News, July 2: Sean Connery Tops Worst Film Accent Poll, Company Sues “Greek Wedding” Team, Brandy and Hubby Split, More…

Top Story: Sean Connery Tops Worst Film Accent Poll

According to a poll by UK movie magazine Empire, Oscar winner Sean Connery has been named the actor with the worst film accent of all time. Edinburgh-born Connery may have won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and a Golden Globe in 1988 for his performance as Irish cop Jim Malone in the 1987 film The Untouchables, but movie experts agreed his accent was the pits. “Whether he’s a Russian sub captain (The Hunt for Red October) or even an English king (First Knight and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), always that baritone Highland burr remains,” one critic said in the magazine’s August edition. Others who made the list include Dick Van Dyke for his attempt at an East London cockney accent in Mary Poppins; Brad Pitt for his Austrian-accented mountaineer in Seven Years in Tibet; Heather Graham for her British-accented prostitute in From Hell; Julia Roberts for her attempts at a Brit accent in Mary Reilly and Meryl Streep for her try at Danish accent in Out of Africa.

Company Sues Greek Wedding Team

MPH Entertainment, the company that first optioned Nia Vardalos‘ screenplay for My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 1997, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles against the writer/actress and the film’s producers, claiming they are owed 3 percent of the actual profits from the picture. Jim Milio, Melissa Jo Peltier and Mark Hufnail say they have received nothing to date save for an accounting statement from producers HBO and Gold Circle Films, who are being sued along with Tom Hanks’ Playtone Prods, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The statement claimed the $5 million film lost $20.6 million as of March 31 despite selling more than $600 million worth of tickets worldwide.

TCM To Air Hepburn Marathon

Turner Classic Movies will honor the late Katharine Hepburn on Thursday with a 24-hour film tribute, hitting many of the high points from 1933 to 1968. The films slated to air include Mary of Scotland (1936), Holiday (1938), Woman of the Year (1942), Adam’s Rib (1949), Pat and Mike (1952), The Lion in Winter (1968), Katharine Hepburn: All About Me, a documentary by David Heeley (1993), Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), Little Women (1933) and Undercurrent (1946).

Madonna Gets Her Privacy

Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie, who wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair expressing concern that the planned walkway just 100 yards from their country mansion in Wiltshire, southern England, would encourage curious sightseers and paparazzi, have won their battle. The Countryside Agency said the singer was among hundreds of residents who filled out a comment sheet about proposed changes under a redrawing of maps for the area. Madonna previously complained about low-flying aircraft above her $14.5 million Ashcombe House and was ordered to dismantle 12-foot-high security gates after failing to apply for planning permission.

Brandy and Hubby Split

Former teen pop princess Brandy has confirmed reports that she and Robert Smith, her husband and father of her 1-year-old daughter, have split, the AP reports. A statement released Tuesday by Atlantic Records said: “Brandy and her husband are splitting. They will remain friends and raise their daughter jointly.” Brandy, 24, announced in February 2002 that she had been secretly married to Smith, a music producer, for several months. In June, she gave birth to her first child, with MTV documenting the preparations for the birth with the reality series Brandy–Special Delivery.

P. Diddy Sued for Racketeering

Kirk Burrowes, the former president and general manager of Sean “P.Diddy” Combs‘ Bad Boy Entertainment, has filed a $25 million suit Monday in Manhattan federal court against the rap mogul, Reuters reports. Burrowes claims that in 1996, Combs threatened him with a baseball bat and forced him to surrender his 25 percent interest in the company, which he had formed with the rapper in 1992. Borrowes, who earned $125,000 a year as president of Bad Boy, was fired in 1997. The suit also alleges Combs interfered with a contract Burrowes had to manage Mary J. Blige, causing the singer to end the contract. Combs called the allegations “pure fantasy.”

Brits Need New Celeb Couple

What will the British do now that celebrity couple David Beckham and his wife Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham are moving to Spain? According to Reuters, Britain’s celebrity watchers are searching their gossip magazines for a new couple to take over as the nation’s unofficial king and queen. Contenders include Chris Martin, lead singer of pop giants Coldplay, and girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow; or Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue and her actor boyfriend Olivier Martinez. But celebrity watchers say neither couples have the charisma nor the desire for fame that has driven the Beckhams to the top of the showbiz heap.

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