Singer and Oscar-winning actress Liza Minnelli, who was hospitalized about three weeks ago for encephalitis, is expected to be released from the hospital today, her publicist said. In a statement released Sunday, publicist Michael Hartman said that Minnelli is ``still a little weak but feeling well enough to go home.''
``She will spend the next few months recovering from home with attendants,'' he added.
Minnelli, 54, was found unconscious in her Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home on Oct. 8. The actress was taken to Cleveland Clinic Hospital immediately after, where she was diagnosed with viral encephalitis, a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain.
Two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter and the last surviving member of the Hollywood Ten Ring Lardner Jr. died of cancer in his Manhattan home Tuesday. He was 85.
Lardner won an Oscar for his screenplay for "Woman of the Year" in 1943 and "M*A*S*H" in 1971. From 1947 to 1965, the screenwriter was blacklisted in Hollywood for being a member of the Communist Party and his refusal to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Lardner and nine other writers, directors and producers who were imprisoned for their political beliefs after the HUAC hearings were known collectively as the Hollywood Ten.
LARRY RHINE DIES: "All in the Family" scribe Larry Rhine died Friday of natural causes at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 90.
Rhine’s other writing credits include "Bob Hope," "Mr. Ed," "The Odd Couple, "The Brady Bunch" and "Sanford and Son." Rhine won a Golden Globe award for "All in the Family."
He's a movie star, Broadway actor and multiple Tony Award winner. Now you can add one more title to Matthew Broderick's resume -- television's "The Music Man." Daily Variety reports today that the "Inspector Gadget" guy will star in the TV version of the Tony-winning Broadway musical "The Music Man."
In the telepic, Broderick is slated to play Professor Harold Hill, a con man trying to unload band instruments in a small Iowa town but instead falls in love with the town librarian. According to Variety, Broderick's wife, "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, is being courted for the role of Marian the librarian.
Broderick won two Tony Awards for his roles in the revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and the Neil Simon play "Brighton Beach Memoirs."
The three-hour "The Music Man" will air on ABC's "Wonderful World of Disney" some time next year.
ANNE AND 'ALLY': Anne Heche is switching sides again, but this time she's going from the silver screen to the boob tube. The Hollywood Reporter says that the actress has signed on to guest star in Fox's legal eagle dramedy "Ally McBeal." Heche, an Emmy winner during her days on the soap "Another World," will reportedly play a picky client in her three-episode deal. Her guest appearance will air during November sweeps.
'KISS ME,' DANNY: The Associated Press says that Danny Nucci ("Titanic," "Crimson Tide") has landed a starring role on a CBS comedy series. The show, called "Kiss Me, Guido," is about a guy (Nucci) who unknowingly ends up rooming with a gay man (Jason Bateman). The CBS series will debut in midseason, according to the report.
PEE-WEE'S BACK: Rejoice, Pee-Wee's back on TV! OK, not exactly, but it's close enough. Paul Reubens, the man who once brought to daytime kid TV the strange world of Pee-Wee Herman, will return to the tube as the host of ABC's long-delayed gameshow "You Don't Know Jack." In case you haven't heard, the show is based on a mega-popular CD-ROM game of the same name.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Set your VCR! AP tells us that PBS stations will turn over two and a half minutes of airtime for eight nights so that presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore can deliver their campaign messages. The arrangement starts Wednesday after Jim Lehrer's "NewsHour".
Oscar-winning actress, singer and dancer Liza Minnelli was rushed back to a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., hospital Thursday for encephalitis, a potentially deadly disease of the brain, the New York Post reports. According to the tab, the performer's bodyguard and chauffeur first found the 54-year-old Minnelli suffering from what looked to be a stroke in her Fort Lauderdale residence on Oct. 8 and was allegedly released from the hospital on Oct. 16, only to be reportedly re-admitted to the hospital three days later.
LAUREN HUTTON INJURED: Model-actress Lauren Hutton was in serious condition Sunday after being hospitalized for injuries from a motorcycle crash, Reuters reports.
The 55-year-old Hutton suffered multiple leg fractures, cuts and bruises and remained in the trauma unit for treatment.
