Top Story: Vanity Fair Names Oprah Winfrey Best Dressed
Oprah Winfrey was named the world's most fashionable women by Vanity Fair in the magazine's 2004 International Best-Dressed List. Winfrey, who names Jackie Onassis and Coco Chanel as her fashion icons, says Gianfranco Ferre--who designed the silver gown she wore to the Academy Awards ceremony last month--is her favorite designer. Other women who made the Top 10 list include actress Cate Blanchett, Lost in Translation writer/director Sofia Coppola, model Kate Moss and Aerin Lauder Zinterhofer, Estee Lauder's vice president for global advertising, The Associated Press reports. Gracing the men's Top 10 are soccer player David Beckham, actors George Clooney and Jude Law, and news anchors Brian Williams of NBC and Anderson Cooper of CNN. The annual list will appear in Vanity Fair's April issue, which hits newsstands Wednesday.
Whoopi Tackles Same-Sex Marriage Issue
Whoopi Goldberg will tackle the issue of same-sex marriage in an upcoming episode of her NBC sitcom Whoopi. "We've been working on this for a while," Goldberg told Reuters in a telephone interview Tuesday. "The fact that this has become so spoken about, we decided we better hit it." Goldberg said the show will tackle various sides of the debate, ranging from a very liberal standpoint to a more conservative one. "I want people to get down to the truth," Goldberg said. "What is it that bothers you about it? Why are you so concerned about it? It's not like you're marrying someone who's gay. Why do you care who marries who?" The episode is set to air this spring.
J.Lo's Nuyorican Banner Pacts With Fox TV
Jennifer Lopez has inked a multiyear pact with Fox TV Studios for a first-look option on all television projects developed by her Nuyorican Prods. banner, including scripted and unscripted series, specials and original movies for network and cable TV. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nuyorican already is actively developing projects including a comedy and drama series, a music special and a variety show. "I started in television and love the medium," Lopez told the Reporter. "We intend to be a major creative force in television." The deal, however, does not cover some of Nuyorican's existing projects, including a documentary for HBO about a Cuban-American girl's 15th birthday titled Los Quinces.
American Idol Soars in Ratings
With the end of February sweeps and reruns returning for many key programs, TV viewership levels dropped last week, with Tuesday edition of Fox's American Idol raking in the most viewers. Here are the Top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships for the week of March 1-7, according to Nielsen Media Research: American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 25.5 million; Survivor All-Stars, CBS, 23.3 million; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 22.7 million; The Apprentice, NBC, 20.2 million; CSI: Miami, CBS, 19.9 million; American Idol: Uncut, Fox, 19.7 million; American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 19.3 million; Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 17.8 million; Without a Trace, CBS, 17.5 million; Two and a Half Men, CBS, 17.1 million.
White Stripes Frontman Pleads Guilty
White Stripes frontman Jack White pleaded guilty Tuesday to assault and battery charges for repeatedly punching Von Bondies lead singer Jason Stollsteimer on Dec. 13 at the Majestic Theater Center in Detroit, where both men attended a concert. Judge Paula G. Humphries ordered White to pay a $500 fine plus $250 in court fees, and attend anger management classes. She also told him not to contact Stollsteimer, the AP reports. White said in court the fight started when he confronted Stollsteimer, whom he hadn't seen in a long time, about allegations the singer made against him in the press and to mutual acquaintances. Prosecutors said earlier the two men had a longstanding disagreement over White's role in producing the Von Bondies' first album. White told reporters outside the courtroom that he regretted the incident.
Prince Hits the Big Screen
Prince, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next Monday, will appear on big screens nationwide March 29, but the singer will not be starring in a movie. Prince, who made his feature film debut in 1984's Purple Rain, plans to broadcast his concert in Los Angeles live via satellite to 32 Regal Cinema theaters nationwide. The show is the first major stop on Prince's 38-city Musicology tour, which the singer promises will include many of his old hits for the last time. Tickets for the show are on sale at the theaters for $15 and online starting Tuesday at www.RegalCM.com.
It's a Dog-Eat-Dog World
Calling all canines! Producers of the upcoming film The 12 Dogs of Christmas want 84 dogs, including golden and Labrador retrievers, boxers, cocker spaniels and mixed breeds, before shooting begins in western Maine later this month. The film, a parody of the English folk song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," tells the story of a boy who uses dogs to teach people about the meaning of Christmas during the Depression era. According to the AP, producers have almost all the dogs they need--except for a couple of boxers and some human extras. Casting director Bonnie Marshall said more than 250 people tried out for parts, with many bringing along pictures of their dogs.
Role Call: Van Sant Goes Grunge, Director Takes Off The Ring 2, Disney Inks Blume
Director Gus Van Sant's next feature for HBO Films, Last Days, will be a film set in Seattle during the mid-1990s--the heart of the grunge music scene. According to The Hollywood Reporter, actor Michael Pitt will star as the lead singer of a band whose path closely resembles that of Kurt Cobain and the group Nirvana. It is unclear whether the project will air on HBO or receive a theatrical release ... Commercials helmer Noam Murro has backed out of his first feature film, the sequel to DreamWorks' thriller The Ring, after nearly five months of development because of "creative differences" with the studio. It is not known how Murro's departure will affect the start date or the involvement of The Ring 2 star Naomi Watts ... The Walt Disney Co, author Judy Blume and independent producer Jane Startz have agreed to make movies based on Blume's hit kids books including Are You There God? It's Me,
Top Story: Is Jackson Leaving the Country?
