Johnny Depp, Amber Heard host star-studded engagement party NY Daily News

The newly engaged pair celebrated their upcoming nuptials with family and A-list pals at the Carondolet Theater in Los Angeles Friday.

johnnydeppengagement party


Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard celebrated their whirlwind engagement with a star-studded bash in Los Angeles Friday night.

The 50-year-old “Pirates of The Caribbean” star and his 27-year-old betrothed, who met on the set of the “Rum Diaries” in 2011 and went public with their engagement in January, were feted by a celeb-filled crowd at the swanky Carondelet House.

Depp and Heard were rushed into the high-security shindig at about 8:30 p.m. They greeted their A-list guests at 9, as the luminaries slipped through a velvet-curtained entrance.

Attendees at the Moroccan-themed event included rock legend Steven Tyler, 65, actor and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, 70, music producer Rick Ruben, singer Marilyn Manson, 45, and musician Ryan Adams, 39.

Depp also celebrated his engagement with two of the most important people in his life — his mother, Betty Sue Palmer, and his longtime tattoo artist, Mark Mahoney.

The aging icons made an early night of the festivities, with most filtering out of the venue by midnight.

A noticeably younger crowed, presumably friends of Heard, who is 23 years Depp’s junior, also attended to wish the lovebirds well.

The merrymakers danced to rock oldies slung by a DJ in a yellow and white striped open air tent behind the Spanish-style brick building.

Many of the polished revelers brought gifts for the soon-to-be hitched pair.

Workers from Revelry Event Designers, Tres LA Catering, and Mark’s Garden florists had toiled throughout the day to pack the venue with high-end hors d’oeuvres and floral arrangements to meet every wish and whim of their famous clients.

Throughout the night, a small army of security guards kept a tight perimeter on the event, obstructing a scrum of paparazzi who gathered outside.

As he was leaving, Tyler said Depp’s mom was the true life of the party – and his dance partner for some of it.

“His mom was great,” he said as he wished his buddy the best once outside of the inner circle.

“I love that he’s in love,” he said.

Depp and Heard began dating on the heels of the “Edward Scissor Hands” star’s break with longtime girlfriend, French actress Vanessa Paradis, 41. It is rumored Depp’s newer, younger squeeze precipitated that split.

Depp has been married once before and has been engaged three previous times. His 1989 romantic misstep with actress Winona Ryder left a permanent mark on the actor’s arm with the tattooed words “Wino Forever” not-so-craftily changed from “Winona Forever” after the unhappy split.

Depp and Heard have kept their wedding plans tightly under wraps
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Ronald Reagan Did It, Can Former SAG VP Anne-Marie Johnson Do It?

Johnson at gifting event.

Johnson at gifting event.


Long before he was president of the United States, Hollywood history aficionados know that Ronald Reagan was once the president of the Screen Actor’s Guild. Just look how far that got him.

Actress Ann Marie Johnson, perhaps best known for her roles on In the Heat of the Night, Girlfriends and JAG (playing a Congresswoman for five seasons) is coming to the end of her 15 years as a SAG national board member and has no plans to continue. In fact, she is apparently in opposition of the direction the venerable union has taken with the merger of SAG and AFTRA last year.

“I will not be returning as an elected officer. It’s not my union any longer,” she said at Doris Bergman’s Valentine/Oscar Style Lounge & Party at Cafe La Boheme.

(left) Hunger Games Leven Rambin

(left) Hunger Games Leven Rambin

“The Screen Actor’s Guild no longer exists. What has taken its place is inferior to what was. So I’m more involved in city politics and I am concentrating on doing more with my career.”

So, does that mean she’s also turning in her SAG (now SAG/AFTRA) card? Probably not but, Johnson, much like Reagan before her, is looking at politics with newfound admiration.

“I would certainly consider City Council. I love Los Angeles and I’m a second generation native of LA. Right now I represent my neighborhood on a council and I enjoy it. I really do.”

For now though, her feet are still stuck in Hollywood.

“Acting always but I really love politics. I think it serves a purpose and I really respect the machinery of politics, so I am enjoying that.”

The scene at La Boheme

The scene at La Boheme




Emmy Gifting Not All Swag

Emmy Awards season means parties, awards, fancy dinners, and if you’re a celebrity (or lucky reporter) around town, a few freebies, yep, swag. However, after you’ve received your goody bag, sometimes you wonder if there is more to it than just a good time.

Here are few services and products (not vice versa) that remind us of what giving can be about.

Each year Suzanne Lindley, a cancer survivor and executive director of Yes! Beat Liver Tumors stands patiently and sweetly at her booth at the Debbie Durkin Eco Emmy event with beautiful pictures and earth scenes such as mountains and water to one side and a place for celebrities to sign a giant poster board and offer their support to her organization that takes donations and writes grants for cancer research.

