15 Unique Father’s Day Gifts to Surprise Dad With

15 Unique Father’s Day Gifts to Surprise Dad With

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Katherine Riley

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Fri., Jun. 12, 2020 1:15 PM

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We love these products, and we hope you do too. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!.

Dad, papa, pop, stepdad…whatever we call him, Father’s Day is coming and it’s time to celebrate and thank our father figure(s). Some dads are easier to shop for: the golfers, the wine aficionados, the bookworms, the TV lovers, the grill masters, the Star Wars fans and the Amazon addicts.

Other dads have us wracking our brains every year to come up with a gift he’ll love. May we present our list below? We’ve given many of these one-of-a-kind finds to our dads in the past, and we can attest that he was happily surprised.

However you celebrate, we hope you and your dad(s) have a great Father’s Day!

Read

Tony Gonzalez’s Father’s Day Gift Guide Is Hall of Fame Worthy

Home Team Baseball Game

So you can’t take Dad out to a ballgame this year. Instead, bring the ballpark home with this old-school tabletop baseball game. You can even customize it with your father’s favorite MLB team. Batter up!



$68

Uncommon Goods

On The Rocks Set

Dad can enjoy his drinks on the rocks, actual rocks, with these handsome granite drink chillers. Hand-crafted from stones collected on New England beaches, these granite discs are ideal for chilling aged spirits, such as whiskey or scotch, because they won’t dilute the complex flavors like ice will



$36

Uncommon Goods

Baseball Park Map Glasses – Set of 2

Speaking of whiskey…If your dad loves whiskey and baseball, have we got the gift for you. This bestselling glasses set features a map of an iconic MLB stadium in the team’s two main colors.



$35

Uncommon Goods

My Photo Personalized Rubik’s Cube

The fave ’80s puzzle toy has been making a comeback lately. Why not give Pop one with a twist? This top-rated Rubik’s Cube is personalized with family photos, so you can play, display or both!



$30

Personalization Mall

Create Your Own ViewMaster

Another amazing throwback toy you can customize? The totally awesome ViewMaster! With this set, you can upload Dad’s favorite snapshots to create a personalized photo reel. Additional reels can be purchased for $15.



$30

Uncommon Goods

The Dad Hoodie

Need something for a new dad? You can’t go wrong with The Dad Hoodie. It’s got all the interior storage pockets of a diaper bag hidden in the slouchy comfort of a hoodie.



$85

The Dad Hoodie

Favorite Faces Personalized Photo Collage Tie

Shopping for your dapper dad? Check out this sweet photo collage tie. It’s a bestseller, with one review noting “Every year I order a photo tie for my husband with the kids photos…The images are bright and clear and the quality of the fabric is great. He was very pleased and proud to wear it to the office.” Available for both color or black-and-white photos.



$23
$16

Personalization Mall

Penny Cufflinks With Personalized Year

It’ll be your father’s lucky day every time he wears these cufflinks. Customize options allow you to choose the same year on both pennies or a different year on each, so you can memorialize birthdays, anniversaries, vacations and more. If your dad is a cufflink collector, we also recommend these custom beach sand cufflinks and these cufflinks made from salvaged NFL stadium seats.



$140

Uncommon Goods

Ballpark Seat Pen

Want some sports nostalgia without cufflinks? Score Papa this pen made from salvaged seats of a historic baseball stadium. It’s a home run in our books.



$160

Uncommon Goods

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit

Foodie fathers will get a spicy kick out of this DIY kit that includes peppers, vinegars, brown sugar, six bottles and customizable labels so they can name their culinary creations.



$35

Uncommon Goods

Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit

Another unique food find? This Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit, where Dad can grow his own delicious organic mushrooms. An Oyster Mushroom version of this Uncommon Goods bestseller is also available.



$30

Uncommon Goods

Our Special Guy Personalized Blanket

Let Dad (or Grandpa!) rest and relax surrounded by loved ones with this cozy fleece blanket. It can be personalized with your choice of color, title and up to 30 names.



$70
$50

Personalization Mall

Father’s Day Heart Snapshot Mix

Create a beautiful piece of art for home or the office with this heartfelt photo collage. You can also customize the color theme, borders, matting and frame.



