Melissa McCarthy: Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts


Melissa McCarthyThe Woman

Actress Melissa McCarthy is a stand up person who literally started in stand up. McCarthy worked clubs in New York City for years before she decided to pack it all up and move to the warm climate of Los Angeles. She joined a sketch comedy group known as The Groundlings and perfected her craft.

She found a wonderful niche as the loveable and chubby sidekick who could always bring a smile to your face. McCarthy spent nine years as a main-stage member, making numerous television and film appearances along the way. From 2000 to 2003, she had supporting roles in films like The KidCharlie’s Angels, and Go. In 2000, McCarthy landed her breakthrough role on the popular WB show Gilmore Girls playing Sookie St. James, the clumsy chef and best friend of Lorelai Gilmore. The show had a successful run until 2007. That same year McCarthy acted alongside Ryan Reynolds in the psychological thriller The Nines.

From 2007 to 2009, McCarthy played the socially awkward best friend of Christina Applegate in the comedy series Samantha Who? Since 2010, McCarthy has played fourth-grade teacher Molly on the CBS hit sitcom Mike & Molly, a role for which she received her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. In 2011, she starred in the critically acclaimed film Bridesmaids alongside former Groundling Kristen Wiig.

Since Bridesmaids, McCarthy has landed roles in This Is 40, Identity Thief, and Tammy, which she co-wrote with her husband, actor and writer Ben Falcone.  She and Falcone, who met during their time together as Groundlings, have been married since 2005 and have two daughters.

Her latest film, Ghostbusters is causing quite the stir. There seems to be a contrasting series of opinions on whether the film is good or not and a lot of it comes down to two things. Does it compare to the original and was the reviewer of the film a male or a female? Movie review website, Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 74%, which is not too bad and the critics have said things like, “This one’s pretty good, but it had a chance to be great”, and “The colorful new version isn’t unfaithful to the source material’s mythology. It’s a fun, true-blue update of a classic.”

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Her Cause

McCarthy has begun developing her own clothing line, in hopes of finding better fitting clothes for women with similar body types. McCarthy was a clothing and textiles student at Southern Illinois University. The interest in pursuing fashion took to the back burner as her acting career took off. You can check out her plus size line here .

Watch the trailer for her newest movie Ghostbusters here:

Rose Byrne Is Just a Perfect Neighbor

rose byrne

The Woman

Rose was the youngest of four children growing up in Sydney, Australia. She took an interest in acting at a very young age and was a part of the Australian Theatre for Young People at age 8. She made her film debut in 1994′s Dallas Doll, which starred Sandra Bernhard. After appearing on several Australian TV shows, such as Heartbreak High, Byrne starred opposite Heath Ledger in Two Hands (1999).

She was soon introduced to international film audiences with a small role in George Lucas’s Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and shortly thereafter she landed a part in the big-budget epic Troy (2004) starring Brad Pitt. She has stated that still to this day, 90% of her fan mail centers around Star Wars related questions.

After establishing herself as a dramatic actress during a five-season stint on the underrated FX legal thriller, Damages, Rose Byrne remade herself as a comedic powerhouse. It all began with her winning turn in Bridesmaids, playing the perfect Helen. She then took those comedic chops alongside fellow comedian Seth Rogan in Neighbors. The follow up, Neighbors 2 hits theaters this week.

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She has also dabbled in the world of comic book adaptations. In 2011, she played Moira Mactaggert, a geneticist and expert in mutant affairs, the film X-Men: First Class. She reprises her role in X-Men: Apocalypse, which hits the theaters later this month.

In 2012, Byrne began dating actor Bobby Cannavale. Cannavale confirmed their relationship at the 2013 Emmy Awards ceremony during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series award, saying “And I want to thank the love of my life, Rose [Byrne].” In October 2015, it was announced that Byrne and Cannavale were expecting their first child.On February 1, 2016, they welcomed a son named Rocco Robin.

rose and bobby

Her Cause

Byrne has supported UNICEF Australia by being the face of the 2007 Designers United campaign and a member of Tropfest jury in 2006. She is a graduate and ambassador for NIDA’s (National Institute of Dramatic Art) Young Actors Studio.

Rose did a campaign in conjunction with The White House called “It’s On Us,” about ending sexual assaults on campuses across America.

Sally Field: Her Career Is Still Flying High

Sally Field as Doris

THE WOMAN:

Sally Field is back on the big screen with her latest film, Hello, My Name Is Doris, where she stars as an eccentric middle-aged woman who has held on to her bottom-rung accounting job while her colleagues have all been replaced by younger 20-somethings. A self-help seminar inspires 60—something Doris to pursue a much younger co-worker — the new art director (played by Max Greenfield from New Girl), who’s young and hot. Doris is determined to “catch” him and pulls out a few sneaky tricks to get his attention.

