'Batman's' Burt Ward believes Adam West 'had no idea' he was going to die: He was making plans for the future

Jun 22, 2017 19

If there was one person who was shocked to learn of “Batman” star Adam West’s death, it was his sidekick Robin, played by Burt Ward.

The Cape Crusader passed away at age 88 on June 9 in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia.

“I saw him a couple of weeks ago. We had breakfast before signing autographs all day long,” the 71-year-old actor told Fox News. “ We we walked to the stage, he walked so fast I could barely keep up with him.

“He was in great condition. In my heart, he had no idea [what was going to happen]. He was talking about taking a trip to Europe with his wife next month. He asked me if I wanted to do some appearances in the UK because he was going to Europe… we were supposed to appear next week in Las Vegas. Plus, he was talking about adding bigger appearances.”

However, there were signs of West’s illness.

ADAM WEST DIES

“From what I understand, on the flight back from our last weekend we worked together, he had some altitude sickness,” he recalled. “He wanted to get that checked. The doctors said, ‘You have a rise in white cell count’ and they discovered he contracted leukemia, but it was in the early stages. A very mild, quiet stage. And they said, ‘We’re going to give you some pills and you’ll be able to go home in a couple of days and you can live another 3-5 years or more.’ That doesn’t sound like someone who’s going to immediately decease. It was a complete shock.”

Ward and West fought crime in Gotham City for the DC comic series, which aired on ABC from 1966-1968. The actor said from the moment they met at a screen test for the show, they became fast friends — and that friendship would last for over 50 years.

“Nothing ever changed,” he said. “We were exactly the same after the first three minutes we met. We were both very fun-loving people and got along so well. We were such good friends that when we weren’t filming, we would occasionally go out on the weekends and play tennis… He was everything off stage that he was on screen. He was such a wonderful man.”

CELEBRITIES REACT TO THE DEATH OF ADAM WEST

But being part of the dynamic duo wasn’t always fun and games. Ward recalled ending up in the emergency room for second degree burns, inhalation of gas, and even breaking his nose while bringing the comic to life.

“I didn’t think I was going to survive the first week,” he admitted. “We did 120 episodes and I really believed that in those last couple of episodes, the studio was trying to collect from that insurance policy!”

And Ward, who initially didn’t know anything about Batman, citing “Superman” and even “Superboy” as two comics he was more familiar with, had no idea how difficult it would be to even dress as Robin.

JULIE NEWMAR DESCRIBES LIFE AS CATWOMAN

“I was told two wardrobe men were going to help me fit into my costume, which I thought was odd because I was perfectly capable of dressing myself,” he explained. “I put this costume on and I gotta tell you, it was the most uncomfortable thing in my entire life. And I won’t go into the gory details, but I can tell you one thing: man was not built for tights!

“I hobbled out of that dressing room. 120 episodes! It took five days, 12-14 hours a day to make each one. I do have a costume now, but I only wear it on two occasions. One is when I go trick or treating. The other is for very private moments with my wife.”

BURT WARD AND JULIE NEWMAR SPEAK OF ADAM WEST

West wasn’t the only beloved friend Ward had the chance to work with on set. His neighbor, martial artist Bruce Lee, appeared in “Batman” as The Green Hornet’s sidekick valet, Kato.

“We lived in the same cluster of condominiums,” he said. “He lived with his wife Linda and his son Brandon, who was 6-months at the time. We became friends and used to spar together. We would go down to Chinatown for dinners. Of course Bruce, who lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, knew all of the special stuff to order. We had a great time… His very first filmed fight scene of his career was fighting me for ‘Batman.’”

Lee died of a cerebral edema in 1973 at the age of 32. 

Ward remembered Lee fondly.

“He was a very nice guy. Very funny. And very confident, no question about that.”

While Ward kept busy over the years meeting fans and tackling other roles, he and his wife Tracy pursued another passion of theirs. It started in August 1994 when they began rescuing and adopting Great Danes in need.

Since then, they launched Gentle Giants Rescue and Adoptions. Ward said the couple has rescued over 15,000 dogs.

“Every one we’ve saved from being put to death,” he said. “We provide love, food, and complete medical care. Regardless of what they needed, surgeries — we take care of it. We take no salary from our charity.”

