A Brief Info about Celebs

Paul Newman: Considering the wonderful work Newman does to promote charities by donating all the profits from the Newman’s Own company to causes he champions, one would think he could catch a break in the fate department. Not so say the gods of angry karma run amok. On Monday, a new restaurant he co-owns in Westport, Connecticutt had to be closed after a frozen water pipe burst sending a flood of water all over the place. Co-owner and chef Michel Nischan told reporters that the damage was mainly cosmetic and would force him to close the Dressing Room restaurant for about a week. Visit the Newman’s Own web site to learn more about the products and profits that are used for the public good.

Mariah Carey: Her incredible pipes were on display for music fans and several employees at Playboy recently. Carey is Playboy’s Sexiest Woman in Music in the Annual “Sex and Music Issue” that will land on newsstands Friday, February 9. When asked if she would ever carry a guy home from a club, she answered, “I end up being very flirtatious, and people take it the wrong way. I’m very much a prude. But I don’t want to disappoint people, so maybe we shouldn’t discuss that.” Her guards will need to be on high alert after the Playboy issue has been seen by enough men to generate a flood of sad-eyed club-goers who will be looking for the singer at every turn.

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey: Maybe it’s time for the talk show queen to give everybody in her audience a Lear Jet. She makes more money than oceans make salt and can hold her own with any guest on this planet or from another galaxy, but that does not impress the folks in charge of the Hollywood Reporter’s Power 100, the longest-running and most widely-recognized ranking of female executive power in Hollywood. Their new list is out and Winfrey is not at the top of the mountain, not even in the top three. She placed in the eighth position. Anne Sweeney (President of Disney-ABC Television Group} took the top spot followed by Amy Pascal (Sony Pictures Entertainment executive) and Nancy Tellem (President of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group). Most of the women listed are television or motion picture executives, which proves that Winfrey deserved top billing. The executives can be fired by their companies faster than Donald Trump can straighten his hair. Winfrey owns her own company. Case closed.

Ken Jennings: The Jeopardy! king won all his loot because nobody could beat him at brain games until the 75th player, Nancy Zerg, dethroned him. Jennings was still smiling at the end because winning $2.52 million tends to make most people happy. Do you think that somebody in your family could have beaten Jennings sooner? University Games is betting that a lot of folks think that they can hold their own with the mental giant. The company announced today that it will launch its newest game, “Can You Beat Ken?,” at the American International Toy Fair when it is held at the Jacob Javitz Center February 20-23, 2005. Jennings will be on-hand to show off the new game and introduce it to the world. It sounds to me like the champion has found another way to generate some extra pocket change.

Craig Ferguson: A quick note from the late night crew. According to an unconfirmed article in the Hollywood Reporter, the former co-star of The Drew Carey Show has been chosen by CBS to replace Craig Kilborn on The Late Late Show. Ferguson had to beat out a large group of candidates that included D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black. CBS has not made an official announcement about their choice yet.

Rosa Parks: Angela Bassett only played the Civil Rights champion in the CBS award-winning film The Rosa Parks Story in 2002, but she told reporters then that Parks is an historical figure for all the ages. She was right. When the tired garment worker refused to surrender her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama almost forty years ago, Parks helped change America forever. The 91-year-old lady suffers from dementia now and was in danger of losing her Detroit apartment because her caregivers quit making the monthly rental fees. Fortunately, her landlord told reporters yesterday that his company, Riverfront Associates, will allow Parks to live her remaining days in the apartment for free. That just makes me feel good today.

Robert DeNiro: One of America’s greatest actors has been doing a lot more personal appearances since 9/11. His interviews are always a blast because DeNiro has learned how to have fun since his Tribeca Production company took on the task or helping New York City recover from the terrorist attacks. Case in point: NBC confirmed yesterday that the Raging Bull star will host Saturday Night Live on December 18. It marks the second time in two years that SNL writers have been able to look forward to some fun and games with the expert thespian. DeNiro will be joined on the show by the reunited Destiny’s Child. Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams will be in good company.

