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Entertainment news: Greg Louganis, Laverne Cox, Taylor Lautner, 'Hairspray'
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2016-06-28

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Out, HIV-positive Olympic diver Greg Louganis ( who's 56 ) is one of the 10 men and nine women who will be featured in ESPN's annual Body Issue. Some of the others who will be featured include the Chicago Cubs' Jake Arrieta, U.S. women's national soccer team forward Christen Press, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, UFC fighter Conor McGregor and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller. The featured participants include Team USA duathlete Chris Mosier, who will be the first transgender athlete to pose. The Body Issue will be available online July 6 and on newsstands July 8.

Transgender actress Laverne Cox ( Orange Is the New Black ) discusses what pride means to her in an NBC Out video, On Top Magazine noted. In the 60-second video, Cox says that pride for her is about people accepting themselves and remembering those LGBT activists who paved the way for us. In part, she says, "For me, it's also about remembering those people who have come before me—people like Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, who fought to have this freedom that we have today."

Season two of Fox's Scream Queens has added Taylor Lautner to the cast, TheWrap reported. The Twilight actor joins John Stamos as newcomers to the Ryan Murphy horror comedy series. Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Glen Powell and Niecy Nash are all returning to reprise their roles from the first season.

During the 1998-2006 run of NBC's Will & Grace, actor Sean Hayes refused to discuss his own sexuality—but now he says he wished he had, according to to Gay Star News, citing Playbill. "I had personal issues inside of myself that I regret," he said. "I regret not coming out sooner and helping more people, and I regret not coming out during the show." Hayes married Scott Icenogle in 2014 after eight years as a couple.

Actress Chloe Grace Moretz—whose two brothers are openly gay—was seen crying backstage during a tribute to victims of the Orlando, Flordia, shooting at Logo's Trailblazers event at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Page Six noted. Tennis legend Billie Jean King, Emma Stone, Lance Bass and RuPaul were among the others who attended. Moretz introduced activist Subhi Nahas.

Lance Bass is talking about his lack of recent musical success, according to Page Six. "Walking on Air," his 2014 single with Snoop Dogg, failed to chart in the United States. Bass said, "It went No. 1 everywhere ... except America. The radio stations wouldn't play my songs ... I don't know if it's because I'm gay or if it's because I'm from *NSYNC, but the politics around it is so crazy and I don't care to deal with that [bleep]. I'm not 18 anymore, so I do [music] for fun. I go where I'm needed and wanted—and right now, that's television."

Erin O'Flaherty, 23, made Missouri pageant history, The Kansas City Star reported. O'Flaherty, who owns a women's clothing boutique in the St. Louis area, became the first openly gay woman to be crowned Miss Missouri. She will represent Missouri at the Miss America pageant on Sept. 11 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she says she will break ground there, too, as the national pageant's first openly gay contestant.

In the world of baseball, Milwaukee Brewers prospect David Denson became the first-ever gay all-star in any major professional male team sport when he pinch-hit in the sixth inning of the Midwest League All-Star Game, Outsports noted. Last season, he became the first active player in the history of organized professional baseball to come out of the closet. Prior to the game, Denson also became the first openly gay participant in a professional home-run derby, finishing second in that event.

NBC's upcoming Hairspray Live has cast Emmy and Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth as Velma Von Tussle, TheWrap reported. Von Tussle is the producer of The Corny Collins Show, and will stop at nothing to make her daughter, Amber, the star that Velma never was. Her biggest foe is Tracy Turnblad ( Maddie Baillio ) and she'll do everything in her power to prevent the integration of the Corny Collins Show that Tracy wants so much. The musical event is slated to air Dec. 7.

Several items owned by the late Joan Rivers were auctioned off, raking in about $2.2 million, Observer.com reported. A Jeweled Gold-Mounted Nephrite Faberge photograph frame from the 19th century was the auction's top seller at $245,000, well over the high estimate of $60,000. Rivers passed away in September 2014.

