Tag Archives: Drew Barrymore


Britney Spears and Jason Alexander

           With the celebrity-watching world sputtering and tweeting over the abrupt ending of Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marital union with Kris Humphries, at least the pair can take heart in knowing they’re not alone when it comes to enduring a brief, humiliating celebrity marriage. 

            Charlie Sheen’s wedding to model Donna Peele in 1996 came as a surprise to many — with him having testified just a few weeks earlier to having spent $53,000 on trysts with Heidi Fleiss’ call girls. Cynics groused that the marriage was all about Sheen trying to clean up his image. He insisted that wasn’t true, but either way, six months later it was over, and he went on to…Well, we all know what he went on to.

            In 2008, Pamela Anderson requested that her Sept. 29-Dec. 13, 2007 marriage to third husband Salomon be annulled in court, citing fraud.  In 2006, she was married to Kid Rock from July 29 to her Nov. 27 divorce filing.  

            Of course there was Britney Spears, with her Jan. 3, 2004, 5:30 a.m. “joke” wedding inLas Vegasto childhood chum Jason Allen Alexander. She reportedly arranged to have it annulled within hours.  By Jan. 4, Alexander was back home inLouisiana, with his grandfather telling reporters he’d “been through a lot” and didn’t have much to say.”

            Then there’s Drew Barrymore. In 1994, she suddenly and surprisingly wedL.A.bar owner Jeremy Thomas. That marriage lasted less than two months.

            And who could forget this one? On Nov. 14, 1998, former “Baywatch” actress Carmen Electra wed rainbow-haired, cross-dressing then-Chicago Bulls basketball star Dennis Rodman at the Chapel of the Flowers in Vegas. The bride wore a black Mark Wong Nark shirt and capris, and black high-heel platform shoes, and the groom wore a t-shirt, jeans and a baseball cap. After the ceremony, they went to breakfast at the Hard Rock Hotel with friends, and later, Carmen headed back toL.A.to shoot her “HyperionBay” series.

            Two days after the event, Rodman’s agent issued a statement claiming the marriage was “not legal” and that his client had been too intoxicated to know what he was doing. On Nov. 23, Rodman filed for an annulment citing “fraud” and an “unsound mind.”

            Michelle Phillips and the late Dennis Hopper were show business royalty – he, the hot star and director of “Easy Rider” glory, and she the lovely Mamas and the Papas singer — when they married in a surprise Halloween quickie wedding in 1970. But the marriage lasted a mere eight days, with Hopper publicly confessing he was in a fog of drugs and alcohol much of the time. Both survived the embarrassing fiasco well, however, each racking up career and personal successes in following years.

            Producer/former studio chieftain/Hollywood legend Robert Evans hastily wed 32 years younger actress Catherine Oxenberg in 1998 — and the marriage was annulled in nine days.  He explained to Variety, “I forgot it had only been six weeks since I had been hit with a stroke.”

            In 2000, Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton surprised the public (as well as Billy Bob’s fiancé, Laura Dern) with an impulsive wedding on theLas Vegasstrip. It lasted a comparatively long time — into 2002 — but there was plenty of embarrassment along the way. They shared intimate oddities about their relationship and gave lots’a public displays of affection, attesting to their wild passion. He said he liked to wear her lingerie under his clothes. They had his ‘n’ hers tattoos and wore vials of each other’s blood around their necks.

            Come to think of it, we were the ones who were embarrassed — not them. 

            From the looks of it, Kim Kardashian isn’t exactly red-faced either, heading off to Australia to promote her clothing line while gossips speculate on her feelings — or lack of feelings — for Humphries and the chances she might get back together with former beau, Reggie Bush.  At least for awhile.

Corey Haim Death Gives Other Former Child Stars Pause

By Stacy Jenel Smith and Emily-Fortune Feimster

Corey Haim at age 14

The headlines about Corey Haim continue after his death:  The city of Toronto pays for his funeral because his financially strapped mother cannot afford it.  Haim’s mother says she was informed he died of pulmonary congestion and had an enlarged heart, yet toxicology results have yet to be announced by the coroner’s office – and surely his long, torturous history with drug abuse has something to do with it.  Haim’s mother says he was there helping her as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment for her cancer.  “He was a good boy,” she says.

