Samantha Harris could use positive Minnesota energy as she prepares for a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer.

The Hopkins girl, former co-host of “Dancing With The Stars” and former correspondent for “Entertainment Tonight” told the TV celebrity magazine last week that her parents, Bonnie and the late Richard Shapiro, played an important role in getting her to be assertive about getting medical care.

Harris told ET she repeatedly heard her mom’s voice in her head urging her to get more information after doctors told her she was fine despite the lump she’d discovered. Of course, “having lost my dad when he was just 50” made her take her health concerns seriously, she told ET.

Richard Shapiro, the entertainment impresario who became the Twin Cities’ first major rock concert promoter, died of cancer in 1996 while in Massachusetts opening the 15th edition of King Richard’s Faire.

“I was lucky because I was 22 and I had had him through my whole adolescence. I developed as a woman. He saw me graduate from Northwestern University. I’m 40. I’m a lot closer to his age at death than he was when he had me,” Harris told ET. “Those are the thoughts about me and all the things I want to still do and the doctors say I will still be able to do. No matter how positive a diagnosis, it doesn’t keep the demons of fear from taking over your mind and your thought process — thinking about the girls, and my dad was unable to walk me down the aisle.

“I will be here to plan my daughters’ weddings — and they better like the dress I pick,” said the mother of two, trying to lighten the mood.

She seems to be taking some indirect heat for not telling her daughters about the diagnosis.

“Samantha Harris has yet to tell her two daughters she has breast cancer,” read a story in the UK’s Daily Mail. wrote: “But People magazine reports that when [it] spoke to the host, she had yet to make that announcement to her two daughters, Josselyn, 6, and Hillary, 3. ‘They don’t know yet,’ she told People. ‘I want them to hear from me first what Mommy has and that I’m going to be fine. I don’t want them to be afraid.’ ”

It’s understandable that Harris and her husband, Michael Hess, wouldn’t want their children hearing this from strangers/fans who lack boundaries. They’ll want to prepare their children for Mommy being sick, but any implication that they should unload too much information on children this young seems inappropriate.


Denton moving on, not away

James Denton tells me he’s only switching suburban homes.

So relax “L,” who wrote: “Do you happen to be aware of the latest on James Denton and family? Their house was featured in Mpls. St. Paul Magazine as part of the Remodelers Showcase … now it is on the market! Yikes! Are they leaving for greener pastures — perhaps, back to California (totally understandable after our HELLACIOUS winter). Inquiring minds (and fans — of which I am one, of both Jamie and his lovely and inspirational wife, Erin!) want to know.”

Via e-mail Denton told me, “We just moved to a different neighborhood. We bought the first house in a rush two years ago, and just found one we like much better.

Asked for an update on upcoming Twin Cities theater productions in which he will appear, Denton had nothing, although he’s pretty busy on the indie film front: “Just heading to Louisiana to shoot a film called ‘Dancer and the Dame,’ with Eva LaRue [of ‘CSI: Miami’] and then to Puerto Rico in May to shoot ‘Trouble in Paradise’ with Josie Bissett [of ‘Melrose Place’ fame]. Also have two films coming out this summer: One called ‘Ovation’ directed by Henry Jaglom and the other is ‘Revelations Road 3: The Black Rider.’ ”


C.J. can be reached at and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.