At a recent bookstore opening, author Armistead Maupin revealed that his classic book series Tales of the City might be making a return to TV soon, NewNowNext.com reported. Maupin released the ninth and final volume, The Days of Anna Madrigal, last year—but now it seems that the characters might have another life on screen. Tales of the City was first adapted to the screen as a 1993 PBS miniseries starring Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis. Two follow-ups were made: More Tales of the City ( 1998 ) on PBS and Further Tales of the City on Showtime in 2001.

Samantha Ronson said she'd DJ at ex-girlfriend Lindsay Lohan's upcoming wedding to Russian Egor Tarabasov "if the price was right," Page Six reported. Ronson 38, and Lohan, 29, broke up in 2009 after dating on and off for a few years. Lohan and Tarabasov got engaged this spring after approximately five months of dating.

Legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has died at age 87, USA Today noted. Cunningham worked for the Times for 40 years, documenting decades of trends, fads and oddities. In 2010, a documentary film about the photographer, Bill Cunningham New York, became a cult hit.

Page Six reported that after Cats creator Andrew Lloyd Webber went after Nicole Scherzinger for exiting a revival of his musical, the claws came out in a battle between the iconic composer and an off-Broadway show he says stole his tunes: Katdashians! Break the Musical! The show's producers have agreed to cut any Cats tunes due to legal pressure from Webber. "We were pretty shocked," said the off-Broadway show's co-creator Tobly McSmith of hearing from Webber's attorneys. "We are fans of Webber and his work. ... We thought he'd enjoy the parodies we did of his songs, but apparently he did not."

Sinead O'Connor took to Facebook June 24 to deny reports she was suicidal, US Weekly reported. Chicago police confirmed hours earlier that they were on the lookout for the Irish singer after a call from Dublin police in Ireland. Last month, Chicago police were again involved in a search for the troubled Irish singer, after they received a report she had gone missing after she failed to return from an early morning bike ride. She was found after 24 hours.

SPOILER ALERT: In a year of controversial character deaths on television, Orange Is the New Black has added fuel to the fire with the killing of an original cast member at the end of season four, TheWrap noted. After spending the season dreaming of a life out from behind bars and becoming serious with new love interest Soso ( Kimiko Glenn ), Poussey Washington ( Samira Wiley ) died at the hands of a prison guard as a peaceful protest turned violent. Some fans aren't satisfied with the ending for the Black lesbian character, with one person posting, "#PousseyDeservedBetter and so do her fans that identified and found good representation with her."

Out lesbian actress Kelly McGillis ( Top Gun ) is now "armed and ready" with a permit to carry a concealed weapon after surviving a terrifying home invasion during which she was "scratched and bruised," TheWrap revealed. "I'm still a bit shook up and struggling with some residual fear. I do have an alarm. I was complacent and didn't set it after living here four years and having nothing happen," McGillis wrote on Facebook. "I have decided to get a conceal and carry permit."

Supergirl has added former Wonder Woman Lynda Carter to its cast for season two in the role of president of the United States, TheWrap noted. The actress will appear in multiple episodes, making her first appearance in the third episode. This high-profile casting on the Melissa Benoist-led superhero drama follows the announcement that Teen Wolf alum Tyler Hoechlin will play Superman—Supergirl's slightly more famous cousin—in the beginning of season two.

Following the country's deadliest mass shooting in history on June 12 in Orlando, Florida, openly gay Grizzly Bear frontman Ed Droste has offered a take on the situation, AltPress.com reported. In part, he posted on Facebook, "How many people year after year need to be slaughtered to enact tough gun laws? Children, Planned Parenthood workers, Movie watchers, Office workers.....nobody is safe from this violence because we as a nation encourage it with our gun laws. This has to and MUST stop." Droste has been openly gay since 2004, in the early days of the band's career.

Hamptons hot spot Cyril's is being resurrected over July Fourth weekend—and late Game of Thrones character Hodor will DJ its new incarnation, Page Six noted. Kristian Nairn—who played gentle giant Hodor on Game of Thrones, and DJs under the "Rave of Thrones" moniker—will spin tunes at the July 2 bash. Nairn came out as gay in 2014 in an interview with WinterIsComing.net, Rolling Stone noted.

Rapper Nicki Minaj reportedly clicked the UNFOLLOW button after one fan tore into her for not commenting on the horrific Orlando shooting, and that caused her fans to call her out for being a hypocrite, Hollywood Life noted. The drama all started after Twitter user @jxhnnybxrrios tweeted "I'm kind of offended that Nicki could tweet about a song but can't acknowledge the shootings in Orlando" on June 15; instead, she has promoted her new track with DJ Mustard. However, some Minaj fans defended her, saying that she wasn't "obligated" to comment on the tragedy. Still, others said the LGBTQ community helped launch her career.

The feud between GOP nominee Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell is heating up again, Page Six reported. On a recent episode of the revival of Match Game, she referred to the GOP presidential candidate as an "orange slug." O'Donnell's previously referred to Trump as an "ass" and "snake-oil salesman." Meanwhile, Trump's described her as "crude, rude, obnoxious and dumb," and has also called her "fat pig," "loser" and "disgusting."

Actor Andrew Garfield ( The Amazing Spider-Man; The Social Network ) penned an essay in response to the Orlando shooting and how it relates to LGBT Pride, On Top Magazine reported. "In the wake of Orlando this is a matter of life and death, and Pride is a celebration of the miracle of life," Garfield wrote, in part. "A celebration of a community who have had to fight and are still fighting for their basic human rights. A community of lovers who are outrageously forced to continually say: 'See me. See me deeper. Accept me. No, don't just accept me—love me. Celebrate my presence on this earth."

The Arrow cast will be joined by members of the casts of The Flash and The Walking Dead at Fan Fest Orlando on Sept. 17, according to Gay Star News. All proceeds from the event will go to the OneOrlando Fund which was established by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer after the Pulse nightclub mass-shooting. The fund will support nonprofits that are supporting the victims and families as well as the LGBTQ, Hispanic, faith and other affected communities.

Susan Lucci, 69, opened up to Entertainment Tonight about doing her first nude scene ever, for the trailer for season four of Devious Maids. On the Lifetime soap, Lucci ( who played Erica Kane for 41 years on the daytime serial All My Children ) plays Genevieve Delatour, one of the super-rich women whose domestic employees are the main focus of the show. "It's always just a lot of butterflies and preparation," Lucci said. "You hope you did everything you're supposed to do—lots of extra Pilates and not eating lunch. You know, all of that stuff."

Dame Helen Mirren has been championing for a role in the Fast and Furious franchise since she spoke to Entertainment Tonight in March of last year—and now she'll be part of the next film, Fast 8. "I've always wanted to be in a Fast and Furious movie but they've never asked me," Mirren revealed. "I don't understand why!" Mirren didn't go into what her role will be in the highly anticipated sequel—which also stars Charlize Theron and Scott Eastwood—but she will be getting behind the wheel.

Andra Day will embark on a tour this November and December, according to a press release. The tour includes a Nov. 18 show at Chicago's House of Blues, with San Diego, Vancouver, Dallas, Philadelphia and Indianapolis among some of her other stops. Hailing from San Diego, Day was nominated for two Grammys for Best R&B Album for her biographical debut, Cheers to the Fall, and Best R&B Performance for her anthem "Rise Up." Also, Day will perform at the second annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards on July 12 in Los Angeles.

Fall Out Boy has put a rap-rock spin on the lyrics and melody of Ray Parker Jr.'s 1984 song "Ghostbusters," USA Today noted. Halfway through, Missy Elliott makes an appearance, joining for a verse. The movie's soundtrack will feature artists like Elle King, G-Eazy, Jeremih, 5 Seconds of Summer, Pentatonix and Walk the Moon. The film will hit theaters July 15.