This is hardly the ending fans would have expected back when Haim and his best pal Corey Feldman hit a stratospheric level of fame as vampire-fighting teens in “The Lost Boys.”  But the years after his 80s fan frenzy heyday saw Haim addicted to crack, enduring bankruptcy, a drug-induced stroke, 15 stints in rehab and industry peers dropping him due to his drug use.  Even Feldman finally had to turn away after Haim’s mini-comeback with their “The Two Coreys” reality show crumbled under the weight of his addiction to prescription pills.

The passing of Haim has given other former juvenile performers pause.  His course, they know, could have been theirs.

One-time “Brady Bunch” sweetheart Maureen McCormick is among those who went to hell and back after becoming a star.  The actress beat addiction to Quaaludes and cocaine – addiction severe enough to have traded sex for drugs, she wrote in her autobiography – to find happiness as a wife, mother and author.

Drew Barrymore’s victory over the addictions she acquired as a child star whose life spun out of control is well known.

Jaimee Foxworth, Mackenzie Phillips, Todd Bridges and Jodie Sweetin are also among the many who have lived traumatic lives and fought drug problems.

Yet certainly, things don’t always go that way.

Fred Savage, who has a very busy behind-the-cameras career as a director in addition to his acting work, has said that he’s sick of being asked how he turned out so normal.

“That really upsets me,” added the Stanford grad, who also pointed out that of his former “Wonder Years” cast mates, Josh Saviano went on to Yale, Jason Hervey had his own production company and was a family man with three kids, and Danica McKellar is successful not only as an actress, but as a theoretical mathematician.  In fact, the actress remembered as Winnie Cooper was a math star at UCLA — and has authored three books geared toward enticing young people, especially girls, into viewing math her way (“Math Doesn’t Suck,” “Kiss My Math” and the upcoming “Hot X: Algebra Exposed”).  Proving that “smart is sexy” as she says, she’s done a photo layout in which she’s garbed in skimpy black lingerie and stiletto heels.  Not the usual idea of a brainiac.

Why are the child stars from one show so well-adjusted and successful – like “The Wonder Years” – while others crash, like “Different Strokes”?

The latter show’s Dana Plato had a wasted adult life that included soft core porn, arrests for armed robbery and forgery, and a drug overdose death at 34.  It had Todd Bridges, who was swamped in drug abuse and trouble with the law until managing to clean up and get his act together again.  (He went on to a recurring role on “Everyone Hates Chris” and serving as an anti-drug advocate.)  And it had Gary Coleman, whose troubles have included bankruptcy, suing his parents and former manager for misappropriation of his trust fund, and being cited for disorderly conduct while engaging in a heated argument with a woman.

“It all starts with family,” declares producer Todd J. Greenwald, whose show credits include “Saved by the Bell,” “Hannah Montana” and “The Wizards of Waverly Place.”

The sense of a juvenile performer having a stable and supportive family “is definitely a factor” for him in casting, says Greenwald, although it’s “not the final say.”

Grown-up child stars who’ve become successful as adults frequently point to having had the right mom and dad as the primary reason for their staying grounded.

For instance, recalled Ron Howard, “I had parents who acted like parents, who didn’t depend on baby sitters on the set, who saw to it that I never lost touch with my peers…There was always time for the kid things.”

And Ben Savage, the “Boy Meets World” star and younger brother of Fred, explained, “Our parents never wanted us to become lost in the limelight of Hollywood.  That’s why I think they emphasized the importance of school.”

On the other side of that coin, of course, there are such notoriously terrible parents as opportunistic ex-con Michael Lohan, the father of Lindsay, who’ll squeeze whatever personal benefit he can out of her fame at whatever the cost to his daughter, a gifted actress who has all but ruined her career with her self-destructive behavior.  The best thing that can be said of Lindsay’s mother, Dina, is that she’s better than the father.

Or the awful mother and father of faded pop star Aaron Carter, or nightmare stage father Kit Culkin – Macaulay’s dad – or arguably abusive Jackson family patriarch Joe Jackson, or Jaid Barrymore, Drew’s where-was-she? mother…the list goes on and on.

But there’s more than just the juvenile actors’ home lives to blame – or applaud – for their adult outcomes.  Certainly they are influenced by what goes on in their work environments as well.

Corey Haim reportedly started drinking beer while on the set of “Lucas” at age 14 and tried marijuana while making “The Lost Boys” – he and Feldman got close during production, in fact, because they were excluded from the “adult” parties that were going on every night on the picture and found their own fun.  In his youth, Haim’s cast mates included the notoriously drug-bedeviled Robert Downey, Jr., Gary Busey, and Charlie Sheen.  Some role models.

