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May 21

Leigh Anne TExpect to see members of “Team Tuohy” out en force to support Sandra Bullock at the premiere of her new action comedy flick, “The Heat,” May 26.  That’s the word from the Tennessee and Mississippi-bred blond dynamo known as Leigh Anne Tuohy, whom Bullock portrayed to Oscar-winning excellence in 2009′s “The Blind Side.” Since then, they’ve remained close pals — though it’s only rarely that the public gets a glimpse of that closeness, such as when Bullock was on hand to cheer with the Tuohys at this year’s Super Bowl, when son Michael Oher and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens won.

Lately, it’s been Bullock lending her support as Leigh Anne prepares to launch her new “Family Addition With Leigh Anne Tuohy” reality show centered on fostering and adoption of children.

“She has held my hand through every episode. She gave a wink and nod with every family,” Leigh Anne tells us. “I just spent five hours layin’ side by side with her on a couch Thursday night, talking about it.  I couldn’t ask for a better friend.  She is an amazing lady and I’m still humbled and honored that God connected us, because it’s a powerful relationship.”

The series follows some pretty extraordinary families across the nation who are fostering children and are on the verge of adoption — families the show tries to help, whether in terms of redoing homes, finding jobs, or coping with the system.  In a couple of instances, the show’s cameras have been in court when a child became a permanent part of a new family.

Leigh Anne is adamant that foster care in the U.S. is fixable.  “There are a lot of different situations that aren’t manageable; this one is,” she declares.  “The average citizen can get involved and make a difference.  There are 400,000 kids in the foster care system.  We have 450,000 faith-based organizations in this country.  If every faith-based organization would get off their butts and place one kid in a loving home, we would wipe out the need for foster care.”

Leigh Anne says that she and her family “are very cognizant that we have been granted stewardship of a message, that there are Michael Ohers in every nook and cranny of this country — and every night we go to bed and think, ‘Wow, if someone who is as immensely valuable as Michael almost slipped through the cracks, imagine who gets left behind?’ So our goal and desire is to make sure people know there are no unwanted kids, just unfound families. How do we hook ‘em up? How do we make a difference?  Because we know when you invest in a kid’s life what can happen.”

Asked whether she’s ever concerned over the possibility of exploiting youngsters already in difficult straits for the sake of a TV show, she replies, “We’re never going to put a kid in a bad situation.  I would never do that.  That’s not who we are.  We’re doing this for their benefit.  Some of these kids, the system is trying to take them away from a loving family. And if we’re at the point where we have to tell a little bit of their back story in order to accomplish our goals, I’m going to say, ‘You’re going to have to put on your big boy pants today, because we’ve got to go through this river to get to the other side, to make a difference in your life.’”

Six episodes of “Family Addition” are already in the can, and Leigh Anne says that so far, she’s had positive experiences with the production — or, as she puts it, “It’s all cupcakes and cartweels.”  The only negative is going away:  the GMC network name “is going to be changed to UP — because GMC is such a bad name.”  In fact, Leigh Anne so dislikes the name GMC, she pressed for the name change to take place in time for “Family Addition’s” launch rather than in fall as originally planned.

Come June, “We’re going to get on social media loud and proud in advance of the first air date June 7,” she promises.  “I’ll get my boys tweeting and Facebooking and everything else.”

Her daughter Collins will be seen on the show.  Son S.J. came in for an afternoon.  As for Michael, who was occupied with NFL chores during shooting, Leigh Anne says, “My goal will be if we get this picked up that we can get him for an episode before July 24 or whatever day they go back to camp — or we go up to Baltimore where he is and get him involved in it.”

End it

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Nov 29

Sandra Bullock, Leigh Ann Tuohy

Sandra Bullock’s “The Blind Side” was unveiled two years ago  now — but the impact of the beloved film that won Bullock her Best Actress Academy Award lingers on.

For one thing, the friendship between Bullock her real-life counterpart is thriving.  Leigh Ann Tuohy tells us she’s hoping to get together with the actress again over the holidays.  “We have a couple of potential dates, maybe a Ravens game.  She is a Michael Oher fan,” notes Tuohy, referring to the Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle who is her adopted son — whose story was depicted in the film.  “We watch the football games and talk on the phone about what did or didn’t happen.  She is a member of this family, a great lady.” 

Tuohy and her husband, Sean, are also friends with “Blind Side” leading man Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill.  “It’s easier to see them, because they live just down the road in Nashville.  We sat with Tim and Faith at a Titans game a couple of weeks ago,” she reports.

The Tuohys have also worked to parlay public attention from the movie into help for more of “the Michael Ohers out there” — with their Making it Happen Foundation for underprivileged kids, and with scores of public speaking engagements she makes before corporate, school and community groups.       

“I really feel like the person who has the cure for cancer or Parkinsons probably lives in an inner city somewhere, and just needs a chance, an opportunity,” says Leigh Ann.  She would love to help the 400,000 children in foster care in this country “find forever families.”  However, she adds, “You don’t have to adopt to make a difference.  It’s not hard to unearth people who need help.  Last week, I met a seven-year-old boy who’d never seen a cupcake before in his life.  I’ve shown lots of kids the ocean for the first time and it  always takes my breath away.”

Leigh Ann, formerly a member of the “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” design team, has several prospects on the table that would put her in a position of greater prominence in 2012.  Among them:  a stint on “Dancing With the Stars.”  There’s also a possible Leigh Ann Tuohy talk show.   “The more we’re in the public eye, the more good we can do,” declares the Tennessee live wire.  “If I have to go out and do a little song and dance and make a fool of myself, I will.”

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May 30

Anne Hathaway in "Get Smart"

By Stacy Jenel Smith

Anne Hathaway’s unfortunate taste in men was highlighted again last month, with news that the actress won’t be fighting the U.S. government’s plan to auction off the bling given to her by former boyfriend of four years, the now-imprisoned con man Rafaello Follieri. The baubles — including two Rolex watches, gold and silver rings, a Louis Vuitton jewelry box, a five-strand pearl necklace, a Tiffany clock and a Cartier figurine — will be on the block to help pay off the $2,440,000 judgment he has hanging over his head.

Also in May, her beau of the last several months, actor Adam Shulman, was accused of swiping a mural from a Manhattan construction sight. He subsequently gave back the street art and apologized, so all is well. We hope.

Even so, Hathaway fans are once again declaring that she deserves better, and wondering why someone as brilliant, accomplished and well-bred as she would get involved with unworthy men. Shulman is cute, but his biggest credits to date are his small role as a deputy sheriff in ‘The Dukes of Hazzard: the Beginning’ — and dating Anne Hathaway.

Fans wonder, just as they wonder about the also-classy Sandra Bullock and her soon-to-be ex-husband Jesse James. What drew someone smart and savvy enough to succeed as a Hollywood producer — on top of her Oscar-winning career as an actress — to such a cheating low-life?

What caused beautiful, beloved Jennifer Aniston to take back love ‘em and leave ‘em guy John Mayer in 2008, after he had already publicly humiliated her, telling TMZ he had ended their relationship because he just wanted to be alone and not ‘waste someone’s time.’ And that as far as cheating on her, well, those were ‘cheap lies,’ although seeing other people after a relationship has run its course is ‘the most normal thing in the world.’

In fact, for every generation of celebrities, there’ve been princess and bad boy stories.

Whitney Houston was an America’s Sweetheart when she hooked up with carousing, drug abusing bad boy Bobby Brown in 1989. Now, 21 years, a daughter, multiple rehab stints and a divorce later, she’s a wreck of her former self.

Doris Day, the ultimate Girl-Next-Door movie star of her time, had a weakness for men who were bad for her. Her turbulent 17-year union with svengali manager Marty Melcher was marked by his brutal treatment of her son, Terry. It was blamed for her emotional breakdown at one point, and for sieges of extreme ill health. And it was disastrous to her financially. She was presented with a $500,000 tax demand after his death, and was soon to find her fortune had been milked dry and she was broke save for personal possessions.

As Gwen Stefani asks in No Doubt’s ‘Bathwater,’ ‘Why do the good girls always want the bad boys?’

Hollywood shrinks issue answers. Talking about the Good Girl-Bad Boy conundrum in BettyConfidential.com, L.A.-based Dr. Morris Halperin declares, ‘It’s slightly egotistical behavior…It’s just like someone who wants an exotic animal as a pet. They actually think these guys will change their traits and be good to them….It’s out of touch with reality that they think, ‘I’m different. I can dance with this monster and control it.’ The reality is, you can’t have a tiger as a pet and control it.’

Obviously, that behavior certainly isn’t confined to women who are famous and successful. It’s hard-wired into society. Good Woman Reforms Bad Boy is a staple plotline we’ve seen play out in dozens of movies, going back to such chestnuts as John Wayne’s ‘Angel and the Bad Man,’ which was recently remade as a TV movie, through ‘Grease,’ ‘A Walk to Remember’ and the latest retellings of the classic fairy tale ‘Beauty and the Beast’ — the Disney animated film and this coming summer’s ‘Beastly’ with Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer.

