General News

NEWSMAKERS: Disney Honcho's Austerity Program

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Michael Eisner's stocking felt a little lighter last year.

That's because the Disney chief missed out on his Christmas bonus (which was $5 million in 1998), in the wake of unmagical financial days at the Magic Kingdom. Despite the entertainment giant's boffo year at the box office (Disney was No. 1 among the Hollywood studios), its flagging consumer products and licensing divisions cut into revenue.

But don't cry for Eisner. The longtime Disney CEO (he's been there since 1984) owned $68.4 million worth of unexercisable "in-the-money" stock options as of the end of September.

O'BOY FOR O'DONNELL: Rosie O'Donnell is a mother - again. The comic turned actress turned talk-show host has added to her brood with the adoption of a third child, son Blake Christopher, born one-month premature at 5 pounds, 5 ounces. O'Donnell tells today's New York Daily News that the baby is "very healthy. He is half-Italian, half hodgepodge, and everyone is delighted."

Blake joins older siblings Parker, 4, and Chelsea Belle, 2.

BUSTED: Blaxploitation-era film star Jim Brown ("Three the Hard Way") was sentenced today in Los Angeles to six months in jail for blowing off the terms of probation stemming from a domestic-violence case. Brown, 64, was ordered to undergo counseling and perform community service after being convicted last month of vandalizing his wife's car.

Brown objected, noting he was busted only for vandalism, not abuse. The ex-football star's sentencing judge wasn't buying, ordering Brown to jail. The actor/athlete will remain free while the case is on appeal. Brown most recently appeared in Oliver Stone's sports flick, "Any Given Sunday."

ASHES TO ASHES: Patsy Kensit ( "Angels and Insects") hugs her Mum when she's feeling low, and keeps her by the bedside - two things that ordinarily might threaten the actress' marriage to Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher.

Except Gallagher's mother-in-law isn't really in the couple's bedroom - unless you count ash form.

Kensit ordered a "nice big posh" urn from a catalog after recalling that her (late) mother suffered from claustrophobia, she tells GQ magazine. And when she argues with her husband, Kensit climbs into bed and cuddles the urn.

"[Liam] says I'm like something out of 'The Munsters,'" Kensit says. A

DUET WITH PUFFY CONSIDERED UNLIKELY: Actress and frequent headline-grabber Jennifer Lopez will be shaking her much-discussed bon-bon onstage this month at the American Music Awards.

Lopez, whose music career took off in '99 with the multiplatinum album, "On the 6," has been added to slate of live performers for the big show, to be broadcast Jan. 17 on ABC. At the awards, Lopez is up for Favorite New Pop/Rock Artist and Favorite Latin Artist.

OBITUARY: Bernhard Wicki, who co-directed the 1962 war epic "The Longest Day," died today of a long illness. He was 80.

Wicki, born in 1919 in Austria, studied theater and began his career as an actor, but will be best remembered as one of the most acclaimed German-language filmmakers. His English-language films included: 1964's "The Visit" with Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn, and 1965's "Morituri" with Marlon Brando.

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