News Roundup: Nov. 18

Top Story

New York’s Ziegfield Theatre will host an advance screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring on Dec. 13 to benefit Sept. 11 attack victims, Variety reports. The film opens wide Dec. 19.


Charlotte Coleman, 33, star of Four Weddings and a Funeral was found dead of what appears to have been a massive asthma attack in her London flat Wednesday, Reuters reports.

In General

Spice Girl Geri Halliwell is in the spotlight once again. The issue this time is whether or not she was or will be paid for entertaining British troops last month, Reuters reports. While Bernard Jenkin, a spokesperson for Britain’s Conservative Party, has complained about government monies going toward the shows, it is unknown whether Halliwell was given a paycheck. “Wealthy performers can and should perform for free,” Jenkin said.

Nigerian Agbani Darego was crowned Miss World on Friday, making her the first black African woman to hold the title in 51 years, according to Reuters. Out of 93 contestants, 18-year-old Darego beat out Miss Aruba and Miss Scotland for first place. “I’ve made history,” Darego said. “Black is beautiful.” The televised pageant, hosted by Jerry Springer, had an estimated 1.2 billion viewers worldwide.

Rodney Dangerfield is celebrating his 80th birthday, and this time he’ll get a little respect. The Associated Press reports that Jay Leno and other comics will pay tribute to Dangerfield Wednesday night on NBC’s The Tonight Show.

Law & Order producer Dick Wolf has renewed his contract with Studios USA through August 2006, according to Variety. Wolf hopes to make the drama, currently in its 12th season, the longest running series in TV history.

More Beatles memorabilia is up for sale. Reuters reports that the church hall stage where John Lennon met Paul McCartney and the piano used to record hit “Hey Jude” will be available for purchase Nov. 27 in Liverpool, England. The stage and piano are expected to fetch $72,000 and $501,000, respectively.

Waylon Jennings postponed two Arizona concerts this week. after he had leg surgery on Nov. 8 to improve his circulation, AP reports. Jennings suffers from peripheral vascular disease, which makes it difficult for him to walk.

In celebration of Steven Spielberg‘s film E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial, Universal Studios will launch a 13-month celebration of the film’s 20-year anniversary, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Universal plans to re-release the film in March, and a DVD release will follow.