June 8th, 2009
12:05 PM ET

Carradine: The painful aftermath

It must suck to be Annie Bierman.

Who?

Bierman is the fifth and last wife of David Carradine.

I often drive past their house in Tarzana, California. Annie, along with their children and dogs, lives on a quiet, narrow street in this unassuming town. It’s the kind of place where neighbors know each other.

Since Friday a guard has been posted in the driveway after paparazzi swarmed the gate in front of their house upon the news of Carradine's mysterious death. On Saturday there was a sedan parked opposite the entry and a guy with a video camera taping nothing going on; trying to get a glimpse of Annie or Carradine’s famous family members, trying to catch the goings-on inside the horror which must be their lives right now. A guy trying to make a buck off of their anguish.

It’s difficult enough to lose your spouse, but now Annie Bierman has lost two husbands within the last decade. Her mate before Carradine died of cancer.

In addition to surviving David’s sudden death she has to live with this …

He was found dead in a Bangkok hotel.

He was found dead in a Bangkok hotel, hanging in a closet.

He was found dead in a Bangkok hotel, hanging in a closet, naked.

He was found dead in a Bangkok hotel hanging in a closet, naked, with a yellow nylon cord around his neck and a black rope around his genitals.

On Friday, divorce papers surfaced on the Internet regarding Marina Anderson, Carradine’s fourth wife, who accused the actor of "deviant sexual behavior which was potentially deadly." She also claimed that Carradine participated in an "incestuous relationship with a very close family member."

Then over the weekend, a Thai newspaper published a forensic photo of Carradine, dead, hanging from a clothes bar in a closet, hands bound above his head.

The horror.

June 5th, 2009
08:02 PM ET

The Softer Side of Bree

I just returned from the 6th Annual Inspiration Awards for Step up Women’s Network at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel where journalist Lisa Ling, Lauren Zalaznick President of NBCU Women & Lifestyle Networks and “Desperate Housewives” actress Marcia Cross were being honored.

Step Up is a non-profit group that helps women and underprivileged teen girls through professional mentorship, health education and empowerment programs. Through the organization kids who really didn’t have a shot at realizing ANY dream do now. They were articulate, poised survivors of hellish, mostly inner city lives.  Step Up is largely responsible for motivating these kids to accomplish their goal to enter college.

Inspiration Awards recipient Marcia Cross gave, in my opinion, the most moving speech. She actually pulled a “Ving Rhames”. Ok, for those of you who don’t remember, Rhames won a Golden Globe Award in 1998 for the HBO TV movie “Don King: Only in America”. He was up against the late, great Jack Lemmon who was nominated for “12 Angry Men”. Rhames became very emotional in his acceptance speech, tried to give his award to Lemmon and asked him to get on the stage.

Marcia, who grew up in Massachusetts, told a story about how as a 14 year old girl she threw herself at her drama teacher Betsey Joseph and begged her to take her to New York. So along with a few other students off she went with Joseph. It was on this trip that she saw her first Broadway play and was forever bitten by the showbiz bug. She told us Joseph taught her everything she knew about acting, giving  her large roles as well as small (much to Cross’ dismay) in school plays. Cross went on to graduate from Juilliard in New York and credits Betsey Joseph as her inspiration. She paused to collect herself several times during her speech and in the end handed her award to Joseph who was at the event.

Hugs and tears all around.  A nice way to end a work week.

So who’s been the inspiration in your life?

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