Sam Simon, the man who co-created The Simpsons, is giving away his vast fortune to animal rights and poverty groups as he battles terminal cancer. The 58 year old, who came up with the concept for the animated TV hit with Matt Groening in 1983, was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer earlier this year (13) and given three to six months to live, and he has vowed to give away millions to the charities he has supported through the Sam Simon Foundation, which provides vegan food to the hungry and homes for stray pets.
He has also supported PETA, Save the Children and marine organisation the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and he turned a Malibu, California compound into a sanctuary for unwanted dogs rescued from kill shelters.
Simon says, "I have more money than I'm interested in spending. Everyone in my family is taken care of. And I enjoy this."
His ex-wife Jennifer Tilly tells the publication she's proud of her former husband for his charitable efforts as he faces death, stating, "I think it's really nice for him that he's doing it now and he gets to see the results of his philanthropy. He really does have a passion to survive, and the longer he's on the earth, the more good work he can do."
Rosemarie Dewitt has reportedly signed up to tackle a Poltergeist in Sam Raimi's remake of the original 1982 horror. Plans to reboot the film have been in the works for several years, but the project was put on hold due to financial troubles at the MGM film studio.
Last month (Jun13), movie bosses confirmed the film is now back on track with Raimi, who successfully rebooted the Evil Dead franchise, as a producer, and now they have found their lead actress.
Rachel Getting Married star DeWitt has signed up for the role, according to Deadline.com, while Monster House director Gil Kenan will take charge of the project.
The original Poltergeist, about a family plagued by evil spirits who kidnap their youngest daughter, spawned two sequels, and the new film is set to terrify cinema-goers in 2014 - exactly 32 years after the original.
Kim Cattrall has given Lindsey Gort the thumbs up to play her iconic Sex & The City character in TV prequel The Carrie Diaries. Producers announced Gort had been cast as a young Samantha Jones on Monday (22Jul13), and Cattrall wasted no time in giving the rising star her blessing.
She tweeted, "So happy u're (you're) playing fearless Sam. The key 2 (to) her is her heart. She never judges those she loves. Have a blast!"
Gort was thrilled to receive a post from Cattrall, responding, "Thank you so much! What fabulous, amazingly sexy shoes to fill."
The Carrie Diaries, starring AnnaSophia Robb as wannabe writer Carrie Bradshaw, returns to U.S. TV in October (13) for the show's second season.
Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West have won a round of five-star reviews for their performances in Burton And Taylor. The Harry Potter star plays late acting legend Dame Elizabeth Taylor in the British TV drama opposite West as her on/off husband Richard Burton, and the small screen movie impressed the U.K.'s critics after its premiere on Monday night (22Jul13).
The feature, which focuses on the stars in 1983 as they appeared on stage together in Noel Coward's Private Lives, was given full marks of five stars by The Times' critic Alex Hardy, who branded the drama "perfect" and added of Carter's performance as Taylor, "(She) conducted the world around her in a sing-song voice that moved octaves within one phrase, the fragile sliding into the manipulative".
Chris Hardy of The Daily Telegraph was full of praise for Carter, insisting she "went for broke" with her portrayal of Taylor and "got away with it" while he conceded West "seemed to be having some trouble" with Burton's Welsh accent.
The Guardian's Sam Wollaston writes, "Bonham Carter and West are excellent. There's a crackle between them... They become two people who clearly are and always will be in love, but can never be together, for reasons of health and safety. It is another very good double act", and Geoffrey McNab of The Independent concludes the drama is "affecting and well observed".
A U.S. TV movie about the couple, Liz & Dick starring Lindsay Lohan as the late actress, was mauled by critics following its broadcast in 2012, with one writer comparing the movie to a "high school play".
Singer Beyonce paid tribute to fans in struggling Detroit, Michigan with a video montage at her concert in the city on Saturday (20Jul13). The Love On Top hitmaker performed a cover of Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come and displayed a series of iconic scenes and famous faces from the city, including Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Eminem and Kid Rock.
A spokesperson tells Billboard.com, "This was a unique tribute to the history of an incredible city and a celebration of the strong spirit of its people."
R&B powerhouse Aretha Franklin also reacted to news officials in her hometown had declared bankruptcy, insisting she's confident Detroit will bounce back.
She said, "(Detroit is) bankrupt monetarily...we are well-funded in spirit and what it takes to come back. Between new and dynamic leadership with the Big Three (auto companies), the private sector and a little help from (Washington) D.C., Detroit's best and most glorious days are still ahead."
