I was born just as the very first Star Wars movie was about to leave theaters. According to legend, my much older brother snuck me in to a viewing despite the fact that I was a newborn. Maybe that's why I've loved the franchise my entire life. Unlike most fans my age, I can technically claim that I have "seen" all of the movies in theaters! When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was announced, I was almost beside myself with excitement. It had been a long time since Return of the Jedi had left theaters and, really, I never thought that we'd get another trilogy. As soon as tickets went on sale, I snatched up a pair and, on opening night, I soaked up the electricity in that room filled with fellow enthusiasts. I sat and watched the screen with wonder and for the entire walk home, my companion and I excitedly chatted about what we'd seen and theorized about the future. I had two small children already and we talked about how impressive it was for a little boy as young as Jake Lloyd to take on such a huge role in such a huge movie. The pressure must have been unimaginable, we said, and we praised him for being able to act and interact with characters and environments that weren't really there during filming. He had a green screen, some puppets, at best, but he wasn't really piloting a pod racer or using The Force. What a clever boy, we mused! "Bad Actor" It was shocking, therefore, to learn that so many had panned his performance. I'm not sure what they were expecting but the criticism was harsh and unrelenting. Here we had a child who may not have even heard of Star Wars before being cast in the film. Surely, most people understood that a 10-year-old was not going to understand and connect with those films in the same way as someone who had seen each of them multiple times as an adult, right? It didn't seem to matter. The little boy who bravely brought Anakin Skywalker to life was uniformly labelled a "bad actor" and was summarily thrown to the Hollywood wolves.
When you think of the original Hollywood bombshells of yesteryear, they were often buxom, voluptuous women known for their big curves. In recent years, it seems that the exact opposite is more desirable. Sure, there were women decades ago whose slender physiques could never match those of Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield but, at least, they weren’t being encouraged to change their bodies in a way that was unhealthy. You would think that Karen Carpenter’s death, more than 30 years ago, would serve as a cautionary tale but it hasn’t. The young woman with the velvety voice died at just 32 years of age due to heart failure associated with anorexia nervosa. Yet, the media continues to embrace and perpetrate ideals that are unrealistic (or downright dangerous) for women to attain and maintain. It’s a sad time when a woman, famous or not, gives birth and is immediately being asked when she will get her pre-baby body back. The focus is not on her safe recovery from pregnancy and childbirth, nor is it on her bonding with her newborn. Instead, celebrities like Kim Kardashian have been known to go into hiding until they have lost enough weight to be seen out in public again. Something needs to change and, fortunately, women are beginning to speak out. When Glamour chose to include Amy Schumer in a “plus size” geared issue sponsored by Lane Bryant, the comedienne immediately took issue. No, she did not take offense by the suggestion that she wasn’t thin but, rather, pointed to the fact that, at a size 6, she hates the idea that young girls might see her body type and consider it “plus size.” Even most stores consider a size 12 and up to fall into that category so, she’s right - the implication is irresponsible.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Raising children is incredibly difficult, at times, regardless of how well-off a family might seem. Sure, wealthy parents may be better able to provide financially for their offspring but that’s not what it’s all about. Celebrities aren’t perfect, despite their carefully crafted veneers, and neither are their relationships and, more...
Most of us know Tracy Morgan best from his years on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. He has dedicated his adult life to making people laugh so fans must be saddened but, not necessarily surprised, to hear that he recently battled with suicidal thoughts. Car Accident On June 7, 2014, Morgan, fellow comedian, James McNair, and other passengers in a chartered limousine was involved in a serious accident when they were struck by a Walmart tractor-trailer on the New Jersey Turnpike. Tragically, McNair lost his life. When news struck, Morgan fans feared for the worst but were encouraged by the reports that h could potentially survive the wreck. It wasn’t until months later that we all learned the full extent of his injuries. He fought hard to overcome a broken leg, nose, ribs, and severe brain trauma. It took him more than a week to regain consciousness but, when he did, it was clear that there was a long road ahead of him. Physical Recovery For months after the accident, the Emmy-nominated was confined to a wheelchair. As other parts of his body healed, Morgan focused on learning to walk again and he recently told Entertainment Tonight that he relied on an unlikely helper - his 2-year-old daughter, Maven.
Elton John is a living legend in many ways and has entertained millions with his music for decades. He also has been very committed to certain charities and causes and is well known for his efforts to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. Unfortunately, his name is also being associated with something less savory. Sexual Allegations Former Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant and Medal of Valor recipient, Jeffrey Wenninger, worked as an off-duty security guard for John for many years. Their long-standing professional relationship seems to have soured and law enforcement officer has taken action against the singer. In a recently filed lawsuit, Wenninger alleges that John inappropriately touched him on multiple occasions from 2002-2014. He also claims that the artist made sexually suggestive comments and that things got much worse in terms of “frequency and intensity after 2010.” An attorney for Elton John’s Rocket Entertainment group responded by saying: "This baseless lawsuit is brought by a disgruntled former security officer seeking to extract an undeserved payment. These claims are patently untrue and contradicted by numerous previous statements made by this plaintiff. We will not give into his latest abuse of the legal system.”
