The best of those who tripped the light fantastic on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” will be back Monday in a new all-star version. Competing against each other will be folks like Pamela Anderson, Bristol Palin, Melissa Rycroft, Drew Lachey, Gilles Marini and Kelly Monaco. Executive producer Conrad Green explains why they decided to amp up the contest.
“We wanted to get back some of the best personalities and the best dancing. So really, it was a question of we sort of wrote a wish list ... and it’s rather incredible that everybody’s been so willing to take part. It’s a testament, I think, to how much people enjoyed it last time they were on this show. ... This is almost our version of ‘The Avengers.’ These were the superheroes of their particular seasons, and they’re back.”
LOS ANGELES — Kirk Douglas has doubled his Los Angeles Skid Row pledge for homeless women to $10 million, surprising even his wife, for whom the effort is named.
Kirk and Anne Douglas made the initial $5 million pledge in July for continued support of the Anne Douglas Center for Women at the Los Angeles Mission, which opened two decades ago.
The 95-year-old actor also gave his wife an award recently for her work at the shelter.
Douglas says his wife told him she was determined to do something for her country when they married 57 years ago and she has not stopped.
NEW YORK — Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin and Liza Minnelli sang songs by the late Marvin Hamlisch at a memorial service for the composer earlier this week.
Minnelli sang “If You Really Knew Me” from the musical “They’re Playing My Song,” Franklin gave a soulful rendition of “Nobody Does It Better” from the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me” and Streisand brought the crowd to its feet when she finished “The Way We Were.”
Hamlisch composed or arranged hundreds of scores for musicals and movies, includ-ing “A Chorus Line” on Broadway and the films “The Sting,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “Ordinary People” and “The Way We Were.” He died Aug. 6 at age 68 after a short illness.
Minnelli, in a beaded dress, said she met Hamlisch when she was 14 and he was 15. He later arranged many of Minnelli’s albums.“He was one of my few constants,” she said.
There were few seats available in the 900-seat theater at The Juilliard School, where decades before Hamlisch had become its youngest person accepted at just age 7.
Hamlisch, who won three Oscars, was working on a new musical, “Gotta Dance,” and was set to score a new film on Liberace, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.
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LOS ANGELES — Alfre Woodard says she was born to be a storyteller, but the greatest experience of her life has been raising her two children.
The 59-year-old actress, whose credits include TV’s “True Blood” and “Desperate Housewives,” says “being a mother to Mavis and Duncan was my high calling.” Her daughter, 21, and son, 18, recently left home.
“I’m three weeks into my empty nest and I’m still a little weepy,” Woodard said while promoting her new Lifetime movie, “Steel Magnolias,” alongside co-stars Queen Latifah and Jill Scott.
Woodard said she cooked meals for her kids daily through her career, and when she got a break, she would fly home. Being a mother and discovering who her children are “was just the most incredible human experience ... and I miss it terribly.”Luckily, work calls.“Steel Magnolias” airs Oct. 7, and she also has her eye on returning to the stage.
BERLIN — More than 400 rediscovered prints in which Dennis Hopper documented the U.S. arts scene of the mid-1960s, the civil rights movement and more are going on view in Berlin.
The actor/director’s daughter, Marin Hopper, said of the exhibition at the German capital’s Martin-Gropius-Bau: “It’s like being with him. It’s a very intimate experience seeing the photographs.”
The black-and-white, small-format photos were taken 1961-67, when Hopper was out of favor in Hollywood and before he directed “Easy Rider.”
The prints were found in his belongings after he died in 2010.