Celebrity

Category: Michelle Obama

Meryl Streep walks down memory lane with Hathaway, De Niro, Kline

Meryl-streep

Meryl Streep has a few thank-you notes to write, as the acting legend was toasted by a roster of her peers for the Tuesday telecast of "The 34th Annual Kennedy Center Honors."

Streep, whose body of work includes "The Deer Hunter," "Postcards From the Edge" and "The Iron Lady," sat wearing the coveted awards' striped regalia with husband Don Gummer beside President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

At Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center opera house, former costars Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline and Emily Blunt praised the actress for her "superhuman" gifts, versatility and, quite sweetly, her friendship.

Anne Hathaway, who played Streep's terrified magazine assistant in "The Devil Wears Prada," stole the show with a musical number that showcased her singing talent and even some gymnastics — Hathaway busted out a split at one point (see it below).

Robert De Niro introduced Streep, mentioning that she'd had been nominated for an Oscar 16 times and joking, "You know what that means? She's sat through the Academy Awards 16 times." 

We have a feeling she didn't mind sitting through this honor, which also saw salutes to singers Neil Diamond and Barbara Cook, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins. The awards were presented Dec. 4.

 

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— Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Meryl Streep gazes at the Kennedy Center opera house stage during her tribute. Credit: John Paul Filo / CBS.



Meryl Streep among this year's Kennedy Center Honors picks

Meryl Streep chosen for Kennedy Center Honors

Meryl Streep has long required ample mantel space, and it looks like it's time for another addition: The actress is one of five people chosen for the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors.

Joining Streep on the list are singers Neil Diamond and Barbara Cook, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins.

"The sheer brilliance and breadth of Meryl Streep’s performances count as one of the most exhilarating cultural spectacles of our time," Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said Wednesday. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will host the honorees in Washington on Dec. 4.

The Kennedy Center Honors celebrate artists whose work influences the country and America's global reach. Last year, country singer Merle Haggard, composer and lyricist Jerry Herman, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, Paul McCartney and Oprah Winfrey were recognized.

The early December date comes just before the release of Streep's awards-bait flick "The Iron Lady," in which she portrays Margaret Thatcher. 

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Meryl Streep in the film "It's Complicated." Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon / Universal Studios

 


Obama birthday party lures Chris Rock, Tom Hanks, Jay-Z and more

Jennifer Hudson greets President Barack Obama

Celebs turned out for President Obama's 50th birthday party, despite some earlier speculation to the contrary, with Chris Rock giving a prompt report on the festivities Thursday night.

"Just left the Presidents birthday party at the White House," the comedian and actor said on Twitter. "Herbie Hancock played, Stevie Wonder sang and yes they did the electric slide. A great night."

Other famous faces included basketball's Charles Barkley and Grant Hill, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Hill Harper of "CSI: NY" and Jay-Z, according to Politico.

(Beyoncé, a.k.a. Mrs. Jay-Z, was spotted earlier this week at a mobile home park in New Jersey, shooting a new music video -- unfortunately her day at work was crashed by an egg-throwing intruder.)

Hanks did double duty Thursday with the good wishes, shouting out to his son and that other guy, "21! Happy Birthday, Chet! You too, Mr. President (50). Hanx."

Festivities reportedly began with chicken, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta and salad in the Rose Garden, followed by a choice of apple, peach, huckleberry or cherry pie. Along with Michelle Obama, the first daughters presented Dad with a cake before everyone moved inside for music and dancing.

Oprah Winfrey BFF Gayle King represented the Chicago crowd, but 49th-birthday pal Winfrey didn't make it. Perhaps the gift she delivered in the week, volunteering to step up for his 2012 campaign as she had in 2008, made up for it?

"I'm in his corner for whatever he needs me to do," Oprah said.

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-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

Photo: Jennifer Hudson greets President Obama at a birthday-themed fundraising event -- where Hudson and others performed -- in Chicago on Aug. 3, 2011. The next night, Stevie Wonder would perform at the White House for the president's 50th birthday party. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press


Is President Obama looking at an unstarry 50th birthday?

President Obama's 50th birthday: Birthday wishes from supporters

Before President Obama turned 50, he had to pass 49 -- marking that birthday by dining privately with Oprah Winfrey and her starry pals in Chicago while First Lady Michelle Obama took a trip to Spain with daughter Malia and some friends.

For the president's 50th birthday, the star power might be turned down a notch, however.

Festivities on Thursday will include a working morning (guess he didn't want to use a floating holiday?) an afternoon reception with senior staff in the Blue Room of the White House and a gathering that night at home with family and friends, including some of the hometown crowd flying in. Don't worry, folks: The Obamas say they're paying for that last one.