The accident occurred Saturday when Hutton's motorcycle ran off the road and crashed near Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada. She was cruising in a group ride with stars including Dennis Hopper and Jeremy Irons.
Looks like Kate Hudson won't settle for being just almost famous. The current It Girl, whose breakthrough was her part as the naïve groupie in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous," has signed on to the war drama "Four Feathers," Daily Variety reports.
Hudson will join the red hot cast including "The Patriot's" Heath Ledger and "American Beauty's" Wes Bentley.
The film, based on a novel by A.E. Mason, concerns a British officer in Sudan who seeks to disprove his cowardice by infiltrating enemy territory and rescuing his captured comrades.
'DINNER' IS SERVED: The Hollywood Reporter says that Greg Kinnear, who was last seen as the soap opera stud in "Nurse Betty," will possibly star in the HBO cable movie "Dinner With Friends." The film is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Donald Margulies.
What’s the perk of directing a critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning movie? Answer: It guarantees you at least a couple more directing gigs thereafter.
Kimberly Peirce, who cowrote and helmed "Boys Don’t Cry," has inked a two-year production contract with New Line Cinema, trade papers said today.
The first film produced under the deal is said to be an untitled murder mystery based on a true story. It is to be directed by Peirce and cowritten with her "Boys Don’t Cry" writing partner Andy Bienen.
Actress Hilary Swank won this year's Best Actress Oscar for "Boys Don't Cry."
GOING ‘BLONDE’: Daily Variety reports that Matthew Davis of "Urban Legend: Final Cut" fame might star opposite Reese Witherspoon in the comedy "Legally Blonde." The film is about a stereotypical blonde (Witherspoon) and her social-climbing ambitions. Hmmm ... is this "Election 2"?
WHERE’S WINONA? The Hollywood Reporter says that Winona Ryder will make a cameo appearance in the upcoming Al Pacino flick "Simone."
REPORTING ON HECHE: Actress Anne Heche is in early talks to play reporter and TV celebrity Dorothy Kilgallen in a Showtime flick, the Reporter tells us.
THE 'SALVAGE' PROJECT: "The Blair Witch Project" co-director Dan Myrick will helm the post-apocalyptic flick "Salvage." He will team up with actor-writer J.D. Shapiro on the project.
Kevin Spacey knows what’s it like to be an actor. The two-time Oscar-winning thesp has reached deep into his pocket for a $100,000 donation to the striking commercial actors of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists.
"Let us not forget that 80 percent of Screen Actors Guild members earn less than $5,000 per year," the actor said in a statement. "If the public were not informed of this, it would be easy to assume that all actors make a decent living."
Spacey’s donation will be added to a $500,000 strike relief fund SAG set up last month. The two actor’s unions have been striking against the advertising industry since April.
Representatives from both sides are planning to return to the bargaining table in New York on Wednesday.
HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 22, 2000 - Emmys, anyone?
Taking the Emmys to the street, the folks at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences unveiled the first-ever public viewing of the famous gold statuettes in Universal Studios Hollywood today.
An armored motorcade (well, actually, more like an armored truck with two motorcycles trailing it) delivered the 27 Emmys to Universal's Globe Theatre this morning. The statuettes will remain there, on public display, until Sept. 5, just prior to the Emmy broadcast.
Academy of Television Arts and Sciences President Jim Chabin and Emmy award-winning actress Camryn Manheim from "The Practice" were at hand for the unveiling ceremony.
The Emmy Awards will be handed out Sept. 10.
HOLLYWOOD, Aug. 14, 2000 - TV fame, wealth and a chance to indulge in your darkest impulses. What more could anyone ask? Well, that's at least what The Mole" wants you to think. And for those without the slightest idea, it is ABC's own copycat version of "Survivor" -- where 10 real-life people must figure out who among them is the titular "mole" planted by the show, while they complete a series of "Road Rules"-esque tasks around the globe. As with other reality gameshows, someone wins a million bucks at the end.
Seizing the chance to deceive and infiltrate a show which is based upon the idea of, well, deception and infiltration, I trotted down to the show's open call casting Saturday at Café Tu Tu Tango on the touristy Universal CityWalk, just north of downtown Hollywood.
