Unforgettable relationships have shaped Linda Thompson’s life—two breathtaking love stories that this refined Southern Bell has kept private, until now.
Born and raised in a small suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, Linda was determined to make it as an independent woman in the 1970s American South. Using the scholarships she won with beauty pageant titles, the brainy beauty queen attended Memphis State University. Only twelve credits shy of her degree, she met Elvis Presley. For the coed and the King, it was love at first sight. While Linda became Elvis’ muse, he encouraged her to devote herself to her songwriting—a passion that would blossom into an award-winning career. For nearly five years, these creative soulmates lived happily in Graceland, raising Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie. But Elvis’ drug use and erratic behavior eventually split them apart, just eight months before his death.
Moving to Los Angeles, Linda nurtured her music career and became a star on the long-running variety show Hee Haw. She also found new love with a man she’d long-admired, Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner. To the world, this beautiful couple shared an idyllic life. But a secret would ultimately devastate their marriage; a confidence that Linda carefully protected for thirty years, until her ex-husband opened his heart to the world. Difficult as this end of her marriage to Bruce was, her search for love was not over, eventually leading her to the legendary music producer and musician David Foster to whom she was married for nineteen years.
If it is on the small screen then chances our Ed Bark from UncleBarky.com has seen it. This is why we bring long-time television critic Ed in each week to talk about what we saw on the tv and what we might see next week. This week Ed talks about Fall Television, and more.
When thirteen-year-old Vidal Chastanet told photographer Brandon Stanton that his principal ,“Ms. Lopez,” was the person who most influenced his life, it was the pebble that started a whirlwind for Nadia Lopez and her small, new public school in one of Brooklyn’s most wretched communities. The posting on Stanton’s wildly popular site Humans of New York (HONY) went mega-viral. Lopez—not long before on the verge of quitting—found herself in the national spotlight and headed for a meeting with Obama, as well as the beneficiary of a million-dollar IndieGoGo campaign for the school. Here is her first-person account of what it took to get to that moment.
Mott Hall Bridges Academy isn’t just a hallway inside a typically underserved public school in one of New York City’s most underprivileged communities—it is a school that glows with energy and excitement. Lopez tells the kids every day that they’re extraordinary and that she loves them. When trouble stirs, she asks: “Would I have been proud to see what happened in that classroom? No? Then why did it happen?” She tells her teachers: “Don’t tell me our scholars can’t learn; because if you can’t teach them, then I’ll come teach your class for a couple of weeks.”
Everything was an uphill battle—to get the school launched, to recruit faculty and students, to solve a million new problems every day, from violent crime to vanishing supplies, but Lopez illustrates how leadership often means just picking the right people to support you. In middle school, one year lost with an unengaged teacher is a year that can send a kid down a terrible path. And then, of course, there is the educational system itself, how “teaching to the test” is an enormous problem, particularly in schools with kids who are already disadvantaged and underprepared.
The Bridge to Brilliance is a book filled with common sense and caring that will carry her message to classrooms far from Brooklyn. As she says, modestly, “There are hundreds of Ms. Lopezes around this country doing good work for kids. This honors all of them.”
Alysia recently finished filming season 4 of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, won a SAG award for her role as “FIG,” the tough as nails assistant warden as part of the amazing ensemble cast, and can be seen on NETFLIX. She is currently filming season 1 of BETTER THINGS for F/X, brought to you by the inimitable Louie CK & Pamela Adlon, and season 4 of MASTERS OF SEX for SHOWTIME.
Alysia loves working as a change maker for women, and has been invited to the White House, the UN and Cannes to speak about un-stereotyping women and women in entrepreneurship. She has spoken for the Geena Davis Institute and will be at #SHESUMMIT later this year. Additionally she was awarded the Sarah Powell Huntington Leadership Award by the Women’s Prison Association, was recognized as an Intelligent Optimist in Ode Magazine and profiled by New York Women in Film and Television as a woman to watch.
EQUITY is about women on Wall Street. It’s a Wall Street drama, but it’s not about corruption, crime, or catastrophe. It’s about women who thrive on competition and ambition, deals and strategy, but who must carefully calibrate every aspect of their lives, professional and private, to stay equal in the game. EQUITY is directed, written, produced, and financed by women, a collaboration among women in entertainment and business leaders in finance—the real-life women of Wall Street—who chose to invest in this film because they wanted to see their story told.
In HEAD BALL COACH, Steve Spurrier, college football legend, shares his story of a life in football: from winning the Heisman Trophy to playing and coaching in the pros to leading the Florida Gators to six SEC Championships and a National Championship to elevating the South Carolina program to new heights — all by coaching like nobody else. He’s been called cocky, arrogant, brash, pompous, egotistical, and hilarious, but, mostly, he’s known as the Head Ball Coach, a self-ordained term introduced to the lexicon of football by none other than the man himself, Steve Spurrier. He’s the only coach who can claim to be the winningest at two different SEC schools, and the only person who has won both the Heisman Trophy as a player in 1966 and a national championship as a coach, which is why University of Florida recently announced that Gator football will now be played at the newly named Steve Spurrier-Florida Field.
Dog Man is a new graphic novel series by Dav Pilkey, the creator of the global bestselling Captain Underpants series which has sold more than 70 million copies to date. The book will be released simultaneously in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand on August 30th.
There is only one question we ask you every Friday morning on the show; Are you Hungry? Of course you are and that is why sit down with our very own James Beard Award Nominee, Cheffy Baby. Cheffy Baby talks about Johnsonvill Corn Dogs, Pizza Hut’s new boxes, and more.