Tag Archives: Mary Hart

Change of Heart for ‘ET’s’ Mary Hart

Mary Hart

So now it’s Mary Hart following in the wake of fellow long-time TV stalwarts Oprah Winfrey and Larry King — as she announced last week that she’s departing her on-air post of 29 years, “Entertainment Tonight.”

The news was a little surprising, since it was just a few months ago that Hart told us, “In the last year and a half, I’ve realized I’m not ready to call it quits.”

She went on, “I’m still having so much fun.  I love running into Leonardo Di Caprio, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, 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.  There are a handful of us who’ve been there all the way – Leonard [Maltin} and myself, and some of the people behind the scenes.”

Hart, who turns 60 in November, did confess she sometimes misses the days when it was “all about the movie stars” in today’s reality TV-packed entertainment world.  However, she insisted she enjoyed the good trade-offs of expanding the range of “ET.”   She pointed out that 2008 brought her one of “the most exciting times I’ve ever had on the show in terms of interviews, and they weren’t movie stars – they were Michelle and Barack Obama.  For me, it’s really a wonderful mix of things….When I’m tired of it I’ll quit. “

Plans call for Hart to hang up her “ET” mic at the end of this coming season – and you’d better believe they’ll be milking her goodbye year for all it’s worth.  As for her replacement, let’s just hope it’s not Piers Morgan.

LOOKING BAD:  One thing you can say about Fox’s upcoming “Raising Hope” is, the show does not fall into the category of having a low-income family in what appear to be upscale living quarters.   In fact, the “Hope” clan’s digs even feature a big pile of junk stored in the living room.  Most of the shooting is done on sets on the studio lot, but there is a real world house used for street shots.  As cast member Cloris Leachman puts it, “They had to find the right crappy house to go with what we’re doing.”

Cloris, who has been having a ball playing weird Maw Maw on the show, has a big screen chiller with Tara Reid, “The Fields” coming up next year – with an official website just launched.  As for whether the “Last Picture Show” Oscar winner has a preference for drama or comedy, she says, “My preference is for good stuff with good people.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  What accounts for the resounding failure of Tony Robbins’ “Breakthrough” reality show – that seemed to have so much going for it?  Well put-together (by a producing team of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “Biggest Loser” veterans) and inspiring, it deserved a better fate than being pulled by NBC after two low-rated outings.  But then again, it’s hard for some of us to understand the ongoing appeal of “Wipeout,” which beat Robbins’ show handily – a show in which people get knocked off oversized obstacle courses into the water again, and again, and again, and again, and again and….

Ask Stacy for May 9

DEAR STACY:  Whatever happened to the plans for Janet Jackson to do a movie playing Lena Horne? – Terry B., Cedar Rapids, IA

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.”