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Monday
Oct202014

Medical Examiner's Office Confirms Recovered Body Is Missing Actress

Charley Gallay/WireImage(SEATTLE) -- The King County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Friday that the body found in the Seattle suburb of Auburn, Washington, was that of missing actress Misty Upham.

According to The Seattle Times, the medical examiner's office announced Upham died Oct. 5 -- the same day her family called police to report she was suicidal. They reported her missing the next day.

The cause of death remains under investigation, but Upham's family believes she did not commit suicide. In a statement posted on Facebook, the family says, "We believe she ran into the wooded area behind her apartment to hide from the police. The area in question has a hidden drop off and evidence suggests that she slipped and fell off of the steep embankment when she tried to get out of a view from the road. She simply did not see the drop off."

The family states that Upham was afraid of Auburn police due to an incident prior to her disappearance in which she was allegedly mistreated by officers. They also argue that Auburn police could have been more helpful after she went missing.

Upham was found Thursday in a wooded area, near the White River.

The 32-year-old Native American actress appeared in such films as August: Osage County, Frozen River and Django Unchained.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct202014

Letterman's Cue-Card Man Fired After Confrontation with Staff Writer

Brad Barket /Getty Images(NEW YORK) David Letterman is no longer taking his cues from Tony Mendez.

Mendez, the longtime cue-card man for Letterman's Late Show who's a familiar face to viewers, has been fired after he physically confronted a staff writer.

In an interview with the New York Post, the 69-year-old Mendez says he grabbed writer Bill Scheft by the shirt and "got my face in his face" during an altercation that occurred Oct. 9, before a taping of the CBS late-night program. He says he was fired a few days later.

Mendez says he'd been upset since the day before, when Scheft interrupted him as they were working with Letterman in the host's dressing room. Mendez, who claims Scheft was "always undermining me," recalls saying, “I know what I’m doing. Get off my back.”

When Letterman responded, “Tony, your sour disposition isn’t helping,” Mendez says, he countered, "'You’re the one who has the sour disposition, motherf***er.'" Mendez clarifies that he and Letterman often casually exchanged profanities.

Mendez says Letterman's reaction hurt his feelings, but "then I realized that this is what Bill was doing. He was trying to create a wedge between us so Dave would think I was an a**hole.”

Mendez calls Letterman "the best, most generous boss" he's ever had, but adds the late-night host probably didn't realize the tension between him and Scheft.

The New York Post reports Mendez has been offered his full salary and health insurance until Letterman leaves the Late Show sometime next year.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct202014

Jay Leno Receives Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Jeff Riedel/NBC(WASHINGTON) -- Jay Leno was celebrated in Washington, D.C., Sunday night as this year's recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The award is presented annually by the Kennedy Center in recognition of people "who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to" its namesake.

The event featured appearances by Jerry Seinfeld, Seth Meyers, Chelsea Handler, Wanda Sykes, Garth Brooks, former Tonight Show bandleader Kevin Eubanks and Leno's Tonight Show successor, Jimmy Fallon, according to USA Today.

Fallon called Leno "a trail-blazing comedian" who showed him "that hard work does pay off."

In accepting the honor, Leno thanked his friends and his wife of 34 years, Mavis. "Most people get to hear the good jokes -- she had to hear all the stupid ones that didn't work," Leno remarked.

Leno said he would "treasure" the honor. "This means a tremendous amount to me. I am so touched by this," Leno added.

The show was taped and will air as Jay Leno: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Nov. 23 on PBS.

Recent Mark Twain Prize recipients include Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Bill Cosby.

It was announced last week that Leno will return to TV in 2015 with a CNBC show titled Jay Leno's Garage, focusing on the car collectors' market.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct202014

Pitbull Serves as Guest Judge on Monday Night's "Dancing with the Stars"

ABC/Matt Brown(LOS ANGELES) -- Mr. Worldwide comes to Dancing with the Stars on Monday night.

Not only will Pitbull perform his hit single, "Fireball," he'll also serve as guest judge alongside Julianne Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. The nine remaining couples will dance to a mix of his hits and favorite songs.

The Pitbull-themed show comes one week after the stars temporarily switched pro partners. They're now back with their usual pros, but it may be too late for Michael Waltrip, who was at the bottom of the leader board last week.

The NASCAR driver and owner, who's reunited with Emma Slater, is worried that he may be eliminated on Monday night. Yet he recently vowed to ABC News Radio, "[W]e're going to keep working and we're going to try to get better and better and hopefully people will vote for us because we're having fun."

Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett struggled last week, too. His pro partner, Allison Holker, says they're in a tough position, but, she adds, "I'm here for the challenge and I'm very excited about it and I'm very confident that Jonathan and I can make a turnaround."

One former Dancing with the Stars contestant is pulling for the middle-aged competitors. Fifty-two-year-old Karate Kid star Ralph Macchio says he's rooting for the "not-so-young guys," because he jokes, "if you're under 40 you're cheating!"

Macchio, who finished fourth during the show's 12th season in 2011, declares, "You got to give some big props -- especially right now with Alfonso Ribeiro. Coming out, doing 'The Carlton' thing -- went viral the next day. ...I gotta root for Lea Thompson. She’s in my, that's my age wheelhouse."

Dancing with the Stars airs Monday night at 8 p.m. Eastern time.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct192014

"Fury" Takes Top Spot at Box Office in Its Opening Weekend

Sony / Columbia(LOS ANGELES) -- Fury topped the box office in its opening weekend, earning $23.5 million.

The World War II film stars Brad Pitt as an army sergeant. It also features Shia LaBeouf, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal.

The thriller Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, fell to the number two spot this weekend, with $17.8 million.

Here are the top ten films of the weekend according to boxofficemojo.com:

1. Fury: $23.5 million
2. Gone Girl: $17.8 million
3. The Book of Life: $17.0 million
4. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: $12.039 million
5. The Best of Me: $10.2 million
6. Dracula Untold: $9.9 million
7. The Judge: $7.940 million
8. Annabelle: $7.925 million
9. The Equalizer: $5.45 million
10. The Maze Runner: $4.5 million


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct182014

Michael Keaton Feels 'Blessed' for Starring Role in "Birdman"

Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved(NEW YORK) -- Twenty-five years ago, Tim Burton's Batman, starring a then 37-year-old Michael Keaton, kickstarted the cinematic superhero era.

"I've done a lot of things, you know, besides wearing a big, rubber suit," Keaton told ABC News' Nightline.

For much of the last 20 years, Keaton's had a low profile in Hollywood, but that is about to change thanks to his performance in the film Birdman.

The movie is the story of a down-on-his-luck actor Riggan Thompson, played by Keaton. Keaton's character is famous for his work in a series of films as a costumed avenger, Birdman, and is desperate to redeem himself years later artistically by directing and starring in a Broadway drama. (While there are obvious parallels between Riggan's and Keaton's stints as superheroes, Keaton is quick to dispel any additional connection between his real-life self and his character in Birdman.)

Keaton is joined by the film's all-star cast, gathered at Lincoln Center before Birdman's debut at the New York Film Festival exclusively for ABC News, including Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, and Andrea Riseborough. The actors play characters in this film that are poised to present a personal or professional crisis for Keaton’s character.

"Just when you think he's this kind of weak, desperate, insecure dude--he is that--but he's also this other thing," Keaton said.

Now 63, Keaton said he made a conscious decision to get back in the acting game.

"Specifically, in the last couple of years, [I] started saying, 'I've got to start focusing more on not being so lazy and going after the things.' I mean, I always turned a ton of things down, but it's not like I turned really great things down necessarily," Keaton said. "You wait for that great script to come along, or you hope it's attached with a great director. And that's what happened."

The film is shot almost entirely in and around a Broadway theater. Birdman gets its adrenaline from director Alejandro Inarritu and his decision to shoot it without visible cuts.

"We were attempting two things that are very difficult to do: a comedy and a single shot," Inarritu told Nightline. "It was extremely difficult to coordinate."

With the able assistance of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, said Edward Norton, "I think he pulled off something that's as technically audacious and astonishing and virtuoso as [the film] Gravity,"

The film was challenging for its crew and actors, who were required to be perfect for seven-minute seamless takes.

"We used to get to the twelfth hour in the day, and he felt that he had nothing in the can yet," Naomi Watts told Nightline.

"One word, delivered a little later or earlier, or one door open wrong, even if it's in the right time, but it's not perfectly executed, suddenly it's like the music, the sound," Inarritu said. "There's something that doesn't match, and that was a scary but, I will say, beautiful part of doing this film."

"And the feeling that came over you when it worked was the most satisfaction I've ever felt," Emma Stone told Nightline.

For Keaton, who'd been careful about his roles for years, Birdman, and the character of Riggan Thompson, was a completely original change of pace.

