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Sir Anthony Hopkins gets his U.S. citizenship

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ANNOUNCED Dubbed ”Lecter the Defector” by a British tab, Welsh-born actor Anthony Hopkins, 62, became a U.S. citizen April 12 in a private ceremony in L.A., witnessed by Hollywood royal Steven Spielberg. A knight since ’93 and an L.A. resident since ’98, he plans to maintain dual citizenship.

DEALSAfter 60 years at Marvel Comics, where he cocreated Spider-Man and the X-Men, artist Stan Lee, 77, is allying with Marvel’s archrival, DC Comics. Lee was hired to create a special 12-part series, beginning in late 2000, that re-imagines DC superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

RECOVERING Country singer Waylon Jennings, 62, reportedly had surgery April 17 for peripheral vascular disease in his legs and is expected to fully recover…. Actress Anne Heche, 30, was hospitalized briefly due to an allergic reaction to medication. On April 16, Sharon Stone accepted an award for her from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation…. Actor Earle Hyman, 73, who played Bill Cosby‘s dad on The Cosby Show, entered a Houston hospital for an unspecified ailment after collapsing April 14 while performing in Edward Albee’s The Play About the Baby. Released April 18, he is unlikely to return to the play…. Hunky Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, 32, passed out on stage April 13 at the end of a concert in Mount Pleasant, Mich. His publicist said he was treated for probable electrolyte imbalance but was back for an April 15 gig.

SPAT Life on the set of Charlie’s Angels was less than heavenly earlier this month: Co-stars Lucy Liu, 32, and Bill Murray, 50, locked horns over creative differences, reportedly causing production to shut down for the day. Shooting resumed the following morning. The stars’ publicists declined to comment.

RANT While presenting a GLAAD award to Elizabeth Taylor on April 15 in L.A., actress Carrie Fisher, 43, launched a biting tirade against her father, actor Eddie Fisher (who jilted her mom, Debbie Reynolds, for Taylor). ”The best thing Elizabeth Taylor did for me was to get Eddie Fisher out of our house,” she told the crowd. ”One of the reasons Elizabeth worked so tirelessly for gays is that well, frankly, Eddie Fisher could put you off heterosexuals for life.” Eddie Fisher told EW: ”Carrie’s gone completely out of her mind. She hates me because of what she thinks I’ve done to her mother.”

RETIRING Plugging his new film Where the Money Is, actor Paul Newman, 75, announced he’ll retire after one more movie. ”[He] has told me he was going to retire every year since 1969,” notes his spokesman, ”so I take it with a grain of salt.”

SPLITS Citing irreconcilable differences, actress Meredith Baxter (Family Ties), 53, filed for divorce April 14 from Turner & Hooch screenwriter Michael Blodgett, 60, after four years of marriage. She has five kids from previous unions; he has three…. In an April 12 VH1 interview, rocker Tommy Lee, 38, announced that he and ex-wife Pamela Anderson Lee, 32, are definitely going their separate ways — again. The couple wed in ’95, divorced in ’98, then resumed dating last April. They have two sons, Brandon, 3, and Dylan, 2.

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