A painted bronze sculpture of supermodel KATE MOSS went under the hammer in London on Monday night (21Sep09) for $127,500 (£85,000). The artwork by Marc Quinn was auctioned off in a sale which raised a total of $675,000 (£450,000) for an African charity.
Top Story: Givens Hits Pedestrian
While at a busy intersection in Miami, Fla. Wednesday, actress Robin Givens struck an 89-year-old woman trying to cross the street, critically injuring her, The Associated Press reports. Givens, star of the '80s TV comedy Head of the Class, hit Maria Antonia Alcover as she was about to step onto the sidewalk, Miami police spokesman Delrish Moss told AP. The actress, who was stopped, turned the corner when the light turned green and swiped Alcover with her SUV, knocking her backward. The back wheel of the vehicle drove over Alcover's right leg, Moss said. Her leg and foot were damaged, and she suffered internal injuries. Doctors, however, were able to save Alcover's foot and she is improving, according to AP. Givens received a ticket for failing to use due care when a pedestrian was in the crosswalk, which carries a fine of less than $70, Moss said. He also added it was unlikely there would be any further charges against the 39-year-old former wife of Mike Tyson.
Get Ready for Dwarf Dating
Perhaps pushing the boundaries of reality television a little too far, Fox is planning to air a dwarf-dating contest called The Littlest Groom, in which average-sized females will vie for the affections of a 4-foot-5-inch bachelor, Reuters reports. Yet, the advocacy group Little People of America is supporting the show. President Matt Roloff said the Fox show might even benefit people of short stature by depicting them as regular folks "just being themselves." "Yes, the radio jocks will have a field day," Roloff told Reuters in a telephone interview. "(But) hiding us behind closed doors or in funny costumes will never give us the exposure needed to desensitize society to us."
Randall Down With Pneumonia
Tony Randall is recovering from a bout of pneumonia following bypass surgery in December, AP reports. Randall, 83, underwent the "extremely successful" surgery at an undisclosed hospital but then developed pneumonia. Randall's doctors felt it would be better if the actor recuperated at a hospital rather than at home, where he has two small children, ages 4 and 6.
Divorce in Works for Marc Anthony
Singer Marc Anthony's estranged wife, former Miss Universe Dayanara Torres, has filed for divorce, according to AP. Torres filed a petition for dissolution of marriage with children on Jan. 20. The couple, who was married in Las Vegas in 2000, briefly separated in 2002, then renewed their vows in Puerto Rico in December of that year. They have two children, Christian, 2, and Ryan, who was born in August.
Rapper Turk Charged in Shooting
New Orleans-based rapper Turk was charged with shooting two deputies while they were searching an apartment for heroin Monday afternoon in New Orleans, AP reports. The rapper, whose real name is Tab Virgil Jr., was one of three people inside the apartment who opened fire on the authorities when they came in. One of the deputies is in critical condition; the other suffered a flesh wound. Virgil, who has been wanted in New Orleans on a probation violation since March, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Garner To Handle Hosting Duties
Alias spy chick Jennifer Garner will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Technical Awards Feb. 14 in Pasadena, Calif., AP reports. The ceremony hands out awards for devices, methods, formulas, discoveries or inventions of special and outstanding value to the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Previous hosts have included actresses Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron, who this year is nominated for Best Actress for Monster.
Vegas, Dreams Get Picked Up
NBC has ordered full 22-episode seasons of their dramas Las Vegas and American Dreams for next fall, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Las Vegas has averaged 12.3 million viewers, ranking as the highest-rated new drama this season in the key demographic, while American Dreams has averaged 8.6 million viewers.
Role Call: Cast Assemble for Sender
Connie Nielsen (One Hour Photo), Tim Daly (TV's Storm of the Century) and Aidan Quinn (Songcatcher) are set to star in the indie drama Return to Sender. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the project centers on a woman on death row (Nielsen), with Quinn starring as a down-on-his-luck lawyer who befriends the incarcerated woman by mail. Kelly Preston also stars as a lawyer fighting to exonerate Nielsen's character.
Not nearly as good as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl but still infinitely better than The Country Bears this third Disney theme park ride to come to life finally explains all those ghosts haunting that moss-covered wrought iron-gated mansion you've stood in a three-hour line to visit. Haunted Mansion starts off with the attraction's familiar ghoulish music and classic line "Welcome foolish mortals!" and quickly gets into how the now-decrepit house was once a thriving and stately antebellum palace that hosted 19th century New Orleans' wealthiest (aha the dancing ghosts in the Great Hall!). Its owner Master Gracey (Nathaniel Parker) was the consummate Southern gentleman but had fallen in love with Elizabeth a beautiful woman who unfortunately was considered beneath Gracey's stature. Disregarding the advice from his trusted confidante and butler Ramsley (Terence Stamp) Gracey planned to marry his beloved Elizabeth anyway but tragedy intervened. Apparently Elizabeth could not face ruining the life of her one true love and rather than live without him she committed suicide--or so it seemed (ominous enough for you?). Utterly heartbroken Gracey hanged himself from the observatory tower thus cursing the house and trapping all who had dwelled there or in the sprawling graveyard behind the house (999 ghosts to be exact) forever. Cool.
