Entertainment

Shannen Doherty, 'Beverly Hills 90210' and 'Charmed actress,' dead at 53

Shannen Doherty, 'Beverly Hills 90210' and 'Charmed actress,' dead at 53

Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Actress Shannen Doherty, best-known for her roles on TV’s original Beverly Hills 90210 and on Charmed, has died at 53.

In a statement to ABC News, her publicist said, "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of actress Shannen Doherty. On Saturday, July 13, she lost her battle with cancer after many years of fighting the disease. The devoted daughter, sister, aunt and friend was surrounded by her loved ones as well as her dog, Bowie. The family asks for their privacy at this time so they can grieve in peace."

Doherty revealed in August 2015 that she had breast cancer, diagnosed the previous February. She filed a lawsuit against her former business managers, whom she says "blundered" her insurance payments, causing them to lapse and resulting in a late diagnosis after the cancer had spread. The parties settled the suit the following year for undisclosed terms.

Doherty documented her cancer treatment on her social media, including when friends and family helped shave her head in late July, 2016, as she underwent chemotherapy and her hair began to fall out. After her illness went into remission, Doherty revealed to ABC's Good Morning America in 2020 that her cancer had returned and was Stage 4.

"The unknown is always the scariest part,” Doherty told ET.  “Everything else is manageable. Pain is manageable, you know, living without a breast is manageable.  It's the worry of your future and how your future is going to affect the people that you love."

Born in Memphis, TN, Doherty’s acting career was marked by both starring TV roles and accusations she was difficult to work with.  She was written off of Beverly Hills 90210 during the show’s fourth season in 1994, and left Charmed after three seasons amid rumored tensions between her and co-star Alyssa Milano

She continued to work steadily, including with her former Charmed co-star Holly Marie Combs on the GAC reality series Off the Map with Shannen & Holly. In 2019, following the death of Luke Perry, she reprised her 90210 role of Brenda Walsh in the Fox limited series BH90210, alongside former co-stars Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green and Jason Priestley.

Doherty was married to photographer Kurt Iswarienko, her third husband, for 11 years before filing for divorce in April 2023.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Richard Simmons, iconic fitness guru, dead at 76

Richard Simmons, iconic fitness guru, dead at 76

C Flanigan/FilmMagic

Richard Simmons, the exercise guru who became a pop culture icon, has died, his rep confirmed to ABC News. He had just celebrated his 76th birthday on July 12.

LAPD sources tell ABC News that they went to Simmons' home after a 911 call from his housekeeper. He was found dead, apparently of natural causes. No foul play is suspected, and there's nothing that would prompt an investigation, sources said.

In March of 2024, Simmons clarified he was "not dying" following a cryptic Facebook post that seemed to intimate the opposite. The reclusive Simmons took to Facebook again a day later to say he'd had a cancerous growth removed from his face.

Simmons, born Milton Teagle Simmons in New Orleans, built a fitness empire after losing more than 100 pounds. He started by opening exercise studios and gyms. After his success in that area led to a TV appearance, he drew media attention and began landing guest roles on multiple shows, including Win, Lose or Draw, Match Game and Hollywood Squares. He also had a recurring role as himself on General Hospital for four years.

With his energetic, flamboyant personality, curly hair and signature wardrobe of super-short shorts and tank top, Simmons soon became a pop culture icon, hosting TV shows, authoring multiple books, hosting fan cruises and making exercise videos and DVDs. These were especially popular, especially the Sweatin' to the Oldies series.

Simmons continued to appear in multiple TV shows, talk shows and commercials until 2014, when he dropped out of public view. His exercise studio in Beverly Hills closed in 2016.

Simmons' absence from the public eye inspired the 2017 podcast Missing Richard Simmons, produced by a former friend. In early 2024, Pauly Shore announced that he'd be playing Simmons in an upcoming biopic, which prompted Simmons to write Facebook, "I have never given my permission for this movie. So don't believe everything you read. I no longer have a manager, and I no longer have a publicist. I just try to live a quiet life and be peaceful."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Dr. Ruth Westheimer, sex therapist and pop culture icon, dead at 96

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, sex therapist and pop culture icon, dead at 96

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Radio Hall of Fame

Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the pioneering sex therapist, author and talk show host, has died, her publicist announced. She was 96.

