Friday, May 24, 2024

“Orange is the New Black Star” Laura Prepon Expecting Baby Girl and Hit Movie “Hero” with Sam Elliott


Tomorrow brings “The Hero,” a gem of a little film starring veteran Sam Elliott– who’s having a Renaissance these days– and Laura Prepon.

Last night’s premiere at the swanky Whitby Hotel in midtown brought Elliott, alas, but not his wife of 39 years, the great Katharine Ross, who’s got a nice turn in the film. We can’t seem to get Ross to the East Coast!

Blythe Danner, who co-starred with Elliot in Brett Haley’s last movie, “I’ll See You in My Dreams,” hosted the private screening that included guests like Regis and Joy Philbin, Calvin Trillin, Robert Wuhl, comedian Robert Klein, as well as co-star Laura Prepon and her fiancee (and baby daddy) actor Ben Foster.

Prepon was “out to there” eight months pregnant, and due in July with a baby girl. That’s two big releases in a short time! Both Prepon and Foster, now living full time in New York, brought both of their families to celebrate the actress’s success.

And what a nice turn for Prepon, who came to fame in the comedy “That 70s Show” but has had to be a bit more hard nosed in “Orange is the New Black.” As Charlotte, the last minute love interest of Elliott’s faded actor Lee Hayden, she turns on the charm– and it works. Prepon has a great smile as it turns out. Alex on “OITNB” could use some of that!

Elliott, meanwhile, will next be seen in Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “A Star is Born.” He’s never been more profile after also starring with Lily Tomlin in “Grandma” and with Lily and Jane Fonda in “Grace and Frankie.” In fact, he says, there’ve been inquiries about a possible return to “Grace and Frankie” sometime in the future.

One more guest at the “Hero” party: actor Quincy Dunn Baker, who I just saw last week in Matthew Perry’s off Broadway play “The End of Longing.” He’s white and Jewish and from Vermont. “Were you named for Quincy Jones?” I said, jokingly. “Yes!” he replied. Turned out his parents saw Quincy Jones hosting the 1982 Grammy Awards and liked him so much, they named their baby after the great musician and record producer. A nice salute to Q!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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