USCelebrityBlog.com

May 302014
 

Paris Hilton Is An American SocialiteThe famous Paris Hilton (Paris Whitney Hilton born February 17, 1981) is an American socialite, actress and entertainer. She is the great-granddaughter of Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels. Born in New York City and raised in both Beverly Hills, California and New York, Hilton began a modeling career as a teenager when she signed with Donald Trump’s modeling agency, T Management. Her hard-partying lifestyle and rumored short-lived relationships with Leonardo DiCaprio and Oscar De La Hoya led her to earn a position as a fixture in entertainment news. For her notoriety as a socialite, Hilton was hailed by the media as “New York’s leading It Girl” in 2001. In 2003, Hilton came to prominence after a sex tape with her then-boyfriend Rick Salomon was leaked. Later that year, she starred in the reality television series The Simple Life alongside Nicole Richie, which provided both women with international recognition. In the following years, she released her autobiography Confessions of an Heiress: A Tongue-in-Chic Peek Behind the Pose (2004), landed a supporting role in the horror film House of Wax (2005), and released her debut studio album Paris (2006). Hilton returned to reality television with Paris Hilton’s My New BFF (2008) and its two spin-offs Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend (2009) and Paris Hilton’s Dubai BFF (2009). She served as a voice actress in the TV movie The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation (2010) and appeared in the reality show The World According to Paris (2011). She had a part in Sofia Coppola’s independent film The Bling Ring (2013).

Critics and admirers alike have stated that Hilton epitomizes the title of famous for being famous; she is an example of the modern phenomenon of the “celebutante”, the celebrity who rises to fame not because of their talent or work but because of their inherited wealth and controversial lifestyle. In recent years, she has parlayed her media fame into a fashion line and various perfumes with her celebrity endorsement—her fragrances have reportedly earned $1.5 billion. Currently, there are 44 Paris Hilton Stores worldwide and her brand includes perfumes, handbags, watches, footwear, among other products. Hilton earns over $10 million a year from her products sales and as of 2005, she was paid around $300,000 for appearances in clubs and events.

No matter how you may feel about Paris Hilton, her ability to leverage fame to establish herself as a successful entrepreneur is impressive. Is Paris Hilton famous for being famous or savvier than we thought? Stay tuned: this pretty face may still surprise us.

May 292014
 
Tribute to Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is no longer with us but her death didn’t dim the light she so generously shared.

A literary voice revered globally for her poetic command and her commitment to civil rights has fallen silent.
Maya Angelou died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on Wednesday, said her literary agent, Helen Brann. Angelou had been “frail” and suffering from heart problems, the agent said.

Angelou’s legacy is twofold. She leaves behind a body of important artistic work that influenced several generations. But the 86-year-old was praised by those who knew her as a good person, a woman who pushed for justice and education and equality.
In her full life, she wrote staggeringly beautiful poetry. She also wrote a cookbook and was nominated for a Tony. She delivered a poem at a presidential inauguration. In 2010, President Barack Obama named her a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

She was friends with Malcolm X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and inspired young adults and world celebrities. Maya Angelou sang calypso. She lived through horrors.
Her lasting contribution to literature, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” bore witness to the brutality of a Jim Crow South, portraying racism in stark language. Readers learned of the life of Marguerite Ann Johnson (Angelou’s birth name) up to the age of 16: how she was abandoned by her parents and raped by her mother’s boyfriend. She was homeless and became a teen mother.
Its publication was both daring and historic, given the era of its debut in 1969.

“All of the writers of my generation must honor the ground broken by Dr. Maya Angelou,” author Tayari Jones posted on her Facebook page Wednesday.
“She told a story that wasn’t allowed to be told,” Jones said. “Now, people tell all sorts of things in memoir, but when she told the truth, she challenged a taboo – not for shock value – but to heal us all.”
Black American novelist Julian Mayfield is said to have described the autobiography as “a work of art which eludes description.”
“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was an international bestseller and nominated for a National Book Award in 1970.
“If you want to know what it was like to live at the bottom of the heap before, during and after the American Depression, this exceptional book will tell you,” hailed British critic Paul Bailey.
The book became a mainstay of student reading lists, much to the chagrin of some authorities. The book has reportedly been banned numerous times.
Angelou’s mastery of literature trumped those who tried to keep her down. She knew that storytelling always won in the end.
“I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine … before she realizes she’s reading,” Angelou once said.

On Wednesday (05/28/14), people of all ages and backgrounds took to social media to say what her life’s work meant to them.
Adrian Sean of Detroit posted a CNN iReport tribute, saying, “I cannot describe the feeling I had when I read ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ for the first time, and knew someone else in the world had been through extreme hardships just as I had.
“She not only survived, but she thrived just by being herself,” she said. “Maya Angelou was and still is a teacher, a mentor, and a friend to me. Her impact on my life will always have a special place in my heart.”

Angelou spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco, but dropped out of school at age 14.
When she was 16, Angelou became San Francisco’s first female streetcar driver.
Angelou later returned to high school to get her diploma. She gave birth a few weeks after graduation. While the 17 year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she developed a passion for music and dance, and toured Europe in the mid-1950s in the opera production “Porgy and Bess.”
In 1957, she recorded her first album, “Miss Calypso.”
In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
“I created myself,” Angelou once said. “I have taught myself so much.”
Angelou spoke at least six languages and worked as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the writer never went to college. But she has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
“Maya Angelou has been a towering figure at Wake Forest and in American culture. She had a profound influence in civil rights and racial reconciliation,” Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch said Wednesday. “We will miss profoundly her lyrical voice and always keen insights.”
The university published a tribute site which features her last speaking engagement at Wake Forest.