Then suddenly Eddie Murphy appears showing off his trademark pearly whites and trying to sell said mansion to a married couple. Wait what's going on here? Oh right that's the other part of the movie. Jumping ahead to the present Murphy plays Jim Evers a workaholic real estate agent whose lovely wife Sara (Marsha Thomason) wants him to spend more quality time with his family. When she convinces Jim to take a weekend vacation with their two kids he agrees--but first they have to make one quick stop to check out an eerie old mansion as a possible house to sell. That's when it all goes to hell. Unbeknownst to the Evers Sara is the spitting image of Elizabeth--and Gracey's ghost is determined to keep her with him at the mansion. To be fair it's the script's fault not Murphy's that he has to run around like an idiot chased by any number of poltergeists yelling "Don't you let no dark spirits out!" and "There are dead people in the backyard!" while trying to save his wife and break the curse. But let's just say he's no Johnny Depp and can't quite carry the film past its innate silliness. At least the funnyman gets a little help from the kids played by an unfazed Aree Davis and arachnophobic Marc John Jefferies as well as the hilarious Jennifer Tilly who portrays the psychic Madame Leota (you know the floating head inside the crystal ball from the ride who spouts gloomy predictions in rhymes. Love her). Of the apparitions Stamp seems to enjoy playing his ghoulish Ramsley the most while friendly ghosts Wallace Shawn as a manservant and Dina Waters as a maid add some levity to the already madcap proceedings.
The promise of The Haunted Mansion comes from its source. Opening in 1969 the Haunted Mansion attraction was considered very innovative for its time as Disney Imagineers toyed with all manner of visual effects and animatronics. Even to this day it's a perennial favorite. Director Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little) wants to make sure fans experience the thrill of it again this time through the machinations of modern-day special effects and the art of filmmaking. The film's look and feel aptly captures the spirit of the Disney attraction. Evers walks down the very same hall as in the attraction past the pastoral pictures on the wall that change into sinister images as the eyes of unsmiling stone heads follow him. He and the kids take a ghostly coach ride through the graveyard where all the wacky spirits are doing their thing including those wayward spirits ready to hitch a ride with them. Even the singing busts are there now a barbershop quartet that riffs off whatever anyone says. It's just a shame screenwriter David Berenbaum's story couldn't have been a little less contrived. While the fascinating back story cleverly answers some of those questions enthusiasts may have had about the ride the present-day scenario starts to fall apart once Evers sets out to break the curse and things get really looney. Even when the family finds out about Master Gracey's sad tale the film doesn't really live up to the imagination the theme park attraction inspires; instead figuring the "insider"-isms will go over the young heads in the audience the film sticks with trite dialogue and over-the-top shenanigans to please the tykes.
President Clinton attended what would be his final holiday party as the nation's chief Sunday, Reuters reports.
The president attended the 19th annual “Christmas in Washington” concert at the National Building Museum with first lady and senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton and their daughter Chelsea Clinton.
``This is our last one here,” Clinton said. “Also, it's the first Christmas of the new millennium,'' he added. ''Tonight I am grateful that we can celebrate an America blessed with unprecedented peace and prosperity.''
Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar hosted the event, which featured performances by Brian McKnight, Marc Anthony, Chuck Berry and Jessica Simpson. The event will air Sunday on cable’s TNT.
PRESIDENT GERVASE: For someone still milking his sudden fame stemming from CBS' “Survivor,” the cow hasn’t run dry just yet for Gervase Peterson. The Associated Press reports that Peterson will take on the role of president of the United States on “There Goes the Nation,” a new cybershow on UrbanEntertainment.com.
Peterson will spoof himself with a “Survivor”-type character whose fame takes him all the way to the White House. The show will run Dec. 18 on the Internet. Peterson has already had guest roles on ``The Hughleys,'' ``Nash Bridges'' and MTV's ``Say What? Karaoke.''
HANNA-BARBERA COMPOSER DIES: Composer Hoyt Curtin, the man behind the music for hit cartoons such as “The Jetsons,” “The Flintstones” and “Scooby-Doo,” has died. He was 78.
AP reports that the composer died Dec. 3 after a lengthy, undisclosed illness. He started his career in 1957 writing advertising jingles before moving on to music director for Hanna-Barbera, where he wrote the theme songs for “Huckleberry Hound,” “Yogi Bear” and “Johnny Quest.”
Curtin is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and three grandchildren.
SAN FRANCISCO GOES HOLLYWOOD: For a city that loves to hate Hollywood, San Franciscans quickly snatched up tickets to Sam Shepard's new play featuring a cast of A-list Tinseltown actors. Sean Penn
“The Late Henry Moss,” featuring Sean Penn, Nick Nolte and Woody Harrelson, opens at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre this week with every ticket for its six-week run sold, Reuters reports.
The play covers familiar Shepard territory: brawling brothers, drunken rage and all-American angst.
Shepard is probably best-known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning work “Buried Child.” Although the buzz at the premiere was energetic as people filled the theater, critics weren’t catching the vibe, describing the play as “uneven,” moving from a “static first act to a final wrenching one.” Ouch!