Tag Archives: Wendy Williams

‘DWTS’ Tony Dovolani, Wendy Williams Have Work Cut Out

Tony Dovolani ABC photo

“Dancing With the Stars” pro Tony Dovolani admits he and his latest partner, talk show host Wendy Williams, have some challenges ahead as they prepare for the March 21 premiere of the show’s 12th season.  For one thing, Williams is a super curvaceous 5-foot-11 in stocking feet — “about two inches shorter than I am,” Dovolani says.

“She has real issues.  She’s a mom, she’s 46 years old.  She’s at that point in life she feels she’s either going to do it now or not.”

And though Williams’ show was dark last week, and she and Tony were able to put in five-hour days of practice at a studio near her New Jersey base, this week the show is on and it’s a different story.

“She has a contract to honor, or course.  But she’s one of those indestructible women.  She’ll be able to do both,” he says.  He also says, “I’m so glad she decided to take on this challenge.  I’m very excited to help her achieve something she never thought she would; to be able to do these dances and be graceful and beautiful doing them.  She was always the tall girl in school,” he notes — and she knows what it is to feel awkward.

Dovolani adds that he’s found Williams “a very pleasant surprise.  She comes in really embracing this.  As she puts it, she wants everything — the makeup, the hair, the costumes….She’s picking things up pretty nicely.”

Wendy Williams

Williams made hay with the awfulness of Kate Gosselin back when the reality show star did “DWTS” — with partner Tony Dovolani.  Now that Tony is her partner, Williams has brought up the Kate debacle a couple of times “and asked my opinion of it  I think it was that Kate had so much going on in her life this was one more thing she shouldn’t have done.  Kate wasn’t all that bad.  She had her drama, but if you turned off the cameras, she was okay.”

That’s pretty kind for the pro who once was driven to briefly quit trying to work with the seemingly whiny and uncooperative Kate.  “Well, look,” he says.  “I think she’s very insecure as a person.  But she has kids who one day are going to read all kinds of things about their mother, including negative things.  I don’t want to be one of those who says something negative.”


Wendy Williams Says She Has ‘Inquisitive’ Approach to Celebrity Culture

Wendy Williams

Talk show hostess Wendy Williams, whose sophomore season launches this week, resists the idea that she’s turned tamer and nicer since shifting her act from radio to TV.  The daytime denizen, who was once known for her feuds with the likes of Whitney Houston, insists, “I’m still as inquisitive.  I never equated that with being mean.  It’s really just how I approach celebrity culture.”

The energetic 5’11” personality feels that, as a New Jerseyite with a nine-year-old son, she isn’t really part of that culture – but does have plenty in common with viewers who watch her show.

Wendy also notes, “I’m kind of surprised that my private life has not changed much at all” since she started the program.  “Being on radio for over 20 years, and being very popular, gave me just enough of a glimpse into the limelight that I knew what I was getting into.  It hasn’t changed many of the people around me either.”

Whatever she’s doing, it’s working.  Her show is now in some 53 countries in addition to the U.S..  “Earlier this summer I went to London for a quick three days, to get the show up and running there as well,” reports Williams, who describes herself as a “worker bee.”

“The reception was great.  I did the BBC morning show, did interviews, went out.  The nightclubs – I don’t know.  Everyone looked like Amy Winehouse,” she les us know.

As far as her own looks, she works out “twice a week.  I watch what I eat, I’m very aware,” adds Wendy, who famously grew up as an overweight kid and has struggled to keep her weight under control as an adult.  However, “I’m not expected to be a supermodel who’s a size zero.  I know exactly where my place is on TV – it’s about what comes out of my mouth and what is in my heart.”

And what is on her head.  Asked whether she ever goes out sans wig to remain incognito, she roars, “Oh, no.  I never roll down the driveway without a wig.  First of all, that’s the money shot.  I wouldn’t put that out until I’ve absolutely got control of it.  Today I went to the gym wearing a Cleopatra wig, just past my shoulder.”

Wendy, who unveils a new set today, has a string of guests lined up for the new season ranging from Cloris Leachman to Jordin Sparks.