He’s arguably one of the most popular actors in the world but he still is “just a dad” when he talks about his daughter, Georgia. Recently, while attending the NYU Langone Medical Center's Find a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES) event, Harrison Ford discussed her condition with the NY Daily News
Padma Lakshmi has long been considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. In addition to being blessed with incredibly good looks, she’s shown how smart, strong and successful she is over the years. Since 2006, she has served as the host of the reality cooking show, Top Chef, and earned many fans in the process. Right as she was rising in popularity, her marriage ended and, several years later, she became pregnant. Fans wondered who had fathered her child but she never addressed the situation publicly. In her recently released memoir, Loss, Love, and What We Ate, she admits that, for a time, she didn’t name her baby’s father because she didn’t know. Divorce and Fertility Struggles After five years of living with controversial novelist, Salmon Rushdie, the pair married on April 17, 2004. Unfortunately, the union did not last long and just three short years later, they filed for divorce. At 37 years old, Lakshmi found herself starting over. The pair did not have any children. In fact, just a year after their split, Lakshmi was diagnosed with severe endometriosis and told that her chances of conceiving without intervention were very low. She had suffered with the symptoms but had been told by her mother that it was just the suffering that women had to go through. Despite having ovarian cysts removed years earlier and also needing emergency surgery to remove endometrial tissue that had entangled in her small intestine, no one told Lakshmi that she had the condition. She believes that, had she been told earlier, she would have had more time to address the issue. Dating Two Men
Pawn Stars has been a hit for the History Channel since it debuted in 2009 and a big part of their allure has been fan-favorite, Austin Lee Russell, otherwise known as Chumlee. The long-haired, bearded beanie-wearing staple gained notoriety for his unintentional humor, laid-back demeanor, and his, seemingly, innocent outlook on life. Although, he is often teased by the other men in the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, it is clear that they, like viewers, are very fond of Russell. It was a bit of a shock, therefore, when his recent arrest made headlines. Drug and Weapon Charges On March 9, 2016, Russell was arrested on felony weapon and drug charges. Police were at his home in southwest Las Vegas as part of a sexual assault investigation. While he was not arrested as part of those allegations, the 33-year-old was taken into custody after a search of the premises uncovered, at least, one gun, marijuana and methamphetamine. In all, Russell was held at the Clark County Detention Center on one weapon charge and 19 drug-possession charges. His bail was set at $62, 000. No statements have been issued by the History Channel.
It’s hard to believe but it’s already been six months since Josh Duggar entered rehab. Regardless of anyone’s opinion, the nature of his problems, and his subsequent absence, must have been especially hard on his wife and children. The Scandal Last summer, a number of revelations shocked longtime fans of the Duggar family and their TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting. Once a member of a family associated with Christian values and outstanding morals, the struggles of Michelle and Jim Bob’s eldest son, Josh, became the subject of public scrutiny. First came the news that, as a teenager, Josh had sexually molested several girls, including his sisters, Jill and Jessa. The family admitted that the abuse had occurred but insisted that he had received the psychological and emotional care he needed and that they had all moved on and forgiven him. Just as it seemed like things were settling down, activist group, Anonymous, released the names of people who had subscriptions to Ashley Madison, a website dedicated to helping married men and women commit adultery. Josh Duggar was found to have two paid accounts.
Last month, Bachelor Nation fans were shocked and saddened by another loss. Former contestant, Alexa (Lex) McAllister, was found dead from an apparent suicide. Her family was left reeling after the loss but they found the strength to open up about the tragedy. Josh McAllister, Lex’s brother, told Entertainment Tonight: "Our family has been blessed with so much support. So many people have reached out to tell us what Lex meant to them. We believe Lexi was an amazingly bright star and her shine could only light the world for so long. The number of people she touched at 31 is more than some people touch in a lifetime." It’s definitely helpful to find something positive in an otherwise devastating situation. It’s great that the family is getting some much-needed support during this understandably difficult time. Lingering Questions "Her death brings up questions that we as a family are still working to find answers to," Josh continued. "I hope others learn from the tragic way she came to pass. We as a family had no idea Lexi was at a point in her life that this would happen. The hope is to one day have a foundation in her name so everyone can remember her as a great story, and not just a tragic ending. Anybody can be suffering, mental illness is often looked at as taboo and people don't speak out."