Orange County, California resident John Harris heads up GuardaHeart which allows Emmy suite attendees to take a free blood test to check for cholesterol, high blood pressure and other health problems.

We Rock Green Mics puts celebrities, high schoolers and poetry together. “We get a celebrity, they give us an idea for a green poem and then we go back home and assign it to a kid or a class. Then the kids write about, we edit and film it and we send it back to the celebrity. “Keith David said, ‘My poem was dope,’ ”  says a rep.

And then, along with the helpful comes stuff that is so on trend that you think, why didn’t ‘t I think of this. Such is the case of Chocstry, an artisan chocolate company that creates mouth-watering chocolate  pieces that Chef P. Ashley Rix says is part history, chemistry and artistry. All we know is that they are pretty and some have a  sweet potato, Spanish saffron, Gorgonzola Dolce bleu cheese center coming in heart-shaped, square-shaped or with actual messages on top. Oh, and they are delicious!

Everyone wants better sound and when one can get a lot of features in a portable spearker, why not?  iharmonix Q-i-sound stereo bluetooth speakers are wireless so it really doesn’t matter where one wants to take them, they will go there. For gadget freaks, the stereo bluetooth speakers come from Qmadix, which has lots of stuff for your phone and for your ear, including sunglasses with bluetoooth insertion.

Ollin Arm Candy is the cutest recycle project or prettiest bunch of handbags, wallets and change purses. Actually a bit of both as creator Nohui Ollin creates the bags with defective candy wrappers sent from companies that originally would have just sent them to landfills.

Next week, back to post-award Hollywood life, well, until the next awards’ show festivities.

Jamar (The Voice) Rogers & Qmadix Speakers

Jamar (The Voice) Rogers & Qmadix Speakers





TV Land’s Soul Man Goes to Church

Cedric the Entertainer with Niecy Nash and TV Land executives

Cedric the Entertainer with Niecy Nash and TV Land executives

Readers or as they say, Dear Readers, it’s been awhile.  As a freelance writer/reporter, I get tied up in deadlines and commitments but whenever I get a chance to post something around town or a decent interview, I do. Please keep coming back, you never know what you might find.

Some fans of TV Land’s Soul Man starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash got a chance to meet, greet and dish with the cast and show executives at First AME Church (appropriately) in Los Angeles.  In addition to a Q&A, the audience got to view an upcoming episode.

Check out a few known and not-so-known faces at the event.

Actress Elise Neal and Soul Man's Nash

Actress Elise Neal and Soul Man’s Nash





Food, Fun, Pho (Restaurant)!

Anthony Turk and Kate Linder at 90210pho restaurant event

Anthony Turk and Kate Linder at 90210pho restaurant event

Daytime soap celebs and noted Angelenos  joined chef Kimmy Tang for an afternoon of food and chat at her 90210pho restaurant in Beverly Hills.  Among those attending were Y&R’s Kate Linder, former Days of Our Lives’ star Patrika Darbo and original Dallas alum, Charlene Tilton.

Tang hosted the event to raise funding to support the Art Therapy Program at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles.  The chef has partnered with the charity Healing Arts Reaching Kids (HARK) and will be displaying the

90210pho fresh roll with shrimp

90210pho fresh roll with shrimp

art work in her restaurant in Westlake Village, CA as well as one that will soon open in Glendale, CA.

Beautiful prints done by child patients at the hospital lined the walls of the restaurant.

“I do not have children of my own, so I want to help as many children as I can,” says Tang.

90210pho features healthy Vietnamese food such shrimp, tofu and veggie spring rolls, plus open face sandwiches made with salads served in wonton cups.

Although reasonable, the restaurant is quickly becoming a favorite for celebs such as Sofia Vergara, Larry King, Maggie Q, Mickey Rourke and Jackie Chan.

As for this reporter, well, she munched hard on the shrimp spring rolls! Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.



WINNIE: When Will U.S. See It?

With the announcement that T.D. Jakes, pastor, author and CEO of TDJ Enterprises, will produce Winnie, starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard, there’s a chance that this art-house film will hit mainstream — or not.

Reviews have been mixed (,

Hudson/Howard in Winnie

Hudson/Howard in Winnie

however, it’s worth noting that this is one of several films that will focus on Nelson Mandela’s life (the other being a rumored one not yet in production with Idris Elba starring).

Jakes’ production company will also produce A Million Colours, a South African movie that chronicles the diverging lives of two acclaimed young actors and how they were affected by apartheid. ‘Colours‘ will open this year’s Hollywood Black Festival in the fall.

“Stories like ‘Winnie’ and ‘A Million Colours’ are important historically and socially. Collaborations like this offer us a unique ability to provide the global community a window into African culture through the creation of quality content,” said Jakes.

