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Monitor

‘Will & Grace’ star Debra Messing’s wedding and Christopher Reeve’s injury made news the week of September 15th, 2000

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WEDDINGS
Sometimes being an extra can lead to something larger than life. Actress Leighanne Wallace (Wild America), 31, who had a small role in the ’97 Backstreet Boys video ”As Long as You Love Me,” tied the knot with Backstreeter Brian Littrell, 25, Sept. 2 in Atlanta. It’s the first time for both … Will & Grace star Debra Messing, 32, wed actor-screenwriter Daniel Zelman (What Lies Beneath), 33, Sept. 3 near Santa Barbara. It’s the first marriage for both.

RECOVERING
Ex-Superman Christopher Reeve, 47, broke his left leg Aug. 17 while exercising, the likely result of weakened bones from five years of paralysis, his publicist says. A full return to his physical therapy regimen is expected in six to eight weeks … Ex-Bond girl Britt Ekland, 57, broke her right ankle and right wrist Aug. 29 at Kerrang! magazine’s heavy metal awards show in London. She was walking to the stage to present Marilyn Manson an award when she slipped on a piece of melon. ”The crowd had gone pretty wild,” says Paul Cohen, Ekland’s manager. ”There were fruit plates and melons and bits of fruit everywhere.” She was released from a London hospital Sept. 2.

SPLITS
And the beef goes on: On Aug. 10, perennial girl next door Meg Ryan, 38, counter-filed for divorce from hubby Dennis Quaid, 46 (he originally filed for divorce in July after nine years of marriage). Reports claim that after a fling with actor Russell Crowe, 36, she tried to reconcile with Quaid, apparently to no avail. Quaid’s publicist had no comment.

ARRESTED
The kid from The Client may just become one. On Aug. 28, actor Brad Renfro, 18, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale on a grand theft charge for allegedly trying to steal a 45-foot yacht. The day before he was to start shooting Bully, the Apt Pupil star and a companion, Harold Bond, 24, were found allegedly trying to drive away in the boat — but neglected to untie it from the dock first. Both the yacht’s stern and the dock were damaged. Renfro was released after posting $10,000 bond. Authorities reportedly were investigating whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the incident; after a 1998 plea bargain on marijuana and cocaine possession charges, Renfro agreed to random drug testing. Renfro’s publicist could not be reached for comment.

COURTS
Hog-riding actor Dennis Hopper, 64, got an easy ride Sept. 1 when a Canadian judge granted an absolute discharge to a charge of marijuana possession. Last October, Hopper was arrested at Calgary’s airport after police dogs sniffed out less than half an ounce of pot in his luggage … Oh, Brother: Chicago attorney Marvin Rosenblum, who owns the film and TV rights to George Orwell’s 1984 and produced a 1985 film adaptation, filed a lawsuit Aug. 16 against CBS parent Viacom and Orwell Prods., the production firm behind the reality series Big Brother. Rosenblum reportedly alleges that Orwell Prods. and the net intentionally misled viewers to believe their show is connected with Orwell’s 1948 classic. Orwell Prods. had no comment, but a CBS statement said ”We think the lawsuit is meritless.” …

After reportedly pleading no contest to stalking and terrorizing actress Brooke Shields, 35, New Jersey accountant Mark Bailey, 41, was sentenced Sept. 5 to probation and twice-weekly counseling and ordered to stay away from the former child star — as well as her family, employees, and agents — for the next decade. Convicted twice before during his 15-year pursuit of Shields, Bailey was arrested Jan. 10 when police found him with a gun in an L.A. office building, carrying letters addressed to Shields … On Aug. 31, America Hoffman, son of the late ’60s activist Abbie, filed suit against Lions Gate Films and producer-director Robert Greenwald over the current Steal This Movie, charging invasion of privacy and unauthorized use of his name and likeness. Hoffman seeks undisclosed damages and a permanent injunction against the film, which the suit claims portrays him as ”a wimpy, quiet, sulking and effeminate ‘mama’s boy”’ and ”falsely implies that [he] may be a homosexual.” Greenwald says he is surprised by the suit, noting that America had visited the film set. Lions Gate did not return calls for comment.

DEATHS
Blacklisted actress Rose Hobart, 94, best known for playing the ”other woman” in movies of the ’30s and ’40s, of undisclosed causes, Aug. 29, in Woodland Hills, Calif. Although Hobart appeared in more than 40 films, including 1945’s Conflict opposite Humphrey Bogart, one 1949 appearance proved costly. She was summoned before the House Un-American Activities Committee, though she had denied being a Communist, and declined to name names. She never worked in film again … Russian ballerina Tatiana Riabouchinska, 83, a star of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in the ’30s who served as the model for the famed dancing hippo in Walt Disney’s 1940 Fantasia, of heart failure, Aug. 24, in L.A.