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Television and Broadway Actor, Robert Guillaume Succumbs to Cancer

I got the saddest news today  that actor Robert Guillaume died. Now before there was “Glee” , and “Will and Grace,” and Shonda Rhimes, television had no gay characters on it. Television series had gay characters and Norman Lear broke through the ceiling with his series. In 1977, ABC had introduced  SOAP on September 13, 1977. What made this show so different is that along with its alien abductions and exorcisms, it introduced Billy Crystal as Jodie Dallas. For the first time on American television, there was a gay character in the cast. Not only that, the rich Tate family had an African American butler that talked back to his employers. Benson Du Bois was a hit. It was hilarious to see Robert mouth off to the high and mighty Tates. He didn’t care what he said. The show was a hit with the critics and the audience. “SOAP” made Guillaume a star and garnered an Emmy for his portrayal of the Tate’s butler. Benson was also such a hit that ABC gave Guillaume his own spin off “Benson.”  Once again, Guillaume was the voice of reason in a house of idiots. This time it was Jessica’s cousin , the Governor. He was basically running the state from the kitchen.

Guillaume was African American entertainment. He had appeared on some of the most controversial shows of the time. He appeared on “Julia” , which was the first modern show to have a black female lead on network television. Dianne Carroll led the way for Kerry Washington and Viola Davis as female leads on hit network shows. He also appeared on “Sanford and Son”, Lear’s “All in the Family.” and “Good Times” . He was born in St Louis on November 30,1927 as Robert Peter Williams. He also served in the US Army and attended  St Louis University and Washington University.  Following the Army, he changed his name to the French Guillaume and pursued an acting career. The career began in Cleveland with the Karamu Players. He made his Broadway debut in 1961 and was nominated for a Tony for playing Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls.” He was also the first black actor to play the Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera.” Guillaume replaced Michael Crawford in the role. 

Guillaume was also well known for his singing voice and made several records. Surprisingly,Guillaume won an Emmy for his speaking voice in a read along for “The Lion King.” He was also known for using his voice in many animated projects as well. This includes Disney’s “The Lion King” as Rafiki. 

Following “Benson”, Guillaume had several television series including “Pacific Station.” “The Robert Guillaume Show” and Aaron Sorkin’s  “Sports Night.” “Sports Night” also starred Josh Charles of “The Good Wife” , Felicity Huffman, William H Macy of “Shameless” and Joshua Malina of “The West Wing “ and “Scandal.” While on “Sports Night” , Guillaume had suffered a stroke and then had the stroke written into the script as he recovered.

Along with his two Emmy awards and Grammy award, Guillaume was honored with a star on the St Louis Walk of Fame. He was also honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was first married to Marlene Williams who gave him two sons.  One of those sons, Jacques died of complications of AIDS at 33. He then married Donna Brown who gave him a daughter. Guillaume died of complications from prostrate cancer. He was one month from his 90th birthday. Billy Crystal, Felicity Huffman, and Joshua Malina have all said how they were affected by this man on Twitter. We are all sad tonight and am sure that Guillaume is singing in the celestial choir . Chitownstarconnections gives sympathy to his family.

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Happy Anniversary to a Shondaland Couple

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Today is a day of celebration in Shondaland for the Foleys. They have been married for ten years. Well you might know them for their alter egos more than Scott and Marika Foley.  Marika Dominzyk  is the love interest of Dr. Arizona Robbins on the mega hit “Grey’s Anatomy,” now headed for Season 14.

