Wednesday, October 15, 2008

News Brief

Hollywood Stars Spill the Beans on Who They're Voting For
The secret is out—Hollywood stars are taking sides in the Presidential race and they’re not afraid to tell the world who they’re voting for: Charlie Brown! Or Lucy! Or Snoopy, Linus or Sally!

Several dozen celebrities of the large and small screens have recently taped lighthearted online PSAs touting the new Peanuts website,, where visitors can vote for Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy or Sally for President. Then visitors can click through to to view the PSAs and get up to speed on the real election.

Whoopi Goldberg, Kathryn Joosten (DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES), Kathy Griffin, Seth Green, Sharon Gless, Robert Morse, Virginia Madsen, The Daily Show’s John Oliver, Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, Ross the Intern (DAYS OF OUR LIVES), Shelley Berman, Jeffrey Ross and Mike Rowe are just a few of the celebrities who are taping the PSAs.

Kathryn Joosten, who took home an Emmy for her role as Karen McCluskey on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, says, “[Snoopy is] the philosopher of the bunch, the one who looks at life with reality, laying on his doghouse. If I had a doghouse, I’d probably lay on it, too.”

Among the other celebrities who have participated in the Peanuts campaign—either by taping PSAs or being photographed wearing political Peanuts tees—are: Simon Pegg, Julie Benz, Gregory Cruz, Cat Deeley, Brendan Fehr, singer-actress JoJo, Stacy Keibler, Kate Linder (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS) and Francia Raisa (THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER).

Braeden's connections helped Louisiana filmmaker complete project
"The Man Who Came Back" came to Eric Braeden, who has played Victor Newman on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS for nearly three decades, as a standard revenge tale from un-standard auspices. The original script for the film was written by Chuck Walker, a former Olympic boxer (he was Leon Spinks' teammate for the 1976 games) turned screenwriter.

Louisiana writer-director Glen Pitre pitched Braeden on folding in events that echo the 1887 Thibodaux Massacre, in which a strike by sugar cane workers erupted into homicidal violence against the strikers.

"Once Glen Pitre told me about that, I thought, 'Now we have a story,'" Braeden said in a phone interview. "I wanted that historical context in the script."

Packed with recognizable names and faces, the Reconstruction-set film will screen at the Canal Place Cinema tonight at 7:15 as part of the New Orleans Film Festival, following a reception both Braeden and Pitre are scheduled to attend. Its DVD release is scheduled for early December.

In the film, Braeden plays a former Confederate soldier who comes to the defense of the striking black workers, and suffers dearly for that allegiance. As do, eventually and fully and no spoiler here, his tormentors for their crimes against him.

It's a physically and emotionally demanding star vehicle for Braeden, though he's surrounded by a supporting cast with significant screen credits, unusual for a low-budget indie film targeted at a straight-to-DVD niche audience.

The cast's buy-in was "a labor of love," Braeden added. "The actors all came because they loved the story and they wanted to help. It was heartwarming to have that kind of support from my fellow actors, one of the most heartwarming and encouraging and touching things I've ever experienced in my career."

DANCING WITH THE STARS Update: Lucci lasts another week
Last week’s last minute non-elimination left reality restaurateur Rocco DiSpirito dancing on borrowed time Monday night, and a second-chance samba just wasn’t enough to save him this week. The celebrity chef’s complete inability to keep time with the tempo put him in last place with the officials and the voting public. ALL MY CHILDREN star Susan Lucci survives another week.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Gene and Toni Bull Bua
From the late 1960s through the early 1970s, Gene and his wife, Toni Bull Bua, played the roles of Bill Prentiss and Tess Krakauer Prentiss Randolph on the CBS daytime drama LOVE OF LIFE. Since then, the couple has chalked up numerous stage and television credits and founded Burbank’s Gene Bua Acting For Life Theatre and the Here’s To Life Foundation.

GL actress sheds pounds after lap band surgery
More than a year ago, at the age of 22, Caitlin Van Zandt weighed more than 200 pounds and suffered from high cholesterol, asthma and low self-esteem.

Van Zandt was in Pittsburgh recently to talk about some changes she had made. She lost the weight in seven months.

"I never let my physical appearance stop me from following my dream which was to act, to entertain people, to bring enlightenment or enjoyment to people, but I was never comfortable in my skin," said Van Zandt.

Nor was she happy. She says she tried all the popular diets, went to the gym and worked out with a trainer. She would lose 20 pounds and then gain it all back plus more. Then she did some research and so read about weight loss surgeries. She decided to go with the lap band procedure, which she had done in February. Her goal is to lose 100 pounds.

"I am not worried when I go into wardrobe and pick up my costume that it is not going to fit, because there days when the jeans would be too tight and I would leave unbuttoned and go down and do my scene," said Van Zandt. "I just know that those awkward things will never happen again."

Beth Chamberlain visits with Matheny adult patients at Punch Kettlebell Gym, Far Hills

GUIDING LIGHT star Beth Chamberlain recently visited with Matheny Medical and Educational Center adult patients at the new Punch Kettlebell Gym in Far Hills. She has collaborated with Punch founder, Anthony DiLuglio, to produce a fitness DVD, "The Kettlebell Way to a Perfect Body."

The Punch gym will use kettlebells, which resemble a flat-bottom cannonball with a handle, as the central tool for strength, endurance and body shaping. The kettlebells allow for movements and exercises that cannot be achieved with barbells, dumbbells or weight machines.

Chamberlain is donating the DVDs, which will be sold at the Far Hills Punch Kettlebell grand opening in Far Hills on Saturday, Oct. 25.

Marcia Brady slept with Greg, traded sex for cocaine
In "Here's The Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice," the now-52-year-old Maureen McCormick (ex-Rebecca, PASSIONS) dishes on swapping sex for drugs and dating her "older brother.": "We couldn't hold back any longer," she writes of her relationship with Barry Williams. "It was our first kiss, and it was long, passionate and deep. It was wonderful, too, though as we continued to kiss and press against each other so closely that we could feel each other's body heat, a part of me - a tiny part, admittedly - said to myself, 'Oh my God! I'm kissing my brother. What am I doing?"'

Devry to host fundraiser
Get ready to throw up your sign and be the highest bidder because the Hawk Point (Missouri) Elementary Parent and Teacher Organization is holding an auction fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 17. The event is even hosted by celebrity William DeVry (ex-Storm, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL).

HOLLYOAKS fans are "scared" of Sloane
HOLLYOAKS star Barry Sloane has claimed that fans of the soap are reluctant to approach him in the street. The actor, who plays twisted Niall Rafferty on the Channel 4 show, suggested that viewers stay away because they expect him to be like his character.

"I swear they look at me and think I am going to jump them or something," Barry told the Daily Star. "I'm really a nice guy - honest!"

INTERVIEW: OLTL actress Ilene Kristen
Kristen appeared on the most recent "Daytime Confidential" podcast.

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INTERVIEW: Former DAYS, GH and ATWT star Wally Kurth
Kurth appeared on "BuzzWorthy Radio" on Tuesday.

INTERVIEW: OLTL's Eddie Alderson
Alderson was a guest on "Stardish Radio" last night.

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