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I'm sad to report that Touched by an Angel star and singer Della Reese has died at the age of 86.

Reese's Touch by an Angel costar Roma Downey and her family confirmed her death through a statement Monday to Entertainment Weekly.

"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," Downey said.

"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. 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," she continued.

Reese starred on Touched by an Angel from 1994 to 2003 where she portrayed supervising angel Tess who would assign young angel Monica (Downey) different cases that involved helping people. She also had a recurring role on Promised Land, an Angel spin-off with Gerald McRaney from 1996 to 1998.

The actress was also a successful singer in the 1950s releasing hit songs such as "And That Reminds Me," "Don't You Know?" "Not One Minute More, "And Now," "Someday (You'll Want Me to Want You)," and "The Most Beautiful Words."

Other television shows Reese appeared on included The Mod Squad, The Love Boat, Sanford and Son, MacGyver, Night Court, and The Young and the Restless and her short lived variety series Della among others. She was famously the first black woman to co-host The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Reese retired from acting in 2014 following two appearances in Hallmark's Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Be Well,
Steve


Comments? Questions? Nooz? Email Steve



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Phil Lord, Christopher Miller on Han Solo film exit: 'We wish everybody the best'
Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller talked about being taken off Disney's upcoming Star Wars film about a young Han Solo and their experience working on the project.

Lord and Miller known for directing 21Jump Street and The Lego Movie, were hired first to helm the spinoff film which entered production in February. By June, the filmmaking duo were replaced by director Ron Howard due to "different creative visions."

"The experience of shooting the movie was wonderful," Lord said while speaking at a Vulture Festival panel for his and Miller's upcoming MTV animated series, Clone High. "We had the most incredible cast and crew and collaborators."

"I think in terms of us leaving the project, I think everybody went in with really good intentions and our approach to making the movie was different than theirs. That was a really big gap to bridge, and it proved to be too big," he continued. "Sometimes people break up, and it's really sad, and it's really disappointing, but it happens and we learned a lot from our collaborators and we're better filmmakers for it."

"We're really proud of the work we did on the movie and we wish everybody the best," Lord said after cheers from the audience.

Lord and Miller were ousted from the Star Wars project now titled Solo: A Star Wars Story, due to a creative clash with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan, noted The Hollywood Reporter.

Lord and Miller will now be writing and producing a sequel to The Lego Movie and producing an upcoming animated Spider-Man movie.

Solo, which stars Alden Ehrenreich in the title role first made famous by Harrison Ford along with Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton, is set to arrive in theaters on May 25.


Jeffrey Tambor: 'I don't see how I can return to "Transparent"'
Jeffrey Tambor has stepped down from his role in the Amazon dramedy Transparent after four seasons amid sexual harassment allegations he has strongly denied.

"Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life," the 73-year-old actor told Deadline Sunday.

"What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago," Tambor said "I've already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don't see how I can return to Transparent."

Tambor won an Emmy and several other awards for his portrayal of a family man who comes out as transgender late in life.

The Hollywood Reporter said the show's writers were already working on Season 5 when the first of two transgender women -- a former assistant and a cast member -- alleged Tambor had acted inappropriately toward them.

The entertainment industry trade newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying series creator Jill Soloway and her team of scribes have been trying to save the show from cancellation and are looking for a way to write out Tambor's character.



LOOSE LIPS:
"I'm about 7 lbs. lighter. I call it the SNL stress diet. I feel like I just had a baby!"
--Tiffany Haddish, on hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time, to PEOPLE


'Nashville' to come to a close with Season 6
Musical drama Nashville will come to a close with Season 6.

CMT, which picked up the series in Season 5, confirmed Friday that the show has been canceled.

"All of us on Nashville are so incredibly grateful to the show's fans, who convinced CMT to give us a chance to keep telling the story of these remarkable characters," executive producer Marshall Herskovitz said in a statement.

"We want to return the favor with a final season that celebrates all the joys and passions, twists and turns -- and amazing music! -- that made Nashville such an exciting journey for the last six years," he added.

The sixth and final season will premiere Jan. 4, with the series finale slated for summer. Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne, thanked fans on Twitter following news of the drama's impending end.

"Hard to express the amount of gratitude in my heart," the 52-year-old actor wrote. "This role, this show, and this city have changed everything for me and mine. I'll have plenty of time to give my thanks to so many, but for now: To our incredibly loyal #Nashies all over the world: THANK YOU #NoYouNoUs."

Nashville originally debuted on ABC in 2012 with Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere and Clare Bowen as stars. Britton's character, Rayna James, was killed off in Season 5 following the show's move to CMT.


Catherine Zeta-Jones gushes over Michael Douglas on 17th anniversary
Catherine Zeta-Jones couldn't help but gush about Michael Douglas on their 17th wedding anniversary.

The 48-year-old actress dedicated a sweet Instagram post to Douglas, her husband and "best friend," while celebrating the occasion Saturday.

"17 years ago today, I said 'I do' to my best friend and father of our two and a half month old son. Thought it could never get better than that day, but it did," Zeta-Jones captioned a photo of herself and Douglas at their wedding.

"Happy anniversary darling, Michael," she wrote. "With you, in my life, and Dylan and Carys, every day could be a twelve hour fantastic party at the Plaza in New York. Love you. #love #lovestrong."

Zeta-Jones and Douglas tied the knot at the Plaza Hotel in New York in front of such guests as Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson and Sharon Stone. The BBC declared the couple's nuptials the "wedding of the year" at the time.

Zeta-Jones and Douglas, who share 17-year-old son Dylan and 14-year-old daughter Carys, confirmed their reconciliation in 2015 after separating for several months in 2013. The 73-year-old actor confessed in January 2016 that saving his marriage took "work."

"It took work on both our parts," he said in an issue of AARP magazine. "I don't think there's much change of fixing a relationship if one of you is already out the door. I think we're both mellower and wiser. That comes naturally with time. We count our blessings."

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