We're guessing the prez will welcome that low-key party at home, in the wake of a pair of gala fundraisers set for Wednesday night in Chicago.

The first, a $35,800-a-head, 1,000-person, birthday-themed event starting at 4 p.m. Chicago time, promises music from Chicago-based band OK Go, Jennifer Hudson and Herbie Hancock, with the money split between the president's reelection fund and the Democratic National Committee. Later, guests will mingle with the president at another, more intimate party -- if 80 to 100 guests is considered intimate.

But which famous faces will show? Maybe not so many.

The Wrap discovered Obama admirers including Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson and David Geffen would be otherwise occupied -- and even Oprah's rep was staying mum on the will-she-or-won't-she front.

At least Hollywood turned out for the prez at the White House correspondents dinner in May -- assuming they weren't there for Seth Myers.

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-- Christie D'Zurilla
Twitter.com/dzurillaville

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Photo: An activist group that supports President Obama wishes him a happy birthday from New York on Wednesday. Obama turns 50 on Thursday. Credit: Andrew Burton / Getty Images


Michelle Obama's very Hollywood fundraiser; Sasha and Malia tour Universal Studios

Michelle Obama hits Hollywood! First Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Malia and Sasha in tow, descended upon Los Angeles for a long weekend, and the Ministry has details on their very Hollywood itinerary. 

Obama is making the fundraising and speech rounds in support of her husband's reelection campaign, with the L.A. jaunt culminating in a star-studded garden party Monday evening.

At the Holmby Hills home of designer Michael S. Smith and TV executive James Costos, Obama greeted celebs and powerbrokers in the backyard — no doubt a gracious setting, as the Obamas tapped Smith to be  White House decorator in 2009.

The spacious yard, which boasts a sparkling pool and off-white garden arbor, was packed with names like Drew Barrymore, Ellen and Portia DeGeneres, and Ryan Phillippe, an onlooker told the Ministry.

The first lady reportedly raised $1 million with her shmoozing Monday — but the awesome Universal Studios Hollywood VIP tour that Sasha and Malia got? Priceless.

Barack's two girls were accompanied by Michelle's mother, Marian Robinson, for the private tour, a witness tells us, experiencing many park attractions, including "King Kong 360 3-D" and "Jurassic Park: The Ride." 

Little Sasha, who turned 10 on Sunday, got birthday wishes granted: She and her sister rode "Revenge of the Mummy" twice.

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— Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Michelle Obama attends a Writers Guild of America panel, moderated by J.J. Abrams, where she discussed her initiative to help military families on Monday. Later that evening, she attended a star-studded garden party in the Holmby Hills. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times.



The Obamas meet Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate

President and Mrs. Obama meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Power couple alert! President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama met newlywed royals William and Catherine on Tuesday.

Now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the royal pair met America's first couple at Buckingham Palace, where the Obamas visited Queen Elizabeth II as part of a three-day state visit to the United Kingdom.

In an ornate sitting room, Michelle, in a bright bolero, chatted up Catherine, clad in a nude Reiss bandage dress. Kate didn't miss a few opportunities to whip that long brown hair, flashing her epic wedding ring.

The president and the duke exchanged their own words before Obama headed outdoors for a photo op with the queen. Although the glamorous intro was surely a highlight of his trip, the president acknowledged his sadness over issues happening stateside.

The president said he was heartbroken about the devastation in the Midwest, after Sunday's devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo.

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-- Matt Donnelly
twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Photo: Newlyweds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at Buckingham Palace. Credit: Toby Melville / AFP / Getty Images



M-Bone of Cali Swag District killed in drive-by; 'Dougie' rapper Montae Talbert was 22

Hip-hop artist M-Bone, real name Montae Talbert, was killed Sunday night in a drive-by shooting in Inglewood. As of Monday afternoon, police had no motive for the killing, according to L.A. Now.

M-Bone killed; Cali Swag District member Montae Talbert was 22 M-Bone, 22, was shot twice in the head in the 400 block of North La Brea Avenue, said Lt. Steve Overly of the Inglewood Police Department.

The Cali Swag District member and a companion were in a stopped car in the vicinity of a liquor store when an another vehicle pulled up, L.A. Now reported. Someone inside the unknown car reached out the window, pointed a gun and fired multiple shots. M-Bone was pronounced dead later at a hospital.

M-Bone and the rest of Cali Swag District earned mainstream notoriety in 2010 with the hit single "Teach Me How to Dougie" -- a dance that became so mainstream that Justin Bieber eventually taught the dance to Regis Philbin, with First Lady Michelle Obama picking it up along the way.

"We've got the Bieber fever," M-Bone told Fox News recently, responding to a question about dream collaborations.

Cali Swag compadre C-Smoove said very early Monday on Twitter, "Ma life changed drastically in the. Blink of an eye. Rip mbone," adding hours later, "thanx to everybody who had sumthin positive to say to me and for Montae."

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-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: M-Bone, left, JayAre, C-Smoove and Yung made up Cali Swag District. M-Bone, real name Montae Talbert, was fatally shot Sunday night. Credit: Raquel Olivo



Beyonce is booed, carried up stairs at Met Gala; Michelle Obama does the dougie

Met Gala: Beyonce gets stuck in dress

Beyonce lifted upstairs at Met GalaBeyoncé got a bit carried away at Monday's Costume Institute Gala Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The singer's dress was so tight, she had to be carried up the red staircase by husband Jay-Z and a friend.

The "Girls (Who Run the World)" singer wowed on the red carpet in a black and gold-trimmed mermaid-cut Emilio Pucci gown. She posed for several photos at the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" event but skipped media interviews and got booed in the process.

But don't forget karma, Beyoncé. When it was time to go up the stairs to the museum, lifting her knees proved a challenge.

Enter her knight in a shining Tom Ford dinner jacket: Jay-Z. He and a handler had to scaffold her as she took baby steps up the stairs to get into the event.

Ah, relief. They don't call her Queen B for no reason.

In other Beyoncé news, Michelle Obama is a self-proclaimed fan. At a Let's Move event in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday the first lady busted a few moves to Beyoncé's "Get Me Bodied" at Alice Deal Middle School. Watch the clip below.

"Beyoncé' is one of my favorite performers on the planet,"  Obama said. "And when she agreed to remake her video and do this Let's Move! Flash Workout, I was so excited because this is what we've been talking about -- that exercise and moving can be fun."

Hmmm. Tell that to Beyoncé's rigid dress?

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-- Nardine Saad
twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photos from top:  Jay-Z and Beyoncé attend the "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" Costume Institute Gala. Credit: Larry Busacca / Getty Images. Jay-Z and a handler help Beyoncé up the Met Gala stairs. Credit: Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images


Bill Maher: Rush Limbaugh shouldn't be telling 'fat' jokes

Bill Maher and Arianna Huffington Bill Maher thinks Rush Limbaugh should reserve his thoughts on the first lady's weight -- as he literally has no room to talk, according to the "Real Time" host.

"That's too easy," Maher told the Ministry regarding recent comments Limbaugh made about Michelle Obama's size, "because Rush is fat."

Maher breezed through West Hollywood's Roxy Theater on Wednesday night to help his pal Arianna Huffington celebrate her website's comedy section.

Excited funnymen like "Mr. Sunshine" actor Matthew Perry tried to grab their five minutes with Maher, while Huffington greeted friends and supporters (with some of her newly acquired AOL partners in the house).

We were curious, given his affinity for Huffington and her site, can we expect the Maher Post any time soon?

"I'm happy blogging for her," he said.

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-- Matt Donnelly
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Photo: Bill Maher and Arianna Huffington. Credit: Angela Weiss / Getty Images


Michelle Obama pregnant? No -- not even while snowboarding

Michelle Obama is not pregnant, Michelle Obama pregnant with child No. 3? Not exactly. A holiday season pregnant with fake news and death hoaxes? More than a little bit.

Word that the first lady is pregnant came Sunday most prominently via the Weekly World News, which "quoted" White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as confirming -- out of Oahu, where the Obamas are vacationing -- that the pregnancy is two months along. We can only imagine the "while snowboarding" angle so popular in this season's wave of celebrity death hoaxes was too impractical to include, given the family's much publicized current tropical location.

Though WWN wasn't the only site pushing the story -- which may have grown out of a psychic prediction that ran Tuesday in the Toronto Sun -- it was the only site we could find that shared this TMI tidbit:

"There was a great deal of mystery about the whereabouts of the President and First Lady on Election Night this year," the WWN wrote. "There were many rumors about where they might be --  but now we know.  The happy couple was spending quality time together, making a new baby."

Eeeeeeeuuuuw.

Oddly, the president made no mention of the "pregnancy" in his weekly address. Shock. And that with the "baby" speculated to be due on his birthday!

Now, the Ministry used to buy WWN from time to time back in college -- for reasons similar to why we bought Mad magazine. Hey, maybe that's just us.

But that story going around about Barack Obama going cigarette-free for nine months? That one's true, according to Gibbs -- or at least it was a week ago.

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-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: First Lady Michelle Obama looks on as President Obama holds a baby -- no, not theirs -- while greeting military families during Christmas dinner at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe on Dec. 25, 2010. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press


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