Angelou was a proud woman, which occasionally made problems for her hosts and students. One observer, escorting her to a speech, remembers greeting her casually, only to be told to address her as “Ms. Angelou.” Her students at Wake Forest could be as blistering as they were complimentary. “A fantastic motivator and I hope to have more of her classes in the future,” wrote one anonymous commenter on RateMyProfessors.com, while another assessed her as a “wonderful writer, but fame does not imply a right to insult or demean others.”
Angelou talked about her approach to teaching on Oprah Winfrey’s “Oprah’s Master Class.”
“I teach all the time, as you do – and as all of you do – whether we know it or not, whether we take responsibility for it or not,” she said. “I hold nothing back because I want to see that light go off. I like to see the children say, ‘I never thought of that before.’ And I think, ‘I’ve got them!'”
Winfrey released a statement Wednesday calling Angelou her mentor, “mother/sister” and friend.

“She was there for me always, guiding me through some of the most important years of my life. The world knows her as a poet but at the heart of her, she was a teacher. ‘When you learn, teach. When you get, give’ is one of my best lessons from her,” Winfrey said.

“But what stands out to me most about Maya Angelou is not what she has done or written or spoken, it’s how she lived her life. She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace. I loved her and I know she loved me. I will profoundly miss her. She will always be the rainbow in my clouds.”

Poetry after childhood tragedy
Angelou was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.
The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for years. When she was 7, her mother’s boyfriend raped her. He was beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him.
“My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years,” she said.
From the silence, a louder voice was born.
In her poem “Caged Bird,” Angelou wrote:

“A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped
and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.”

Surrounded by greats
Angelou’s list of friends is as impressive as her illustrious career. She counted Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Winfrey and King, with whom she worked during the civil rights movement, among her friends. King was assassinated on her 40th birthday.

In an interview with CNN in January 2009, just days before President Obama was inaugurated for his first term, Angelou gave her thoughts about the United States’ election of its first black president.
“It was as if someone in the outer sphere said, ‘What can we do to really show how important Martin Luther King was?'”

Seeing Obama about to take office made her feel proud, she said.
“I’m excited. I’m hopeful. I’m talking all the time to people, and sometimes I’ve really said it so many times I wonder if I’m coming off like a piece of tape recording, but I’m very proud to be an American.”
“In 30 or 40 years, (the election) will not be considered so incredibly important. … There will be other people in those next three or four decades who will run for the presidency – some women, some native American, some Spanish-speaking, some Asian. We’re about to grow up in this country.”

Obama remembered Angelou on Wednesday, saying she was “one of the brightest lights of our time – a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman.”
He noted that she expressed her talents in many ways, but “above all, she was a storyteller” and “her greatest stories were true.”
The president said his own mother was so inspired by Angelou that she named his sister Maya.

In Los Angeles, iconic music producer Quincy Jones said he was saddened to have lost a “dear friend, colleague and sister.”
The two collaborated on two songs on Jones’ soundtrack for “For Love of Ivy” in 1968, he said, and working with her always “brought joy and love.”

A poem before Clinton’s inauguration
Author Tananarive Due, the Cosby Endowed Chair for the Humanities at Spelman College in Atlanta, remembered Angelou’s reading at President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in 1993. She was the first poet to do so since Robert Frost in 1961. More notably, she was the first black woman to have such a prominent role. The poem, “On the Pulse of Morning,” celebrates diversity of all people in America.
Again, Angelou was influencing popular culture. Her reading probably introduced a younger generation to her and her pivotal body of work.

“I felt like I belonged in my own nation – at last,” recalled Due. “She had a tremendous gift for choosing the right language to give us peace and power.”

The poem reads in part:
“A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,

But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no more hiding place down here.”

‘A long journey’
In CNN’s 2009 interview, Angelou spoke in the way that she came to be famous for, each sentence a crescendo of emotion, a call to everyone to act and to be better.

“Our country needs us all right now to stand up and be counted. We need to try to be great citizens. We are necessary in this country, and we need to give something — that is to say, go to a local hospital, go to the children’s ward and offer to the nurse in charge an hour twice a month that you can give them reading children’s stories or poetry,” she said. “And go to an old folks’ home and read the newspaper to somebody. Go to your church or your synagogue or your mosque, and say, ‘I’d like to be of service. I have one hour twice a month.’
“You’ll be surprised at how much better you will feel,” she said. “And good done anywhere is good done everywhere.”

Some of Angelou’s most powerful speeches
“Look where we’ve all come from … coming out of darkness, moving toward the light,” Angelou once said. “It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet.”

Courtesy of Todd Leopold, Ashley Fantz, Moni Basu and Faith Karimi / CNN

May 282014
 

Leonardo DiCaprio A Committed EnvironmentalistLeonardoDiCaprio (Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio born November 11, 1974) is an American actor and film producer. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and ten Golden Globe Awards. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama for The Aviator (2004) and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). He has also been nominated by the Screen Actors Guild, Satellite Awards, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. DiCaprio started his career by appearing in television commercials prior to landing recurring roles in TV series such as the soap opera Santa Barbara and the sitcom Growing Pains in the early 1990s. His major movie debut was in This Boy’s Life (1993) alongside Robert De Niro. DiCaprio obtained recognition for his subsequent work in a supporting role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), as well as leading roles in The Basketball Diaries (1995) and Romeo + Juliet (1996), before achieving international fame in James Cameron’s Titanic (1997), which became the highest grossing movie at the time.

Since the 2000s, DiCaprio has received critical acclaim for his work in such films as Catch Me If You Can (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), Blood Diamond (2006), The Departed (2006), Revolutionary Road (2008), Shutter Island, Inception (2010), and Django Unchained (2012). The 2010 movie Inception achieved both widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. DiCaprio owns a production company named Appian Way Productions. A committed environmentalist, DiCaprio has received praise from environmental groups for his activism.