Then there are the handlers who’ll say yes to anything a star client wants, if the client is successful enough – even when the client is minor.  And there are hangers-on that find their way into the lives of celebrities, partake of the spoils of their successes, party with them, and sometimes help them spend their money on drugs.  Sometimes the hangers-on are even worse than fair weather friends.

“A lot of people in these performers’ lives, they can’t do it so they want to kill it kind of thing,” notes actress Bijou Phillips.  “Of course, ultimately, everyone has to be responsible for themselves, but there are shady people out there who want to harm.  I’ve seen a lot of that with my family — the vultures, the users trying to look cool who are destructive,” adds Phillips, daughter of the late John Phillips and half-sister of Mackenzie.

Ricky Schroder, who is among the small group of former child actors who transitioned into a successful adult career, tells us he was fortunate to get through it all fairly unscathed.

“There’s not a lot of us who started that young and are still in it.  There’s a lot of luck involved,” notes Schroder, who rose to fame in Jon Voight’s remake of the big-screen tear-jerker, “The Champ,” and in the sitcom “Silver Spoons.”

“The number one thing I did that helped me get where I’m at today is that I truly love what I do.  I love acting, writing and directing, and being on set.  To put up with what you have to put up with in this business, the hills and valleys, you have to love it or else you’ll throw the towel in.  It’s one of the reasons I’m still here,” says the actor, who found success later on in life with “NYPD Blue.”

Though he’s certainly aware of the pitfalls that child actors face, Schroder says he would never discourage his own children from acting.  “I’m supportive of them and I want them to do what they want and hopefully make a living at it.  I’ll help them if they want help,” he adds.  “I have a couple of kids who think they want to do it, but I don’t know if they really, really want to do it.  In the first month when they can’t pay rent and they’re hungry, it’s not so fun then.”

Ultimately, whether a child performer grows into a healthy adulthood or plummets into a morass of disappointment is, of course, an individual matter.

Consider the paths of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.  On paper, it would appear that Britney had the advantage as a child from a stable two-parent home, an elementary school teacher and a building contractor.  Christina’s parents spilt when she was seven, and, as she has made clear, hers was a household of domestic violence at the hands of her father.  The two stars began their career lives the same way, as fresh-scrubbed cuties on Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Club.”  Each went on to pop stardom, each shattered her girl-next-door image with sexy videos and stage routines.  At one point, it appeared Christina would out-raunch Britney.

However, at 29 Christina seems fairly grounded.  She has a four-year-old marriage (to music marketing executive Jordan Bratman), a two-year-old son and a grown-up career.

Britney’s life has been a drama diva high wire act with no safety net — her 28 years blighted with drinking and drugging, awful romantic choices, a 55-hour marriage and a bad two-year one, and such self-destructive and bizarre behavior that she lost physical custody of her two young sons and for a time was forbidden visitation.  Between her lost periods, she has been, and is now, a superstar to the maximum.  Here’s hoping she finds happiness and a modicum of peace.

End it

Angie Dickinson Talks Scorsese Sinatra Picture

Angie Dickinson

Angie Dickinson

Angie Dickinson has been following with interest developments on Martin Scorsese’s planned big screen biography of Frank Sinatra.  She was, after all, an honorary member of the fabled Rat Pack as well as Sinatra’s leading lady in “Ocean’s Eleven” and beyond.

“Wouldn’t that be great if he could really pull that off?” she asks.  She’s hoping for a biopic the quality of the Joaquin Phoenix “Walk the Line.”

“I thought that was one of the great movies made in recent years and a great depiction of the character.  They even improved Johnny Cash’s image,” notes the septuagenarian Hollywood icon.

Robin Wright Penn

Robin Wright Penn

With Leonardo DiCaprio being talked for Ol’ Blue Eyes, who should play Angie Dickinson?  “Robin Wright Penn or Jessica Biel could play me, and a couple of others.

Angie Dickinson

Angie Dickinson

I’m not that hard to figure out,” she answers with a laugh.  “There have been times when I’ve seen Drew Barrymore in something and thought, ‘If I were young, I could be in that part.'”