Talk Show Host Williams Insists Family is Still No. 1

Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams tells us she’ll be spending her 45th birthday tomorrow (7/18) “at home, as in, in the house, with my makeup off and my hair in the drawer, with my husband and son, enjoying the life I begged for.”

As Wendy watchers know, the popular and often controversial radio host’s life now includes her new “The Wendy Williams Show” that launched in syndication this week to mixed reviews.

She has a schedule that would frighten many a brave man, as she not only has her daily daytime TV demands, but continues her four-hour radio show in New York each day as well.  And yet, she insists, with her, it’s “Family first, career second.”

Her eight-year-old son Kevin is “my biggest achievement in terms of what I’ve been able to overcome,” adds the candid Williams, who went through “several miscarriages” before being able to deliver her child.

From the time Williams completed her test shows last August until this past week, she says, “I’ve been spending most of my time focusing in on ‘How am I going to keep us a normal, healthy, reasonably happy family?’  The whole third grade, I was taking him back and forth to school, knowing I wouldn’t be able to do it by September, when he starts fourth grade.  We live in Jersey.  It’s not like Malibu, where every other person is famous – where teachers are used to the people like Pamela Anderson and Angela Bassett having professional schedule demands.  Here in Jersey, if you don’t show up at school, you’ll be perceived as crazy, whacked out parents who are not focused on their child’s future.”

Young Kevin is with her at the studio, laughing in the background as we speak.

“I begged for a child,” she says.  “I begged for someone who would accept me as I am, and met my husband.  He just came in and gave me a hug and a kiss a few minutes ago,” she notes of her manager mate, Kevin Hunter, with whom she works out every day at 4:30.  He also co-executive produces her talk show with her.

JUST FOR LAUGHS: George Eads is a crime-fighting machine on “CSI,” but during his off time, he likes a good laugh.  We spotted the hot Texan taking in a show at the World Famous Comedy Store this week where comedians Pauly Shore and Jeffrey Ross stopped in for an impromptu performance.  Better enjoy those shows while he can!  Summer’s almost over and it’s back to work on season 10!

Amanda Brooks

Amanda Brooks

A HELL OF A JOB: Being the beauty that all the men are trying to rescue in a movie, made in Romania, called “Hellhounds” can certainly be tough on a girl.  Just ask gorgeous British-American actress Amanda Brooks, who stars with Scott Elrod in the movie debuting Sunday (7/19) on the newly-renamed SyFy channel.

For one thing, days on the production went so long, “they sort of melded into one,” recalls Amanda.  “We had no sun, day or night.  We were shooting inside caves as well.  It was pretty intense.  I think every girl has a fear somewhat of bats, and I get claustrophobic at times.  And then, after getting back from a day in those caves, you’d cough or blow your nose and it was just black.  Sorry.  It’s gross.”

Brooks, who took on her part with a mere 48 hours’ notice, plays a woman snatched from her beloved to become the bride of Hades in the period fantasy.  Her love and his compatriots literally head into hell to save her.  She’s the only girl in the flick directed by Ricky Shroeder.  “The boys really took care of me in that there were a lot of stunts, running through flame torches and such.  There certainly was some method actoring in it, because you’re quite terrified, genuinely,” she says with a laugh.

The “Dragon Wars” actress also had to run in costumes “that were very, very elaborate and beautiful – running from these hellhounds with many extra pounds of cloaks, jewelry and wigs over massive rolling hills that were quite muddy and slippery.”

CONGRATULATIONS:  To Robert Redford and his bride, German artist Sibylle Szaggars. Now that the two long-time companions have tied the knot at last, you get the sense that some celebrity watchers are just now realizing she is 20 years his junior, what with snarky remarks out there about “Sundance and the Kid,” etc.  But of course, Redford isn’t your average 71-year-old, what with the esteemed actor-filmmaker’s larger-than-life list of lasting achievements and his zest for living.  This is the man who sneaked off to Utah to ski while making “The Sting” back in the day, despite studio insistence that he refrain from skiing — and despite having sustained a ski injury that required complicated surgery and the insertion of a steel pin in his right hand.  While recovering, he simply skied without poles, which, he told this column, “is kind of a challenge.  Fun!”  A man ahead of his time.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster