NEWS

BUZZMAKERS: Uncle Phil Dies, Cuoco Weds

by 7:00 AM PST, January 04, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

What had ETonline readers buzzing this week?

1. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Dad Dies

James Avery, best known for his role as Phillip Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died at age 68, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.

His co-star, Alfonso Ribeiro, who played his son Carlton on the show, broke the news by sharing his condolences on Twitter.

In his three-decade acting career, the Atlantic City, New Jersey native took on dozens of TV and film roles and often played judges or authority figures.

His most recent work included a guest role on the drama series Grey's Anatomy and a trio of various TV movies.

As the news broke, Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Fresh Prince star Will Smith, expressed her condolences via Facebook.

According to THR, Avery died yesterday from complications from open-heart surgery.

2. Kaley Cuoco Marries on New Year's Eve!

Kaley Cuoco rang in the New Year with quite a bang!

The Big Bang Theory actress tied the knot with fiancé Ryan Sweeting on New Year's Eve after three months of engagement.

The 28-year-old blushing bride wore a custom strapless pink Vera Wang gown as she and Sweeting recited their vows to each other at Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Santa Susana, Calif. with an estimated 150 people in attendance.

Cuoco admitted to ET in September that she was pleasantly surprised when her tennis player boyfriend popped the question to her, but said that "from Day 1 [she] just knew immediately and it's been magic."

Starting 2014 off with a momentous event, Cuoco wrote in an Instagram post, "Greatest night of my entire life."

3. Dwyane Wade Fathers Baby Boy

NBA star Dwyane Wade recently spent time with his new baby boy he fathered with a woman while on a break with now-fiancée Gabrielle Union, a source close to the couple tells ET.

Wade, 31, and Union, 41, who were officially engaged last week, have worked through the issue privately as a couple, and the Bring It On star was aware of the child before their engagement. Wade has known the mother of his youngest son, Aja Metoyer, "for many years."

According to the birth certificate, obtained by ET, Wade and Metoyer have named the child, who was born on November 10, Xavier Zechariah Wade.

The long-time couple, who have been dating since 2009, are still very much committed to spending their lives together, and according to the Miami Heat star last week, a September wedding is likely.

A committed father, Wade has full custody of his two sons after a contentious custody battle with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, and is also raising his nephew. He has made no secret that being a father is the most important role in his life, participating in President Obama's Fatherhood Task Force and becoming a New York Times bestselling author for his book A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger than Basketball.

According to the source, Wade has never taken his fatherhood responsibility lightly and has no intention to do so now.

Click here for a behind-the-scenes look at the Wade-Union holiday photo shoot the two recently did with his two oldest sons Zaire and Zion.

4. Robin Roberts Addresses Sexuality

As she reflected on her condition last year in recovery from a bone marrow transplant, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts publicly acknowledged her sexuality for the first time.

Roberts, 53, posted a flashback photo on her Facebook page from exactly a year ago, when she was 100 days in recovery from a bone marrow transplant.

In the caption, she reflected upon the many things in life she is thankful for, including her girlfriend, Amber.

"At this moment I am at peace and filled with joy and gratitude. I am grateful to God, my doctors and nurses for my restored good health. I am grateful for my sister, Sally-Ann, for being my donor and giving me the gift of life. I am grateful for my entire family, my long time [sic] girlfriend, Amber, and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together," the Good Morning America anchor wrote.

According to Variety, an ABC News spokesperson said that Roberts has been in a 10-year relationship with a woman named Amber Laign, a massage therapist whom she met through mutual friends.

"We love Robin and Amber, who we have all known for a long time," a spokesperson for GMA said. "We were so touched by her Facebook message today and so thankful for all the loving support she has in her life."

Roberts has been a co-anchor at GMA since 2005, previously working as an anchor for ESPN's SportsCenter from 1990 to 2005.

5. Hobbit Tops Box Office

For the third-straight weekend, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug reigned supreme at the box office, eclipsing Frozen once again and a handful of newcomers as well.

The fantasy adventure sequel pulled in an estimated $29.9 million domestic over the weekend, a mere five-percent drop from its total last week. In its three weeks in theaters, The Hobbit has amassed $190.3 million domestic and $614.1 million worldwide.

Trailing on the heels of The Hobbit once again was the animated film Frozen, which took in $28.8 million, a 47-percent increase from last weekend. Through six weeks, the family film has reaped $248.4 million domestic.

The comedy sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (3rd: $20.2 million, $83.7 million) and the crime comedy-drama American Hustle (4th: $19.6 million, $60 million) trailed behind Frozen with steady totals.

A trickle of Christmas openers was evenly spread amongst this weekend's results board. The Wolf of Wall Street (5th: $18.5 million, $34.3 million), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (7th: $13 million, $25.6 million), and 47 Ronin (9th: $9.9 million, $20.6 million) all finished in the lower half of the Top 10 with their relatively middling totals.

Grudge Match (11th: $7.3 million, $13.4 million), starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro, followed the pattern but missed the Top 10 for its first weekend in theaters. Cascading between the newcomers were Saving Mr. Banks (6th: $14 million, $37.8 million), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (8th: $10.2 million, $391.1 million), and Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas ($7.4 million, $43.7 million).

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