People: Eassence to honor 'Pose' cast, Nash, Matsoukas

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Eassence to honor 'Pose' cast, Nash, Matsoukas

Emmy winner Niecy Nash, the groundbreaking cast of the hit TV series "Pose," Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas and "Captain Marvel" actress Lashana Lynch will be honored at the 2020 Black Women in Hollywood Awards.

Essence Communications, the media company dedicated to black women that hosts the annual pre-Oscars luncheon, announced Thursday that the event will take place Feb. 6 at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California — three days before the 92nd Academy Awards.

"Pose" writer-director-producer Janet Mock will be honored at the event alongside members of the show's cast, including Mj Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Angelica Ross and Hailie Sahar. Billy Porter, who won an Emmy for his role on "Pose" last year, will be a presenter at the awards luncheon.

Nash earned an Emmy nomination for her performance in last year's "When They See Us" and won a Daytime Emmy for the home makeover show "Clean House."

Matsoukas made her directorial debut with the film "Queen & Slim" last year and won Grammys for directing videos for Rihanna and Beyonc . Lynch is set to appear in the James Bond film "No Time to Die," to hit U.S. theaters on April 10.

Edd Byrnes, 'Kookie' in '77 Sunset Strip,' dies

Edd Byrnes, who played cool kid Kookie on the hit TV show "77 Sunset Strip," scored a gold record with a song about his character's hair-combing obsession and later appeared in the movie "Grease," has died. He was 87.

Byrnes died Wednesday at his home in Santa Monica, his son, Logan Byrnes, said in a statement.

Byrnes was best known as Kookie on the private-detective series "77 Sunset Strip," which ran from ran from 1958 to 1964. Byrnes played a hip parking attendant at a Hollywood nightclub who helped out with cases. He was known for his hipster lingo, including the catch phrase "Baby, you're the ginchiest!"

When he wasn't making wisecracks, Gerald Lloyd "Kookie" Kookson III was lovingly combing his well-greased hairdo.

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The show made Byrnes a teen idol who at the height of his popularity received 15,000 fan letters a week.

"Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)," a novelty record he recorded with Connie Stevens, sold more than 1 million copies and rose to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1959.

In the 1978 John Travolta movie "Grease," he played Vince Fontaine, the suave host of the "National Bandstand" TV dance show.

Jackie, Tito Jackson tour hometown school

Two of Michael Jackson's brothers returned to their hometown of Gary, Indiana, to watch students perform at a school the siblings last visited nearly a half-century ago.

Jackie and Tito Jackson dropped by Gary's West Side Leadership Academy on Wednesday for a tour of its performing arts classrooms and to see students demonstrate their talents in orchestra, dance, voice, recording techniques and theatrics.

"You guys are so good," Jackie Jackson said as he hugged singer Taylor Iman following her performance of The Jackson 5's hit, "I'll Be There."

The last time the brothers visited the school, then known as West Side High School, was for a 1971 concert featured the same year in The Jackson 5's "Goin' Back to Indiana" television special, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

The Jackson 5 featured Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael, who died at age 50 in 2009.

Jackie and Tito were in Gary on Wednesday for events related to the upcoming groundbreaking for the northwestern Indiana city's Hard Rock Casino, said Mark Spencer, director of West Side Theatre Guild.

Today's birthdays: Actor Billy Gray ("Father Knows Best") is 82. Actor Richard Moll ("Night Court") is 77. Actor Kevin Anderson ("Nothing Sacred") is 60. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 59. Actor Patrick Dempsey is 54. Writer-producer Shonda Rhimes ("Scandal," ''Grey's Anatomy," ''Private Practice ") is 50. Actor Orlando Bloom is 43. Actor Beau Mirchoff ("Good Trouble," "Desperate Housewives") is 31. Actor Liam Hemsworth ("The Hunger Games") is 30.

— The Associated Press


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