Another psychological explanation — that can also apply to the famed and the everyday female alike — was expressed to Ebony magazine by psychologist Carole Stovall: ‘A ‘good girl’ is a woman who has followed the rules all of her life; she’s been taught to go along with the status quo of what everyone else thinks she should do, be and want. These women have not had an opportunity to be who they are, so they are attracted to the men who rebel against the rules, and they live vicariously through them.’

That brings to mind those who point to Bullock’s strict upbringing as an explanation for her attraction to James and other bad boys, saying she was fulfilling an old desire to cut loose.

Poor male role models and relationship models in childhood are cited by other experts as a root of some women’s attraction to the ‘bad boy’ types — they go with what they know.

Low self-esteem is also a contributing factor in many of these relationships, on both sides, experts say.

Of course, psychologists can only speculate on the reasons that personalities they’re not treating may act as they do.

Jennifer Aniston’s declaration to Vogue — ‘Love just shows up’ — may be the closest thing to an explanation we’ll ever really have as to why she chose to hang with Mayer, who is now, happily, just part of her history.

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Apr 03

Betty White

TV Land is getting absolutely swamped with interview requests for their hottest It Girl ever — 88-year-old Betty White, who has ‘Hot in Cleveland’ coming up on the channel in June.

That, of course, is just the latest example of Betty’s fresh wave of popularity, a love-in that includes the successful grassroots viewer campaign get her on ‘Saturday Night Live’ as a guest host (it’ll be May 8, mark your calendar), her appearance as the special guest of Elton John’s Oscar night party, her Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and her hit Snickers Super Bowl commercial.

What a phenomenon! But then, Betty love has been building up for a long time in this town.

Sigourney Weaver tells us she had a wonderful time working with Betty in the forthcoming Disney comedy ‘You Again.’ ‘I just idolize her. She is so sharp and fun and gracious, and she’s had such a great career. That’s what actors want — to be working on one project after another and sort of mixing it up.’

That film, also starring Kristen Bell and Jamie Lee Curtis, is due to open in September.

And then there are all the many animal lovers in Hollywood who revere Betty for her decades of devoted service to all creatures great and small. Guitar legend Slash buddied with Betty over their respective interests in the Greater Los Angeles Zoo, where she is a trustee, and he’s been involved since donating much of his snake collection. Although Slash and Betty White might seem like strange bedfellows, he insists it’s not so. ‘If the ages were closer, it wouldn’t have seemed that strange. Betty and I could tear it up,’ he let us know.

Sandra Bullock is also among the stars who adore Betty, and it’s mutual. ‘We’re good friends and we’re going to stay good friends,’ as Betty herself put it. Her first day on the set of Bullock’s ‘The Proposal,’ she recounted to us, ‘There was a knock on my trailer door and it’s Sandra — not sending someone over, but Sandra herself — with flowers and a dog book and a little rug with a dog on it. ‘I wanted to make your trailer more like home,’ she said. Isn’t that something?” The two also bonded over step-parenting, as Betty helped raise her late husband Allen Ludden’s son and two daughters, and Sandra’s been an active step-mom to Jesse James’ children.

It’s been reported that Betty’s spitting mad at James over the current scandal of his affair with Michelle McGee. You know things can’t get much worse if Betty White is against you.

POWER LAUNCH: Nickelodeon must have high hopes for Victoria Justice’s ‘Victorious’ series — granting the show a premiere in the very choice timeslot following the ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’ this Saturday (3/27). The former ‘Zoey 101′ actress plays an aspiring singer who goes to a performing arts school, but unlike other shows of that nature, she says they’re not promoting fame and fortune.  ‘It’s not about being a celebrity.  It’s more about inspiring people to follow their dreams,’ she tells us.  ‘If you love something, discover that more and become better at it and just have fun doing it.   It’s about overcoming your fears too.  If there’s something you’re afraid to do then do it in front of people and face that fear.  It will help you get over that and really make something of yourself.’

In fact, Justice believes there’s something for everyone in her show.  ‘It deals with a lot of teenage issues, but it’s not just a kids’ show.  My character in particular is a really relatable girl. She’s not trying to be some superstar, and what’s nice is that Nickelodeon doesn’t restrict me from being me.  I don’t feel like I have to change my personality to be on this show,’ says Justice, who even gets to help come up with content from time to time.  ‘I’m only 17 years old so some people might be like, ‘Oh, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about,’ but the writers will listen to what I have to say.  Sometimes they’ll use my stuff and other times they’re like, ‘Yeah, you shouldn’t be a writer.’  I’m like, ‘Yes, I understand,” she adds with a laugh.

