General News

NEWSMAKERS: Keri Can't Cut

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

Milestone haircuts worked for Mia Farrow (see: "Rosemary's Baby") and Gwyneth Paltrow (see: "Sliding Doors"). But chopping off one's long locks did nothing for Keri Russell, star of the WB's "Felicity."

In fact, according to a network exec, the cut hurt the fledgling series, which won raves -- and a Golden Globe for Russell - in its first season. WB entertainment chief Susanne Daniels told reporters Monday that the reaction to Russell's crop top was "so overwhelmingly negative" that it hurt the show, which arguably was already suffering from creative drought. But Daniels won't dismiss the hair's factor in the downtrend. And just to play it safe, she says, "Nobody is cutting their hair again."

The 23-year-old Russell reportedly got tired of the long, corkscrew mane that became synonymous with her identity (and that of her show's lead character, Felicity Porter) and took to the barber, which resulted in a look so dramatic it warranted an episode of its own in the second season.

HOW TO WOO WOODY: In a new tell-all bio, "The Unruly Life of Woody Allen," out next month, we learn that the 64-year-old writer-director was roped into the relationship with his then-lover's adopted daughter.

Or so says author Marion Meade who writes that the young Soon-Yi Previn peppered Allen with questions about basketball and homework whenever he visited then-flame Mia Farrow. Allen, flattered by Soon-Yi's attentions, invited her to New York Knicks games, and she soon began to sneak out to visit him after classes in her high school uniform.

Also key to the capture, according to the tome, was Soon-Yi's biting remarks about mother Farrow, whom she regularly criticized, describing her as "no Mother Teresa." When Farrow finally discovered the affair, Soon-Yi threatened suicide, then gloated to Farrow that, "The person sleeping with the person is the one having the relationship," which spurred a physical fight between the two women.

"She shrewdly studied Mia's life and -- confident that a woman could win her heart's desire by aggressively pursuing older, successful men -- would soon emulate it," Meade writes.

NO PUFFY, EITHER: While country superstar Garth Brooks showed up to receive three American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Monday night, nominee (and scheduled performer) Jennifer Lopez was a conspicuous no-show.

Host Norm MacDonald took the opportunity to take a couple shots at the M.I.A. actress-singer, commenting on her recent run-in with the law over boyfriend Sean "Puffy" Combs, as well as noting that an extra seat-filler was needed to, um, fill in for Lopez -- and her widely discussed derriere.

OBITUARIES: Benjamin "Ben" Masselink, who wrote and produced episodes of "Hawaii Five-O," "Marcus Welby, M.D." and "Starsky and Hutch," died Thursday of prostate cancer. He was 80. ...

James Card, a film preservationist who co-founded the Telluride Film Festival, died Sunday at age 84 after a lengthy illness. ...

John Newland, host of television's "Alcoa Presents" (1959-61) (later known as "One Step Beyond"), died Jan. 10 at age 82. Newland also directed TV movies and series, including "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Wonder Woman" and "Fantasy Island."

QUICK TAKES: Filmmaker Anthony Minghella, Golden Globe nominee for "The Talented Mr. Ripley," has been named Director of the Year by the National Association of Theater Owners. He'll be presented with the award at the group's annual ShoWest convention March 6-9. ...

Talk-show host Marie Osmond has confirmed her separation from Brian Blosil, her husband of 13 years. In a statement released Monday by her publicist, Osmond says the split was amicable and hopes "the media will respect our privacy during this period of our lives." No other details were released.

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