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The Year’s Inspirational Pop Culture Moments (Part 1)

by Amy and Nancy Harrington, Pop Culture Passionistas
As 2010 comes to an end, we look back and pick our Ten Most Inspirational Pop Culture Moments of the Year. Check back next week to see the final five.
10. Balthazar Getty Reunites a Family
Former “Brothers and Sisters” star Balthazar Getty took a beating in the tabloids over the last couple of years. His highly publicized relationship with starlet Sienna Miller, while he was still a married father of five, didn’t sit well with a lot of fans. But Balthazar made a push for publicity this year — not to promote a new show but to help out a dear friend. In early October, Getty was seen on the streets of Los Angeles handing out fliers in search of a man named Rocky. The mentally challenged son of friends had been missing for two years, but the family had not given up hope that they would find him. Thanks to Balthazar’s act of kindness, a 40-year-old man fitting Rocky’s description was identified in San Antonio, Texas. His family quickly hopped on a plane and they were reunited. Nora Walker would be proud.
9. Portia de Rossi Goes to the Light
Portia de Rossi has had to keep some of Hollywood’s deepest secrets. For years she hid her homosexuality, fearing that it might impact her ability to get roles. And she now admits, that she was on a 300-calorie a day diet that whittled her down to a shocking 82 pounds. In her 2010 memoir, “The Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain,” she discussed her battle with bulimia and anorexia, and her dark existence in the closet. These days, Portia DeGeneres (her new legal name) is married to talk show host Ellen — out of the closet, healthy and clearly happy. And very brave to share her emotional journey, not only in her new book but with Oprah and Ellen on their talk shows.
8. Bringing Home the Bacon Kevin Bacon
Every once in a while, an idea is so brilliant we think, “Really, no one thought of that before?” Such is the case with the all bacon Kevin Bacon sculpture. Yes, that’s correct. J&D Foods in Seattle, Washington commissioned the life sized Bacon bust by Mike Lahue in conjunctions with their partners at What Do Bacon Do? The wood based sculpture is covered in seven bottles worth of bacon bits and five coats of lacquer. So no matter how much you love Kevin Bacon, be warned–this is not edible art. The piece was auctioned on eBay to benefit the children’s cancer charity Ashley’s Team. A bidder simply known as t***r purchased the sculpture on October 9 for $4,150.06. Even, PETA will have a hard time fighting against that cause.
7. Sean Penn Dedicates Himself to Haiti
“The Bourne Identity” director and “Covert Affairs” producer Doug Liman spent time in earthquake torn Haiti with Academy Award winner and humanitarian Sean Penn. In a conference call interview, he explained Penn’s dedication to the rebuilding of the ravaged country: “When I first got there with Sean it was right after the earthquake, nobody was living inside. Everybody was living in a tent. Most people were living on the runway, one of the taxiways at the airport because that was sort of semi-safe. Where Sean was out in the middle of Port au Prince at this… country club and the interesting thing was when I went back a month and a half ago, almost all the other non-profits down there, those people have all moved into homes or hotels. Sean is still in literally the exact same tent he was in, in mid-January. It gives a real sense of urgency to helping these people when you yourself are living under the same conditions they are… What Sean is doing there is simply remarkable and inspirational.”
6. Eva Longoria Is “Making a Difference”
Eva Longoria is a glamorous TV actress, but when the Desperate Housewives’ cameras stop rolling and the paparazzi are done snapping photos, Eva is grounded in a very deep connection with her family – especially her oldest sister. Lisa Longoria was born intellectually disabled. To honor her sister Longoria founded the charity Eva’s Heroes. Among its events and activities, the organization offers a very special program near Corpus Christi, Texas. Eva’s Heroes Executive Director Christiane Perkins-Garcia told NBC about the opportunity for kids near Corpus Christi, “I saw the need for just a fun place for kids to go while Mom and Dad are still at work. But in a supervised and safe setting where we have staff trained to handle the special needs that are students have.”

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