Karen Ocamb

Rufus Wainwright Mourns Gay Icon

MTV's The Real World is often credited with giving birth to the reality genre, but that honor actually goes to PBS's late, pioneering documentary series An American Family (not to be confused with PBS's new fictional Latino drama). The 1973 saga followed a middle-class Santa Barbara clan — the Louds — through the mundane and sometimes terrible days of their lives. The second episode unexpectedly made television history when flamboyant Lance leapt out of the closet and declared that, yep, he was gay.

Well, on Dec. 22 — after 18 years with HIV and 10 years with hepatitis C — Loud died at the Carl Bean hospice in South Central Los Angeles. This past weekend, about 160 of Hollywood's trendiest gathered at Chateau Marmont for an outdoor memorial venerating the 50-year-old gay icon. Family, friends and fashion mavens focused on Loud's irrepressible exuberance and caustic wit.

Loud pal and current gay icon read more

Will The West Wing Tackle AIDS?

At a recent World AIDS Day event — where Emmy-winning West Wing director Paris Barclay was honored as one of 20 black "Heroes in the Struggle" — this question arose: Might his issue-oriented series ever address the impact of AIDS on African-Americans?

"That would be a great storyline," said Barclay's pal, Dulé Hill, who plays presidential aide Charlie Young on the show. "I think it's something we should bring to [creator] Aaron Sorkin. I would like to see that."

Scoffed Barclay: "Aaron ignores everything that doesn't come from his own mind. I found the best strategy is to go to [writer/producer] read more

Gillian Anderson: The Cause Is Out There

Shorn of her skulking Scully character, X-Files star Gillian Anderson seems prone to giggles. At a Dec. 2 Hollywood benefit for troubled gay teens, Anderson — who was co-hosting the evening's live auction with Teri Garr — lost it when she announced that bids would be "increasingly mental," as opposed to "incremental."

But the big laughs came when bidding for a walk-on role on HBO's mortuary drama Six Feet Under commenced. "We have a lot of dead people on our show. If anybody ever asks you if you want to be a dead person, don't do it," Anderson cracked. "You have to stop breathing for long periods of time." Seeing the mock disapproval on Garr's face — after all, her job was to sell the auction items — she co read more

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