"It is with immense personal sorrow that I announce the passing of the iconic Dr. Ruth K Westheimer at the age of 96, whose 'Minister of Communications' I've been since 1981," publicist Pierre Lehu said in a statement to WABC.

Her family added: "The children of Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer are sad to announce the passing of their mother, the internationally-celebrated sex therapist, author, talk show host, professor, and orphan of the Holocaust. She died peacefully at her home in New York City on July 12th surrounded by her loving family, just over a month after celebrating her 96th birthday."

Known as "Dr. Ruth," she first gained fame in 1980 when she hosted a New York City radio program called Sexually Speaking, which featured her answering listeners' questions about sex and relationships.  The novelty of a tiny, grandmotherly woman with a heavy German accent speaking frankly about sex proved to be irresistible: The popularity of Sexually Speaking led to a media empire that included nationally syndicated radio and TV shows, books, computer games, speaking engagements and appearances in commercials.

Dr. Ruth was born Karola Ruth Siegel to an Orthodox Jewish family in 1928. An only child, her mother was able to have her sent to Switzerland after her father was taken by the Nazis; she never saw her family again. Following the war, she moved to what was then Palestine and fought in the war for Israeli independence.

She then moved to Paris, where she got a degree in psychology from the Sorbonne.  She relocated to New York City in the 1950s, and after two failed marriages, wed her third husband, Manfred Westheimer.

In New York, Westheimer received a master's degree, and then a doctorate from Columbia.  She did postdoctoral work in sex therapy and then taught at several colleges.  After the community affairs manager at a local radio station heard one of her lectures on sexual literacy, she hired Dr. Ruth for Sexually Speaking.

In 2019, she was the subject of a documentary, Ask Dr. Ruth. In 2023, Westheimer was named New York State's first honorary "ambassador to loneliness" by Gov. Kathy Hochul -- a position Westheimer suggested -- to "help New Yorkers ... address the growing issue of social isolation."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Judge dismisses Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' case after defense claims evidence was withheld

Judge dismisses Alec Baldwin's 'Rust' case after defense claims evidence was withheld

RAMSAY DE GIVE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In a stunning turn of events, a New Mexico judge dismissed Alec Baldwin's Rust case on Friday. The dismissal came on day three of Baldwin's involuntary manslaughter trial in connection with the deadly on-set shooting.

The judge granted the defense's motion to dismiss the case, in which they claimed that live ammunition related the investigation, which came into the hands of local law enforcement, was "concealed" from them.

Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer said the state's discovery violation -- the late disclosure of a supplemental report on the ammunition evidence -- "injected needless delay into the proceedings," approached "bad faith" and was "highly prejudicial to the defendant."

"There is no way for the court to right this wrong," Sommer said in granting the motion to dismiss with prejudice, meaning Baldwin cannot be tried again on the charge.

Baldwin reacted emotionally as the judge explained her ruling.

The decision followed a day-long motion hearing at the trial over the death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. She was fatally shot by Baldwin on the Santa Fe set of the western in October 2021 when his revolver fired a live round.

The court discussed the defense's motion in the absence of the jury. In an unexpected move, the special prosecutor on the case, Kari Morrissey, also called herself to testify on the matter.

During cross-examination of Morrissey, it was revealed that the other prosecutor in the case, Erlinda Ocampo Johnson, resigned from the case on Friday. Morrissey said it was because Johnson "didn't agree with the decision to have a public hearing."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
'Rust' trial: Jury dismissed for the day as court discusses motion to dismiss case

'Rust' trial: Jury dismissed for the day as court discusses motion to dismiss case

Alec Baldwin's manslaughter trial took a surprising turn on Friday as the jury was dismissed for the day while the court discusses a motion filed by the defense.

Baldwin's legal team claims live ammunition that came into the hands of local law enforcement officials related to the investigation into the deadly on-set Rust shooting was "concealed" from them.

In an expedited motion filed late Thursday, the defense argued the case should be dismissed over the handling of the ammunition evidence. During court on Friday, the state argued the evidence has no exculpatory value and is not relevant to Baldwin's case.

The matter was initially raised during court on Thursday, the second day of the actor's involuntary manslaughter trial over the death of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot by Baldwin on the Santa Fe set of the Western in October 2021 when his revolver discharged a live round.

Defense attorney Alex Spiro asked state's witness Marissa Poppell, a crime scene technician with the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office who collected evidence in the case, about a "good Samaritan" who handed over ammunition to the Sheriff's Office in March — at the conclusion of Rust armorer Hannah Gutierrez's trial. 

That ammunition had reportedly ended up with Seth Kenney, who supplied the film with firearms, blanks and inert dummy rounds that are supposed to be used for closeups.

Gutierrez was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Hutchins' death, with prosecutors arguing the armorer was the source of the live bullet that killed her and saying Gutierrez failed to follow safety protocols meant to protect the crew while handling the firearms.

Defense attorney Luke Nikas charged that the evidence was "concealed," adding prosecutor Kari Morrissey "does not get to determine what has evidentiary value and what doesn't."

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
An expected party: 'Lord of the Rings'' Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan reunite with Ian McKellen in new food show

An expected party: 'Lord of the Rings'' Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan reunite with Ian McKellen in new food show

Boyd, McKellen, and Monaghan in 2004 - Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan had a chance to reunite with their fellow Lord of the Rings fellowship member Ian McKellen thanks to their new food travelogue series, Billy and Dom Eat the World.

A filmed spin-off of a segment of their now-defunct Friendship Onion podcast, the show has Boyd and Monaghan spanning the world for good eats — and Deadline reports the first episode landed them at the door to a London pub called The Grapes.

The establishment is owned by McKellen, who of course played Gandalf to Boyd and Monaghan's respective Hobbits Pippin and Merry in Peter Jackson's epic Tolkien trilogy.

"It happened we were looking at London pub culture and it just so happens Ian McKellen has a pub," Boyd told the trade. "He told us why he ended up in that part of London, and what pubs mean to Britain."

Boyd offered, "We felt food is a great in to finding out about people and communities. [Producer Daniel Sharp] loved the idea and very quickly we started making it."

Monaghan noted, "One of our favorite ways to get to know a city is to check out a local restaurant. Myself, Billy, Elijah Wood and Sean Astin go to conventions very often, and one of the things we do over these weekends is pick a restaurant, and go and eat."

It is yet to be known which platform will carry the six-episode show, which spans from Texas to the Thames and, according to a preview, has the longtime friends working in a high-end kitchen, toiling in a food truck, making beer and eating all over the world.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
'Euphoria''s delayed third season finally given green light; shooting starts in January

'Euphoria''s delayed third season finally given green light; shooting starts in January

Domingo and Zendaya - HBO/Eddy Chen

ABC Audio has confirmed that the paused production on the third season of HBO's Emmy-winning drama Euphoria has finally been given the green light.

A rep for the network said Friday that the delayed season 3 would start shooting in January, with Zendaya, Colman Domingo and the rest of the principal cast returning. 

A "thrilled" Francesca Orsi, the network's head of drama series and films, added, "We could not be happier with our creative partnership with Sam [Levinson] and this incredible cast. We look forward to bringing this new season of Euphoria to life for the fans."

Back in March, HBO suddenly announced it was pausing production of the show and that its cast, which also includes Sydney Sweeney, Jacob Elordi and Storm Reid, was temporarily released from their commitments to the drama. 

At the time, HBO said the network and show creator Levinson "remain committed to making an exceptional third season," but were "allowing our in-demand cast to pursue other opportunities."