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 But her hubby was a part of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital as well. Scott was the sweet lovable Henry Burton , husband to Dr. Teddy Altman.

henry and teddy

Sadly Henry died on the operating table, making him one of the most beloved “Grey’s ” patients in fourteen seasons.  Only Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s , Denny Duquette was more loved than Scott’s character…but Shonda loved Scott so much that she decided to cast him as Captain Jake Ballard, Navy buddy to President Fitzgerald Grant

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Jake has been a lover, a fighter, and also a politician. He has been a part of the show since the second season . We have also found out that “Jake” isn’t his real name and we have also seen him get married. Scott and Marika have three children, two boys and a girl, Konrad, Keller, and Malina. They also have pets to make the Foley household a happy, crazy place. So happy anniversary to Marika and Scott….cheers from Chitownstarconnections

scott and family

The Many Roles of Tony Goldwyn

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57 years ago today, a remarkable man was born. He has done remarkable things and just helped to make the world a little bit better. He has played a doctor, a lawyer, a father, and even President of the United States. He knows how to work behind the camera and knows how to act in front of it. He is Anthony Howard Goldwyn and this is for everything he does.

tony as director

A director … Tony has directed quite a few movies and television shows. In fact, that is how Shonda originally knew him and offered him the role of Fitz. He has directed “Grey’s ” “Private Practice” and quite a few episodes of “Scandal.” Here he is on the set . Tony directed the two hour finale in Season Six.

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A musical comedy actor- Tony has been well known for his work in the theatre. Even before his work in the movies, he was trained as a theatre actor. Josh Malina actually told me in an interview that the reason he took “Scandal” was because of Tony’s work in the theatre. Here Tony is in the 2010 revival of “Promises Promises” . He has an incredible baritone voice.

tony g and josie

An animal lover- Tony loves animals especially dogs. He has always been a dog owner , but sadly lost his dog Sandy not too long ago. Currently he babysits his daughter Anna’s dog quite a bit. But Tony is the doggy daddy to Kerry’s fur baby , Josie. She even has a chair with her name on the set.

stand up to cancer

An advocate for cancer- Tony lost his mother to lung cancer, so he has decided to stand up in the fight for finding a cure for cancer.  He has appeared on tv on “Stand Up for Cancer” and even appeared in a photo campaign using his mother’s picture. Here he is on the front cover of the popular Parade magazine

godfather of green bay

A comic actor- Tony can really make you laugh. Here he is in the indie “The Godfather of Green Bay” . He plays a middle aged man who was a football hero in Wisconsin. Here he is dancing the “Macarena.” Oh and did I mention that he is also a drug dealer that the mob is after.

fitz doesnt know what to do

A dramatic actor- Tony has played a lot of serious roles. He was a young man who was dying of AIDS on “Designing Women” . He has played a father whose daughter was raped in “The Last House on the Left.”  Tony ‘s best role has to be the man who was President and lost his son on “Scandal.” In this episode, Fitz is helpless as “Peus” detonates the drones.

tony and jeff

A friend … Tony loves all of his cast mates but he has different relationships with some of them. Jeff and him have known each other for about twenty years. He also has special relationships with Tom Verica and Scott Foley. But his closest friend on the “Scandal” set has to be Kerry.

tarzan and jane

A Disney cartoon character- In 1990, Tony voiced one of the most successful Disney cartoons of recent years, “Tarzan.” If you notice the “King of the Jungle” , he has Tony’s blue eyes and strong chin. He even has his physique.

tony and his daughters

A father- Tony has been a great father to his two daughters, Anna and Tess. He is very proud of them both. Anna is a writer for the show “Supergirl” and teaches a yoga class. Tess is currently attending Northwestern for drama. Frequently he comes to Chicago to visit her, so gladiators you might see him around the Windy City.

tony at the dnc

A political mouthpiece-  Tony spent most of the year last year as the surrogate for candidate Hillary Clinton. He also was convincing enough to get people to care about elections through his campaigning for Hillary. Tony has spent most of his career in many roles as a politician. Maybe in the future, he might run for something himself. He’s got my vote.

the perfect love ...