Environmental activism and philanthropy

A committed environmentalist, DiCaprio has received praise from environmental groups for his activism. He owns an electric Tesla Roadster, a Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid, and a Toyota Prius. He has also installed solar panels on his house. In an interview with Ukula about his film the 11th Hour, DiCaprio cited global warming as “the number-one environmental challenge”.

At the 2007 Oscar ceremony, DiCaprio and former Vice President Al Gore appeared to announce that the Academy Awards had incorporated environmentally intelligent practices throughout the planning and production processes, thus affirming their commitment to the environment, and on July 7, 2007, DiCaprio presented at the American leg of Live Earth. In 2010, his environmental work earned DiCaprio a nomination for the VH1 Do Something Award. The awards show, produced by VH1, is dedicated to honoring people who do good and is powered by Do Something, a New York-based organization that aims to empower and inspire young people.

In 1998, DiCaprio and his mother donated $35,000 for a “Leonardo DiCaprio Computer Center” at the Los Feliz branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, the site of his childhood home. It was rebuilt after the 1994 Northridge earthquake and opened in early 1999.  During the filming of Blood Diamond, DiCaprio worked with 24 orphaned children from the SOS Children’s Village in Maputo, Mozambique, and was said to be extremely touched by his interactions with the children.  In 2010, he donated $1,000,000 to relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake.

During the 2004 presidential election, DiCaprio campaigned and donated to John Kerry’s presidential bid. The FEC showed DiCaprio gave $2,300 to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in the 2008 election, the maximum contribution an individual can give in that election cycle, and $5000 to Obama’s 2012 campaign.

In November 2010, DiCaprio donated $1,000,000 to the Wildlife Conservation Society at Russia’s tiger summit. DiCaprio’s persistence in reaching the event after encountering two plane delays caused then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to describe him as a “muzhik” or “real man”. In 2011, DiCaprio joined the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s campaign to free Tony, a tiger who has spent the last decade at the Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana.  DiCaprio is an activist for gay rights and in April 2013 he donated $61,000 to GLAAD, an organization which promotes the image of LGBT people in the media.

May 262014
 

Kim Kardashian And Kanye West Are Getting Married

Kim Kardashian (reality TV star and entrepreneur) and Kanye West (hip hop artist, songwriter, entrepreneur and Kim’s baby daddy) tied the knot in Italy!

The lavish ceremony took place at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy on May 24th 2014 and was preceded by a shopping and entertainment extravaganza for the couple and their wedding guests in Paris. Long story short, no expense was spared. Florence is said to have special meaning to the bride and groom. Kanye believes that their daughter North was conceived there and in his words: “(Florence) is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, for me the most beautiful in Europe.”

Kim Kardashian is one of the daughters of the late Robert Kardashian (OJ’s defense lawyer); a star of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”, aspiring entertainer and entrepreneur with a successful fashion and perfume line.
Kanye West is best known for being a rapper – occasionally putting a foot in his mouth: remember his infamous outburst during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech during 2009 VMAs? –  and for his passion for fashion.

As various sources have it, the pair knew each other for 9 years before becoming a couple. This is the third marriage for Kim Kardashian (who’s been married to Damon Thomas for 4 years and Kris Humphries for 72 days) and the first marriage for Kanye West.
It appears that the bride and groom have plenty in common. Both are self-styled, success driven, vain, flamboyant, image conscious and seem to have an exaggerated sense of self. It may just work….
The wedding may – or may not – have been royal, but it was certainly a fairytale fit for the make-believe prince and his princess.

May 222014
 

 Meryl Davis And Maksim Chmerkovskiy Win Championship Mirror Ball Trophy In Season 18

After 10 weeks of fierce competition and several surprise eliminations, Meryl Davis emerged the champion of season 18 of “Dancing With the Stars”, beating out actress Candace Cameron Bure and paralympian Amy Purdy for the mirror ball trophy. Davis’s pro partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, was elated when co-host Tom Bergeron announced that they had won. He jumped into the air and then hugged and spun Davis around. The Olympian credited her partner with their big win, and he seemed, uncharacteristically, at a loss for words. “Oh man! It’s just plastic but it means so much and when it’s lasted a decade of running after it, it means that much more, and to do it with Meryl is a dream come true,” he said, adding that there was a reason he hadn’t won until now. He said he believed he was meant to win with Davis. Purdy finished second. Bure, who finished in third place, smiled when she learned the outcome and said she was honored to have gone so far in the competition.

On Monday, the first night of the two-part finale, each couple performed two separate dances: a routine they’d previously performed in a partner switch that judges wanted them to reprise with their own partners, plus the all-important freestyle dance. On Tuesday, they had to perform another dance in the 24-hour fusion challenge. They had only 24 hours to create and rehearse the routine that mixed two separate dance styles. The grand finale opened with a dance number featuring all of the dancers who competed this season, and “Big Time Rush” star James Maslow –- who was voted off last night — was chosen by fans to give an encore of his hip-hop freestyle.

