Tag Archives: Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland Gets Help From Celebrity Pals in Make-a-Wish Drive

Kathy Ireland, Tony Dovolani ABC photo

Super model-turned-lifestyle design mogul Kathy Ireland has a jammed schedule in the next few weeks, including a mission trip to Honduras, flights to New York for business, and a family trek to Portland, Oregon – but she’s making time to front a campaign for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, along with champion ballroom dancer Chelsea Hightower and style guide Bobbie Thomas.  The Allergan company, makers of Latisse eyelash-growing solution, are offering matching funds for donations under each of the ladies’ team banners. (See https://www.latissewisheschallenge.com. )

“In this economy, all the nonprofits are being impacted.  Every time a business folds, there’s a ripple effect,” she points out.  “So to see a company like Latisse put their money where their mouth is, it’s really inspiring.”  Among the names who’ve been inspired to support Kathy’s Make-a-Wish drive are Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Jackson, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., and Tony Dovolani, the “Dancing With the Stars” pro who partnered with Kathy a couple seasons back.  The philanthropy-minded Ireland has been involved for 16 years with the organization that grants wishes for children with life-threatening ailments, and remains friendly with the family of the first Make-a-Wish kid she ever got to know – a boy she’s happy to report is still around today “and just awesome.”  She adds, “For a child, being able to have a wish fulfilled during their most difficult time can be more important than people can imagine.”

Ireland’s $1.4 billion design empire includes some 15,000 products, from flooring and furniture to ceiling fans and florals, online greeting cards, jewelry and skin care.  She admits, “I probably don’t sleep as much as I should and I don’t recommend that.”  She recently released her “Real Solutions for Busy Moms” book, in which she talked about shedding 25 lbs of excess weight that had crept onto her body as she was carrying on an overworked, overwhelmed lifestyle. Has she been able to keep off the weight?

“My goal is to be healthy,” is her answer.  “That’s my motivation, not to fit into a certain size.  I’m not exercising as much as I did during my brief twirl on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ but I am still exercising.  I have three kids and life is busy.  It’s tough to find time, but it’s important.  I don’t deprive myself of foods.  I’m too rebellious for that and it makes me cranky,” she laughs.  She looks amazing, by the way.

OUR TIMES:  Get ready for a Wayans family TV show about a family moving bravely forward as they tough out the tough economy – with the father quitting his job rather than doing something that requires him to go against his moral code.  The pilot is called “The Walkers,” a frequently used Wayans name, and Keenen, Shawn, Kim, Dante and Craig are involved.

Fascinating project Mario Van Peebles is preparing.  Called “Where the Party At?” it’s described as a “feel good docudrama” that has to do with the first African American generation to come of age during the Obama years.  Jerk dancing is the milieu.  Forces on the project have been looking for real jerk dance crews for Van Peebles to turn his lenses on.

Clinton-Blair Film Could Never Have Gotten Made for Big Screen, Says ‘Special Relationship’ Director Richard Loncraine

Dennis Quaid, Michael Sheen "The Special Relationship" HBO photo

Esteemed filmmaker Richard Loncraine reports that his ‘The Special Relationship’ movie — debuting on HBO tonight (5/29) — is being released theatrically in countries around the globe, save for the United Kingdom, where it will be shown on the BBC.

‘It will be interesting to see how a cinema audience accepts this subject,’ he says of the drama that sheds behind-the-scenes light on the relationship between President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair in the ’90s. ‘Is it the kind of film people will spend money on a babysitter to go see?’

With dazzling performances by Dennis Quaid as Clinton, Michael Sheen as Blair, Hope Davis as Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Helen McCrory as Cherie Blair, ‘The Special Relationship’ will undoubtedly be remembered at awards time. However, Loncraine doubts it could have gotten made for the big screen ‘in the present studio or independent film environment.’ He feels the same way about his Emmy-laden ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Gathering Storm’ as well. ‘This is the fourth film I’ve done for HBO and they’ve been a real pleasure,’ adds the director, whose feature credits include such fare as ‘The Missionary,’ ‘Richard III,’ ‘Firewall’ and ‘My One and Only.’

He candidly tells us that ‘The Special Relationship’ ‘really wasn’t much of a challenge for me, to be honest. It was an odd one for me. Peter Morgan decided directing wasn’t for him on this project, and I came in four weeks before principle photography,’ he says, referring to the play and screenwriter, who’d been planning to make his directing debut with the cable film. ‘Usually, directors have been working six months on a production before shooting starts, the last three months of which are very stressful and involve things like not enough money, or arguing with the studio. I didn’t have any of that, so I wasn’t as exhausted as directors usually are.’

He points out that HBO insisted everything be vetted for accuracy, which he did find demanding, especially since, ‘I’m not a particularly political animal.’ Much of the material was new to him, in fact. ‘I was struck by the realization that without Clinton’s infidelity, the world be a different place today. Obviously it was harmful to his wife and family, but it wasn’t like he declared war on South America. It’s stunning to think that such a relatively small event had such enormous repercussions from then on.’