$29-$71

Minted

5-in-1 Tool Pen

We’d be remiss if we didn’t include this nifty little bestseller. The streamlined gadget features a screwdriver, capacitive touch stylus for smart devices, an integrated bubble level, ruler and pen with clip. Perfect for Dad to use at work or stash in his car’s glove box. 



$25

Uncommon Goods

Personalized Family Member Signpost

Whether your family is near or far, Dad will love this family signpost. Hand-painted to create a warmly weathered finish, each signpost is topped with your family name, followed by up to five arrows showcasing each member’s distance and direction from your official homestead. It’s all customizable, so you can have slats for favorite vacation spots or whatever you choose. You can also buy individual signs without the post for $35 each.



$125

Uncommon Goods

Still need another great gift for dad? These $18 sweatpants have rave reviews from Amazon customers. 

—Originally published June 2, 2019, at 3:00 a.m. PT

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How Jason Derulo’s Using Music & TikTok to Unite People Amid the Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

How Jason Derulo’s Using Music & TikTok to Unite People Amid the Ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic

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Allison Crist

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Fri., Jun. 12, 2020 1:28 PM

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Now PlayingUp NextJason Derulo on “Healing Through Music,” TikTok Fame & More

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep many indoors—or at the very least, a healthy distance from friends and family—Jason Derulo is doing his best to bring people together, whether it’s with his hilarious TikToks or new music.

Recently, Derulo extended his efforts to patients and caregivers in healthcare facilities with the help of Healing Through Music, an initiative spearheaded by Musicians On Call and Hyundai Hope On Wheels. Like other artists such as Sia and Darius Rucker have done, Derulo surprised a hospital’s staff and patients with a virtual performance. 

The musician described the experience to E!’s Erin Lim on Daily Pop, while also stressing the importance of unity. 

“In these times, whenever we can just try to come together, I think, is a beautiful thing,” Derulo explained. “It was just a fun thing that I was hoping that would brighten some people’s days. And I had a really good time doing it, honestly. What they’ve been able to build is really special and I hope they continue to do it.”

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Celebs Giving Back Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic

Derulo continued, “You know, now more than ever, we need each other…I mean, we’re all going through the same exact thing and I think that in and of itself brings us closer together; that we’re all going through these trying times together, not being able to leave our houses but at the same time getting to spend a little more time with the people that we care about.”

He encouraged anyone listening to start taking advantage of this time if they haven’t done so already, “whether it’s learning how to sing or learning how to cook.”

“You know, just utilize the time to come out stronger than you came into it,” Derulo added.

He’s certainly found ways to avoid becoming bored. Just last month, Derulo dropped a new song called “Savage Love.” In the song, Derulo described himself as singing about a woman who’s “very set in her ways but I’m in love with who she is.”

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Jason Derulo Chips Teeth Eating Corn Attached to Power Drill

“This song was a really fun beginning because it came from a TikTok phenomenon,” he told Lim. “And you know, I love me some TikTok. But yeah, it came from a celebration of cultures—which I think hits home right now.”

With 22 million followers, Derulo could certainly be considered a TikTok phenomenon himself. When he hit the 22,000,000 mark earlier this week, he made a celebratory video in which he attempted to eat 22 hamburgers. 

“I actually, I didn’t get to 22; I ate 20. And it was crazy,” the singer recounted. “I mean, you would think it would be a dream to do it—to eat that amount—but man, that was a nightmare.

Derulo said he was nauseous every five minutes, and eventually, “every bite was pain.”

“But I did it for the people!” he said. “I had to do it for the celebration.”

In the few days since the stunt, Derulo revealed that he’s already noticed weight gain. 

“It’s not just from eating the burgers!” he added. “Your appetite—your stomach—grows. So I’ve just been hungry since then. Like, I wake up every day and I’m like, ‘Damn, I’m hungry!'”

Watch the complete Daily Pop interview in the above clip.