The Wards also developed Gentle Giants Natural Foods. The funds they receive from selling their own brand of dog food goes directly to support the animals.

“I only wish what I’ve done for dogs I could have done for my dear friend Adam so that I could have him for another 88 years,” he said.

'Fixer Upper's' Chip and Joanna Gaines on living the American dream: 'Nothing has come easy'

Jun 22, 2017 15

Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” fame may appear to have a flawless family, but the couple admitted to People Magazine that having a successful business and home life isn’t so simple.

“Nothing has come easy,” said Chip. “We’ve worked so hard to have this beautiful family and this farm — it really does seem like the American dream you’ve heard about growing up.”

The publication revealed when the couple first met in 2001, they lived off a wad of cash Chip kept in his pocket while flipping homes together in Waco, Texas. “Fixer Upper” then premiered in 2013. And after four seasons, it’s now one of the highest-rated shows in the network’s history.

In addition, the duo manage a growing portfolio of businesses that includes retail compound Magnolia Market at the Silos, which draws up to 40,000 visitors every week. They also have paint, rug, wallpaper, and furniture lines, a real estate company, a quarterly magazine, a vacation rental, and a soon-to-open restaurant.

If that’s not enough, Chip and Joanna are hands-on parents to four children: 12-year-old Drake, 10-year-old Ella, 9-year-old Duke, and 7-year-old Emmie.

“Jo and I both made a commitment pretty early on that the two of us are the most important variable,” explained Chip. “If we can figure out how to be right as a couple, then obviously we have a better opportunity to be right for our kids.”

Still, the couple is determined to continue expanding their business.

“I think comfortable for us can be a little dangerous,” said Joanna. “The second Chip gets content, he gets really restless. It’s not about, ‘Let’s get here and then we’ll be happy.’ We like the idea of having to wrestle a little bit and figure things out. That’s where we thrive the most.”

'Dirty Dancing' actress Jennifer Grey recalls working with Patrick Swayze: 'It was like a marriage'

Jun 22, 2017 18

It’s been 30 years since the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” premiered in theaters, and actress Jennifer Grey reflected on what it was like working with her co-star Patrick Swayze.

“I had the time of my life,” the 57-year-old told Closer Weekly. “And Patrick really had its heart in it.”

The pair portrayed sheltered Baby and dance instructor Johnny in the blockbuster. And while Grey said they were opposites in real life, the on-screen chemistry was undeniable.

Swayze passed away at age 57 in 2009 from pancreatic cancer.

“His fearlessness with my fearfulness — it was like a marriage where you have two opposites,” said Grey. “He would do anything I and would be scared to do anything. [But] he was really strong and very protective of me.”

Back in 2015, Grey told The Guardian she doesn’t mind when fans still bring up the beloved classic.

“I’m so thrilled with any reference to anything I ever did that gave anyone an ounce of pleasure,” she said. “…We’re so lucky to have worked on material with brilliant people and created characters with lasting value.”

And it must have been the duo’s connection on set that made the famous “lift” scene appear effortlessly.

“I only did it on the day I shot it,” she explained. “Never rehearsed it, never done it since. I don’t know how all these people who re-enact it have the guts to throw themselves into the arms of anyone other than Patrick Swayze. It’s insane!”

'Ghostbusters II' twin actor who played baby Oscar commits suicide

Jun 21, 2017 27

A twin who played Sigourney Weaver’s toddler son in “Ghostbusters II” committed suicide near San Diego, officials said Wednesday.

Henry ‘Hank’ Deutschendorf, who played the 1989 role with his twin brother William, killed himself last week at his home in Escondido, Calif., a rep for the San Diego County Medical Examiner said.

Deutschendorf, 28, was named after his famous folk singing uncle John Denver – whose real name was Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., TMZ reported.

Hank and William, who together played baby Oscar in the famed remake, ran a martial arts school.

Hank had long struggled against schizoaffective disorder, which is a combination of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, William told TMZ.

“(Hank) fought for his life every day,” said William, adding that his brother regularly experienced hallucinations, delusions, depression, and mania.

This article originally appeared on Page Six.

Cosby jurors names to be released, judge rules

Jun 21, 2017 25

Judge Steven O’Neill ruled Wednesday that the identities should be released of the jurors who deadlocked in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial.

