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Danielle Adams

Joss Whedon smashes box office

The Avengers shatters opening weekend record

Joss Whedon has long had cult following, from Vampire Slayer buffs to Firefly fans to Dr. Horrible sing-alongers. Now, the writer-director is finally getting the recognition he deserves.

Joss Whedon has always been brilliant, but time and time again his projects have fallen short of mainstream success. Buffy almost faced cancellation several times before being shuffled off to a different network with a limited budget for its final few seasons. Whedon’s space western television series Firefly was cancelled after only 11 of the 14 completed episodes were aired (many out of the intended order). His Firefly film, Serenity, should have been a hit but was a box office disappointment.

Dollhouse had potential with a solid foundation, but it was cancelled after two seasons when questionable casting and other awkward creative decisions led to low ratings. Dr. Horrible has gained cult status but is still widely unknown.

After this past weekend, however, Joss Whedon has finally done it. The Avengers pulled the highest-grossing opening weekend in film history, knocking Harry Potter and the Hunger Games out of the park.

The Avengers film has been highly anticipated by Marvel fans, and throwing Joss Whedon into the superhero mash-up was just plain brilliant. Whedon’s knack for witty dialogue undoubtedly gave the film that extra edge. “I never write anything without humor, just because I like humor, but at the same time, it is a way for anything fantastical to become relatable,” Whedon told the Associated Press.

“The great thing about this team is, there’s an element of absurdity to the idea of the Avengers, and there always was. You read the first issue, and you’re like, ‘Really? Really? This is a team?’ ” said Joss Whedon. “That thread kind of carried through the whole history of the Avengers, and their constant changes in lineup became almost a joke. You have to let that absurdity bleed into the characters, because, if you don’t let the audience laugh at it, they’re going to LAUGH at it, and not the way you want.”

Apparently, Joss Whedon’s approach was the right one, as the film raked in an estimated $200.5 million in domestic returns, putting its estimated global box office gross at nearly $650 million. Well done, Joss, well done.

George Lindsey dies at 83

The Andy Griffith Show’s Goober Pyle

George Lindsey, most known for his portrayal of dimwitted Goober on the Andy Griffith Show, died early Sunday morning. He was 83.

Alabama native George Lindsey played the part of the genial auto mechanic Goober Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show, and its spinoff Mayberry R.F.D, and was later a regular on the long-running country music comedy show Hee Haw. He died at a healthcare center in Nashville after a brief illness, said his manager and booking agent, Carrie Moore-Reed.

Andy Griffith was grateful that he had his last conversation with George Lindsey just a few days before his death. “I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our 80s, we were not afraid to say, ‘I love you.’ That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. ‘I love you.’”

“George Lindsey was my friend,” Griffith said in a statement. “I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit.”

The Andy Griffith Show was in its fourth season in 1964 when George Lindsey first appeared as the cousin of naïve gas station attendant Gomer Pyle, played by Jim Nabors.

“America has grown up with me,” George Lindsey said in a 1985 interview with Associated Press. “Goober is every man; everyone finds something to like about Goober.”

George Lindsey was born in Alabama in 1928. He majored in biological science and physical education at what is now the University of North Alabama, graduating with a bachelor of science degree. After three years in the Air Force, he worked one year as a high school baseball and basketball coach and history teacher at Hazel Green High School in Alabama.

In 1956 he moved to New York City where he studied acting on the GI Bill at the American Theatre Wing and began his acting career on Broadway, appearing in the musicals All American and Wonderful Town.

One of his first TV jobs was one of the liars on To Tell the Truth. His other TV credits include roles on Gunsmoke, MASH, The Wonderful World of Disney, CHIPS, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, The Real McCoys, Riflemen, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Twilight Zone and Love American Style. Later, he provided voices in Disney animated features including The Aristocats, The Rescuers and Robin Hood.

