News Roundup: March 3


Top Story

The Writers Guild of America bestowed their awards night Saturday with Julian Fellowes winning best original screenplay for Gosford Park and Akiva Goldsman winning best adapted screenplay for A Beautiful Mind. With the Academy Awards only a few weeks away, critics wonder if the WGA awards will have any bearing on Oscar voters.

The creative mind behind the Pink Panther movies, Blake Edwards, won the WGA’s lifetime achievement award. Though best known for his directorial skills (Victor/Victoria, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), the 79-year-old Edwards said, “I still consider myself first, last and always a writer.”

In General

Apparently ABC News president David Westin was one of the last to know his network was in talks with David Letterman in an attempt to woo the Late Show host from CBS to ABC, Reuters reports. While talks began in January, Westin only found out two days ago, after receiving a call from a New York Times reporter.

Academy Award winner Shirley Jones, best known for her motherly role in The Partridge Family, has filed for divorce from husband Marty Ingles, The Associated Press reports. Jones cited irreconcilable differences with her husband of 25 years.

Paul McCartney is stopping in Las Vegas as part of his “Driving USA” tour. The MGM Grand’s Grand Arena will host the April 5-6 concerts that will replace the cancelled heavyweight boxing match between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis. Tickets for McCartney’s show go on sale Monday for $350, $250 and $125.

Linda Tripp, infamous for her involvement in the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal during former President Bill Clinton’s White House administration, is being treated for breast cancer, her attorneys said Friday. No other details were given regarding her condition, Reuters reports.

Ted Danson, who helped found the American Ocean’s Campaign, announced Thursday the group will partner with, and adopt the name of, Oceana, the AP reports. Both groups serve as environmental guardians of the seas, fighting pollution and overfishing.

The Miss America Organization (MAO) announced the resignation of its chief executive, Robert Renneisen, Friday, two weeks after the reigning Miss America Kate Harman complained of mistreatment by the Renneisen staff, Reuters reports. In a statement, the former casino exec Renneisen said of the MAO, “It is clear that we differ in our definition of success…” It seems his idea to create the world’s first Miss America slot machine didn’t go over too well.

England’s Prince Edward and his wife Sophie have decided to become full-time royals–for a time, anyway. Giving up their film and public relations careers to support the Queen during her Golden Jubilee may still be lucrative, though. Reuters reports the couple may be paid 250,000 pounds for their complete royal attention. Buckingham Palace would not comment on the issue.

Hollywood’s going vertical and bi-coastal, it seems. According to Reuters, Studio City New York–a 140,000 square foot, 15-story building-dedicated to film and TV studios and entertainment industry office space–will be erected on New York’s 11th Avenue between 44th and 45th streets. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, and the building will take two years and $375 billion to be completed.