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Will vs. Going To

'Will' and 'going to' are mainly confused by learners since they talk about predictions and decisions. Learn more about them in this lesson.

"Will" vs. "Going To" in the English grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

The main difference between ' will ' and 'going to' is that 'will' talks about immediate decisions and ' going to ' talks about prior plans.

' Will ' is a modal verb used to refer to the future . It is also used to talk about willingness , possibilities , etc. Take a look at the following examples:

I will look into your case.

He will be your lawyer.

'Going to' is a phrase that is paired with the auxiliary verb ' be :' be + going + to . It is used to talk about the past and the future. It is also used to express predictions and future events. Have a look:

I was going to talk to him about his behavior.

Here, we are referring to the past.

I am going to talk to him about his behavior.

Here, we are referring to the future.


Making predictions.

We use ' will ' and ' going to ' to make predictions about the future:

It will be foggy tomorrow.

It is going to be foggy tomorrow.

However, there is a small difference between them.

Predictions without Evidence

We use ' will ' to make predictions without any certain evidence. These predictions are only based on personal opinions and experiences. For example:

I think Hamilton will win the cup.

She insists that she will get accepted in university.

Predictions with Evidence

' Going to ' is used to make predictions with evidence. These predictions are based on actual evidence that are available at the moment. For instance:

She has a gun, she is going to kill someone.

The clouds are so grey; it is going to rain.

Expressing Decisions

Expressing immediate decisions.

We use ' will ' to express decisions that are made at the moment of speaking about the future. Take a look:

I will have a cup of coffee.

I will come with you downstairs.

Expressing Prior Plans

' Going to ' is used to talk about future actions or events that were planned in advance. Have a look:

I am going to meet my parents this weekend.

The meeting is going to be on Monday morning.


Talking about facts.

We use ' will ' to talk about events that will happen in the future and their occurrence is a general fact. For instance:

The sun will rise tomorrow.

The pink moon will appear in April.

Talking about Upcoming Events

'Going to' is used to talk about future upcoming events in the future. These events may or may not happen. For example:

The dam is going to break soon.

The blackout is going to be finished in a couple of hours.

Negation and Question

We can create negative sentences with ' going to ' and ' will .' ' Will ' is a modal verb and therefore when creating a negative sentence, we simply add ' not ' to ' will ' as illustrated below:

  • Will → Will not → Won't

Here are some examples for the negation process:

I will quit my job. → I will not quit my job.

It will be cloudy tomorrow. → It won't be cloudy tomorrow.

To create a negative sentence with 'going to,' we simply add 'not' to the auxiliary verb 'be':

  • is going to → is not going to → isn't going to
  • are going to → are not going to → aren't going to
  • was going to → was not going to → wasn't going to
  • were going to → were not going to → weren't going to

For instance:

He is going to buy a new car. → He is not going to buy a new car.

They are going to attend the party. → They are not going to attend the party.

' Will ' and ' going to ' can be used to make interrogative forms:

We can make yes/no questions and wh- question with ' will .'

Yes/No Questions

To make yes/no questions. we put ' will ' at the beginning of the sentence followed by subject and the main verb . Have a look:

She will be there on my behalf. → Will she be there on my behalf?

You will redo this project. → Will you redo this project?

Wh- Questions

To create wh-questions, we begin with a wh-word such as what , when , where , who , why , and how followed by a ' will ,' the subject, and the base form of the main verb. Look at these examples to see this process in action:

You will meet them on Thursday. → When will you meet them?

Harry will tell her about the chamber. → Who will tell her about the chamber.

We have the same two ways to make questions with ' going to .'

We make yes/no questions, we put the verb 'to be' at the beginning of the sentence, the subject, and the rest of the sentence. For example:

You are going to take your friend to the zoo. → Are you going to take your friend to the zoo?

He is going to visit his parents. → Is he going to visit his parents?

To make wh- question, we start the question with the wh-word, then the verb 'to be,' the subject, ' going to ,' and the rest of the sentence. For example:

He is going to visit a doctor. → Who is he going to visit?

They are going to eat at a restaurant. → Where are they going to eat?

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  • Entertainment

Meet Stephen Colbert's 3 Kids

Stephen Colbert, Evelyn McGee-Colbert, Peter Colbert, and John Colbert smiling

Among the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien, Stephen Colbert is another comedian who transitioned into a late-night talk show host who lives a lavish life . From his humble beginnings as Steve Carrell's understudy, Colbert used comedy to launch himself into stardom. By 1997, he regularly appeared on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." Through his successful news correspondent sketches, Colbert gained massive notoriety from his spin-off "The Colbert Report," which helped him replace David Letterman as the host of "The Late Show" in 2015.

In addition to his satirical wit and political commentary, Stephen is also a family man. When  Stephen first met his wife, Evelyn McGee, in 1990, he wasted no time tying the knot and becoming the father of Madeleine, Peter, and John Colbert. Paired alongside illustrated biographies and podcast appearances, Colbert appears to be a doting parent. According to a 2014 interview with BuzzFeed , this role wouldn't come easy. He had to learn what it meant to be a father. "You just can't explain what it's like to be a parent until you are a parent. ... I didn't know what to expect," he said. "But I think the most surprising thing is that, while it's hard — it's hard — but even the hard parts are just beautiful." As of 2024, the trio are all grown up with prominent careers ranging from filmmaking to journalism. Despite his prior hardships with fatherhood, it's safe to say that Stephen has done a fine job raising his three beautiful children.

Madeleine Colbert's babysitter was a well-known actor

In September 1995, Stephen Colbert and Evelyn McGee-Colbert introduced their first child, Madeleine Colbert, who was named after her maternal grandmother. As the eldest, Madeleine experienced being an only child for a brief period. Since her birth was before Stephen's big break, balancing parenthood with his career was difficult for the aspiring entertainer. In addition to Evelyn having her own interests outside of being a stay at home mom, having a babysitter was in their best interest. Luckily, his acting ventures allowed him to find a suitable candidate who just happened to be on the brink of a blossoming acting career.

After the success of "Exit 57," Stephen guest starred in one episode of the comedy series "Spin City" titled "The Competition." There, the comedian would meet Jennifer Garner, who — at the time — was working her way toward fame . With Stephen in need of a babysitter and Garner in need of a job, Stephen allowed Garner to babysit for his 1-year-old daughter while Evelyn took Italian classes on Monday nights. This would carry on until Garner decided to move to Los Angeles for more acting opportunities. During her 2017 appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," Garner spoke candidly about her babysitting gig and how impressionable Madeleine was at 1. "I just remember your gorgeous little girl. She was such a peanut," she exclaimed. "She was really smart. She was very verbal ... and she was precocious and adorable."

She inherited her father's sense of humor at a young age

Despite Stephen Colbert's knowledgeable outlook on complicated topics such as politics and religion, his personality is oftentimes whimsical. Given his career, it's obvious why this is the case. From facing personal hardships at a young age, Stephen's apparent approach to life is usually from a humorous perspective. In 2014, he suggested to BuzzFeed that he prided himself on using humor as a coping mechanism — especially as a parent. "There's nothing too serious that I can't make a joke out of it. There's no crisis too crazy that I wouldn't want to make a joke out of it," he stated. "No, I get stopped from making the joke halfway through once members of my family realize I'm about to make a joke about something that's very important to them. But I'm just trying to lighten the mood, folks!"

At an early age, it appeared that Madeleine Colbert had inherited this quality. In his 2011 biography, "And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise)," Stephen spoke in depth about how he and Madeleine would bounce jokes off of each other. "For a solid year, Madeleine and I made up jokes on the spot before she went to bed," he recalled. "One of her favorites was, 'What did the cow say?' 'What?' 'Ruff.' 'Why?' 'He had a dog in his mouth.'"

Madeleine Colbert once called out her father's parenting methods

As stated before, Stephen Colbert wasn't gifted guidelines on how to be a parent. This became apparent following the birth of his other two children, Peter and John Colbert. With a household of children, Stephen and Evelyn McGee-Colbert seemingly had difficulties balancing their work life with being parents.

While shedding light on this through a Q&A segment on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" in 2023, the comedian described his disastrous attempt at being a stay-at-home dad. After coming home to a disgruntled Evelyn, Stephen suggested she have a night out while he watched then-6-year-old Madeleine, 3-year-old Peter, and infant John. His short-lived confidence turned to doubtfulness as he realized this might be harder than he imagined. 

As a result, Stephen started yelling at his children, which made Madeleine question his parenting methods. "My daughter ... she runs up to her bedroom, and I follow her up there, and Peter, my middle son, follows me. I'm holding the baby in my arms, and she turns to me from her bed, she goes like, 'Why are you yelling at us?'" he recalled. "I said, 'Because it is my job as a father to discipline you!' ... and I said, 'So, I have to teach you!' She pauses for a moment, and she looks up at me from her tear-stained pillow, and she says, 'This is how you teach children? By making us cry?'"

She is a highly successful journalist

Along with inheriting Stephen Colbert's sense of humor, Madeleine Colbert developed a strong interest in politics. Which caused her to take a different career path than her father. While she won't necessarily blast the Supreme Court during a televised segment as Stephen did in 2022, she is finding ways to express her political views through forms of writing. After attending Yale, Madeleine went on to become a highly successful journalist under the name Madeleine Carlisle.

In a 2024 interview with Ryan Teague Beckwith , Madeleine stated that she first found success in 2018. "My first professional byline was an article I wrote as a politics fellow for The Atlantic in 2018," she said. "The story examined how Trump's offshore drilling plans impacted congressional races along the Eastern Seaboard." After her extensive work with The Atlantic, Madeleine also contributed her talents to Time magazine, writing pieces whose subjects included Trump's tax fraud trial and — ironically enough — the status of Roe v. Wade. As of 2024 — according to her social media accounts — she is an associate producer of CBS News' "60 Minutes." Through this, we've seen her help tackle similar topics, one of which is the dark history of horse racing. Given her talents as a journalist, it's interesting to see her trajectory and how it differs from her father's claim to fame. Nonetheless, it is also inspiring to see how successful this path has been for the notable writer.

Thanks to Peter Colbert, viewing commercials was prohibited in his household

In 1998, Stephen Colbert and Evelyn McGee-Colbert introduced their middle child, Peter Colbert. As a young child, Peter seemingly developed a specific habit that caused Stephen to implement a strict rule regarding his children's TV consumption. Despite Stephen's admission that he used television to keep his children quiet, there was one aspect of this that caused him a great deal of stress.

According to his 2011 biography "And Nothing But the Truthiness: The Rise (and Further Rise)," Madeleine, Peter, and John were allowed to watch 30 minutes of television during the week. Because Stephen and Evelyn wanted extra alone time to catch up on sleep, those reins were less strict on the weekends. This, however, came with an additional requirement because Peter developed a bothersome habit. When commercials came on, Peter would nag his parents for the products he saw on the television. To help cut down on the number of times he'd do this, Stephen forced Madeleine to mute commercials whenever they came on so that Peter wouldn't be enticed to have whatever was being promoted. "I've instituted a new rule that when commercials come on, my daughter has to press the mute button," he wrote. "Otherwise, Peter falls into a trance: 'I want that. I want that. I hear, and I obey.'"

John Colbert's father cherished his preadolescent years

As a new father, Stephen Colbert enjoyed conversing with his mini-mes. This was apparent through his relationship with his firstborn, Madeleine Colbert because he would constantly share lighthearted banter with her. As his family grew, this meant he'd have more participants to converse with. However, this would remain short lived because they'd eventually grow up and seem to distance themselves from their father — like most teenagers tend to do. With Madeleine and Peter Colbert all grown up, Stephen told BuzzFeed  that he was enjoying his relationship with his youngest son before he became a teenager.

