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Ellen DeGeneres and other stars are set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor.

The medal recognizes people who have made “especially meritorious contributions” to the United States, the White House said.

President Barack Obama will honor the 21 people at a ceremony on November 22.

Ellen DeGeneres is joining HGTV with a six-episode competition series

The president said the medal was a “tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better”.

“From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Diana Ross and Robert Redford are among the other honorees from the entertainment world.

Bill and Melinda Gates and SNL producer Lorne Michaels will also be recognized.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to people who have contributed to the security or national interests of the US, the White House said.

It also rewards people who have contributed to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Honorees from the sports world include basketball players Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, along with veteran sports broadcaster Vin Scully.

Architect Frank Gehry, attorney Newt Minow, designer Maya Lin, polymath physicist Richard Garwin, mathematician and computer scientist Margaret H. Hamilton and Eduardo Padron, and president of Miami Dade College in Florida will also receive the medal.


Posthumous honors will go to Native American advocate Elouise Cobell and Rear Admiral Grace Hopper.

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Ferrazzano, where Robert De Niro’s great-grandparents lived, has offered the actor refuge, after he said he would move there if Donald Trump won the presidency.

Antonio Cerio, the mayor of the Italian town, told local media: “We are ready to welcome him with open arms.”

Robert De Niro has used strong language to describe Donald Trump, saying he would like “to punch him in the face”.

The actor’s ancestors emigrated from Ferrazzano in 1890.

Robert De Niro said he's happy to play supporting roles as his time as a leading actor is over

Nowadays Ferrazzano is home to 3,000 residents, and appears ready to welcome one more.

“If after the disappointment of Trump, he wants to take refuge here, we are ready to welcome him,” said Antonio Cerio.

“Naturally it would be an honor and give us great pleasure.”

The local emigration association has suggested making Robert De Niro president of Molise – the region where Ferrazzano lies – if only for a day.

The association noted that the Oscar-winning actor “is tied to his Molise origins and even speaks a good Italian-Molise dialect, even if he doesn’t like to flaunt it”.

Robert De Niro has both American and Italian citizenship.

“I’m going to probably have to move there,” he joked on the day of the election result.

Speaking on Jimmy Kimmel Live! show, Robert De Niro conceded that knocking Donald Trump out was now off the table.

“I can’t [punch Donald Trump] now, he’s the president. And I have to respect that position,” Robert De Niro said.

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Tribeca Film Festival has withdrawn Vaxxed, a controversial film about the MMR vaccine, festival founder Robert De Niro announces.

On March 25, Robert De Niro stood by his decision to include Vaxxed by anti-vaccination activist Andrew Wakefield in next month’s festival.

The link Vaxxed makes between the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and autism has been widely discredited.

“We have concerns with certain things in this film,” said Robert De Niro.Vaxxed withdrawn from Tribeca Film Festival

Robert De Niro, who has a child with autism, said he had hoped the documentary would provide the opportunity for discussion of the issue.

However, after reviewing the documentary with festival organizers and scientists, the actor said: “We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”

Vaxxed was directed and co-written by Andrew Wakefield, who described it as a “whistle-blower documentary”.

In a statement issued following the Tribeca Film Festival’s decision, Andrew Wakefield and the film’s producer Del Bigtree said that “we have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth”.

The British doctor was the lead author of a controversial study published in 1998, which argued there might be a link between MMR and autism and bowel disease.

Andrew Wakefield suggested that parents should opt for single jabs against mumps, measles and rubella instead of the three-in-one vaccine.

His comments and the subsequent media furor led to a sharp drop in the number of children being vaccinated against these diseases.

The study, first published in The Lancet, was later retracted by the medical journal.

Andrew Wakefield was subsequently found guilty of fraud by the General Medical Council and struck off the medical register.

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Robert De Niro will direct A Bronx Tale musical in New Jersey in 2016.

A Bronx Tale, an adaptation of the movie with the same name, is set against the backdrop of organized crime and racial tension in 1960s New York.

The world premiere will take place at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey on February 4.

The musical will be co-directed by Jerry Zaks, the man behind Broadway hits such as Guys and Dolls, with music by multiple Oscar-winner Alan Menken.

A Bronx Tale began life as a one-man stage play, starring Chazz Palminteri as an Italian-American teenager who must choose between his father and a mob-boss father figure.Bronx Tale musical Robert De Niro

An aspiring actor, Chazz Palminteri had become frustrated with his inability to win a leading role and decided: “If they’re not gonna give me a great part, I’ll write one myself.”

Chazz Palminteri played eighteen parts, winning widespread acclaim in Los Angeles. Shortly before the play transferred to New York, Robert De Niro bought the film rights.

He cast Francis Capra in the lead role, with Chazz Palminteri as the mafia figure.

Robert De Niro, who played the teenager’s father, also directed.

Plans to turn the show into a musical with the help of Billy Joel never came to fruition, and Chazz Palminteri – who had gone on to appear in The Usual Suspects and Bullets over Broadway – revived his one-man show on Broadway in 2007.

That led to renewed interest in the musical version, with Alan Menken eventually signed up to write the score.

The composer previously wrote songs for Disney movies including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas.

Paper Mill’s new season will launch with big band musical Bandstand in October.

A Christmas Story, based on the 1983 movie of the same name, will run throughout the holiday period at the end of the year.

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This year’s Tribeca Film Festival kicked off on April 15 in Lower Manhattan, with the world premiere of a documentary about Saturday Night Live.

Bao Nguyen’s Live from New York! documentary explores 40 years of the comedy sketch show and its impact on US culture.

The festival, founded by actor Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, has now been running for 14 years.

The 2015 Tribeca Film Festival closes on April 26 with a remastered print of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas, marking the film’s 25th anniversary.

Robert De Niro, who starred in the original 1990 film, will be joined by fellow cast members at the screening.Tribeca Film Festival 2015

Other festival highlights include a screening of Harold Lloyd’s New York-set silent classic Speedy, with a live soundtrack provided by DJ Z-Trip; Arnold Schwarzenegger in the premiere of zombie drama Maggie – described by the star as “the most human role you’ve ever seen me take on”; and Simon Pegg in the screwball romantic comedy Man Up.

There will also be documentaries on the National Lampoon films (Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon) and the international premiere of Michael Winterbottom’s The Emperor’s New Clothes, made in conjunction with Russell Brand.

There will also be talks with filmmakers including George Lucas, Christopher Nolan and Bennett Miller.

On April 16, Mary J. Blige will follow the screening of music documentary The London Sessions with a live performance.

Jane Rosenthal said she was most looking forward to Monty Python’s 40th anniversary celebration, which will see screenings of classic Python films and bring together, once again, the five surviving members of the comedy troupe.

For his part, Robert De Niro told reporters he just had fun…”showing up”.

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John Turturro will replace Robert De Niro in the HBO miniseries Criminal Justice, which was to have starred James Gandolfini.

Robert De Niro replaced James Gandolfini on the drama after the Sopranos veteran’s sudden death in Rome last June.

The seven-part miniseries was thrown briefly into limbo by James Gandolfini’s death, and Robert De Niro would have been one of the most celebrated film actors to turn his attention to the small screen.

John Turturro will replace Robert De Niro in the HBO miniseries Criminal Justice, which was to have starred James Gandolfini

John Turturro will replace Robert De Niro in the HBO miniseries Criminal Justice, which was to have starred James Gandolfini

No one has seen Robert De Niro or James Gandolfini in the role – HBO will not air the pilot that was shot with Gandolfini – but audiences will no doubt imagine how the character might have been different as interpreted by the other men.

John Turturro stars in the new film Fading Gigolo, in which he directed a cast that includes himself and Woody Allen.

Criminal Justice is co-written and executive produced by Richard Price and Steven Zaillan. It is based on the BBC series of the same name.

James Gandolfini, who was among Criminal Justice‘s executive producers, will remain posthumously as an executive producer.

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Robert De Niro said he’s happy to play supporting roles as his time as a leading actor is over.

Robert De Niro, 70, admitted it is rare to land a big role at his age.

The actor told Britain’s Metro newspaper: “That’s just life. We can’t play certain parts any more. We’re playing the father or the grandfather or the great-grandfather, and that can be written in a funny way, so it’s fine. But you’re not carrying the movie as the young romantic lead – those days are gone.”

Robert De Niro said he's happy to play supporting roles as his time as a leading actor is over

Robert De Niro said he’s happy to play supporting roles as his time as a leading actor is over

He credits the baby-boomer generation with keeping him in work as older movie fans continue to visit theaters.

Robert De Niro added: “I don’t go to see enough films. But I’m told that since baby-boomers will still actually go to see a movie in a theater – because it’s a communal experience that our generation is used to – there’s now a trend towards making some movies that those people could possibly identify themselves in.”

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Sylvester Stallone is giving fans the chance to get up close and personal with him at a one-off show in London next month.

An Evening with Sylvester Stallone will see the actor discuss his life and career at Westminster’s Central Hall on January 11.

“I have a big mix of wonderful stories and colorful anecdotes,” Sylvester Stallone, 67, told the Evening Standard.

Fans will also be able to put questions to Sylvester Stallone.

Sylvester Stallone will be in the UK in January to promote Grudge Match

Sylvester Stallone will be in the UK in January to promote Grudge Match

The star said people he met usually expected him to be uncommunicative, like some of the characters he has played in the past.

“When people meet me they’re often surprised – I talk a great deal,” he said.

“I’m perceived to be this solitary character but nothing could be further from the truth.

“I consider myself something of a raconteur. I have a rather audacious sense of humor.”

Sylvester Stallone will be in the UK in January to promote his next film, Grudge Match, with Robert De Niro.

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The upcoming HBO miniseries Criminal Justice will see Robert De Niro taking over James Gandolfini’s role in the drama.

James Gandolfini died of a heart attack on June 19 during a vacation to Rome. He was found by his 13-year-old son, Michael, who found him unconscious around 10 p.m. on the bathroom floor of the Boscolo Exedra Hotel.

At the time of his death, James Gandolfini had already filmed the pilot for the crime drama, which is based on the BBC series of the same name.

Robert De Niro is taking over James Gandolfini’s role in Criminal Justice

Robert De Niro is taking over James Gandolfini’s role in Criminal Justice

The first five-episode season premiered on June 2008 on BBC One, and the second season premiered on October 5, 2009. The series received positive reviews and won several awards.

Robert De Niro replaces the Sopranos star an ambulance-chasing lawyer named Jack Stone. James Gandolfini will keep a posthumous executive producer credit on the miniseries. The first season of Criminal Justice will be based on the first season of the BBC version, which focused on a man who goes home with a female stranger, wakes up to find her stabbed to death, and is accused of the murder. In the HBO version, now set in New York City, the suspect is Pakistani and is accused of murdering a girl on the Upper West Side. Jack Stone finds himself in over his head when he takes the case.

According to Deadline, it was unclear if HBO would proceed with Criminal Justice after James Gandolfini’s death. But because of his commitment to the project, the network decided to go forward with the series in his honor. The website also said that director Steven Zaillian and HBO set about recasting the role and had only person on their list to replace James Gandolfini: 70-year-old Robert De Niro.

Hollywood stars are gearing up for what is likely to be one of the most unpredictable Academy Awards for years.

No film is likely to sweep the board, although the best picture prize is expected to go to hostage drama Argo.

That has overtaken historical epic Lincoln in most predictions. However, Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Abraham Lincoln, is favorite for best actor.

Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway is tipped for supporting actress, but the other acting categories are more open.

All five nominees for best supporting actor have won Oscars before.

This year, it is thought to be a three-horse race between Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook, Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln and Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained.

Tommy Lee Jones, who plays radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens, picked up the Screen Actors Guild prize for supporting actor, a possible indicator to Oscars success.

But Christoph Waltz won at the Golden Globes, and 10 out of the last 12 Globe winners in this category have gone on to win the equivalent Oscar, according to Oscar predictions website Gold Derby.

Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor in 2010 for another Quentin Tarantino film, Inglorious Basterds – and some voters may feel it is too soon to honor him again.

Instead, the Academy may feel it is time to reward Robert De Niro again, 21 years after he was last nominated, for Cape Fear, and 32 years since he last won, for Raging Bull. If he triumphs, it will be his third Oscar win.

Alan Arkin (Argo) and The Master’s Philip Seymour Hoffman are the other contenders on the supporting actor list.

Best actress is another unpredictable contest. Emmanuelle Riva, the leading lady in Michael Haneke’s old age drama Amour, could become the oldest actress to win an Oscar. The ceremony falls on her 86th birthday.

Emmanuelle Riva is challenging Silver Linings Playbook star Jennifer Lawrence, who is thought to be the front-runner for that statuette.

Another rival, Quvenzhane Wallis, could potentially be the youngest ever winner at the age of nine for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild, although she is seen as an outsider.

They are up against Jessica Chastain, who appears as a CIA agent on the trail of Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty, and Naomi Watts, for her raw performance in tsunami movie The Impossible.

Hollywood stars are gearing up for what is likely to be one of the most unpredictable Academy Awards for years

Hollywood stars are gearing up for what is likely to be one of the most unpredictable Academy Awards for years

Daniel Day-Lewis is thought to be the biggest dead cert to be called to the podium at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

His turn as the 19th Century US president is universally expected to put him in the Oscar history books by making him the first person to win best actor three times.

Daniel Day-Lewis first win came in 1990 for My Left Foot, followed by a victory for There Will Be Blood in 2008.

Lincoln had also been a hot ticket for best picture before Christmas, but Argo, which tells the story of how the CIA and Hollywood helped rescue US hostages in Iran in 1980, has gained momentum in recent weeks.