Winnie was shown last year as the opening film at the Hollywood Black Film Festival and is described as “a sensitive and balanced portrayal that examines the controversies and conquests in the life of the equally beloved and polarizing figure, Winnie Mandela. It also explores in a way that no other film has, the nature of love and relationships in the midst of political turmoil and struggle under the apartheid system.”

“I was compelled and moved by the script,” said Jennifer Hudson. “Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I’m honored to be the actress asked to portray her.”

Hudson stayed “confined” day and night to the prison set where the crew shot scenes depicting Winnie Mandela’s 500-plus days in solitary confinement.

“They snatched her out of her home and she had no idea what happened to her children. This was real. As a woman, I am angry for her, hurting for her.”

“Their story is one of the most inspirational, true love stories of all time,” said co-star Terrence Howard.

The cast also includes Canadian actors Elias Koteas (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Wendy Crewson  (Alcatrez).

The film features the title song “Bleed for Love”, performed by Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson accompanied by the Soweto Gospel Choir and penned by six-time Academy Award Nominee Diane Warren, with a score by Laurent Eyquem.


Five Minutes With Magic City’s Danny Huston


Danny Huston in Magic City

Danny Huston in Magic City

He’s one of those actors that you know of and then again … things like, `Hey, is he … ?’ `Yeah, he’s from a famous family,  I think. He looks familiar.’

Yeah, actor Danny Huston is definitely the brother of Angelica, son of the late, famed director John, uncle to Boardwalk Empire’s Jack and he’s been holding down jobs in front of the camera for some time now.

Huston has worked with A-list actresses including Nicole Kidman in Birth, and with Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardner, More recently he was in You Don’t Know Jack, about euthanasia’s, Jack Kervorkian.

Magic City is set in 1959, pre-Kennedy assassination, pre-Cuban Missile crisis¾ when the mob in Miami¾ was just a stone’s throw from the new Castro dictatorship in Cuba. The action takes place in the fictional Miramar Playa Hotel (modeled loosely on the real-life Miami Fontainebleau hotel), where the white evening jacket isn’t retro and while everyone appears to be having a grand ol’ time, everything isn’t what it seems.

Huston talks his role and how ‘Magic’ is both the same and different from that other M-world show, Mad Men.

So you were directing and you had no intention of getting into acting?

“I had no intention of getting into acting at all. The fellow directors out of the kindness of their hearts, saw me suffer through this stage of development and they cast me in small films and small parts.”

Your dad (John Huston) kind of got into directing that way and now this is a fun way to live, right?

“It is and I get to work with people on stories that I enjoy, what could be better.”

Most of the castmembers of You Don’t Know Jack got to meet Jack Kevorkian, did you?

“Yeah, absolutely. He was an extraordinary man and a real bit of an anarchist in a way, rebellious but also someone who believed in human rights.”

You, Angelica (Smash) and Jack are in series this year, what do you think of that?

“Yes. You know, the whole thing about cable is now that movies are so large, as far as budgets and 3-D, etc., it’s hard to make an intimate story theatrically and get it released and get it out there.

So cable is such a wonderful way to reach out to audiences that are already there and be able to tackle stories that are sometimes complicated.

I find it a little daunting that you don’t know what is going to happen but I suppose it’s like life, and life is a little daunting if you think about it, and you don’t think about it. You never really know and that’s also kind of exhilarating.”

How do you authentically know about this period?

“What’s fun about this is that, there’s a line where (his character) Ben Diamond says, `Aw, Castro, these dictators they come and go like the weather down here,’ and it became quite the opposite.

So it’s interesting to re-visit, go back in time to see how people are perceiving things.

So from the Cuba aspect, there’s lots of explore but there’s also lots to explore from Women’s Lib and the Pill was just coming out, which changed women’s position in the world, of course, Mad Man very much explores all those existential thoughts but also Kennedy’s about to be elected. The CIA is doing their thing, you have stars like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis who wasn’t able to stay at the Fontainebleau and performing there to great applause.”

Speaking of Mad Men, do you watch a lot of television and if so, what?

“I watch Boardwalk Empire but I do remember watching Mad Men in New York while I was working on the Kevorkian film and was speaking to a friend and I said, there’s this incredible show, it’ called Man Men and my friend’s like, `It’s been out for two years.’

I thought I discovered it! I didn’t know AMC was producing it.”

Does your character remain a villain throughout the show?

“He is completely villainous and he knows he is.”

But Ike (Jeffery Dean Morgan) is not all good himself so it’s not like I’m stealing candy from a kid or something or corrupting the innocent.”

Did you create a back story for your character?

“Yeah, It’s kind of there in the writing. He grew up in a orphanage, kind of clumsy and an outcast, and he spent a lot of time in the dark, which is why he loves the sun and he’s always in the sun and this is before we knew the sun was bad for you.

So I feel very nostalgic about the period. We could do things that are bad for us because we didn’t know. What a shame that we know so much!”

 Magic City airs Fridays at 10 p.m. on Starz.











Eight Quotes From Jon Hamm

Mad Men's Jon Hamm

Mad Men's Jon Hamm

On Luck: “I think if our show would’ve been on NBC at 7 o’clock or 9 o’clock on Tuesdays it wouldn’t have made it. The network model is that you have to draw a very large number of people to be successful and we—by the grace of whoever—have been given the opportunity to build an audience by the fact that it’s on cable.”

On Madmen 1966: “Don is getting older. It’s not the sixties where everybody stays the same age for 20 years in. People age and we are trying to depict that realistically.”

On Working with Jessica Pare: “It’s nonstop hockey talk. I’m from St. Louis and we’re doing very well and I’m able to lay into her about her beloved Canadians. Jessica is lovely. She’s not new to this business. She actually worked on a show with John Slattery many, many years ago, on Jack and Bobby.”

On How Don’s Marriage Will Change Peggy and Don’s Relationship: “It’s certainly something that is explored in season five. We don’t really know. Peggy and Don are very close and Peggy has opinions and Don has opinions.”

On Betty and Don: “I think that whatever happens in a marriage —and I’ve never been involved in a relationship that’s gone kaflooey after a long time or gone into marriage and all the attendant drama that can create—but I think anyone’s who’s been in a relationship there’s always something there.”

On What Comes

L-R) Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Lane Pryce (Jared Harris), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), Don Draper (Jon  Hamm-Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

L-R) Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks), Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Lane Pryce (Jared Harris), Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), Don Draper (Jon Hamm-Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

After Mad Men: “I haven’t really thought about it. I really like my day job and I’m happy that we’re gonna do it for a few more years and I will let whatever happens next, happen next. I’m not a good predictor of what comes next and I’m not very good at being tremendously ambitious so I will sort of drift along and see what happens.”

On Making Bridesmaids II: “Every time I open my mouth about that, I get in trouble for that so I really don’t know. I was a very small part of that very big picture but I’m sure someone is having a conversation about it somewhere but I’m sure it doesn’t involve me.”

On Women: “I don’t think I’ve learned anything about women from playing Don. I think everything I’ve learned about women is from being raised by my mother and living with Jen (ifer Westfeldt).”


What U Missed During Fashion Week LA


Designer Dina Bar-el on the catwalk at LA Fashion Weekend

Designer Dina Bar-el on the catwalk at LA Fashion Weekend

Things have been a little different for LA’s Fashion Week in the last few years. Venues are all over town and at private residences, unlike the old days where it was mostly at Smashbox. The positives are that that the variety and size of the venues allow for more attendees. The negatives are of course, sometimes it’s impossible to go everywhere. But we tasted a few cocktails among the taste-makers and saw a few shows. 

Especially exciting was designer Dina Bar-el and Betsey Johnson’s shows at LA Fashion Weekend at Sunset Gower Studios. Bar-el rapidly became a celeb award-show favorite after her one of her dresses appeared in Kate Hudson’s movie How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. Victoria Beckham, Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas, Carmen Electra, Dancing With the Star’s Karina Smirnoff, Smash’ Catherine McPhee and LA TV reporter Nancy O’Dell have all worn her gowns and dresses.

These days the former model turned designer admits she gets a lot of work from the Hollywood industry. So does that mean she only does that now?

“Not really,” she says, “but that’s what I do all the time. I like the glamor. I like the beauty but in short dresses, there’s a change, right?”

Napoleon Purdis makeup bar

Napoleon Purdis makeup bar

Betsey Johnson Fall 2012 at LA Fashion Weekend

Betsey Johnson Fall 2012 at LA Fashion Weekend





Passionate Pastels: New Celeb Trend?

E!'s Kelly Osbourne

E!'s Kelly Osbourne


Katy Perry at Paris Fashion Week

Katy Perry at Paris Fashion Week

Pastel: a soft half-faded tint in fabrics used for dress-materials: so called from its resemblance to the tones of old pastel drawings.

These usually come in pretty colors like peach, pink, lavender (or pink lavendar anyone?), blue, yellow.

Anyway, spring has almost sprung and in tribute to LA’s Fashon Week, celebs are on trend once again. Take a look at a few caught out and about in pastels. Some of these looks can be found at brands like Pinkyotto, Aryn K. and Bishop of Seventh.

Fashion Week LA runs March 9-16 at various venues around town, if you go, you never know who you’re going to be sitting next to, could be one of these pictured.



Selna Gomez

Selena Gomez