Celebrity news for the week of March 24, 2000
Actor Freddie Prinze Jr., 24, thinks prime-time slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar, 22, is all that. The two acted together in 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer and reportedly began dating last month. Her spokeswoman declines to comment; his couldn’t be reached…. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, 57, confirmed he’s dating Heather Mills, 32, a former model and advocate for the disabled who lost her leg when struck by a motorcycle in 1993. They met last year recording a single for charity. In related news: McCartney’s wife, Linda, who died of breast cancer in ’98, left her estate (estimated at up to $200 million) to him in a will filed March 10 in Manhattan. And Linda’s first husband, ethnographer Joseph Melville See Jr., 62, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound March 19 in Tucson, Ariz. He reportedly inspired the character Jo-Jo in the ’69 Beatles song ”Get Back.”
In a March 17 talk at the University of Georgia, Jeopardy!’s Alex Trebek, 59, ripped Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for asking easy questions (”What’s the usual color of Post-its?”) and noted that Regis Philbin, 65, twice finished last on Celebrity Jeopardy! In response, Reege challenged Trebek to appear on a stars-only Millionaire in May: ”We’ll put you in the hot seat and see if you know the color of Post-its.” Trebek plans to pass, says Jeopardy!‘s exec producer…. In an unprecedented letter to the media on March 17, just before the Oscar voting deadline, Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti chided critics of The Hurricane, the Denzel Washington film about a real-life boxer wrongly convicted of murder. The movie has been lambasted for inaccuracies, but Valenti said its ”taut narrative…sometimes vaults over the nooks and crannies of every detail, though honoring the basic facts of the true story.”
Diva Barbra Streisand, 57, and hubby James Brolin, 59, got the go-ahead March 13 from the Malibu, Calif., city council to build a 5,900-square-foot barn-like house on their ocean bluff property. The couple thanked some neighbors for ”their outpouring of support,” though others objected to their tchotchke shack, designed to store memorabilia.
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield, 78, was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital March 16 for an undisclosed ailment after completing a six-night run at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. Dangerfield’s agent says the comic is ”fine”; the Grand expects him to return April 6…. MTV gonzo host Tom Green, 28, disclosed March 20 that he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Actor Adam Farrar (Pups), 28, was arrested in Marina del Rey, Calif., March 16, for alleged attempted murder and terrorist threats against his girlfriend, whose name was not released. At press time, the L.A. district attorney had not decided whether to file charges against the stepbrother of Leonardo DiCaprio. Farrar’s attorney could not be reached.
Actor Wallace Langham, 35, who plays gay character Josh on Veronica’s Closet, pleaded no contest March 17 to a battery charge stemming from an attack on tabloid photographer John Luciano, 35, in L.A. last September. Prosecuters dropped a hate-crime charge against Langham, who allegedly shouted an anti-gay slur at Luciano. The actor agreed to serve 450 hours of community service, donate $10,000 to an L.A. gay and lesbian center, and pay $ 5,000 in fines. In a statement, Langham said he supports gay rights ”and would have never attacked anyone had I not first been provoked.”