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Entertainment news: Ryan Phillippe, Queen Latifah, Glenn Close, Ricky Martin
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-06-27

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Actor Ryan Phillippe, while promoting the movie Wish Upon, said that he's "proud" to have played daytime television's first gay teenager, according to NewNowNext. Phillippe played Billy Douglas, a high school student who comes out as gay, on the series during 1992-93. "There had never been a gay teenager portrayed on television at that point. It was before Will & Grace, before Ellen came out, it's before any of that stuff," Phillippe said. Billy was written out of the show in 1993 when Phillippe decided to leave, but he said he still cherishes the role.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah will reunite on the big screen this summer in their first film together in 21 years, ABC News noted. In Girls Trip, the duo—along with actresses Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish—play friends from college who reconnect over a girls weekend in New Orleans at the annual Essence Festival. Latifah and Pinkett Smith have not been together on screen since the 1996 movie Set It Off. The movie opens July 21.

Glenn Close said on June 25 after her final performance in Broadway's Sunset Boulevard—where show creator Andrew Lloyd Webber joined her onstage and had been in the audience with his family—"It's perfect ... that we closed on Gay Pride Day," Page Six noted. Behind the scenes, the acclaimed actress also closed the show by sending the cast of nearby Broadway parody Spamilton— which skewers musicals like hers as well as Hamilton and Hello, Dolly!—a giant arrangement of flowers with a note saying, "Now I know why I'm frightened!" The line is a reference to lyrics in the show's tune "As If We Never Said Goodbye."

Ricky Martin is planning a large wedding to artist fiance Jwan Yosef, Page Six noted. "It's going to be a big event," he shared with E! News. "I want something massive. I for sure want to get married in Puerto Rico. That is something that has to happen." Martin, 45, and Yosef, 32, got engaged in late 2016.

An NBCUniversal executive has said that a Downton Abbey movie is in the works, TheWrap reproted. NBCUniversal International Studios president Michael Edelstein, who was in Singapore at a red-carpet event for "Downton Abbey: The Exhibition," said that the movie has been in the works for some time and could begin production in 2018, the Associated Press reported. He added that the biggest challenge was getting the cast together, which can include up to around 20 actors from the popular PBS Masterpiece show.

Transgender actress Jen Richards has hit out at the casting of new movie Anything after its trailer premiered online, BBC News noted. Richards, who said she auditioned for a role in the movie, is angry a non-trans actor landed the part. Actor Matt Bomer plays Freda Von Rhenburg in Anything, a movie about a prostitute who forms a relationship with a straight man. Richards tweeted, "The whole premise is 'omg a straight dude likes a trans woman! What does this MEAN?!' That's the big conflict. So of course they cast a man." Avengers star Mark Ruffalo, who is an executive producer on the movie, defended casting Matt Bomer in August of last year. Trans composer Isley Reust scored the movie.

Actress/reality star Lindsay Lohan flew out to Iceland to speak at the same-sex wedding of her best friends, PinkNews noted. Music supervisor Scott Guinn and social-media manager Oliver Luckett tied the knot in a ceremony that featured guests such as Iceland Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson and fashion designer Daniel Lismore. Lohan posted on Instagram with the caption "What a beautiful day with beautiful people @revilopark #soiceland #grateful #ramadan #blessed."

The Glee star formerly known as Charice Pempengco ( who played Sunshine ) has changed names and come out as transgender, The Hollywood Gossip noted. The star, who now goes by the name Jake Zyrus, deleted all previous social media posts, marking this name change as a fresh start in his life. He later tweeted, "My first tweet as Jake. Overwhelmed. Saw all your love comments and I'm so happy. Finally. I love you, everyone and see you soon."

Nyle DiMarco marked Gay Pride Month by doing a photoshoot with Paper Magazine and talking about coming out, GayPopBuzz.com noted. In part, he told Paper, "Growing up, I never felt the need to come out, especially being a millennial. We just did not care who showed up at the door step. When stardom hit, I immediately saw the wave of questions to my sexuality. It made me feel closeted for the first time, so when somebody asked, I casually replied because sexuality shouldn't be a big issue."