In an interview in 1985 George Lindsey said of his career, “There’s a residual effect of knowing I’ve made America laugh. I’m not the only one, but I’ve contributed something.”

George Lindsey is survived by his son, George Lindsey Jr., daughter Camden Jo Lindsey Gardner, two grandsons and his longtime companion, Annie Wilson.

Amber Riley collapses on the red carpet

Glee actor says she is fine

Amber Riley, Glee star, alarmed some fans when she collapsed on the red carpet Tuesday, but she says she is fine.

While attending an Academy screening of Glee, Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes Jones on the show, fainted, causing some minor panic. There was much speculation as to why the star passed out, including speculation that she may have been overheated or that her blood sugar crashed.

The Glee star has assured her fans that she is okay, however. “Hey guys, I’m okay,” Amber Riley posted to her Twitter account Wednesday. “I got a little dizzy from all the photog flashes! You’d think I’d be used to it by now, still a red carpet amateur I guess. Gonna get checked out but I feel fine. Thank you for all the concern and well wishes.”

The photographers present were courteous enough not to document Amber Riley laid out on the carpet. “I’d also like to thank the photographers for being so professional and not taking photos of me on the ground. I truly, truly appreciate it. Could have been super embarrassing,” Amber Riley tweeted.

Amber Riley addressed the gossip on Wednesday. “Let me stop the rumor mill right now,” she wrote. “I’m not pregnant! Yes I’m black but I don’t have diabetes, I don’t starve myself to fit clothes; I buy clothes to fit ME not vice versa, I DO NOT DIET; I eat right and exercise! I love myself waaaay more than I like my career. I would never ever put myself in harm’s way to mirror any ‘image.’ Come on [people]. Get a life. I did get a great laugh this morning reading all the BS though lol.”

Jaleel White booted from DWTS

Says he has no regrets

Jaleel White was the sixth contestant to be eliminated from Dancing With The Stars in the season 14 competition last night, and although he is disappointed, he says he gained a lot from the experience.

One lesson Jaleel White learned from his time on DWTS was having “just more patience with myself,” he said. “Trust the Lord above that he put you on a path for you to succeed, that, you know, in five days I can [learn] a dance and present it to America.”

The former Family Matters star spoke with Access Hollywood and Us Weekly about the experience after his elimination. “I made some great friends here, man. This is a fraternity.”

“Believe me, when I go to Miami I’m calling William Levy!”

Jaleel White said he’s not sure if he’ll continue dancing now that he’s off the show. “I don’t know but I’ll definitely tell you this — I definitely wouldn’t shy away from any role or anything that incorporated dance,” he said. “Before, I definitely would have, you know, run to high [ground] for cover.”

Last month, Jaleel White tweeted that he had already lost 13 pounds on the show. “I will be a little sad I’m not going to get up in the morning and go and go train. I want to keep my waistline! I don’t know how I’m going to do that,” he said.

Look for Jaleel White on Syfy, where he’ll be hosting a comedic game show, Total Blackout,  in which contestants battle each other and their fears in a series of challenges. 

“I’m really happy people are seeing me in a different light,” he said. “I’ve been stepping out my comfort zone and I’m going to keep on doing it.”

Paulina Gretzky sends out scandalous photos

Hockey player’s daughter just can’t resist posting raunchy photos

Paulina Gretzky made a splash on the social media scene this weekend, posting a series of suggestive photos of herself.

The daughter of hockey star Wayne Gretzky, Paulina Gretzky, once had a Twitter account full of sexy photos. Her father however, didn’t approve, which may have contributed to the shutting down of the account. Shortly before Paulina Gretzky disabled her Twitter account last year she tweeted, “Having a nice sit down dinner with my dad about social media..haha #SIKEEE,” before posting, “Taking a break from Twitter for a bit.”

The bombshell has since reactivated her account; although, it’s now far more family friendly, posting things like “Sneaky mission with my 3 yr. old cousin into my parents candy bar,epic fail..chocolate all over our faces.” and “I think I’m more excited about my 9 year old sisters ice cream birthday cake than she is.”