The fact it focuses on real-life Hollywood producers saving the day probably has not done it any harm, and it has cleaned up at most major awards ceremonies so far, including the BAFTAs, Golden Globes, Producers Guild Awards and Directors Guild Awards.

But Argo director Ben Affleck was a surprise omission from the Academy Awards’ best director shortlist.

That category is another close race, with Lincoln‘s Steven Spielberg in a duel with Ang Lee for Life Of Pi.

There are outside chances for David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, Michael Haneke for Amour and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Adele’s Skyfall could win best original song and Brits are well represented in the best animated feature category with Paranorman, The Pirates! Band of Misfits and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, which was made in the UK.

Searching for Sugarman was produced by Man on a Wire’s Simon Chinn, while the UK could perform well in many technical categories – hopes are high for Jacqueline Durran for best costume (Anna Karenina).

It could be 11th time lucky for Skyfall cinematographer Roger Deakins – but after missing out so many times, he will probably not be holding his breath.

Oscars 2013: Main contenders

Lincoln – 12 nominations

Life of Pi – 11 nominations

Les Miserables – 8 nominations

Silver Linings Playbook – 8 nominations

Argo – 7 nominations

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Robert De Niro is the latest Hollywood star who leaves his hand and footprints in cement outside the noted Chinese Theatre.

Robert De Niro, 69, said: “Thank you for this honor and thank you for making feel at home here.”

The actor follows the likes of Brad Pitt, Jonny Depp and Jennifer Aniston in leaving their mark.

Robert De Niro has been nominated for best supporting actor Oscar for his role in Silver Linings Playbook.

Speaking about his home town at the ceremony, Robert De Niro said: “I’m am New Yorker, it’s where I was born, it’s where I live, it’s where I raise my kids, it’s where I started a film festival. It’s home. But Hollywood is home too.

“They say everyone in the film industry has three homes – the home where there live, the home where their first wife lives and Hollywood.”

Silver Linings Playbook director David O Russell – whose film has become the first to win nominations in all four acting categories at the Oscars for more than 30 years – was present at the ceremony, as was Robert De Niro’s wife, Grace Hightower.

Robert De Niro is the latest Hollywood star who leaves his hand and footprints in cement outside the noted Chinese Theatre

Robert De Niro is the latest Hollywood star who leaves his hand and footprints in cement outside the noted Chinese Theatre

Billy Crystal, who starred opposite the double Oscar winner in Analyze This and Analyze That, was also on hand to support his long-time friend.

“I’m not used to playing straight for anybody. But it was a thrill of a lifetime to be on the opposite side of that genius and see how it worked. And just by being with him made me such a better actor.”

Robert De Niro is nominated alongside Argo‘s Alan Arkin, Philip Seymour Hoffman for his role in The Master, Lincoln‘s Tommy Lee Jones and Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained for best supporting actor at the Oscars which take place February 24.

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Robert De Niro started an argument with Jay-Z at Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday party in New York after the rapper failed to return not just one, but six of his phone calls.

Robert De Niro, 69, was sitting at a table at the upscale bash when Jay-Z came over to say hello, but the Raging Bull star was in no mood to be friendly.

A New York Post insider then overheard Robert De Niro complaining the rapper, who lives near the Oscar winner in the posh TriBeCa area, agreed to record a song for the Tribeca Film Festival, but failed to follow through.

Robert De Niro rang Jay-Z on several occasions to plan the project, but his calls were never so much as returned.

The insider said: “Bob wasn’t in any mood to make polite conversation.

“He told Jay that if somebody calls you six times, you call them back.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, that is just rude.”

Robert De Niro started an argument with Jay-Z at Leonardo DiCaprio's birthday party after the rapper failed to return his calls

Robert De Niro started an argument with Jay-Z at Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthday party after the rapper failed to return his calls

Jay-Z tried make light of the situation by claiming he is terrible on the phone, but that failed to douse Robert De Niro’s anger, and he continued to humiliate his foe in front of the likes of Martin Scorsese, Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz.

Even the feminine charms of his curvy wife Beyonce were not enough to get him off his high horse.

The source said: “De Niro kept telling him that he thinks he’s the man, but that he was disrespectful.

“Beyoncé came over, but that didn’t calm Bob down.

“It was the talk of the party. Everyone was saying there’s only one star in New York bigger and badder than Jay-Z, and that’s Robert De Niro.

“He can be quite scary when he’s angry.”

The latter is certainly an understatement, given his fame for playing characters with explosive tempers in the likes of Goodfellas and Raging Bull.

