Worcester, MA born funnyman, Denis Leary, has been a busy guy lately. Not only is he currently starring in The Amazing Spiderman and Ice Age: Continental Drift, he just released a new comedy single, “Kiss My Ass.” The song, which is currently available on iTunes, is a tongue-in-cheek national anthem, touting all the ridiculous things that Americans are proud of, but foreigners would be loathe to ascribe to. Leary also filmed a video to go along with the single.
In The Amazing Spiderman, Leary play Captain Stacy, the police chief and father of Peter Parker/Spiderman’s main squeeze, Gwen Stacy. In this much-talked about reboot of the Spiderman movies, Brit Andrew Garfield plays our arachnid hero, with a blonde Emma Stone filling out the role of his love interest. Stone took to her character so much, the pair are actually now dating in real life.
The third installment of the Ice Age movies, Continental Drift boasts an ensemble of voice talents, with Leary returning to play Diego, the saber-toothed cat. His costars include the likes of Joy Behar, Peter Dinklage, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, Nicki Minaj, Heather Morris, and Jennifer Lopez, who plays Shira, Leary’s girlfriend in the picture.
While doing press for the feature, Leary has often recounted a story where he recalls recording a different ending to the first Ice Age movie, where his character died at the end. Arguing with producers that the plot twist would not go over well with youngsters, the original cut was shown to a small test audience of children and parents, and the feedback forced producers to go back and re-cut the ending. Leary has remarked at how thankful he is to those test-market audience members, as Leary has gone on to be featured in each of the subsequent films, video games, and straight to DVD pictures.
Boston born actress Maura Tierney is back on television again with a brand new role on the hit CBS show, “The Good Wife.” She’ll play a self made millionaire involved in the Democratic side of Chicago politics, and will once again be costarring with another former “ER” actress and the current star of “The Good Wife,” Julianna Margulies. Tierney herself played Abby Lockhart, a nurse turned doctor on the hit show “ER” for 10 seasons.
Tierney has recently made the rounds on the talk show circuit promoting the show as well as discussing her battle with breast cancer. The 47 year old star found a lump in her breast in 2009 that was later diagnosed by a real-life doctor as cancer. Tierny underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction as well as three months of chemotherapy. The diagnosis came at a difficult time in Tierney’s life, as it occurred just after she quit the hit NBC show, “ER”, and also around the same time her father, Joseph M. Tierney, a long-time Boston city councilman, died of cancer.
Schedule conflicts at the time with her cancer treatments led her to leave the cast of “Parenthood” before she began, and her role was recast with Lauren Graham. Once she recovered, she returned to television to play a recurring character on “Rescue Me” with fellow Massachusetts native, Denis Leary. Five years later, she is currently in good health and is in remission.
Tierney is the eldest of three children, and was born and raised in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Boston. For high school, she attended Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, Massachusetts, where her studies included drama and enabled her to appear in the Boston Globe Drama Festival. After graduation, she attended New York University where she majored in dance and drama.
It’s no secret that Boston is a great city for sports. With all 4 of our major league teams winning at least one championship in the past decade, many have taken to calling our Hub “Title Town”. As local sports fans become increasingly accustomed to attending championship parades, it’s natural to expect that many celebrities are jumping on the bandwagon.
Many of these stars long-time, hard-core, Boston sports fans, most of them with long-standing roots in the area. Brookline’s Conan O’Brien, Medford homegal Maria Menounos, and of course Ben Affleck, Matt Damon are all fans of all four of our championship winning teams. Any of them are likely to be spotted wearing their green at a Celtics game, grabbing a Fenway frank for a Sox game, chilling at a Bruins game, or kicking back at a Pats game.
Our most storied sports team, the Red Sox can claim many celebrities among their fans, including the likes of Jennifer Garner, Jake Gyllenhaal, Reese Witherspoon, Stephen King, Denis Leary, Kenny Chesney, Stephen Tyler, Arlington’s own Dane Cook, Neal McDonough (who hails from Hyannis), Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, and Mark Wahlberg.
Up until June of last year, Bruins fans felt a bit left out of the Boston sports championship frenzy. Then, thanks to the first Stanley Cup in 29 years this past June, famous fans like Dropkick Murphys’ frontman Ken Casey, celeb chef Ming Tsai, “Superbad” star Chris Mintz-Plasse (you may remember him as McLovin), “The Office” star Mindy Kaling, Newton-bred actor/director Eli Roth, Dane Cook, Denis Leary, Jim Gaffigan, and former Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath, all suddenly had something serious to cheer about.
With their 2008 champhionship win, the Celtics brought the luck of the Irish back to Boston, harkening back to the days when the likes of Larry Bird helped us hoist multiple banners years after year in the Garden. These days, famous faces like Everett’s Ellen Pompeo, Gisele Bundchen, Watertown’s Eliza Dushku, Dane Cook, Steven Tyler, Mike O’Malley, Jay Leno, and Dorchester’s Donnie Wahlberg all were seeing green. Wahlberg in particular has definitely waited for his chance to celebrate with the team, supporting them by being spotted in the stands going all the way back to the mid-90s, long before Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Shaq ever put on their clover leaf apparel.
Famous Patriots fans are a little harder to find. It seems with all their championship successes, the team causes a lot of controversy, even amongst the most stalwart and staunch Boston sports supporters. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who of course is our famed quarterback, Tom Brady’s, wife, is at every game. Donnie’s brother Mark Wahlberg also roots for his Pats, as does writer Steven King, who originally hails from not to far off Maine. Aerosmith frontman and former Brighton resident, Steven Tyler not only sang the Star-Spangled Anthem at the AFC championship game, but showed his love for his home team by sporting the sparkliest Patriots scarf this side of Michael’s Craft Supply. With the Pats defeat of the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC championship, sending them to yet another Superbowl showdown, maybe we’ll see a few more famous faces pop up at the next game!
The comics are coming home to Boston! In November, comic Denis Leary will bring his “Comics Come Home” stand-up event to Boston University’s Agganis Arena. “Comics Come Home,” the longest-running stand-up comedy benefit in the nation, will raise funds for the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care and the Neely Cancer Fund, created to aide the Tufts Medical Center’s Cancer Center.
For some of the CCH comedians this really his a homecoming. The event’s host and creator, Denis Leary is a native of Worcester, Massachusetts, who got is start in Boston’s comedy clubs while studying at Emerson College. Leary’s longtime friend, Lenny Clarke will also be apart of the November, 12 festivities. Clarke was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was one of Boston’s most famous “saloon comics” of the 1980′s. Leary and Clarke both wrote and appeared in Clarke’s local television series, “Lenny Clarke’s Late Show.” Currently, Clarke is set to star is Chelsea Handler’s NBC series, premiering mid season 2011.
Fellow Massachusetts comics and frequent guests on the Opie and Anthony Show, Nick DiPaolo and Robert Kelly will also be performing at CCH. DiPaolo, a native of Danvers, Massachusetts, has been featured on four Comedy Central Roasts, including that of Denis Leary. Kelly was born in Boston and toured with Cambridge comedian Dane Cook’s “Tourgasm” in 2005.
While not a Bay Sate native, Artie Lange will also be on-hand at the event. He is known best as Howard Stern’s sidekick, but also wrote, produced and starred in his own film, Artie Lange’s Beer League, which featured CCH comic Nick DiPaolo as a police officer.
Tickets for the 17th “Comics Come Home” are available now on Ticketmaster and range in cost from $38-$123.
Photo Credit: Getty
Denis Leary’s critically acclaimed series, “Rescue Me” premiered its final season on Wednesday, but the comedian is keeping busy with multiple projects, including his charity, The Leary Firefighters Foundation. The Worcester native maintains a longtime connection with the firefighter community that began long before he starred as fireman Tommy Gavin in the FX dramedy.
