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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of February 22, 2008

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HONORS
In between strike-resolution meetings, the Writers Guild of America announced the winners of its annual awards on Feb. 9. Taking top prizes were Juno (Original Screenplay), No Country for Old Men (Adapted Screenplay), The Wire (Dramatic Series), 30 Rock (Comedy Series), and Mad Men (New Series)…. The next day, across the pond, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts named Atonement the best film of 2007 at a ceremony in London. Acting awards went to Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton), and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men).

AILING
On Feb. 6., Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland, 40, entered rehab for substance abuse. The rocker underwent treatment for alcohol and drugs in 2003…. On Feb. 11 in Miami, singer-guitarist Lenny Kravitz, 43, was hospitalized for severe bronchitis. He has indefinitely postponed a European tour promoting his new album It Is Time for a Love Revolution.

SPLITS
Ex-blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, 32, and model Shanna Moakler, 32 — the on-again/off-again stars of Meet the Barkers — officially ended their tumultuous MTV-chronicled marriage on Feb. 8 in L.A.

COURTS
On Feb. 11 in L.A., Passion of the Christ coscreenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald filed a fraud and breach-of-contract suit against Mel Gibson, 52, alleging that Gibson cheated him out of his share of Passion‘s $611 million worldwide gross. Gibson’s reps did not return calls for comment…. In May 2007, Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Hollywood Hills, Calif., neighbors sued him for $250,000 over his new basketball court, claiming it damaged their property. On Jan. 30, DiCaprio, 33, cried foul, filing suit against his contractors. The Basketball Diaries star wants them to pay if a court decides to award any money to his neighbors. Reps for the actor and the builders did not return calls for comment…. In other hoops-related news, on Feb. 11 in L.A., rapper The Game (né Jayceon Taylor), 28, pled no contest to firearm-possession charges stemming from a scuffle during a 2007 pickup game at an L.A. community center. Taylor received 60 days in jail and 150 hours of community service.

DEATHS
John Alvin, 59, the painter behind iconic posters for such films as E.T., Blazing Saddles, and Blade Runner, of a heart attack, Feb. 6, in Rhinebeck, N.Y…. Married…With Children co-creator Ron Leavitt, 60, of lung cancer, Feb. 10, in Sherman Oaks, Calif…. Comic-book writer Steve Gerber, 60 (Howard the Duck, Omega the Unknown), of complications from pulmonary fibrosis, Feb. 10, in Las Vegas. — Simon Vozick-Levinson, with additional reporting by Stewart Allen


Exit, Stage Left
It’s a drama of Shakespearean proportions: Randy Quaid, 57, has been banned from the professional stage for life. Actors’ Equity Association made the ruling on Jan. 25, after allegations that Quaid physically and verbally abused costars during an ’07 Seattle run of Lone Star Love, an ill-fated Western Merry Wives of Windsor musical. Denying the accusations, Quaid, who played the intemperate Falstaff, had a Method-esque reply: ”I am guilty of one thing: giving a performance that elicited a response so deeply felt by actors and producers with little experience of my creative process.” — Simon Vozick-Levinson

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