Upon arrival, I was given an application, a pen, a numbered sticker and a place in line - which, fortunately, wasn't much of one to begin with (with only about 30 people when I got there).
The form is like a personal ad, soliciting information about your height, weight, and eye color and asking you to rank yourself from 1 to 10 (1 being the highest) on attributes ranging from sense of humor to leadership skills to mountain climbing, and so on.
To make things interesting, some questions required written answers. For example, one asked me to "describe yourself" (my answer: "don't know how"); another asked for my worst quality ("I like to curse"); yet another wanted to know why "The Mole" should pick me ("because I could be your Colleen!").
Teen mallrats and tourists-shoppers cast "loser" or "this is sooo L.A." looks my way, as I filled out the application and fought a splitting headache (which, I was convinced, would turn into a heat stroke) at the same time.
The guy in front of me told a curious onlooker that we were "lining up to see Arnold Schwarzenegger." Then he turned around and explained, "the less people know about this, the better. Just trying to eliminate all the competition, you know."
"Whatever," I shrugged. The helpful "Mole" hopeful was an aspiring actor hoping for a gig and a break. So was the guy standing behind me who, during our idle chit-chat, admitted that work has been "hard to come by."
"The Mole" Not everyone there was an actor. One woman I talked to hates her job and was just looking to be delivered from her humdrum life, or the young out-of-towner who was lunching at a restaurant in the mall and just happened to come across the tryout. And then there was me, a self-planted mole looking for a story.
After some 45 minutes, 20 of us (a group of 20 at a time) were ushered into the restaurant. More waiting, with 4 people being called in every 10-minutes or so for a one-on-one "conversation" where we were encouraged to "be yourselves."
Tick tock, tick tock. The gang of four I belonged to was finally called. I was assigned to a 20-something with perfect hair and a perfect smile.
When all is said and done, my "conversation" clocked in at around 5 minutes. And true to ABC's word, the meeting was informal and casual. They didn't ask me to do backflips or jump through burning hoops. The questions were a mix between the socially generic variety ("what do you like to do" and "how was it when you traveled to so and so back in so and so," etc) and the personal reflection, Barbara Walter-type ("what's your greatest achievement so far;" and "if you could wipe out anything from the past, what would it be?")
My only disappointment was that they never asked me what my greatest strength was. And as a result, my prepared answer of "I am a team player!" went completely unused.
The interview closed with a firm handshake and the promise that he'll "jog down some notes about our conversation."
Admittedly, the audition process was a much more human experience than I had expected. And what I mean by that my interviewer at least mustered up enough energy to make it seemed like he was actually interested in what I was saying.
And as I bid sweet adieu to the casting people and wish others like me luck, it began to dawn on me: I should have said that I would feed all the hungry people in the world when they asked me what I would do with my million dollar winning.
Holly Hunter got game. A game of tennis, that is. The Academy Award-winning actress ("The Piano") is going to portray tennis legend Billie Jean King in the ABC television movie, tentatively titled "Battle of the Sexes," which follows the 1972 match between King and Bobby Riggs.
King, the No. 1 women's player at the time, handily defeated Riggs, ranked No. 100, in the highly publicized match. Riggs had boasted that the No. 100 men's tennis player could defeat the top women's player.
DUNCAN GOES 'APES': Michael Clarke Duncan, the colossal actor of "The Green Mile" fame, is in final talks to join the cast of Tim Burton’s "Planet of the Apes," The Hollywood Reporter says.
SPIKE ON BOXING: The Reporter also informs us that director Spike Lee is currently working on a biopic on boxing legend Joe Louis. The project, which is expected to go into production in August or September 2001, will chronicle the boxer’s career and longtime rivalry with Max Schmeling.
STONED ON CONSPIRACY: The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the conspiracy-minded Oliver Stone is interested in making another conspiracy-minded film. This one's about an alleged plot by Republicans to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.
POITIER AS 'BRICKMAKER': Entertainment Weekly Online reports that Sidney Poitier will star in the CBS movie "The Last Brickmaker in America," about a real-life brickmaker who loses his wife and job, then finds a friend in a troubled teen.