However, a source close to Robert De Niro tried to play down the seriousness of the incident.

The insider said: “It was a low-key private conversation between two people that was apparently overheard. It was not a heated discussion.”

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Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone are returning to the boxing ring in the forthcoming comedy Grudge Match.

Robert De Niro, who won an Oscar for his role as boxer Jack LaMotta in Raging Bull, will play a retired fighter who agrees to one last bout in the ring.

His rival will be played by Sylvester Stallone, best known for the Rocky films – a character last revived in 2006.

The pair will be directed by Get Smart’s Kevin Segal.

Stand up comedian Kevin Hart, who recently starred in Think Like A Man, will play the promoter who persuades the old timers back into the ring, Deadline reported, while Entourage’s Doug Ellin will write the screenplay.

No dates for filming have been announced. Robert De Niro is currently filming Luc Besson’s Malvita, in which he plays a retired gangster living under the witness protection programme in France.

Sylvester Stallone’s forthcoming films include Bullet to the Head and The Tomb, both due to be released next year. A third film in the Expendables franchise is also rumored to be in the pipeline.

He was nominated for the best screenplay Oscar for his 1976 film about punch drunk Philadelphian boxer Rocky Balboa. The film went on to collect three awards including best director and best picture – beating Robert De Niro’s Taxi Driver to the title.

 

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Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower made a rare red carpet appearance together at Cannes Film Festival on Friday.

It was an occasion of great sentimental value for Robert De Niro, a screening of his 1984 classic Once Upon A Time In America.

The cast, including Jennifer Connelly and James Woods, came together at the Film Festival to watch a re-cut and restored version of the film by Sergio Leone.

Grace Hightower looked proud at Robert De Niro’ side, and the pair kept their arms around each other for much of the evening.

Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower made a rare red carpet appearance together at Cannes Film Festival on Friday

Robert De Niro and his wife Grace Hightower made a rare red carpet appearance together at Cannes Film Festival on Friday

The couple welcomed a new baby girl Helen Grace via a surrogate in December.

Robert De Niro has four other children – daughter Drena, 40, and son Raphael, 35, with former wife Diahnne Abbott, as well as 16-year-old twin sons Julian and Aaron, born via surrogate with ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith.

The actor and Grace Hightowerhave been married for almost 14 years but are rarely photographed together, choosing to keep their relationship out of the spotlight.

Robert De Niro hosted the screening, and said at the event: “This brings back the incomparable memories of working with the great Sergio Leone.”

“I remember it as one of the longest movies I ever worked on – I don’t think Sergio ever wanted to finish it,” Robert De Niro joked.

Ennio Morricone’s original score played as Robert De Niro climbed the steps of the festival palace to introduce the movie, restored by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation.

Robert De Niro introduced his co-stars James Woods and Elizabeth McGovern as well as 83-year-old Ennio Morricone, who earned a standing ovation.

 

Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower De Niro, 56, welcomed a baby daughter through a surrogate mother, Entertainment Tonight reports.

The baby, whom they’ve named Helen Grace Hightower, weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower also have a 13-year-old son, Elliot.

The Oscar-winner has four other children – daughter Drena, 40, and son Raphael, 35, with former wife Diahnne Abbott, as well as 16-year-old twin sons Julian and Aaron, born via surrogate with ex-girlfriend Toukie Smith.

 

Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower De Niro welcomed a baby daughter through a surrogate mother

Robert de Niro and his wife Grace Hightower De Niro welcomed a baby daughter through a surrogate mother

 

Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower have been married for almost 14 years but are rarely photographed together, choosing to keep their relationship out of the spotlight.

They met in 1987 and married ten years later.

After hitting a rough patch, Robert de Niro and Grace Hightower managed to reconcile and renew their vows in front of friends and family at a romantic ceremony back in 2004.

The couple’s early marital troubles played out on a public scale, with a 1999 divorce filing by Robert De Niro and a 2001 custody case over their son Elliot.

But after their second set of vows, the couple became resolutely private about their renewed relationship.

They’ve been solid ever since, and the actor is a devoted father to all this children.

Robert de Niro said: “One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my years as a father is to keep the lines of communication open with my kids.

“I have five of them, ranging in age from 14 to their 30s, by three mothers, so I guess you could call it a fractionalized family of sorts.”

“But I care deeply about all of them, and I have made a conscious effort to talk to and to listen to them.

“Sometimes it’s hard to talk to kids, especially when they’re teenagers.

They’re in their own world, and they don’t look like they’re even listening to you.

“But that’s the time when it’s most important to find a way to talk to them – not to lecture them, but to tell them things I think are important for them to know.”