Top Story: Sean Connery Tops Worst Film Accent Poll
According to a poll by UK movie magazine Empire, Oscar winner Sean Connery has been named the actor with the worst film accent of all time. Edinburgh-born Connery may have won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe in 1988 for his performance as Irish cop Jim Malone in the 1987 film The Untouchables, but movie experts agreed his accent was the pits. "Whether he's a Russian sub captain (The Hunt for Red October) or even an English king (First Knight and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), always that baritone Highland burr remains," one critic said in the magazine's August edition. Others who made the list include Dick Van Dyke for his attempt at an East London cockney accent in Mary Poppins; Brad Pitt for his Austrian-accented mountaineer in Seven Years in Tibet; Heather Graham for her British-accented prostitute in From Hell; Julia Roberts for her attempts at a Brit accent in Mary Reilly and Meryl Streep for her try at Danish accent in Out of Africa.
Company Sues Greek Wedding Team
MPH Entertainment, the company that first optioned Nia Vardalos' screenplay for My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 1997, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles against the writer/actress and the film's producers, claiming they are owed 3 percent of the actual profits from the picture. Jim Milio, Melissa Jo Peltier and Mark Hufnail say they have received nothing to date save for an accounting statement from producers HBO and Gold Circle Films, who are being sued along with Tom Hanks' Playtone Prods, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The statement claimed the $5 million film lost $20.6 million as of March 31 despite selling more than $600 million worth of tickets worldwide.
TCM To Air Hepburn Marathon
Turner Classic Movies will honor the late Katharine Hepburn on Thursday with a 24-hour film tribute, hitting many of the high points from 1933 to 1968. The films slated to air include Mary of Scotland (1936), Holiday (1938), Woman of the Year (1942), Adam's Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), The Lion in Winter (1968), Katharine Hepburn: All About Me, a documentary by David Heeley (1993), Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), Little Women (1933) and Undercurrent (1946).
Madonna Gets Her Privacy
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie, who wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair expressing concern that the planned walkway just 100 yards from their country mansion in Wiltshire, southern England, would encourage curious sightseers and paparazzi, have won their battle. The Countryside Agency said the singer was among hundreds of residents who filled out a comment sheet about proposed changes under a redrawing of maps for the area. Madonna previously complained about low-flying aircraft above her $14.5 million Ashcombe House and was ordered to dismantle 12-foot-high security gates after failing to apply for planning permission.
Brandy and Hubby Split
Former teen pop princess Brandy has confirmed reports that she and Robert Smith, her husband and father of her 1-year-old daughter, have split, the AP reports. A statement released Tuesday by Atlantic Records said: "Brandy and her husband are splitting. They will remain friends and raise their daughter jointly." Brandy, 24, announced in February 2002 that she had been secretly married to Smith, a music producer, for several months. In June, she gave birth to her first child, with MTV documenting the preparations for the birth with the reality series Brandy--Special Delivery.
P. Diddy Sued for Racketeering
Kirk Burrowes, the former president and general manager of Sean "P.Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment, has filed a $25 million suit Monday in Manhattan federal court against the rap mogul, Reuters reports. Burrowes claims that in 1996, Combs threatened him with a baseball bat and forced him to surrender his 25 percent interest in the company, which he had formed with the rapper in 1992. Borrowes, who earned $125,000 a year as president of Bad Boy, was fired in 1997. The suit also alleges Combs interfered with a contract Burrowes had to manage Mary J. Blige, causing the singer to end the contract. Combs called the allegations "pure fantasy."
Brits Need New Celeb Couple
What will the British do now that celebrity couple David Beckham and his wife Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham are moving to Spain? According to Reuters, Britain's celebrity watchers are searching their gossip magazines for a new couple to take over as the nation's unofficial king and queen. Contenders include Chris Martin, lead singer of pop giants Coldplay, and girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow; or Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue and her actor boyfriend Olivier Martinez. But celebrity watchers say neither couples have the charisma nor the desire for fame that has driven the Beckhams to the top of the showbiz heap.
MTV's hit reality series The Osbournes could return to the airwaves as early as next month. MTV president Brian Graden told The Associated Press "all systems are go" for the second season. The upcoming episodes are expected to feature Sharon Osbourne's battle against colon cancer as she undergoes chemotherapy treatments. The Osbournes, which chronicles the lives of heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne, his wife Sharon and their two teenage children, daughter Kelly and son Jack, became the biggest hit series in MTV's 21-year history. A spokeswoman for MTV, however, said there is still a possibility the show could still be postponed until January.
Screen Actors Guild president Melissa Gilbert said she will seek a higher profile on labor issues for the union's 98,000 members, Variety reports. "There's a terrible misconception that there are only 5 actors and they all make $20 million per picture," Gilbert said while meeting with officials at an AFL-CIO headquarters Tuesday. "That's a very, very small percentage of our membership. Most of us are journeymen laborers who can barely earn a living as actors; when the job is finished, we're fired."
An 87-year-old man found stabbed to death near Interstate 15, about 25 miles north of Las Vegas, has been identified as former child actor Jay R. Smith, the AP reports. Smith was in about three dozen of the Our Gang short comedies from 1925-29, better known as The Little Rascals to TV audiences. Police said a homeless man who had been staying in a shed next to Smith's house was being sought for questioning in the death. Smith died from multiple stab wounds.
Nicole Kidman will star in Paramount Pictures' remake of the 1975 thriller The Stepford Wives, Variety reports. The film revolves around a group of husbands who transform their wives into robots who cater to their every need. Director Frank Oz (The Score) will helm the project.
A judge has ruled that Jamie Johnson, a New York University film student and the heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, may release a documentary film featuring other wealthy offspring. Born Rich includes interviews with fellow children born with a silver spoon, such Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Luke Weil, whose father ran the online gaming site Autotote, had filed a lawsuit to block the film's distribution, alleging he was "tricked" into taking part in a project that "embarrassed" and "humiliated" him and his family.
Fox is close to signing on New York-based radio personality and recording artist Angie Martinez as a fourth judge in the second American Idol installment, according to Variety. Martinez will join judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.
Canadian profiler Kim Rossmo, who is helping investigators track down the Beltway sniper, will have his story turned into a TV movie, Variety reports. will recount Rossmo's rise from Vancouver beat police to criminologist with a new and unique system of tracking serial predators.
Boy band 'N Sync is revisiting the bad old days when they actually had to fly coach and sleep in cheap hotels in their video The Reel 'N Sync. The one-hour video, shot and edited by band member Joey Fatone, includes clips from hundreds of hours of low-fi footage in his personal video archive. Surprisingly, the video features no 'N Sync songs.