Speculation had been bubbling as to whether or not the show would ever return, considering the increase in star power of the cast, including a pair of Emmys for Zendaya for the drama, as well as her big-screen hits like Dune: Part Two; a recent Oscar nomination for Domingo; and Sweeney's turn as a star and producer of the blockbuster Anyone but You

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
'The Penguin' sets his sights on San Diego

'The Penguin' sets his sights on San Diego

Max

To promote its new The Batman spin-off series The Penguin starring Colin Farrell, Max is taking over San Diego. 

Timed with San Diego Comic Con later in July, the streaming service has announced it's bringing Gotham City to "America's Finest City."

The Penguin will begin its takeover July 25 with the opening of a recreation of Gotham's famed Iceberg Lounge, famously run on the big — and now small — screen by the Penguin himself. 

Starting Friday, fans who are over 21 can win a chance to attend an after-party in the lounge at this website. According to the streamer, "This multi-room experience offers complimentary drinks, live DJ sets, exclusive giveaways including a Jefferson's Bourbon tasting, and photo opportunities including Oz's iconic purple Maserati — giving partygoers an unprecedented glimpse into Gotham’s criminal underworld."

You can even get a chance to get to the inner sanctum, the 44 Below club, via a special password. 

Further, Max will be deploying a Gotham Ice Truck in front of the San Diego Convention Center, where visitors can get free Slush Puppies to beat the heat.

Max will also be partnering with local San Diego businesses like Gaslamp Pizza, Prohibition 1920 and more for "bespoke giveaways."

Naturally, The Penguin will have a presence inside the con as well, with a Hall H panel with the cast and executive producers. 

Pia Barlow, the executive vice president of HBO and Max's Originals Marketing division, said "fans will have the chance to engross themselves in the underground world of Oz Cobbs’s Gotham, picking up where we left off in Matt Reeves' The Batman, as we look to generate excitement for the series premiering this September."

Check out @TheBatman's social channels starting July 21 for more details. 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Apple TV+ renews 'Presumed Innocent', with new case for season 2

Apple TV+ renews 'Presumed Innocent', with new case for season 2

Apple TV+

While the first season wraps up on July 24, the case isn't closed on Apple TV+'s adaptation of Presumed Innocent

The Jake Gyllenhaal/Ruth Negga-starring series will return for a second season, ABC Audio has confirmed, but it will center on an all-new case. 

The adaptation of the Scott Turow book of the same name that was previously made into a 1990 hit starring Harrison Ford has Gyllenhaal succeeding him in the lead role of Rusty Sabich, an attorney and family man accused of brutally murdering his mistress, a crime he swears he didn't commit.

It's not yet known if Sabich will be back for season 2, but Gyllenhaal will be — as executive producer — along with David E. Kelley, J.J. Abrams, Rachel Rusch Rich, Dustin Thomason and Matt Tinker, and co-executive producer Turow.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading
Scarlett Johansson calls husband Colin Jost's 'SNL' joke-swap segment

Scarlett Johansson calls husband Colin Jost's 'SNL' joke-swap segment "just brutal"

NBCUniversal

Appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show to talk about her new comedy, Fly Me to the Moon, Scarlett Johansson got real about a recurring Saturday Night Live segment featuring her Weekend Update co-host husband Colin Jost.

Safe to say, ScarJo isn't a fan of the annual joke-swap with Jost's co-anchor Michael Che, for which both anchors have to perform, blind, a joke the other has written for them.

Kelly, for the record, says she "loves" that segment.

Clarkson asked Scarlett about it, demonstrating with a clip in which an embarrassed Jost reads Che's quip: "ChatGPT has released a new voice assistant feature inspired by Scarlett Johansson's AI character in Her. Which I've never bothered to watch, because without that body, what’s the point of listening?"

For her part, Scarlett called the segment "brutal" and "painful," noting the one Kelly showed was actually "tame" compared to others.

"I actually don't remember that segment," she said, miming how she covered her face and screamed when her face appeared over Jost's shoulder.

"I fully blacked out," she continues.

"I feel like every year it gets worse," Scarlett says, adding sarcastically, "And they do it at Christmas, so it's like a little gift to each other."

 

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

... Continue Reading