MEANINGFUL DAY: Joe Mantegna, who marks his ninth year of hosting PBS’s National Memorial Day Concert before a crowd of hundreds of thousands on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol this weekend, has been met with much appreciation from veterans, active service members and their loved ones. But he’s not one to take thank-yous for his participation in the music-filled event that celebrates and memorializes the sacrifices made by troops past and present. ‘I mean, look, there’s no reason to thank us. The whole point of this is to thank them. I realize this is probably the most important thing I do all year,’ says the ‘Criminal Minds’ star.

‘The fact I have a career and have a good life and all that is due to the fact that we have people in the military who’ve been out there protecting us. There’s nothing to thank us about. I’m glad to do it.’

For the fifth year in a row, he co-hosts with pal Gary Sinise. This year’s event (check local listings) will include Lionel Richie, Brad Paisley, Blythe Danner, Dennis Haysbert, Yolanda Adams and Colin Powell.

THE VROOM VROOM ROOM: Supermodel-turned-super mogul Kathy Ireland has now turned to the world of super motors.  She has become the most recent celeb (David Letterman and the late Paul Newman come to mind) to become part owner of a major racing team — and car 43 will be carrying her brand out onto the Indie 500 this Sunday (5/30) with none other than John Andretti at the wheel.  The Kathy Ireland Home division of her Kathy Ireland WorldWide design and marketing empire is joining racing legend Richard Petty and Window World as sponsors of this top Memorial Day 500 entry.

Rob Dyrdek Foresees Getting Too Busy for TV

Rob Dyrdek MTV photo

Rob Dyrdek MTV photo

Skateboarding superstar Rob Dyrdek may have amassed a huge fan following with his “Rob & Big” and “Fantasy Factory” MTV reality shows, but he foresees the day when he might be too busy to remain a television star.

“I’ll do TV for a little bit more,” assures the holder of multipleF Guinness book records for skateboard stunts.  “I have so many other things I’m doing like developing a cartoon.  I’m developing a professional skateboard tour.  I’ve got my shoe and clothing line.  And I actually sold MTV another show that I’m developing…At some point I’ll have to focus more on that stuff, but for now, I’m having a lot of fun shooting TV,” he says, referring to his current “Fantasy Factory” show – on which he’s up to even more outrageous adventures than ever before. 

“I think part of last season was sort of understanding the dynamics of everybody in the building and sort of each person’s role,” notes Dyrdek, whose office contains an indoor skate plaza.  “Now we’re just having fun.  We’re making some really ridiculous and over-the-top television, from buying a racehorse and jockeying it in its first race to building a mini drifting car and doing tandem drifting with the world’s most famous drifter, Ken Block — to bringing back Bobby Light and opening up for Blink 182 in Vegas, to swimming with tigers.”  Wow.

 For those who didn’t get a chance to see Dyrdek’s antics in Season 1 (such as riding the purported World’s Largest Skateboard with L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa), it is now available on DVD.  “There’s so much funny, ridiculous stuff that could not find a place in a 22-minute episode,” he notes, “so it’s all on the DVD.”

 MEANWHILE:  Dyrdek tells us his thoughts have been with his buddy and business partner Travis Barker, who has been mourning the loss of DJ AM.  Barker and DJ AM survived a plane crash together last year.  “It’s just so tragic.  I think for Travis, especially, because of the significance of what he lost in the first crash and being bound by that, and to see DJ AM come to an untimely passing was really hard on him.”   

Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani  ABC photo

Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani ABC photo

A GIVING SPIRIT:  “Dancing With the Stars” participant Kathy Ireland sent flowers arrangements to every one of her 31 fellow performers (stars and their dance partners), for Monday night’s kickoff of the show, designing the displays herself since they were from Fabulous Florals.com, one of the companies of her $l.4 Billion-a-year lifestyle design empire. 

 The supermodel turned super mogul is giving any money she earns on “DWTS” to non-profit charities, much of it to her dear friend Elizabeth Taylor’s HIV/AIDS foundation.  Dame Elizabeth did some giving of her own, selecting and purchasing the Valentino gown Kathy wore on the show’s premiere.  And those fabulous jewels in which she was bedecked were from Elizabeth’s personal collection.  Kathy is one of the top jewelry designers herself, but Dame Elizabeth is her lucky charm.

LEFT HANGING:  Ever since “CSI’sRobert David Hall told us that we’ll be seeing the cast suspended from wires this season, as “a moment in time is frozen,” we’ve been kinda wondering what exactly that means.  Hall declined to elaborate, beyond saying that tonight’s (9/24) season premiere is some of the most ingenious TV he’s ever seen.  “Not just in terms of the storyline, but in terms of camera angels.  It’s just movie magic,” according to him.  

That’s not all they’re keeping suspended.  Now we hear from casting sources that “CSI” is looking for real pole dancers “who can hang upside-down unsupported” for an upcoming episode.  “Must be athletic… No nudity.” 

SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT:  With “Little Miss Sunshine” being turned into a musical via the Sundance Theatre Lab at White Oak, casting is underway for all the characters remembered from the quirky 2006 flick about a family trip to a children’s beauty pageant — that was made for $8 million and grossed more than $100 million worldwide, and scored Oscars for Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin) and screenplay (Michael Arndt).  The plan is for the new show to be unveiled Oct. 25 in Yulee, Fla.