After a fire in his hometown claimed the life of his cousin, childhood friend and four other firefighters in 1999, Leary started the foundation to provide financial support for the victims families and providing new equipment for fire departments. Through his foundation Leary raised over $2 million dollars for the families of firefighters who died on September 11 and donated over a dozen boats to New Orleans fire departments after hurricane Katrina.
Leary’s comedy career is also booming. He just completed his #ThinningTheHerd Tour, which featured Cambridge native and “Rescue Me” co-star Lenny Clarke. Leary also recently released a stand-up DVD and a snarky new book. Also in the works for Leary is the fourth installment of the Ice Age films, in which Leary reprises his role as Diego.
“Rescue Me” premiered in 2004 and will conclude when the seventh series ends on September 7, 2011. The season will reportedly center on Tommy Gavin’s struggle with 9/11 sightings and his anger at those who continue to benefit financially from the disaster.
With the close of the academic year quickly arriving for most area colleges and universities, the class of 2011 prepares for their commencement ceremonies that will send them out into the real world. Typically associated with the pomp and circumstances of these ceremonies is the appearance of a special guest speaker, who will address the crowd of graduates and leave them with a bit of sage advice before wishing them the best of luck. Below are a few of the notable names that will be making appearances at area schools.
Berklee College of Music’s commencement ceremony, on Saturday, May 7, will feature a bevy of Grammy award winners.
The event will be held at the 7,000-seat Agganis Arena at Boston University. All of the guest speakers will receive honorary doctor of music degrees.
Also on May 7, actress and humanitarian Mia Farrow will speak at the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts commencement in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Farrow, selected by Time magazine in 2008 as one of the most influential people in the world, has traveled to the Darfur region of the Sudan many times since 2004. She has starred in movies such as Rosemary’s Baby, See No Evil, and The Great Gatsby.
Emerson College’s 131st Commencement exercises on Monday, May 16, at the Wang Theatre will feature an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director. Richard LaGravenese, a 1980 graduate of Emerson College, will deliver the undergraduate address. The writer of numerous screenplays, including The Fisher King, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award in 1992, The Ref (written with Emerson classmate Denis Leary), The Bridges of Madison County, The Mirror Has Two Faces, The Horse Whisperer, and Beloved. He has also written and directed several films including Living Out Loud, Freedom Writers, and P.S. I Love You. Most recently, he wrote the screenplay for the current hit movie Water for Elephants, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson.
At the undergraduate ceremony on May 21, at Western New England College in Springfield, Massachusetts, social and political humorist Jimmy Tingle will speak. Tingle has been a stand-up comic, writer, commentator and actor on radio, television and film for three decades. He served as a commentator and humorist for “60 Minutes II” and MSNBC and was a correspondent for the Strategic Humor Initiative with Sir David Frost on PBS and the BBC. His other television credits include CNN, “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Larry King’s Weekend,” as well as his own HBO comedy special. He has appeared in films as well including Chris Rock’s Head of State. Tingle was also owner and producing artistic director for “Jimmy Tingle’s Off Broadway Theater” in Somerville, MA. He is winner of the prestigious “Best of Boston” award as both a stand-up performer and a theater producer.
At Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, the undergraduate commencement speaker is Mitch Albom, a best-selling author, nationally acclaimed newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, host of two popular radio shows and a television commentator who regularly appears on ESPN’s Sports Reporters and ABC. His nine books include Tuesdays with Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day. Tuesdays with Morrie sold over 14 million copies and is now the best-selling memoir of all time. The Emmy Award-winning TV movie featured Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, and was produced by Oprah Winfrey. In 2004, he wrote the screenplay for “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” the ABC TV movie starring Jon Voight and Ellen Burstyn. He has appeared on many TV programs including “Oprah,” “The Today Show,” “Larry King Live” and “Charlie Rose.” The ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 22.
Also in Connecticut on May 22, actor Tom Hanks will speak to the Ivy League graduates at the annual Yale University Class Day. Hanks has won Academy Awards for performances in the movies Philadelphia, and Forrest Gump, and also starred in Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan.