IT’S A QUARTER CENTURY THINIG: Singer Omarion, who is also busy judging ‘America’s Best Dance Crew,’ tells us he’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of some of music’s greats and he thinks this could be his year.  ‘I really do feel like 25 is an age where a lot of people that I look up to really broke out.  Michael Jackson was 25 when he did ‘Thriller.’  I believe Justin [Timberlake] came out with his first solo album when he was 25,’ notes Omarion, who recently released his third album ‘Ollusion.’  ‘I feel like this album definitely shows how much I’ve grown as an artist.  I’m giving myself time to grow even more, though, not only through my music and my album, but also through these different opportunities that I’m honored to have.’

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

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Mar 29

Michelle "Bombshell" McGee Photo by Alvarado

The tackier Michelle “Bombshell” McGee turns out to be, the more it’s clear her affair with Jesse James has scored a permanent place among Hollywood’s biggest cheating scandals. Coming to light mere days after beloved American Sweetheart Sandra Bullock won her Oscar for “The Blind Side,” Bullock’s husband’s extra-marital dalliance with McGee looks worse and worse the more her heavily-tattooed bod appears all over the internet, TV and tabloids, along with her claims of 11 months of sex with James while Bullock was none the wiser. We’ve learned that she’s a fetish model who’s done girl-with-girl and Nazi photo spreads and taught her child the Nazi salute.

Jesse, you cheated on Sandra Bullock with THIS?

This mess is shocking, embarrassing, tawdry and sad – adjectives that apply again and again as we look back on the Top 10 Most Notorious Hollywood Cheating Scandals of the past 20 years:

NANNY TELLS ALL
“’He felt so lovely. We kissed and kissed for what seemed like ages. I was thinking, I cannot believe this. Jude Law is snogging me!’” That’s a breathless Daisy Wright, remembering in her diary what was going through her mind the memorable night her status changed from nanny of Jude Law’s children to playmate of the actor himself. After a night of passion, they awoke to find one of Jude’s children by the bed, crying “Daddy, daddy. I had a bad dream.” Law’s nightmare was just beginning. When his ex-wife, Sadie Frost, heard from said child about his nanny shenanigans, she fired Daisy. Daisy then took her story to Fleet Street. Steamy details of her sexcapades with Law emerged, including her description of a tryst atop a pool table. London, not to mention the rest of the world, snickered. Mind you, Law was engaged to Sienna Miller at the time. They split. But what goes around comes around — and around — in the case of Jude Law and Sienna Miller, apparently. In 2008, it was Miller’s affair with married father of four Balthazar Getty that got the headlines, along with paparazzi pics of the actress topless with Getty. Now, nearly five years after the whoops-a-Daisy imbroglio, Law and Miller are a couple again.

RUNAWAY BRIDE
In 1991, “Flatliners” leading man and leading lady. Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts, planned a suitably Hollywood wedding for June. It would be a studio soundstage shebang and a swarm of stars and other power players would be on hand. Except…suddenly news broke that the wedding had been called off and, snap, Julia turned up at a hotel in Ireland with none other than Jason Patric – Kiefer’s friend! It was subsequently revealed that Julia had discovered Kiefer had been having a side relationship — with a stripper named Amanda Rice! The situation was lose-lose all around, except for the gossip media, which had a field day all summer long. Roberts landed in the hospital with the flu – for five days. She finished “Hook” on strained terms with Steven Spielberg, and the crew nicknamed her “Tinkerhell.” In recent years, Sutherland has said he holds no grudge against Roberts – “I commend Julia for seeing how young and silly we were…even as painful and as difficult as it was.” However, he still has no use for Patric. Roberts, of course, starred in another Hollywood cheating scandal a decade later when she hooked up with married cameraman Danny Moder, who split with his wife to be with Roberts. She and Moder wed in 2002 and they have three children.

