trended high among worldwide Twitter topics all day Tuesday. In a New York Times op-ed, she said she'd had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that carried with it an unusually high risk of breast cancer.
The outpouring of support was unusual even for Twitter. Stars, especially, praised Jolie's resolve. Kristen Bell called her Times op-ed "admirable," and director Adam Shankman called it "beautiful." Nia Vardalos called for "a moment of quiet respect for Angelina Jolie's candor and all women's bravery in facing this choice." Marlee Matlin called her "brave, honest, strong."
There's been a rich, 40-year history of celebs raising consciousness via their mastectomy experience: Shirley Temple Black, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Olivia Newton-John, Hoda Kotb, Wanda Sykes, Sharon Osbourne, Christina Applegate, Kathy Bates, and Giuliana Rancic.
But it's no exaggeration to say the future arrived Tuesday: Jolie did something that, before long, thousands will be able to do. It's one of the first times that a public figure chose prophylactic surgery on the basis of a genetic screening. It has touched off a healthful discussion of genetics, screening, and women's health.
It already has had impact. CNN Early Start host Zoraida Sambolin, inspired, she said, by Jolie, announced her own double mastectomy Tuesday afternoon. Sambolin was diagnosed with breast cancer three weeks ago.
Yay! Aiyana Tedi Braun, a 10th grader at Haverford High School, studies composition at NYC's Juilliard School on weekends. And guess what? Her composition "Memories in Sand," commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, will be performed at 10:30 a.m. on May 23, during a "School Day" concert at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Well done, Ms. Braun!
Everything else celeb
OK, you can have your Downton Abbey fix. PBS says Season 4 will run Jan. 5-Feb. 23. Shirley MacLaine will be back, and singer Kiri Te Kanawa will somehow be involved. . . . Bill Hader is leaving Saturday Night Live after eight years. He was, among many other things, Stefon the hipster correspondent for the "Weekend Update" segment. . . . Today show host Savannah Guthrie said Monday that her bf of four years, political consultant and former Al Gore aide Mike Feldman, popped the question, and she said yup. . . . Rapper Gucci Mane (nonrap name Radric Davis) pleaded not guilty in an Atlanta court to assault charges after a fan encounter in an Atlanta nightclub.