In 2002, Stephen and Evelyn McGee-Colbert would introduce John Colbert to their ever-growing family. By 2014, Stephen suggested he was the only child out of the three who still had a strong connection with him. Aside from his apparent giddiness, Stephen jokingly expressed fears of John becoming a teenager because it meant their close-knit relationship would change. "The 12-year-old still seems to like me," he quipped. "That's nice! I think all three of them like me, but I've got two teenagers and a 12-year-old. He's within months of being a teenager. Then it's all over. Then my wife and I might as well live alone."

Peter and John Colbert made their acting debut alongside their parents in 2013

In addition to his deep interest in politics and religion, Stephen Colbert is a dedicated fan of J.R.R Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" series. As a seasoned actor — having credited roles in "The Love Guru," "Company," and more — one would assume that one of Stephen's goals would be to star in one of their films. Luckily, in 2013, the comedian booked a role in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." 

Despite the role's brevity, the gig quickly became a family affair (excluding one member). During his 2013 appearance on "The Late Show With David Letterman," Stephen announced that he'd be in "The Hobbit" with his wife, Evelyn McGee-Colbert, and his two sons, Peter and John Colbert. Though he'd quip about having a breakout role, he suggested that viewers will see his family in the movie for a short scene playing Laketown spies. "Evidently, I and my wife, and my two boys were invited down to New Zealand to play around with the folks in 'The Hobbit,' by Peter Jackson," he stated. "We went down there, and we're in a scene in Laketown." While this served as a great opportunity for Stephen, this was also Peter and John's acting debut. Given their careers, this was potentially the catalyst that cemented their interest in film.

Madeleine and John Colbert attended Yale University

As an expressive child with complex interests, Stephen Colbert spent his post-high-school life chasing a career in comedy. During this journey, he pursued his higher education at Northwestern University's School of Communication. From successfully attaining a bachelor's degree to becoming a late-night talk show host, one would assume that Stephen has stressed the importance of education to his ever-growing children, which doesn't come as a surprise since his father, James William Colbert Jr., was an immunologist who studied and practiced at Yale University. While Madeleine and John Colbert have yet to follow their father into late-night talk shows, they did follow in their grandfather's footsteps when it came to their education.

In 2014, Madeleine attended Yale University. As a college student, she seemingly doubled down on her writing passions as she spent time writing for their publication, The Politic. By 2018, Madeleine would graduate with a political science and English degree, which she's using as an associate producer for "60 Minutes." John carried on their family's generational connection to the Ivy League college in 2021. Although the pandemic prolonged his journey into college, John successfully enrolled and is looking to graduate in 2025. According to the Yale College Arts website, John performed in several productions there, including "The Government Inspector" and "Hand to God."

Both Peter and John Colbert are actively working in the entertainment industry

Given Stephen Colbert's career as an entertainer, it's almost expected for his children to develop an interest in show business. With Madeleine Colbert conquering her journalistic goals in "60 Minutes," it was only a matter of time for Peter and John Colbert to figure out their own. Instead of journalism, however, Peter and John are seemingly working on breaking into the film industry in their own right. 

While Stephen isn't one to divulge personal information about their passions and interests, the former "Daily Show" correspondent told Tom Hanks during his 2023 appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" that he'd always advise his kids to be "enthusiastic and competent" when it came to chasing their dreams. After appearing in a brief scene in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," Peter and John Colbert have since developed an interest in film, which they've been pursuing enthusiastically. According to Peter's  IMDb page, Peter has directed the short film "At the Crossroads Down Yonder" and an episode of a comedy series, "Where's Noah?" Alternatively, John has focused on acting. Aside from his roles in several student plays at Yale, John has starred in a handful of short comedies like "Egg Evan," "Real Detective," "The Spockpocalypse," and "Cardboard by Your Name."

Their 10th birthdays were milestones for their father

Whether it was losing his mother in 2013 or losing his close — yet unlikely — friend Toby Keith  in 2024, Stephen Colbert has learned to cope with loss. Given his knowledgeable outlook on life, Stephen's first experience with death seemingly shaped him into the man he is today. Coming from a family of 13, Stephen's family life was relatively normal until his father and his brothers' passing in a fatal plane crash in 1974. Stephen was only 10 when this occurred, and it severely affected not only his childhood but also his outlook on fatherhood.

Looking back on this loss during his 2022 appearance on Anderson Cooper's podcast "All There Is,"  Stephen suggested there was a point when he feared he would die before Madeleine, Peter, and John Colbert reached 10. As each of their 10th birthdays approached, however, Stephen felt relieved knowing he'd be around for his children for years to come. "Since my father and my brothers died when I was 10, when my kids were younger, it would hit me at unexpected moments," he said. "In moments of great happiness, like even just my daughter like jumping off the swing at the right point and landing and being happy about it and running over and saying, 'Did you see Daddy?' and, you know, giving me a hug. That moment of absolutely inexpressible transporting joy. And she's 6, let's say, in this memory. I'd go like, 'Oh, isn't this great? Four more years!'" 

All three Colbert kids contributed to their father's late-night show during the pandemic

2020 proved an uncertain time for entertainers. Because everybody had to follow strict quarantine guidelines, Stephen Colbert continued his weekly talk show, "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," from his home office. While COVID-19 later caused  him to unexpectedly stop live tapings in 2022, it also allowed him to connect even more with his family. 

Alongside his core production team, Stephen had his wife, Evelyn McGee-Colbert, and his three children, Madeleine, Peter, and John Colbert, help to produce the show in 2020. In his interview with Terry Gross on "Fresh Air",  Stephen suggested that Peter and John helped manage the camera, lights, and sound before their mother took over. While the pandemic wasn't an ideal situation publicly, it allowed Stephen to spend time with his children — even if it took them away from their responsibilities as growing adults. "[I]t's been intimate, and wonderful, and something I would never [have] experienced in another way and, in a very valuable way ... erased the line between my public life and my private life in a way that I think has — I don't know — maybe made them understand more what my life is like and made me appreciate that I don't have to live such an insular public life separated from my private life, which is actually kind of helpful to the kind of show that I do."


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Fact-Checking the Film: 'The Theory of Everything'

Oscar season is here, which means a flurry of fact-based movies are on their way to theaters. EW is fact-checking these films—everything from The Theory of Everything to Wild— to see just how true-to-life they turned out.

Stephen Hawking deemed The Theory of Everything, a movie about his life with his ex-wife, “ broadly true .” He’s right: The film version of his and Jane Hawking’s story doesn’t stray too far from the source material, Jane’s Travelling to Infinity .

In Travelling to Infinity, Jane recounts the pair’s 30-year relationship from the very beginning all the way to their messy end. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star as the couple in The Theory of Everything, a film that paints Stephen and Jane as a very loving pair doing their best in the face of unimaginable struggles. In the book, though, Stephen and Jane’s relationship isn’t so picturesque: It’s riddled with serious issues, ranging from infidelity to troublesome power dynamics, all of which Jane describes in detail.

The Theory of Everything is a sympathetic portrayal of a difficult relationship—so sympathetic that it’s suspicious. Did they really get along that well despite their differing beliefs? Did their marriage really end that peacefully? The answer: No. Here’s a breakdown of the truth behind the film’s most crucial moments:

Movie: After beginning to date Stephen, Jane finds out that he’s been diagnosed with motor neuron disease from his friend, Brian.

Reality: Jane finds out by accident from her friends, who mention the news in passing. At that point, Jane and Stephen had met but weren’t yet dating. “I was stunned,” Jane says. “I had only just met Stephen and for all his eccentricity I liked him.”

Movie: Stephen’s family is pretty typical; the strangest thing his dad does is offer Jane homemade wine of questionable quality the first time they meet.

Reality: Jane makes a lot of comments about how unusual Stephen’s family is. “That the Hawkings were eccentric, even odd, was well known,” Jane says. “That they were aloof, convinced of their own intellectual superiority over the rest of the human race, was also widely recognized in St. Albans, where they were regarded with a suspicion and awe.” And Stephen’s dad did make wine: At one point in the book, Jane mentions how much she likes it.

Movie: Jane has a fear of flying, but the reason is never discussed.

Reality: Jane’s fear of flying came from being on planes with both Stephen and her baby and having to be entirely responsible for two other peoples’ well-being. “That onerous and exhausting responsibility slowly crystallized into a fear of flying for want of any other outlet,” she says. She eventually sought treatment for her phobia and, with the help of a psychologist and airplane simulator, was able to fly fear-free again.

Movie: Jane and Stephen visit his family’s new cottage, and Jane is upset to find that they have to climb a steep set of stairs to get to the actual cottage—something impossible for Stephen, who’s in a wheelchair at that point.

Reality: Stephen’s parents did buy a country cottage and failed to warn Stephen and Jane about the hill and stairs before they arrived. “I was upset and baffled,” Jane wrote of their visit. “It seemed that the Hawkings considered themselves free of all basic responsibility for Stephen.”

Movie: Jane joins the church choir and befriends the choir director, Jonathan, who quickly becomes an important addition to her family. But at one point, Jonathan has to step away from the Hawking family because his feelings for Jane have grown too strong.

Reality: Jane and Jonathan did meet through singing—though it was on a caroling expedition, not at the church. She calls him a “heaven-sent gift” and struggles with how to deal with this new friendship, worried that making the wrong move could irreparably damage her family. Jonathan ends up becoming a major part of the Hawking family, accompanying them both on trips and on more ordinary activities. He and Jane acknowledge their feelings for each other, but he never takes an intentional break from spending time with them because of those feelings.

Movie: Jane and Jonathan are camping when Jane finds out Stephen was put on life support. They rush to a faraway hospital and, once there, Jane has to decide whether to take her husband off of life support. Without hesitation, she decides they must try to keep him alive even if that means he’ll lose his voice.

Reality: This is all true: Stephen’s coughing fits worsened when he was away from Jane once (they frequently went on separate trips), so he went to the hospital and was diagnosed with pneumonia. Later, he was put on life support and Jane—who had been camping with Jonathan and the kids before rushing to Stephen’s side—was forced to make a decision about whether or not to remove the ventilator.

Movie: Jane and Stephen don’t share the same beliefs. She’s religious; he believes in science and rejects religion. At no point is it a real point of contention in their relationship.

Reality: At first, Jane and Stephen would talk about their differing views with humor. But their conversations grew more intense—as Jane describes, “more personal, divisive, and hurtful”—as the years went on.

Movie: Jane and Stephen are having a party to celebrate the birth of their third son, Timothy, when Stephen’s mother asks Jane who the baby belongs to: Stephen or Jonathan.

Reality: There was no party, but Isobel, Stephen’s mom, did flat-out ask Jane who the father was when the two were alone with the baby. Jane said there was no way it could be anyone’s baby but Stephen’s, but her answer didn’t satisfy Isobel. “We have never really liked you,” she told Jane. “You do not fit into our family.”

Movie: Stephen and his nurse, Elaine, get along well—so well that he eventually leaves Jane for her in a sad, but calm, scene.

Reality: While the movie glosses over Elaine and Stephen’s relationship—we assume they’re intimate, but there’s no explicit mention of cheating—Jane is much more clear about his wrongs in her book. Stephen “came and went, often without any notice” and announced his decision to leave the family with a letter. He and Jane divorced in 1995, and he married Elaine that same year. Stephen and Elaine divorced in 2006—a fact that’s also glossed over in The Theory of Everything .

The Theory of Everything opened in five theaters Nov. 7 and is expanding its run Nov. 14.

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Inside Brad Pitt’s Emotional Reunion With His Kids as They Visit Him for Pizza Parties and Snacks

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Brad Pitt is spending more time with his kids following a bitter custody battle with ex-wife Angelina Jolie . Two of the actor’s six children visited his home in Los Feliz, California, in January, In Touch can exclusively reveal.

“Brad cherishes time with his kids and loves seeing them when he can, when he’s in town, once or twice a week,” an insider exclusively tells In Touch. “ It’s definitely something he prioritizes.” 

During the family’s January reunion, an Uber Eats driver dropped off pizza and a bag of snacks at Brad’s mansion. The kids stayed at their dad’s house until 8 p.m. before they were chauffeured back to Angelina’s home, which is just a couple of blocks away .

