Entertainment behind the scenes
(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)
Actress Fran Drescher, former star of television sitcom “The Nanny”, has thrown her hat into the ring as a contender to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. senator for New York, joining an illustrious list of stars who have sought to make the switch from show business to the political stage.
Drescher, 51, is a New York woman through and through, and she has the accent to prove it. Born in Queens, she is known for broadcasting the accent native to that borough of New York on the 1990s show “The Nanny.”
But Drescher is more than just a pretty face and a nasal voice. The actress has survived uterine cancer and earlier this year she was appointed to a U.S. State Department envoy program and toured Eastern Europe to talk about health issues.
Last year, she created a charity called the Cancer Schmancer Movement after her recent battle with the disease.
Drescher told People magazine that when she was on the lecture circuit for the State Department she was often asked about a future in politics. “It was one of the single most-asked questions: When are you going to run? Only second to: Is that your real voice?,” Drescher told the celebrity magazine.
American politics has a full cast of former actors, from “Law & Order” star Fred Thompson, who ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination this year, to action movie star-turned California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late President Ronald Reagan, who started out as an actor.
But Drescher has some heavyweight rivals wanting to fill the vacancy left by Clinton’s nomination as Secretary of State in Barack Obama’s new administration. Caroline Kennedy, daughter of assassinated former President John F. Kennedy, is said to be interested and other names have included New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and even former President Bill Clinton.
Singer-actress Barbra Streisand, who originally endorsed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential primary race, has jumped on Barack Obama’s bandwagon with both feet to sing for the newly anointed Democratic nominee at a Beverly Hills fund-raiser next week. Organizers say the hurriedly planned Sept. 16 event will probably mark Obama’s final stop on the Hollywood political money trail before the November election.
According to political consultant Andy Spahn, a co-host of the fund-raiser, the evening will begin with a dinner for the Illinois senator and about 250 guests at the landmark Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Dinner will be followed by a reception in Obama’s honor at the main ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, featuring a performance by Streisand and others. The ballroom holds a crowd of up to 800 people.
George Michael has a tip for U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama — team up with former rival Hillary Clinton — as the British pop star joined the growing band of celebrities rallying behind the senator for Illinois.
Michael, 45, touring North America for the first time in 17 years, told fans — including “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker — during a concert at New York City’s Madison Square Garden: “I know you guys all need a change.”
Likening Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama to a political “trailblazer,” singer Barbra Streisand has become the latest Hollywood celebrity to join the Obama campaign bandwagon, switching from her past support of Sen. Hillary Clinton.
“Barack has awakened in many of us the notion that we can again be hopeful, enabling us to believe that we are capable of lifting our brothers and sisters out of poverty, of providing quality education for all our children, of ending this unjust war in Iraq and bringing our troops home safely,” Streisand wrote on Tuesday in a posting on her Web site, http://www.barbrastreisand.com/.
Barack Obama found himself surrounded by Hollywood stars at a Los Angeles fundraiser on Tuesday that raised $4 million to more than $5 million for Democrats and the Illinois senator’s presidential campaign, according to a press pool report and the Los Angeles Times.
Obama told the crowd he knew his long campaign against former Democrat presidential rival Hillary Clinton “caused some heartburn and some frustration.” But he added, “we were allies then and we’re allies now.”
Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones say they are just “two chicks chatting,” but in using the Internet to hawk stories of their relationships with former President Bill Clinton the women are dishing about old scandals with a new platform.
At http://www.genniferandpaula.com/, the ladies promise to talk about “the opinons on politics, sex with Bill and their perspective opinion of the presidential penis and how both feel about Hillary Clinton.” And yes, they do say “…perspective opinion…” But will anyone shell out $1.99 per tell-all segment?
Gina Gershon, speaking publicly for the first time about a Vanity Fair magazine article that implied she had an affair with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, has called the tale a wild fabrication.
“It was my day off and all of a sudden I read this thing. You know, it is such a crazy, outrageous lie,” Gerson said Monday on U.S. TV chat show “Live with Regis and Kelly.”
American TV superstar Oprah Winfrey might be backing Democratic presidential hopeful Barak Obama, but his rival Hillary Clinton got her own celebrity boost on Monday when Elton John announced he would perform a solo concert on behalf of her campaign on April 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The event, called “Elton and Hillary: One Night Only,” is the British star’s first public solo concert in New York City without his band in eight years. Ticket prices start at $125.
“I’m not a politician but I believe in the work that Hillary Clinton does,” said John. “I’m excited to support Hillary by performing at what will be a truly memorable night.”