And they’re looking for a girl to play Mary Jane Greenberg, daughter of 60’s record producer (“It’s My Party,” etc.) Florence Greenberg, for the Pasadena Playhouse production of “Baby, It’s You.”  That musical has been moving up the Equity chain – with intentions aimed at Broadway next year.  It arrives in Pasadena in December.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Chalke Would ‘Love to’ Go On With ‘Scrubs’


Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke

Sarah Chalke is awaiting word on the possible renewal of “Scrubs” with an open mind. If the show does go on, “I would love to be a part of it,” says the funny lady who has played Dr. Elliot Reid for eight seasons.

Word last week was that ABC really is in talks to continue the show — as long speculated — without departing star Zach Braff. “Nothing has been decided yet. From my perspective, we had a blast, such a blast. I loved it. To work on a show where I still feel challenged after eight seasons? And, I love the whole cast. That’s a pretty rare combo,” says Chalke.

In fact, she notes, the cast went out to dinner together the other night, and among the topics discussed was their mutual amazement that the show — challenged by timeslot and network changes, and more — has lasted eight years.

“I think that was really cool. It kept everyone grateful. We were always asking, ‘Is this the last season?’ We never took it for granted, and I think that worked in our favor,” she says. “I loved the whole experience.”

As far as the future? “We just have to wait to see what happens,” she says.

Meanwhile, the actress, who turned up as a recurring character on “How I Met Your Mother” last year, has been busy elsewhere. She has a four-hour miniseries coming up on Lifetime, “Maneater,” from the darkly comedic book by Gigi Levangie Grazer, author of “The Starter Wife.”

“I actually got the script before I read the book, and just devoured it in one sitting,” Sarah says. “It was so well-written and fun, I loved it. And, I loved having opportunity to play a character who starts out as this gold digger — who stalks this guy she’s never even met and decides she’s going to marry him — and then over time discovers what’s really important in life.”

The miniseries “was a challenge in terms of how dense it was to shoot. We’d have a 16-hour day, then I’d go home and have to learn eight pages for the next day.” “Maneater” airs May 30 and 31.

ON THE PERSONAL SIDE: Regina King has logged numerous big-screen credits in the last 15 years or so — from “Jerry Maguire” to “Ray” to “This Christmas” — but as a single mom (her divorce was finalized in ’07), she admits that series work has its own appeal. It was part of what drew her to her role in the sixth season of “24,” and to her current NBC “Southland.” King is playing Detective Lydia Adams in the police drama due to wrap its first seven episodes this week.

“I wanted to do something where I was going to be in L.A. and something where I was not the star, which would require me to work 16 hours every single day. I read this script and it answered all of those things and then more because it came from people who have done great TV and film,” she says of the John Wells series.

“If I didn’t have a child, you could put me anywhere in the world. When you become a mom, that becomes your number one responsibility. It would do my heart disservice if I didn’t follow through with trying to be the best mom. Am I saying that I’m the best mom? No, I’m not, but I try to be,” she notes. “My son is 13, so it’s those teenage years. He’s way beyond taking him out of school and flying wherever I’m working. We definitely do that during the summer, but I’ve found myself turning down things because I’d be away for more than a week and it’s just too long.”

King is also keeping busy behind the camera as she is about to direct her first film. “It’s called, ‘Let the Church Say Amen.’ Right now, we’re in pre-production. I’m hiring the crew and the talent. I just locked in Vivica Fox as one of the leads. It’s a lot of work right, though, because I’m shooting the show and doing this, but I’m really excited.”

ALSO: Speaking of motherhood, ABC’s “In The Motherhood” may have died a quick death — the Cheryl Hines-Megan Mullally-Jessica St. Clair show was pulled after four episodes with two episodes left unaired last month — but at least it produced some fun for Cheryl Hines’ four-year-old daughter.

Hines tells us that little Catherine Rose came to the set quite a bit, enjoyed hanging out in her trailer and watching certain age-appropriate bits being shot. “The scene where I had my face in a doggy door and got licked by a dog — she had a blast watching that,” says Cheryl.

AND: Speaking of juggling motherhood and a hectic professional life, you’ve got to give props to model cum businesswoman/author Kathy Ireland, who has built her lifestyle design firm to more than $1.5 billion in annual sales in a little over a decade. She’s been busy promoting her “Real Solutions For Busy Moms” book in recent weeks, during which she was invited to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange — and guest-hosted CBS’s “The Early Show.”

And, at age 47 she landed back in the People Magazine most beautiful people issue. The designation was particularly significant since Kathy worked hard to restore her famous bod after having gained weight. As you may have seen, she was on the cover of the previous People issue because she wanted to have published the worst photo ever taken of her — one taken by her 14-year-old son Erik, who took it to show his mom that she was letting herself go. Ireland chose to make the “tummy” shot public to demonstrate that she’s as human as anyone, and that women help women by sharing their truth. Elizabeth Taylor was among the women who wrote to thank her.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster