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Denise Dowse, ‘Insecure’ And ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Actor, Dies At 64



Denise Dowse, a veteran television and film performer who’s best known for her roles in “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Insecure,” has died after being hospitalized with meningitis. She was 64.

Dowse’s death was announced Saturday on her Instagram account by sister Tracey Dowse, who celebrated her late sibling as “the most amazing sister, a consummate, illustrious actress, mentor and director.”

“I want to take this moment to thank our friends and family for all of the love and prayers,” the post read. “It is with a very heavy heart that I inform everyone that my sister, Denise Dowse has gone forward to meet our family in eternal life.”

“She was my very best friend and final family member,” Dowse’s sister continued. “Denise loved all of you. I know that she is watching over us with all the love she has.”

Dowse was hospitalized in a coma in early August with her sister revealing at the time that her condition was “brought on by a virulent form of meningitis.”

“Her doctors do not know when she will come out of the coma as it was not medically induced,” Tracey explained, sharing that her sister is a “vibrant actor and director” and “should have many years ahead of her.”

With over 120 film and television credits to her name, Dowse has steadily appeared on screen since 1989, becoming a regular guest star on some of the most popular series of the next two decades, including “Seinfeld,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Charmed,” “Sister, Sister,” “Moesha,” “Full House,” “Murphy Brown,” “Chicago Hope,” “Girlfriends” and “ER.”

But her recurring role as Vice Principal Mrs. Teasley on Fox’s “Beverly Hills, 90210,” in which she appeared in 24 episodes over the show’s 10-season run, was perhaps her most beloved.

Dowse was memorialized in a touching tribute from Ian Ziering, her former co-star on the ’90s teen soap, after the news of her death broke.

“Throughout all my years working on Beverly Hills 90210, my scenes with Denise will always be remembered with the utmost in respect for her talent, and fondness for the loving soul she was,” he wrote. “Some of my heartiest off camera laughs were between she and I hammering out the the discipline her Mrs. Teasley would dish out to my Steve Sanders.”

More recently, Dowse made recurring appearances on series like “Snowfall,” “The Resident” and “Imposters.” Her most recognizable role as of late was in the final three seasons of Issa Rae’s acclaimed HBO comedy “Insecure” as Dr. Rhonda Pine, the therapist to Yvonne Orji’s character Molly.

In a tweet on Sunday, Orji said it was “truly a delight and pleasure” to work with Dowse on the series, which ended its run last year.

“She embodied the strength and wisdom in real life that her character #DrRhonda shared with Molly,” she wrote. “You will truly be missed and so fondly remembered. May your soul forever Rest In Perfect Peace.”

In addition to her television work, Dowse also appeared in a handful of films over her career, including “Ray,” “Bio-Dome,” “Starship Troopers,” “A Civil Action,” “Coach Carter” and “The Call.”

Dowse made her directorial debut with the upcoming biopic “Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story” about the titular legendary gospel singer.

The film, which stars Ledisi, Columbus Short, Corbin Bleu, Janet Hubert and Wendy Raquel Robinson, served as the opening-night selection for the 30th Pan African Film and Arts Festival in April.

Dowse walked the red carpet at the premiere in her final public appearance.

Denise Dowse attends the 2022 Pan African Film and Arts Festival on April 19 in Los Angeles.

Maury Phillips via Getty Images





Ginger Minj Pays Tribute To ‘Drag Mom’ Bette Midler With Spooky Music Video



Ginger Minj is getting the spooky season in full swing with a spirited new take on a Halloween classic.

On Friday, the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum unveiled the music video for her jazzy version of “I Put a Spell on You” from the movie “Hocus Pocus.” The song’s release coincides with Minj’s appearance in the film’s much-buzzed-about sequel, which debuted on Disney+ last week.

The clip features Minj in full Winifred Sanderson drag, alongside queens Gidget Galore and MR MS Adrien as sister witches Mary and Sarah, respectively.

Fans of 1993’s “Hocus Pocus,” which starred Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as the Sanderson sisters, will find a number of the movie’s iconic scenes faithfully recreated ― albeit with a modern polish.

Watch the video for “I Put a Spell on You” below.

“It’s the season of the witch!” Minj, whose real name is Joshua Allen Eads, told HuffPost in an interview. “You can walk into any gay bar in the country between Sept. 1 and Nov. 1, and most likely you’ll find a trio of queens lip-syncing this song. I thought: ‘It’s been 29 years, let’s give it a little facelift!’”

The “I Put a Spell on You” video is directed by Minj’s husband, CeeJay Russell, also a longtime “Hocus Pocus” devotee.

