Has Vanessa Williams been reading Renee Sylar lately?

vanessa-williams.jpgIt’s been a while since we pimped a story on Celebrity Baby Blog, but when Vanessa Williams shows up there, I can’t help but be interested. The reason? All of Williams’ kids (Melanie, 20, Jillian, 18, Devin, 14, and Sasha, 7) are well out of “baby” territory. Alas, the story is not, it turns out, about Williams being pregnant with Vince Vaughn’s love child or anything like that; instead it’s just a straight story about how the Chappaqua juggles her parenting and acting duties. Turns out the “Baby” restrictions of the site — like the boundaries of what we call the Lower Hudson Valley — have been loosened a bit.

Anyway, here’s what Williams said re: the secrets of being a multitasking mama:

<blockquote><div>”The secret is…there is no balancing. You have to surrender to not be everywhere at all times. Everyone and everything suffers at times but the guilt that a mother imposes on herself is the worst of all. Do the best you can and know it’s good enough.”</div></blockquote>

Hmm, sounds a lot like the advice of fellow Chappaqua resident (and former Early Show host) Renee Syler in her new book “Good-Enough Mother.”

Any guesses about whether either of these two will make our “People of the Year” list, and, if so, in what order they’ll show up?

“Vanessa Williams tells moms to give up their guilt” [Celebrity Baby Blog]

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Damn you, LA Times factcheckers

trump-dec.jpgBoy, the whole $10,000 Donald Trump tip story somehow eluded us here entirely. Surely we would’ve picked it up like just about every other me-too celebrity news site. And, like all of them — including Defamer, FoxNews.com, the Huffington Post, and countless others — we would have been totally had.

I’m not sure if I want to thank the LA Times for exposing the hoax, which was perpetrated by Derober.com, or be a little pissed at them for extinguishing the story before we even had a chance to chime in. Oh well, Donald, we’ll be all over your antics soon enough. Bring on “Celebrity Apprentice”!

“News flash: Donald Trump sells Brooklyn Bridge” [LA Times]

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Bracco’s suggested therapy for ‘Sopranos’ junkies: ‘Go cry to HBO’


For those of you who get the print edition of The Journal News, you may have noticed that our “People of the Year” list is a little out of sync with our blog version at the moment (course, that’s ok, we kind of like being a few days ahead of the curve). Still, for all those people who saw Ismael’s snazzy illustration of Lorraine Bracco in today’s paper and loaded up their browser right to the blog, I wanted to have something for ya.

To wit, here’s a weird story from the “World Entertainment News Network” stating that Bracco is “tired” of fans blaming her for the end of “The Sopranos.” The piece quoted the Sneden’s Landing homeowner as saying …

<blockquote><div>It’s no longer amusing. I’m sick of it. It now p**ses me off. Hundreds of people cry to me on the street, when I’m walking my dog, in the grocery while I’m pushing a cart, which is so chic. I tell them, `Hey, what do I know? Not my fault. Go cry to HBO. I’m hired help.'</div></blockquote>

Say it, sistah. If I were to run into Bracco, though, I’d volley up a much different series of questions. Namely, what’s the story with you and Steve Shirripa? Anything going on there — outside of you supporting his new cooking show, “Steve Shirripa’s Hungry”? And, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate his cannoli and meatballs?


(Top: AP Photo/Stuart Ramson; bottom: AP Photo/Lifeskool TV, Diane Bondareff)

People of the Year — 16. Glenn Close

itw_people13.jpgLock up the bunnies! The Fatal Attraction star and Bedford resident was back on TV this year as the star of the new FX series Damages, in arguably her most sinister role to date (she snuffs out a family pet here, too, only this time it’s a dog). In the show, she plays litigator Patty Hewes, a morally malevolent type who sinks her teeth into a season-long case against a Ken Lay-type billionaire (Ted Danson). Even though the series likely won’t be renewed, Close’s Emmy-worthy performance is reason enough to Netflix the DVDs or tune into the next season of the show.

Prediction for 2008: Close is set to star as Norma Desmond in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard (which is based on the 1950 film). Having won a Tony for the role on Broadway, she could finally get a shot at a long-overdue Oscar.

UPDATE: In preparing the initial version of this writeup, everyone through Damages wouldn’t see a second season. Everyone was wrong. Thanks to the wise, patient folks at FX, the show got reupped in November — for two seasons, no less. Read more on the deal in my Nov. 14 post.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� InTown Westchester, December 2007

(AP Photo / Chris Pizzello)

People of the Year — 17. Al Pacino


The “whoo-ha� man gave us something to “ooh and ah� about with his return to the big screen as casino kingpin Willie Bank in Ocean’s Thirteen. Pacino, who lives in Sneden’s Landing, also had the Internet buzzing about his next two projects: Dali & I: The Surreal Story and Righteous Kill. In the former he’ll play the famed artist during his final years—also known as his melting-clocks phase—while the latter, a crime thriller filming in Norwalk, also features Robert DeNiro. And Al wasn’t the only Pacino making news in 2007; daughter Julie, a recent Tappan Zee High grad, also earned her fair share of headlines as one of the school’s softball superstars.