The ballroom and viewing audiences also got to see eliminated contestants perform prior routines Tuesday. Purdy took part in a group dance that she’d missed performing live during the season because of a back injury, and Olympic ice dancer Charlie White performed with his pro partner Sharna Burgess (their routine again included a slight prop malfunction).
White and Davis –- who are Olympic ice dancing partners — also performed a routine together.
The night also featured a number of pop performances, including by rapper Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX, singer Ariana Grande and “Dancing” cast member Cody Simpson, who performed his hit song, “Surfboard.” Last season’s “Dancing” champion, “Glee” actress Amber Riley, performed her new single, “Colorblind,” and Christina Perri sang “Human.”
Tonight’s Routines
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: The pair’s performance fused the Argentine tango and the cha-cha. Purdy, a double-amputee who has danced on prosthetics throughout the season, continued to dazzle tonight as she has throughout the season. Head judge Len Goodman said she was “without question” a fantastic dancer, and fellow judge Bruno Tonioli said Purdy’s unbreakable spirit and determination were lessons for everyone. Carrie Ann Inaba, the third judge on the panel, said what made Purdy special was that she was always uplifting. Inaba also commended Hough for his partnership of the Paralympian. Purdy earned three 10s for a perfect score of 30 points. Her score was added to her total from last night – 59 – for a two-night total of 89 out of a possible 90 points.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Bure and Ballas danced the samba and quickstep. Judges again praised the “Full House” actress for pushing through the highs and lows of the competition to make it to the final. “What a ride it has been,” Tonioli said. “We had ups, we had downs, we had spills, we had thrills, but I tell you, you’ve always been adorable, charming, genuine you listened to us, worked very, very hard, you have improved. Well done!” Goodman said Bure may not always have been at the top of the leaderboard, but he said she was “tops with the fans.” Bure earned three 9s for a total of 27, and a two-night total of 78 out of 90.

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The Olympic ice dancer’s foxtrot/cha-cha fusion earned her and her partner their accustomed rave reviews from all three judges. Inaba said the entire season 18 had been phenomenal, but added: “the best part of the season to me, honestly speaking, was you two.” Tonioli likened watching Davis and Chmerkovskiy to rediscovering “the passion and excitement of your first love.” Goodman drew a few gasps with his comment: “I’m not saying this is true, but this may be my last season and if it is, I couldn’t wish for a better dance to watch to finish up with. You are great.” Davis earned 30 points. Added to her score perfect 60 from last night, Davis finished with a two-night total of 90 out of a possible 90 points.

By SUZAN CLARKE | Good Morning America

May 222014
 

Dancing With the Stars 2014 Amy Purdy and Derek Houghs
Heroic Las Vegas amputee Amy Purdy has doggedly and miraculously made it to tonight’s final trio of “Dancing With the Stars” contestants on ABC, and incredibly just one point separates her from the top of the leaderboard. It’s an epic, near superhuman, achievement for the former Cimarron-Memorial High School graduate who had just started work as a massage therapist at Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian. On her 19th birthday, she lost her legs below her knees from bacterial meningitis and was saved from near death by her father’s gift of one of his kidneys. Now 34, the brunette beauty became co-founder of Adaptive Action Sports determined to follow her passion for snowboarding. She was selected for the U.S. Paralympic Team, winning gold and bronze medals, and competed in Season 21 of “The Amazing Race” on CBS.

Ten weeks ago, she began the daring and courageous chase against all odds for the mirrored disco ball trophy. Tonight, America will watch with bated breath to see if her valiant effort pays off during three hours of extraordinary television on ABC. On Monday night, Amy shed plenty of tears in disbelief that she’d made it onto the final broadcast despite continuing back spasms from an injured rib and shoulder suffered three weeks ago that hospitalized her. She cried as producers replayed scenes of her near-death hospital drama.

She wept as pals Big Time Rush singer James Maslow and pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd were eliminated in a shocking surprise. She teared up as “Full House” actress Candace Cameron Bure with injured pro partner Mark Ballas were saved for tonight despite their low scores and his shoulder in a sling.
It’s likely that this evening’s live broadcast from L.A. studios will be even more emotional. My preview posted early Monday includes all the segments to be expected during the two-hour finale.

Here are Monday night’s scoring for Amy and her five-time champion pro-dance partner Derek Hough: They received three perfect-10 scores from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Len Goodman for her salsa, and they received 29 points for the freestyle. Len was badly booed for the 9 he handed out.
Said Amy on Monday night as she ran directly from the live broadcast back to the dance studio to learn a new dance for tonight’s show: “This journey has been more than I could ever describe or have ever anticipated. I am so excited to be moving onto the finale.”

“This has been such an incredible experience, but at the same time so sad to be at the end of this incredible journey. I keep thinking, though, this journey isn’t ending; it’s just beginning. Derek will forever hold a chunk of my heart. He has been my wall, my mentor, my coach and my friend. It’s not over yet.”
Thus going into the 9 p.m. PT two-hour show (after a one-hour 8 p.m. taped history of the dancers’ journeys), its Olympic champion ice dancing pairs figure skater Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy at 60, Amy and Derek at 59 and Candace and Mark at 51. They will perform one last time to add to their totals before the trophy is awarded. Amy also has to dance the Team Loca dance that she missed when she was hospitalized three weeks ago.

Prediction: It will come down to Amy and Meryl. If judged solely and strictly on dancing skills, the win will be awarded to Meryl. If Amy’s fearless and gallant efforts become the deciding factor, then she will be nobly rewarded.

“DWTS” has never announced a tie. The show has never had two trophies. To avoid America staging a revolt if Amy’s intrepid bravery isn’t recognized in some manner, perhaps a second trophy for audacity and guts should be awarded. This might just be the time.

