OBITUARY Veteran actor George C. Scott died on Wednesday at age 71 from a ruptured major blood vessel in his abdomen. Scott’s list of classic movies seems endless, from ”Anatomy of a Murder” to ”The Hustler” and ”Dr. Strangelove.” The role that he will be most closely associated with, the titular General in ”Patton,” won him an Oscar in 1971, which he refused to accept, calling the Oscar ceremony a ”meat parade” and condemning the Oscars in general as ”offensive, barbarous and innately corrupt.” He also won an Emmy in 1998 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in the remake of ”12 Angry Men.”
CASTING The Spice Girls seem to be doing everything but putting out a new group album. Now they’ve announced that they’re mulling over lending their name to an animated feature-length ”Star Wars” spoof called ”Journey Into Spice,” according to MTV News. It’s still not clear if they’d actually deign to provide their own voices or whether — à la the Beatles with ”Yellow Submarine” — sound-alikes would supply the dialogue…. Bruce Willis has signed up for ”The Kid,” a comedy about a rich boor who gets perspective on his life when he magically meets himself at age 10. Better that than Willis meeting himself at age 35 — when he made ”Hudson Hawk”…. If you loved Skeet Ulrich in ”Chill Factor” (and really, who didn’t?) you’ll just go gaga for him in his next role. He’s costarring with Gary Oldman in the comedy ”Anasazi Moon,” about two low-rent crooks who discover an orphaned baby…. Tom Berenger, Stephen Baldwin, and Dennis Rodman are teaming for ”Cutaway,” an action pic about a cop going undercover in the world of parachuting drug smugglers. I’m not a gambling man, but I think betting on ”straight to Cinemax” would be easy money.
NAME ADDING Hope they’ve got room on the ”Friends” credits for Courteney Cox’s new name: She’s officially changed it to Courteney Cox Arquette, three months after her marriage to David Arquette. ”The reason why is because it was really important for David, for me, too,” she told Entertainment Tonight. No word on whether she’ll also show her devotion by elongating her name to ‘Courteney Cox Arquette Irritant-from-those-1-800-CALL-ATT-ads.’
AWARD WINNERS It was Ladies’ Night at Wednesday’s Country Music Association Awards: Shania Twain won Entertainer of the Year, while the Dixie Chicks won for best vocal group, and best single and music video (both for ”Wide Open Spaces”). Other victors were Jo Dee Messina (Horizon Award, for creative growth), Brooks & Dunn (vocal duo), and Tim McBride (male vocalist)…. Steven Spielberg, August Wilson, and ”Newshour” anchor Jim Lehrer will receive this year’s National Humanities Medals from the White House.
CELEBRATING Elton John and George Michael are going out with a bang, headlining a concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall on Nov. 28 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of Stonewall, England’s most famous gay activist group.
RECORD RELEASE Paul McCartney next month will release his third classical music album, called ”Working Classical,” a tongue-in-cheek reference to his own working-class roots. ”A lot of people like to turn their backs, especially when you get a little bit elevated in life,” said McCartney in a statement. ”So I am always keen to remind people and myself of where I’m from.” He then went back to blowing his nose into a 100-pound note.
DIVAGATE Some more details are out on Wednesday’s arrest of Diana Ross at London’s Heathrow Airport. Turns out that a female security officer had allegedly touched the singer’s breast while doing a routine search before she boarded the Concorde, according to the Associated Press, and Lady not only sang the blues, she also reached out and grabbed the guard’s own breasts and said, ”How do YOU like it?” Ross then stormed off and was then taken into custody by police for five hours, after which she was released with just a warning. The singer later said that authorities had been ”very good but they have procedures… I am not saying that they were unkind, but they did their job. It was scary. I was scared.”
CONCERT MEMORIES The Blondie revival will continue with a live album to be released on Nov. 23 with tunes recorded from the band’s recent reunion tour. The imaginatively titled ”Blondie Live” will feature 19 tunes, including many of their classic hits, like ”The Tide Is High” and ”Heart of Glass.”
SENTENCED Veteran self-destructing actor Jan-Michael Vincent has finally managed to grab headline space away from that young upstart Scott Weiland: The ”Airwolf” star was sentenced to three years probation, an $800 fine, and six months of rehab yesterday after pleading guilty to three counts of public intoxication. This guy will do anything to get his ”E! True Hollywood Story” rerun.