“I have always wanted to direct my husband in a video,” Russell said in an email, “and when he asked me, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Minj, a Florida native, was a finalist on the seventh season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” which aired in 2015. Since then, she’s released three studio albums and appeared in a number of movies, including Netflix’s “Dumplin,’” starring Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald.

“She’s my new drag mom,” Minj said of her “Hocus Pocus 2” co-star Bette Midler.

Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images

In fact, it was Minj’s work on “Dumplin’” that led to her “Hocus Pocus 2” casting. Last year, she was performing as sea witch Ursula in a “Disney Villains” show in England when she received a call from “Dumplin’” director Anne Fletcher, who’d recently been hired to direct “Hocus Pocus 2.”

“Next thing I know, I’m arguing on-camera with Bette Midler about teeth,” quipped Minj, who appears as a drag version of Winifred Sanderson in the film alongside two other “Drag Race” veterans, Kahmora Hall and Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté, as Sarah and Mary Sanderson.

As to what she learned from working with the Divine Miss M herself, she added: “She’s my new drag mom.”


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‘Late Show’ Pays Mocking Musical Tribute To Herschel Walker With A Shaggy Classic



Colbert’s team reworked Walker’s “that wasn’t me” rejection of the allegation to the Shaggy and RikRok 2000 hit, “It Wasn’t Me.” After the bombshell reports this week that Walker helped his girlfriend get an abortion, he has drawn accusations of hypocrisy, given that he is running with a staunch anti-abortion message. (Some voters don’t seem to mind.)

“Lots of people think they’ve caught me red-handed, lying all about my kids,” the song begins.

Watch the rest of the parody here:

And compare it to Shaggy’s original here:


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Jimmy Kimmel Slaps Ron DeSantis With Perfect Will Smith-Chris Rock Callback



Jimmy Kimmel says that as Florida deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, a key part of the state’s cleanup and recovery is going to be pretty awkward for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“Well, guess who’s coming to help Florida recover from the hurricane? That’s right: a group of immigrants,” he said, as migrant workers head to Florida to help with the cleanup.

Kimmel couldn’t help but point out the irony.

“Ron DeSantis bringing in immigrant workers to do hurricane cleanup is like Will Smith asking Chris Rock to play his birthday party,” Kimmel said.

See more in his Thursday night monologue:


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Niecy Nash And Wife Reveal Comic Reason For Matching Tattoos Of Another Woman’s Name



Actor Niecy Nash and her wife, singer Jessica Betts, have a permanent reminder of a humorous misunderstanding.

During a joint appearance on “The Tamron Hall Show” on Tuesday, the “Reno 911!” star explained why each of them have “Cora” tattooed on their bodies, despite it not being either’s name — and the bizarre story behind it.

The mix-up began when they first met, and Betts asked Nash about her real name, as Niecy is her stage name.

The 40-year-old said Nash told her her real name is Carol, but she misheard it as “Cora” and then called her by the wrong name for “almost two years” while they were dating.

“One day she said, ‘Why do you call me Cora?’ And I was, like, ‘That’s your name!’” Betts recalled.

Nash, 52, then vehemently corrected her wife, responding, “No, it’s not! I thought it was something that the cool kids called each other in New York on the street!”

The “Claws” actor jokingly added, “I said, ‘My name is not Cora,’ and she said, ‘It is now.’”

The mishap turned into an adorable inside joke between the two, with Betts recently tattooing “Cora” on her neck to celebrate her wife.

On Wednesday, the “Dahmer” actor revealed Betts’ new ink in an Instagram post.

“It’s up and stuck…. JB, I’m Always & Forever your ‘Cora’ @jessicabettsmusic #IYKYK,” Nash captioned the post alongside heart emojis.

In the short clip, Nash also showed off her own tattoo, which reads “Mrs. Cora Betts,” while dancing in a swimsuit.

In August 2020, the pair wed during a surprise ceremony less than a year after she announced her split from husband Jay Tucker.


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Charlie Puth Responds To Criticism He’s ‘Queerbaiting’ Fans With Thirst Traps



Charlie Puth says fans can expect to hear the LGBTQ community’s influence on his new album, even if he has no intention of “queerbaiting” his audience.

In recent months, the pop singer has raised eyebrows with steamy TikTok videos and Instagram photos, many of which show him in various stages of undress. One particularly eyebrow-raising post, for instance, showed him revealing a hint of derrière in what appeared to be a behind-the-scenes snapshot of a photo or video shoot.

Not surprisingly, the imagery has garnered a lot of attention from both women and men, prompting criticism that Puth is pandering to queer people specifically. Other pop stars, including Billie Eilish and Harry Styles, have faced similar accusations.

But in a GQ interview published Thursday to coincide with the release of his third album, “Charlie,” the four-time Grammy nominee maintained that his posts aren’t intended “to antagonize anybody” but merely to showcase his chiseled physique, honed by long hours at the gym.

