Less than two weeks after she won her second consecutive SAG award for playing the scene-stealing Elka in "Hot in Cleveland," Betty White received another honor: a baby orangutan at the Los Angeles Zoo has been named Elka, and TV Land has made a 90th birthday donation in White's name to the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. "I'm truly thrilled that TV Land's generous contribution is supporting my beloved Los Angeles Zoo," says White, who got to meet her namesake and the baby's mother, Kalim, at the zoo.
Felicity Huffman wants people to eat more salad. Dole has hired the "Desperate Housewives" star as a spokesperson for its Salad'tude campaign, which encourages the consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables. The campaign will partner with and make a donation to Feeding America's fight to end hunger, and promote an online contest offering the chance to win a trip for five to Monterey, Calif., to have salad with Huffman. Find out more here.
"I'm recycling and taking my own bags to the grocery store," says Matthew Morrison, who found this week's "Spanish Teacher" episode of "Glee" a particular highlight, as he got to work with Ricky Martin. "I don't get star struck, but I was so star struck by him. Everyone was. He's so charming," says Morrison, who had a vocal battle with the Latin pop star, singing Elvis' "A Little Less Conversation" in Spanish to Martin's cover of LFMAO's "I'm Sexy and I Know It."
Multi-tasking Morrison is "starting to conceptualize my next album. I want to do a standards kind of record and I want to tour with symphonies," and he'll star opposite Cameron Diaz in the upcoming comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting." They play a couple that met on a reality dance competition show. "I was her partner and I knocked her up, so we don't know each other that well," he says, adding that he loved getting to know Diaz. "She's so funny, so cool. We had a blast." Aptly, it hits theaters May 18, in time for Mother's Day weekend.
"War Horse," "Rio," "Dolphin Tale" and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" are among the feature film nominees for the Humane Society of the United States' 26th Genesis Awards, which honor the media for the depiction of animal protection issues. "Born to Be Wild 3D," "Buck" and "One Lucky Elephant" earned feature documentary nominations. "Dancing With the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba will host the gala on March 24, and it will air as an Animal Planet special in May.
Rose McGowan expressed her care for animals with a visit to the Gentle Barn, a rescue organization in Santa Clarita, Calif., that houses 130 creatures including cows, horses, goats, chickens, pigs, llamas, turkeys, emus and peacocks. McGowan, a regular supporter of animal rights and rescue non-profits, participated in the Gentle Barn's "Hug-a-Cow" experience, and was surprised when a newly rescued goat was named "Rosie" in her honor. The Gentle Barn welcomes visitors on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.gentlebarn.org.
For hip-hop musician Talib Kweli, becoming more eco-conscious is admittedly a challenge. "I'm used to paper plates and throwing things out and excess, but I ride my bike everywhere in the city when it's warm out and I'm way better with my recycling," says the Brooklyn, N.Y., resident. "I drink a lot of local wines and support local restaurants. I've started to turn off the lights and unplug stuff. But I could be a lot better at it," says Kweii, noting that his 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter are "a little better about it than I am because they've come up in a generation that takes it more seriously."
Kweli is a host and commentator in a PBS "Independent Lens" special honoring Black History Month — "The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975," which examines the black power movement via footage shot by Swedish journalists but was forgotten in a vault for 30 years. Kweli, whose parents were student activists during the period, met with the filmmakers while on tour in Sweden, and their conversation was taped as he watched interviews with key leaders of the movement like Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael and Eldridge Cleaver. "It gave me a personal context for the ideas that created me," he says. Premiering Feb. 8, the documentary also features commentary by contemporary artists Erykah Badu and ?uestlove.
On the music side, Kweli is collaborating with Mos Def on new music for their Black Star project and planning to release an album with his group Idle Warship in March, titled "Prisoner of Conscious."
Tune in: Nat Geo Wild takes an in depth look at the Mississippi River ecosystem in the three-part special "Wild Mississippi," airing in three back-to-back episodes on Feb. 12. Wild kicks off the four-part series "Maneater Manhunt" on Feb. 8 with "Tiger at Large," tracking a Nepalese tigress known to have killed at least ten people since 2008. Also on Feb. 8, PBS "Nature" presents "Raccoon Nation," focusing on how growing populations of the titular creatures survive in urban environments.
Discovery Channel is airing a series of five-minute profiles about the American Humane Association, its efforts in animal and child welfare, its place in history and how its message of compassion arose and spread. Catch them every Friday for the next four weeks.