Original Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton dies at 73
Original "The Mickey Mouse Club" Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton died of a heart attack in Fresno, California, on Oct. 6. She was 73. The former child star — who appeared on the entirety of the original run of the Disney show from 1955 to 1959 — was paralyzed from the waist down following a 1983 car crash.
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"Today" anchors react to Matt Lauer rape allegation, Ann Curry shows support for accuser Brooke Nevils
Variety reported on Oct. 8 that in Ronan Farrow's upcoming book "Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators," former NBC News staffer Brooke Nevils accuses scandalized former "Today" show anchor Matt Lauer of raping her while they were on assignment in Sochi during the 2014 Winter Olympics. (He's called their sexual history consensual.) The following morning, Lauer's former "Today" show colleagues addressed the allegations on the morning show: "This is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don't even know what to say about it," said Savannah Guthrie. "I want to say that I know it wasn't easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It's not easy now. And we support her and any women who have come forward with claims. It's just very painful for all of us at NBC and who are at the 'Today' show, and, you know, it's very, very, very difficult." Chimed in Hoda Kotb, "It's like you feel like you've known someone for 12 years … and then all of a sudden, like, a door opens up and it's a part of them you didn't know. We don't know all the facts in all of this, but they're not allegations of an affair — they're allegations of a crime, and I think that's shocking to all of us here who have sat with Matt for many, many years. I think we're gonna just sort of continue to process this part of this horrific story. And as you said, our thoughts are with Brooke. It's not easy what she did to come forward. It's not easy at all." Concluded Guthrie, "We're disturbed to our core. We have a commitment to keep you informed, and we will continue to do that." Lauer's former "Today" co-anchor Ann Curry took to Twitter on Oct. 9 to respond to the news: "Brooke Nevils is a credible young woman of good character. She came to NBC News an eager and guileless 20-something, brimming with talent. I believe she is telling the truth. And that breaks my heart," she tweeted.
Why Gwen Stefani won't be returning for Season 18 of "The Voice"
On Oct. 8, Nick Jonas announced that he's signed on to serve as a coach on Season 18 of "The Voice" in 2020. He'll replace Gwen Stefani, who's currently serving as a coach for the fourth time overall and the first time since Season 12. According to "Entertainment Tonight," there's no drama behind the No Doubt frontwoman's decision to leave the show again so soon: She simply won't be available in the spring to shoot Season 18 because she's already committed to the final dates of her "Just a Girl" residency in Las Vegas. (She has shows scheduled in February and May.)
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Comedian Rip Taylor dies at 84
TV comedian Rip Taylor, who was known as the "King of Confetti," died on Oct. 6 while hospitalized at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after suffering a seizure days earlier. He was 84.
Ellen DeGeneres talks sitting next to George W. Bush at Cowboys football game, Mark Ruffalo slams her support of the former president
Ellen DeGeneres made headlines after she was seen sitting next to conservative former president George W. Bush while watching the Dallas Cowboys take on the Green Bay Packers in a box suite at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on Oct. 6. On the Oct. 8 episode of her eponymous talk show, the liberal comedian addressed the blowback to her seemingly chummy hangout with the conservative politician. After explaining that she attended the game as a guest of Charlotte Jones, the daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Ellen said, "During the game, they showed a shot of George and me laughing together, and so people were upset. They thought, 'Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?' … A lot of people were mad." Continued the funnywoman, "Here's the thing: I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have. We're all different, and I think we've forgotten that that's OK that we're all different. … But just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them. When I say, 'Be kind to one another,' I don't mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn't matter." Ellen's defense of her friendship with the former president drew praise from many stars — but not from Mark Ruffalo, who tweeted on Oct. 9, "Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars — emotional & otherwise — inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can't even begin to talk about kindness."
Pauley Perrette opens up and thanks fans for support during "devastatingly difficult years"
While promoting her upcoming CBS sitcom "Broke" on Twitter on Oct. 6, Pauley Perrette cryptically alluded to recently overcoming adversity: "I'm so exhausted and SO FREAKIN HAPPY shooting my new show #Broke on @CBS. I want to thank all y'all that supported me through a few devastatingly difficult years. I'm so happy and healthy now and having a blast. THANK YOU positive people for helping me and being kind Love y'all!" she tweeted. While she refrained from specifying exactly which years were "devastatingly difficult" for her, the general consensus is that she was taking about her final years on another CBS series, "NCIS," which she left after 15 years in May 2018. After her final episode aired, Pauley alleged that she suffered "multiple physical assaults" during her time on the show. In June 2019, she tweeted that she was "terrified" of star Mark Harmon and the possibility of him "attacking" her. "I have nightmares about it," she tweeted at the time.
Jennifer Aniston reveals why she turned down a spot on "Saturday Night Live"
On the Oct. 7 episode of "The Howard Stern Show," Jennifer Aniston revealed that before she signed on to star as Rachel Green on "Friends," she turned down an offer to join the cast of "Saturday Night Live." Recalled the actress, "I didn't think I would like that environment. … I remember showing up and [Adam] Sandler was there and [David] Spade was there and I'd known them already and they were like, 'Look, Aniston's here!'" She later explained her decision to "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels: "I went to talk with him — I was such a young twit," she said. "I was like, 'I think the women need to be treated better here.' … Because it was such a boys' club. You're just not the brightest when you're in your early 20s. I didn't lecture — I was just saying what I would hope if I was to do this, what I would hope it to be."
Wendy Williams snaps at audience member whose phone rings during show
Wendy Williams snapped at a member of her live studio audience whose phone rang during the taping of the Oct. 8 episode of her eponymous talk show, interrupting her in the middle of a segment. "Is somebody's phone on? Get out!" she ordered while pointing to an exit. "Get out. Turn that phone off now — sir, ma'am, whoever you are." The hostess softened her tone when her audience's awkward laughs shifted to low boos: "Kindly, the tickets [to my show] are free, but when you come here, you must turn your phones off. I was being over-dramatic, but kindly please turn your phone off. Thank you," she said.