A romantic leading man… In the past the couples were Ross and Rachel and Meredith and Derek. For the past six years, Tony and Kerry have burned up TGIT with their passionate roles as Olivia Pope , Political Fixer and Fitzgerald Grant, POTUS. Will there be a  happy ending for these two? We certainly hope so.

tony on scandal high

He knows how to make fun of himself- Tony is a joy when he is on a talk show. He charms the audience and a few shows he actually made quite an impression. . On Stephen Colbert’s show, Colbert actually told him to go to hell when he saw a scene from “Scandal” when he saw his shirtless body . But Tony seems to always have a good time when he does Jimmy Kimmel . He usually does some kind of fun skit involving his cast. In “Scandal High,” he was Hunter , the football jock and class President.

tony for brooks brothers

As a model- Tony definitely looks good in everything. He has graced magazines covers and is the one man who can wear a suit. He is constantly dressed in suits and has made a great spokesman for Brooks Brothers.  They actually put a flag pin on suits that are sold in their stores and the label reads Fitzgerald Grant . Take that Kevin Spacey.

knows how to enjoy life

Knows how to enjoy life- Whether he is singing karaoke , or just having a drink, Tony can always be at the center of the fun. He loves meat and yes he does drink scotch.

king of social media

One of the titles that Tony has is King of Social Media. He loves to tweet his fans and he also loves to take selfies. He is the best thing to happen to Instagram and Twitter. He always tries to make it point to tweet on Thursday with fans during the show.  If you get a special tweet wishing you a happy birthday or a spoiler about the episode, consider yourself lucky.

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So on this 57th birthday! We your gladiators wish you the happiest of birthdays and hope you enjoy spending the day with the ones you love!!

TV’s Hottest Men

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Television brings to us every week some of the most gorgeous hunks. They make it a pleasure to watch and drool at their ripped bodies. There are so many of them to choose from as well. There are firemen and cops, detectives and doctors, musicians and politicians. There is even a President in the mix. Jen and I had fun with this post and we hope it will entertain you. If your faves aren’t here, let us know and then we can do a second article .

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My pick for the hottest guy on television is the POTUS on “Scandal” . Fitzgerald Grant or Tony Goldwyn. Now that he is divorced , there has been even more shirtless scenes in the White House as he explores his new freedom. Hopefully we will see him with the love of his life , Olivia Pope again in Season Six. Tony has also starred in the movie , “The Belko Experiment.”

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Jen’s man is that man about town and space, Nathan Fillion. Nathan is currently doing a recurring role on another ABC hit , “Modern Family” . Rainer Shine is the local weatherman and he is dating the daughter of Phil. Nathan has also starred on “Castle” and “Firefly”He has also guested on “Brooklyn Nine Nine and played himself on “The Big Bang Theory” Nathan is also a voice in “Cars 3” for Di

jussie-smollett

Jussie Smollett is the smokin hot piece of chocolate that plays the gay son on “Empire” , Jamal Lyon. Talented , sexy , and gay …we don’t care he likes the boys. He is still great to look at.

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Bryshere “Yaz” Grey is the baby of the Lyon family, Hakeem on “Empire” . He is a rapper , a fighter, and a lover. He actually became a daddy very recently.

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Olivia Pope has had a difficult decision for about three years now. Scott Foley is part of the Presidential love triangle on “Scandal” as Capt Jake Ballard. Will she choose Jake or his buddy, Fitz?  Jake is also now poised to be VEEP to Mellie Grant’s POTUS. Who will rule the Oval?

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How can a guy be sexy as a gay man and a daddy? Well just ask the star of Fox’s “24 Legacy” , Dan Bucatinsky. He is an author , producer, and Emmy award winning actor. Dan is the computer geek Andy Salowitz that helps the team. Before this, Dan won his Emmy for playing sweet, naive James Novak , hubby to political monster, Cyrus on “Scandal” .

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It’s been a rough go for Justin Chambers as Dr Alex Karev on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Alex is one of the two original interns of the show. He is leaning toward being with his fellow classmate, Meredith. He has been her person since Cristina left and Derek died.Now Alex is fighting his feelings for Meredith.

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It has taken viewers a while to warm up to Cornelius Walker Jr as Olivia’s newest gladiator on “Scandal.” He started as a community agitator on “The Lawn Chair.”  Eventually , he made his case and was brought on when Olivia was trying to defend her image during the whole “mistress” arc. There is one person who has managed to steal Marcus’ heart and that is the former First Lady, Mellie . He and Bellamy Young’s love scenes steam up the screen.