When the kids are over, Brad’s girlfriend, Ines de Ramon , who recently moved in with the A-lister, leaves the premises. Her absence from the gatherings is to avoid any backlash from Angelina, 48, who doesn’t allow the kids to spend time with Ines, 31, according to In Touch’s source.

“Angelina still exerts a lot of control over Brad,” the source explained to In Touch on Monday, February 26. “There’s no doubt Ines wants to meet the children, but she knows Brad has to do whatever it takes to see them without trouble from Angelina.” 

Brad and Angelina, who split in 2016 after more than 10 years together and two years of marriage, share children Maddox, 22, Pax, 20, Zahara, 19, Shiloh, 17, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 15. 

The actress has primary custody of the minor children after accusing her ex of physical and verbal abuse during the 2016 fight that led to their split. Brad was cleared after an investigation by the L.A. Department of Children and Family Services later that year, but remained at war with Angelina over the kids. In 2018, a judge threatened to reduce the Eternals star’s access to the kids if she didn’t let Brad have more time with them. In 2021, he was granted equal custody, only for the decision to be overturned when Angelina appealed and had the judge disqualified.

As he rebuilds his relationship with the kids, Brad has also found love again with Ines. The two were first linked in November 2022 and are now “[talking] about getting married and starting a family of their own,” a source told In Touch on Monday, February 26. “They are truly in love and spend all their time together.”

Read the full story in this week’s issue of In Touch Weekly , on newsstands Wednesday, February 28.

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The True Story Behind Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Fabelmans’

The family drama, which stars Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams and Paul Dano, is modeled closely on the director’s youth

The Fabelmans

Note: This article contains spoilers for the entirety of “The Fabelmans.”

Steven Spielberg’s latest film stays true to its cinematic themes of family and family drama that he’s covered throughout his career. But with “The Fabelmans,” the acclaimed filmmaker finally turns the focus on what has been portrayed through metaphor, subtext or theme in many of his previous films: his own life. The film explores Spielberg’s unconventional upbringing and entry into filmmaking through the eyes of Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle). 

Much of “The Fabelmans” revolves around Sammy’s life at home with his artistic mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams), engineer father Burt (Paul Dano) and three sisters, who he often enlists to act in his home movies. But things take a sharp turn when his parents’ marriage begins to fall apart, uprooting his life in more ways than one.

Co-written by Spielberg and Tony Kushner, “The Fabelmans” takes direct inspiration from the director’s life. But how closely is the story patterned from real events, and what was left on the cutting room floor?

The Fabelmans

What’s the true story behind Spielberg’s parents’ divorce?

The central conflict in “The Fabelmans” is the divorce of Sammy’s parents and how it converges with his nascent filmmaking career. 

Spielberg’s parents, Leah Adler and Arnold Spielberg, divorced when he was 19. In the 2013 documentary “Spielberg,” he and his sisters recall how the marriage started to break down after they moved from Arizona to California for his father’s work. When his mother announced that they were splitting up, his father took the blame.

During the interview, Arnold Spielberg said that he allowed the kids to think that he divorced Adler, rather than the other way around: “[I was] protecting her because she’s fragile, and she still is… I still loved her.”

As in “The Fabelmans,” Adler had struck up an affair with her husband’s best friend Bernie Adler, who was “like an uncle” to Spielberg and his sisters. In the film, Bennie (Seth Rogen) stays behind when they move west, and Mitzi falls into a dark depression, as Adler did in real life. Eventually, Leah and Bernie got married.

stephen to visit his parents

At the time of their parents’ separation, the details were not known to Spielberg or his siblings. He blamed his father for the relationship ending, and did not speak to him for 15 years. “I never told my dad I was mad at him, we never had angry words, but it was an estrangement that I created,” Spielberg said in the documentary.

The seismic impact of this event on Spielberg’s life is reflected in his work, with the absent father character and/or father-son strife appearing in many of his films including “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977), “E.T.” (1982), “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989), “Catch Me If You Can” (2002) and “War of the Worlds” (2005). 

“The father-son obsession I’ve had in my movies obviously speaks to a great deal of feelings that I’d been carrying with me that I want to unburden myself of, and I have,” Spielberg said. They did reconcile eventually; Spielberg even dedicated 1998’s “Saving Private Ryan” to his father, who was a WWII veteran. 

However, the real Spielberg and Adler had a happy ending beyond what’s shown in “The Fabelmans”: the pair reconnected many years later and remained close until Adler’s death in 2017. 

Gabriel LaBelle shot by Jeff Vespa

Did Spielberg really discover his mother’s affair through movie footage?

One of the pivotal sequences in “The Fabelmans” takes place when Sammy is editing together footage he shot of a family camping trip. It turns out that his camera has inadvertently captured evidence that Mitzi has been having an affair with Bennie, his father’s best friend. Sammy shows his mother the footage but keeps it a secret from the rest of their family.

Similarly, Spielberg discovered the affair at age 16, three years before his parents got divorced. In a CBS Sunday Morning interview this year, Spielberg said “that was a secret that we shared for most of our lives,” and that his father never knew that he knew about the affair at the time.

Tony Kushner told TheWrap’s Drew Taylor that he had been encouraging Spielberg to turn the incident into a film since they first began working together in 2005.

“The whole time from ‘Munich’ on, I kept pushing him, ‘I think you should make a movie about this thing that happened,’ which he told me about on the first day of filming ‘Munich’, this thing that happened when he was a teenager with a camera and his parents,” he said.

Did Spielberg’s family own a pet monkey?

They sure did. At a pet shop in Northern California, Leah Adler laid eyes on a monkey that was apparently dying from depression. “So I come home driving my Jeep with a big cage in the back and a monkey in the cage,” Adler recalled in the “Spielberg” documentary, adding that the kids “freaked out.” (Arnold Spielberg said he liked the monkey.)

Adler recalled “Steve” saying, “You know, in a normal household, kids say, ‘Can we have a monkey?’ And the mother says, ‘Are you crazy?’” 

In “The Fabelmans,” this addition to the family illustrates Mitzi’s zany, free-spirited personality as well as her declining mental health following the move.

As Spielberg put it , “The monkey Leah brought home was a grand distraction, but it was also a therapeutic companion for my mom, who was really at that time in our lives going through a major depression.”

stephen to visit his parents

Was Spielberg bullied as a child for being Jewish?

When the Fabelmans move from Arizona to California, Mitzi and Burt’s impending divorce isn’t the only source of Sammy’s unhappiness. A group of classmates immediately start bullying him, calling him “Bagelman” and defacing his locker with antisemitic slurs.

As Spielberg recalls in the 2013 documentary, his Orthodox Jewish upbringing clashed with the neighborhoods he grew up in, “where there were no Jews.” The “cultural divide” was so pronounced that his mother recalled kids standing outside their home, chanting “The Spielbergs are dirty Jews.” 

In an attempt to assimilate, Spielberg distanced himself from his Jewish identity for years. He found his way back when his wife Kate Capshaw converted to the religion prior to their wedding in 1991. Spielberg went on to direct the Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List” in 1993. The following year, he founded the Shoah Foundation, an educational non-profit that preserves testimony about the Holocaust and other genocides. 

Later, he said his childhood experiences with bullying informed the films he’d go on to make. “When I went through that semester of antisemitic bullying, suddenly those stories found a personal meaning for me,” he recently told THR . “And that did shape a lot of the stories I would tell in the future.”

Is the encounter between Sammy and John Ford based on a true story?

Yep. In a 2011 interview for “Cowboys vs. Aliens,” which Spielberg executive produced, he told the story of the time he met legendary director John Ford as a young man looking to break into the business. While visiting some cousins in California, he met with a television producer who got him a few minutes with “Jack”. The details of that encounter – down to the safari shirt, eye patch and chewed-up cigar – are exactly as they appear in the final scene of “The Fabelmans.” 

Consistent with his portrayal by David Lynch, Ford had Spielberg walk around the room pointing out where the horizon was in the various paintings hung up on the walls. The advice he gave Spielberg that day, as conveyed in the film: “When the horizon is on the bottom, it’s interesting. When the horizon is on top, it’s interesting. When the horizon is in the middle, it’s boring.”

The anecdote ends, of course, with Ford telling Spielberg/Sammy, “Now get the f– out of here.” 

Bradley Cooper Steven Spielberg Bullitt

The New York Times

City room | park slope plane crash | the boy who fell from the sky, park slope plane crash | the boy who fell from the sky.


America met Stephen L. Baltz on Dec. 16, 1960, held him in a collective embrace for a day and then, grieving, let him go. It was as if some celestial central casting agency had carefully assigned the role of courageous survivor to an 11-year-old boy whose life — had it been spared — would have lent to the senseless wreckage one single note of grace.

December 16, 1960

Horror in the sky.


Remembering the day when two airplanes collided over the city and crashed in Brooklyn and on Staten Island.

  • Were You There ?
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Stephen was, for a day, the only survivor of the air disaster over New York City, the 50th anniversary of which is on Thursday. Badly burned, he died the next day. He had been a sixth grader at Central School in Wilmette, Ill., a Chicago suburb. He had served devotedly as a Boy Scout. He had played Little League. He had sung in the First Methodist Church choir. He had been plucky enough to be traveling All by Himself.

He was supposed to have flown with his sister, Randee, and his mother, Phyllis, a couple of days earlier — they were visiting Mrs. Baltz’s folks in Yonkers — but a sore throat grounded him. Instead, his father put him aboard United Flight 826 in Chicago on Friday. His mother was to meet him in New York.

Even in the ordeal that unfolded, Stephen seemed to be guided by the Scout Oath. Still conscious after the midair collision, having been thrown from the fallen plane’s tail in Park Slope, Brooklyn, he told his rescuers he worried that his mother would be waiting without knowing what had happened. Later, when his father arrived, he tried to smile, but he was too badly burned to do so.

That was the Stephen L. Baltz whom America enshrined.

I wanted to meet the other one.

I wanted to meet the Steve Baltz of Dec. 15. The boy with greasy kid stuff in his hair. Hamsters underfoot. And cool model airplanes overhead. Equestrian, fisherman and aspiring F.B.I. agent who could take deadly aim with a ketchup dispenser. The entrepreneur who bought comics with the change he pocketed for parking the cars of Northwestern football fans on their way to Dyche Stadium nearby. The mischief maker and tease who could turn stouthearted defender. The Beaver.


“He had the most infectious laugh — I can still hear it,” said his cousin Margot Quillen, who lives in St. Petersburg, Fla. It was an incongruously angelic giggle, she said, since Steve’s speaking voice was otherwise husky.

The merriment had started early. His mother recorded an episode when Steve was 2:

I had strawberries with cream for Steve’s lunch. After his second helping, I told him if he ate any more he would turn into a strawberry. Half-hour later, I found him by the refrigerator. He was rubbing whipped cream into his head and said, ‘Mommy, I’m a strawberry.’

When he was 6, she took him to task over a repeated offense. “Steve, I can’t understand why you did it,” Mrs. Baltz said.

“I’ll tell you one thing,” the boy answered. “The devil got at me early today!”


There was a bit of deviltry in Stephen, allowed his cousin William M. Baltz of St. Petersburg, who was known in the family as Billy, to distinguish him from Steve’s brother, William A. Baltz (Willy), and Steve’s father, William S. Baltz (Stan). “Generally,” Billy Baltz said, “it didn’t come out unless I was around.”

Randee often bore the brunt, since she was just old enough to want to tag along when Billy and Steve went off to the woods to build forts. Yes, they would let her get lost. Yes, tears were a distinct possibility.

But Randee Kadziel, who now lives in Park City, Utah, recalled Steve as much more than her tormentor.

“He was almost my twin brother,” she wrote in a seventh-grade essay in January 1963, two years after Steve’s death. “Everybody said we looked exactly alike. (Even though we were about two years different.) You see, my brother will always be in my heart, wherever I go.”

Steve included her in his projects, she said, as long as his friends weren’t around. And he was so protective. “There was a bully in our neighborhood who always said mean things to me,” she recalled. “Steve confronted him — and that took care of that.”


Ms. Quillen, who was raised Catholic, remembered him springing into action on another occasion. “There were boys in the yard making detrimental remarks about Catholics,” she said, “and he beat them up, because his cousins were Catholic. My mother was delighted.”

Of course, even Superman needed his Fortress of Solitude.

“Steve’s room was a wondrous place for me, though I was forbidden to go into it on my own,” his brother William recalled in an essay written for City Room, “ A Little Brother Remembers .” Penalties for unauthorized entry included being chased around the house, Ms. Kadziel remembered. But once inside that sanctum: oh, the wonders.

Suspended by wires from a sky-blue ceiling were a dozen or so warplane models that Steve had made and painted. A large work bench accommodated his many interests: hamsters, handicrafts and scientific experimentation. Or at least as much experimentation as the housekeeper, Pearl Belue, would tolerate. “It would sometimes stink up the house,” his cousin William said.

Comic books are what Ms. Quillen remembered, since she and Steve devoured them by flashlight — giggling under the covers — on a visit in October 1960.

Randee, William A. and Stephen Baltz at home. Note the affection in his sister’s gaze.

As any youngsters would, she and her brother tried to steal one last glance at their cousin’s bedroom after his funeral. “Steve’s room was a magnet for the two of us,” Mr. Baltz said. “I walked into the room. And that was the one time I thought Stan was going to whack me. Nobody was allowed to go in there.”

Untouched and off limits, Steve’s bedroom embodied an indelible sense of loss. Steve’s father, who never truly recovered, died in 1996. “It was my mom who comforted me and talked to me,” Ms. Kadziel said. “My mom would, gradually through the years, be my guardian angel.” Mrs. Baltz died in 2000.

Steve’s brother once asked his mother if she and her husband had ever fought about what happened that day.


“Just once,” Mrs. Baltz told him. “Your dad blew up and said to me if only I had not insisted on Steve seeing my parents in New York. And I answered, if only you hadn’t changed the flight. That was it. We never fought about it again.”

Who would want even to think about it again? Or field inquiries every year from reporters, descendants of those who had mobbed the family at Steve’s funeral and camped out around the Baltz house for days.

His relatives were not eager to hear from The New York Times. But when I said I hoped to convey something of Steve’s life before the crash, they responded generously, with a hope of their own: that this anniversary will be the last they have to share him with the public.

Steve told his fellow fifth graders in May 1960 that he planned to be an F.B.I. man, a corporate lawyer or an engineer on the “Canadian Continental Railway.” He would then retire in his late 60s or early 70s.

His siblings and cousins haven’t reached that age yet, but the time is approaching. And with that comes one last aspiration, expressed by Ms. Quillen as she relived the night with the comic books and the flashlights.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Steve some day and having another giggle with him.”

The memorial to Stephen at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, where he died. The coins were found in his pocket and his father asked that they be put them in the chaplain’s poor box.

Comments are no longer being accepted.

I really appreciate this positive story because one of them nightmarish memories of my childhood was seeing the newspaper photos of Stephen taken after the plane crash and reading that he asked one of the adults if he was going to die.

I live near JFK airport and airplanes have crashed on the road on more than one occasion but that particular plane crash has stayed with me more than the others. I am happy to see photos of Stephen with his family before the tragedy.

Wow. So sad.

Thank you to the Baltz family for generously sharing their memories of Stephen with us. Stephen, you, and all the victims of this tragedy are in my thoughts and prayers today.

There was a memorable picture of this young boy at the scene of the crash with a bystander holding an umbrella over him.

So very sad…still after all of these years.

My thoughts and prayers to the Baltz family for it must be hard especially during the holidays. Thank you for sharing your many memories and photos.

Stephen Baltz was exactly my age. I lived in Chicago, too. I read about the crash in the Chicago Tribune, and Stephen’s story made a lasting impression. I have thought about Stephen many times during the 50 years since the disaster. In my law practice, I have represented families of air crash victims, as well as survivors of aviation accidents. Each time I take on a case involving an aviation accident, the memory of Stephen returns. The improbability of Stephen’s survival, however brief, given the facts of this crash, is truly remarkable. Thank you for this article.

Thank you for this story.

I lived in the neighborhood when it happened and, being a 10-year old New Yorker, I honestly thought that he would win the fight to stay alive. He just HAD to, losing wasnt’t an option. We were all shocked and in tears when he didn’t survive. Sad, sad, sad.


I remember the day like yesterday. It was a cold dismal day with snow lightly falling. I had just turned 5 years old a few weeks before and hadn’t started school yet. I was in my Pajamas with my older brother who saw the plane come right over the roof of our house on 4th Street and 6th ave. Just today, I attended a Christmas luncheon and ironically at my table was a man named Phil who became a NYC Police Offiver in 1959 and was aasigned to the 78th Precinct in Park Slope Brooklyn. Phil told me he had just turned his Patrol car from Flatbush Ave on to 7th ave to go to tye Purity Diner ( 7th Ave / Union St ). The plane came right over the roof of his Patrol car !! I became a Firefighter in Jan. 1981, qnd the 2nd jet ( UA#175 ) came right over my head at 9:03 am on 9 / 11 /01. As one of the few survivors of the collapse of the Twin Towers, I volunteer my time as atoru guide at ” Ground Zero “

Thank you for this article. After 50 years it was nice to learn more about Stephen and the loving family he left behind. I was the same age in 1960 and perhaps that was the reason the tragedy had such an impact on me. Despite the seriousness of his burns, I was hopeful Stephen would survive. I remember how sad I felt when he passed.

How I remember that tragic day. I too was 11 years old at that time. The same age as Stephen Baltz. I was emotionally saddened by the events of that unforgetable day. Stephan was a very brave young boy who left us too soon. He will always be remembered.

Thank you for this very sad and tragic article..I remember that day very well and how sad for the little boy and his family. I also remember my grandmother who was in her late 70’s and in very poor health traveling from 19th ST to Methodist Hospital to pay her respects to the young boy and his family. Grandma spoke often of that day and took the memories to her grave.

I’m glad little Stevie (as his father referred to him) is being remembered on this day. I lit a candle in remembrance to him. To endure such a traumatic experience only to survive briefly in unimaginable pain and suffering is beyond comprehension. 11 years old and concerned for his parents, struggling just to breathe. Rips the heart out of me. May he rest in peace. And may he always be remembered.

I had read an article about the woman Dorothy Fletcher who was there at the wreckage and comforted the boy in the cold and snow that horrible day . When I was in Park Slope about maybe 10 years ago ,she was still working at a pharmacy there and we met and she told me a bit about that day and steven s bravery . She was a remarkable woman and was so important and caring in a horrible moment in time. Tonite I say a prayer for them both.

Probably every kid in Brooklyn at that time remembers Stephen, the one glimmer of hope in a shocking and dissillusioning event. Not only was the modern miracle of jet travel unsafe, we were unsafe on the ground. We all identified with him and desperately wanted him to make it. I have thought of him at least once a year ever since.

i realize that this is a tragic story but to write six articles about this event is really too much-aren’t there more pressing matters to write about in todays difficult times. you are “milking ” a sad situation. move on

I was one of two Pan American Airways representatives that had volunteered that day to take under privileged kids through Macy’s , each with a five dollar bill, to buy a holiday present for someone else such as their mother. This was a well known annual do-gooder event sponsored by the Young Men’s Board of Trade of New York City and all the reporters were there to cover the story led by the famed Gabe Pressman of NBC. A truly wonderful big event, as it were. All of a sudden we had no press representatives at all and we didn’t find out about the mid air collision until later. A most poignant memory is the full page photo on the front cover of the New York Daily News the next morning of the still alive young boy lying in the snowbank, nose bloodied, with good folk in the background trying to help him out.

Interesting to see comments from people, who, like me, were roughly the same age as Stephen. I was rooting for him every moment from the time I heard of the accident to the moment I heard he had died, and like the first poster, had read that Stephen (in the ambulance on the way to the hospital?) had asked if he was going to die. We were living on Long Island and after that accident I swore I would never, never get into an airplane. (Fortunately I got over that fear in time for my first trip to Europe as a college sophomore, partly the result of seeing all the banged-up cars on the shoulders of the Long Island Expressway, and thinking “You really are safer in the air than in a car.”) For me, the plane crash and Stephen’s dying were/are as unforgettable as the assassination of JFK just three years later.

He didn’t actually park the cars, as in drive them, I assume.

Hey Scrooge (Poster #16) – This isn’t “milking the situation.” This is remembering a horrific event and honoring the people who died, as was done at the memorial yesterday. It is a special time for those involved. You don’t have to read the stories if you don’t want to!

In 1960, I was 12 years old and my family lived in Albany. But my grandparents lived in Ozone Park and Jamaica, Queens, and we all knew the fantastic new airport at Idyllwild. We read local newspapers and watched the 15 minute TV national news. My mother told us that the air collision had happened near her and my grandparents’ neighborhood. The initial survival of the lone child, Stephen, was on everyone’s minds. My parents thought the press was exploiting the family when reporters pried and interviewed the parents. “How do you feel?”, they asked. I distinctly remember reading about how Stephen described the flight, and recalled it each time I got in an airplane in the earlier years of air travel. It was beautiful, he said. The sky was blue. Then the plane fell from the sky. In July 1961 my mother and sisters and I flew for the first time on a Turbo prop jet for the first time, returning to NYC from Israel and Europe. So the beauty and fear of air travel was still fresh in our minds, some 6 months since the NYC crash.

My French aunt and uncle and cousin lived on the top floor of one of the buildings damaged by the crash on Sterling Place. I always thought it was destroyed, but now I’m not so sure. We visted them them frequently when I was a kid living in Pennsyvlania. My mom had married a GI and her sister followed her to the US, with Aunt Susie eventually marrying a young Frenchman she met on a ship bringing her to the States to visit. I began my fan’s love affair with the Dodgers as a result of these visits to Brooklyn- still following them- literally and figurtively- to CA when they left (breaking her heart when they did and those of a million or so other Brooklynites). She and my mother had lived already through some harrowing bombings and stafings at various times during WW II in France. Some 6 or 7months pregnant at the time,of the crash- she escaped from the building, making her way to safety by jumping over some of the fences that seperated the back yards of the buildings. A large slab of molten metal supposedly fell on top of her dining room table. The apartment lost, the family moved to another part of Brooklyn- and eventually back to France. Aunt Susie passed away just some 8 months ago.

My cousin was in the Catholic school adjacent or close to the Piller of Fire Church – and recalls her and her classmates had to wait in their classrooms, until parents one by one, came to get their children.

My father went up to NY and got the family to come to our house- and we all spent the Christmas and New Year holidays together. Already highstrung and anxious from the war, my Aunt’s nerves were shot for some time after all that. We kept worrying that she might deliver prematurely- but she didn’t. I remembered about the young boy who initially survived- he was just about the same age as myself. Sad. Over the years, I’ve often mentioned this story to folks from New York – fbut fewer and fewer of them ever heard of the crash, which loomed so large when it happened. Very poignant article you ran.

very sad. i’m in my 20s and I’d never heard of this story until today, but I am touched and saddened nonetheless. RIP Stephen. Also, thank you NYT for covering this story, it shows tremendous honor and respect for the family who suffered this loss, as well as provides an insightful and poignant look at the event for those of us who are just now hearing the story. Thank You, I am glad to have read this.

This article and the comments above serve as a wonderful memorial to Stephen, his family and all of those who were touched by this disaster. I was a NYC area kid, nine years old, who had been lucky enough to have had the exciting experience of traveling by air at a time when so few did. I remember sitting in my 4th grade class when the story broke about Stephen and the crash. I felt absolutely terrified for him laying in the snow, and so saddened after he died. The feelings were so strong it was as if I knew the boy. I don’t remember much else about the crash, except what I’ve studied since, but in the 50 years that have past, I have thought about Stephen many times.

