Gabe Ginsberg/FilmMagicStar Trek star Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed communications officer Lt. Uhura on the original series and in six Star Trek films, has suffered a mild stroke.

According to her official Facebook page, Nichols, who’s 82, became ill Wednesday night at her home in L.A..

In an early statement to ABC News, her publicist says, “Nichelle Nichols is resting comfortably and undergoing tests. We do not have a prognosis yet but everyone’s prayers and well wishes are appreciated.”

A subsequent post on Nichols’ Facebook page Thursday evening declares the actress underwent a CAT scan and MRI. “The CAT scan came back negative and we are awaiting the results from the MRI,” the update reads. “Currently she is awake, eating, in good spirits and able to have full conversations. Her right side has shown minor signs of mobility loss but she is not showing any signs of paralyses. We greatly appreciate all of the love and support her fans are showing at this time.”

Nichols is also a singer who performed with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before she became an actor. Her Lt. Uhura was one of the first African-American female characters on TV who was not a servant. In fact, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. considered Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura to be so important that, when she wanted to leave the series after a year, he convinced her to remain, saying she was a vital role model for black children.

Mae Jemison, the former NASA astronaut, has said that Nichols’ portrayal of Uhura inspired her to go into the space program, while Whoopi Goldberg has also cited Nichols as an influence; it led to her requesting and receiving a role in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Nichols later worked as a recruiter for NASA.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Image Group LA/ABC(LONDON) — Wondering how Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris got together? You can probably credit Ellie Goulding for that.

The singer, who’s pals with Taylor and has collaborated with Calvin, tells the U.K.’s The Sun that she set them up.

“I did play matchmaker, that’s true,” Ellie says.

Ellie admits she thought they’d be a good match partly because they’re both so tall.

“Calvin is a really great mate and he’s so fantastic, and Taylor is such a cool person who I love,” she says. “I thought, ‘They’re both really awesome and both really tall, they’ll be brilliant together.’”

Ellie adds that Taylor could soon be making a trip to Calvin’s hometown of Dumfries, Scotland.

“Of course she would hang out there,” she says. “She’s so down-to-earth and that would be important to her.”

Taylor and the DJ-producer have yet to comment on their relationship, but last week they were spotted holding hands while leaving Taylor’s New York City apartment building. They’ve also been photographed on several dinner dates together in recent weeks.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Betsy Newman(NEW YORK) — Stephen Colbert continues to roll out the new Late Show. One day after launching his online website and app for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the comedian revealed who his bandleader will be — 28-year-old jazz phenom, Jon Batiste.

In a video, Colbert reveals the news. “Hi I’m Stephen Colbert down in New Orleans, Louisiana,” he says in the video, “and people keep asking me who my bandleader’s gonna be, well I like this guy.”

Then out pops Batiste, who introduces himself before jamming on several instruments, including the piano.

So who is this new bandleader? According to CBS, Batiste is a musician and educator hailing from New Orleans. Along with his band, Stay Human, he’s played with Prince and Lenny Kravitz, among others. His latest studio album, Social Music, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard charts. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the famed Juilliard School in New York City.

In a statement, Colbert continued to gush about Batiste. “We are thrilled that Jon Batiste is joining The Late Show family of products. For my money, nobody plays like Jon Batiste. And you can trust me, because it is my money.”

Batiste added in a statement, “I’m thrilled! This is a match made in heaven. Get ready for a love riot in late night.”

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert premieres September 8 at 11:35 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Betty White is proving it’s never too late to join Instagram. At 93 years old, the actress joined the photo-sharing social network Wednesday.

Her first photo was of her and her co-stars from Hot in Cleveland, whose series finale aired the same night.

“For my first Instagram post I wanted to say how much I love these girls dearly. What a great time we had. #HOTFinale #ThanksForTheLaughs,” White writes as a caption for the photo that includes co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Wendie Malick and Jane Leeves.

