Once again, it was a big year in Hollywood East, as stars of both the big and little screens made their way through the area, working on projects. Stars who have connections to the New England area also played a big part in the entertainment scene, winning awards and starring in their own projects that only further helped prove that Hollywood East is a talent-laden land. Let’s take a look back at the year that was.
Current reigning queen of pop, the Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga, made a much heralded appearance in Cambridge to help launch her Born This Way Foundation, in conjunction with Harvard University
In television the Kardashians came to Boston for a bit, and NBC’s “Smash” shot their season 1 finale here. New England born or educated stars like Barbara Walters, Bronson Pinchot, and Maria Menounos made their own headlines. Menounos in particular had a lot going on–appearing in a bikini in Times Square after losing a bet, then later competing on “Dancing with the Stars,” and celebrating her 34th birthday in Hollywood.
Overall, it was yet another exciting year here at HEC, with lots more already being lined up for 2013. Stay tuned!
Medford maiden Maria Menounos celebrated her 34th birthday over the weekend, and the brunette beauty didn’t hold back! The Hawaiian luau themed event had the lovely miss sporting a teeny weeny yellow bikini and flower print shorts, while also wearing a lei and even a giant live snake around her neck at times throughout the raucous evening. Some of the famous faces who came out to celebrate the “Extra” host included Donald Trump, Michael Chiklis, and Nia Vardalos. Actor Mel Gibson took the birthday girl for a spin around the dance floor, as did her former “Dancing with the Stars” partner Derek Hough.
The party was held outdoors at her place in Encino and featured fire dancers, hula girls, and even exotic animals, which included monkeys. Her actual birthday was June 8th.
The bubbly host also recently made headlines for her appearance on the Howard Stern Sirius Radio show, where she opened up about her past experiences with sexual abuse. As a teenager, Menounos said she was assaulted by a doctor. She went to the doctor for a throat issue and was told to change into a hospital gown, who then molested Menounos while her boyfriend sat outside in the waiting room. Menounos now says she brings her boyfriend of fourteen years, Kevin Undergaro, with her to the examination room every time.
With ‘every beat of Gladys’s heart’ she pulsated Motown Night with her circuit, Tristan MacManus. They danced a Rumba to start the eve and ended in a Jive duel with Disney. No question Knight charmed us with her soul but her midnight train departed on Week 6 of Dancing with the Stars.
The two nights grooved live with legends Smokey Robinson whose face did not move but voice perfectly tuned. The Temptations who skipped up a little and Martha Reeves who had some overflow. Motown Philly’s back again with Boys II Men and Natasha Bedingfield was a ‘pocket full of sunshine’ with 17-year-old ballerina, Michaela DePrince who is a dream come true.
Shake that! Feel the Motown moves with these 7 acts. New England has been shufflin on DWTS since the very beginning with the ever so witty Tom Bergeron and the past few seasons with the beautiful Brooke Burke. And continues to shuffle with our girl, Maria Menounos, who is having an extra good time yet found herself in the bottom four this week. Maria continues to show how tough a Boston girl can be as she battles feet complications, a broken rib and a bruised chin. Probably helps having Derek Hough by your side? The two of them couldn’t be any better looking as they bring it week after week. Be it kissing or killing it! Go Maria Menounos!
Disney Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower out-dueled Knight and MacManus to end Motown week. There was no question Roshon was the better dancer. He may not have the fan base needed to win the Mirrorball Trophy but this kid can dance!
Is Katherine Jenkins really a professional dancer? I thought she was an Opera singer?! My goodness is she gorgeous, sweet and a natural. Katherine you got my vote. Jenkins and Mark Ballas are quit a pair. Mark has so much choreographer flair. They steam the room up and for sure a reflection of the Mirrorball Trophy awaits.
Donald catch this! You’re smooth, charming and can move! The way you lift Peta couldn’t be hotter. You can see Peta has complete confidence in the NFL star. The two make a sexy duo and heat up the floor. Melissa Gilbert and Maks can’t fake their improvement from Week 1. She sticks it with Maks as she continues to prairie her performances. Of course ABC is going to “highlight” Maks aggressiveness, it’s TV!
‘Did I do that’? Jaleel, you certainly did by stepping it up this week with partner Kym Johnson and scoring 10′s. While looking ever so dapper! Last week Jaleel and Kym strummed it out with Gavin DeGraw keeping the pair from eliminations.
Oh hellooo William Levy,
We saved the best performance for last. Can you blame me? I’m not sure if we were ready for this Rumba with the sizzling William and spicy Cherly Burke. And I’m pretty sure we’ll never be the same. All I know is the temperature here in Southie skyrocketed, so I can’t imagine being at Studio 46 live. Was it technically perfect? Who cares! This titillating performance had us begging for more. With moves like that, you got my vote! William doesn’t need to look in the mirror to know, the Mirrorball Trophy is in his hand.
