It’s baby No. 2 for Elizabeth Banks. On Nov. 14 The Hunger Games actress, 38, announced she and her husband, producer Max Handelman, 39, recently welcomed their second son, Magnus Mitchell, via a gestational surrogate. The tot joins big brother Felix, 20 months, who was also born via surrogate. “This experience has exceeded all expectations,” Banks wrote on her website. “I now turn my attention to managing two boys under two. For which I am thankful. And all their poop. For which I am less thankful. Wish me luck.”
Former Facts of Life actress Lisa Whelchel, who is competing on this season of Survivor: Philippines, has been diagnosed with the West Nile virus. “Dr. just called with blood test results … I have West Nile. Ugh,” she tweeted on Nov. 13. The 80s star, 49, did not disclose where she got the virus but says she is recuperating. “I’m fine, just tired. Takes a year to recover.” • Allyn Rose (inset), the 24-year-old Maryland native representing Washington, D.C., in the Miss America pageant in January, announced she is having a precautionary double mastectomy after learning she is genetically predisposed to breast cancer, the disease that killed her mother. “My mom was diagnosed at 27,” she told PEOPLE. “That’s three years away from me. I’m not going to let my fear of losing this part of my femininity stop me from living.” If Rose is crowned the winner, she will wait to have the surgery until her duties are complete in January 2014. Otherwise, she will have the procedure next June.
Jenny McClendon, the mom from the WEtv reality series Raising Sextuplets, is pregnant. The star, 37, and her new husband, Levi McClendon, are about to have a baby of their own, adding to the couple’s eight children-six of hers and two of his. Jenny, better known as Jenny Masche, married Levi in March after splitting with ex-husband Bryan Masche, the father of her 5-year-old sextuplets Savannah, Bailey, Grant, Cole, Molli and Blake. “We are getting to experience this amazing miracle together and add another precious life to our already precious and abundant brood,” Jenny wrote on Imperfectwomen.com.
Lucille Bliss, the actress who voiced Smurfette on the 1980s cartoon series The Smurfs, passed away from natural causes in Costa Mesa, Calif., Nov. 8. She was 96. During her 60-year career, Bliss provided the voices for countless cartoon characters, including the original Elroy in the 1960s TV series The Jetsons and the title role in the 1950s Crusader Rabbit, the first animated series to be made specifically for television.
NO MORE TWINKIES?
Hostess Brands, the company that makes such consumer favorites as Twinkies and Wonder Bread, announced Nov. 16 it has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking permission to close its business and sell its assets, which includes the recipe for the iconic yellow spongy cream-filled cake. Founded in 1930, Hostess’s move ends one of the nation’s largest producers of baked goods. Operations at the plants have already been suspended, and stores will no longer receive products once final deliveries are shipped. “Ahhh someone save the Twinkies,” tweeted American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. “Sad day [for] childhood memories.”