By Robin Leach

May 222014
 
2014 Celebrity Cast of Dancing with the Stars

Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer (left) poses with the 2014 DWTS cast:
Standing: EMMA SLATER, BILLY DEE WILLIAMS, DANICA MCKELLAR, VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY, SEAN AVERY, CANDACE CAMERON BURE, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY, MERYL DAVIS, NENE LEAKES, TONY DOVOLANI, SHARNA BURGESS, CHARLIE WHITE, CHERYL BURKE, DREW CAREY, DIANA NYAD, HENRY BYALIKOV, ERIN ANDREWS; Sitting: KARINA SMIRNOFF, DEREK HOUGH, MARK BALLAS, PETA MURGATROYD, JAMES MASLOW, WITNEY CARSON, CODY SIMPSON; Front: TOM BERGERON

The All-New 2014 Celebrity Cast of Dancing with the Stars Is Revealed
Season 18 To Shake Up The Competition With Dramatic New Twist “The Switch Up” The Stellar New Cast Will Take to the Stage When  “Dancing with the Stars” Premieres, Monday, March 17 on ABC. This season’s dynamic lineup of stars — including two Olympic Gold Medalists, a game show host, a swimming legend and a teen pop star – will perform for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” MONDAY, MARCH 17 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
As announced this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America” by “Dancing with the Stars” hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, the 12 celebrities with their professional partners heading to the dance floor this season (in alphabetical order) are:

SEAN AVERY — Former pro hockey player Sean Avery is known for his unpredictable antics on the ice and a humorous personality. During his twelve year hockey career, he played left wing for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars, and the New York Rangers. Typically known as his team’s “enforcer,” Avery had a reputation as an outspoken agitator on (and sometimes off) the ice. Controversy followed him wherever he played, and he became known as much for his mercurial style of play as for his eclectic interests. These interests led Avery to many unique experiences including an internship at Vogue Magazine, working under the famed Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley. He has been featured in numerous ad campaigns as a model, including 7 For All Mankind and is currently the Luxury Advertising Director at Playboy. Also an activist, Avery is on the Board of Directors of Athlete Ally, a nonprofit raising awareness about homophobia and transphobia in sports. SEAN AVERY partners with KARINA SMIRNOFF.

CANDACE CAMERON BURE — Actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author and inspirational speaker, Candace Cameron Bure is both outspoken and passionate about her family and faith. Known to millions worldwide from her role as D.J. Tanner on the iconic family sitcom “Full House” Cameron Bure continues to flourish in the entertainment industry as role model to women of all ages. With an acting career that started at the age of five, Cameron Bure grew up in show business alongside her brother Kirk Cameron and has appeared in countless national television commercials, prime-time hits, TV movies and feature films. Mostly recently, Cameron Bure starred in the Hallmark Original Movie “Let It Snow.” In addition, she starred on ABC Family’s hugely popular show “Make It Or Break It” in a three year run as Summer Van Horn. Cameron Bure added bestselling author to her many titles with her book Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness, inspiring women to embrace a healthier lifestyle by moving faith to the forefront of their relationship with food. Her second book, Balancing It All, shares her story of successfully balancing different roles and responsibilities including motherhood, work, and Hollywood. Cameron Bure and her husband, former NHL star Val Bure have been happily married since 1996. Together with their 3 children, Natasha, Lev and Maks, they split their time between Los Angeles and Napa Valley, California which is home to their boutique wine label, Bure Family Wines. CANDACE CAMERON BURE partners with MARK BALLAS.

DREW CAREY — Drew Carey is a stand-up comic turned actor and producer who had the distinction of having two hit shows simultaneously: the long-running comedy “The Drew Carey Show,” which ran from 1995-2004, and the improv/sketch show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on which he was host and a producer. The success of that show led to the creation of “Drew Carey’s Improv All-Stars,” an improv troupe that performs in showrooms across the country. In July 2007, he was named the host of “The Price Is Right,” succeeding longtime host Bob Barker. He began his successful career as a comedian in April of 1986 at the Cleveland Comedy Club. In 1988, one of his first big breaks was competing on “Star Search.” In 1991, Carey landed a spot on HBO’s “14th Annual Young Comedians Special” and appeared on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” Carey landed his own television development deal with Disney, which led to an opportunity for him to co-star in the series “The Good Life.” He also had the opportunity to work with Bruce Helford, who was a consulting writer on the series and hired him as a staff writer for “The Gaby Hoffman Show.” Their experience led the two of them to decide to co-create a series for Carey. He went on to star in his own comedy special for Showtime, “Drew Carey: Human Cartoon” and performed in Showtime’s “Tenth Anniversary of the Montreal Comedy Festival.” Carey was born in Cleveland, Ohio and currently resides in Los Angeles. DREW CAREY partners with CHERYL BURKE.

MERYL DAVIS — Paired in 1997, Meryl Davis, 27, and her partner Charlie White, 26, are the longest-running ice dancing partnership in the history of United States figure skating. As a child, Davis wished to glide atop the frozen surface of the Michigan Lake adjacent to her home, so learning to ice skate at the age of five was a natural choice. They are 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists, 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists and 2011 & 2013 World Champions. Davis and White are also six-time (2009-2014) U.S. Champions, and five-time (2001-2013) Grand Prix Final Champions. Led by one of the most successful coaching teams in the world, she and White have steadily climbed the ranks of the U.S. and international ice dancing world. In 2006, they made their senior debut on the Grand Prix Series. They dominated the international skating scene this season, standing atop the podium at all six competitions they entered. By winning the 2013 World Championships, the team made figure skating history, becoming the only U.S. ice dancing team to ever win two World titles. The second title cemented their place in figure skating history and positioned them as the team to beat at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. When not on the ice Davis enjoys reading, traveling and learning about other cultures. She is currently a student at the University of Michigan. MERYL DAVIS partners with MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY.

NENE LEAKES — NeNe Leakes shot to stardom as a fan favorite on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Her popularity as a housewife led to her own Bravo television series “I Dream of Nene: The Wedding.” In 2012, she was cast as coach Roz Washington on “Glee” and later that year landed a starring role on NBC’s sitcom “The New Normal.” Leakes has also guest-starred in BET comedies, “The Game” and “Let’s Stay Together.” She was voted as one of Entertainment Weekly’s Entertainers of the Year and was the recipient of Bravo’s A-list Award for Fan Favorite. She is the author of Never Make the Same Mistake Twice, discussing her fractured childhood, abusive relationship and struggles with being a single mother. Currently, Leakes resides in Duluth, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, along with her two children and husband Gregg Leakes. NENE LEAKES partners with TONY DOVOLANI.

