Television’s Saturday Night Live is comedy’s premier prestigious launching pad into stratospheric show business success. The legendary list of movie superstars the show has produced is too luminously long to list here. To be included in SNL’s clever cast is to have your comedic resume branded with the gold standard, a future surely set with inestimable fame and fortune.
Unless you’re Brooks Wheelan. The 27 year-old comedian announced via Twitter that he’s been fired from the show after only one uneventful season.
What’s the next step for a relative newcomer whose show biz dreams have been unexpectedly, unceremoniously shattered?
Some of you will remember, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a heroin overdose in February 2014.
I wrote about his death, expressing my sorrow (especially because he’d been doing so well, or seemed to be, last year), and it sparked an interesting conversation about how we react to celebrity drug overdoses compared to how we react to “Regular Joe” overdoses.
(By “we,” I mean the public — not the media.)
The new Jimi Hendrix biopic, Jimi: All Is By My Side, premiered at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2014, apparently to rave reviews.
Actually, its star — Andre 3000 of Outkast, who reportedly practiced the guitar six hours a day to prep for the film — is receiving most of the glory.
(UPDATE 2/5/14: Four individuals have been arrested in relation to Hoffman’s drug overdose, according to The New York Daily News and CNN. Authorities found more than 350 bags of heroin in three different apartments. (Upon further investigation, 70 bags of heroin were found in Hoffman’s apartment. Currently, police aren’t certain whether those four individuals sold the heroin to Hoffman or if they’re part of a larger drug ring.)
(UPDATE 2/3/14: CNN reports Hoffman failed to pick up his children Sunday, as was scheduled, and law enforcement found Hoffman surrounded by eight empty bags, the type of which generally contain heroin. The bags were labeled “Ace of Spades” and “Ace of Hearts.” Both are known street names for heroin.)
Celebrity Psychings has sad news to report today: actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has died.
The 46-year-old Oscar-winning actor, famous for his roles as Truman Capote in Capote and Lester Bangs in Almost Famous, was found dead in his New York City apartment at noon (February 2, 2014).
At the time of this post, a cause of death is unknown or has not been released; however, police do suspect a drug overdose due to a needle in his arm:
The official cause of death is still unknown at this point, however, the police confirm to “The Insider With Yahoo” that he may have died of a suspected overdose, as he was found with a needle in his arm.
Hearing about Seymour’s death is especially tragic because — less than one year ago — the actor had completed rehab and was on a seemingly strong road to recovery. He’d wrapped up his role in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and, at the time, was working on indie film God’s Pocket.
I’ll update as news becomes available.
In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to Hoffman’s three children Tallulah Hoffman, Cooper Alexander Hoffman, and Willa Hoffman, and his partner Mimi O’Donnell.
Seems like things are looking up for Jonathan Rhys Meyers!
Thanks to Netflix, The Tudors isn’t exactly long gone; however, the 36-year-old Meyers is filling another swoon-worth role as Alexander Grayson, the lead in NBC’s new fall drama, Dracula.
Aside from Albert Nobbs (written by and starring Glenn Close), we haven’t seen much of Meyers, who’s reportedly struggled with substance abuse and alcohol addiction and entered rehab on several occasions.
Starting October 25, though, we’ll see him every Friday night!
(Unless you’re in the UK, in which case you have to wait until Halloween–which, let’s face it, is way cooler.)
(UPDATE July 16, 2013: Cory Monteith’s official cause of death was a drug overdose of heroin and alcohol, according to the British Columbia Coroners Service.)
Cory Monteith, one of the stars of the Emmy award-winning musical comedy-drama Glee, was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room over the weekend.
Some news sources have reported drug overdose as the suspected cause of death, but thus far police have confirmed only that they don’t believe foul play was involved.
An autopsy is scheduled for today (Monday, July 15, 2013), after which the coroner will be closer to establishing an official cause of death.
Happy 4th of July, sweet readers!
(Well, almost, or belated, depending on when you’re reading this.)
In honor of July 4th, I thought we’d take a look back at four of the most inspiring celebrity mental health stories of 2013 so far.
After (and sometimes before and during) battling addiction and mental illness, these famous folk have enjoyed successful careers and helped spread education, encouragement, and hope to others.
1. Friends Star Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry has been pretty vocal about his own prescription pain pill addiction and rehab. After a friend introduced him to the nation’s drug court system, he became pretty vocal about that, too, leading U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske to present him with the Champion of Recovery Award for “giving a voice to millions of Americans in recovery.” (Actor Matthew Perry Awarded for Drug Court Advocacy)
I suppose this could be a Weekend Listening post, too, because guess who got back together and released a new album last week?
Why, yes, I am excited about it!
Filter’s first album, Short Bus, was one of the first CDs I owned, and their 2000 hit “Take a Picture” off Title of Record was a pretty regular jam during my freshman year of college.
Just in time for the band’s sixth and latest studio release, The Sun Comes Out Tonight, Filter frontman Richard Patrick talked exclusively with The Fix about how both his past drug and alcohol abuse and his current sobriety have played a role in the band’s failures and successes.
Even though Filter had all this success, eventually I’m 33 and bent over a coffee table, addicted to cocaine as well. My dreams were being put on hold just to handle this addiction and minimize my insecurities.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is out of rehab and back on the sobriety wagon, folks!
What, you didn’t know he’d fallen off?
Neither did I, but apparently Hoffman had been abusing prescription drugs for the past year. Also, he started using heroin just one week before entering the east coast detox program.
Hoffman, who is well known for his roles in Capote and Moneyball (and, if you’re me, as Lester Bangs in the most ridiculously best movie of all time, Almost Famous), saw his backslide after an impressive 23-year sober stretch.
Here’s a sweet Weekend Watching for you comedy fans:
Showtime airs a new Richard Pryor documentary, Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, tonight at 9 p.m. EST.
You might be wondering why we’ve added yet another Richard Pryor documentary to the shelf, and Pryor’s fourth and seventh wife (the man married five women over seven marriages), Jennifer Lee Pryor, tells Rolling Stone she wanted to make sure at least one of them didn’t portray him as “the guy that said m***** f***** all the time.”