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Breonna Taylor’s Mom Recalls Heartbreaking Phone Call on the Night of Daughter’s Death

Breonna Taylor’s Mom Recalls Heartbreaking Phone Call on the Night of Daughter’s Death

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Samantha Schnurr

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Fri., Jun. 12, 2020 1:46 PM

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Now PlayingUp NextBreonna Taylor Remembered By Celebs on 27th Birthday

While people around the country call out Breonna Taylor‘s name, her mother is faced with the devastating loss of her daughter in the quiet moments. 

In a remote interview on Friday’s Today, Tamika Palmer reflected on the loss of her 26-year-old daughter, who was fatally shot in the early hours of March 13 by police officers who had been granted a no-knock search warrant in connection with a drug investigation and forced entry into her home. The family’s attorney Lonita Baker denied that Taylor had been involved in any drug activity. 

When asked “when does it hit home the gravity of what happened,” Palmer told Today‘s Sheinelle Jones, “It just never stops, but it’s those moments when it’s quiet—it becomes extremely loud in my head and I just never imagined life without her.”

Palmer also remembered the call she got from her daughter’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, around the time Taylor had been shot. “He called me and said that somebody kicked in the door and he thinks Breonna was shot and he was yelling for her and I was like, ‘Where is she?’ And he said he couldn’t see,” she told Jones. 

According to NBC, citing a lawsuit filed by Palmer, Taylor and Walker—who was sleeping with her at the Kentucky apartment when officers arrived—suspected the home was being broken into. Walker fired his licensed gun and reportedly shot one officer in the leg. The officers fired back, shooting Taylor multiple times. Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine asked the court to dismiss attempted murder and assault charges against Walker while investigations are underway. 

Read

John Legend Writes Personal Tribute to Breonna Taylor on Her 27th Birthday

Meanwhile, there has been dispute over whether the officers identified themselves and knocked on the door before forcing their way into the home.

As Taylor’s mother said on Today, “Kenny and the seven other neighbors that live there stated that nobody heard them announce themselves.”

“Kenny called the police,” Palmer pointed out to Jones. “If you tell me you’re the police, I’m not going to call the police.” 

In March, Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville’s city council is now banning the practice of no-knock warrants like the one that led to her death. @SheinelleJones spoke with Breonna Taylor’s family about their push for justice. pic.twitter.com/bH024ykFi7

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 12, 2020

Taylor’s death has since captivated nationwide attention and protest. According to retiring Police Chief Steve Conrad, a sergeant and two detectives were placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into the shooting, per the Louisville Courier Journal. On Wednesday, Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder confirmed he placed the detective who applied for the search warrant into Taylor’s home on administrative reassignment. On Thursday, “Breonna’s Law,” named in her honor, was unanimously voted to pass by the Louisville, Kentucky, Metro Council, banning the use of no-knock warrants. 

“Now that everybody knows her name, it does bring comfort because we’re no longer fighting this alone,” Taylor’s sister, Juniyah Palmer, told Jones. “It’s everybody fighting for her.”

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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Angelina Jolie Speaks Out on “Intolerable” System That “Might Not Protect” Daughter Zahara

Angelina Jolie Speaks Out on "Intolerable" System That "Might Not Protect" Daughter Zahara

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Cydney Contreras

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Fri., Jun. 12, 2020 2:01 PM

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Now PlayingUp NextAngelina Jolie Donates $1 Million Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Angelina Jolie said she is working to create a world where her daughter Zahara Jolie-Pitt will be protected from “racism and discrimination.”

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar U.K., the Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees revealed that the recent pandemic and ongoing political unrest has shifted her perspective on the humanitarian work she does. Jolie explained that for the past 20-years, she’s worked internationally to combat issues across the board, but now, she intends to “rethink the needs and suffering within my own country.”

“There are more than 70 million people who have had to flee their homes worldwide because of war and persecution—and there is racism and discrimination in America. A system that protects me but might not protect my daughter—or any other man, woman or child in our country based on skin color—is intolerable,” she explained. 

Jolie adopted a 6-month-old Zahara from an Ethiopian orphanage in 2005. Though her now-estranged husband Brad Pitt, accompanied her on her trip to meet Zahara, he didn’t formally adopt Zahara and Maddox Jolie-Pitt until a year later. 