As of Thursday, White — whose handle is bettymwhite — already had over 27,000 followers.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Roadside Attractions(NEW YORK) — John Cusack’s latest role is portraying The Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson in the biopic Love and Mercy. The actor said it’s a role he had to play.

“It’s hard to overestimate the impact that [Wilson] had sort of on music and culture in America for the 50 years after the creative explosion of The Beach Boys,” Cusack explained on Thursday’s Good Morning America.

Love and Mercy follows Wilson’s life from the 1960s, when he was the mastermind behind the chart-topping Beach Boys, to the 1980s, when Wilson’s mental deterioration emerged in full. Cusack portrays the middle-aged Wilson, who is being manipulated by discredited therapist Eugene Landy, played by Paul Giamatti, until he meets his wife, Melinda Ledbetter, played by Elizabeth Banks.

Cusack said he met with both Wilson and his wife prior to filming, an experience that was invaluable to portraying him.

“I think that he’s a kind of a person that has an antenna that’s so intense that — he thinks, and he’s a very sharp guy, and he’s kind of a prankster,” Cusack said of Wilson. “But as he’s talking to you, he’s listening to what you’re saying, but he’s sort of checking out the vibe on you and he’s feeling your intention so I think he’s more of an intuitive, feeling person than he is an analytical one.”

Cusack said he was grateful for the meeting because he saw the songwriter had overcome his dark past.

“He had one of the famous sort of Rock & Roll burnouts, but we don’t know where the facts ended and the legend began. So there wasn’t as much footage, and there wasn’t as much known about that period of his life, so I had to ask him what really happened and what went down and he wanted to tell us,” Cusack explained on GMA. “What I was struck was that when I went into his house, there were dogs running around, kids, and he was with Melinda and it was a really happy household. And I thought, ‘My God! This guy’s…he made it through.'”

Love and Mercy, also starring Paul Dano as the young Brian Wilson, is out Friday.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO(LOS ANGELES) — There’s no denying Game of Thrones is a violent series, but the steady stream of violence against women in particular bothers many viewers of the HBO medieval fantasy series. The anger level rose sharply a few weeks ago when character Sansa Stark was assaulted by her new husband on their wedding night.

In response to the criticism, author George R.R. Martin — who writes the Song of Ice and Fire novel series on which Game of Thrones is based — has released a lengthy statement to Entertainment Weekly, explaining that the violence in his stories, and subsequently the show, isn’t there for its own sake, but has a historical basis. He also notes that the violence depicted in the TV series sometimes differs from that in the books, a decision he has nothing to do with.

“The books reflect a patriarchal society based on the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages were not a time of sexual egalitarianism,” Martin tells the magazine. “It was very classist, dividing people into three classes. And they had strong ideas about the roles of women. One of the charges against Joan of Arc that got her burned at the stake was that she wore men’s clothing — that was not a small thing.”

Martin continues, “There were, of course, some strong and competent women. It still doesn’t change the nature of the society. And if you look at the books, my heroes and viewpoint characters are all misfits. They’re outliers. They don’t fit the roles society has for them. They’re cripples, bastards, and broken things — a dwarf, a fat guy who can’t fight, a bastard, and women who don’t fit comfortably into the roles society has for them (though there are also those who do — like Sansa and Catelyn).”

Martin also addresses the critics who may dismiss that argument, saying his books are fantasy, so he can do whatever he likes. “Just because you put in dragons doesn’t mean you can put in anything you want,” Martin says.

“…I wanted my books to be strongly grounded in history and to show what medieval society was like, and I was also reacting to a lot of fantasy fiction,” he adds.

Martin goes on to add many female fans of the books come up to him and say they admire his female characters. “There are still barriers against women. It’s better than what it was. It’s not Mad Men any more, which was in my lifetime,” he says.

As for scenes some viewers claim depict rape, Martin says it’s always been a byproduct of war — one that has never gone away. “Rape, unfortunately, is still a part of war today. It’s not a strong testament to the human race, but I don’t think we should pretend it doesn’t exist,” he says.

The next-to-last episode of this season of Game of Throne airs HBO Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Lifetime(ATLANTA) — Bobbi Kristina Brown is “healing,” according to her aunt Leolah Brown.

“We are allowing her to just continue healing in God’s Grace and Mercy,” the sister of Bobby Brown wrote in a Facebook post reported Wednesday by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Please continue to be patient with us.”

Leolah remains optimistic about her niece’s condition after being found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Roswell, Georgia, home on January 31.

“We are all grateful to Almighty God for allowing us to still have Krissi with us! So with that said, let us keep our hearts and minds on Bobbi Kristina’s complete healing! While continuing in our patience. We love and appreciate you all! May God bless you all for your continued prayers.”

Meanwhile, Cissy Houston recently revealed that her granddaughter remains the same. “She’s not progressing at all,” Houston told Entertainment Tonight back in May.

It’s been four months since Bobbi Kristina was hospitalized.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Universal(LOS ANGELES) — Mila Kunis can breathe a little easier now that the man arrested for stalking her is in police custody after escaping from a Pomona, California mental facility.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Division arrested Stuart Lynn Dunn, 27, on Wednesday, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

Dunn was arrested in 2012 after police allege he broke into Kunis’ home and followed her to the gym in hopes of meeting her.

The following year, he pleaded no contest to stalking the 33-year-old actress and was ordered to complete six months in a live-in rehabilitation program. He also was ordered to avoid her and her team of agents, managers and assistants for a decade.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC/Adam Taylor(LOS ANGELES) — Dancing With the Stars winner Rumer Willis got some new ink in honor of her time in the ballroom.

The tattoo, on her bicep, is of a woman dancing with a mystical, star-like being. Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter shared a photo of that tattoo on Instagram, tagging the tattoo artist and the Dancing with the Stars‘ Instagram page, confirming that it’s in honor of her time on the series.

“I got this as a reminder that what we are searching for can only be found within yourself…not from your job, how much money you make, who your (sic) dating, how many followers you have,” Willis wrote as a caption. “The value and love you have for yourself can only come from within and I am so grateful to have had such an incredible experience to help me understand that.”

This tattoo comes almost in conjunction with Rumer Willis joining the Dancing With the Stars: Live! Perfect Ten tour, which will span 25 cities across the U.S. Also on hand will be DWTS favorites, Witney Carson,Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Artem Chigvintsev, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd. DWTS All-Stars Champion Melissa Rycroft will host the tour, which starts June 13 in Atlantic City.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Mark Davis/NBC(NEW YORK) — The countdown to Stephen Colbert’s debut as host of CBS’ Late Show on September 8 got underway with the launch of the show’s website, iPhone app, and Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ accounts.

The website will feature the latest behind-the-scenes news about the upcoming show, videos and podcasts from Colbert, photos and viewer polls. The Colbr app for iOS, will offer videos and radio podcasts from Colbert, as well at his personal Twitter feed, @StephenAtHome. Both platforms will be updated throughout the summer, leading up to the show’s premiere.

“Say what you will about the Internet, I think it’s here to stay!” says Colbert.

“Launching puts me in the same league as, and!” Colbert quipped in a video posted to the new website.

In the clip, the 51-year-old former Daily Show correspondent and host of The Colbert Report, both on Comedy Central, sporting a beard, declares he needs to “find a new look” for his upcoming show and shaves the beard off in stages: the “Un-Hitler” — a full beard, minus the center of the mustache; the Amish beard; one mutton chop sideburn dubbed the “Half-Wolverine”; and finally clean-shaven.

Upon learning the show doesn’t debut for three months, he makes the full beard reappear.

Colbert replaces David Letterman, who retired as host in May after a 33-year late night career.

Here are the other social media accounts for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which are live:

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →