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The world is just a little bit sadder today as an amazing woman who was an even more amazing actress and singer has passed on. We are deeply saddened to report Della Reese has passed at the age of 86.

Della Reese is a music icon, known the world over for her strong vocals, strong morals, and dozens of television and movie roles in productions like Touched By An Angel and Harlem Nights. Della passed Sunday evening.

via People:


“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people,” her costar Roma Downey confirmed to PEOPLE in an exclusive statement.

“She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on Touched By an Angel. I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you.”

Born Delloreese Patricia Early on July 6, 1931 in Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, Reese began singing in public at just 6 years old at her local church, establishing her roots in gospel music. Her vocal talent flourished and by 13 she was tapped to perform with Mahalia Jackson’s gospel group, with whom she’d later tour.

She formed her own group, the Meditation Singers, in the late 1940s, but her exposure to jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan sparked a desire to broaden her musical scope. Now using her famous stage name, she signed a deal with Jubilee Records in 1953, releasing six albums largely composed of jazz standards.

National fame would come in 1957 with the release of “And That Reminds Me,” a Top 20 hit and her first global seller.

She followed it up with “Don’t You Know?” — which would become her signature song, and a string of hits including “Not One Minute More, “And Now,” “Someday (You’ll Want Me to Want You),”  and “The Most Beautiful Words.”

In the late ’60s she began to expand her career from a jazz nightclub act to all-around entertainer by breaking into television. She became a familiar face on the small screen, securing guest spots on a host of shows, including The Mod Squad, The Love Boat, Sanford and Son, MacGyver, Night Court, and The Young and the Restless.

Her short-lived variety series, Della, debuted in 1969, and the following year she became the first black woman to co-host The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It was after a Tonight Show appearance in 1979 that Reese suffered a brain aneurysm that nearly claimed her life.

Reese became an ordained minister in the 1980s through the Christian New Thought branch known as Unity, leading her to found her own church, Understanding Principles for Better Living (also known as “UP Church”).

She would draw on her faith for her most famous acting role, playing the part “supervising angel” Tess on the CBS series Touched By an Angel beginning in 1994. Though the show was initially met with mixed reviews, it went on to become a huge success, running until 2003. Tess’ playful sarcasm and no-nonsense attitude added something of a humorous edge to the wholesome show, and she became its most beloved character.

Reese was plagued with health problems later in life, including a battle with diabetes which she blamed on poor diet and exercise. Following two appearances on the television show Signed, Sealed, Delivered in 2014, she retired from acting.

Rest in peace Della, we were all truly touched by angel.

 

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Young & Winning! Meet Xolo Maridueña (@Xolo_Mariduena)!

Young teen, Xolo Maridueña is making a name for himself in the acting world, and slowly but surely becoming a young star. Xolo is just 17 years old and already the lead for the hit YouTube Red series “Cobra Kai.” He’s been named Latina’s Magazine Hottest Youngest Stars Under 25, and even with all that success, Xolo is a normal teenager that attends a regular HS, and shares the same celebrity crushes as just about every young teen in America.

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xolo mariduena

Young teen, Xolo Maridueña is making a name for himself in the acting world, and slowly but surely becoming a young star. Xolo is just 17 years old and already the lead for the hit YouTube Red series “Cobra Kai.” He’s been named Latina’s Magazine Hottest Youngest Stars Under 25, and even with all that success, Xolo is a normal teenager that attends a regular HS, and shares the same celebrity crushes as just about every young teen in America.

Before starring in the hit show, “Cobra Kai,” he played in the NBC show, “Parenthood” as Victor Braverman, which he explains is his ‘first big break.’ Xolo also discussed how working on that show made him come to a realization that acting was his passion, “At the time, I had never worked with such talented people before in my life, the whole cast are really some of the most professional, astonishing actors I ever met. And working with them, solidified that I want to be an actor, as my career.”

xolo mariduena

Xolo currently plays Miguel Diaz on the “Karate Kid” sequel, “Cobra Kai,” where he’s a sophomore in high school, trying to find himself. Xolo describes his character saying, “He’s struggling with a lot of teen struggles, being a kid going to a new high school…he has to find where he fits in, through Cobra Kai, he really starts to figure what’s important to him.”

Because the show is centered around martial arts, Xolo had to do a lot of preparing for the role. He talked about how a month before filming the show, he would practice every day, which included stretching, choreographing fights, and just learning about martial arts/artists. There were also about 2 or 3 hours of training Xolo had to do a day; Xolo talks a little bit about his struggles in the early stages of training, “My body was telling me to quit because I wasn’t used to this type of exercise or training…my body wasn’t really conditioned to work that way.” But fortunately for us, he didn’t quit because he’s killing it on the show.

With some of the original actors from the original “Karate Kid” starring in the show (Ralph Macchio and William Zabka), and with the huge legacy of “Karate Kid”, Xolo said he definitely felt the pressure to do a great job playing his character, “It definitely was a lot of pressure, but not just because those guys were on there, this is what people have been waiting to see for 30 plus years…the fans are very passionate about “Karate Kid.”

Xolo, who’s Mexican, Cuban, and Ecuadorian expressed how important his Hispanic heritage is to him, “I try hard to represent the Latino culture I’m a part of, not just in a role, but in everyday life, that I’m not only embracing my heritage but actively finding ways to spend time in my communities to come together.” He mentioned how him and other Latinos in entertainment are beneficial to the youth, “In this industry, having representation is the biggest thing, for people of color especially.”

xolo mariduena

Although he’s a young star with his own TV show, Xolo describes himself as a regular teenager, who also attends a regular school, and gives all the props to his parents for keeping him grounded, “My parents helped mold me into the guy I am today, and because of that, I have to thank them… My parents were very admitted about me attending school, it’s not like I’m working everyday throughout the whole year, there’s not really a need to be home schooled.” Xolo also went to prom with one of his friends from school, but young ladies don’t worry…he is still single, but unfortunately, he’s not looking for a relationship right now, he’s focused on his craft. But if he was, it would wishfully be one of his celebrity crushes, Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Amandla Stenberg, or Rihanna.

So, Xolo is currently on summer break from school, and is gearing up for season 2 of “Cobra Kai” and although we have no word on when season 2 will air, he mentioned how he himself isn’t too sure of what the fans can expect. He did say we will learn more about the characters from season 1 and that we will be introduced to some new faces.

Photo Credits

Photographer: Tim Schaeffer at Cellar Door Studios @cellardoorstudios.la

Grooming: Joseph Adivari @adivaribeauty

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Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) Cast as Renee Montoya in Suicide Squad Spin-Off Movie, “Birds Of Prey!”

The DC Cinematic Univers (DCU) has definitely had its setbacks with less than stellar reviews for many of its films including the Justice League, Batman vs. Superman, and even Suicide Squad. That is not stopping DC from moving forward with a Birds of Prey movie based off the DC Comics superhero team of mostly female operatives that have included the likes of Black Canary, Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), and Huntress. Now, it seems Rosie Perez has been cast in the film as Gotham City cop turned vigilante, Renee Montoya!

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rosie perez renee montoya

The DC Cinematic Univers (DCU) has definitely had its setbacks with less than stellar reviews for many of its films including the Justice League, Batman vs. Superman, and even Suicide Squad. That is not stopping DC from moving forward with a Birds of Prey movie based off the DC Comics superhero team of mostly female operatives that have included the likes of Black Canary, Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), and Huntress. Now, it seems Rosie Perez has been cast in the film as Gotham City cop turned vigilante, Renee Montoya!

rosie perez renee montoya

Those familiar with Batman comics know that Renee is not only a detective, but a lesbian and love interest for Kate  Kane/Batwoman . She later goes on to become the superhero/vigilante, The Question, as the original holder of the mantle, Vic Sage, dies of cancer. The Question wears a faceless mask and when Renee takes over the helm she gains a ray gun that vaporize just about anything. There is no word on if the film’s version of the character will take on heroism, but we are definitely hoping.

DC seems to be betting on its female heroes a lot more as Wonder Woman is their most, and only, successful film to date. Announcing a Birds of Prey movie after stating both Batgirl and Supergirl films may be in the works is highly progressive. Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman, it seems!

via AV News

birds of prey dc comics

Birds of Prey core team line up; (l-r) Black Canary, Batgirl, Huntress

The cast of DC’s Birds Of Prey movie was already looking pretty good, with Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead playing the Huntress, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell playing Black Canary, but now The Wrap is reporting that they’ll be joined by Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. In the comics, Montoya spent a few years as a regular Gotham City cop before becoming a vigilante herself as the second incarnation of The Question (who was basically a detective with a cool faceless mask), but we don’t know at this point if Perez’s Montoya has any superheroic aspirations.

What we do know is that the film will sort of be a Harley Quinn-centric Suicide Squad spin-off—but not the Harley Quinn-centric Suicide Squad spin-off—with Robbie’s Harley teaming up with some other female DC characters to stop a big villain. Also thanks to The Wrap, we now know that the big villain is going to be Black Mask, a Gotham-based mobster who wears a black skull mask in the comics. Birds Of Prey will be directed by Cathy Yan, with the script coming from new Batgirl writer Christina Hodson.

Rosie will make an awesome Renee Montoya and we cannot wait to learn more about this film. Charlie’s Angels eat your hearts out!

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ICYMI: Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) Filmed His Final Scenes as Captain America! Ryan Reynolds & Fanbouy Art Post Hilarious Deadpool Reactions!

Will the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever be the same again? The answer is probably not. On screen our favorite Marvel superheroes are still reeling from a grueling defeat dealt to the universe by Thanos and his Infinity Gems, and off screen, earlier this week Captain America actor, Chris Evans, announced he just finished filming his final scenes with Marvel Studios as Captain America!

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chris evans done as captain america

Will the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever be the same again? The answer is probably not. On screen our favorite Marvel superheroes are still reeling from a grueling defeat dealt to the universe by Thanos and his Infinity Gems, and off screen, earlier this week Captain America actor, Chris Evans, announced he just finished filming his final scenes with Marvel Studios as Captain America!

Chris took to Twitter on Wednesday with the following tweet:

Rumors of Chris’s departure from the iconic role have been circulating for years. Apparently he wants to move on from the superhero genre and get into more roles that will land him an Oscar. We really hate to see him go, but we understand all good things must come to an end eventually. Ryan Reynolds, the actor who plays Deadpool, posted a hilarious tweet and photo to Chris.

Fanbuoy Art went on to post this picture:

Marvel Studios has not announced plans to recast the role, but many suspect Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier actor, Sebastian Stan, may take over the helm. In the comics, Bucky did temporarily assume the mantle of Captain America when he died. Then again, both Falcon and Hawkeye have held the mantle before as well. This all only leads to further speculation that the hero may not make it out of the next Avengers film alive and well.

chris evans

Honestly, Chris Evans owes us nothing. He was the first Human Torch in the Fantastic Four (2005) movie, and then won our hearts as Cap. We wish him nothing but the best. We do hate he is leaving just as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is set to gain the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and all their related characters. We would have definitely loved to see him team up with Wolverine or a new Human Torch!

What do you guys think? Which actor or character would you like to see takeover as Captain America. Sound off in the comments’ section below!

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