Tag Archives: Marlee Matlin

Stars Turn Out to Honor Hero Dogs

James Denton and Beth Stern

James Denton and Beth Stern

Marlee Matlin, Pauley Perrette, Larry Miller, Kellie Martin, Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines were among the celebrity dog lovers who turned out the other night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to honor a group of very special pooches at the American Humane Association’s Fourth Annual Hero Dog Awards. The awards will be shown on the Hallmark Channel Oct. 30.

With this year’s group of honorees representing one moving story after another, it was a four-hanky affair.

There were interesting stories on the human side as well. James Denton was a last-minute replacement for Terry Bradshaw, who bowed out of co-hosting duties with Beth Stern in the wake of the stunning news of the death of Bradshaw’s son-in-law, former Tennessee Titans player Rob Bironas, in an automobile accident. The former “Desperate Housewives” actor gamely dove in, getting some of his best laughs of the night via a video bit showing him “interviewing” dogs and other critters using a device that purportedly translated their thoughts.

Between takes, Denton asked Stern how come there had been so many “Desperate Housewives” Mike-the-plumber jokes through the evening, but not a single quip about Beth’s husband, Howard Stern. “It’s in my contract,” the beauteous blond Mrs. Stern replied with a dazzling smile. Then the “Kitten Bowl” host told the crowd that Howard was home taking care of their 15 cats. The Sterns, we are told, have successfully fostered and placed more than 50 cats to date.

Wilson Phillips performed. The ’90s favorites are in the midst of a string of concert dates right now, including one at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre last week during which Chynna Phillips’ mother, Michelle Phillips, joined them onstage to sing “California Dreamin'”. The last surviving member of the iconic 1960s group The Mamas and the Papas was present at the Hero Dog Awards also, looking lovely at age 70 in a flowing white gown.

Chynna talked to her “mommie” several times from onstage and it was as sweet as Wilson Phillips’ singing “God Only Knows” backed by photos of their dogs.

Of course, the night really belonged to the hero dogs and their stories. For instance, there was the tearful parting and joyous reunion of a soldier and his four-legged buddy after tours of duty in Afghanistan; the fluffy white friend who turned out to have a gift for early detection of a little girl’s life-threatening extreme allergic attacks; the amazing career of a 15-year-old search and rescue dog whose first assignment was Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. And the over-all winner of the 2014 Hero Dog Awards, Susie the therapy dog, a Pit Bull mix whose story of the healing power of forgiveness and love exemplifies what the event is all about.

‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Finalist John Rich Not Ruling Out His Own Future in Politics

As “Celebrity Apprentice” finalist John Rich has been making the promotional rounds this week — for his new six-pak albums, “Rich Rocks” and “For the Kids” — he’s been asked a lot about his feelings regarding Donald Trump’s non-run for President.

So we asked him something different.

How about John Rich for President?  “I wouldn’t rule it out at some point in my life,” says the multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter-producer.  “But I wouldn’t think any time soon.  That is such an immensely powerful and responsible position, I would have to educate myself on every level.  But I could run — any American can run for President.  And I do think people should discuss politics and debate it.”

Debate is the main reason conservative-leaning Rich cites for his view that Trump’s decision to stay out of the Presidential race is something of a missed opportunity.   “I think he would be an interesting guy to hear debate if he’d have run.  I’d have liked to have heard him go toe to toe with other people.”

Rich has shown admirable tenacity, smarts and poise throughout the “Celebrity Apprentice” competition he’s playing to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  In fact, he and fellow finalist Marlee Matlin have shown exemplary behavior all down the line, unlike many of their fussin’, feudin’, freaking fellow contestants.  He admits Sunday night’s (5/22) finale “is a little nerve-wracking — live TV with 20 million people watching.”  He reports that he’s going to sing his “For the Kids” song from that same-titled album (proceeds from which are going to the charity) on the show.  “I’m going to sing that live, acoustically, and Marlee is going to sit next to me and sign the lyrics as I’m singing them.  I think it’s going to be a really powerful moment.”

MEANWHILE:  His “Rich Rocks” album contains “You Had Me From Hell No,” a tune he recorded last year with his pal Lil Jon.  At the time, neither he nor the hip-hop star with whom he’s been friends for six years (they hit it off at an awards show) had any inkling they’d be doing “Celebrity Apprentice” together.  They kept their friendship under wraps all season, figuring a secret alliance would be to their mutual benefit — which it was.

Rich says that when fans started clamoring for a collaboration between him and Lil Jon via his website and Twitter, he thought of “You Had Me From Hell No,’ which was “just sitting in my stereo.”  He phoned Warner Records and said, “let’s let the world have access to it.”

You know the company was happy about that call — just as St. Jude’s was thrilled to learn Rich had put together a full six-pack album for the charity’s benefit.  Come Sunday, he’ll find out whether the final quarter million dollar win will go to his charity, or Marlee’s, The Starkey Hearing Foundation.  They’re definitely both winners already.