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 Jen and I first saw Ed Quinn when he was the futuristic Capt Max on an episode of “Castle.” Ed is now the on again off again boyfriend of Max on “Two Broke Girls” , Randy. Ed was a former model and we hope he will be the guy that sweeps Max away but lets her visit Han and the gang at the diner.

jack-falahee

Jack Falahee sizzles up the campus with his scenes on “How to Get Away with Murder.” His love  scenes with his lover, Oliver , have made them the new hot gay couple. Connor definitely belongs with the other ‘boys” in the Keating Five.

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“Once a gladiator, always a gladiator.” is the motto on “Scandal.” Abby was the true hero concerning Liv’s kidnapping. She called Stephen (Henry Ian Cusick)  to come and rescue her with the men who wanted to auction her off to the highest bidder. Stephen managed to accomplish the one thing that Jake and the gladiators and the White House couldn’t do, he liberated Olivia and brought her safely back to DC. That’s a real hero.

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Kevin McKidd has long been a fixture on “Grey’s Anatomy” ever since he came in and literally swept Cristina Yang off her feet. That’s a real man and so is Owen Hunt.  He is an Army man and was a surgeon over in Afghanistan. Kevin is also a singer and he comes from the land of my ancestors, Scotland. Love to hear that sexy brogue.

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There is nothing hotter than someone who risks their lives daily and for five seasons , Taylor Kinney has been causing women to sweat when he fights fires in the Second City on “Chicago Fire.” As Firefighter Kelly Severide, he has been through quite a few personal traumas as well as professional.

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Eric Dane was first known as the on call room romeo as Dr Mark Sloane on “Grey’s Anatomy” . But then Eric fell victim to another Shondaland death and Mark was dead. But we can still enjoy Eric on TNT’s “The Last Ship” . Every girl loves a man in uniform.

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David Boreanaz started life as a vampire on “Angel” then he graduated to the FBI and Temperance ‘s work partner and eventual  love interest on “Bones.” As Seeley Booth, he helps Emily Deschnel solve crimes. Sadly, this is the final season of the forensic drama.

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Peter Crause is the suave and sexy con man Benjamin Jones on “The Catch” . He plays a dangerous game as he woos Alice . But she is never sure who he really is . He is sexy as he is slimy. “The Catch” is part of ABC’s TGIT line up.

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All of the Lyon sons of “Empire” are gorgeous. The oldest son, Andre, is the troubled and manic depressive one. You have to feel sorry for how bad he is and want to hold him. Trai Byers plays him to perfection. But hands off ladies, Trai married his co star back in December, Grace who is the temptress “Boo Boo Kitty.” Andre is currently embroiled in a plot that involves getting rid of his father and taking over Empire records.

ryan from quantico

There are men and women everyday who fight for justice and defend our country against enemies of the state and terrorists. They are the FBI agents “Quantico” Jake McLaughlin as Agent Ryan Booth fights  and romances the exotic Alex .

guillermo diaz

It’s been touch and go and he still isn’t out of the woods for “Scandal’s” Guillermo Diaz as Diego Munoz or “Huck” . He has such a sweet face that hides the heart of a trained killer. But he is also a sexy Hispanic man, who loves Madonna . In other words, sorry gals like Jussie and Dan, he has a devoted man.

deacon claybourne

Charles Esten plays the typical country music star , a songwriter with a broken heart . He has had enough tragedy in his life between his alcoholism and his wife’s tragic death. But Charles is also an awesome and sexy guy in real life. Deacon of “Nashville” works with a cause dear to my heart, “Light the Night for Leukemia.”

ben feldman

 Ben Feldman is a Jewish hottie and I love a little kosher in my men. First , he was heavenly as “Fred” , on “Drop Dead Diva” , then he went back in time on the super hit, “Mad Men” . Now he is glad to serve you on the NBC comedy, “Superstore” as “Jonah”

avery on nashville

We first saw Jonathan Jackson as the son of  soap opera icons “Luke and Laura” on “General Hospital” Today he plays the devoted hubby and producer Avery Barkley  on CMT’s “Nashville” which was renewed for another season.

huertas

 Harvey had a good friend  like Jon Huertas when he was on “Sabrina” and the gang on TGIF. But Jon made a bigger splash when he was cast as ex Army “Javier Esposito” on “Castle” .  He would accompany Rick and Kate on almost every case. But now Jon has a new role on the runaway hit , “This is Us” as “Andrew”

koothrappali on bbt

Geek is the new “sexy” and that is exactly what the boys on “The Big Bang Theory” are is a group of overgrown geeks that are scientists. Kunal Nayar is the Indian astronomer , Dr Raj Koothrappali . With that smile and those twinkling eyes, what woman wouldn’t want to gaze at the stars with this man.?

matt mcgorry asher

 Matt McGorry kept the peace on “OITNB”. Now he is the confused law student  Asher Millstone as a member of the “Keating” five on “How to Get Away With Murder” . He is the perfect entitled , spoiled preppy boy who is so adorable.

mon el and caraIt can get lonely when you are galaxies away from home, whether it is one planet or Krypton. But Mon El can find comfort and love in his girlfriend, Kara on “Supergirl”. Hey we can all use someone to rescue us, and if it is someone as hot and cool as Chris Wood.

jackson avery

Jesse Williams is not only an actor , but an activist. He plays the rich boy surgeon, Dr Jackson Avery on “Grey’s Anatomy”. He is also sweet and sensitive , the best kind of guy.

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Jason George is one sweet piece of chocolate . He is also the man who swept Miranda Bailey off her feet on “Grey’s Anatomy” Look at him, that wasn’t hard to do. I think we would all like to have him to do that to us.

Empire

And last but not least is the very handsome and sexy patriarch of the Lyons clan on “Empire” ,” Luscious Lyon  “Terrence Howard is an older man who is still virile and active. Plus look at those clothes, nothing sexier than a sharp dressed man.

Happy Birthday to Olivia’s Most Loyal Gladiator – Guillermo Diaz

guillermo diaz

Today in 1975, a gladiator was born. That’s right, this is the day that Guillermo Diaz other wise known as Diego Munoz or Huck on the ABC hit “Scandal” . Huck has certainly had an interesting go round on the show. Starting out as a killer, who we have found out had a wife and kid. We have seen him try to find his identity and tame the beast as a member of B613. We have even seen him as the man who was arrested for trying to kill the President . (Totally a set up). We have even seen him as a lover. But the real Guillermo is proud of his gay relationship and especially of the tattoo of his true passion.Guillermo loves Madonna and has seen most of her concerts.

huck s tattoo

Here is Guillermo and his tattoo of Madonna. Guillermo has actually met the singer when she was on Ellen. He is such a fan that the only two tours of hers that he didn’t get to see was  “The Virgin Tour” and “Who’s That Girl.”  (I actually saw the “Who’s That Girl” one) Guillermo is from the Big Apple like several of his fellow “Scandal” stars. Like Kerry Washington

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Guillermo was born to Cuban parents and as a result has played many hoods and gangsters. He was a regular on the series “Weeds” and was also on “The Sopranos” “Law and Order” and in the sixth season of “Without a Trace” . which featured another “Scandal ‘ star . Tony Goldwyn. He also had a role on “Law and Order SVU” in the same season as Joshua Malina.

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guillermo diaz on the sopranos

Guillermo also had a role in the landmark gay film, “Stonewall” He is proud of his relationships . His boyfriend’s name is  Mike Webb.

guy and his guy mike

His best friend in the world is none other than his co star Katie Lowes. It’s Huckleberry Quinn.Huck hasn’t had the most stable love life, but he has always had Quinn and Guillermo has Katie

guillermo and katie

Other than “Weeds ” and “Scandal” , Guillermo will always be remembered for his role as “Scar Face ” in “Half Baked”  Who couldn’t forget this scene?