With just more than a week before Abby Lee Miller was scheduled to submit pre-trial motions in her indictment last October on 20 counts of fraud, the Dance Moms host made a deal with federal prosecutors to enter a guilty plea, Deadline reported. The plea let Miller escape significant jail time and pay a bulky fine in the case—which could have see her behind bars for up to five years and paying out more than $5 million in fines.

In a victory for the Television Academy, a federal judge has ruled that Whitney Houston's Emmy cannot be auctioned off, Page Six noted. U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson issued a temporary restraining order against Dallas-based Heritage Auctions and the late singer's family, which had planned to put the award up for bid, according to the Associated Press. Houston was awarded an Emmy in 1986 for outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program for her performance of "Saving All My Love For You" at that year's Grammys.

Garbage's sixth studio album, Strange Little Birds, debuted at number one on Billboard's Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts, according to a press release. The album arrived at number 14 overall on the Billboard 200 chart. Additionally, lead single "Empty" debuted at number 40 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.

An electric guitar owned by Prince and a lock of David Bowie's hair have sold at auction in the US for a total of more than $150,000, BBC News reported. The "Yellow Cloud" guitar, said to be one of Prince's favorites, was bought for $137,500 by the owner of the American Football team Indianapolis Colts. Bowie's hair, which sold for $18,750, came from a former employee of Madame Tussauds in London who had used it to re-create the music icon's 1983 hairdo. Both stars died earlier this year.

Musician Heather Small said she'd like to try her hand at film work and in particular take on a voice acting role in an animated film, The Evening Standrard reported. The M People singer—best known for hits such as the LGBT anthem "Proud," "Movin' On Up" and "Search for the Hero"—said she "loved film and theater" and liked the idea of branching out from her comfort zone in preferably a musical or animated film.

If the federal authorities get their way, Dance Moms star Abby Lee Miller could see 24-30 months in jail after pleading guilty to part of her indictment last year on 20 counts of fraud and a new charge of violating currency reporting laws, Deadline reported. With her lawyers asking for a maximum of six months behind bars, Miller will be sentenced Oct. 11. Facing a possible $5-million fine and five years imprisonment on the initial charges, Miller struck a deal with federal prosecutors after talks started over the past few weeks.

Police discovered Michael Jackson had a large collection of pornography, which included images of children, animal torture and gore, reportedly used in his bid to seduce young boys, The Huffington Post reported. The collection was revealed in newly surfaced documents obtained by Radar Online that detail a raid on Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch estate in 2003, carried out as part of an investigation into child-molestation charges against the singer. In 2005, a jury ( after a 14-week trial ) acquitted Jackson of seven counts of child molestation and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent for the purpose of a committing a felony.

Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles, an Atlanta dining institution that features Southern favorites and is named after the famed singer, was raided after the Georgia Department of Revenue accused the owner—Knight's son —of theft and tax evasion, CNN noted. Shanga Hankerson, Knight's son and the owner of the three Atlanta-area restaurants, "is accused of stealing over $650,000" in sales taxes and withholding taxes owed to the state, the agency said in a news release.

Amy Poehler and her Paper Kite production company are staying put, signing a new overall deal with Universal Television and the newly formed Alternative Studio for scripted and unscripted projects, Deadline reported. Under the new pact, Paper Kite, which Poehler co-heads with Brooke Posch, has landed the first big commitment of the 2016 network buying season: a pilot production commitment from NBC for scripted comedy The Baby, which stars Seann William Scott. It stars Scott as the youngest male in an all-female organized-crime family.

HBO said that it will not go forward with a second season of the 1970s music-industry drama Vinyl, adding, "Obviously, this was not an easy decision," TheWrap noted. The decision is an about-face for HBO, which renewed the show ( from Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger ) for a second season in February after just one episode of the series had aired.


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