"I was pulling out some of my old tricks or looking for new tricks, and I was getting lazy, so I had no real interest in watching myself for a while," he said. "[Birdman] is different in that … there's nothing like it. There's no other movie that I've seen that's like it, let alone been a part of."

Now earning rapturous reviews, Birdman and Keaton's performance seem likely to be part of the conversation through the awards season. Its themes reach beyond the rise or fall of an actor's reputation.

"I think every character in the movie, except maybe Amy's, whose is grounded, is fighting to get back to a version of themselves that they can respect," Norton said. "Making the film was like a fantastic antidote to those sensations."

"I'm unbelievably blessed. This is 100 percent original. You don't get more original than what Tim [Burton] did with Beetlejuice and arguably what he did with the first Batman too," Keaton said.

"And then you get this, which is like a whole other thing. I mean, come on. Somebody's looking out for me in a large way."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct182014

Queen Latifah to Host Hollywood Film Awards

Sony Pictures Television (LOS ANGELES) -- Queen Latifah will host the Hollywood Film Awards on Nov. 14.

For the first time since it began in 1997, this year's Hollywood Film Awards will be televised.

The ceremony will air live on CBS after a red carpet show hosted by Nancy O'Donnell.

Then a recap show will follow, hosted by CBS This Morning anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell, and Gayle King.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct172014

Portia de Rossi Says No Kids With Ellen DeGeneres Is 'Disappointing the Whole of America' 

ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(NEW YORK) --  By now, everybody has heard a rumor at one point that Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi are planning to have a family.

But de Rossi reiterated that it's simply "one big rumor that doesn't seem to go away."

"At this point, I feel like I'm disappointing the whole of America, not just my mother. You know?" she said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "It's true. The tabloids are at me. My mother's at me..."

De Rossi, 41, and DeGeneres, 56, were married in 2008. Neither had a burning desire to be a mother, though they do treasure their roles as aunts to their two young nieces.

"They're adorable and we love them and we play with them, and then we leave," de Rossi said. "My brother's way too smart to leave me alone with his children! It's supervised play, Jimmy."

But the Arrested Development star said her eldest niece prefers her Aunt Ellen, and she's pretty sure that the younger one will follow suit, too. After all, she said, "there are a lot of perks" to having DeGeneres as an aunt.

"There's free stuff, there's meet the pop star that she wants to meet, 12 days of giveaways, obviously," she said. "Yeah, she's a pretty good aunt to have!"


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct172014

Dane Cook Calls Out Kate Hudson As His Worst On-Screen Kiss Ever

Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) -- Dane Cook may not have had a ton of on-screen kisses in his day, but he knows what his worst one was.

When asked, without hesitating, he responded, "Kate Hudson."

"I did a movie with her, My Best Friend's Girl, and I think she purposely ate like a feast of onions before our scene," he said, during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live. "I had to burn her on that one!"

Cook, 42, who's promoting a new special, Troublemaker, also revealed that he bedded "a few hundred" groupies in his "younger days," and revealed his biggest male comedic crush.

"Who's funny? Who's a handsome young man?" he wondered. "Gary Gulman."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct172014

Joan Rivers' NYC Clinic Deemed 'Deficient,' Could Lose License

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York City clinic where Joan Rivers underwent the procedures that led to her death could lose its federal accreditation in a matter of months, according to state authorities.

ABC News has obtained the results of the New York State Health Department investigation into Yorkville Endoscopy. The investigation started the day after Rivers died and ended Oct. 9.

It found lapses in four categories required for accreditation: governing body and management, surgical services, medical staff and patient rights. Specifics were not immediately disclosed.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal subsidiary of the Department of Health and Human Services that certifies ambulatory surgery facilities, notified the clinic that "Yorkville Endoscopy LLC no longer meets the requirements for participation as a supplier of services in the Medicare program."

Accreditation will be terminated Jan. 7, 2015, unless the clinic can prove it has corrected the deficiencies, according to the state Health Department.

Rivers died on Sept. 4 at the age of 81, just a few days after going into cardiac arrest at Yorkville Endoscopy. On Thursday, the New York City medical examiner's office confirmed to ABC News that the comedian died of low blood oxygen during a procedure to treat voice changes and acid reflux. She had been sedated with propofol.

"We continue to be saddened by our tragic loss and grateful for the enormous outpouring of love and support from around the world," her daughter Melissa Rivers told ABC News on Thursday. "We have no further comment at this time."

Neither Yorkville Endoscopy nor Melissa Rivers could be reached immediately for comment Friday.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio