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Stars say ‘Walking Dead’ helped them navigate real pandemic



Oct. 11 (UPI) — The stars of Fear the Walking Dead said some of what they’ve learned on the zombie-apocalypse drama has come in handy while living their real lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lennie James — who plays Morgan, a hero who carries a bo staff — told UPI in a cast zoom video conference with reporters that training with the weapon has helped him with social distancing.

“If I see a group of people — I live in an apartment block — and if I am walking down, i can keep the six-feet distance from a number of people at the same time,” James said. “I do find myself able to pivot quite easily to make sure I am the distance that I want to be without it feeling like I am being impolite.”

“We had a mini-move when all this went down and I realized our emergency kits were expired and I was like, ‘I’m gonna update those,'” said Jenna Elfman, who plays June.

“Having been on the show actually gave me a much more comprehensive view about what I might need,” Elfman said. “When something hits like [the coronavirus pandemic] and you don’t have enough information and you see it’s got this global aspect to it, you hunker down and you protect your family.”

Danay Garcia, who plays Luciana, has adopted a “Don’t talk to strangers” policy in recent months.

“Just don’t approach people that you don’t know,” Garcia laughed.

“It’s weird because the pandemic on our show, we know who is infected,” she said, referring to how it is easier to tell who is a zombie than it is to determine in real life if a human has the coronavirus.

James doesn’t know if viewers in 2020 will see the show through a new lens given their own recent experiences.

“We’re always going to be too close to it,” James said of himself and his castmates.

“For the fans of the show and the people watching, I’ll be really interested to see whether or not — having gone through their own pandemic — their viewing of our particular version of an apocalyptic pandemic is different before and after.”

Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead is set to debut Sunday on AMC.

Representatives from the show mothership show The Walking Dead and its spinoffs Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond participated in this weekend’s virtual New York Comic Con.

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Vernon Davis cut from ‘Dancing with the Stars’ competition



Oct. 19 (UPI) — Retired NFL player Vernon Davis was voted off of Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars in Los Angeles on Monday night.

Davis was partnered with professional dancer Peta Murgatroyd for the ABC competition series.

Charles Oakley, Carole Baskin, Anne Heche and Jesse Metcalfe were previously eliminated.

Still in the running for the coveted mirror-ball trophy are Cheer coach Monica Aldama, The Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe, Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause, actresses Skai Jackson and Justina Machado, reality TV stars Jeannie Mai and Nev Schulman, Backstreet Boys singer A.J. McLean, rapper Nelly and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

Tyra Banks is the show’s host.

Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough are the judges this season.

The Bachelorette‘s Hannah Brown and her pro partner Alan Bersten won Season 28 in November.

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‘Big Lebowski’ icon Jeff Bridges announces lymphoma diagnosis



Oct. 19 (UPI) — Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges announced on social media Monday that he is battling cancer.

“As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light,” Bridges tweeted, referring to the iconic character he played in the 1998 comedy film, The Big Lebowski.

“I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma,” he added. “Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good. I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.

“I’m profoundly grateful for the love and support from my family and friends,” the 70-year-old actor concluded. “Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. And, while I have you, please remember to go vote. Because we are all in this together.”

Bridges is known for his roles in The Last Picture Show, Starman, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Fisher King, True Grit, Crazy Heart, The Giver and Hell or Highwater.

He is the son of the late screen star Lloyd Bridges and brother of actor Beau Bridges.

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Famous birthdays for Oct. 20: Kamala Harris, Viggo Mortensen



Oct. 20 (UPI) — Those born on this date are under the sign of Libra.

They include:

— English astronomer/architect Christopher Wren in 1632

— French poet Arthur Rimbaud in 1854

— James Robert Mann, Illinois congressman and author of the “White Slave Traffic Act,” also known as the “Mann Act,” in 1856

— Educator John Dewey in 1859

— Actor Bela Lugosi in 1882

— Jazz composer Jelly Roll Morton in 1890

— Longtime Yankee Stadium announcer Bob Sheppard in 1910

— Country singer Grandpa (Louis Marshall) Jones in 1913

— Humorist Art Buchwald in 1925

File Photo by J.C. Anderson/UPI

— Baseball Hall of Fame member Mickey Mantle in 1931

— Actor William Christopher in 1932

— Actor Jerry Orbach in 1935

— Singer/songwriter Wanda Jackson in 1937 (age 83)

File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI

— Baseball Hall of Fame member Juan Marichal in 1937 (age 83)

— Poet Robert Pinsky in 1940 (age 80)

— Writer Lewis Grizzard in 1946

— Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Tom Petty in 1950

— Film director Danny Boyle in 1956 (age 64)

— Actor Viggo Mortensen in 1958 (age 62)

File Photo by David Silpa/UPI

— Canadian astronaut Julie Payette in 1963 (age 57)

— Sen. Kamala Harris in 1964 (age 56)

— Political commentator Michelle Malkin in 1970 (age 50)

— Singer Dannii Minogue in 1971 (age 49)

— Rapper Snoop Dogg in 1971 (age 49)

— Actor John Krasinski in 1979 (age 41)

— Actor Alona Tal in 1983 (age 37)

— Actor Jennifer Freeman in 1985 (age 35)

— Rapper A$AP Ferg, born Darold Durard Brown Ferguson Jr., in 1988 (age 32)

File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI

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