With former rival Howard Stern, Rosie O’Donnell talks career, love life and 9/11

Shock-jock Howard Stern, in part known for participating in celebrity feuds with personalities ranging from Elaine Boosler to Kathie Lee Gifford, continued his recent fence-mending trend this morning.

howard.jpgFollowing a volatile two-decade feud with Bedford resident Chevy Chase, the two buried the hatchet on-air last year. And this morning, Stern fans — possibly for the first time on the radio — heard the deejay who launched his pro career in Briarcliff Manor chatting it up with South Nyack resident Rosie O’Donnell.

Back in its hey-day, the throwdown got downright nasty, at times making O’Donnell’s feud with Westchester real estate maven Donald Trump look like rock-paper-scissors by comparison. On Stern’s show in 1998, the staff once estimated the size of O’Donnell’s noggin, filled what was deemed a comparable container with jellybeans and challenged visiting celebrities and listeners to guess the number. And O’Donnell always had some choice words about Stern whenever his more militant fans prank-called her self-titled talk show.

rosie.jpgIn recent years, however, Stern’s rants about Rosie subsided, particularly after he admitted on the air a year or two ago that they had a nice chat when bumping into each other at a restaurant.

Today, O’Donnell called from her home — presumably in South Nyack — to chat it up with Howard and the gang. The gripping interview, which lasted almost an hour, covered her career, her love life and her controversial theory about 9/11.

On quitting her own talk show: “I left because I could no longer enjoy it the way one should enjoy their work, and I was sort of paying someone else to raise my kids and (hated) not having time to live my life.”

On ‘The View’: O’Donnell said she respects her successor, Whoopi Goldberg, because of her ability to be real; remains friendly with Sarah Lawrence College grad Barbara Walters; but was never completely embraced by Joy Behar (for whom O’Donnell opened early in her career as a stand-up comedian). The liberal O’Donnell said she has only exchanged a few baby-related e-mails with conservative “View” cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck since O’Donnell left the show. Then O’Donnell admitted that Hasselbeck was the most attractive woman on the show.

On her celebrity crushes: O’Donnell, a lesbian, said she really did have a crush on Tom Cruise and revealed that Matthew McConaughey also turned her on while slow-talking his way through a description on how to make beer-can chicken. She said her current celebrity crushes include Angelina Jolie, Angela Bassett, Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek and Diane Lane. Not on that list, however, is Stern’s fiancée, Beth Ostrosky, whom O’Donnell complimented and described as a “too perfect … Barbie doll.”

On her love life: She said she was sexually abused as a child, lost her virginity when she was 21 to a man, and could count her number of sexual conquests on “two hands.” She added that rumors of a wild life as a single woman had been greatly exaggerated, adding, “I’m not even nude in the shower.”

After the break, find out O’Donnell’s take on Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, her current tour and her curiosity about the Twin Towers’ collapse. Continue reading

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: LoHud Halloween costumes, Charles Grodin’s book and Al Roker’s reports from the ‘Office’ convention


This week’s quiz: When Pound Ridge resident Tim Robbins took the Webster Hall stage at an Oct. 17 tribute concert, he sang songs originally performed by the artist being honored that night. Who was this man of honor?

A. Bob Dylan
B. Woodie Guthrie
C. Pete Seeger

The answer is at the end of the video or after the break.

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Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie hot for Halloween (as opposed to any other time)

brangelina.jpgFor those among the celebrity-obsessed seeking to be a star for a day, the hot costumes this Halloween are of power couple Brad Pitt and former Sneden’s Landing resident Angelina Jolie.

US Weekly cites a Captain Morgan/Kelton Research survey of 600 Americans, who rate Brangelina as this year’s most popular celebrity inspiration for holiday get-ups. Presumably, couples who dress up this way will spend the night arguing with each other over who’s more good-looking. Blech.

Other couples popular in the poll were Britney Spears and Kevin Federline; Chappaqua residents Bill and Hillary Clinton; recent Pelham dweller Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes; David Beckham and Posh Spice; and George W. and Laura Bush.

Among the late-night TV show hosts, New Rochelle native Jay Leno beat out North Salem resident David Letterman, among others — just like in the ratings. I’d prefer Letterman as a costume or as a talk show host, myself.

(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Suburbarazzi Week in Review on RNN: Cruise conquers Pelham, Ramsay renovates Tuckahoe restaurant


This week’s quiz:

Which of the following local celebs is going to star Donald Trump’s new celebrity version of “The Apprentice�?

• Chynna Philips, of Bedford
• Stephen Baldwin, of Upper Grandview
• Michael Imperioli, Brewster and Mount Vernon native
• Stone Phillips, of Dobbs Ferry

The answer is at the end of the video or after the break.
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Tom Cruise, paparazzi come to Pelham


The only thing weirder than Tom Cruise coming to Pelham? Exiting the Pelham Picture House, after the event — a screening of his movie “Lions for Lambs,” directed by Robert Redford and also starring Meryl Streep — to find a swarm of fans and paparazzi shreiking uncontrollably. For about a half hour.