Michael Jackson, whose confiscated passport had been returned to him so he could fulfill contractual obligations to promote his new CD Number Ones overseas, has been ordered by Santa Barbara County District Attorney Tom Sneddon to provide "documented confirmation" that his upcoming promotional trip to Britain is still happening, The Associated Press reports. London's Sun newspaper reported Sunday that Jackson, who is facing child molestation charges, had cancelled the planned Christmas tour, and if that's the case, the singer must once again surrender his passport to authorities, according to the District Attorney's office. But Jackson's spokesman, Stuart Backerman, told the AP Monday that he believed the trip was still on. Jackson was originally scheduled to travel to Britain on Dec. 20 and stay until Jan. 6. "I'm not aware of any cancellation," Backerman said. "He still is planning to go as far as I know."
Ozzy Released From Intensive Care
After fracturing his collarbone, eight ribs and a neck vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident Dec. 8, Ozzy Osbourne was finally moved out of intensive care Tuesday, AP reports. In a written statement, the Osbourne family said Ozzy had been moved from Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, west of London, to a private clinic. "The Osbourne family are very happy that Ozzy has been allowed out of the intensive care unit for Christmas and would like to thank everyone for their kind support, well wishes and prayers," the statement said.
Horn Gets To Go Home
After spending two months at the University of California, Los Angeles, hospital recovering from a tiger attack, animal trainer and entertainer Roy Horn has returned to his home in Las Vegas, Reuters reports. Horn, 59, part of the duo Siegfried and Roy, was nearly killed Oct. 3 when a male white tiger grabbed him by the neck and dragged him offstage at the Mirage resort in Las Vegas. Horn is able to write notes, his spokesman told Reuters, but no other details of the extent of his recovery were available.
Rings Tops African American Film Critics List
The African American Film Critics Association has picked The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as the top movie for 2003, AP reports, followed by Lost in Translation and In America. Director F. Gary Gray, who helmed the hit film The Italian Job, will receive a special achievement award. The African American Film Critics Association, which consists of print, broadcast and online movie reviewers, aims to draw attention to works that appeal to black audiences, star black actors or are made by black filmmakers, AP reports.
Palm Springs Fetes Johansson
Golden Globe-nominated actress Scarlett Johansson, who received nods for her work in Lost in Translation and Girl With a Pearl Earring, will be honored at the 15th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival, along with Oscar-winning writer Sidney Sheldon and Cold Mountain production designer Dante Ferretti, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The awards gala will be held Jan. 11.
Judge Grants Magazine Excerpt of Eminem Song
Manhattan federal Judge Gerald Lynch will allow the hip-hop magazine The Source to publish CDs containing limited excerpts of a previously unreleased track by rapper Eminem that includes lyrics such as "black girls are dumb," AP reports, but the magazine can only print 20 seconds of material from the recording, rather than the entire song. The Source said it uncovered the recording while investigating the forces corrupting hip-hop, including racism, and had planned extensive coverage of it in their February issue, AP reports. Eminem has called the recording "foolishness," something he made as a teen "out of anger, stupidity and frustration" after breaking up with a black girlfriend."
White Stripes Singer Charged With Assault
Jack White, frontman to the Grammy-nominated band The White Stripes, was charged with aggravated assault Monday stemming from an unprovoked attack on another singer, Jason Stollsteimer, at a Detroit, Mich., club Dec. 13, Reuters reports. Witnesses say White approached Stollsteimer, 25, who sings for a local Detroit band the Von Bondies, spat on him and punched him in the face, continuing to hit Stollesteimer as he fell to the floor. White, 28, could face up to a year in prison if convicted.
Role Call: Lion Roars to the Big Screen
With the huge success of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Harry Potter series, another classic fantasy epic, C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, is coming to the big screen, AP reports. New Zealander Andrew Adamson, best known for the Oscar-winning animated feature Shrek, will direct the film and shoot it entirely on location in New Zealand. The movie is expected to be the first of five films based on Lewis' seven Chronicles of Narnia books. Lion, the second and most popular of the novels, centers on the tale of four British children who, to escape the blitz during World War II, are packed off to the rambling country mansion of an old professor. There they discover a wardrobe that is a gateway to the magical land of Narnia, with its fauns, centaurs, dwarves and giants, as well as a witch and a lion named Aslan.
Top Story: Ryder Praised by Judge
Judge Eldon Fox had nothing but praise for Winona Ryder regarding her
adherence to the requirements of her probation after her shoplifting
conviction last year, AFP reports. At the progress hearing, Judge Fox,
complimented Ryder on her completion of the required counseling sessions as
well as the 480 hours of community service Fox ordered at
her sentencing hearing in November of last year. "Probation has indicated
that you are involved in all the requirements as imposed by the court, and
it appears that your participation in counseling issues and others have
served to make this a very positive report on your behalf," Fox said.
