News Roundup: Feb. 19


Top Story

Oscar-winner Julia Roberts wants to see Denzel Washington walk way with an Oscar next month. She joins a growing list who believe Washington has been robbed one too many times. “He should be on his third Oscar by now, and that might not be enough,” Roberts told Newsweek magazine in its Feb. 25 edition. “I cannot absorb living in a world where I have an Oscar for best actress and Denzel doesn’t have one for best actor.”

In the 73 years of Oscar tradition, only five black actors and actresses have won Oscars. Sidney Poitier is the only black actor to have won a Best Actor Oscar (for 1963’s Lilies of the Field). Washington picked up his fifth Oscar nomination for his performance as a crooked cop in Training Day, when the nominations were announced last week and won Best Supporting Actor in 1989 for his work in the Civil War drama Glory. The Oscars will be handed out March 24.

In General

Agent down! I repeat, agent down! Pierce Brosnan, who plays suave secret agent James Bond, apparently sustained a knee injury while filming a stunt in the latest 007 movie, tentatively titled Bond 20. Brosnan will be out of commission for two weeks, but the film is still set to be released in November.

Comedian extraordinaire Robin Williams, 50, is returning to his stand-up roots by going back on tour. Williams told the New York Times he’ll face live audiences again because, “I just want to find out what the rest of the country is up to. What is the middle like? What are they laughing at?” His routine will cover current topics such as Enron and President Bush’s pretzel incident. “I think they may be grinding everything up now,” he quipped.

Britney’s been bitten by the acting bug. After her new movie Crossroads raked it in at the box office this past weekend, pop singer Britney Spears is now set to appear in HBO’s hit Sex and the City as the sex-crazed niece of PR exec Samantha (Kim Cattrall). Ironically, Cattrall also plays Spears’ mother in Crossroads.

Kenneth Starr is stepping into the ring with Rocky! Starr (no relation to the Lewinsky prosecutor) has counterattacked Sylvester Stallone‘s suit against him, claiming that Rambo is sue-happy, having been involved in at least 30 different suits over the last few years. Stallone sued Starr, his former business manager, last week for $17.3 million. The suit claims Starr urged Stallone to hold onto Planet Hollywood stock even though Starr knew the company was slipping into bankruptcy.

A mentally-ill woman, who admitting stealing mail from Britain’s “It” couple, soccer star David Beckham and Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, has been detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital. She was arrested in July for sneaking into the couple’s luxury apartment building and taking 13 pieces of mail.

Kate Mulgrew, Star Trek: Voyager‘s Captain Kathryn Janeway, is heading back to Earth and taking on a completely different, if somewhat similar sounding, role: playing Katharine Hepburn. Mulgrew will star in the one-woman show Tea at Five, portraying the legendary actress as she muses about her life and loves. The play will have its world premiere at the Hartford Stage Company in Hartford, Conn.

The poster for the independent film Amen, which blends a cross with a red swastika, has created an uproar within the French Jewish and Catholic communities. “We consider this amalgam of the Nazi symbol with a religious symbol to be unhealthy,” said a statement signed by 10 of France’s leading Jewish figures,. The Catholic Church objected to the advertisement as “an unacceptable lack of respect.” The film examines how the Vatican was partially responsible for the millions of Jewish lives lost during the Holocaust by remaining silent.

USA Networks will be developing a TV-movie about the one and only Rudolph Giuliani, New York City’s knight in shining armor. Based on Wayne Barrett’s book Rudy! An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani, the film will either air at the end of the year or the beginning of 2003. No casting choices have been made as yet.