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Julia Roberts is No. 3 on a new Hollywood power list

Plus, DMX lands a book deal, New Line delays a Kevin Costner wide release, Dudley Moore bids farewell, and more

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Julia Roberts
Roberts: Evan Agostini/Image Direct

HONOR The Hollywood Reporter has named Julia Roberts the third most powerful woman in showbiz — so anyone who ever thought the actress was just a puppet with a great big grin should think again. Though it’s not surprising to find Roberts on a power list (EW put her at No. 2 on its 2000 power list, after all), this marks the first time the exec happy Hollywood Reporter has placed an actress on its top 50 list; Paramount Pictures exec Sherry Lansing took the No. 1 spot for the second year in a row, while ”Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling took the No. 50 position. It’s not just ”The Pretty Woman”’s $20 million per flick paycheck (which makes her the highest paid female thesp in Tinseltown) that prompted the industry mag to put her on the list. It’s also her ability to get her ideas onto the big screen. ”Julia Roberts is really the only actress in Hollywood who has the ability to have any project she’s interested in made,” Christy Grosz, managing editor of HR special issues, told USA Today. ”She’s the only one who can command that kind of power.” Can we assume she doesn’t always go around smiling?

BOOKS DMX has found a new muse — himself. He’s following in the footsteps of many a literary hip hop star before him and publishing a memoir with HarperCollins. The tome, entitled a ”A Dogz Life,” recounts his troubled childhood, multiple arrests, and struggle to the top. Expect to see it on bookstore shelves in late 2001. Try not to confuse it with Snoop Doggs’ epic ”Doggfather,” which recounts his troubled childhood and struggle to the top.

REEL DEAL Gee. All we REALLY wanted for Christmas was a new historical saga starring Kevin Costner. But, alas, most of us will have to wait. New Line has put the wide release of Costner’s latest, ”Thirteen Days,” on hold until Jan. 12. The film was supposed to hit theaters across the country on Dec. 22, but execs at the indie distributor have decided that the flick isn’t up to the competition. ”The marketplace is really crowded during that time,” New Line distribution prez David Tuckerman told the Hollywood Reporter. ”And they’re all high profile films.” Steven Soderbergh‘s ”Traffic,” Gus Van Sant‘s ”Finding Forrester,” and Disney‘s George Clooney vehicle ”O Brother, Where Art Thou?” are among the big holiday guns the studio would rather not face. However, New Line still plans to debut the drama before Christmas in New York and L.A., so that ”Days” can qualify for Oscar consideration. Did someone put Santa on the Academy payroll?

FILM FEST Ah, yes, the paradigms are shifting. The competitors at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, announced today, will be glitzier than ever. Of the 32 films selected from more than 1,000 submissions, many contain the sort of high polish special effects and A list celebs not usually associated with independent films, according to festival codirector Geoffrey Gilmore, who says: ”The independent film world is still struggling to find a definition of the word ‘independent.’ No longer can one characterize independent films as films simply in opposition to studio films. [One competitor] ‘Donnie Darko’ has considerable special effects, and high profile actors now appear [in many Sundance films].” With that in mind, don’t be surprised if they start including dotcom commercials in the near future.

LOST Scott Smith, bassist for the post Glam 1980s band Loverboy, is missing at sea and presumed dead. Last week his sailboat was swept away by a 25 foot wave off of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. The 45 year old musician was en route from Canada to Mexico. The coast guard rescued two of Smith’s friends from the boat unharmed. But Smith disappeared. ”I went down below to change into my foul weather gear so I could relieve Scott and then the wave hit and the boat went over on its side,” Smith’s friend Bill Ellis told the Ottowa Citizen. ”Within seconds I went back up and Scott was gone and he took the wheel with him. We turned back around but couldn’t find any of the debris or cushions or the man overboard pole.” Smith’s friends will continue a private search for his body.

AILING In an interview with the BBC’s ”Omnibus,” Dudley Moore said that he does not have long to live. The British actor, who in September announced that he suffers from Parkinson’s related brain disorder, said that he faces a ”short and uncertain future.”