Ryder's lawyers requested that her original felony shoplifting conviction for stealing $5,000 of merchandise from a Beverly Hills' Saks Fifth Ave. be reduced to a misdemeanor. This will likely be discussed at a
Ozzy on Six-Month Road to Recovery
Ozzy Osbourne will need six months to recover from the ATV crash he had Dec. 8, his wife Sharon said in an interview on GMTV news in England, although Osbourne is off the
ventilator and on the mend: "He's awake and he's causing havoc. He's busy
telling jokes all the time, he's already asked two nurses to marry him,"
Sharon said on the news and chat show. The former Black Sabbath frontman and
reality show star was seriously injured when the ATV he was
riding hit something in the road and flipped over on him breaking several
ribs, his collarbone, and cracking a neck vertebra. In happier news, the
55-year-old rocker's duet, "Changes," with daughter Kelly, entered the
English charts at #1 this weekend, a first in his over 30-year career.
Lions Gate Buys Artisan
Independent studio Lions Gate has finalized the purchase of fellow indie
Artisan-- a month and a half after the deal was announced, according to
The Hollywood Reporter. The deal will cost Lions Gate over $200 million with
$150 million to be paid outright and $50-$60 million in debt to be acquired
by Lions Gate. In an expected move, Artisan CEO Amir Malin said he would be
leaving now that the merger is complete. He did not specify his future
plans. The combined company will go by the name Lions Gate Entertainment,
though the Artisan name may be used in the future for certain projects.
Theater Screens One of Ritter's Last Roles
One of John Ritter's last roles, shot two years before his untimely death at 54
from an undetected heart ailment in September, is screening in Los Angeles
and may soon screen elsewhere, filmmakers Straw Weisman and Andy Goldberg
told the Associated Press. Man of the Year, a drama-comedy shot in one
night on a budget of $25,000 with 20 digital cameras and as many actors,
centered around Ritter's character, a wealthy man whose dinner party thrown
for friends leads to the unraveling of his life. Though directors Weisman
and Goldberg had an outline of the story, all the actors improvised their
roles. Says Weisman, ""Every actor was told, `You're the star of your story
line and if you do a great job, then you're all over the movie. And if you
don't do a great job, you're not in the movie." Ritter became involved when
Goldberg approached him with the idea for the film. He was intrigued and
signed on for $100.
Native Americans Praise Dialect in The Missing
Apaches are praising the accurate dialog and portrayal of their culture in
the Ron Howard Western The Missing, AP reports. Though Apache
characters have long appeared in Hollywood films, clear and accurate use of
the Chiricahua dialect of the Apache native tongue is nearly nonexistent. New Mexico's Mescalero Reservation councilman Berle Kanseah and Chiricahua linguist Elbys Hugar acted as technical advisers on the film, the first they could recall in which Apache dialog was spoken well enough to be understood. Apache leaders are celebrating the film and a number of screenings have been held at reservations, prompting many Apache adults and children to become interested in the ancient tongue. Fewer than 300 people today speak Chiricahua.
Von Bondies Duke It Out With White Stripes
Jason Stollsteimer, lead singer for the rock group Von Bondies, was left with a bloody nose and a black eye after a scuffle with White Stripes' frontman Jack White Saturday
night at a Detroit music venue, AP reports. Stollsteimer, 25, told police that White punched him seven times in the face while White, 28, claimed self-defense. Stollsteimer's manager, Rick Canny, said regarding the night's conflict: "This was not a
fight, this was an attack." Alison Zero, spokesperson for the White Stripes
singer, songwriter, and guitarist, declined to comment. A
police investigation will determine if charges will be filed, say
Vandross Wants To Go to the Grammys
Multi-nominated artist Luther Vandross wants to go to the Grammy Awards
despite ill health due to a severe stroke earlier this year, Associated
Press reports. The 52-year-old singer is in good spirits after receiving a
platinum plaque for over a million sales of his album, Dance With My
Father, for which he is also nominated for five Grammy Awards. In November,
his mother accepted two statuettes on his behalf at the American Music Awards. Clive Davis, Vandross' record company
boss, is guarded about whether or not the singer will be able to attend the
ceremonies Feb. 8th. "He would be eager to go if the doctors clear it.
There is a possibility. I would not hold out hope one way or the other." If
Vandross does attend the Grammy Awards it will mark his first public
appearance since his stroke in April.
Role Call: Foxx on Stealth Mission
Jamie Foxx, currently in production on the Tom Cruise starrer Collateral,
has signed on to star with Josh Lucas and Jessica Biel in Stealth, Variety reports. The film, which is due to begin shooting sometime early next year,
centers on the three leads and their quest to down a robot-piloted stealth
aircraft. Foxx says he was drawn to the role in Stealth based on
director Rob Cohen's work on the Vin Diesel action flick, xXx.