“These gym sessions are expensive in LA!” he quipped.

Charlie Puth will release his third album, “Charlie,” Oct. 8.

Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Even so, Puth has come to look to LGBTQ people for musical inspiration. Earlier this year, he recalled an incident in which Elton John told Puth that Puth’s earlier music “sucked,” prompting him to reconsider his artistic approach moving forward. And in his GQ interview, he singled out two new songs, both of which he says reflect the queer community’s influence.

“I think LGBTQ+ culture is so ahead of its time, culturally, sonically, musically, everything-ly, that when I had a less than perfect song at the studio and I was by myself and I saw everybody having a great time, I literally heard a different song in my head,” Puth said, recalling a recent drive past gay clubs in West Hollywood while en route to his recording studio. “I rearranged the whole thing, I drove back to the studio, I was so inspired.”

The song eventually became “Loser,” the seventh track on “Charlie.” Another track, “There’s a First Time for Everything,” is meant as an homage to Madonna’s 1985 smash “Into the Groove” ― a mainstay of gay dance clubs around the world since its release.

“I wanted to [recapture] the feeling that it gave people in 1985 when they first heard that song,” he added.

And for those who do appreciate his thirsty presence on social media, Puth suggests there’s more to come.

“I am very horny,” he said. “All the time.”


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‘Jeopardy!’ Producer Tries To Hush Criticism Over Proposed Rule Change



“Jeopardy!” executive producer Michael Davies wants to clear the air after facing criticism in September for a proposed rule change to the game show.

Davies added at the time that the suggested rule change would be an incentive that wouldn’t impact who wins the game.

“Jeopardy!” fans asked on social media if the change was “too big” to be a good idea, while others hoped the incentives would not impact the game’s score.

“It doesn’t need to be reined in yet because it hasn’t been enacted in any way,” he said. “But a lot of responses on social [media] to award a prize of some sort to people who run a category on Jeopardy! That would not … would not affect gameplay.”

“It would not add to that game total; it would not be there [on players’ scores],” Davies continued. “It would be a separate thing.”


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French Author Annie Ernaux Wins Nobel Prize For Literature



STOCKHOLM (AP) — French author Annie Ernaux was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in literature for “the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory,” the Swedish Academy said Thursday.

Ernaux, 82, started out writing autobiographical novels, but quickly abandoned fiction in favor of memoirs.

Her more than 20 books, most of them very short, chronicle events in her life and the lives of those around her. They present uncompromising portraits of sexual encounters, abortion, illness and the deaths of her parents.

Anders Olsson, chairman, Nobel Committee for literature, said Ernaux’s work was often “uncompromising and written in plain language, scraped clean.”

“She has achieved something admirable and enduring,” he told reporters after the announcement in Stockholm, Sweden.

Ernaux describes her style as “flat writing” (ecriture plate), a very objective view of the events she is describing, unshaped by florid description or overwhelming emotions.

In the book that made her name, “La Place” (A Man’s Place), about her relationship with her father, she writes: “No lyrical reminiscences, no triumphant displays of irony. This neutral writing style comes to me naturally.”

Her most critically acclaimed book was “The Years” (Les annees), published in 2008 and describing herself and wider French society from the end of World War II to the present day. Unlike in previous books, in “The Years,” Ernaux writes about herself in the third person, calling her character “she” rather than “I”. The book received numerous awards and honors.

Last year’s prize went to the Tanzanian-born, U.K.-based writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, whose novels explore the impact of migration on individuals and societies.

Gurnah was only the sixth Nobel literature laureate born in Africa, and the prize has long faced criticism that it is too focused on European and North American writers. It is also male-dominated, with just 16 women among its 118 laureates.

The prizes to Gurnah in 2021 and U.S. poet Louise Glück in 2020 helped the literature prize move on from years of controversy and scandal.

In 2018, the award was postponed after sex abuse allegations rocked the Swedish Academy, which names the Nobel literature committee, and sparked an exodus of members. The academy revamped itself but faced more criticism for giving the 2019 literature award to Austria’s Peter Handke, who has been called an apologist for Serbian war crimes.

A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Monday with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo receiving the award in medicine for unlocking secrets of Neanderthal DNA that provided key insights into our immune system.

Three scientists jointly won the prize in physics Tuesday. Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John F. Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger had shown that tiny particles can retain a connection with each other even when separated, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement, that can be used for specialized computing and to encrypt information.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to Americans Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless, and Danish scientist Morten Meldal for developing a way of “snapping molecules together” that can be used to explore cells, map DNA and design drugs that can target diseases such as cancer more precisely.

The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the economics award on Monday.

The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out on Dec. 10. The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1895.


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