JAMES MASLOW — James Maslow is best known as the star of the hit television series “Big Time Rush” and as a member of the worldwide bestselling music group of the same name. Maslow has headlined sold out tours across the globe, most recently the Big Time Rush Live 2014 World Tour, performing at some of the largest venues across North & South America. Maslow began his acting career on the popular series “iCarly” and completed the fourth season of “Big Time Rush” last year. As one of the most popular music groups internationally, Big Time Rush has won countless Kids’ Choice Awards, and a 2012 Parade Magazine poll named Big Time Rush the “Best Boy Band in the World,” topping other well-known bands such as One Direction and The Wanted. Maslow has collaborated with many popular recording artists, such as Jordin Sparks, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and with Snoop Dogg on Big Time Rush’s international, chart-topping hit single “Boyfriend.” Born in New York and raised in San Diego, Maslow began performing at an early age, training at the prestigious La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, and the Coronado School of the Arts. JAMES MASLOW partners with PETA MURGATROYD.

DANICA MCKELLAR — Danica McKellar, best known as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years” and Elsie Snuffin on “The West Wing,” is a New York Times bestselling author with her groundbreaking books, Math Doesn’t Suck, Kiss My Math, Hot X: Algebra Exposed and Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, McKellar wrote a theorem that has been dubbed, “The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem,” and was published in Britain’s esteemed Journal of Physics. Upon the release of Math Doesn’t Suck, Danica was celebrated as “Person of the Week” on The World News with Charles Gibson for her advocacy of girls’ math education and being a positive role model for young girls. Danica also encourages a healthy balanced lifestyle, a part of that being yoga. To that end she has a DVD “Daily Dose of Dharma with Danica McKellar.” Her recent acting roles include appearances on “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory”, voicing the regular role of Miss Martian on Cartoon Network’s “Young Justice”, and starring roles in Lifetime movies “Love at the Christmas Table” and most recently “The Wrong Woman.” Recently Danica created a sensation with  her risqué  guest cameo in the hit Avril Lavigne video “Rock and Roll.” Despite Danica’s busy schedule, she finds time to lend a helping hand to worthwhile organizations, especially anything relating to children and/or education.  She is a spokesperson for St. Jude Children’s Hospital’s Math-a-thon, is involved with the Brigitte and Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation which provides at risk children in Ghana with food, clothing, healthcare and education; and the California-based My Stuff Bags Foundation, which provides powerful advocacy on behalf of abused, abandoned and neglected children across the U.S. and Canada.   Danica has a 3 year old son, Draco: the love of her life. DANICA MCKELLAR partners with VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY.

DIANA NYAD — 25 million people worldwide rooted for Diana Nyad last September as she approached the Florida shore, at long last achieving her 35-year-old dream of becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida. Nyad is not one to quit. On her fifth attempt, speaking the words “Never Ever Give Up” to the wildly cheering crowd on a Key West beach on September 2, 2013, Nyad may have been dazed and physically spent, but she showed the world what persistence and belief can manifest. Nyad stroked the amazing 110.86 miles in 52 hours, 54 minutes, 18 seconds. Daring to reach for the stars, this swim beginning to seem impossible (after her four attempts and other strong swimmers trying and failing since 1950), Nyad has motivated the world at large to be bold, to live fearlessly, to chase one’s dreams with unwavering commitment. The second statement the victorious 64-year-old made on that Key West beach? “You’re never too old to chase your dreams.” And her third statement on that historic day: “It looks a solitary sport, but it’s a TEAM.” A prominent sports broadcaster, reporting for National Public Radio, Fox Sports, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, The New York Times for thirty years, Nyad has carved her place as one of our compelling story-tellers. She has written three books and is currently writing her memoir for Knopf, due out in 2015. Nyad is a talented linguist, speaking three foreign languages fluently. She has also earned the reputation of a uniquely entertaining and inspiring public speaker. DIANA NYAD joins first time professional partner HENRY BYALIKOV.

AMY PURDY — Amy Purdy had a typical childhood until losing her legs at 19 as a result of Meningitis, which has led to an adulthood of extraordinary accomplishments. Currently training for the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia she is the top ranked adaptive snowboarder in the U.S. and three-time World Cup Para-snowboard winner. Purdy is the Co-Founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit organization which helps disabled youth, adults and wounded veterans get involved in action sports. AAS was instrumental in getting adaptive snowboarding added to the 2014 Paralympic Games. Purdy’s positive outlook has opened many doors to other opportunities including being featured in a Madonna music video, a lead acting role in an award winning independent film and multiple modeling projects. She is an accomplished motivational speaker who has shared her story with audiences around the world. In 2013, Purdy was named by the International Olympic Committee as one of the top 15 most marketable Para-athletes in the world.  AMY PURDY partners with DEREK HOUGH.

CODY SIMPSON — With over 6.4 million Twitter followers, over 6.7 million Facebook likes and nearly 200 million YouTube views, 17-year-old pop star Cody Simpson has taken the world by storm. Simpson recently released “The Acoustic Sessions” EP that followed the release of his sophomore album, 2013’s “Surfers Paradise” that debuted top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart and features the Top 40 hit single “Pretty Brown Eyes.” He recently wrapped his sold out US and Canadian Acoustic Sessions Tour and had previously been touring with Justin Bieber on Bieber’s Believe Tour. In 2013, Simpson released his first book Welcome To Paradise: My Journey published by HarperCollins. CODY SIMPSON joins first time professional partner WITNEY CARSON.