With 7 couples left, Week 7 is on the horizon and we couldn’t be more bright for Monday night. Look for HEC’s coverage. Who will be the next couple to dance off?
That’s right! The once Miss Massachusetts teen USA, Emerson Alum, pretty TV personality and actress, Maria Menounos can add yet another credit to her hot resume. Cause its official, the native will be getting down on the dance floor in the upcoming Season 14 of “Dancing with the Stars”.
And it looks like Maria will have no problem ‘skimplyfing’ her wardrobe this season with abs like hers! You remember? Maria, Times Square and nothing but a tiny Giants bikini bet. Go Maria! She just might have moves like Mike Jagger.
Oh and just when you think you couldn’t envy the very likeable Maria anymore. She is hooking up with not only the fan favorite but the very SEXY Derek Hough! You got my vote.
Early this week, New England’s own Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke served twelve celebs including Medford Menounos a chance to win the Mirror Ball Trophy. So who else is on tap? Let’s pour us a little, “Did I do that”? Former “Family Matters” star Jaleel White aka Urkel will be hiking it up for former champ Kym Johnson. Tennis pro Martina Navratilova is matched with Tony Dovolani. Green Bay Packers Donald Driver will be playing the field with Peta Murgatroyd.
Telenova actor William Levy lines up with two-time champ Cheryl Burke. Disney star Roshon Fegan will beat it with Chelsis Hightower. Singer Gavin DeGraw will tune it with reigning champ Karina Smirnoff. Singer Katherin Jenkins will sing it with Mark Ballas. 80′s General Hospital icon Jack Wagner will hit the floor with veteran Anna Trebunskaya.
This “midnight train” Gladys Knight will be blowing the whistle with the feisty Tristan MacManus. Sherri Shepherd will view the dance floor with Val Chmerkovskiy. And “Little House on the Prairie”, Melissa Gilbert will tie it up with Maskim Chmerkovskiy. Yup, Max is back and will continue to sweat it on Season 14. Yes please! We just hope for Gilbert’s sake that she is a stronger dancer than Hope.
“DWTS” returns on March 19th with a two-hour season premiere. Just a week after Bachelor nation watches Ben Flajnik get down on one knee to well, we think to Courtney? Ben, not your best move but its time we move on with our Monday nights to DWTS. Can’t wait! Mondayfunday DWTS anyone? Tell us on our FB page.
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!
As the acclaim surrounding Hollywood East continues to grow, and it’s reputation for bringing quality projects to the entertainment world carries on, it’s important to recognize all the pieces of the puzzle that have contributed to this phenomenon. One such being, the immense amount of home-grown talent that has arisen, particularly from the Boston area. A new photography book is helping pay homage to the Beantown women in particular who have helped make our city great, many of which happen to be in the entertainment industry.
The book is titled Boston, Inspirational Women, and is the work of father-and-daughter photographers Bill Brett and Kerry Brett. Together, they compiled more than 125 black-and-white portraits of women with Boston ties for their project, which was recently released by it’s publisher.
While the book is not solely about women in the entertainment, many of those featured are actresses or TV stars. Among those highlighted:
Maura Tierney, best known for her work on “ER”, was born and raised in Hyde Park. She’s the daughter of the late Joseph Tierney, who served on Boston’s City Council for 15 years.
Rachel Dratch is a Lexington native who graduated from Dartmouth College before going on to star on “Saturday Night Live.”
Many are unaware that movie star and glamazon Uma Thurman was born in Boston and grew up mostly in Amherst, Massachusetts.
The Food Network’s Rachael Ray spent time as a child in Mashpee and Falmouth on Cape Cod, where her family owned a restaurant called The Carvery.
Watertown’s Eliza Dushku starred alongside Jamie Lee Curtis and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter in True Lies as a teenager.
Medford’s Maria Menounos is an alumna of the city’s public high school and Emerson College. She’s gone on to become the youngest cohost of Entertainment Tonight and the Today Show, and the youngest person to report for NBC’s Nightly News.
A launch party was held for the book at the new Smith and Wollensky on Congress Street in Boston on November 15. Over 500 people were in attendance, including a number of women from the book, such as chef Lydia Shire and socialite Marilyn Riseman.
All photos taken from the Boston, Inspirational Women slide show on Boston.com
Our favorite Medford native, Extra host Maria Menounos and her long-time boyfriend Keven Undergaro showed up at the Boston Film Festival the other night for a sneak preview of their new film, Serial Buddies which made its premiere at the festival. The movie was filmed in Connecticut last year. Undergaro wrote and directed the film, and Menounos stars in, and co-produced.
According to Undergaro in a recent Access Hollywood interview, the film is based on a former friend/employee of Undergaro’s with a “disconnected sociopathic personality.” The cast includes Christopher Lloyd, Kathie Lee Gifford and her daughter Cassidy (yes, you read that right) and Artie Lange of The Howard Stern Show fame. Lange made news in early 2010 after a suicide attempt in his home. He later recovered and returned to the comedy stage. Speaking of the “King of All Media,” Undergaro and Menounos visited his show back in April; check out some adult-rated snippets if you dare.
