Sideshow: Vargas back to rehab

ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas on Aug. 4. She has checked back into rehab for alcohol dependency.
ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas on Aug. 4. She has checked back into rehab for alcohol dependency. (DAVE KOTINSKY / Getty Images)
Posted: August 20, 2014

A second rehab for Vargas

ABC News reporter Elizabeth Vargas is doing a second rehab stint for alcoholism, she and the network announced on Sunday.

Vargas, co-anchor of ABC's 20/20, revealed in an e-mail statement that she entered treatment over the weekend. "As so many other recovering alcoholics know, overcoming the disease can be a long and incredibly difficult process," Vargas said. "I feel I have let myself, my coworkers and most importantly my family down and for that I am ashamed and sorry."

An ABC statement said the network stands "squarely behind" Vargas, who joined ABC in 1996. "We look forward to having her back at ABC News when she feels ready to return," the network statement said.

Vargas, 51, is married to singer-songwriter Marc Cohn. They have two children. She spent several weeks in treatment last fall and acknowledged her alcohol problems in a January interview on Good Morning America.

Honoring Debbie

The Screen Actors Guild will pay tribute to actress and SideShow favorite Debbie Reynolds for being a great actress and a great human being. SAG announced Monday that it will bestow its 2014 Life Achievement Award, the guild's highest honor, on the entertainer at the Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony in January. The award is the union's highest accolade.

Reynolds, 82, has appeared in more than 50 films, and in two Broadway shows and two TV series. On the humanitarian side, she and other then-young Hollywood stars got together in 1955 and founded the Thalians, a charity dedicated to educating the public about mental illness. Reynolds is president emerita of the organization, which has raised more than $30 million over the years.

'Rush Hour' star slows down

Martial arts can take it out of a guy after all those years of kicks and chop. Thus it is that actor Jackie Chan admits he doesn't bounce back as he used to. "The next morning, you realize, 'Wow, it hurts!' " says Chan, 60. "Now my body tells me to slow down 30 percent, and probably in another two years, 20 more, then 50 percent. So slowly, slowly, then I will tell the whole world [that I will] stop doing action."

Chan may be downshifting, but he operated in high gear for what he calls his last "big" action movie, Chinese Zodiac. In that flick, Jackie goes flying around everywhere. "That's not special effects, that's not Iron Man, not Spider-Man, that's the real Jackie Chan," he says. And it's been that way in all his films. And his next flick, Dragon Blade with John Cusack and Adrien Brody, will feature swordplay.

Then, says Jackie, he'll really, really ease up: "Slowly, slowly I will let more people do it for me. Myself, I'll only do the tight shot, close shot, otherwise the big wide shot, I'll let someone else do it."

New talker for Ferguson

Craig Ferguson, the most bracing Scottish import since Glenlivet, may be back on the air with an early-evening talk show in September 2015. Ferguson, who will step down as host of CBS's The Late Late Show in December, would preside over a half-hour syndicated series slotted just before prime time, said a source. His robot skeleton sidekick, Geoff, would be part of the show.

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