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Michael Clarke Duncan’s Funeral Celebrated The Actor With Images, Song And Speeches



Tom Hanks, Jay Leno, Holly Robinson Peete, Loretta Devine and Stevie Wonder were among those who helped celebrate the life of Michael Clarke Duncan during a nearly four-hour memorial service marked by heartfelt speeches, rousing gospel performances and photos of the always-smiling actor.

Hanks and Leno shared stories about “The Green Mile” star at Monday’s service. Peete talked about meeting Duncan while he was still a celebrity bodyguard. Devine spoke of how the actor would do anything for a laugh.

Wonder appeared via video, solemnly playing piano and singing the opening verses of his life-affirming song “As” for the man he called “a gentle giant.”

Duncan died Sept. 3 at 54, having never fully recovered from a heart attack in July. His physician, who revealed Duncan used a pacemaker, was among the speakers at the service at Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries in Los Angeles.

Former reality TV star the Rev. Omarosa O. Manigault, who was Duncan’s fiance’, also attended along with Duncan’s mother, sister and nephews.

Backed by a gospel choir, singers Angie Stone, Kelly Price, Kenny Lattimore and Abraham McDonald lent their voices to the private funeral. State Assemblyman Mike Davis and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson also attended, with the council declaring Monday as “Michael Clarke Duncan Day.”

Leno said he was touched by the actor’s positivity and lack of cynicism.

“Just to see such a pure heart and pure kindness, and to see it taken so early,” the comedian said, his voice cracking. “There are no sadder words than what might have been.”

Leno said Duncan’s sunny smile “grew another millimeter on each end” when he met Manigault. The two had planned to marry in December.

 
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Christian Bale Flies 4-Year-Old Cancer Patient and Family to Disneyland

Christian Bale may not save lives in reality, but the actor definitely tries to make a difference in the lives of his fans.

The Dark Knight Rises star flew 4-year-old leukemia patient Jayden Barber and his family out to California for a lunch date at Disneyland’s Club 33 earlier this week.

“Finally can share!!! Christian sent us to LA and we had lunch at Disney club 33 on wed,” Barber’s mother wrote with a picture of the two on her Lighting the Batsignal for Jayden Facebook page. “He and his family were so awesome and down to earth!!!”

Christian Bale also visited shooting victims in Colorado hospitals in July. Charlene Barber continued by sharing her family’s experience with Bale at the Anaheim theme park, “The entire interaction was like old friends having lunch. Jayden did not get star struck but was well aware of who we were with!”

“They talked movies and super Heros an he was genuinely happy to hear about everything Jayden wanted to tell him. Christian, his wife and daughter are three of the most beautiful people we have ever met! Christian made these arrangements for us personally and ensured we were treated like royalty. I don’t have even one negative thing to say about them. I can tell you that they were just as impressed w Jayden as Jayden was w them :)”

According to WYTV in Ohio, Barber was undergoing chemotherapy for bone cancer for two years before it turned into MDS leukemia last year. Jayden is now in remission.
Just a couple months ago, Bale was spotted in Colorado visiting shooting victims who were impacted by the Dark Knight Rises tragedy.

 
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NFL To Use First-Ever Female Referee

Shannon Eastin, who has spent time officiating high school and college games, will be part of the replacement crew officiating Thursday’s Packers-Chargers game. Eastin has worked Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference games, and she also has worked the Arizona Cardinals’ Red and White game, a preseason scrimmage.

Coincidentally, at this time last season, the NFL’s head of officials said the league was considering hiring a female referee full time.

“We have some in our pipeline, and I expect we’ll see it soon,” he said.

Male or female, former NFL head of officials Mike Pereira said using replacement referees will ultimately hurt the integrity of the game.

“Now you’re going to get a group of people out there with no experience,” Pereira told The Dan Patrick Show, “and you’ve got such a mix of people — some with barely more than high school experience, you’ve got guys that have been out of the game for years, you’ve got guys that have officiated in the lingerie football league … you’ve got such a mix right now that it’s not good for the game.”

This is the first referee labor dispute since 2001 when a contract issue led to the referees missing the last exhibition game and first regular-season game of the season.

 
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Ryan Reynolds And Blake Lively Marry at ‘The Notebook’ Spot

When Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively said “I do” over the weekend, they selected a venue thousands of miles away from the hubbub of Hollywood, but Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, does have ties to Tinseltown.

The place where Reynolds, 35, and Lively, 25, exchanged vows in front of 6o family members and friends on Sunday night has been the backdrop of several movie and TV productions. Most notably, scenes from 2004’s “The Notebook” were filmed there. You may remember that in the movie a young Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) visited her family’s summer home. Well, Boone Hall Plantation served as the family’s lavish estate. It was outside the historic home that they had lunch – and the well-to-do Hamiltons were horrified to learn that Noah, who worked at a local mill, earned a very small salary. Later, Allie and Noah went for a boat ride during which Noah stripped and jumped into the water. Her family looked on displeased as Allie followed suit.

In a funny twist, Lively actually dated Gosling in late 2010. Their brief time together, during which they enjoyed an ice cream date at Disneyland, took place after she split with her “Gossip Girl” co-star Penn Badgley and before she started seeing Leonardo DiCaprio in May 2011. Lively and Reynolds, who met on the set of 2011’s “Green Lantern,” started dating in October 2011 — less than a year ago.

 
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Chris Stokes – Entertainment Mogul

Chris Stokes

A high-profile manager, producer, multi-instrumentalist, screenwriter, and director, Chris Stokes guided Immature/IMx and B2K, two of the most successful R&B groups of the ’90s and early 2000s (respectively). He also produced material by Bell Biv DeVoe, Shanice, and Debelah Morgan, and was part of the group Wataz (which released a 1998 album, Natural High), but he helped build something of an empire with the members of the groups he managed, parlaying their successes into screenwriting and directing. House Party 4, You Got Served, and Somebody Help Me each featured the likes of Omarion, Marques Houston, and other members of Stokes’ groups. In 2012, Stokes and Houston paired together again for the Stokes-directed dramatic film Battlefield America about underground dance competitions.