But how did Sally Field — one of America’s favorite actresses — get started?

In high school, Sally found herself wandering into the drama department as a means of distracting herself from her strict upbringing and while there, fell in love with the performing arts. Growing up in Van Nuys, CA, Sally was already immersed in the Hollywood lifestyle and shortly after high school she enrolled in an acting workshop at Columbia Studios. This lead to her break-out role as the lead character of Gidget, in the series of the same name. The show was cancelled after only one season, but Sally had made a definite impression.

Her next project was The Flying Nun. A show about a nun that could fly and a show which surprisingly ran for three seasons! Sally Field was married to her high school sweetheart Steve Craig at the time and pregnant with their first child. The producers had to get creative on the show in order to hide her belly underneath the nun’s habit. She took some time off of acting after the birth of her first child and after the birth of her second child, resumed her passion.

Field, who was 21 when she got married, had two sons with Craig before their marriage ended after seven years together.

After several auditions, Field landed a role in 1976′s bodybuilding film Stay Hungry with Jeff Bridges and Arnold Schwarzenegger. She co-starred as a party girl, a far cry from the innocent characters she played on the small screen. That same year, Field entered a new phase of her career with the television movie Sybil. She showed great emotional range as a woman with multiple-personality disorder, winning her first Emmy Award for her work on the TV film. Returning to the big screen, Field appeared in 1977′s Smokey and the Bandit, playing a runaway bride who catches a ride from a trucker (played by Bert Reynolds). Field and Reynolds became romantically involved on the set of film, and starred together in several light-hearted comedies, including 1978′s Hooper and 1980′s Smokey and the Bandit II. In 1979 she starred in the popular film Norma Rae and she received her first Oscar for that role.

After her painful breakup with Reynolds, who married actress Lonnie Anderson, Sally met and married film executive Alan Greisman in 1984.

Contemplating her failed relationships, Field looks at her past self as a “little girl,” and says, “I look back, and I’d like to embrace her, help her out. Because things didn’t have to be all that difficult.”

In the years that followed she starred in films such as Absence of Malice, Kiss Me Goodbye, Places in the Heart (she received her second Oscar for her role), Murphy’s Romance, Punchline and Steel Magnolias. In 1993 she starred alongside Robin Williams and Pierce Brosnan in the popular comedy Mrs. Doubtfire. A year after, she played the role of Tom Hanks character’s mother (even though she’s only ten years older than he is in real life) in the film Forrest Gump. The film was a huge commercial success and won six Academy Awards in 1994. This was also the year she divorced her second husband, Alan Greisman, after ten years of marriage. The two had a son together in 1987.

More recently, Field played the matriarch Nora Walker for 5 seasons on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters. Hello, My Name is Doris, is one of Field’s first starring movie roles in nearly a decade. The movie is being touted as a critical success mainly because of her performance, and is expanding in theaters nationwide.

HER CAUSE

In 2005, Field was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Her diagnosis led her to create the “Rally With Sally For Bone Health” campaign.” Field’s campaign encouraged early diagnosis of such conditions through technology such as bone-density scans.

Sally is a regular contributor to The American Foundation for Federal Rights, an organization that has fought for full federal marriage equality for all Americans.

She has also been known to be involved with Stand Up 2 Cancer, Vital Voices, and The Art of Elysium.

The Brilliant Shades of Jennifer Lopez

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The Woman

Jennifer Lopez is back on television with her new NBC series, Shades of Blue, and it appears to be a role the always surprising star was made for.

Born July 24, 1969, in the Bronx, New York, Lopez began her career as a dancer, appearing in stage musicals and various music videos. In 1990, she won a national competition and earned a spot dancing on the popular Fox comedy television series, In Living Color, as one of the “Fly Girls.”

Lopez received her first professional acting gig in the direct-to-video drama film Lost in the Wild (1993), co-starring alongside Lindsay Wagner and Robert Loggia. Later in 1993 Lopez signed a deal with CBS to co-star in the television series Second Chances. The show was cancelled after airing only six episodes when the 1994 Northridge earthquake destroyed its set.

Lopez’s first big break came in 1997, when she was chosen to play the title role in Selena, a biopic of the Tejano pop singer Selena Quintillana Perez, who was killed by the founder of the Selena fan club Yolanda Saldivar in 1995. Lopez earned widespread praise for her performance, including a Golden Globe nomination

At the wrap party for Selena, Ojani Noa, a waiter at a Miami restaurant, grabbed the microphone and offered a Lopez a diamond ring in the middle of the dance floor. Lopez accepted and the pair married the same year but were divorced by January 1998. The relationship between the two remained amicable after their split, but Lopez eventually sued Noa in a bid to prevent him from publishing a book containing personal details of their marriage.