The judge stated jurors may not discuss what was said in the jury room during deliberations.

A mistrial was declared Saturday in the 79-year-old entertainer’s sex assault trial after the jury deadlocked. O’Neill plans to hold a retrial within four months.

Lawyers for news outlets had argued that jurors’ names should be public to ensure transparency in the judicial process. Prosecutors and defense lawyers had argued they should remain secret, saying releasing them would make it more difficult to select a jury in Cosby’s second trial.

Cosby denies drugging and molesting accuser Andrea Constand at his home in 2004.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courteney Cox on giving up facial fillers: 'I'm as natural as I can be'

Jun 21, 2017 24

Courteney Cox regrets chasing the fountain of youth.

The “Friends” alumnus gave a wide-ranging interview to New Beauty about Hollywood’s obsession with staying young and how it led her to make poor choices with her own looks.

“I grew up thinking that appearance was the most important thing. That’s kind of sad because it got me in trouble. I was trying so hard to keep up, and I actually made things worse,” she explained, noting that doctors would often pressure her to nip and tuck here and there.

“Well, what would end up happening is that you go to a doctor who would say, ‘You look great, but what would help is a little injection here or filler there.’ So you walk out and you don’t look so bad and you think, no one noticed — it’s good. Then somebody tells you about another doctor: ‘This person’s amazing. They do this person who looks so natural.’ You meet them and they say, ‘You should just do this.’”

With so many outside opinions, Cox, 53, no longer looked like herself.

“The next thing you know, you’re layered and layered and layered. You have no idea because it’s gradual until you go, ‘Oh s–t, this doesn’t look right.’ And it’s worse in pictures than in real life,” Cox said. “I have one friend who was like, ‘Whoa, no more!’ I thought, I haven’t done anything in six months. I didn’t realize.”

Other friends told her differently, assuring her that she looked good, but eventually, she had had enough.

“I’ve had all my fillers dissolved. I’m as natural as I can be. I feel better because I look like myself. I think that I now look more like the person that I was,” Cox added. “I hope I do. Things are going to change. Everything’s going to drop. I was trying to make it not drop, but that made me look fake. You need movement in your face, especially if you have thin skin like I do. Those aren’t wrinkles — they’re smile lines. I’ve had to learn to embrace movement and realize that fillers are not my friend.”

This article originally appeared on Page Six.

'Game Of Thrones' releases new chilling trailer

Jun 21, 2017 23

Summer may be upon us, but winter has arrived in “Game of Thrones.”

HBO released a second trailer for its hit series, sending fans into a frenzy over what the expect when the show returns July 16.

The trailer takes on a haunting tone, setting the scene for the upcoming season.

As a war scene plays out, viewers hear Jon Snow’s voice saying, “For centuries, our families fought together against their common enemy, despite their differences — together. We need to do the same if we’re going to survive, because the enemy is real. It’s always been real.”

Watch the full trailer above.

Female directors dominating the summer box office?

Jun 21, 2017 16

In Hollywood, this is the summer of successful women.

“It has most definitely been a high-profile summer for female helmers,” says Lindsay Miller, news and culture director of Popsugar. “Not only did Patty Jenkins’ ‘Wonder Woman’ have the highest opening weekend of any movie by a female director in history, it has already outgrossed so many recent male superhero movies. ‘Ant-Man,’ ‘Thor’ and ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ are just a few examples.”

Jenkins set records when “Wonder Woman” earned $38.9 million on its first day in theaters and $103.1 million on its first weekend. So far, the movie has grossed over $300 million worldwide, and Warner Bros. is expected to begin negotiations with the director on a sequel.

Previously, the biggest payday for a movie directed by a woman was Sam Taylor-Johnson’s “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which took in $30.3 million on its first day in theaters, enjoyed a four-day Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend gross of $93 million and made $571 million worldwide, a record that “Wonder Woman” will almost certainly shatter. Taylor-Johnson reportedly took home $2 million — .4 percent of the worldwide gross — for directing the film.

Jenkins’ salary for “Wonder Woman” has yet to be reported, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. is in the process of trying to lock her in for a sequel.

And Jenkins isn’t the only woman who’s getting attention for her performance behind the camera these days.