An amazing article. I am 58 and remember the crash and the boy. It haunted me as a little kid, probably because he was without family during the crash. It took me years to rid myself of the nightmare. The article caused a rush of emotion. Off to my psychiatrist….

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stephen to visit his parents

Stephen See To, MD, received his Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. He completed his residency through the Carillon Family Medicine Residency Program in Roanoke, Virginia. Dr. To is board certified in family medicine. He fluently speaks English and the Filipino language, Tagalog.

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  • Masters of the Air
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  • McFarland, USA
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  • Men of Honor
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  • Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, The
  • Miracles from Heaven
  • Molly's Game
  • Monuments Men, The
  • Mothman Prophecies, The
  • Mrs. America
  • Munich: The Edge of War
  • My All American
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  • Not Without My Daughter
  • Old Man & the Gun, The
  • On a Wing and a Prayer
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • One and Only Ivan, The
  • Only the Brave
  • Operation Finale
  • Operation Mincemeat
  • Oppenheimer
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  • Outpost, The
  • Pain & Gain
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  • Passion of the Christ, The
  • Patch Adams
  • Patriots Day
  • Pawn Sacrifice
  • Penguin Bloom
  • People v. O.J. Simpson, The
  • Pianist, The
  • Pope's Exorcist, The
  • Prayer Before Dawn, A
  • Promise, The
  • Public Enemies
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  • Queen of Katwe
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  • Remember the Titans
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The Theory of Everything: History vs. Hollywood

Has the real stephen hawking seen the movie.

Yes. Following the screening of The Theory of Everything at the Toronto Film Festival in early September 2014, director James Marsh and the cast answered questions during an audience Q&A. They explained that the real Stephen Hawking had already seen the movie, saying that a nurse wiped a tear from his cheek as the lights came up at his screening. Hawking subsequently gave the filmmakers license to use the audio produced by his trademark speech synthesizer. "When he watched it, he offered his own voice and it really does give the movie a lift," says screenwriter/producer Anthony McCarten. "It feels like Stephen Hawking is performing in the movie. I could never have anticipated that but it was extremely generous on his part." The real Stephen and Jane Hawking (left) in the mid-1960s. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones (right) portray Stephen and Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything movie.

Does the real Stephen Hawking feel the movie is accurate?

In researching The Theory of Everything true story, we discovered that the real Stephen Hawking has conveyed his approval of the movie by calling it "broadly true" ( ). "I thought Eddie Redmayne portrayed me very well," remarked Stephen. "At times, I thought he was me. ... Felicity made a very charming Jane. The film was surprisingly honest about our marriage and reflects our struggle to bring up three children, despite my disability" ( The Theory of Everything Featurette ).

Was Stephen Hawking's family really as normal as they are portrayed to be in the movie?

No. Though the Hawkings are portrayed to be a more or less typical family in The Theory of Everything movie, they were actually quite the opposite. The family vehicle was an old London taxi. They kept bees in their basement, and they often ate dinner in silence, with each member of the family focused on the current book they were reading ( ). Stephen himself describes his family as being "considered eccentric" by outsiders. Like in the movie, Stephen's dad Frank did make homemade wine. Contrary to the film implying the wine was bad, the real Jane Hawking says it was quite good ( Travelling to Infinity ). John McClenahan, a school friend of Stephen, says that the Hawking house "was a less conventional house, one in which the children had a great deal of freedom. And I remember being quite gobsmacked by the conversation over lunch. It was about subjects which were never talked about in my house - sex, homosexuality, arguments for and against abortion, and various other subjects that were quite unusual." Stephen says that in becoming a teenager, "my parents taught me to always question things and think big." -Hawking Documentary

Was Stephen Hawking really a member of the Oxford rowing team?

Yes. The Theory of Everything true story confirms that Hawking was a coxswain on the Oxford rowing team. A coxswain does not row but rather controls the stroke rate and steering. The position suited his less than athletic physique. It was during his time on the rowing team that the first signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) began to show, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. "As my student days were in full swing, I was gradually becoming aware that all was not well," says Stephen. "During my final year at Oxford, I had noticed that I was getting rather clumsy in my movements..." -Hawking Documentary Stephen Hawking (top, right) served as a coxswain on the Oxford rowing team (Oxford University Boat Club) in the early 1960s. Bottom: Actor Eddie Redmayne calls the shots as Hawking in The Theory of Everything movie.

How did Stephen Hawking meet Jane Wilde?

Jane Wilde, Stephen's future wife, had been a literature undergraduate and a friend of his sister. They met shortly after he began his doctorate at Cambridge in 1963. It was at a New Year's party like in the movie. Though they had met, Stephen and Jane's relationship didn't take root until after he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (ALS). The couple married in 1965. "Oh, he was great fun," says Jane. "He was eccentric. I was really drawn to his very wide smile and his beautiful grey eyes, and I think that's what made me fall in love with him." -Hawking Documentary

Was Stephen Hawking diagnosed with ALS after a fall?

Not exactly. Like in the movie, Hawking was a doctoral student in 1963 Cambridge when he fell crumpled onto Trinity Hall's flagstones, which was one of at least two significant tumbles. Another fall on a train in Germany knocked out his front teeth, which had to be replaced. "...I fell over once or twice for no apparent reason," says Stephen, "but then one evening, late at night, something more serious happened." A stumble had sent Stephen's body all the way down a flight of stairs. He lost consciousness and when he woke he couldn't remember who or where he was. Yet, the incident still wasn't enough for Stephen to visit a doctor. "When I look back at that fall, I didn't realize at the time, it was a warning sign of things to come, but I recovered and soon had more pressing things on my mind." Later, while home from Cambridge over Christmas break, his unsteadiness on his feet, slurred speech, and other symptoms had progressed too far for him to conceal from his family, whom he didn't want to worry. His father insisted that Stephen see a doctor. His father and his sister Mary took him to the family physician, who in turn sent him to see a specialist in London. -Hawking Documentary

Did doctors really tell Stephen that he had only two years to live?

Yes. "The prognosis was not good," says Stephen. "I was given two to three years to live." This prognosis is normal for people suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) , because most people who have ALS succumb to respiratory failure within the first three years after being diagnosed. -Hawking Documentary Stephen Hawking (right) as a young man, prior to the ALS diagnosis. Eddie Redmayne (left) as Hawking in The Theory of Everything movie.

How long did Stephen spend in the hospital during his diagnosis?

Stephen was diagnosed at St Bartholomew's Hospital (Barts) in London. "I was in hospital for two weeks and had a wide range of unpleasant tests," recalls Stephen. "They took a muscle sample from my arm and stuck electrodes into me, then they injected some liquid into my spine and took x-rays. Eventually, I was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, otherwise known as motor neuron disease or ALS." -Hawking Documentary

Did Jane really find out that Stephen had been diagnosed with ALS from his friend, Brian?

No. In the movie, Jane learns that Stephen has motor neuron disease (also known as ALS) from his friend, Brian. In real life, Jane found out by accident from her friends, who happened to mention it. Jane and Stephen weren't dating yet. "I was stunned," says Jane. "I had only just met Stephen and for all his eccentricity I liked him." -Travelling to Infinity

What made Stephen Hawking want to continue living after his seemingly terminal diagnosis?

Hawking has said that as long as he has life, he has hope and that no matter how bleak things might seem, there is always something that a person can succeed at. In addition to deciding to embrace his time left, Hawking credits a few other things in helping him not to become completely despondent. First, while he was still in the hospital following his diagnosis, he shared a room with a leukemia patient. Observing his roommate's situation, Hawking believed that his own was more tolerable. Second, shortly after he was discharged from the hospital, he had a nightmare that he was going to be executed. It helped him to realize the things he still wanted to do with his life. Of course, the most significant motivation for wanting to continue living was Jane Wilde, the young languages undergraduate with whom Stephen Hawking was falling in love and would eventually marry in 1965. "Falling in love gave me something to live for," Stephen said in the 2013 documentary Hawking . "Jane was beautiful and gentle, and seemingly undaunted by the harsh reality of my illness." "I was bored with life before my illness," he said. "There had not seemed to be anything worth doing." It wasn't until he was faced with the realization that his life could end before he got his Ph.D. that he put much more effort into his work and research. Stephen also credits his desire to provide for Jane as a motivating factor to get his Ph.D. The real Stephen and Jane Hawking on their wedding day in 1965 (right). Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones portray the couple on their wedding day in the movie (left).

Did Jane Wilde enter the marriage believing that she would quickly become a widow?

"Yes, but at that stage I did not want to think about that," says Jane. "Also, we had this very strong sense at the time that our generation lived anyway under this most awful nuclear cloud - that with a four-minute warning the world itself could likely end. That made us feel above all that we had to do our bit, that we had to follow an idealistic course in life. That may seem naive now, but that was exactly the spirit in which Stephen and I set out in the Sixties - to make the most of whatever gifts were given to us." -The Observer

Where does "The Theory of Everything" title come from?

The true story behind The Theory of Everything reveals that the movie's title refers to Hawking's tireless search to find a single universal equation for all existence. More specifically, it is a theory in physics that unites the four fundamental forces of nature: the strong force, the weak force, gravity and the electromagnetic force. Physicist Sir Roger Penrose came up with the theory that when a star collapses under the force of its own gravity, it would collapse to a singular point of infinite density where time itself would come to a stop. Penrose called it a singularity, the heart of a black hole. "I worked relentlessly to see if I could apply the notion of a singularity to the entire universe," says Stephen. Then Hawking realized that by rewinding time, he could take the universe back to a singularity as well. "Here, time stops. You've reached the true beginning of everything. There is no previous time in which the universe could have had a cause. It spontaneously created itself in the Big Bang." "I had controversially shown the laws of nature suggest there is no need for a creator or God. The universe just came into existence all by itself." -Hawking Documentary

How soon after his diagnosis was Stephen Hawking confined to a wheelchair?

Although the effects of his disease had begun to slow down, by 1969 his physical control over his body had been reduced to the point that he needed a wheelchair. This was roughly six years after his diagnosis, and it was a fate that he accepted reluctantly. "One of the great battles was getting Stephen to use a wheelchair," says his former wife Jane. "I'd be going out with Stephen on one arm, carrying the baby in the other, and the toddler running alongside. Well it was hopeless because the toddler would run off and I would be unable to chase. So that kind of thing made life rather impossible." -The Observer

Did Stephen's parents really buy a country cottage that wasn't wheelchair friendly?

Yes. Like in the movie, Stephen's parents bought a country cottage and invited Stephen and Jane for a visit. They failed to warn them about the hill and challenging set of stairs. "I was upset and baffled," Jane wrote in her memoir of the visit. "It seemed that the Hawkings considered themselves free of all basic responsibility for Stephen."

Did Stephen's mother ask Jane which man was the father of their third son, Timothy?

Yes, curious if Jonathan Hellyer Jones was the father, Isobel Hawking, Stephen's mother, flat-out asked Jane which man was the father. Unlike the movie, it didn't happen at a party to celebrate Timothy's birth. It happened when Jane and Isobel were alone with the baby. Jane told her it could only be Stephen's, but Isobel didn't hesitate to express her true feelings. "We have never really liked you," she told Jane. "You do not fit into our family." -Traveling to Infinity The real Stephen Hawking (right) holds his child in the late 1960s. Left: Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and child in The Theory of Everything movie.

What is "Hawking Radiation"?

Hawking Radiation was discovered by Stephen Hawking in 1974 and was reluctantly accepted by the physics world. Contrary to all previous theories on black holes, Hawking discovered that black holes must emit particles like a hot body losing heat. "This evaporation meant in theory a black hole could eventually disappear," says Stephen. -Hawking Documentary

To what degree was physical intimacy a part of Stephen and Jane Hawking's marriage?