Angie has no problem with latter day emulators of the Rat Pack – originally comprised, you’ll recall, of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.  “I absolutely love it.  Listen, I’ve been dining out on that for 59 years.  I get a great kick out of it.”

MEANWHILE: The one-time “Police Woman” returns to the tube July 18 in the Hallmark Channel movie, “Mending Fences,” a title that tells of her relationship with onscreen daughter Laura Leighton – as well as the movie’s tale of small town citizens banding together to save their water supply from developers.

Of the former “Melrose Place” star, Dickinson says, “She’s terrific.  The script was too long and she was working on it every day, making it more succinct and understandable to the audience.”  She adds, “She’s absolutely beautiful — skinny as a rail.  I’d look at her every day and say, ‘Oh, my God!’ … I’ve gained 20 pounds since my prime.”

As far as future acting desires, “I’d like to play Meryl Streep’s mother when they do ‘Prada’ 2,” Angie tells us.  However, she’s aware good parts for older people are few.  “It is a young people’s medium.  It always will be and should be,” Angie says.  “We don’t go to movies about old people, except once in a while.  Basically, and rightly so, we want to watch young people.  They’re fun to watch.”

A NEW KIND OF PARTNER:  Robert Gossett has been knee deep in police work on the popular TNT series “The Closer,” but the veteran actor reveals he may be temporarily turning in his police badge for some dance shoes.  According to Gossett, he has been approached by “Dancing With the Stars” to possibly compete when the show returns in September, but no decisions have been made.

“They’re in the process of talking to my agent about it.  Yeah, I would very much like to do it,” Gossett tells us.  “I went to a performing arts high school in New York.  I was a music major there, but I was involved with dancing a little bit.  Later on I did musicals so it involved a lot more dance,” he recalls.  “I think it would be fun.  My kids would get a kick out of it.  They don’t think I can dance anyway.  I always embarrass them, especially the 13-year-old.”

For now, Gossett is busy at work on “The Closer,” which is currently in its fifth season.  “We’ve got an endless supply of great ideas and the writing hasn’t diminished.  It’s been my experience that after a few years the writers run out of gas, but that hasn’t happened here,” he claims.  “A lot of us are veterans.  That’s a nice way of saying older, but what’s great is that we all bring it. The caliber of acting is definitely very high on this show.”  Luckily they’re a tight knit group too with Kyra Sedgwick, who was just awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as their ringleader.  “We were all so happy for her.  She certainly deserves it.  We all came and supported her, which is very indicative of how we are as a cast.”

John Cleese

John Cleese

THE HIGH SEAS:  John Cleese already knows where he’ll be enjoying special time next year.  The cut up of Monty Python fame will be aboard The Silver Spirit, the  newest ship of Silver Sea‘s ultra-luxury cruise line.   He’ll combine leisure with work, sharing insights and anecdotes from his long career with guests as the Spirit glides from Buenos Aires to Santiago as part of a 91-day Grand Inaugural Voyage.

GETTING ON BOARD: “Southland” star Michael Cudlitz gives NBC props for striving to stay on top of the new media tsunami, by “pushing things in a large way on the internet — on Hulu and iTunes.  They’ve done a really good job as far as pushing people in that direction.  They’re trying out a whole new business model as opposed to fighting it.  Thirty million people are not watching on Thursday night any more – they have so many more choices — but they’re still out there,” he points out.  Cudlitz is, of course, particularly interested in seeing how the network’s restructured programming works out this Fall, when “Jay Leno takes over the 10 o’clock hour and they go down from the typical 15 hours of prime time programming to 10 plus Leno.  It’s more like the European markets and England, a shorter season, and rotating stuff around.”  And edgy, action-filled fare like “Southland” will be tried on the 9 o’clock, rather than 10 o’clock audience.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Hollywood’s putting anti-Prop. 8 feelings on display

Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin

Their state may have voted against same-sex marriages, and their state supreme court may have ruled to uphold California’s Prop. 8 ban, but Hollywood very clearly does not agree — and you can expect to be seeing many more illustrations of that fact.

Kathy Griffin‘s “My Life on the D List,” which begins its fifth season on Bravo June 8, has already filmed “a Prop. 8 episode,” Griffin recently told us. “We went to Iraq a couple of years ago. We went to Walter Reed (Army Hospital) last season. This is our serious episode for this season. We’re really proud of it.” Besides filming at an anti-Prop 8 rally, “D List” has “Rev. Al Sharpton, who “laid out the greatest civil rights argument for gay marriage,” according to Griffin.