When “Rough Night” debuted in theaters last weekend, its director, Lucia Aniello, became the first woman to direct an R-rated comedy for a major studio in two decades, Miller said. What’s more, it brought in $8.1 million, an impressive number given its rating.

And in May, Miller noted, “Sofia Coppola became the second woman ever to win best director at Cannes.” Coppola’s film, “The Beguiled,” starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, is in limited release and will be in theaters nationwide on June 30.

Two more movies directed by women are also front and center this summer. Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s “Megan Leavey” and Eleanor Coppola’s “Paris Can Wait” are already making splashes at the box office, grossing $8.3 and $3.1 million respectively in the domestic market.

Female directors have made their mark in the past, but never like now, said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for ComScore.

“Boasting an impressive depth and breadth of content from all genres, from drama to action, romance to comedy, the story of their importance to Hollywood’s bottom line and creative output has been largely marginalized until the success of ‘Wonder Woman’ brought this issue to the forefront,” he said.

“If anything, ‘Wonder Woman’ was the catalyst to spark this newly renewed conversation, and that may ultimately prove to be its biggest and most lasting achievement.”  

But despite their recent success, female directors still have to battle sexism and other barriers in Hollywood. 

“Let’s also not forget the not-so-subtle sexism Jenkins faced during the production of ‘Wonder Woman’ in the form of patronizing rumors and reports that the movie was a mess,” Miller said.

“Clearly, those falsehoods were put to rest when the movie came out to overwhelming critical praise and a flood of ticket sales. So while these recent successes may not be reflective of the overall status of female directors in Hollywood, I think they will help turn the tide.

“They should be proof that women more than deserve a seat at the table — and behind the camera.”

You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.

George Clooney sells tequila brand Casamigos for $1 billion

Jun 21, 2017 17

George Clooney has a lot to celebrate this year.

Weeks after Clooney welcomed twins with his wife Amal, the actor announced he sold his tequila brand Casamigos for $1 billion.

“If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes,” Clooney said in a statement to Fox News.

Clooney, who started the brand with Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, sold Casamigos to British beverage company Diageo.

“This reflects Diageo’s belief in our company and our belief in Diageo,” Clooeny’s statement continued. “But we’re not going anywhere.”

He added they plan on “still be[ing] very much a part of Casamigos” and will be enjoying “a shot tonight. Maybe two.”

Casamigos launched in 2013.

You can find Sasha Savitsky on Twitter @SashaFB.

'Julius Caesar' director receives death threats at home, says report

Jun 21, 2017 21

The director behind the controversial production of “Julius Caesar” in New York City has received death threats in his Brooklyn home, his wife told police.

The New York Post reported Oskar and Laurie Eustis received messages from a caller on their land line, such as “I want to grab you by the p—y. Your husband wants Trump to die. I want him to die.”

Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater, was directing the production of the classic for Shakespeare in the Park. It has received backlash for depicting the Roman emperor as a Donald Trump look-alike in a business suit who gets stabbed to death on stage.

SPONSORS FLEE ‘JULIUS CAESAR’

His wife reportedly told police the mysterious caller has left several messages, using their daughter’s name and the family’s address.

“Julius Caesar,” which tells the story of a powerful, popular Roman leader who is assassinated by senators who fear he is becoming a tyrant, is set in ancient Rome, but many productions costumed the characters in modern dress to give it a present-day connection. The play, which ran until June 18, was disrupted by protesters several times.

“Our production of ‘Julius Caesar’ in no way advocated violence towards anyone,” the Public Theater announced in a statement. “Shakespeare’s play, and our production, made the opposite point: those who attempt to defend democracy by undemocratic means pay a terrible price and destroy the very thing they are fighting to save. For over 400 years, Shakespeare’s play has told this story and we were proud to have told it again in Central Park.”

They added, “The Public Theater stands completely behind our production of ‘Julius Caesar.’ We understand and respect the right of our sponsors and supporters to allocate their fundraising in line with their own values. We recognize that our interpretations of the play provoked heated discussion; audiences, sponsors, and supports have expressed varying viewpoints and opinions. Such discussion is exactly the goal of our civically-engaged theater; this discourse is the basis of a healthy democracy.”