Busy cancer patient Valerie Harper leads a class of 12 amateur hoofers in the upcoming 17th season of “Dancing With the Stars.” The cast was revealed Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” For a show that has reached an increasingly older audience, ABC added an injection of youth with reality stars Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of “Jersey Shore” and Ozzy’s kid Jack Osbourne.
Harper has defied odds with her survival since having brain cancer diagnosed earlier this year. She recently filmed a movie role and joined a Nick at Nite reunion of “The Mary Tyler Moore” cast. A brain scan last month showed improvement for the 74-year-old former sitcom star, whose doctors say her cancer is getting close to remission. She will have her next scan in October.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Harper said that so far, she’s not taking any precautions when she’s rehearsing. “He [pro partner Tristan MacManus] says, ‘Do you want to get water?’ Which is great because I don’t drink enough water but [that’s] not to do with the cancer …[it’s] not an impediment to dancing and I just try to stay healthy and continue to lose weight so I look halfway decent in the costumes,” she said with a laugh.
Other contestants on the new season of “Dancing,” which premieres Sept. 16, are Bill Nye, the “Science Guy”; “Pretty Little Liars” actor Brant Daugherty; former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson; singer-actress Christina Milian; actress Elizabeth Berkley; “High School Musical” actor Corbin Bleu; “Glee” actress Amber Riley; country comic Bill Engvall; and “King of Queens” actress Leah Remini. “Dancing” will now air once a week on Mondays rather than Mondays and Tuesdays.
Michelle Williams to make Broadway debut
Michelle Williams will make her Broadway debut next year in a role best known by Liza Minnelli — fishnet-and-bowler-hat-wearing chanteuse Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.” The Roundabout Theatre Company confirmed that the “Brokeback Mountain” star will join Alan Cumming in the revival. Williams takes over after Emma Stone withdrew due to scheduling conflicts.
london film festival picks: This year’s London Film Festival will feature movies ranging from the Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Blue is the Warmest Color” to “Gravity,” a sci-fi thriller starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Other highlights include the European premieres of Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” which stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt, and “The Invisible Woman,” directed by Ralph Fiennes, who stars as Charles Dickens. Tom Hanks will feature in the operne — “Captain Phillips” —and the close with “Saving Mr. Banks.” The festival runs from Oct. 9-20.