The lovely Paulina Gretzky has found a new way to showcase her sexy body, however: Instagram. The 23-year-old posted a series of raunchy photos of her scantily clad self hanging out with friends in Vegas on the photo sharing app this weekend.

The number two rule on Instagram’s terms of use states “You may not post nude, partially nude, or sexually suggestive photos.” Paulina Gretzky has clearly violated that clause, but so have many other users, so is it really all that shocking?

Although some have called the images “dirty” and “disturbing,” they really aren’t exceptionally racy, especially when compared to booty-shaking Kate Upton.

Cinco de Mayo is on Saturday

How will you celebrate?

Cinco de Mayo is coming up this Saturday. Although the fifth of May is often confused with Mexican Independence Day, our neighbors to the South actually celebrate their independence on Sept.16.

This year, Cinco de Mayo marks the 150th anniversary of the day in 1862 when a small Mexican militia defeated a much larger French army attack in an unprecedented victory at the Battle of Puebla. This victory was short-lived as the French won right back, but for whatever reason, this day has become a cause for joyous celebration for Mexicans (and non-Mexicans) everywhere.

In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated mainly in Puebla, the site of the original victory. They commemorate with parades, fiestas and a reenactment of the battle at the original site.

Cinco de Mayo is much more popular here in the States than in Mexico. People celebrate in many ways; the most popular among college students being imbibing massive amounts of tequila – namely, margaritas.

For those looking for a more sophisticated way to celebrate, try making an authentic Puebla recipe such as the labor intensive Chiles in Nogada or Mole Poblano. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, why not make these festive (but not so authentic) piñata cookies.

Wherever you are, and whatever you do this Cinco de Mayo, be sure to keep in mind the history of this monumental day.

Josh Smith has sprained patella ligament

Scheduled for MRI Wednesday

Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks forward, had to leave Game 2 against the Boston Celtics in the fourth quarter because of a sprain in his left knee.

Before Josh Smith left the game, he had 16 points and a team-high 12 rebounds. He left the game with the Celtics ahead 74-72 and 4:20 left to play.

“I don’t know much about [Smith’s injury],” Hawks coach Larry Drew said during his postgame press conference on Tuesday night. “We’ll know more after he’s examined. He is one of our go-to guys down the stretch. We were missing all of the things that he brings to the table for us, especially down low.”

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweeted updates on Smith’s condition. “Atlanta’s Josh Smith has sprained patella ligament in knee, source tells Y! ‘He walked out of arena w/no help, just gingerly,’ source says.”

“Smith will have an MRI exam on Wednesday in Atlanta.”

The Hawks are already shorthanded without centers Al Horford (torn pectoral muscle) and Zaza Pachulia (ligament strain in foot), and they may have to go into Game 3 with one less player, depending on the severity of Josh Smith’s injuries.

The Hawks lost to the Celtics last night when Boston was without guards Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen. For Game 3, the Celtics will have home court advantage, and Rondo will be back. If Josh Smith isn’t cleared to play, the Hawks don’t stand much of a chance in Boston.

Celtics defeat Hawks

Boston emerges victorious, despite being shorthanded

The Celtics came out on top Tuesday, beating the Hawks 87-80 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Boston Celtics played without suspended point guard Rondo and injured shooting guard Allen, putting much of the pressure to score on captain Paul Pierce, who certainly did not disappoint.

Pierce reminded fans why Celtics coach Doc rivers often calls Pierce a “professional scorer” Tuesday night. 34-year-old Pierce scored the game’s first points six seconds in and accounted for Boston’s first nine points overall. He scored 36 points over 44 minutes, 21 seconds on floor time, culminating in a pair of free throws that put the Celtics ahead 85-78 with 1:15 left in the game.

After the game, Pierce took to Twitter, posting, “44 [minutes] tonite, old for this, I need a bed right now!!!”