CHARLIE WHITE — Paired in 1997, Charlie White, 26, and his partner Meryl Davis 27, are the longest-running ice dancing partnership in the history of United States figure skating. White, who grew up just down the street from his partner began skating at the age of three. They are 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists, 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists and 2011 & 2013 World Champions. White and Davis are also six-time (2009-2014) U.S. Champions, and five-time (2001-2013) Grand Prix Final Champions. Led by one of the most successful coaching teams in the world, they have steadily climbed the ranks of the U.S. and international ice dancing world. In 2006, they made their senior debut on the Grand Prix Series. They dominated the international skating scene this season, standing atop the podium at all six competitions they entered. By winning the 2013 World Championships, the team made figure skating history, becoming the only U.S. ice dancing team to ever win two World titles. The second title cemented their place in figure skating history and positioned them as the team to beat at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. White is an avid sports fan, particularly hockey. An accomplished hockey player himself, White was part of a State Championship-winning team. Believing education is important, he is currently a student at the University of Michigan and hopes to attend law school in the future. CHARLIE WHITE partners with SHARNA BURGESS.

BILLY DEE WILLIAMS — Legendary leading man, Billy Dee Williams, was often touted as the ‘black Clark Gable,’ especially after his co-starring role in “Lady Sings the Blues,” opposite Diana Ross. George Lucas tapped him to play the scoundrel Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “The Return of the Jedi.” He also played the district attorney Harvey Dent in 1989’s “Batman.”  Williams many films include “The Ladies Man,” “Undercover Brother,” “The Visit,” “Fanboys,” “Barry Munday” and “Constellation” opposite Gabrielle Union. Most recently, the iconic Williams appeared in the blockbuster film “The Lego Movie.” In 2006, the NAACP recognized Williams for his immense contribution to the arts by awarding him the Lifetime Achievement Award.  His television appearances include “Lost,” “Private Practice” and “Scrubs.” In addition to his impressive acting career, Williams is also a very accomplished artist and has a painting on display at the Smithsonian. BILLY DEE WILLIAMS partners with EMMA SLATER.

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday nights during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the “Dancing with the Stars” broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT and closing at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT on Tuesday evenings. For the final week, on Monday, May 19, online voting will open for 15 hours, beginning from the start of the episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT and closing at 11:00 a.m., ET/8:00 a.m., PT the next day. A custom Facebook app lets fans vote, share whom they voted for and say why, as well as see whom friends voted for.

Hosted by Emmy® Award-winning host Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Erin Andrews (sports host & “Dancing with the Stars” Season 10 finalist), “Dancing with the Stars” is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which are judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

May 202014
 

Steven Spielberg He is Considered One Of The Most Popular Filmmakers In The History Of Cinema

Steven Allan Spielberg (born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and business magnate. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg’s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg’s early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing humanistic issues such as the Holocaust, the transatlantic slave trade, war, and terrorism.

He is considered one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He is also one of the co-founders of DreamWorks movie studio. Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg’s films: Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993) achieved box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time. To date, the unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $8.5 billion worldwide. Forbes puts Spielberg’s wealth at $3.3 billion.

Achievements:
Spielberg receiving a public service award presented by United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen, 1999 Steven Spielberg’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Footprints and handprints of Steven Spielberg in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Former President Clinton with Spielberg as he accepts the 2009 Liberty Award Spielberg has won three Academy Awards.

He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards for the category of Best Director, winning two of them (Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan), and nine of the films he directed were up for the Best Picture Oscar (Schindler’s List won). In 1987 he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work as a creative producer.

Drawing from his own experiences in Scouting, Spielberg helped the Boy Scouts of America develop a merit badge in cinematography. The badge was launched at the 1989 National Scout Jamboree, which Spielberg attended, and where he personally counseled many boys in their work on requirements.

That same year, 1989, saw the release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The opening scene shows a teenage Indiana Jones in scout uniform bearing the rank of a Life Scout. Spielberg stated he made Indiana Jones a Boy Scout in honor of his experience in Scouting. For his career accomplishments and service to others, Spielberg was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Steven Spielberg received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1995.
In 1998 he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Award was presented to him by President Roman Herzog in recognition of his film Schindler’s List and his Shoa Foundation.

In 1999, Spielberg received an honorary degree from Brown University. Spielberg was also awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service by Secretary of Defense William Cohen at the Pentagon on August 11, 1999; Cohen presented the award in recognition of Spielberg’s film Saving Private Ryan.

In 2001, he was honored as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2004 he was admitted as knight of the Légion d’honneur by president Jacques Chirac. On July 15, 2006, Spielberg was also awarded the Gold Hugo Lifetime Achievement Award at the Summer Gala of the Chicago International Film Festival,[138] and also was awarded a Kennedy Center honour on December 3. The tribute to Spielberg featured a short, filmed biography narrated by Tom Hanks and included thank-yous from World War II veterans for Saving Private Ryan, as well as a performance of the finale to Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, conducted by John Williams (Spielberg’s frequent composer).

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Spielberg in 2005, the first year it considered non-literary contributors. In November 2007, he was chosen for a Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at the sixth annual Visual Effects Society Awards in February 2009. He was set to be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the January 2008 Golden Globes; however, the new, watered-down format of the ceremony resulting from conflicts in the 2007–08 writers strike, the HFPA postponed his honor to the 2009 ceremony. In 2008, Spielberg was awarded the Légion d’honneur.