Griffin wasted no time responding to the court’s decision, issuing a statement that she would not only be protesting, but that “My 89-year-old mother has asked me to get her a wheelchair to take her to a protest … She is neither gay, nor the parent of a gay person, but she is as passionate about this decision as I am.”

The cast and creative team on Julia Louis-Dreyfus‘ “New Adventures of Old Christine” have been anxiously awaiting this week’s decision by the California Supreme Court — “a decision that’s an issue to us both behind the scenes and in front of the camera on our show,” as costar Clark Gregg pointed out.

Wanda Sykes, who came out as a lesbian and got married to her partner last year, is among the 18,000 gay Californians whose same-sex unions have been ruled valid (along with such show business notables as Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and George Takei and Brad Altman.)

The state Supreme Court also just handed the “New Adventures of Old Christine” writers a twist to the ongoing storyline that has Louis-Dreyfus’s and Sykes’ characters on the show in a green card marriage. Since the characters are both straight, this can’t help but underscore the farcical aspect of the court’s decision — a subtlety that fits the series’ style. Clark stressed that “Old Christine” has never gone the rout of “becoming a public service announcement,” and added, “What I admire about (creator) Kari Lizer and the writing staff is that they wade into uncomfortable waters — going back to Julia’s effort to get a black family into her son’s school, only to have the father turn out to be a raging homophobe.”

And you can be sure that lines and scenes dealing with Prop. 8, if not full story lines, are being scripted even as you read this. “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris, who is not married to the man with whom he shares his life, David Burtka, but is an outspoken proponent of gay marriage, summed up the feelings of many when he told this column, “It’s wrong to try and squelch love. It’s pure and simple discrimination.”

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW: “It was great the way Season 4 ended because there are a lot of things we’re going to have to sort out and clarify,” says Mexican actor Demián Bichir, who will return June 8 in the fifth season of “Weeds” as the corrupt mayor of Tijuana. He is also the onscreen love interest of the show’s star Mary-Louise Parker, and when things ended last season, Parker’s character Nancy had informed him that she is pregnant with his child.

“Whatever is in Nancy’s mind, that’s going to have to be proven first,” says Bichir of the story line, but before we know for sure if she’s having his baby, he tells us we will definitely see a change in his ruthless character. “Now that there’s a possibility of a child on the way, that’s going to change a lot of things and maybe bring Esteban to a different state of mind. Hopefully he will be able to show not only his more sensitive side, but also many other sides without killing anyone.” Hopefully.

One good part of the pending pregnancy is that music superstar Alanis Morissette has signed on for seven episodes to play Nancy’s obstetrician, and Bichir admits the cast couldn’t be more excited. “I haven’t had a chance to meet her, but I think it’s fantastic to have her on board. I’m not sure if there will be some interaction with our two characters, but, regardless, it will be interesting to meet someone whose music you admire so much.”

TOGETHER AGAIN: A July 6 production start has been set for “Going the Distance,” which might just end up being an appropriate description of stars Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. You may recall the couple were quite into each other while making “He’s Just Not That Into You,” then split up last summer after a year, then seemed to be on again (hand-holding, acting affectionate and telling reporters they adored each other at the “Grey Gardens” premiere in April, for instance).

In “Going the Distance” they play a couple who decide to try making a go of a long-distance relationship, with both their characters having dream careers at stake on opposite coasts of the country — a familiar show business situation. It’s a comedy. Drew says that Justin makes her laugh.

JUMPING IN: Sarah Chalke, who stars in Lifetime’s two-night adaptation of Gigi Levangie Grazer‘s “Maneater” this Saturday and Sunday (5/30 and 5/31), says that the biggest challenge in making the miniseries was “how dense it was in terms of production and just being in every scene. It was a really fast turn-around.” The tale of a gold digger determined to marry a rich and successful Hollywood power player before she hits Botox age has the “Scrubs” actress in scenes ranging from zany physical humor (as in a dance sequence in which her very pregnant character is onstage with a group of seniors) to drama (when her character gives birth).

What helped was that the production — which also stars Gregory Harrison, Maria Conchita Alonso, Judy Greer, Philip Winchester, Marla Sokoloff and Paul Leyden — shot on location. “It was so intense, hours-wise, it was nice to be somewhere else and not have to deal with everyday stuff in your life,” she says.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster