Poet and social activist Amiri Baraka speaks during the Black Political Convention in Gary, Ind., in 1972. Baraka, whom Angelou had known for more than 40 years, died Jan. 9 at age 79. (Julian C. Wilson / AP)
Rev. Jesse Jackson will honor poet-playwright Amiri Baraka at a wake in New Jersey, set for Friday night at Newark’s Metropolitan Baptist Church. The 79-year-old author of blues-based, fist-shaking poems, plays and criticisms, passed away Jan. 9. Described by supporters as a genius and prophet, but denounced by critics as homophobic and anti-Semitic, Baraka was named New Jersey’s poet laureate in 2002, attracting criticism for the Sept. 11 poem “Somebody Blew Up America.” His funeral will be held Saturday at Newark Symphony Hall.
Oops! Sandra Bullock drops the F-bomb at awards
The F-word just popped out Sandra Bullock’s mouth Thursday as she was in the mist of making her acceptance speech at the 2014 Critics Choice Awards for her role in “Gravity.” Based on a report by MTV.com, a brief technical glitch caused audio to play over Bullock’s speech, causing her to instantly respond with “What the f---?” She quickly softened her reaction by yelling, “I’m an action hero! You don’t do that to an action hero.” She kept the jokes coming, by then thanking director Alfonso Cuaron for his “ability to strap me to every apparatus” and co-star George Clooney for “floating away and not coming back.”
Last original Munchkin dies
Ruth Robinson Duccini, the last of the original female Munchkins from the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” has died of natural causes at age 95. She passed away in Solari Hospice Care Center in Las Vegas Jan. 9. Duccini, who was four-feet tall and born in Rush City, Minn., traveled to California with a troupe of little people, where she was cast in the MGM movie that starred Judy Garland. With her passing, there is now only one surviving Munchkin out of the original 125 characters. He’s Jerry Maren, 93, of Los Angeles, who played a member of the Lollipop Guild.
Gosselin twins, double trouble for Mom?
Did the Gosselin twins, Cara and Mady, conspire to publicly humiliate their mom Kate Gosselin on the “Today” show Thursday? TMZ.com reports Gosselin attempted to show the world that being featured on a reality TV show hasn’t had negative affects on the 13-year-old twins. Cara and Mady were supposed to talk about how their mom has reared them as normal teenage girls, but when the cameras started rolling, they stared at Gosselin with blank expressions. “It’s your chance ... spit it out,” she insisted. It appears this as another version of “reality TV.”
Things are shaping up for Kim Kardashian
Those intense workouts at the gym are finally paying off for 33-year-old Kim Kardashian, following the birth of her daughter North West, nearly seven months ago. Kardashian and rapper husband Kanye West were spotted on a recent date-night with her showing off toned abs in a long-sleeved, white, lurex-material crop top and matching pencil skirt, reports usmagazine.com. After dinner, the two rode off into the night in West’s Lamborghini Aventador.
Showtime announced Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in “Happyish,” a new comedy series about a middle-aged man in search of happiness. The series will co-star Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans.
Kevin Costner, 58
Becca Tobin, 27
Jason Segel, 33