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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of August 10, 2007

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MARRIED
Steve Martin, 61, and former New Yorker staffer Anne Stringfield, 35, tied the knot in a surprise July 28 ceremony at Martin’s L.A. home.

ENGAGED
Eddie Murphy, 46, popped the question to studio-exec girlfriend Tracey Edmonds on July 25.

BIRTHS
Trista Sutter, 34, and husband Ryan, 32, who met on season 1 of The Bachelorette, greeted first child Maxwell Alston on July 26…. Naomi Watts, 38, and her Painted Veil costar, boyfriend Liev Schreiber, 39, greeted son Alexander Pete Schreiber, on July 25 in L.A…. Actress Jenna Elfman (Brothers & Sisters), 35, and her husband, actor Bodhi, 38, welcomed their first child, son Story Elias, on July 23 in L.A.

CANCELED
Singer Usher, 27, and his fiancée stylist Tameka Foster, 34, canceled their July 28 nuptials for undisclosed reasons. They are due to have their first child this fall.

AILING
Blues singer Etta James, 69, was hospitalized in L.A. after complications from abdominal surgery in June. She is reported to be in good condition…. Kiss lead singer Paul Stanley, 55, was hospitalized on July 27 in L.A. after experiencing heart problems during a sound check for a concert that night. ”I have had a rapid heart condition most of my life,” explained Stanley on his website. ”I am absolutely fine!”

COURTS
On July 27, Nicole Richie, 25, pleaded guilty in a Glendale, Calif., courthouse to DUI and was sentenced to four days in jail, to be completed by Sept. 28. (Police say Richie admitted to smoking marijuana and taking Vicodin when she was pulled over last December on an L.A. freeway.) Richie, who is expecting her first child with Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden, 28, will also serve a three-year probation and enroll in an alcohol education program…. Website operator David Hans Schmidt, 47, and computer technician Marc Lewis Gittleman, 33, were arrested July 24 and 26, respectively, for allegedly trying to extort more than $1 million from Tom Cruise, 45, for the return of his stolen wedding photos. A complaint alleges that Gittleman copied pictures of Cruise’s November nuptials to Katie Holmes, 28, while repairing the wedding photographer’s hard drive, and then contacted Schmidt — known for brokering deals with celebrity photos — to sell them back to Cruise. Schmidt and Gittleman were released on bail, and could not be reached for comment…. Michael Moore, 53, says he was served with a subpoena by the federal government on July 26 for allegedly violating the U.S. ban on travel to Cuba while making Sicko. If guilty, Moore could face a $60,000 fine.

DEATHS
Reporter Marvin Zindler, 85, whose crusade against a rural brothel inspired the musical and movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, of cancer, July 29, in Houston…. French actor Michel Serrault (La Cage aux Folles), 79, of cancer, July 29, in Honfleur, France…. Pirate Master contestant Cheryl Kosewicz, 35, of an apparent suicide, on July 27, in Sparks, Nev. — Additional reporting by Stewart Allen


Legacy: Ulrich Mühe 1953-2007
The German actor who achieved international acclaim as the star of 2006’s Oscar-winning foreign-language film The Lives of Others, Mühe, 54, died of stomach cancer on July 22 at his home in Walbeck, Germany. Says Others director Florian Henckel von Donnersmark, ”Mühe was an incredibly courageous man in spirit and in will — he was a hero in that way.” — Youyoung Lee


Disney Kicks the Habit
Butt out, Cruella: On July 25, Disney CEO Robert Iger said he expects smoking will soon be ”nonexistent” in the company’s Disney-branded (read: family) films. In May, the MPAA said it would consider onscreen smoking when determining film ratings, and Disney joins Universal in stamping out cigarettes publicly. (The company also plans to include antismoking PSAs before future theatrical and DVD releases that feature smoking.) Still, not every studio is ready to clear the air. Says Sony Classics co-president Tom Bernard, ”We’ll keep making movies the way we always have. And if it gets an R for smoking, it gets an R.” — Mike Bruno

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