DEAR TERRY: Apparently you missed the stormy weather when Horne, now 92, made it clear she wanted no part of Jackson’s portrayal after Janet’s breast-baring Super Bowl moment back in 2004. She and her daughter asked ABC not to allow Janet to portray her, and even though the network resisted, Janet willingly backed out. Then producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan left the project in solidarity with Janet. It’s too bad. With a dramatic life story that spans the heyday of Harlem’s Cotton Club, Golden Era Hollywood, blacklisting, the Civil Rights Movement and on, the sensual singer-actress certainly warrants a bio-pic. A stage musical about her, “Stormy Weather,” was mounted at the Pasadena Playhouse last year. (The brilliant, iconic performer passed away the day of this posting, leaving an amazing legacy.)
DEAR STACY: You see Ryan Seacrest everywhere, but I haven’t seen much about him personally. I’m curious. What is his background? – John M., Chattanooga, TN
DEAR JOHN: The ubiquitous “American Idol” emcee/radio host/budding TV mogul (“Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” etc.), was born the day before Christmas in 1974. He hails from Atlanta, GA, son of an attorney and a full-time mom. There, he landed a job at radio station WSTR while still in high school – and continued with his on-air gig while attending the University of Georgia. He landed his first TV show hosting job – ESPN’s “Radical Outdoor Challenge” – while still in college. Aspiring toward a Merv Griffin-like career of hosting and producing television shows, Seacrest moved to L.A. in 1995. He was hosting NBC’s “Saturday Night at the Movies” by 2000. “American Idol” came along in ’02, and, of course, last year he signed a renewal on his “AI” deal for $45 million. While there’s been much speculation about his romantic life and sexual orientation, Seacrest has said he simply doesn’t have time for relationships, and that when a past girlfriend and he split up after three and a half years, he just worked harder.
DEAR STACY: How old is Mary Hart? Have enjoyed watching her all these years. Does she have any plans to retire? — Angie S., Canton, OH
DEAR ANGIE: The “Entertainment Tonight” anchor, 59, says she’s entertained the idea of stepping away from the microphone, but has realized over the last couple of years, “I’m not ready to call it quits. I’m still having so much fun. I love running into Leonardo Di Caprio, George Clooney, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. When you know people through the years, there’s a comfort level in your interactions and that’s fun. In a sense, we’ve matured together. And I enjoy the working with the people I see on a daily basis.”
DEAR STACY: Can you tell me if and when “Burn Notice” is coming back? – Pat K., Woodland Hills, CA
DEAR PAT: The popular Jeffrey Donovan-Gabrielle Anwar series returns June 3 on USA.
DEAR STACY: What did they finally determine was the cause of Brittany Murphy’s death? A friend of mine said it was a drug overdose. – M.L., Spokane, WA
DEAR M.L.: The L.A. county coroner’s office found that the 32-year-old actress died last December primarily of pneumonia. However, she was also found to have been suffering anemia and multiple drug intoxication from an assortment of over-the-counter and prescription medications used to treat colds and respiratory infections. All the medications were legal. Noted the coroner’s report, “The possible adverse physiological effects of elevated levels of these medications cannot be discounted, especially in her weakened state.”