Celebrity Chefs: Are you trying to decide what to serve your Christmas guests for dinner on the big day, something different that they will remember forever? Here’s a few suggestions courtesy of some celebrities in the know: Pierce Brosnan’s Penne al Funghi Porcini, Katie Couric’s Lemon Chicken, Dr. Phil McGraw’s Rosemary Mashed Potatoes, Robin Williams’ Classic Pot Roast and Alice Cooper’s Almond Chicken Salad. More than seventy actors and athletes recently helped put together a 175-page cookbook with personal pictures and favorite recipes from their own kitchens. The “Star Palate” book is called the “Celebrity Cookbook For A Cure” because all of the proceeds from sales go to benefit the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For a complete list of all the recipes and more important information, visit the official “Star Palate” Web Site. If you get hungry during your visit there, don’t blame me. The cookbook is already on sale at many stores around the county, including Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.com.

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Celebrity News

Princess Diana: It seems that consumers will never be allowed to forgot how the lady lived her life behind closed doors, not as long as money can be made off her memory. Case in point: Paul Burrell, the butler who talked, stands to pocket some nice change this summer after the release of his international bestseller “A Royal Duty” in paperback form. Signet is marketing the book with the promise of “exciting new material available only in the paperback” that will shed more light on the late Princess of Wales. Be warned … this edition hit store shelves on June 1.

Bono: Consider this item to be an update to the article we published yesterday about the U2 singer’s visit to Dublin to speak with members of the European Union. Upset that EU partners have failed to deliver on their promise to commit 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product to overseas aid, he accused the people in power of “renegotiating your deal with God downward.” More on Bono: Jamie Drummond, the executive director of DATA, the group co-founded by Bono to advocate for Africa, issued a press release yesterday about rumors related to a new Live Aid event. It opened with, “There are no plans currently for Live Aid 2. Live AID raised $200 million, but Africa and the poorest nations need more than $200 billion in additional aid over the next five years to truly beat AIDS and extreme poverty.” That puts an end to the Live Aid story … for now. Visit the DATA Site for more valuable information.

Whitney Houston: More bad news for the singer’s many fans. The Euro press reported yesterday that Houston and her husband, Bobby Brown, went nuts during a visit to Harrods in London last week. Witnesses told reporters that the crazy couple danced around the store and asked employees to give them almost twenty grand worth of clothing for free. Isn’t it about time for the legal authorities to arrest Brown for contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

Dan Rather: The veteran CBS newsman better get his cue cards ready for the Sunday June 20 edition of 60 Minutes. The man most Republicans can’t forget, former President Bill Clinton, will talk with Rather about the release of his memoirs … all 957 pages of them. You read that right — 957 pages of facts related to his life as a child, as a scholarly teen, as a husband, as a powerful political figure and as a child again. It’s the perfect book to take to the coast this summer, especially for any sunbather in search of a tan that will last for six years. Knopf expects Clinton’s “My Life” to be on store shelves by June 22.

Hugh Jackman: I saw the Aussie star on a talk show tell the host that he was worried his dancing would not be good enough for Broadway fans. He can sleep easier now. The winners of the 2004 TDF/Astaire Awards, which are presented annually for the “Best Dance on Broadway,” were announced this week. Jackman won in the best Best Male Dancer category for his performance in The Boy From Oz. Kathleen Marshall got the “Best Choreographer” nod for her work with Wonderful Town and Donna Murphy was chosen as the “Best Female Dancer” for her performance in Wonderful Town. When informed of this year’s winners, Mrs. Fred Astaire said, “I know that Fred would be delighted that his artistic achievement, on stage and screen, continues to serve as a symbol of excellence for the Broadway dance community.” The TDF/Astaire Awards were established with the cooperation of Fred Astaire to honor him and his sister, Adele. They starred together in ten Broadway musicals between 1917 and 1931.