The movie itself was a thought-provoking, if slightly depressing, take on the current war on terror. In it, Cruise plays a Machiavellian senator trying to persuade a journalist (Streep) that his new military strategy will yield better results; Redford is a college professor attempting to motivate a lazy student to take a more pro-active stance on what he believe in; and two soldiers (Michael Pena and Derek Luke), who turn out to be former students of Redford’s professor, fight on the front lines of Afghanistan.

After the credits, the flood lights came on and Travers took the stage. “We have two people here to talk to us tonight,” he said. “First is a young actor looking to get his big break: Tom Cruise.â€?

jayackermanphoto-tcruise_0015.JPGThe thunderous applause almost drowned out the second introduction, for the film’s screenwriter, Matthew Carnahan (who also penned the recent No. 1 hit, “The Kingdomâ€?). Carnahan and Cruise walked up the aisle together, but it all eyes were on Jerry Maguire. The actor wore a blue blazer, blue jeans, and boyish Prince Valiant haircut (presumably from his new WWII Nazi film, “Valkyrieâ€?). Surveying the scene, Cruise remarked — without a hint of irony — “What a beautiful theater.â€?

To which Travis replied: “You don’t want to say it’s too beautiful, Tom, because we’re really trying to change it.�

The rest of the evening had its share of witty banter, and a few heartfelt responses to the movie’s two central themes — guilt over not doing anything to challenge the war, and apathy towards the state of political discourse in our country these days. If you’re interested in listening, here’s a full recording of the evening:


More photos of the event, courtesy of Jay Ackerman and the Picture House, are after the break.

UPDATE: Check out my extended article on the Cruise visit in this Sunday’s Journal News.

Still want more of Tom in Pelham? Extra has video of Cruise outside the Picture House.


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Tom Cruise to arrive in Pelham tonight

tomcruise.jpegSay wha?! Tom Cruise in Westchester? Believe it, man.

As Kevin Canfield reported on LoHud last week, Cruise is coming to screen his new wartime suspense tale “Lions for Lambs” at the Pelham Picture House at 7 p.m. How on earth did that come to pass? Well, as with the recent visits from Sean Penn (screening “Into the Wild”) and Richard Gere (“The Hunting Party”), we have Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers to thank. As a member of the Picture House’s film advisory board, the Mamaroneck resident has been corralling movie star after movie star to make the trek up the Hutch for special advance screenings and Q&A sessions.

Still no word on whether Katie will be there — and we’ve already been told that interviews with Cruise are a no-go — but I’m planning to attend the event tonight and will share all the details tomorrow.

Got any questions you’d love to hear Cruise answer? Post ’em here and I’ll do my best to wave my arms uncontrollably during the Q&A and be your mouthpiece.

(AP Photo) 

The Scoop: Behind the scenes at star-studded charity golf tourney

Photo by Seth Harrison/The Journal News

If you want the formal account of yesterday’s Autism Speaks celebrity-laden tournament at Mamaroneck’s Winged Foot Golf Club, check out this story in today’s Journal News.

In it, you’ll find quotes by former NBC Chairman Bob Wright, who cofounded the charity; “Dateline NBC” co-anchor and Dobbs Ferry homeowner Stone Phillips; “Fox5 News at 10” meterorologist and New Rochelle resident Nick Gregory; National Football League Hall-of-Famer Harry Carson; fellow former New York Giant and one-time star of “The Bachelor” Jesse Palmer; and “Late Show with David Letterman” announcer Alan Kalter.

Now for some behind-the-scenes gossip that didn’t appear in print due to the constraints of space, time and relevance:

• Some of the other celebrities to appear at the event, in alphabetical order: actor Gregg Bello; CBS sportscaster Don Criqui; Kansas drummer Phil Ehart; CourtTV commentator Jack Ford; “Squawk Box” cohost Joe Kernen; actor Richard Kind; former NFL cornerback Jeremy Lincoln; “Today in New York” sports anchor Otis Livingston; music producer Brendan O’Brien; and musician Tyrone Vaughan, who is the nephew of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.

• Among those scheduled to appear at the event, but didn’t show, were season-five “American Idol� champ Taylor Hicks, “Today� show cohost Matt Lauer and comedian George Lopez.

• True to his persona on “The Bachelor,” Palmer charmed members of the public and media, enthusiastically posing for photos and answering questions.

• Carson said he was happy to help out the charity, despite repeatedly stating that his golf game “sucks.” Asked what his score was minutes after completing the 18-hole course, Carson said, “I have no idea.”

• Celebrity golf handicaps (or at least those they want us to believe): Kalter, 14; Palmer, 15; Lincoln, 16; Wright, 18; Gregory, 26.

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