In June 2008, Spielberg received Arizona State University’s Hugh Downs Award for Communication Excellence. Spielberg received an honorary degree at Boston University’s 136th Annual Commencement on May 17, 2009. In October 2009 Steven Spielberg received the Philadelphia Liberty Medal; presenting him with the medal was former US president and Liberty Medal recipient Bill Clinton. Special guests included Whoopi Goldberg, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

On October 22, 2011 he was admitted as a Commander of the Belgian Order of the Crown. He was given the badge on a red neck ribbon by the Belgian Federal Minister of Finance Didier Reynders. The Commander is the third highest rank of the Order of the Crown. He was the president of the jury for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

On November 19, 2013, Spielberg was honored by the National Archives and Records Administration with its Records of Achievement Award. Spielberg was given two facsimiles of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, one passed but not ratified in 1861, as well as a facsimile of the actual 1865 amendment signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. The amendment and the process of passing it were the subject of his film Lincoln.

May 172014
 

Barbara Walter Is An American Broadcast Journalist

It is hard to imagine that Barbara Walters retires and will no longer be the anticipated presence in our living rooms on a regular basis. It’s equally hard to believe that she’s been a TV journalist for the past 53 years and yet, it’s time to take a walk down the memory lane.

Barbara Walters is beautiful, intelligent, successful, rich and famous. She didn’t get lucky, she’s earned her luck against formidable odds.

Barbara Walters (born on September 25th 1929 in Boston, MA) is an American broadcast journalist, author and television producer.
Barbara Walters first joined the NBC News program The Today Show as a researcher and writer in 1961. Few months later, she was promoted to an on-camera reporter and eventually became a co-host of The Today Show, but it wasn’t until 1974 that she was officially given a co-host’s credit.
She went on to co-anchor The ABC Evening News with Harry Reasoner and became the first female to anchor a television newscast. (She became also the first anchorperson to earn $1 million a year!)
After the rather unpopular run on ABC Evening News, Barbara was offered the prime time Barbara Walters Specials which gave her the opportunity to showcase her journalistic talent. (Barbara’s interview with Monica Lewinsky became the highest-rated news program ever broadcast by a single network!)
Walters was also a co-host and after Hugh Downs retired, a sole host of ABC’s popular 20/20 news program (from 1984 to 2004). In 1997 she created The View and appeared on it as one of the co-hosts.

Barbara Walters contended with sexism, discrimination and lack of social acceptance and conquered them. In the process, she gained recognition for her professionalism, integrity, high journalistic standards, creativity, persistence, her ability to land interviews no one else could and eliciting surprising answers from the subjects of her interviews.

Barbara Walters created her own, unique interview format and style. It was Socrates who believed that the secret of enriching conversation isn’t necessarily the response but a well thought-out question. There’s no doubt that Ms. Walters mastered the art of a thoughtful and often times, provocative interview questions. That’s why even though she’s interviewed numerous heads of State, many infamous characters and countless celebrities, she contributed as much to those famous interviews as the politicians and stars she interviewed.

Barbara Walters, the world-class journalist who paved the way for female broadcast journalists of today was honored and celebrated by all her peers, fans and friends as she prepares for retirement. The tributes revealed that she’s not only an accomplished and respected journalist but a well-liked friend.

Barbara Walters is a Living Legend who’s created an impressive body of work and a legacy of respect for her work as much as her courage.
It seems that above all, Barbara cemented her place in history for breaking the glass ceiling that prevented women from becoming successful broadcast journalists. Years ago, while speaking about Fred Astaire, Bob Thaves said “Sure he was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards…and in high heels!” So did Barbara, but unlike Ginger Rogers, Barbara Walters outshone most of her male “dancing partners”.

May 132014
 

Jay Leno Is An Ameri canComedian And Television host

Jay Leno (James Douglas Muir “Jay” Leno  born April 28, 1950) is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and television host. Leno was the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 1992 to 2009. Beginning in September 2009, Leno started a primetime talk show, titled The Jay Leno Show, which aired weeknights at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time, UTC-5), also on NBC. After The Jay Leno Show was canceled in January 2010 amid a host controversy, Leno returned to host The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 1, 2010. Leno hosted his last episode of the Tonight Show on February 6, 2014. That same year, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

Charity
In 2001, along with his wife, he donated $100,000 to the Feminist Majority’s campaign to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan, to educate the public regarding the plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Mavis Leno is on the board of the Feminist Majority.

In 2009, he donated $100,000 to a scholarship fund at Salem State College (now Salem State University) in honor of Lennie Sogoloff, who gave Leno his start at his jazz club, Lennie’s-on-the-Turnpike.

In August 2012, Leno auctioned his Fiat 500 which was sold for $385,000 with all the proceeds going to a charity that helps wounded war veterans recover by providing them temporary housing.

Love Ride
Since 1985 Jay Leno has been the grand marshal for the Love Ride, a motorcycle charity event which since its founding in 1984 has raised nearly $14 million for charities benefiting muscular dystrophy research, Autism Speaks, and in 2001, the September 11 attacks recovery. Leno arrived at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards in his Hispano-Suiza Aero.

Vehicle collection
Leno owns approximately 886 vehicles (769 automobiles and 117 motorcycles). He also has a website called “Jay Leno’s Garage,” which contains video clips and photos of his automobiles in detail, as well as other vehicles of interest to him. Leno’s Garage Manager is Bernard Juchli. Jay Leno’s collection boats two Doble steam cars, a sedan and a roadster that were owned by Howard Hughes.

Jay Leno has a regular column in Popular Mechanics which showcases his car collection and gives advice about various automotive topics, including restoration and unique models, such as his jet-powered motorcycle and solar-powered hybrid. Leno also writes occasional “Motormouth” articles for The Sunday Times, reviewing high-end sports cars and giving his humorous take on automotive matters.

Leno opened his garage to Team Bondi, the company that developed the critically acclaimed video-game L.A. Noire, which is set in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. Leno’s collection contains almost 100 cars from this period, and allowed the team to recreate their images as accurately as possible.