Happy holidays, Hamptonites! I’m back with more East Hampton pop culture gossip after some time away.
Did you know that Sag Harbor’s Joy Behar recently celebrated 20 years on ABC’s daytime talk show The View? That’s a pretty big deal. Behar has been with the show since the very beginning (she took a brief break in 2014), and has seen a lot of change on the often-controversial series. The staunchly liberal co-host is known for doling out frank, no-nonsense opinions and her popular phrase, “So what? Who cares?”
Behar famously walked offstage during a heated confrontation with guest and fellow East Ender Bill O’Reilly, who she believed made anti-Muslim comments on the show. She’s also locked horns with conservative personality Ann Coulter, disagreed with former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on just about everything, and recently responded to musician Kid Rock calling her a “bitch” on Fox News by saying, “This bitch and these bitches will be happy to have you on the show and have a beer.”
But Behar’s not all controversy. She’s also a strong supporter of LGBTQIA issues, a talented comedienne, the author of five books and she both participated in the spirited pre-awards discussion and read the winning essay during the Dan’s Papers 2018 Literary Festival. Here’s to another 20 years of being outrageous and awesome, Ms. Behar!
Behar isn’t the only East Ender celebrating a 20-year anniversary. East Hampton’s Mariska Hargitay is currently in her 20th season of NBC’s crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The daughter of bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay and actress Jayne Mansfield, Hargitay is synonymous with the popular series, having won a Golden Globe and an Emmy playing Detective (and now Lieutenant) Olivia Benson since the show’s inception.
It’s not the lightest show—Hargitay’s Benson leads a team of NYPD detectives who specialize in sex crimes—and it’s often tough to watch, but Hargitay’s character is a strong, reassuring presence and anchors the show with a sense of morality and right. Benson has been through it all: She’s dealt with her alcoholic and abusive mother, learned she has a half-brother, been kidnapped by serial killer/rapist William Lewis, been held hostage, and adopted a little boy. Over the years, Hargitay has become a real-life advocate for survivors of sexual assault, having started the Joyful Heart Foundation.
In other news, Showtime’s Montauk drama The Affair is returning for its fifth and final season in summer 2019. The series will continue the ongoing story of Noah Solloway (played by Dominic West), whose affair with Alison (Ruth Wilson) began a series of events that changed the lives of Noah’s wife, Helen (Maura Tierney), Alison’s husband, Cole (Joshua Jackson), and many others.
The last season will bring about myriad changes; Wilson will not return as Alison, as her character was murdered at the end of the fourth season. Jackson will not return in a regular capacity, either. Anna Paquin has joined the cast as Joanie, the grown daughter of Alison and Cole, in a story that jumps ahead at least 20 years as Joanie returns to a climate change-ravaged Montauk to learn the truth behind her mother’s death. Sounds exciting, no?
Congrats to Behar and Hargitay on their anniversaries, and to Paquin for landing her plum role on The Affair. Here’s to an interesting new year on the East End!