Kevin Garnett added 15 points while Avery Bradley chipped in 14. Brandon Bass added eight, and Keyon Dooling finished with six.

Dooling explained the attitude of the Celtics to ESPN. “We’re professionals,” he said. “Throughout the season, we were in the rotation, out of the rotation, not playing that often. But you focus, you give yourself to the team, you never let yourself get out of shape, never let yourself get in a funk mentally, and stay in tune with the game plan and the schemes. Then when your number is called, you gotta be ready.”

Garnett said the veteran Celtics players are doing their best to instill this sense of professionalism in the younger players. “Everyone knows it’s not about one person; it’s about the group, the team. This team is like a well-oiled machine, you come in, you know what it is. There’s no excuses. You give 100 percent, that’s what it is.”

Rondo will be back for Game 3 Friday night in Boston, although Allen’s situation is still unknown. The series is tied 1-1.

Tyler Perry Studios damaged in fire

Blaze under investigation

Tyler Perry Studios went up in flames in Atlanta Tuesday evening, requiring more than 100 firefighters to respond to the scene. There have been no reported injuries, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Firefighters were able to contain the four-alarm fire to one building in the complex since the building is broken up into sections, said Atlanta Fire Department Capt. Jolyon Bundrige. Bundrige said that the fire damaged the exterior of the building, but its structural integrity was not compromised.

“It was all in flames,” Dorothy Ware, who lives next door to Tyler Perry Studios, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The building started popping,” Ware said. “Whatever the fire was hitting, was blowing up. There were plenty of sparks coming over here where we are.”

The 30-acre complex includes a 200,000-suare-foot studio, five sound stages and a 400-seat theater, according to its website. The complex also includes a chapel, dining hall, gymnasium, five-acre pond and a back lot for filming street scenes. It also has an art department and a post-production facility.

Forbes reported a statement from Tyler Perry. “We are grateful that there were no injuries, and that 99 percent of the damage is limited to the backlot facade. Mr. Perry wishes to express his heartfelt thanks to the Atlanta fire department for their professionalism in their quick response and limiting the damage.”

Tyler Perry has worked successfully as a director, writer, producer, actor and playwright, with movies such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Why Did I Get Married? and television shows, including Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and For Better or Worse. Forbes’ “Entertainment’s Highest-Paid Men” list ranked Perry at number 1, taking in $130 million in 12 months beginning in May 2010.

Jessica Simpson finally gives birth

Singer gives baby unusual name

Jessica Simpson welcomed her baby girl into the world Tuesday morning. She named her Maxwell Drew Johnson.

This is Jessica Simpson’s first child with fiancé Eric Johnson. According to a source the baby, weighed in at 9 lbs. 13 ounces and measured 21 ¾ inches.

Tuesday afternoon, the singer turned fashion designer announced the arrival of her daughter on her official website. “We are so grateful for all the love, support, and prayers we have received,” she wrote. “This has been the greatest experience of our lives!”

Jessica Simpson, 31, and Eric Johnson, 32, got engaged in November 2010 after just six months of dating. They have yet to set a wedding date as they preferred to wait until after the baby’s arrival.

Jessica Simpson announced the news of her pregnancy last Halloween via Twitter. She tweeted a picture of herself in a mummy costume and wrote, “It’s true! I am going to be a mummy!”

In December, Jessica Simpson talked to Us Weekly about her imminent motherhood. “Eric and I love each other so much and knowing that I love this baby inside of me is so amazing — I love it so much, and I haven’t even met them yet,” Simpson gushed. “I can’t imagine how much love we’ll have for it once it finally comes!”

In April, she appeared nude on the cover of Elle Magazine, showing off her belly. She hinted that she and Johnson would be picking a “non-traditional” name for the baby. Maxwell is reportedly Johnson’s middle name. The middle name comes from Simpson’s maternal grandmother, Tina Simpson, whose maiden name is Drew.