For this reason, Jolie said she hopes to see true reform in the United States. 

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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Kids Through the Years

She continued, “We need to progress beyond sympathy and good intentions to laws and policies that actually address structural racism and impunity. Ending abuses in policing is just the start. It goes far beyond that, to all aspects of society, from our education system to our politics.”

Masatoshi Okauchi/Shutterstock

The mother-of-6 said that she believes these changes are already taking place, explaining, “It feels like the world is waking up, and people are forcing a deeper reckoning within their societies.”

Despite these pressing issues, the Tomb Raider star shared that she’s trying to prioritize her kids, whom she shares with ex Brad Pitt. “Like most parents, I focus on staying calm so my children don’t feel anxiety from me on top of all they are worrying about. I put all my energy into them,” the matriarch explained. 

Jolie previously revealed in April that she and the kids were all “locked in and doing all right,” amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Additionally, a source shared in March that the five youngest of the Jolie-Pitt children were still visiting their father and social distancing. “”All the kids are home with Angelina but they have continued seeing Brad and go over for their regular visits,” the insider said.

To learn how to take action and get involved with the Black Lives Matter movement, please click here.

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Siesta Key Star Alex Kompothecras’ Girlfriend Gives Birth to Baby Girl

Siesta Key Star Alex Kompothecras’ Girlfriend Gives Birth to Baby Girl

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McKenna Aiello

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Fri., Jun. 12, 2020 2:15 PM

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Siesta Key star Alex Kompothecras is officially a dad. 

Alex’s mom, Beth Bronson-Kompothecras, confirmed that his girlfriend, Alyssa Salerno, gave birth to a baby girl.

“Our hearts are full of love as Gary and I welcome our first grandchild,” she gushed in an Instagram announcement posted Thursday, June 12. “She is beautiful…there are no words. Congratulations Alyssa and Alex you are going to be amazing parents! We love you all so much.” 

Back in December, the reality TV personality confirmed he and Alyssa were expecting their first child together, but the news was met with a bombshell claim from Alex’s ex-girlfriend and Siesta Key co-star, Juliette Porter

“Weird how he cheated on her with me several months ago but ok,” Juliette wrote on Instagram at the time. 

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Siesta Key Romance Report

Alex, 25, never publicly addressed Juliette’s allegations, though in a teaser for the upcoming Siesta Key season, which premieres next Tuesday, fans see Juliette break the news to Alyssa that she and Alex hooked up during a trip to Nashville. 

“He thinks that he can do anything he wants and get away with it but she deserves to know,” Juliette says, before telling Alyssa over the phone, “I f–ked your boyfriend in Nashville.” 

E! News recently caught up with Juliette about her decision to address the matter with Alyssa directly. 

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Now PlayingUp NextPregnant Celebrities 2020: See Which Stars Are Currently Expecting

“I wanted Alex to tell her,” she shared. “I gave him ample opportunities. It had been a good amount of time since Nashville happened and I had texted him here and there like, ‘Hey, I really don’t feel comfortable with this. I just want to move on and I don’t feel like I can fully move on until she knows.’ He was manipulating me and I got pushed to the edge.”

Juliette, who has a new man in her life following a split from The Bachelor’s Robby Hayes, has yet to address the birth of Alex and Alyssa’s newborn. 

See all the drama play out when Siesta Key returns Tuesday, 16 at 8 p.m. on MTV.

—Reporting by Mike Vulpo

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Watch Nikki Bella Find Out If She’s Having a Baby Boy or Girl!

Watch Nikki Bella Find Out If She’s Having a Baby Boy or Girl!

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Allison Crist

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Thu., Jun. 11, 2020 7:00 PM

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Now PlayingUp NextNikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev’s Baby Gender Reveal

Drum roll, please!

Total Bellas fans likely found out that Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev are expecting their first child together long before tonight’s season finale, but the engaged couple did reveal something else they’ve been keeping under wraps: their baby’s sex!

The big announcement came at a themed party that paid homage to Nikki and Brie Bella‘s Mexican heritage, and after the latter led a countdown among family and friends, Nikki broke open a piñata, revealing tons of blue confetti! That’s right, Nikki and Artem Chigvintsev are having a boy!