It Takes an Entourage For Jill Scott, Baby, with Tour and ‘Why Did I Get Married Too’ On the Way

Jill Scott

Jill Scott is one busy mother, with ‘Why Did I Get Married Too’ opening April 2, preparations for her concert tour with Maxwell that starts in May, and her baby boy about to turn one year old.  She manages ‘with a lot of help,’ she lets us know.  ‘My family members have joined together to help me take care of my son while I’m working, and I have two nannies who normally travel with me.

‘He’s a little guy, but he takes a lot of energy.  He’s into everything.  I get exhausted, so I didn’t want just one nanny, because I knew, just like me, nannies get tired too.”

The single mom adds with a laugh, ‘I now have an entourage — and it has nothing to do with me being a vocalist or an actor.’

Besides her tour with Maxwell, she’s set to be part of Lilith Fair — and expects to keep on touring for the better part of a year at least, in support of her soon-due ‘The Light of the Sun’ album.

She was delighted to get back with her ‘Why Did I Get Married’ cast mates — who’ve all stayed in touch since the first movie — for Tyler Perry’s new sequel.  Their reunion was as if no time had passed, she says, except, ‘there was a shadow, we had a shadow.  Damita had had a loss and we didn’t know exactly how to deal with that,’ Scott recalls, referring to Janet Jackson, a.k.a. Damita, and the death of Michael Jackson.

Production on the movie was temporarily halted after Jackson received the bad news about her brother.  When she returned, says Scott, ‘We just decided, in unison, to give her space and to respect whatever feelings she was feeling.  If she wanted to be quiet, we’d step back.  If she wanted to talk, we’d be there.  I think she did find escape in her work.  She definitely did.’

THE VIDEOLAND VIEW:  Roselyn Sanchez has been busy filming the ABC pilot ‘Cutthroat’ about a Beverly Hills soccer mom who runs a family drug cartel.  A homemaker with an illicit side business may sound like a familiar premise, but Sanchez tells us it’s different from ‘Weeds’ — or so she thinks.<P>’I love Mary-Louise Parker, but I’m not actually very familiar with ‘Weeds.’ I’ve heard it’s similar but their show is cable so they are able to push the envelope more.  We’re aiming to make it something more comedic and relatable.  This is about an amazing mother but she’s forced to take over her family’s business and she doesn’t want to,’ explains Sanchez.  ‘I’m really excited about the show.  It was the only pilot that had a female lead that was Latina so I was really happy when I got it.’

When not filming, Sanchez and her husband Eric Winter have been very involved in several charity organizations.  Not only are they both spokespeople for Operation Smile, but she also recently hosted a triathlon in her home of Puerto Rico, which raised money for the San Jorge Children’s Foundation.  ‘I wanted to do something that involved fitness and health but also raised money.  It’s definitely become the biggest athletic event in Puerto Rico and it’s something we want to continue to do every March,’ says Sanchez, who flew out fellow celebrities Nick Lachey, Vanessa Minnillo, Kellan Lutz, and Annalynne McCord to participate.  ‘It was tricky fitting in the training with work and the swim part was especially hard. I told the producers they better have an IV waiting for me at the end.’  Luckily she finished with flying colors!

INNOVATION NATION:  Marlee Matlin Tweeted this week that if she can’t get conventional networks interested in her documentary/reality show about a 15-year-old hearing teenager and his deaf parents and siblings, she’s going to take it straight to the web.  She plans to launch the pilot on YouTube next week.  ‘Watch for it,’ she says.  Matlin also is giving a presentation at Google headquarters on Tuesday (3/30) she reports, regarding putting captioning on YouTube.  Go, Marlee, go!  Some people talk, and some people get things done.

ON A MUSICAL NOTE:  Mary Lynn Rajskub, who stars in Fox’s ’24,’ is busy these days working full-time and being a mom, but the actress/comedian tells us one of the most relaxing things she gets to do is play the guitar from time to time.  In fact, she and writer Karen Kilgariff used to be a part of a comedy singing/guitar duo and while they no longer perform together, Rajskub says she’s grateful she learned how to play.  ‘If it weren’t for Karen, I wouldn’t have done that at all.  I can barely play, but there’s something so cool and sweet about singing along with somebody. You feel like you’re expressing something but you’re doing it together,’ notes Rajskub of the experience.  ‘I was terrified to do it but it’s such a cool release.  You get to mix storytelling with song.  If you get a chance, learn a couple of chords and get with your friends and play a little music for fun.’

BEAUTY LIVES:  Talk about a glamorous assignment.  Dior is preparing a huge new campaign encompassing the entire brand, to be seen on networks, cable, internet and here and around the globe   Casting forces have been on the lookout for look-alikes for Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly and Lady Diana — as each icon appeared in her prime — for the campaign.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster