News, Oct. 21: Robert De Niro Diagnosed With Cancer, Alan Alda Hospitalized, Back-To-Back “Pirates” Sequels a Possibility, More…

Top Story: De Niro Has Prostate Cancer

Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro, 60, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the outlook for a full recovery is good, his publicist told Reuters. “Doctors say the condition was detected at an early stage because of regular checkups,” publicist Stan Rosenfield said in a statement. “Because of the early detection and his excellent physical condition, doctors project a full recovery.” Reuters reports Rosenfield declined to give further details about the actor’s condition or course of treatment, but said De Niro planned to fulfill his commitment to start shooting his next film, Hide and Seek, for 20th Century Fox early next year.

Alan Alda Falls Ill in Chile

Actor Alan Alda, best known for starring in the long-running TV show M*A*S*H, fell ill in Chile while filming a television documentary and required emergency surgery, Reuters reports. Alda, 67, host of the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers for the past seven years, had surgery early on Sunday for an intestinal obstruction and was recuperating at the San Juan de Dios Hospital in La Serena, 290 miles north of Santiago, Reuters reports.

J. Lo Hires Sister

Jennifer Lopez will co-produce a new talk show for Universal Domestic Television that will also co-star her sister, Lynda Lopez, a TV and radio personality in the New York area. According to The Associated Press, the show is loosely designed as a young woman’s version of The View, with a panel of four hosts. J. Lo is also scheduled to make occasional appearances. The syndicated show is set to premiere next September.

Helen Mirren Speaks Out on Date Rape

British actress Helen Mirren, star of Gosford Park and The Madness of King George, told The Daily Mirror she was date raped several times in her late teens and early 20s and urges women who have been victimized to speak up, AP reports. “What woman hasn’t been in this situation?” she said in the interview. “I was very wobbly about it at the time. Afterwards, you blame yourself and feel like crap. And we all say, ‘I shouldn’t have gone there, had that drink.’ It’s a non-talked about subject. … I mean it’s really not talked about enough. Maybe more women should.”

Weiland Warned To Stay Off Drugs

Stone Temple Pilots lead singer Scott Weiland, who was back in court Monday for mandatory drug testing, remained free after going through drug rehabilitation requirements stemming from his conviction in May on two felony drug possession charges. Still, he was warned by the judge to stay off drugs or things could change, Reuters reports. “Sometimes God offers you circumstances that sort of fall in your lap that you thought wouldn’t happen,” Weiland said outside the Pasadena, Calif., courthouse, where his hearing was set. “Getting busted spurred my desire to seriously get back into recovery.”

Ex-KISS Guitarist Ready To Go Back to Work

After being shot in the leg and grazed in the head during a random shooting spree outside The Rainbow Bar & Grill nightclub in Los Angeles last week, former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick says he is feeling better and ready to starting playing again, reports. Kulick is scheduled to appear at the Kissapalooza KISS expo in Winnipeg, Canada, on Nov. 1 and at a Nov. 8 show in Jupiter, Florida, with his current band, classic rockers Grand Funk Railroad.

Garner Says Media Was Kind During Her Divorce

Jennifer Garner says the press were kind to her after she and husband Scott Foley announced they were splitting up, AP reports. “I think people understood that we were just two normal people who really loved each other,” the star of ABC’s Alias tells W magazine for its November issue. “You know, we got quietly married in our backyard after being together for a couple of years; we never gave our wedding pictures out to be published. I think they got that we’re both pretty brokenhearted about it.” This follows Foley‘s statement last week that infidelity was definitely not the cause of the split.

Role Call: Back-to-Back Pirates Sequels a Possibility

As producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and the three main leads–Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley–prepare to hit the high seas once again in the sequel to this summer’s hit Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, sources close to the film told Variety the powers that be are pondering the possibility of shooting back-to-back sequels, a la The Matrix, Back to the Future and Lord of the Rings. Bruckheimer told Variety, however, it was too soon to discuss plans.