“I’m so excited that Nicole and Artem are having a boy,” Brie said in a confessional. “I knew…I really, in my heart, I just felt it for her.”

She added that a boy will be “perfect” for Nikki’s personality.

“I think you and your little boy will have such a great bond,” Brie told her sister. “I do. I really feel that.”

Nikki and Artem’s big baby news also coincides with E!’s announcement that season six of Total Bellas will premiere this fall! The new season will follow the twins’ births as Nikki navigates the joys of parenthood and Brie becomes a mom of two.

Read on for more exciting moments from tonight’s Total Bellas season finale.

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Nikki Bella’s Pregnancy Pics

Before the reveal party, Artem found out he’s going to be a dad and his reaction was pure joy. Nikki broke the news to her fiancé by leaving a positive pregnancy test in his suitcase he was packing, and though Nikki’s initial response was, ‘Oh s–t,’ Artem was elated.

“Let’s have a baby!” he said while picking Nikki up.

“It’s just unreal,” Artem expressed while smiling ear-to-ear. “I mean, I’ll be a dad. I’m just lost for words.”

He was also thrilled to find out that Brie’s pregnant, too. Nikki, however, was hesitant to tell her—especially since she was still in shock herself.

“I have wanted to be a mom for my whole life. But everything that I planned out for the next five years just happened today. I think about how I’ve been feeling about Artem and our proposal and that it’s too fast, and now we’re gonna have a kid,” Nikki explained in a confessional. “Is Brie gonna be upset because she’s gonna think I stole her thunder? There’s so much going on in my head right now. It wants to explode.”

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Is Nikki Bella Ready to Get Engaged to Artem?

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Now PlayingUp NextNikki & Artem’s Gender Reveal Party: “Total Bellas” Recap (S5, Ep11)

Unfortunately, Brie wasn’t exactly thrilled to hear the news—not because she thought Nikki was stealing “her thunder,” but because she didn’t want her sister to “rush” into becoming a mom.

“…I feel like everything’s been rushed with her lately. And I don’t want to take away from her having this child because it’s such a beautiful thing, but when someone tells you that they feel like things have been moving too fast, and less than 24 hours later, they tell you they’re carrying that person’s baby, how does one handle all that?” Brie pondered aloud to the Total Bellas cameras. “I just want to make sure she has a strong head on her shoulders because her whole life is about to change.”

Nikki accused Brie of being “mean,” but when it came time for her first ultrasound, Nikki no longer cared if people thought she and Artem were moving too fast.

“Hearing the heartbeat and seeing our baby move…I don’t even know how to put it into words. Like, the feeling right now,” Nikki explained. “Seeing Artem get so emotional just melts me and it makes me feel more in love with him. That’s going to be the father of my child! In this moment right now, I’m like, I don’t give a f–k what anyone says.” 

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Now PlayingUp NextNikki Bella Gets Engaged to Artem: “Total Bellas” Recap (S5, Ep10)

Nikki was also able to come to terms specifically with her engagement to Artem, thanks to a conversation with her mom, Kathy Colace. She reassured her daughter that she’s not going to make the same mistakes she did with her father—something Nikki said she desperately needed to hear.

“I have to let go of my past. I don’t have to bring it into my future, because it’s my story going forward and not my mother’s,” Nikki reflected. “I’m just excited for the future—for him to be a father, us to raise a child together, to get married and to just let go. Whatever our life is, it is.”

The twins eventually made up as well, with Brie apologizing for being too “harsh.” From then on, the two became even more inseparable as their pregnancies progressed

“I just can’t believe I’m pregnant with my sister. Like, at first it caught me off guard and it upset me a little bit,” Brie said. “But I have to be there for my sister. And I want to be supportive and I want to make this one of those journeys I’m gonna remember my whole life.”

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Brie Bella’s Pregnancy Pics

A montage of the sisters doing things like comparing bumps and indulging in cravings gave Total Bellas fans a look into the twins’ pregnancy journeys, which they said have been “identical,” even down to their symptoms.

Brie’s husband, Daniel Bryan (born Bryan Danielson) explained that “when it comes to Brie and Nicole, he’s “never surprised by anything.”