Serial Buddies doesn’t have an official release date yet, but based on the buzz we hope this wacky made in New England comedy gets picked up soon.
Photo Credits: Getty Images and The Boston Globe
Fall is fast arriving, and with its annual arrival also brings one of the most exciting film festivals in Beantown, the Boston Film Festival. Now in its 27th year, this year’s line-up promises a great selection of movies and special appearances, as 6 world premieres will be taking place at the festival.
Mike O’Malley, a Boston native who is currently in town filming R.I.P.D. with Ryan Reynolds will be attending the festival on opening night for the premiere of a film he wrote called Certainty, which is directed by Peter Askin and starring Giancarlo Esposito, Tom Lipinski, Bobby Moynihan and Kristen Connolly, who also will all be attending. Triple threat director/actor/writer Eric Schaeffer’s After Fall, Winter will also have its debut on opening night.
Another Boston native, Maria Menounos, will introduce audiences to a preview of a new film she produced entitled Serial Buddies. Academy Award winning Director Alex Gibney will be screening Catching Hell about sports scapegoats, featuring BoSox favorite, Bill Buckner.
Among the special events throughout the festival, Boston Filmmakers Night will include the premiere of Give Me A Shot of Anything: House Calls To the Homeless, which follows the story of Boston street doctor Jim O’Connell.
Wednesday night’s College Night will feature a special screening of Fort McCoy based on a true story starring Eric Stoltz, Andy Hirsch, and former “The Practice” star, Camryn Manheim. Director Kate Connor will conduct a Q&A with Hirsch following the screening. That same evening, the world premiere of Trouble with the Truth, starring Lea Thompson and John Shea, will be followed by Q&A with the stars.
On Saturday, a panel discussion will take place with actor/writer/director Sam Jaeger, Keith Dorrington, Oscar nominated writer/producer of The Fighter; and Eric Schaeffer. Brittany Snow and Christian Serratos, will be at the screening of 96 Minutes on Saturday, along with Sam Jaeger’s movie Take Me Home.
The festival kicks off on Friday, September 16, and lasts through the 22nd. Screenings will take place at the The Stuart Street Playhouse, and a full schedule of events can be found on their website.
Medford, MA. native, the beautiful Maria Menounos will appear with cutie Mario Lopez on “Extra.”
That’s right, the once Miss Massachusetts teen USA, Maria Menounos is officially hooking up with the once A.C Slater, Mario Lopez on “Extra”. Bells are ringing. After six faithful years, Menounos and NBC are calling it quits.
The Medford, MA native has kissed a new deal with Telepictures and will co-host “Extra” with hunk Lopez this Fall. She’ll also have on-air flings with the CW’s Dr. Drew’s “Lifechangers” which will be exclusive September 19th. The new deal was announced by Hilary Estey McLoughlin, President of Telepictures and Lisa Gregorisch-Dempsey, Senior Executive Producer of “Extra” and “Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers.”
“We are thrilled to have Maria in the Telepictures family. She is a great talent with diverse experience and appeal and her versatility will enable her to contribute to our slate in myriad ways,” McLoughlin says in a statement of Menounos, who has also been an on-air correspondent for competitors “Access Hollywood” and “Entertainment Tonight”.
“I’m so excited to join Mario on “Extra” and be a part of “Dr. Drew’s Lifechangers”. Joining Telepictures is a great next step in my career. I loved working at NBC and thank the network for a great six-year run,” says Menounos.
You want a little extra Menounos, check out “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life,” written by the talented diva — a New York Times’ bestseller! “Extra! Extra!”.
Maria Menounos, a Medford, Massachusetts born beauty whose made a name for herself as a a reporter on “Access Hollywood,” has been making the rounds lately. Though instead of her usual gig interviewing celebrities, she’s been taking a turn answering questions about her new book, The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life.
In the book, she gives advice on health, career, relationships, renovations, recreation, and more, and even gets some famous pals to contribute their own words of wisdom.
Menounos was raised by Greek immigrant parents and competed in beauty pageants growing up. She actually went on to win Miss Massachusetts Teen USA in 1996, and later Miss Massachusetts USA in 2000, where she was first runner up.
On one of her stops, Menounos talked to Wendy Williams about their mutual Boston connections. Menounos attended Emerson College, but had to drop out because her family couldn’t afford for her to finish. Williams admitted that she didn’t get in to Emerson, but went to Northeastern instead, and “loved it up there.”
During her time at Emerson, she participated in the award winning Emerson Independent Video organization. During her senior year, right after she was forced to drop out, she was hired as a reporter for Channel One News, the news channel showed in most public middle and high schools week day mornings.
On April 16, Menounos appeared at Cambridgeside Galleria’s Celebrity Style event, where she met with attendees, took pictures, and signed copies of her new book, which is currently available in stores.
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