Few of us get through life without a little help along the way. It may come from a mentor, a friend or a perfect stranger. Actors are no different, though they've chosen a field where the chances of success are milliliters thin.
Ben Affleck ("The Town") says it was filmmaker Kevin Smith who helped him. "Kevin is the reason 'Good Will Hunting' got made," says Affleck of the film he and Matt Damon wrote and starred in.
"Kevin is the reason I have a career and am playing meatier roles and not being stalked by obnoxious bad guys, bullies," says Affleck.
"Kevin believed in me. When we were doing 'Chasing Amy' he told Miramax — who'd already passed on 'Good Will Hunting' initially — that they should read the script. And that's the reason we got it made. He's always been a big believer in me; I owe the guy a big part of my career if not the whole thing."
Mary McCormack ("In Plain Sight") credits executive producer Steven Bochco ("NYPD Blue") when she was cast in his "Murder One." "I remember the first episode after the pilot was me, my trial, so there were these huge speeches, like closing arguments that were pages long, that they would rewrite the day before. I had no experience. I worked hard and I think I pulled if off enough to keep my job. I remember going to Steven Bochco and telling him, 'You have to bear with me. I'm completely over my head, but I'll work hard and my learning curve will be sharp, but you have to look away for a while, it's not going to be pretty.' He said, 'That's all I ask.' He was wonderful, really great and wrote more and more for me. It was a great way for me to learn."
Jolie talks kids
Angelina Jolie says her 6-year-old son Pax is a better cook than she is.
The actress opens up about her home life, including Pax's culinary skills, in the December issue of Vogue magazine.
In the article, readers get a glimpse inside the Jolie-Pitt household with its six kids, bulldog named Jacques and nannies who speak Vietnamese to Pax and Cambodian to Maddox.
Jolie says she feels her oldest son Maddox, now 9, almost raised her in a way. She adopted him in 2001. Maddox seems aware of his mother's feelings. He encourages her when she cooks breakfast, saying "Good job!"
Jolie shares some of those "every mom" struggles that parents everywhere can identify with. She and longtime partner Brad Pitt make sure one of them is always home with the kids while the other is working.
Yours for $4 million
A suburban New York house owned by Mikhail Baryshnikov is on the market for an asking price of about $4 million.
The Wall Street Journal says the ballet great and his wife, Lisa Rinehart, are becoming empty-nesters.
Baryshnikov bought the house in 1981. The 19th-century home features six bedrooms, 5 1/2 bathrooms and sweeping views of the Hudson River.
Baryshnikov starred onstage at the American Ballet Theatre and on the TV show "Sex and the City."
He opened New York City's Baryshnikov Arts Center in 2005 and is the artistic director.
Monroe to be featured in Times Square ad
The late father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe , will be playing soon in New York's Times Square to promote the Kentucky celebration of the centennial of his birth.
The convention and visitors bureau for Owensboro and Daviess County, Ky., is putting a 15-second ad on a digital full-motion billboard on New York's 42nd Street.
Visitors bureau executive director Karen Miller told the Messenger-Inquirer of Owensboro that the spot will feature Monroe, bluegrass music and Owensboro and will run 18 times a day for 48 days at a cost of $15,000.
It will run from Nov. 15 to Jan. 1, times that will cover the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration.
Monroe died in 1996 and is buried in Rosine, Ky.
Another year older
Today's birthdays: Rhythm-and-blues singer Ruby Nash Curtis (Ruby and the Romantics), 71... rock musician Booker T. Jones (Booker T. & the MGs), 66... singer-songwriter Neil Young, 65... actress Megan Mullally, 52... actor Vincent Irizarry (TV: "All My Children"), 51... actress Angela Watson, 36... actor Ryan Gosling, 30.