Officials in Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on Thursday (18Jul13), citing $19 billion in debt. It's the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
British pop star Jessie J is set to make one happy couple's big day even more memorable when she joins them to celebrate their nuptials on Friday (19Jul13). The bride and groom-to-be booked their wedding reception at Durham County Cricket Club in England 18-months ago but were stunned to discover that the venue had been double booked for a performance by the Domino hitmaker.
Future bride Samantha Slater told local paper The Chronicle, "About two months ago they (staff from the cricket club) phoned us and asked us to go in. We thought 'What’s gone wrong now?'... they said another department had booked the concert and it’s the same day as the wedding.
"We weren’t very happy about it at first, but when we found out it was Jessie J we perked up a bit. In fact, we were ecstatic."
The singer is due to perform at the venue in front of a 15,000 strong crowd as the headliner for the Durham Summer Nights programme and has promised to take time out of her busy schedule to call in on the newlyweds for their first dance.
She added, "I can't wait to be part of Sam and Chris' big day. It's going to be special. Bring on the first dance."
Chord Overstreet put his grief aside to play in a celebrity softball tournament just a day after his Glee castmate Cory Monteith was found dead in a hotel room in Canada. Monteith's body was discovered on Saturday (13Jul13), and the news prompted an outpouring of shock and disbelief from his co-workers including Jane Lynch and Mark Salling.
Overstreet, who plays Sam Evans in the popular musical TV show, was scheduled to take part in the Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity softball game in New York on Sunday (14Jul13), but many expected him to cancel his appearance in the aftermath of the tragedy.
However, Overstreet refused to pull out of the game and played at the Citi Field stadium in Flushing, New York as planned, even hitting a home run.
Reports suggest he subsequently dedicated his achievement to his late castmate, but he has yet to speak publicly about Monteith's death.
Overstreet's castmate Darren Criss has reportedly pulled out of a number of press interviews this week (beg15Jul13) following the sad news. He is currently promoting his new movie Girl Most Likely.
Lily Allen and Azealia Banks' Twitter feud continued into the weekend after the Smile singer took aim at the rapper over her apparent lack of productivity. Banks sparked the war of words earlier this month (Jul13) when she poked fun at Allen, aka Lily Rose Cooper, on the micro-blogging site, accusing her of having a drug problem and then attacking her husband Sam Cooper's looks.
Outspoken Allen responded by branding the 212 hitmaker a "one hit wonder", which fired up Banks - she then called Allen's children "ugly" in a tweet on Thursday (11Jul13) and raged, "One hit, but am certainly NOT a wonder. Just played for 70k at glasto (Glastonbury), critics STILL eagerly anticipating my debut. Suck on that hoe!"
Refusing to leave it there, she also attacked Allen's husband again, tweeting, "go suck on your mans thimble d**k and put thumbalina to bed. Goodnight", and accompanied the correspondence with a topless photo of Allen taken by paparazzi.
Allen, who gave birth to her second child, Marnie, in January (13), fired back, "ive had 2 kids since 212 dropped and i bet my album still comes out 1st. b**ch is scared of the ball. OUT."
But it appears the rapper has had the last word for now - she sent out a tweet at lunchtime in Britain on Saturday (13Jul13), which read: "She's just mad cause sucking her husbands d**k is like playing thumb wars."
The feud continues.
Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes will be adapting Sebastian Faulks' James Bond book Devil May Care for the next 007 movie, according to a U.K. report. Faulks wrote the 2008 novel, a sequel to The Man with The Golden Gun, to mark the 100th anniversary of Bond author Ian Fleming's birth, but attempts to turn the story into a film have previously been shelved due to its 1960s setting.
However, Bond bosses are now giving the idea another try, according to Britain's The Sun.
The book follows the superspy as he does battle with an evil chemist who is plotting to destroy Britain, and reports suggest the story could be updated into a modern day setting for the new film.
Mendes recently confirmed he will be returning to the franchise to direct a second film, the 24th Bond installment, after 2012's Skyfall became the most successful 007 film of all time.
Sam Mendes is returning to the director's chair for the follow-up to his hit James Bond epic Skyfall. Mendes insisted he would not be back for the 24th film in the 007 franchise after the 2012 release of Skyfall, which became the most successful movie in James Bond history, but he recently admitted he wouldn't make a final decision about the job until after the premiere of his new West End play Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Now Mendes is hoping to continue his winning streak after signing on to helm the next Bond project, set to be released in the U.K. on 23 October, 2015.
Skyfall scribe John Logan will also return to pen the script, while Daniel Craig will reprise his role as the British superspy.
A statement from Mendes reads, "I am very pleased that by giving me the time I need to honour all my theatre commitments, the producers have made it possible for me to direct Bond 24. I very much look forward to taking up the reins again, and to working with Daniel Craig, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli for a second time."