It was also just announced on Friday morning that Katie Couric will be giving Boston University’s commencement address on May 22. The former co-anchor of NBC News’s Today Show for 15 years only recently announced that she will step down as the anchor of the CBS Evening News.
Go Hollywood East!
Boston might be the central point of Hollywood East, but it still has a long way to go in comparison to the likes of L.A. in terms of celebrity spotting. However, with the growing number of movies and TV shows filming in the area, combined with the number of sports star that call Boston home (at least while they are in-season), its no surprise that certain places around town are becoming hotspots for celeb spotting.
One such spot, Hillstone (formerly known as Houston’s), located in front of Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, has definitely had its fair share of famous clientele. From Denis Leary, to Dane Cook, to a number of reality stars, and Red Sox players, the small but popular restaurant is known for its great drinks and french fries.
Because of its close proximity to the Boston TD Banknorth Garden, its not uncommon to find a basketballer seated for dinner. Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce have been known to frequent the establishment. Celtics star Kendrick Perkins, who missed the last game of this year’s NBA finals with a torn MCL and PCL in his knee, is one of Hillstone’s best customers. The 6’10”, 280 pound, 25 year old center has been known to order expensive meals totaling into the hundreds of dollars, and tips somewhere close to 70% most of the time. Nice to hear that some of those millions they make get spread around a bit!
While it’s no secret Boston has become the unofficial capital of Hollywood East, with numerous films and TV shows shooting here each year, it’s been hard not to stumble across camera crews and make-shift sets, despite sometimes very well-guarded production details. What has been kept slightly more hush hush has been the hotspots in the Hub that the stars of these projects hit when they’re not on the clock.
Boston’s restaurant scene has caught the Hollywood wave and starting offering more upscale options. Not surprisingly, many of the celeb favorites are centered around the Back Bay/Newbury Street area. Long-time favorite Sonsie has played host to Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Hulk Hogan, Roger Clinton, and Donnie Wahlberg.
For dessert, it seems that everyone in fact does scream for ice cream. The Newbury Street location of Ben & Jerry’s posts pictures on their walls of the famous faces that often stop by their store. Alec Baldwin, John Mayer, Jane Fonda, Ellen Pompeo, and players from the Celtics have all grabbed a cone recently.
In order to keep in shape (and perhaps work off the pounds from all that ice cream) the Sports Club/LA, adjacent to the Ritz Carlton hotel is arguably one of the most upscale gyms in town. That’s why it’s not surprising that The Rock, Justin Timberlake, Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, and Emilio Estevez, Reese Witherspoon, and Britney Spears have all been spotted working out there at one time or another.
To blow off a little steam in a different sense, Felt Nightclub is a big favorite with the glitterati. Stars like Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and Chris Rock have all made a presence there in the past year or so while they’ve been in town for projects. Other stars like Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, and Ben and Casey Affleck frequent the hip spot whenever their roots call them home again.
Speaking of Mark Wahlberg, he and Will Farrell will be at his restaurant, Alma Nove, in Hingham, MA celebrating the premiere of their new flic, The Other Guys, showing at the Patriot Cinemas in Hangham. The Alma Nove restaurant is owned by three Wahlberg brothers, including chef Paul Wahlberg, and family friend Ed St. Croix.
There’s a plethora of other places HEC has spotted celebs during their off hours. Singer Seal was seen in Boston’s Public Garden last spring while he was in town to sing the national anthem at Fenway Park. Actress Natalie Portman was in Cambridge in February for a friend’s wedding. Brooke Shields was spotted in her off-time from shooting Furry Vengeance at South Boston eateries Flour2 and Sportello. Funnymen Denis Leary and Lenny Clark grabbed lunch at the Four Seasons last spring while Leary was in town for his son’s graduation from Emerson College. Grown Ups costars David Spade and Colin Quinn were seen last summer grabbing a weekend bite at Sel De La Terre on Boylston Street.
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