Sir Paul McCartney: The former Beatles star will be playing the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, between June 25-27. McCartney, Sister Sledge, James Brown, Oasis, PJ Harvey, Morrissey and Muse are just a few of the solid acts that plan to rock the crowd of more than 100,000 fans expected for the three-day concert event. The English National Opera will be on the scene the final day to perform part of Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” with a 90-piece orchestra. A side note: the Euro press reported last month that Ringo Starr’s son, Zak Starkey, will be behind the drums for Oasis.

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Ashton Kutcher

Fool us once, and we laugh. Fool us again … and we’ll laugh again. It seems that Kutcher was in punk mode when he told reporters that his days as chief prankster were over back in December. MTV announced today that he will be back with all new victims and episodes of Punk’d on their music network beginning on Sunday, April 25. Of course, it is April Fool’s day today, but we will take them on two-faced value for now.

Ioan Gruffudd: Fans of the popular British actor will have as much chance of finding him in his new CBS series Century City as they will in finding a whale in their kids’ home aquariums. CBS announced this week that the show has been cancelled because of low ratings. The legal drama was set in the year 2030 and followed lawyers who tried to deal with complex issues caused by scientific and technological changes to society. One thing that hasn’t changed much lately is the fact that networks abandon cast members and crew workers on new shows if their series don’t immediately deliver solid ratings. Maybe Gruffudd can find another Hornblower adventure on the high seas. If he does, we’ll be there.

Annabeth Gish: What do you get when you team a former X-Files psychic F.B.I. agent with a man who searched for his dead twin brother on the internet? Hallmark Channel will find out on May 5 when Gish and Freaky Links star Ethan Embry entertain viewers in the new telefilm Life on Liberty Street, the story of a man (Embry) who suffered a severe brain injury in an automobile accident. His only hope might be the healing power of love offered by a divorced single mom (Gish) who is searching for her own destiny. Ed Begley, Jr., Brett Cullen and Wendy Phillips co-star in the moving production.

Avril Lavigne: U.S. fans of the rocking young performer who want to see her live on the tube this weekend will have to migrate to Canada. Lavigne will perform on The 2004 JUNO Awards, Canada’s major music awards show, on Sunday in Edmonton, Alberta. Alanis Morissette will host the event which will also feature performances by Sarah McLachlan, Nelly Furtado, Michael Buble, Nickelback, Simple Plan and Barenaked Ladies. If you can pick up Canadian broadcaster CTV, tape this one and pass it on to a Lavigne lover. Visit the Official Juno site for more information on the show and alternative viewing choices.

Tom Brokaw: The veteran newsman can add another award to his trophy case. Brokaw won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for the NBC News program Tom Brokaw Reports: A Question of Fairness, a special program that covered the affirmative action controversy at the University of Michigan that surfaced when Jennifer Gratz sued the University for being denied admission in 1995. Brokaw also won a Peabody in 1989 for his work on To Be An American.

Carol Burnett: The legendary performer knows a good thing when she sees it — think of her own variety show. Burnett and longtime fun mates Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner are getting together again for the CBS network. They will be seen on a May 5 special that will feature new clips from the hilarious moments created at the beginning of every The Carol Burnett Show when the star took questions from her audience members. Viewers will be able to vote for their favorite clips by telephone or the internet after the show. Carol will announce the top three clips on CBS News’ The Early Show the next morning. Question for CBS: Why not just do a new variety show with the talented cast?

Paul Reubens: It’s time for the man who starred as Pee-wee Herman to honestly think about some of his recent life choices. The actor is featured in Entertainment Weekly because of his recent guilty plea regarding the charge that he possessed numerous obscene materials, including a collection of nude photos taken from the 1940s through the 1960s. The magazine did not give up column inches because Reubens is the next Olivier. We’re talking about the same man who was arrested in Florida once for exposing himself inside an adult movie theater. Reubens is talented, but until he can control the demons that guide his life, stardom will be fictional in his private universe.

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