Author Roxane Gay recently talked about her sexuality, according to LambdaLiterary.org . At one point, Gay said, "I'm at a point in my life where I'm very comfortable with my identity as a bisexual woman and I'm very proud of my identity, and I'm very open about it, and I think that being open is a real pleasure and a real privilege and I'm glad that I get to do it." Gay is currently promoting Hunger, which the website describes as "a wrenching self-examination in which Gay analyzes her body, and the weight she's gained in response to her sexual-assault trauma."

Concerned over the news that six people quit President Trump's Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, late-night host James Corden sent the chief executive 297 copies of the movie Philadelphia to Mar-a-Lago, EW.com noted. "Most of what I know or when I started to learn or first hear about HIV and AIDS, I learned from the movie Philadelphia," Corden said on The Late Late Show. "The reason we sent 297 copies is that is the most we could buy," Corden added.

Katy Perry has become the first artist in the Recording Industry Association of America ( RIAA ) history to earn three RIAA Diamond Song Awards—meaning each song has sold 10 million copies, a press release noted. The song "Roar" has recently earned diamond certification, joining "Dark Horse" and "Firework." During Perry's career, 21 songs have achieved RIAA certification, and three studio albums have also been certified platinum or multi-platinum.

Queer Ghost Hunters, the first show about LGBTQ ghost hunters, debuts its new season June 30, a press release noted. The docuseries follows real people discovering stories of the queer past in places as diverse as the Ohio State Reformatory, where the film The Shawshank Redemption was shot. In season two, the team reportedly makes contact with several people as well as an inmate who identifies as transgender and an inmate who identifies as a member of the "bear" community. The promo trailer is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qzg9sg5Nh8.

Billie Jean King fan Brooke Rischbieth—on the night before her graduation from Northwestern University—received a visit from King, an NU press release noted. Through teary eyes, Rischbieth ( an Australian native and member of the Northwestern women's tennis team ) hugged King and introduced her to her parents. "'Keep it simple' is really major," King said. "Just remember your values. Love, not hate; treat others the way they would like to be treated; and just do the right thing. It's not rocket science, really."

Professional wrestler Johnny Smith, better known as Sweet Johnny Velvet of Fort Lauderdale, has become the first out gay world heavyweight champion for the South Florida promotion Fighting Evolution Wrestling ( FEW ), The Miami Herald noted. The athlete, 36, defeated his former tag team partner Reggie Rhythm June 10 at FEW's Summer Showdown 2 at Coral Springs High School.

Riding on the critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman, director Patty Jenkins is already working on a script for the sequel, Page Six noted. Variety revealed the news in an exclusive interview with Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, who oversee the DC film universe for Warner Bros. Warner Bros. Pictures President and CCO Toby Emmerich told Variety in a separate interview that the sequel won't take place during World War I like the first, but is still likely to be set in the past.

Mattel has started selling a line of new Kens that includes two new body types dubbed "slim" and "broad" ( the latter of which, with its slightly thicker middle, invites dad-bod comparisons ); six new molded hairstyles, including cornrows and an on-trend man bun; and a total of seven skin tones, The L.A. Times noted. Mattel frames it as a natural progression, coming the year after the Barbie diversity push—but the publication said it's a business decision for the toy company that's been trying to turn around its core Barbie business.

Hunky actor Daniel Henney, who co-starred on the recently canceled CBS drama Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders for two seasons, is staying in the franchise fold, joining the cast of flagship Criminal Minds as a series regular, Deadline noted. Henney will continue in his role as Special Agent Matt Simmons. Henney will fill the void left by the recent departure of Criminal Minds regular Damon Gupton after one season.

Johnny Depp has apologized for his statement made during his appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England, where he joked about presidential assassination, Deadline noted. He told People magazine, "I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump. It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone." The Secret Service confirmed to media outlets that it knew about the comments.

Singer/actress Lea Michele recently reunited with former Glee co-star Jonathan Groff ( Looking ) in New York City, Just Jared Jr. noted. "Wouldn't be a trip to the big [apple] without seeing this face.. ily JG," Lea tweeted with two selfies. She also reportedly keeps in contact with several other former co-stars, including Ashley Tisdale and Jenna Oshkowitz.

Grammy winner Melissa Manchester tips her hat to some of the most iconic male singers of the 20th century on her new album, The Fellas, which will be released on Sept. 8 via her independent label, Long Run Entertainment, LLC, a press release noted. Among those to whom she paid tribute are Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and others; songs include "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" and "Chances Are."

Writers of the TV show Alias addressed rumors of a possible reunion, EW.com reported. "It would be amazing to do it; we've even talked with J.J. [Abrams]," co-executive producer Josh Appelbaum said during a panel at the ATX Festival. "The right idea would have to come. We wouldn't want to do it unless it was absolutely perfect." The series ended with Sydney Bristow ( Jennifer Garner ) and Michael Vaughn's ( Michael Vartan ) daughter, Isabelle, exhibiting similar abilities to the ones that first marked Bristow as a candidate for the CIA in her youth.

The sequel to Jurassic World has a title and new poster, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The upcoming film has been given the title Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and will be released June 22, 2018. The tag on the poster, which is mostly black with the park logo and some fire embers, is, "Life finds a way." Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning for the follow-up alongside Justice Smith, James Cromwell and Toby Jones.

CBS has renewed its entire daytime schedule for the 2017-18 season, including a three-year deal for daytime's number-one drama, The Young and the Restless, and an additional two years for network television's top-rated daytime show The Price Is Right, Deadline noted. The full lineup also includes new seasons of Let's Make a Deal, The Talk and The Bold and the Beautiful, which previously received a multi-year pickup through 2017-18.

Daniel Day-Lewis, whose three Oscars put him in the conversation of his generation's top actors, apparently is quitting the business, Deadline noted. "Daniel Day-Lewis will no longer be working as an actor," his publicist Leslee Dart said in a statement to Variety, which first reported the news. "He is immensely grateful to all of his collaborators and audiences over the many years. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject."

Dave Chapelle will host Rihanna's third Diamond Ball charity event, and Kendrick Lamar will perform, Rolling Stone noted. The fundraising gala will benefit Rihanna's Clara Lionel Foundation and take place Sept. 14 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. The first Diamond Ball was held in 2014 and featured Jimmy Kimmel as host, special guest Brad Pitt and a performance from Rihanna. The following year, Kevin Hart served as the evening's MC while Lionel Richie performed. Rihanna did not host a Diamond Ball in 2016. Proceeds from the Diamond Ball benefit the Clara Lionel Foundation's efforts to support global education and healthcare and emergency response programs.

REVRY, a digital streaming platform, will become the exclusive LGBTQ+ channel on free OTT television service Pluto TV, a press release stated. REVRY delivers such classic gems as Parting Glances ( classic gay movie with Steve Buschemi ), Watermelon Woman ( first movie by an openly lesbian Black director ), Before Stonewall ( News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Research ) and the complete series Queer as Folk from the UK.

Singer/actress Lucy Hale ( Pretty Little Liars ) has spoken out over the fat-shaming remarks she made about herself on Instagram, Page Six noted. "Sometimes I forget that people are watching everything I do and I say things I don't mean," she wrote. "I'm extremely sorry if my comment about my weight offended anyone." Hale angered fans after posting a photo of herself with her dad in honor of Father's Day; while the sentimental snap didn't spark outrage, her comment, "ugh I was so fat," did.

An investigation has found no evidence of misconduct and production is set to resume on ABC's Bachelor in Paradise, Deadline noted. Warner Bros. said, in part, in a statement, "Our internal investigation, conducted with the assistance of an outside law firm, has now been completed. ... We can say, however, that the tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member." Show production—which was halted earlier this month in Mexico following an "allegation of misconduct"—has resumed.


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