Celebrity news for the week of February 8, 2008
Singers Gwen Stefani, 38, and Gavin Rossdale, 40, are expanding their family with a second child, according to a report…. Actor-turned-Daddy Day Camp director Fred Savage, 31, might have to start one of his own, now that baby No. 2 is on the way with wife Jennifer, 34…. Dixie Chicks fiddler Martie Maguire, 38, and husband Gareth, 33, will become third-time parents with the arrival of a daughter this summer.
Amy Winehouse, 24, entered a rehab facility near London on Jan. 24 after a video surfaced last week in which she appeared to be smoking crack. A rep for the singer — who previously sought treatment in August of 2007 — says Winehouse still plans to attend the Grammys on Feb. 10, but ”must put her health before all other considerations.”… According to his website, film critic Roger Ebert, 65, is ”doing well” after a Jan. 24 surgery related to his battle with cancer. Ebert has undergone a series of operations since 2002 to remove tumors on his thyroid and salivary glands…. Sean Young (No Way Out), 48, checked into rehab in L.A. on Jan. 29. The actress raised eyebrows at the Directors Guild of America Awards on Jan. 26, when she yelled at The Diving Bell and the Butterfly director Julian Schnabel to hurry up during his speech and was later escorted out of the building. Young has ”struggled against the disease [of alcoholism] for many years,” said her rep in a statement.
On Jan. 28, the still-striking Writers Guild of America announced an agreement with the Grammy Awards that allows scribes to write for the ceremony and enables stars to attend without crossing a picket line.
Season 4 of Zoey 101 bowed Jan. 27 on Nickelodeon, ending speculation that the show’s final season — which finished shooting last summer — would be canceled after star Jamie Lynn Spears, 16, announced her pregnancy in December. Earlier this month, Zoey‘s third-season finale drew a record 7.3 million viewers, which made it one of the most-watched cable shows of the week.
On Jan. 25, 60 Minutes vet Mike Wallace, 89, underwent triple-bypass surgery. ”Mike is recovering nicely,” says a rep for the show.
No butts about it: The FCC is continuing to crack down on network indecency. On Jan. 25, the FCC imposed a $1.43 million fine against ABC for showing a woman’s bare backside in a 2003 episode of NYPD Blue. In a statement, FCC commissioner Deborah Taylor said the group’s actions will remind ”broadcasters that Congress and American families continue to be concerned about protecting children from harmful material.” An ABC rep says the network will file an appeal…. On Jan. 25 in L.A., NBC sued producer Dick Wolf, 61, in an effort to clarify his contract. According to the suit, Wolf contends that a 2004 agreement entitles him to two years of exec-producer fees if any of the Law & Order series are not renewed. NBC — which stopped running new episodes of Wolf’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent last year — maintains that the pact guaranteed him one year of exec-producer fees if one of his shows is ordered but not produced. Said Wolf in a statement: ”NBC Universal is trying to rewrite an existing contract.”… Rapper Lil Wayne (né Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.), 25, was arrested on Jan. 22 in Yuma, Ariz., on drugs and weapons charges. Police claim they discovered cocaine, Ecstasy, marijuana, and a handgun in his tour bus near the Mexico-Arizona border…. Publisher Judith Regan, 54, and News Corp. announced on Jan. 25 that they’ve reached an undisclosed settlement in her $100 million defamation suit against the media giant, which owns HarperCollins. Regan was fired in Dec. 2006 after allegedly making anti-Semitic comments about co-workers when the publishing house refused to release O.J. Simpson’s book If I Did It. In a statement, News Corp. said that Regan ”is not anti-Semitic.”
Margaret Truman Daniel, 83, daughter of President Harry S. Truman and author of the popular Capital Crimes political-mystery series, after a brief illness, Jan. 29, in Chicago. — Additional reporting by Stewart Allen and Gregory Kirschling
CHRISTIAN BRANDO (1958-2008)
The eldest son of Marlon may have had only a few minor movie roles, but Christian Brando — who died Jan. 26 after battling pneumonia — led a drama-filled life. Convicted of killing his half-sister’s boyfriend in ’90, Brando was later (falsely) implicated in the ’01 murder of Robert Blake’s wife. Four years later, Brando was convicted of spousal abuse before divorcing Deborah Brando, who once claimed to be Elvis Presley’s daughter. Citing Brando’s prior drug use, officials are awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death. — Adam Markovitz
The big winner at the Sundance Film Festival was also one of the smallest movies: The immigration drama Frozen River, cast with relative unknowns, landed the Grand Jury Prize. Otherwise, comedy was king. The darkly witty Choke won a special prize for its actors, including Sam Rockwell as a sex addict devoted to his mom (Anjelica Huston). And The Wackness, about a teen pot dealer (Josh Peck) and his loopy shrink (Ben Kingsley), took home an audience award. ”We are living in pretty dark times,” says Kingsley. ”It’s a natural that we’ve evolved humor to cope.” — Adam B. Vary