News, Dec. 30: New “Law and Order” Goes on Without Orbach, Jolie’s in Love, Johansson Denies Fling With Del Toro, More…

Law and Order: Trial by Jury to continue without Orbach

Bosses of crime drama Law and Order: Trial By Jury have vowed to continue the hit show, despite the death of its star Jerry Orbach. The acting veteran, 69, died on Tuesday at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center during treatment for prostate cancer. The Emmy-nominated actor played Detective Lennie Briscoe in twelve seasons of the original Law and Order series, before leaving to star in spin-off drama Law And Order: Trial By Jury, which airs next year. NBC producers released a statement on Wednesday, saying, “The producers are deeply saddened. While Jerry is irreplaceable, Law and Order: Trial by Jury is an ensemble and will continue in production. A new member will join the company. Announcements will be forthcoming.” Six episodes of the show have already been taped, with Orbach starring in half of them.

Jolie’s new love

Movie beauty Angelina Jolie has found love with a millionaire Italian businessman. The Tomb Raider actress has been spotted with 29-year-old playboy yacht broker Daniele Patini–and source say the single star is smitten. A pal tells American magazine Us Weekly, “Daniele has dated many beautiful women, but this time he’s admitted that Angelina has him entranced.” Jolie has been single since splitting from second husband Billy Bob Thornton two years ago, but is reported to have had a number of flings, with first husband Jonny Lee Miller and Alexander co-stars Colin Farrell and Jared Leto.

Johansson denies fling with Del Toro

Stunning actress Scarlett Johansson has finally spoken out about her alleged fling with Benicio Del Toro–it never happened. The pair were reported to have enjoyed a steamy tryst in an elevator at Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont hotel after this year’s Academy Awards, after the Lost In Translation beauty refused to deny the rumours. But she insists it was all a big mistake: “I went home alone that night to my mom’s house, but nobody cares about that. It was so embarrassing. I felt horrible about the way that portrayed Benicio Del Toro.”

Kidman: ‘My salary is private’

Hollywood star Nicole Kidman has lashed out at the entertainment media for speculation about her salary. The Oscar-winning actress has been paid a wide range of wages for a mix of blockbuster and low-budget film roles, including a reported $17 million for Bewitched and $500,000 for the forthcoming movie Eucalyptus. Kidman says, “(Salary stories are) intrusive. Do you ask your neighbour what are they earning for their job? Why should have to put up with it?”

Smith accused of being a diva

Hollywood star Will Smith has been accused of acting the diva on vacation in Aspen, Colorado and using his famous name to get special treatment. The actor, who is spending the festive season at the ski resort with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, their children and family friends, reportedly reserved a hotel lounge for their party–and then failed to turn up. A source says, “Dozens of guests were immediately uprooted and sat in less desirable corners.”

Pryor loses voice

Multiple sclerosis has robbed tragic comedian Richard Pryor of his voice. The funnyman has been suffering the debilitating disease since 1986, but was forced to quit acting after appearing in 1997 movie Lost Highway. Now, on a US television appearance, his sister Jennifer has revealed Pryor, 64, can no longer speak. Jennifer also said the comedian–who appeared with her–tried to kill himself during a film stunt in 1981. Pryor was thought to have set himself on fire accidentally, but Jennifer said, “No, no, it was not an accident. I think Richard wanted to take his life.”

Collins: ‘I’m happy to be old’

Veteran actress Joan Collins is happy to be 71–because old people are better off than the young. The former Dynasty star insists the older generation have avoided the pitfalls of modern life–and are far more free to have fun than previous and future generations. She says, “I don’t envy the youth of Britain today. The boozing and the drug-taking that a great many seem to indulge in, is going to cause premature ageing and all sorts of serious ailments in later life. We over-50s are lucky; the world is now free and full of possibilities for us, more than it was for our parents. If it’s true that 50 is the new 30, then it follows that 70 is the new 50. And we are no all averse to doing the things thirtysomethings do–enjoying sex , loving fashion, having fun, decorating our homes, going on lavish holidays. The list is endless and we have the disposable income with which to do it.”

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