One thing that the movie doesn't examine is the challenge of physical intimacy given Stephen Hawking's deteriorating condition. Though the filmmakers might have considered it inappropriate to depict onscreen, Jane Hawking discusses the matter in her book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen , which provided the basis for the movie. Jane described the absence of physical intimacy with Stephen as "a deep hole in my own life" that she had no one to talk to about. In 1976, Jane's friend Thelma Thatcher brought up the subject to Jane by saying, "I simply can't imagine how you survive without a proper sex life." "I myself did not know the answer to her question," writes Jane, "but my sense of loyalty to Stephen forbade any open discussion of that topic, which for him was as taboo a subject as his illness."

Did Jane Hawking really offer free room-and-board at their home to students who would help care for her husband?

Yes. According to The Theory of Everything true story, this began in 1974 with the Ph.D. students who traveled to the U.S. with Stephen and his family during his one-year stint as a guest lecturer at Caltech. It continued upon Stephen's return to Cambridge. The trip is not included in the movie. Although, we do see students taking him to the opera. Jane had been raising three children in addition to caring for her husband. "I had two tiny babies," says Jane. "I was running the home and looking after Stephen full time: dressing, bathing, and he refused to have any help with that other than from me" ( The Observer ).

When did Stephen Hawking lose the use of his voice?

In the mid-1970s, Stephen Hawking's speech had become slurred to the point that only those who spent a considerable amount of time with him could understand him. In 1985, he underwent a tracheotomy as part of his treatment for the pneumonia that nearly claimed his life. Instead, the procedure claimed what was left of his voice. A California computer programmer named Walt Woltosz took notice of his situation and introduced Hawking to speaking software that he had developed, which could be directed by eye or head movement. At first, Hawking, who still had use of his fingers, interacted with the program via a clicker. Today, Hawking directs the program via a sensor attached to a cheek muscle. The real Jane Hawking and her husband Stephen in the 1980s (right) and their onscreen counterparts, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, in the movie (left).

Was Jane really camping with Jonathan when she found out Stephen was put on life support?

Yes. This part of the movie is mostly in line with the true story. Stephen and Jane often took separate trips. Jane was camping with Jonathan Hellyer Jones and the kids when Stephen's coughing fits worsened. Unlike the movie, Stephen was not at the opera. He was taken to a hospital in Geneva, Switzerland and was diagnosed with pneumonia. He ended up on life support. Jane, Jonathan and the kids had actually planned on meeting Stephen in Geneva all along, where they were going to go to the opera together. Upon learning what had happened, Jane hurried to the hospital in Geneva to be at his side. -Travelling to Infinity

Did Stephen Hawking nearly die from pneumonia?

Yes. A 1985 battle with pneumonia left Stephen Hawking on life support. Stephen's wife Jane refused to disconnect him. "Slowly the drugs worked," says Stephen, "though a small incision in my throat robbed me of my ability to talk." He recovered, but the family subsequently enlisted 24-hour nursing at home. -Daily Mail Online

Did Stephen Hawking ever acknowledge his illness?

No. "All along I suppose I tried to imagine his feelings," says former wife Jane Hawking, "because he would never ever talk about how he felt - he would never mention his illness. It was as if it did not exist" ( The Observer ). Stephen's sister Mary also felt that he never accepted his condition emotionally, pointing out that he never discussed it with her or his parents either ( Hawking Documentary ).

How long were Stephen and Jane Hawking married?

The real Stephen and Jane Hawking were married for approximately thirty years, from 1965 to 1995 (Hawking left Jane for his nurse, Elaine Mason, in 1990, with the divorce not becoming official until 1995). Stephen and Jane share three children together: Robert, Lucy and Timothy. In speaking about the 2004 BBC Hawking TV movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Jane said, "That is what should be most important about the film. That sense we had that, despite it all, everything was going to be possible. That Stephen was going to do his physics, and we were going to raise a wonderful family and have a nice house and live happily every after." -The Observer Jane Hawking in the 2013 documentary Hawking (left) and in the 1960s on a boat ride with Stephen.

Why did Stephen and Jane Hawking divorce?

Stephen's wife says that her husband's disease "forced us into our own little black hole." For a long time, Stephen was averse to outside help and relied on Jane for his care, while at the same time Jane was raising their three children. In later years, Stephen said that he "was never able to understand the strain it put on Jane." In Stephen Hawking's memoir My Brief History , he describes his wife installing the choirmaster, Jonathan Hellyer Jones, in their apartment following the birth of their third child in 1979. Hawking implies that his wife was prepping a new husband since no one expected Hawking to live much longer. However, after making it to 1990, Hawking had grown upset over his wife's closeness to Jones. Frustrated, Hawking moved into another house with the nurse who would become his second wife, Elaine Mason. In the end, it's apparent that it wasn't just Stephen Hawking's disease that put a strain on his marriage to Jane. After publishing A Brief History of Time , the book's runaway success went to Stephen's head, at least according to Jane, who believed that her marriage was "engulfed and swept away by the great wave of fame and fortune," with her husband behaving like "an all-powerful emperor." To make matters worse, Stephen's leanings toward atheism intensified, something he investigated further in his book The Grand Design . Jane, whose Catholic beliefs had helped her through the toughest aspects of her husband's disease, was now watching her husband attempt to scientifically disprove her faith. The real Jane Hawking and Stephen Hawking in 1974 (center). Felicity Jones (left) and Eddie Redmayne (right) portray the couple in The Theory of Everything movie.

Did Stephen Hawking leave his wife Jane for his nurse?

Yes. Stephen Hawking left his wife Jane Hawking in 1990 for one of his nurses, Elaine Mason. Stephen married Elaine in 1995, but suspicion of abuse shrouded the relationship in controversy. A former employee referred to Elaine as "controlling, manipulative and bullying." Rumors of violence and abuse were supported by Stephen's children. The pair divorced in 2006, but Stephen dismisses the allegations of abuse. Instead, he describes his marriage to Elaine as " passionate and tempestuous." -Daily Mail Online

Did Jane Hawking really marry her choirmaster?

Yes, but the two didn't meet like they do in the movie. They did meet through singing, but it was during a caroling excursion, not at the church. Like in the movie, Jonathan Hellyer Jones, portrayed by Charlie Cox, became a long-time friend of the family. After Stephen and Jane's divorce was finalized in 1995, Jane married Jonathan Hellyer Jones in 1997. Jane discovered new happiness with Jonathan and their relationship flourished. "Without Jonathan, I would have gone under," Jane wrote in her first book, Music to Move the Stars . "I would have been at the bottom of the river or in a mental institution." -The Observer

Did actor Eddie Redmayne meet Stephen Hawking?

Yes. After spending six months researching the astrophysicist's life, actor Eddie Redmayne had the chance to meet the real Stephen Hawking five days before filming began. Redmayne was so nervous that he began telling Hawking biographical details about Hawking's own life, informing him that they were both Capricorns. Hawking replied, "I'm an astronomer, not an astrologer." Actress Felicity Jones (left) poses with the real Stephen Hawking (center) and actor Eddie Redmayne (right).

Did actress Felicity Jones have the approval of Jane Hawking?

Yes. Actress Felicity Jones met with Stephen Hawking's former wife, Jane Hawking, who cooked her dinner and showed her slides from when she and Stephen first met. When Felicity was leaving, Jane told her that she completely trusted her. Later, after the movie was finished and Jane had seen it, she was very complimentary about it ( ). "When I saw Felicity on the screen, I thought, oh my goodness, that's me," says Jane, "because she had captured my mannerisms" ( The Theory of Everything Featurette ).

Did Jane Hawking really write a less flattering memoir in addition to the one the movie was based on?

Yes. Jane Hawking's first memoir, Music to Move the Stars , was published in 1999 and offers a more dismal account of the breakdown of her marriage to Stephen Hawking. It provided part of the basis for the 2004 BBC TV movie Hawking starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The filmmakers behind The Theory of Everything chose to instead base the movie on her second memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen (2007), which focuses on the more positive sides of their relationship.

Is it true that Stephen Hawking plans to go into space?

Yes. Stephen Hawking is already scheduled to fly to the edge of space, having been invited as one of Sir Richard Branson's pioneer Virgin Galactic space tourists. In 2007 at age 65, Hawking first experienced weightlessness on board a modified Boeing 727, which took off from the Kennedy Space Center and spent two hours over the Atlantic. "It was a moment that temporarily stripped me of my disability," says Hawking, "a feeling of true freedom." -Hawking Documentary A 65-year-old Stephen Hawking experiences weightlessness in 2007 on board ZERO-G's modified Boeing 727-200.

What do Stephen Hawking's children think of the movie?

Actor Eddie Redmayne befriended Stephen Hawking's children, most notably his youngest, Tim. Though the media reported positively about the film following the Toronto Film Festival screening, it was the family's approval that Redmayne was seeking the most. "Tim wrote a lovely text message the other day," says Redmayne, "in which he described how [he and his sister Lucy] were watching the movie, and at the end, when Stephen gets up, they both said the fact that they could see, for a second, what their father may have looked like able-bodied was incredibly moving for them. And in turn, very moving for me."

Is Stephen Hawking's disease the same one associated with "the ice bucket challenge"?

Yes. In 2014, the fundraising effort known as "the ice bucket challenge" went viral as people began posting videos to the internet of themselves dumping buckets of ice on their heads. After performing the chilling feat, each person nominated three others to accept the challenge. By the end of August 2014, the fundraising phenomena had raised more than $100 million for ALS research. "It wouldn't have been very safe for me to have done the ice bucket challenge," said Hawking on his Facebook page, "but that is why I have three beautiful children who could take the plunge for me." Watch Stephen's children take the ice bucket challenge . Stephen Hawking's children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 on their father's behalf.

Further explore The Theory of Everything true story below via videos that include Stephen Hawking interviews, a short biography, his TED Talks speech and his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

  • Stephen Hawking's Official Facebook Page
  • The Theory of Everything Official Website at Focus Features

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Where Are Cary and Steven Stayner’s Parents Now?

 of Where Are Cary and Steven Stayner’s Parents Now?

ABC’s ’20/20: Yosemite Serial Killer,’ as the title suggests, profiles the tale of the male who carried out four murders in six months near the Yosemite National Park in 1999. Cary Stayner is not just a convicted killer and rapist, but he’s also the older brother of kidnapping victim Steven Stayner. While both of them are fairly well-known, it’s for entirely different reasons. After all, the latter helped a 5-year-old child escape a pedophile as a teenager after enduring years of abuse. So, of course, we can not help but wonder more about their family, particularly their parents.

Who Are Cary and Steven Stayner’s Parents?

In the shadow of the Yosemite National Park in California, in the secluded farming town of Merced, the Stayner family resided in a lower-middle-class area classified as Betty Street. In the 1970s, they constituted Cary and Steven, their three sisters, and their parents, Kay and Delbert Stayner. Although an almost four-year age gap separated the two brothers, with Cary being the eldest of all five siblings, they seemed incredibly close. However, as we all know, that turned when pedophile Kenneth Parnell abducted Steven in 1972, and the Stayner’s allegedly began to neglect their children.

stephen to visit his parents

Delbert served as a mechanic at a peach can factory at that point in time, whereas Kay was a wife and mother whom many characterized as cold and distant. As per her testimony during Cary’s 2002 trial, she was raised to keep her emotions to herself by her father, who insisted that she would otherwise seem “crazy” like her mother. Therefore, Kay swore to raise her children that same way, without an ounce of sentimental touch or warmth, which Delbert seemed to agree with. But Kay knew that child molestation, something she went through, was out of the question.

Sadly, even though she kept her father away from her daughters while he stayed with them, they were still unsafe as Delbert reportedly carried on the cycle of parental molestation. Moreover, according to his testimony in 2002, when Steven went missing, he became fixated with finding him and neglected his four other children in the process, particularly Cary. Delbert even referred to Steven as his “real son” and pushed the other away. Both Kay and her husband confessed that they were not the best parents even when Steven returned — feelings were still never discussed .