BRANGELINA
“Brad & Angelina Get NAKED Together!” screamed a tabloid headline in May, 2004, while the couple was making their “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” action comedy – and his Mrs. was Jennifer Aniston. The romantic leads were making out off-camera as well as on, if you were to believe the tabs, which also reported that Aniston was going out of her mind with jealousy. Denials flew, but in Spring 2005, Aniston filed for divorce and “Brangelina” was seen vacationing on a beach in Kenya. “Team Jen” and “Team Angie” t-shirts became hot items on the internet. Jolie was, after all, the woman who had taken Billy Bob Thornton away from Laura Dern, the woman who had talked openly of her bisexuality and sex play with knives, the woman who had given her own brother a sexy-looking kiss when she won a Golden Globe. This femme fatale appeared the antithesis of girl-next-door popular Jen. The Jolie-Pitt affair still rankles in some quarters – even though Angelina and Brad are known for philanthropy and actively concerned in international relief…and even though they’re now the parents of six children. In 2008, Jolie’s comment to the New York Times essentially confirming for the first time the fact that she and Pitt had fallen in love while making “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” was met with jeers.

WOODY AND SOON-YI
The public disgust quotient was high when news broke that 56-year-old auteur filmmaker Woody Allen was having an affair with 21-year-old Soon-Yi Previn – his de facto step-daughter, since he’d been in a relationship with her adoptive mother, Mia Farrow, for 12 years. Poor Mia had discovered the truth in a shocking way, when she came across nude photos of Soon-Yi that Woody had taken. Court battles over custody of Woody’s and Mia’s adopted son and daughter and their biological son followed – with Mia accusing Woody of inappropriate behavior with the seven-year-old daughter. “I hope you get so humiliated you commit suicide,” wrote their adopted son, Moses, in a letter to Woody that was read in court. Although his popularity plummeted, Woody has since said that Mia’s discovery of the pictures set in motion a positive turn in his life. “The heart wants what it wants,” he explained of his relationship with Soon-Yi. He married her in 1998 and they have two adopted daughters.

THE MUG SHOTS SEEN ‘ROUND THE WORLD
Hugh Grant was thrust into international stardom in 1994 with the release of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” He and his long-time lady, the gorgeous Elizabeth Hurley, became known as a chic and witty celebrity couple. Then, in 1995, he achieved a different kind of public attention, picked up in an L.A. Vice Squad sting operation along with a Hollywood hooker who called herself Divine Brown. Their mug shots showed up everywhere, and the jokes flew. Days later, Grant turned the tide of public sentiment in his favor in a matter of minutes, when he surprisingly decided to keep a “Tonight Show” date to promote his next movie – and sat there looking like an abashed schoolboy when Jay Leno hit him with “What the hell were you thinking?!” Grant told Leno, “I think you know in life what’s a good thing to do and what’s a bad thing, and I did a bad thing. And there you have it.” He exuded a combination of possible contrition and naughty charm and provided a template for effective celebrity apologies thenceforth. He paid a $1,180 fine and did an AIDS education program, but the embarrassing scandal left him relatively unscathed. He made up with Hurley and their relationship lasted ‘til 2000.

AMERICA’S SWEETHEART STUMBLES
Meg Ryan’s fall from adored cinema sweetheart was swift and complete when her affair with Aussie bad boy Russell Crowe became public knowledge. The two hooked up while they were making 2000’s “Proof of Life” — despite the fact she had her nice little family waiting for her at home: husband Dennis Quaid and their eight-year-old son Jack. Openly traveling with Crowe, the girl from “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally” inspired disappointment and downright anger in former fans. The Crowe-Ryan affair lasted only months. She and Quaid divorced in 2001 after a nine-year marriage. In 2008, Ryan finally told InStyle that she wasn’t the first to cheat in that marriage, that “Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful.” But by then her years as a Hollywood box office attraction had become fading memories.

HALLE BERRY’S HUBBY, THE SEX ADDICT
Sandra Bullock may feel a sad sort of sisterhood with Halle Berry. While Halle was in the Oscar season spotlight prior to her “Monster’s Ball” win in 2002, her then-husband Eric Benet was cheating on her. For awhile there, it had seemed Halle had gotten it right with her hunky R&B star mate. She’d grown close to his daughter and their relationship had flourished. But there had been troubles for a long time, it turned out. The revelation of Benet’s affair with singer Julia Riley led to his checking himself into Arizona’s The Meadows for sex addiction rehab. A barrage of headlines followed: Is sex addiction real? Is it a ploy of Eric’s to get back into Halle’s good graces? How prevalent is sex addiction? In 2003, the couple split for good. In 2008, when David Duchovny checked himself into rehab for a sex addiction (but not because of any affairs! His publicist insisted!) Benet told New York magazine he wished Duchovny good luck with that, but he, Eric, wasn’t really a sex addict. So then, how did he account for his behavior? “Stupid-ass mistakes,” said Benet. Yeah, they don’t have rehab for that yet.