While working on her first album On the 6, Lopez began dating record producer and rapper Sean Combs. On December 27, 1999, the couple were arrested along with two others in connection with a shooting outside the Times Square Club in New York. They were charged with criminal possession of a weapon as well as stolen property. Lopez was soon exonerated, having had nothing to do with the crime.  Needless to say, the hype and stress surrounding the drama would fizzle the romance and Lopez split from Combs a year later.

After leaving Combs, Lopez developed a relationship with former back-up dancer Cris Judd, whom she was married to from September 29, 2001 to June 2002. Following her second divorce, she commenced a high-profile relationship with actor and director Ben Affleck, whom she became engaged to in November 2002.The media began to refer to them as “Bennifer,” and they became a prominent super-couple in the media and popular culture. The couple postponed their nuptials indefinitely a day prior to the planned ceremony in September 2003, citing the media’s interference with the event as the reason.

Lopez hit the headlines once again in 2004 when she secretly married salsa star Marc Anthony. They had briefly dated in the late 1990s, before his first marriage and her second, and unlike the challenges of both their previous marriages, the two remained together and announced in November 2007 that they were expecting their first child together (later confirmed to be twins).

On screen, Lopez starred in the hit comedy ‘Monster-In-Law’, and more recently in ‘El Cantante,’ a biopic of Hector Lavoe, the salsa pioneer who helped to break the genre in America. Lopez’s husband starred as Lavoe, with Lopez as his wife Nilda Rosado. Her latest roles have been in ‘Parker’ (2013), ‘Home’ (2015) and ‘Lila & Eve’ (2015).

She can currently be seen on NBC’s Shades of Blue, co-starring Ray Liotta. The story is set in New York City. Jennifer plays the show’s main character, Harlee Santos,a single-mother NYPD detective, who is forced to work in the FBI’s anti-corruption task force, while dealing with her own financial problems.

shades of blue

Lopez loves working on the show and feels a great sense of pride with the diversity of its cast. Watch a trailer here:

Her Cause

The Lopez Family Foundation. Co-founded by Jennifer and her younger sister Lynda Lopez, The Lopez Family Foundation advocates and invests in policies and programs that make a positive, measurable impact on communities and makes quality healthcare and health education available for underserved mothers and their children.  The Lopez Family Foundation opened its first telemedicine center in Puerto Rico in 2010 and has recently opened seven new centers in Panama.

Lopez also regularly donates to the American Foundation for AIDS Research, Amnesty International, City of Hope, and the March of Dimes

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Shonda Rhimes: A Voice for Women

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The Woman

An academic over-achiever growing up, Rhimes received her BA from Dartmouth College in English literature and creative writing. After a short stint in advertising, she enrolled in the Writing for Screen & Television program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, earning her MFA.

Soon after graduate school, Rhimes sold her first screenplay, Human Seeking Same, about an older black woman looking for love in the personals. The film never got made. But it did lead to her writing the 2002 feature film Crossroads with Britney Spears and The Princess Diaries 2 with Anne Hathaway. Completing the teleplay for HBO’s Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, which was made into a film starring Halle Berry, elevated Rhimes’ status in the business.

Her next endeavor was writing a pilot. The result?–only the award winning medical drama, Grey’s Anatomy. The show would win multiple Emmy awards, run for 12 seasons and counting, and launch a spin-off, Private Practice .

2012 was a big year for Rhimes, as she adopted a baby girl, Emerson Pearl, and launched another hit show, Scandal, on April 5, 2012. She had her own production company at this time, Shondaland, and was churning out projects. How to Get Away With Murder has been her latest success.

shonda

Her Cause

Shonda Rhimes will receive the 2016 Norman Lear Achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America. The award, which will recognize Rhimes’ nearly 20 years of groundbreaking and award-winning work as producer and showrunner, will be presented at the 27th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

She will also be honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) with the “Ally for Equality” award at a 2015 Los Angeles Gala. The Human Rights Campaign is the largest LGBT civil rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States.

Taraji P. Henson Is Building An Empire

taraji3

The Woman

Taraji P. Henson loved performing, but had a very difficult time getting started in the business. She spent her first year in college studying electrical engineering at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. After failing pre-calculus, she transferred to Howard University, where she studied theater. At the same time, Henson was working two jobs—one as a secretary at the Pentagon and another as a cruise-ship entertainer.  She also found out she was going to be a 20 year old mother and begged the theatre department not to treat her any differently because she was pregnant. They kept their end of the bargain and watched her blossom and learn on stage.

She and her son, Henson, moved to Los Angeles in 1996 with $700 in her checking account. Her day job let her audition and she finally booked a recurring role on the show Smart Guy.  Future roles began to spring up for her including Homicide, ER and Sister, Sister.

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Henson’s breakthrough role was in the 2001 comedy drama film Baby Boy which she portrayed Yvette, alongside singer Tyrese Gibson. In 2005, Henson was cast as Shug, the love interest of Terrance Howard, in the independent film, Hustle & Flow. The film would go on to be nominated for 2 Academy Awards, winning one of them. Her work with Howard would be the precursor to her current television career.

In 2015, Henson began working on the television show Empire. She stars as Cookie Lyon, the ex-wife of music industry titan Lucious Lyon (Terrence Howard), on the popular dramatic series. Cookie seeks to claim her share of her ex-husband’s business after serving 17 years in prison. Henson’s character quickly emerged as a fan favorite for her cutting remarks and flashy fashions. And the show became one of the year’s big breakout hits. In 2015, Henson was nominated for an Emmy for Lead Actress in a Drama for her work on the show.  The show has just begun its second season.

Her Cause

A supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Henson in January 2011 appeared nude in an ad for the I’d Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur campaign.

In February 2015, Henson posed in an ad for the NOH8 Campaign, which advocates same-sex marriage.

She supports A Place Called Home, caring staff, supporters and volunteers come together to provide South Central children and teens 8 years old to 21 years old with love, safety, enrichment, training, and opportunities through educationalprograms, counseling, and mentorship.

Claire Danes: Using Her Power for Good

claire1rule

The Woman

For Claire Danes, who returns to HBO this weekend for her fifth season of Homeland, a passion for acting came at the age of six when she began studying modern dance and caught a whiff of life on the stage. Her parents enrolled her in a performing arts school where Danes took Saturday morning acting classes. She soon landed an agent.

At age 13, Danes’ first big job was working on the Dudley Moore TV sitcom pilot called Dudley.  She then played a teenage murderer in a guest starring role on Law & Order and appeared briefly in an episode of HBO’s Lifestories: Families in Crisis. Her life-changing role would come around soon after when she turned 15. Danes landed the role of Angela Chase, a curious, hyper-intelligent teen in the ABC series, My So Called Life. The show was buried by the networks for almost 2 years, but finally broke through and the biggest reason why was Danes’ wonderful performance. The role garnered her a Golden Globe award for best actress and launched her career.

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Although ABC canceled My So-Called Life after only 19 episodes in 1995, the show helped her to receive more film roles, including 1995′s Home for the Holidays and 1996′s I Love You, I Love You Not and To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. Her first leading role on the big screen came in 1996, when she portrayed Juliet in the 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, inspiring director Baz Luhrmann to call her, at age 16, “the Meryl Streep of her generation.

Danes took a break from the limelight, having appeared in 13 films in 5 years, to attend Yale. She also married actor Hugh Dancy in 2009 and had one child, a son named Cyrus. She returned to the small screen in 2011 with the television show Homeland.

 

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Homeland has received generally positive reviews, and has won several awards, including the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and the 2011 and 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, as well as the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, respectively. Season 5 is set to begin on Sunday, October 4, 2015.

Her Cause

In 2014, Claire received awards from Variety Magazine for her charitable work and humanitarian efforts. Claire is an active supporter of afganhands.com, a non-profit organization that supports disadvantaged and disenfranchised women in Afghanistan gain independence, education, and livable wages.

She also supports the American Foundation for AIDS Research, Saban Community Clinic and V-Day – A global movement to stop violence against women and girls.

Laura Linney Just Keeps on Winning Awards & Hearts

 

laura linneyThe Woman

Laura Linney has been nominated for three Academy Awards® and three Tony Awards. She has won Four Emmys® and Two Golden Globes. Her list of accolades continues to grow and grow, and yet she seems to be just now hitting her stride.

Laura studied acting at the Juliard School in 1986 and began working on Broadway two years later. She broke into film work a few years later with small roles in the films, Lorenzo’s Oil, Dave and Searching For Bobby Fisher. Her Hollywood break-through role came in 1998 when she was cast opposite Jim Carrey in the reality-obsessed world of The Truman Show. Her performance was critically acclaimed and opened the door for even more film and television work. Read More

Sheroes: Munn’s the Word for This Star

The Woman

olivia munn2Olivia Munn is feeling pretty super human at the moment. The former model and actress was recently cast by Marvel as the sexy and mysterious assassin, Psylocke in the new X-Men movie. She recently wrapped filming of the Aaron Sorkin hit series, The Newsroom.  As if that weren’t good enough, Munn is also madly in love with and dating MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Good things seem to happen to good people, and Munn is no exception. Read More

Robin: An Actor Who’s on the Wright Path

The WOMAN

robin wrightJodie Foster, who directed Wright in an episode of House of Cards, believes that Wright has finally “settled into a pair of shoes that were the ones that were always supposed to fit her.” This Princess Bride star has a history of playing beautiful characters that are full of secrets and are vulnerable beyond repair. Her portrayal of Clair Underwood in Cards, seems to surpass even the great Kevin Spacey and elevates the show to a whole new level. Read More

In the mood for romance