers’ life.

“I just hope that when Joan meets the man upstairs he is wearing something she can insult,” the Late Late Show host said.

Rivers appeared on Late Night a month ago.

Host Seth Meyers believes Rivers would have used the occasion of her death to crack a joke.

“And she would get away with it, because it would be really funny,” Meyers said.

Rivers cut her comedy chops at Chicago’s Second City, eventually working comedy clubs in Los Angeles.

The late-night spotlight eluded her.

“Seven years, and they would come and they would say, ‘there’s a very funny girl down there, you should see her.’ Then they’d say, ‘too rough, too wild, talking about things a woman shouldn’t talk about,’” she said in a 2013 interview with PBS’s Pioneers of Television.

But in 1965, Carson gave Rivers her break, introducing her as “A young lady who … not only writes funny but is funny herself.”

And there was Joan, sitting on a stool beside the late night king, talking about married life and her husband’s ex, biting humor brimming in the seams of her stories.

“I don’t get along with his friends … I don’t fit in. He’s a producer, and all his friends have beautiful wives. Tall, sexy, you know, the legs never stop. The legs go like, legs-legs-legs-legs-legs-legs-legs-legs, a belt, a baby brassiere, and a head,” she said, stretching and preening. “They’re beautiful, you know? But dumb. But beautiful. But dumb! Like they can’t even spell it. And nobody cares they’re dumb, but me.”

He told her on-air that she was going to be a star, and he was right.

By the 1980s, Rivers was Carson’s guest host. But after she jumped to Fox to host The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, a schism grew between the protégé and mentor that never healed, with Carson enflamed by the perceived betrayal. Joan’s show didn’t last, but the tension lingered. Rivers was banned from The Tonight Show for a quarter-century.

That ban lifted in February, on Fallon’s first Tonight Show episode. Rivers made a cameo appearance that night with a string of other celebs, slamming a $100 bill on the desk, kissing Fallon’s cheek and waving to the crowd.

She made her official Tonight return a month later in true Rivers fashion – making Fallon squirm with jokes about the Holocaust and female anatomy, a torrent of irreverence and wit.

On Thursday’s show, Fallon choked up while recalling Rivers’ work ethic and passion.

“She had a file cabinet full of jokes,” Fallon said.

“Joan Rivers, one of the greatest.”

As the show went to commercial, a black and white graphic appeared showing Rivers, her hands folded underneath her chin, the dates of the beginning and the end of things – 1933, 2014.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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