“So being pregnant at the same time, it makes sense because they are so in sync,” Bryan added.

Despite being thrilled to give his and Brie’s daughter a sibling, he was admittedly annoyed at times with what he described as Nikki having “more influence” on Brie than him. This was especially the case when it came to the reveal of their baby’s sex—Nikki wanted to have a joint reveal party, while Bryan wanted to keep it a surprise. In the beginning, Brie sided with Nikki.

“My husband doesn’t want to find out the gender of our baby, but I’m pregnant with my twin sister. Like, this is something we could have fun together with,” Brie reasoned. “We can plan together [and] go shopping together when we both know our genders.”

Read

Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan Confront Their Relationship Issues on a Heartbreaking Total Bellas

While discussing the matter with Brie, Nikki and Artem, Bryan shared his feelings on the matter: “You and I have spoken for hours about how we want a surprise, and it takes five minutes of Nicole saying, ‘Hey, we can hit piñatas together!’ Sold!”

Brie ultimately decided to stick to the idea of a surprise, especially since she and Bryan were “in a good place.”

Watch the full Total Bellas episode here.

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Publicist Nanci Ryder Dead at 67 After Battle With ALS

Publicist Nanci Ryder Dead at 67 After Battle With ALS

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McKenna Aiello

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Thu., Jun. 11, 2020 7:27 PM

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Hollywood is in mourning over the loss of beloved publicist Nanci Ryder

On Thursday, June 11, Ryder, who battled ALS for nearly six years, died at the age of 67. Longtime friend Bryan Lourd confirmed the news to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Ryder’s A-list clientele included the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger, Courteney Cox, Leonardo DiCaprio, Blake Lively, Jennifer LopezMichael J. Fox and many more. Following her 2014 diagnosis of the progressive neurodegenerative disease, celebrities rallied around Ryder at annual Walk to Defeat ALS events, often wearing “Team Nanci” t-shirts to show their support. 

In a recent interview with Brain & Life Magazine, Zellweger and Cox reflected on their years-long friendship with the co-founder of BWR Public Relations.

“I would do anything for Nanci,” the Friends star shared. “It makes me feel a little less helpless. I can show up and hope that by my showing up, she knows I love her. If there’s one extra person who finds out about this disease, I’m doing something. But it’s not enough.” 

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Celebrity Deaths: 2020’s Fallen Stars

Zellweger also remained one of Ryder’s closest confidantes as the disease worsened.

“Every time I see her,” the Oscar winner shared, “I don’t know what to expect in terms of how she’ll be or how my own emotions will be. But like any friendship, it has stages and evolves. You adapt. You trust that the love you feel will help you navigate. You just show up. I have accepted that this is how I will go forward in our friendship. I will continue to love her, to advocate for her, and to show up.”

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Now PlayingUp NextIn Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2020

After news of her passing broke, stars took to social media to honor Ryder with personal tributes. 

“Absolutely gutted to hear of Nanci Ryder’s passing,” Emmy Rossum tweeted. “Nanci was a beacon for me in my career. She was an absolutely joy to be around. I’ll miss her wicked sense of humor, her gossip, her laugh, her emails, her spirit, her smarts, her kindness and love. I’ll miss her so much.”

Photographer Brian Bowen Smith shared on Instagram in part, “Nanci you have touched so many people and paved the way for even more. Rest well my girl. I love you.”

In lieu of flowers, multiple outlets report donations can be made in Ryder’s memory to teamnanci.org, which supports the ALS Association Golden West Chapter.

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How The King of Staten Island Allowed Pete Davidson to Finally Process His Pain

How The King of Staten Island Allowed Pete Davidson to Finally Process His Pain

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Billy Nilles

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Fri., Jun. 12, 2020 12:00 AM

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Now PlayingUp NextHow Pete Davidson Brought His Real-Life Trauma to New Flick

To paraphrase the immortal words of Carrie Fisher, Pete Davidson is finally taking his broken heart and turning it into art.

