75 yr old PENNY MARSHALL passed away on Monday from complications of diabetes. She was previously diagnosed with brain & lung cancer in 2009. She was best known for starring as Laverne DeFazio on “Laverne & Shirley” – a spin-off of “Happy Days”. But she was also a successful director in the ’80s and ’90s. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, “Big”, “Awakenings”, “A League of Their Own”, “Renaissance Man”, “The Preacher’s Wife”, and “Riding in Cars with Boys”. Penny’s brother was producer Garry Marshall, who created “Happy Days”, “Laverne & Shirley”, and adapted “The Odd Couple” for TV. Pre-Laverne, she played Oscar’s secretary Myrna on “The Odd Couple”. Penny broke a lot of ground as a director, in fact, she became the first female director to gross more than $100 million at the box office with “Big”. Penny was married twice – to a guy named Michael Henry for a few years in the ’60s, and to ROB REINER from 1971 to 1979. She also dated ART GARFUNKEL in the ’80s. Rob Tweeted, quote, “I loved Penny. I grew up with her. She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.”
“Mary Poppins Returns” hit theaters today. Emily Blunt is Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda is her friend Jack. It’s been 54 years since Dick Van Dyke was in the original, and now at 91, he’s in the sequel. He played two parts the first time around . . . Bert the chimney sweep, and Mr. Dawes the banker. In this one he plays the son of Mr. Dawes.
A judge says GWEN STEFANI is liable for a woman’s injuries during a concert back in 2016. Gwen had told the crowd to get closer to the stage and things got out of hand. The woman ended up with a broken leg.
LUKE BRYAN and his wife Caroline have been doing a “12 Days of Pranksmas” and she’s been posting videos on Instagram. There’s one from a few days ago where he’s talking on the phone and she sneaks up and blasts an air horn. He got into the act by surprising her with his cheesy new mustache.
CHRIS LANE is taking LAUREN BUSHNELL home to meet his mom and dad in North Carolina. This is round one of meet the parents. Chris says they’ve already made plans to visit her family before the New Year. Lauren was on Season 20 of “The Bachelor” – then “Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After?”
43 year old Mayim Bialik is learning how to be alone after splitting from her boyfriend of five years just before Thanksgiving. “The Big Bang Theory” actress suggests tips for moving on from a hard breakup, which include exercising, not listening to sad music and finding perspective. Mayim first revealed the news in a November blog post about spending Thanksgiving at her ex-husband’s home. The actress has two children from her 10-year marriage to Michael Stone.
“Forbes” has released a list of the 10 wealthiest celebrities. George Lucas is #1 with $5.4 billion, and he’s followed by Steven Spielberg, Oprah, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, and 21-year-old Kylie Jenner.
GARTH BROOKS and TRISHA YEARWOOD are planning to do a live duets album, but they will NOT be recording it of in front of a huge crowd. He wants to have fans sit in the studio as they record the duets. It’s at least a year away from happening.
Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Jimmy Buffett, and Emmylou Harris have been announced as performers at the Willie Nelson tribute concert – January 12th in Nashville. They’ll be joining a lineup of performers that includes George Strait, John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss, and Lee Ann Womack. The “Willie: Life & Songs of an American Outlaw” special will be recorded to air sometime next year on A&E.
RONNIE MILSAP will be kicking off his “76 for 76 Tour” on January 16th in Nashville – a special day because it’s his 76th birthday. It’s also two days before he releases his new album, “The Duets”. March 2 – AMT
JUSTIN MOORE is one of those people who takes their New Year’s resolutions seriously. This year’s resolution was to stop texting and driving. He’s going to try a new one next year. He’s vowing to put an end to his “cussing.” “I don’t do it nearly as much as I used to but if I could cut that out completely that would be good.”
CMT has announced the artists for the 2019 edition of their “Listen Up” program. These are acts that they’ll be showcasing throughout the year. Some you may have heard about, while others are probably getting their first big break. They are: Brandon Lay, Dillon Carmichael, Gone West, Hardy, Ingrid Andress, Kylie Morgan, Lainey Wilson, Mitchell Tenpenny, Nick Wayne, Rachel Wammack, Riley Green, Ruston Kelly, and Tenille Townes.
NICOLAS CAGE has always loved PRINCE. The night he finally met him in person, Prince refused to take a picture with him, apparently because he was worried about a photograph, “taking his soul.”
Cicely Tyson is 94
Tim Reid is 74
Tim Reid is 74. Venus Flytrap
Mike Lookinland is 58. Bobby Brady
Jennifer Beals is 55. (FLASHDANCE)
Alyssa Milano is 46.