Prediction for 2008: The Dali biopic may earn Pacino his second Academy Award. But it’s Righteous Kill—the first reuniting of the Pacino-DeNiro dramatic dream team since 1995’s Heat—that we’re dying to see.

Adapted from “People of the Year,� Rockland Magazine, December 2007

(AP Photo / Chris Pizzello)

EXCLUSIVE: A Martha Stewart Roast, without the main course

tish.JPG These days it might seem like Martha Stewart and Katonah couldn’t be any cozier if they were cuddling in a color-coordinated pillow and duvet set, but Katonah resident Bill Tisherman is still taking a few more jabs at the business magnate/ baking queen via YouTube. Tisherman (“Tish” to anyone but Martha) recently posted several video clips from “The Martha Stewart Roast,â€? an amateur comedy show and wine tasting sponsored by his company, Wine For All.

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People of the Year — 18. Lorraine Bracco

rm_people13.jpgNobody felt the bursting of the local real-estate bubble quite like Bracco, a.k.a. the shrink from The Sopranos. While the mob series was wrapping up its final season, she tried unloading her two-acre Sneden’s Landing estate. Yet over the course of 2007, the asking price was hacked away like Richie Aprile’s corpse in the butcher shop—as of September, the initial asking price of $4.4 mil has been lowered to $2.9 (call Mason Sammett at 359-4940, if you’re interested). Bracco also lost the Best Supporting Actress race at the Emmys to New Caanan’s Katherine Heigl. But there is some good news: Late in the year she was cast in a pilot for Lifetime; she got a chance to appear on Oprah (albeit to talk about her infidelity to Harvey Keitel); and her brand of vino, Bracco Wines, is already selling tens of thousands of cases. Salud!

Prediction for 2008: Long Island Confidential, the new Lifetime show, doesn’t promise to be nearly as edgy as The Sopranos, but the wine business will continue to boom. Two-Buck Bracco, anyone?

Adapted from “People of the Year,� Rockland Magazine, December 2007

(Illustration by Ismael Roldon)

This Week in Panettiere


At first covering Hayden Panettiere felt like a novelty. Back a year ago, when she was just one of the umpteen castmates on “Heroes” and starring alongside Anthony Lapaglia in “The Architect,” there wasn’t a great deal to write about — but just enough about the Palisades native to keep us entertained and blogging about her.

Lately, though, the Google news alerts alone are flooding me in an avalance of Hayden news and gossip. And so, rather than attempting to parse it all out, from here on forward, I’ll try to just limit the Panettiere posts to one a week — a recap of sorts. Any more than that and I’d feel dirty.

This week’s Panettiere-a-palooza is after the break.

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People of the Year — 19. Meredith Vieira

itw_people16.jpgA year after departing The View for Today, the Irvington resident has proved she made a smart move. Among her exclusive “gets� in 2007: J.K. Rowling and Valerie Plame. And she would have had Paris Hilton’s first post-jail interview, if not for Larry King (the rat!). Of course, Vieira had her share of on-air gaffes this year, too. In February she shared one of her dreams, in which she’s naked in a bunker with Diane Sawyer. And in April, she cracked two teeth after an ice skating face-plant.

Prediction for 2008: While her salary of $10 mil a year ain’t bad, Matt Lauer still gets 30 percent more. Time for Vieira to start earning Katie Couric-caliber cash.

(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Adapted from “People of the Year,� InTown Westchester, December 2007

EXCLUSIVE: Fred Norris rocks Eastchester

king-norris02.jpgFred Norris’ band, King Norris, rocked Mickey Spillane’s bar in Eastchester on Saturday night.

Howard Stern’s sound effects guru and King Norris’ guitar player was kind and conversational with fans and told jokes between songs, referencing new power couple Robin Quivers and Jim Florentine; frequent caller and New Rochelle resident Irish John, who was in the audience; and Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling.

The set list drew from classic, punk and current rock legends, including Lenny Kravitz, Jet, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Ramones and Green Day.

In the week ahead, I’ll post some quotes from my exclusive interviews with Norris, conducted before and after his sets. In the meantime, hooray for Fred!

(Photo by Chris Serico/The Journal News)

People of the Year — 21. Shalom Auslander

rm_people16.jpgEver since first hearing this Monsey refugee’s tales of his Hasidic upbringing on This American Life and in the pages of The New Yorker (“I was raised like a veal�), we’ve had a hunch he might just be the second coming of Philip Roth. And with the 2007 release of Foreskin’s Lament, we’re happy to say: Called It!

Prediction for 2008: Luckily, Auslander isn’t a Rothian recluse, and he’ll continue touring with the book (he’s already booked the 92nd Street Y for January 24). Given his stage presence, a more fitting literary analogy might be: the David Sedaris of Orthodox Jews.

(Photo: Patrick Anderson, Courtesy Riverhead Books)

Adapted from “People of the Year,� Rockland Magazine, December 2007