Since his early days as a teenage stand-up comic through to becoming one of the youngest people to ever join the cast of Saturday Night Live—not to mention its first cast member born in the 1990s—the trauma of Davidson’s childhood had been a part of his story. But never has he tackled the pain with such scope and unflinching totality as he has in the new film The King of Staten Island.

“When you see someone like Pete, you know there’s a lot going on. You really don’t know what it is. I think that a lot of people are interested in his struggle,” Judd Apatow, who not only directed the film—available now on demand—but co-wrote it with Davidson and his best friend Dave Sirus, said in an inside look at the movie courtesy of Universal Pictures. “They want to know, ‘How are you doing? What happened to you?’ The King of Staten Island is an opportunity for Pete to tell you about himself and to tell you about his feelings and his journey.”

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Movies to Be Released Early On-Demand and Streaming in 2020

For the unfamiliar, Davidson was seven years old when his father Scott Davidson, a New York City firefighter, died in service during the September 11 terrorist attacks. To suffer such a devastating loss at such a young age was, as he told The New York Times in 2015, “overwhelming.” He began acting out in school, at one point ripping out his hair to the point of baldness, and struggled with suicidal thoughts. 

“And it was really so hard for him to recover and I would even say it’s just been recently that he’s finding his way and being okay,” Amy Davidson, the comedian’s beloved mother, says in the featurette.

Since his first stand-up performance at 16 in a Staten Island bowling alley, Davidson’s career has been steady upward trajectory, with appearances on Guy Code, Wild ‘N Out, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A cameo in Apatow’s Trainwreck, which co-starred SNL’s Bill Hader, helped him land the audition for the long-running NBC late-night comedy series. He was only 20 when he made his first appearance on the show.

Along the way, Davidson has been disarmingly honest about his struggles, sharing his diagnoses with both Chron’s disease and borderline personality disorder. But it’s only with this latest film that he’s dared to expose himself so fully.

Mary Cybulski / Universal Pictures

“One of the first conversations we had was, ‘How autobiographical should The King of Staten Island be,'” Apatow admits. “We decided that it could be completely fictional, but it’s an imagining of what Pete’s life would’ve been if he didn’t find comedy and he dreams of being a tattoo artist.”

In the film, Davidson plays Scott, a young man in his mid-20s stuck in an arrested development since the death of his firefighter father when he was only seven years old. Over the course of the film, he’s forced to finally grapple with his grief and begin to move forward with his life. Marisa Tomei co-stars as Scott’s mom Margie, serving as Amy’s surrogate. Meanwhile, Apatow’s daughter Maude Apatow plays Scott’s younger sister Claire, the fictional version of Davidson’s younger sister Casey.

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See Pete Davidson’s Touching Tribute To His Late Dad

“It’s pretty transparent as I could be,” Davidson tells E! News of how he approached telling his story. “We really wanted to follow this family and tragedy and how it affected them. And we wanted to show how you could overcome tragedy through life experiences. So, I think we kept it pretty much—everything that I wanted to do I got to do.”

Sister Casey addressed the effect the film had on her brother in the first look featurette, explaining, “I think this movie stirred up a lot of emotions for him, though. Both good and bad. But I think it’ll be therapeutic.”

As Davidson tells it, his kid sis is absolutely right. “I think when you’re able to share a story like this at this magnitude and with so many people, it really allowed me to be as open and honest as I could be and it helped me deal with a lot of my personal demons,” he says. “This was something, one of the goals for this film was to allow me to put my past behind me and I think we were able to do that.”

 

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Davidson’s other best friend Ricky Velez, one of many important figures in the comedian’s life to make an appearance in the film, admits that it’s “cool” to see his pal “take something that’s so vulnerable” and bring it to life. “I think a lot of people don’t understand Pete and this is a nice little look into his life,” he continues.

While the film may give moviegoers perhaps only familiar with the comedian through his recent high-profile romances the opportunity to get to know who he is a bit better, for Davidson, the film’s intention was a little simpler. 

“The movie is like my love letter to my mom and trying to end that part of my life,” he says in the featurette. “I feel like maybe we got to a place where we could finally let go a little bit.”

Now, the king can look forward to what’s next.

The King of Staten Island is available now on demand.

(E! and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

 

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