PLUS ONE HUSBAND, MINUS ANOTHER
To say Anne Heche has a checkered romantic past is like saying Kirstie Alley’s weight has fluctuated – quite an understatement. So when Heche followers learned that she’d taken up with her “Men in Trees” leading man, the handsome James Tupper – despite both being married to others at the time – it didn’t come as a total shock A public and very bitter divorce from her cameraman-turned-realtor ex-husband Coley Laffoon ensued, including Heche calling Laffoon a lazy a—on David Letterman’s show. (Laffoon is the father of Heche’s son Homer, 8, and Tupper is daddy to her son Atlas, 1.) You may recall that Anne met Laffoon when he was doing camera on a comedy show project for her then-lover Ellen DeGeneres. Before she and Ellen got together, she was known for having broken Steve Martin’s heart Tupper would like to get married, but Heche says she likes the idea of having permanent fiancée status.

MATERIAL GIRL SPORTS YANKEE SLUGGER
The nasty Madonna/Guy Ritchie divorce included all the gossip about her relationship with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez — whose wife reportedly left him because of the Material Man-taker as well. Or, as Time magazine put it in July, 2008: “The relationship that appears to have helped unravel the six-year Rodriguez marriage involves no mere Vegas stripper or D-list country star. This couple is fighting about the only woman on earth who can top A-Rod in both net worth and push-ups — Madonna.” There were photos of Madge and A-Rod together, reports of their traveling to Mexico. But for all the attention and damage their relationship created, it was called an affair of the heart and spirit rather than infidelity. Curious.

YOUR CHEATIN’ HEART
The “CSI: Miami” hunk tells us that things are “finally starting to calm down and be the way the way they’re supposed to be” – more than a year after reports emerged of his and LeAnn Rimes’ relationship becoming more than professional on the set of their “Northern Lights” Lifetime movie. He was married to model Brandi Glanville, mother of their two young sons, and LeAnn was married to her one-time backup dancer Dean Sheramet. There were the predictable denials of an affair, then there were Cibrian’s and Rimes’ marital splits, then their respective divorces. Saying she felt she no longer knew Cibrian, Glanville said she told LeAnn, “You can have him.” “I think things happen for a reason,” Cibrian, now openly with Rimes, told us. “I’m just focusing on work and focusing on my family.” — Stacy Jenel Smith

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Feb 02
Sandra Bullock in 'The Blind Side'

Sandra Bullock in 'The Blind Side'

What do Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side,” Candace Cameron Bure in “Make it Or Break It” and Yvette Nicole Brown in “Community” have in common? Besides being famous and beautiful, that is.

Each has a character currently in a mainstream hit who is an avowed Christian, who is not a buffoon, a villain, ignorant or crazy — as has often been the case with Christian characters in product emanating from Hollywood in the last two or three decades.

Bullock’s portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, real-life adoptive mother of Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Michael Oher, has her in the Oscar running, in fact.

Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure

Bure’s quietly faithful and sympathetic character, Summer Van Horn, is a standout in the hot ABC Family “Make it Or Break It” series about a group of champion gymnasts. She has been seen winning the confidence and friendship of the show’s beleaguered bad girl, Lauren (Cassie Scerbo).

Brown’s divorced mother, “Community” college student character, Shirley Bennett, certainly has her foibles, including repressed anger. The Christmas episode of the Joel McHale series had Shirley in a very unattractive, disapproving mode — but she learned a lesson about the perils of rushing to judgment by the end. She’s trying to be a better person and is ultimately likeable despite her failings. Those layers of character make Brown, a Christian in real life, feel happy indeed.

Yvette Nicole Brown

Yvette Nicole Brown

A hip comedy from the co-creator of “The Sarah Silverman Program” — Dan Harmon — might not be the place one would expect to find such a character, but Brown is quick to let us know that Harmon is respectful of her faith. And evidently, some of his cues about how to write Shirley’s Christian ways have come from Brown herself.

She tells us with a laugh, “Dan watches all of us like a hawk, and none of us will ever admit what things got in that made it out of our own mouths or happened in real life.”

As for what she’d like in Shirley’s future? “I’d love her to have a chaste love affair — a divorced Christian woman, a mother, wanting to keep it together ’til she gets another ring? Dealing with that mine field? It would be nice for people to see that option. I think it would be kind of cute. Goodness knows, we see enough of people going the other route.”

Stacy Jenel Smith

 
 
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