half baked

But Guillermo has cemented his place in tv history as former Marine and current gladiator, Huck.  When Olivia needs it handled, she can always count on Huck. Here he is with Olivia and his fellow gladiators. Whether its saving some millionaires ass or helping out the POTUS, the gladiators can be counted on. Here he is with Kerry Washington, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, and Katie Lowes

huck and the gladiators

 Here is Guillermo with the award winning cast of “Scandal” . including  Jeff Perry, Joshua Malina, Darby Stanchfield, Portia di Rossi, Tony, Kerry, Bellamy Young, Scott Foley, OPAs newest gladiator, Cornelius Walker Jr. , and Katie. Guillermo has been nominated for Image Awards and Glaad Awards.

scandal cast 2017

Here is Huck enjoying his birthday cake . He is very lucky since he gets to celebrate his birthday with the President. Of course, it’s “Scandal” ‘s POTUS Tony Goldwyn. This gladiator is proud to wish Guillermo a happy birthday

huck and fitz

The Year of Kerry.. A Tribute to Kerry on her 40th

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Kerry Washington has led a charmed life. Today is a milestone for her as she turns the big 4-0!  She has had an incredible year professionally and personally. She is an icon for the modern woman as an artist, humanitarian, political activist, designer, lover, mother, and spokeswoman. Shonda Rhimes said that her character Olivia Pope has been on a journey .The journey has included her own personal growth as well as her personal relationships. Well, Kerry has been on her own journey.  This year has allowed her to have many firsts as well . Come on the journey that Kerry has come and relive some of her moments.

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In September of 2015, Kerry began her special time with a cover story talking about her Scandal character and her creator, Shonda Rhimes. Here she is pictured with her leading man, Tony Goldwyn and former First Lady Bellamy Young

Yahoo News/ABC News White House Correspondents' Dinner Pre-Party

Always the fashion icon, Kerry actually has been to the White House many times during the Obama White House. Here she is with Shonda, Guillermo Diaz, (Huck) Cornelius Smith Jr. (Marcus), Scott Foley (Jake) and Katie Lowes (Quinn) The ruffled dress is from Victoria Beckham.

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Wanting to commemorate the famous scene in the Rose Garden on “Scandal” , here is Kerry and Tony as Olivia and Fitz in the White House Rose Garden

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Kerry made her mark on the world of beauty in a big way this year. She worked with the people at Neutrogena to design a make up shade line for women of color. Millions of women now use Neutrogena because of her and not only that, she uses the make up when she walks the Red Carpet .

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She also was responsible for designing and naming  15 new shades for OPI . The nail polish line reflected her “Scandal” character.

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Kerry became her own producer with the HBO movie event “Confirmation”. Her portrayal of the history making Anita Hill who brought down the nomination of Supreme Court judge, Clarence Thomas . The role brought many nominations for Kerry in the course of the year.

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Kerry was nominated for “Confirmation” for an Emmy and it was a fun night when ABC decided to add her co star and friend as a presenter. As you can plainly see, another event this year was when Kerry gave birth to her son Caleb which is why there was a six month hiatus for the “Scandal” crew. Kerry’s dress was designed by Brandon Maxwell.

2017 Weinstein Company And Netflix Golden Globes After Party - Arrivals

Kerry was nominated once again but was defeated by Sarah Paulson for the “OJ” movie. But Kerry was not a loser when it came to her look. That hot gold dress from Dolce and Gabbana.

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Kerry celebrated an anniversary as the spokeswoman for Movado and Elle magazine and Movado threw her a celebratory dinner to commemorate the anniversary.

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Kerry got a chance to be political just like her character this year. All of the “Scandal” cast helped with the election and nomination of Hillary Clinton . Tony spoke at the DNC and Hillary herself showed up on the “Scandal” set when Scott directed.

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Kerry made a politicial statement at last night ‘s Screen Actors Guild awards. It was concerning Trump’s ban on the borders and Muslims. She still looked great in her Cavalli Couture

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Kerry shares her birthday with her castmate , Portia Di Rossi ….they both were born on Jan 31

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But there isn’t anyone that loves Kerry more than her baby , Josie

welll maybe there is….

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HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY Kerry!!!