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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of September 28, 2007

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EXPECTING
Actor Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac), 39, and wife Sunrise Coigney, 34, are expecting a baby girl. She’ll join son Keen, 6, and daughter Bella, 2.

ADOPTED
Actress Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), 43, has adopted a baby girl from Africa. She also has a son, Will, 3, with her ex-boyfriend, actor Billy Crudup, 39.

HIRED
Comedian Jon Stewart (The Daily Show), 44, will host the 80th Annual Academy Awards Feb. 25, 2008. He also emceed in 2006.

FILMING
After banning Bryan Singer‘s ’08 WWII drama Valkyrie from Berlin’s Bendlerblock war memorial, the German government decided to allow filming at the site, where officer Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (played by Tom Cruise) and his co-conspirators were executed for attempting to assasinate Adolf Hitler in 1944.

REUNITED
The Sex Pistols will play a one-night stint at London’s Brixton Academy Nov. 8 — the punk band’s first public performance since 2003.

POSTPONED
The December U.K. release of the Ben Affleck-directed film Gone Baby Gone has been pushed back due to echoes with the case of missing British girl Madeleine McCann, who disappeared on a family holiday in Portugal in May. No new date has been set.

CANCELED
On Sept. 17, singer Barry Manilow, 64, pulled out of a Sept. 18 spot on ABC’s The View after learning he’d be interviewed by conservative cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck, 30. ”I’ve always been a big supporter of the show, but I cannot compromise my beliefs,” Manilow said on his website. Retorted View coexec producer Bill Geddie: ”He is not going to call the shots. You’re not going to tell me how to produce the show.”… The White Stripes have canceled their fall U.S. and U.K. concerts. Drummer Meg White, 32, ”is suffering from acute anxiety,” said a rep for the rockers.

COURTS
After seven days of deliberation, on Sept. 18 jurors in the L.A. murder trial of rock producer Phil Spector, 67, declared they were unable to reach a verdict. Spector faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted of shooting actress Lana Clarkson at his L.A.-area home in February 2003. At press time, the judge was debating sending the jury back to consider a lesser charge of manslaughter…. Trick Daddy (né aurice Young), 32, was arrested after a Sept. 11 fight at a Miami strip club and charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest, say police…. On Sept. 12 in NYC, producer Carlos Evans filed a $2 million suit against 50 Cent and Lil’ Kim, both 32, and their record labels, Rotten Apple and Atlantic. Evans says he’s owed royalties for the rappers’ 2003 hit single ”Magic Stick.” Reps for the defendants didn’t return calls…. On Sept. 1, Top Chef season 2 contestant Josie Smith-Malave, 32, was verbally and physically assaulted by about 12 people shouting antigay slurs outside a Sea Cliff, N.Y., bar. Police have arrested Matthew W. Walli, 20, of Oregon; an investigation is ongoing. Walli could not be reached for comment…. On Sept. 18 in L.A., Wesley Snipes, 45, was ordered to give $1.7 million to United Talent Agency after failing to pay commissions for roles UTA helped him land in films like Blade III and The Shooter. The actor will be tried next month in Ocala, Fla., on tax-fraud charges, which carry a possible sentence of 16 years in jail. (He has pleaded not guilty.)… On Sept. 17 in L.A., actress Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), 18, was sued for breach of contract by ex-attorney Brian L. Schall, who says he’s owed $150,000 in fees for helping the star earn some $5 million since 2005. Reps for Hudgens did not immediately return calls.

DEATHS
Fantasy author Robert Jordan (né James Oliver Rigney Jr.), 58, whose 11-book Wheel of Time series sold a combined 14 million-plus copies, of the blood disease amyloidosis, Sept. 16, in Charleston, S.C…. Singer Bobby Byrd, 73, a James Brown collaborator and Famous Flames cofounder, of cancer, Sept. 12, in Loganville, Ga…. Cuban trombonist Generoso Jiménez, 90, who worked with artists like Gloria Estefan, of renal failure, Sept. 15, in Miami…. Spanish set decorator and F/X wizard Emilio Ruiz del Río (Pan’s Labyrinth), 84, of respiratory failure, Sept. 14, in Madrid. — Additional reporting by Stewart Allen


Brett Somers 1924-2007
A regular panelist on Match Game, Somers, 83, died Sept. 15 in Westport, Conn., of stomach and colon cancer. On the freewheeling ’70s quiz show, Somers — pictured with Match mates Gene Rayburn and Charles Nelson Reilly — was known for her witty quips, enormous eyewear, and kooky wigs; off screen, she was married to her costar from TV’s The Odd Couple, Jack Klugman. Says pal Marcia Wallace (The Bob Newhart Show): ”She lived her life to the edges on her own terms. Not many people can say that.” — Tanner Stransky


The Week in Britney
Another week, another rash of bad news for the beleaguered pop tart: On Sept. 17, Spears, 25, parted ways with management company the Firm and lawyer Laura Wasser. The same day, an ex-bodyguard appeared at a custody hearing for her sons Sean Preston, 2, and Jayden James, 1, in L.A. — neither Spears nor ex Kevin Federline were present — ready to testify against her. Then, citing her ”habitual, frequent, and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol,” the court ordered her to take twice-weekly drug tests. She must also meet with a parenting counselor eight hours each week. Spears’ label, Jive, had no comment, though her album remains on schedule for a Nov. 13 release. — Leah Greenblatt


Canadian Dealmakin’
An early pyrotechnic display of high-wattage Oscar hopefuls set the tone for the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, more studio-film showcase than indie marketplace. Movies like Focus Features’ audience-award winner Eastern Promises and the runner-up, Fox Searchlight’s Juno (with Jennifer Garner and Ellen Page), dominated the buzz, while hotly anticipated indies like Alan Ball’s Nothing Is Private — eventually acquired by Warner Independent — drew mixed response. Not even audience-prize contender Body of War could capitalize on its emotional firepower; despite playing to packed, misty-eyed houses — ”Grown men were in tears,” says codirector Ellen Spiro — the Iraq war doc didn’t land a distribution deal. — Christine Spines

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