“Cary was the ideal son,” Kay Stayner revealed to the jury during her elder son’s trial for murder. “Very seldom did he get into trouble. He was a good student, a good artist, and he was very loving.” She let go of all the values instilled in her as a child and cried while begging them to spare Cary’s life. Kay and Delbert had already lost Steven to a motorcycle accident in 1989, so they dreaded losing their other son. “My son is very sick right now,” the family’s patriarch said while sobbing. “I don’t think he should be executed because he’s sick.” But Cary still got the death penalty.

As for where Delbert and Kay Stayner are now, the pair had made it evident that they wanted to lead quiet lives after the events of the early 2000s. Thus, sadly, all we know is that Delbert passed away at 79-years-old in his house in Winton, California, on April 9, 2013. On the other hand, Kay still lives in California, rarely speaks out about either of her sons publicly, and prefers to go by her day-to-day life away from the limelight. She appears content to be beside her family and friends. Being a mother, we assume Kay continues to miss her sons, but likes to keep it private, as made clear on her Facebook account.

Read More: Where is Cary Stayner Now?


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Meet Steven Spielberg's Parents In This Revealing '60 Minutes' Profile

And, for the first time ever, viewers got an intimate look into the personal life of the Oscar-winning director, his anti-Semitic childhood and the strained relationship with his father that has influenced every one of his films.

Here's what we learned:

  • He still gets nervous when directing : "It's just the kind of level of anxiety not being able to write my life as well as I can write my movies."
  • Steven's mother, Leah Adler, was a homemaker and his father, Arnold Spielberg, a workaholic engineer . "Anything he wanted, we did," said his mother. "Steve really did run us. He called the shots." Added Spielberg: "My mom didn't parent us as much as she sort of big-sistered us. She was Peter Pan. She refused to grow up." As for his dad: "I missed my dad a lot growing up, even though we were together as a family. My dad was really a workaholic. And he was always working."
  • Spielberg was bullied as a kid for being Jewish . "I was a nerd in those days. Outsider. Like the kid that played the clarinet in the band and orchestra, which I did." After the neighborhood kids started chanting "The Spielbergs are dirty Jews," Steven got revenge by sneaking out of his room one night to smear peanut butter on their windows.
  • As a result of the bullying, Spielberg long denied his Judaism , saying "I often told people my last name was German, not Jewish. I'm sure my grandparents are rolling over in their graves right now, hearing me say that."
  • But everything changed at age 16, when Steven's father gave him a video camera and eventually "found a way to accept myself. ... I found that I could do something well."
  • When Spielberg was 19, his parents got divorced after his mother fell in love with one of his father's best friends . "It's still a mystery to me, but even though my mother was like an older sister to me, I kind of put her up on a pedestal," Spielberg said. "And my dad was much more terrestrial, much more grounded, much more salt of the earth. And for some reason, it was easier for me to blame him than it was to someone who I was already -- exalted."
  • 1982's "E.T.," centered on a boy and his two siblings being raised by a single mom, was based on Spielberg's parents' divorce —and would become a common theme in all of his future films.
  • Spielberg didn't think anyone would watch 1994's "Schindler's List." "I did everything I needed to do to tell the story the way I thought the story should be told, to give it as much integrity as I could, never expecting it to make a dollar." (The film went on to make more than $321 million at the global box office and win two Oscars for best picture and director.)
  • Spielberg researched for his upcoming film "Lincoln" for over 12 years and it is partially inspired by his reconciliation with his father. "He was the father of a nation in need of repair and in a sense the movies I've made recently have reflected the positive relationship that my dad and I have enjoyed for 20-25 years."
  • "One of the worst things that happened to me was my voluntary fallout with my father and then the greatest thing that ever happened to me was when I finally saw the light and realized I needed to love him in a way that he could love me back."
  • Although divorced, Spielberg's parents are still very close. His mother went on to marry his father's good friend, who has since died, but his father and his second wife are still close with his mother.
  • Spielberg decided to hold off on releasing "Lincoln" until after the November election because he didn't want the film to become a tug of war about party politics. "I think the film is very relevant for today. It's about leadership and telling teh truth, how you feel."

Watch the intimate "60 Minutes" interviews below:

Now watch the "Lincoln" trailer, in theaters November 16:

SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert will make an appearance in "The Hobbit" >

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Steven Spielberg Says His Parents Were 'Nagging' Him to Make Movie About Them Before Their Deaths

"My life with my mom and dad taught me a lesson, which I hope this film in a small way imparts," Steven Spielberg said of The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg 's late parents encouraged him to make a movie about their family.

The Oscar winner, 75, directed and co-wrote The Fabelmans , which is inspired by his own childhood and stars Michelle Williams and Paul Dano as characters based on his parents. Spielberg's mom Leah died in 2017 at 97 and his dad Arnold died in 2020 at 103 .

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about his personal new film, Spielberg said his parents had been "nagging" him to put them on the big screen prior to their deaths.

"They were actually nagging me, 'When are you going to tell that story about our family, Steve?' And so this was something they were very enthusiastic about," he said.

He also shared what finally prompted him to make The Fabelmans : "I started seriously thinking, if I had to make one movie I haven't made yet, something that I really want to do on a very personally atomic level, what would that be? And there was only one story I really wanted to tell."

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Spielberg — known for classics like E.T., Jaws, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List and many more — said The Fabelmans is "the first coming-of-age story I've ever told."

"My life with my mom and dad taught me a lesson, which I hope this film in a small way imparts," he told THR . "Which is, when does a young person in a family start to see his parents as human beings? In my case, because of what happened between the ages of 7 and 18, I started to appreciate my mom and dad not as parents but as real people."

Cast member Seth Rogen recently told reporters that Spielberg often became emotional on the set during production.

"It was a very emotional experience. He was crying a lot on set," he said. "It's very directly based on his life and pretty much everything that happens in the movie is something that happened to him. As we were shooting, I'd be like, 'Did this happen in real life?' and the answer was 'yes' a hundred percent of the time."

The Fabelmans is in select theaters Nov. 11, and opens nationwide this Thanksgiving.

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Stephen Fry and Lena Dunham in Treasure (2024)

An american journalist Ruth who travels to Poland with her father Edek to visit his childhood places. But Edek, a Holocaust survivor, resists reliving his trauma and sabotages the trip creat... Read all An american journalist Ruth who travels to Poland with her father Edek to visit his childhood places. But Edek, a Holocaust survivor, resists reliving his trauma and sabotages the trip creating unintentionally funny situations. An american journalist Ruth who travels to Poland with her father Edek to visit his childhood places. But Edek, a Holocaust survivor, resists reliving his trauma and sabotages the trip creating unintentionally funny situations.

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Austin rivers claps back at stephen jackson over irrelevance dig.

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Austin Rivers fired right back.

The ex-NBA player was called out by Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes in recent days.

“I just don’t wanna be in no conversation when Austin Rivers’ name is involved,” Jackson said on the “Gojo and Golic” podcast . “Why is his name even involved? I don’t even want to answer a question when his name is phrased in it. Austin Rivers is somebody not relevant nowhere.”

This so ironic considering he stays having my name in his mouth 😂. (I have never met this guy btw lol) The comments say it all🤣. He’s at it again lmao!! Poor dude starving for attention. Sad sight tbh. I honestly wish him nothing but the best fr. Good God bro…grow up 🤦‍♂️ — Austin Rivers (@AustinRivers25) June 6, 2024

Host Mike Golic had asked Jackson about a statement Rivers had wrote on X about more NBA players being able to play in the NFL than vice versa.

Rivers responded on X to Jackson’s dig.

“This is so ironic considering he stays having my name in his mouth,” Rivers posted . “(I have never met this guy btw lol) The comments say it all. He’s at it again lmao!! Pour dude starving for attention. Sad sight tbh. I honestly wish him nothing but the best fr. Good God bro… grow up.”

Barnes, with whom Jackson shares their podcast “All The Smoke,” was on the “Gojo and Golic” podcast with Jackson and had previously ripped Rivers — and his father and coach Doc — as well.

Austin Rivers (L.), Doc Rivers

Barnes was responding to an Instagram comment claiming the “Utah Jazz broke that sh–t up,” regarding the Clippers’ “Lob City” era with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

Barnes was teammates with Austin — with Doc as both head coach and president of basketball operations — on the 2014-15 squad, and blames the Rivers’ duo as the reason they underachieved.

“nah Doc broke that sh–t up when he paid his son that money,” Barnes wrote in the comment.” He lost the team after that.”

Matt Barnes (R.) and Austin Rivers

Rivers signed a three-year deal worth roughly $35 million in 2016.

Doc Rivers just completed his first season as the Bucks’ coach, taking over the team midseason after they fired Adrian Griffin.

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Austin Rivers (L.), Doc Rivers


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Best Of: 'Merrily We Roll Along'; MSNBC Host Ali Velshi

Stephen Sondheim's musical Merrily We Roll Along flopped when it debuted in 1981. But its Broadway revival has been a hit, garnering seven Tony nominations. We talk with director Maria Friedman, who was a friend of Sondheim's, and actor Jonathan Groff. MSNBC host Ali Velshi traces his family's migration across three continents, from a village in India to South Africa — where his grandfather crossed paths with Mahatma Gandhi — to Kenya, Canada and the U.S. Velshi's new memoir is Small Acts of Courage.


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Judge Orders Bannon to Surrender for Prison Term by July 1

The outspoken Trump ally was convicted two years ago of contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee. He faces a four-month sentence.

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Stephen K. Bannon, wearing an olive-colored jacket, reaches out as he holds another person’s hand amid a crowd of people, one of whom is holding a selfie stick with a phone attached.

By Alan Feuer and Aishvarya Kavi

A federal judge on Thursday told Stephen K. Bannon, a longtime adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, to surrender by July 1 to start serving a four-month prison term for disobeying a congressional subpoena.

Mr. Bannon was sentenced in October 2022 on contempt of Congress charges after he refused to give testimony to the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Judge Carl J. Nichols, who has overseen the case, allowed him to remain free while he appealed. Last month, however, Mr. Bannon lost the first round of that challenge as a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court in Washington decided that his guilty verdict on charges of ignoring the House committee’s demand for his testimony was proper.

Because of the panel’s ruling, Judge Nichols said he no longer believed that Mr. Bannon could rightfully continue to postpone serving his sentence.

“I do not feel my original basis for Mr. Bannon’s stay exists any longer,” he said.

Lawyers for Mr. Bannon have promised to ask the full appeals court to reconsider the panel’s decision. And Judge Nichols said that Mr. Bannon would have to start serving his sentence in less than four weeks unless the full appeals court took the case and issued its own ruling to pause the sentence from being enforced.

Judge Nichols’s decision seemed to catch Mr. Bannon’s lawyer, David Schoen, by surprise, and he approached the podium after it was issued and started arguing with the judge.

Judge Nichols dressed him down.

“One thing I think you need to learn as a lawyer is that when a judge has decided, you do not get up and yell at them,” the judge shot back.

During his brief trial two summers ago , Mr. Bannon was similarly defiant, contesting the charges that he had snubbed the House committee both inside and outside the courtroom. At one point, he delivered a speech promising to go “medieval” on the prosecutors who had brought the indictment against him.

After the hearing on Thursday, he remained recalcitrant, declaring that he would challenge his conviction all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Mr. Bannon sought to portray the case against him as an attack on Mr. Trump and his supporters.

“This is about shutting down the MAGA movement, shutting down grass-roots conservatives, shutting down President Trump,” he said, adding, “There’s nothing that can shut me up.”

Mr. Bannon’s legal travails could continue after — or even during — his stint in prison.

A couple of months after he was found guilty of contempt of Congress in Washington, state prosecutors in Manhattan accused him of misusing money he helped raise for a group backing Mr. Trump’s border wall. In his final hours in office in 2021, Mr. Trump pardoned Mr. Bannon in a separate federal case that focused on similar accusations.

Mr. Bannon’s fraud trial is scheduled to take place later this year in the same Manhattan courthouse where Mr. Trump was recently convicted on charges of falsifying business record s to cover up a sex scandal that threatened his 2016 run for the presidency.

Another former aide to Mr. Trump is already serving a prison term for refusing to take part in the House committee’s wide-ranging investigation into Mr. Trump’s efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election.

In March, Peter Navarro, who once worked as a trade adviser to Mr. Trump, reported to federal prison in Miami to begin serving his own four-month prison stint after a jury found him guilty of contempt of Congress for ignoring one of the committee’s subpoenas.

Alan Feuer covers extremism and political violence for The Times, focusing on the criminal cases involving the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and against former President Donald J. Trump.  More about Alan Feuer

Aishvarya Kavi is based in the Washington bureau. More about Aishvarya Kavi


Lauren sánchez rocks red versace latex at son nikko’s graduation party.

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Talk about a hot mama.

Lauren Sánchez celebrated son Nikko Gonzalez’s graduation from college with a sweet post on Instagram that included a lot of family love.

The helicopter pilot, 54, posted photos of 23-year-old Nikko — whom she shares with ex-boyfriend Tony Gonzalez — in his cap and gown with both of his parents on the big day. The proud mom also shared shots with her fiancé, Jeff Bezos, and Tony’s wife, October.

While it’s unclear where Gonzalez attended college, the entire family got together to fête the graduate in Miami, enjoying an intimate dinner at members-only restaurant Casa Tua, per the Miami Herald .

Lauren Sánchez

Sánchez also shared a clip of her speech at the dinner, wearing a red Versace latex dress ($2,575) as she addressed Nikko and his friends and family.

The stunning body-con style is from the Italian brand’s 2022 collection and features a cutout under the bust and the brand’s signature Medusa medallions on the straps, which Sánchez highlighted with a gold bangle bracelet.

Britney Spears and Dua Lipa have both worn the second-skin scarlet mini in the past.

“I’m super excited to see this next chapter in your life is going to be. I know it’s going to be amazing. I am so proud of you. You have no idea how proud I am,” Sánchez said tearfully in the clip to her eldest son.

Tony Gonzalez, October Gonzalez, Nikko Gonzalez, Lauren Sanchez, Jeff Bezos

Friends and fans flooded the comments section to support Sánchez — who is also mom to kids Evan, 17, and Ella, 16 , whom she shares with ex-husband Patrick Whitesell.

One person commented, “That unexpected voice cracking at the end… That was ‘the mama’s heart’, and it showed how proud of him you are. Congratulations Nikko.”

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“Omg this made my eyes cry! Imagining Santi 🥹🥹🥹,” wrote Eva Longoria of her 5-year-old son, Santiago.

Ivanka Trump said, “Congrats, Mama !!! 🥰”

Nikko Gonzalez and Lauren Sanchez

Trump and Sánchez have become close as of late; the pair are both in Kim Kardashian’s new inner circle and were even featured at the reality star’s birthday party on a recent episode of “The Kardashians” on Hulu.

Red appears to be a lucky color for the bride-to-be, with the former television host rocking a racy Rasario corset gown to a White House state dinner in April and a sheer Lever Couture look in the same shade to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party one month prior.

She also chose to wear the vibrant hue for both her own 54th birthday party in St. Barts and Bezos’ 60th earlier this year .

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Help! I Told My Fiancé the Truth About How I Felt About His Kids. Oops.

He’s put me in an impossible situation..

Dear Prudence is Slate’s advice column.  Submit questions here .

Dear Prudence,

My sister and niece lived with me until my niece was 6. We are extremely close. She is 10 now and I spend time with her whenever I can. My fiancé has a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. He has them every other weekend and we get along pretty well. Out of the blue, my fiancé accused me of not loving his kids like I love my niece. He told me that I spend more time and attention on her than I do them.

Here is where I bumbled. I told him that I like his kids but yeah, I don’t love them like my niece. It would be crazy to expect that. I have known her since she was born. And his kids have two perfectly good parents. It wasn’t my place to step in, especially at their ages. This sparked a huge fight, one that has me rethinking our entire relationship. I mean, I am here because I love him. I know he and his kids are a package deal, but I feel like he is putting in an impossible emotional situation. I certainly don’t think my own stepfather loved my sister or me like his own son. They got married when my sister and I were in high school. Am I out of bounds here?

—Like Not Love

Dear Like Not Love,

This is tough. I can see it through your eyes: Obviously, you might not love a child you met as a tween and only see on weekends the same way you would love one you met at birth and helped to raise. I can also see it through his: No one wants to hear that their beloved children are being placed on a lower tier in any way, especially by one of the primary adults in the kids’ lives, and one of the main people available to offer them affection and care.

I don’t think scrutinizing and debating your emotions will be helpful. Instead, focus on actions. Suggest to your husband that you two map out what he thinks his kids need from you as a stepmom, and what more you may be able to offer them. Putting your feelings for your niece aside, I’m sure you care about your stepkids deeply and want the best for them. Is there any more you’d be willing to give them in terms of your time and attention? Those are surefire ways to nurture a closer bond. Ask him to help brainstorm what you can do to make sure his children feel loved—after all, that’s probably much more important than what’s in your heart.

Give Prudie a Hand in “We’re Prudence”

Sometimes even Prudence needs a little help. This week’s tricky situation is below.  Submit your comments about how to approach the situation here  to Jenée, and then look back for the final answer  here  on Friday.

Dear Prudence, How many times do you need to ask a partner to do something? My husband and I eat avocados almost daily. When he finishes an avocado, he leaves it (and the spoon) on our very small kitchen counter. I think that this is gross, messy, and unsanitary. The compost bin is on the same counter. He is self-diagnosed with ADHD and on the autism spectrum, so I give him many allowances in the kitchen (he does the majority of the cooking, I exclusively do other tasks, and I work with a therapist on being accepting of his neurodivergence). However, I have asked for five years for the avocado and his peanut butter spoon to be put away. He doesn’t understand why it bugs me. I have explained that I also have things that are important to me that might be hard for him to understand. It seems like I will only get consideration if I am neurodivergent. His daughter also has autism and ADHD (diagnosed) so I often feel like an outsider. —How Many Times?

My ex-husband recently sent a group text to let a number of people—including me—know he is being tested for a very serious illness that could be terminal. I didn’t know how to respond, so I didn’t. A day later, my ex texted me personally to talk about it.

While our divorce was amicable enough, we got divorced for some very good reasons. We are not close anymore, haven’t seen each other in more than two years, and have very few shared friends. He always had trouble maintaining friendships and he admitted it got worse when I was no longer there to manage his social calendar. He is clearly feeling scared and alone. His last text to me mentioned his pain level and I just haven’t responded out of fear he’s going to ask for my help. I don’t want to get sucked back into his orbit. The idea of caring for him fills me with anxiety and dread. Am I heartless if I ignore him? How can I respond compassionately without opening the door to requests for help?

—Not My Problem, But Feels Like It

Dear Not My Problem,

You are not heartless. A much worse choice than ignoring his texts would be to allow yourself to be pulled into caring for him only to draw back suddenly when the situation became unmanageable. But instead of letting his messages go unanswered, can I suggest telling the truth? How would saying something like this feel? “I’m so sorry to hear that you’re in pain and that you’re having to navigate this diagnosis. It’s really unfair and I imagine it’s pretty scary. That said, I think it’s best that we maintain our distance, even during this difficult time. As you know, our relationship had a lot of struggles and caused us both a lot of pain, and I don’t want to bring that dynamic to this stage of your life. I hope you understand that I will wish you the best from afar. I’m comforted to see the many people you included in your first group text and know that you have a solid support system.”

Get Even More Advice From the Dear Prudence Podcast

My sister-in-law got engaged recently and immediately shared their intent to have a destination wedding in Hawaii (we all live in the northeast U.S.). I told her that I know my schedule is not the most important factor to consider, but that I wouldn’t be able to be there if it weren’t over an established school break time as I am a teacher and I only get sick days (that require doctor documentation) and no other types of time off. I can request unpaid time, but my school has even been denying those requests this year due to our severe lack of substitutes. Her fiancé has a school-aged child, so I didn’t think it was a huge ask anyway since I assumed they would schedule it over one of her breaks. A few weeks later, they let us know they had scheduled for one week before spring break as the prices over the break were too high.

When my husband and I got home that night, we talked about it and agreed that I would request a few unpaid days to try to go and have some vacation time, but if they were denied just he would go and I’d keep our kids (ages 1 and 3) at home with me. My time off request was denied by the end of the day I submitted it. My husband let his sister know that he would be there and asked about events in the days before to figure out when he should fly in/out. She got upset and said she had planned on everyone being there for the full week before the wedding. He told her she should’ve scheduled the wedding for the last weekend of spring break then, since she knew my schedule limitations. She told him that the kids had to come with him at the very least because she wanted them to be in the wedding. He told her that it didn’t work for our schedule and family and he would be the only one there. She made some comments back that he wouldn’t specifically share with me (I suspect they were nasty remarks about me) and he ended up telling her that it seemed like none of us were needed at the wedding and he would just be staying home, too. Now her fiancé, his parents, and his other sister are all hounding us non-stop about needing to make it a priority to be there. Are we really that wrong in all this?

—Hawaii Isn’t a Weekend Trip for Me

Dear Hawaii,

You’re not at all in the wrong. You’re 100 percent right. You and your husband handled this beautifully, including by making him the spokesperson and the person who had to deal with his unreasonable sister. You have permission to print this out and show it to her.

How to Get Advice

Submit your questions anonymously here . (Questions may be edited for publication.) And for questions on parenting, kids, or family life, try  Care and Feeding !

Dear Prudence, 

My girlfriend and I are queer. She quit her job because it was taking a toll on her mental health and I encouraged her because I make quite a bit of money at my job. That was nine months ago. Since then, my girlfriend has just taken to lying around the house and scrolling on social media. She doesn’t help with any of the housework and only walks our dog once in the afternoon (I take him out in the morning). I feel more like a single mother than a supportive partner. I am shouldering everything and getting my girlfriend to take out the trash or put up the dishes is like pulling teeth. She is talking to a therapist online, but I am at my breaking point here. We had a huge fight where she talked about wanting to stay home when we have kids. I told her if she couldn’t handle our home now, how would she deal with a baby? She locked me out of the bedroom and started to cry. I love her to death but things haven’t gotten better. They have only gotten worse. What do we do here?

—Got to Give

Dear Got to Give,

This is, in part, what dating is for: learning about your partner and how it feels to live day-to-day life with them, and using that information to decide whether you want to deepen your commitment with strong ties like marriage, children, financial arrangements or otherwise. You now know that your girlfriend has mental health struggles that can leave her incapacitated for periods of time, which is of course not her fault. But more important than that, you also know that she is disinterested in acknowledging the effects of her condition on you or strategizing about what it would take for the two of you to run a household when she’s at her lowest moments. You can do one of two really difficult things: 1) Break up with someone you love because you can’t see a future that will work for you. Or 2) Stay together and eventually raise a child essentially alone, on one income with someone who you love who locks herself in a room in response to questions or feedback.

You know what you have to do. And by doing what’s best for you, you’ll actually be doing your girlfriend a favor too, by freeing her up to find someone who will be happy to play the role of her mom. That person is out there, but it’s not you.

Classic Prudie

Over the summer, my best friend of nine years and I shared a house in the town where we both grew up. During those few months, we started sleeping together, which was great. That also involved lots of clear communication about our expectations. We both agreed this wasn’t a long-term thing, just something fun to occupy us during the pandemic. When both of us moved back, I thought we had a clear understanding that we were going back to being just friends…

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  23. Live updates: Anthony Fauci goes before House Covid-19 panel over ...

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  24. Treasure (2024)

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  26. Austin Rivers responds to Stephen Jackson' irrelevance dig

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  27. Best Of: 'Merrily We Roll Along'; MSNBC Host Ali Velshi

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  28. Judge Orders Bannon to Surrender for Prison Term by July 1

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  29. Lauren Sánchez rocks red latex dress at son Nikko's graduation party

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