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News 03/04/2007

A Normal Rockwell painting stolen more than 30 years ago from a St. Louis gallery turned up in Steven Spielberg's art collection. The filmmaker contacted the FBI after his staff spotted the painting, estimated to be worth $700,000, on an FBI Website listing stolen works of art. Spielberg purchased "Russian Schoolroom" in 1989 from a legitimate dealer, the bureau said in a statement.

Viacom chief Sumner Redstone, who famously severed Paramount's professional ties to Tom Cruise last summer after calling the actor's couch-jumping conduct "unacceptable," told People he wants to renew his friendship with the actor. "He was a great friend and I look forward to being his friend in the future," Redstone said.

Angelina Jolie filed papers this week to adopt a Vietnamese child, a top adoption official said Friday. The actor is reportedly going through a U.S. adoption agency to secure the latest member of her brood, and is applying to adopt as a single parent. She and Pitt have three children together...five-year-old Maddox, adopted from Cambodia; two-year-old Zahara, adopted from Ethiopia; and their 10-month-old biological daughter, Shiloh.

Officials in M. Night Shyamalan's Pennsylvania community granted the director permission to keep an eight-foot deer fence surrounding his property, despite complaints from neighbors about it obscuring their views and lowering property values.

France named Jude Law a knight in the Order of Arts and Letters Thursday, in recognition of his contribution to film. Past American recipients of the honor include Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and David Bowie.

News 03/01/2007

Jeff Goldblum won a permanent restraining order against a woman he says has been stalking him for years. A Superior Court judge is prohibiting Linda Ransom from coming within 100 yards of the actor's home, work, or car. Goldblum is claiming the woman has visited his home more than 50 times in the past few months, even blocking him into his driveway once with her car. According to a court declaration from Ransom, she's simply trying been to pitch Goldblum a screenplay.

Chris Rock and his wife, Malaak, told People that reports of trouble in their marriage are false. "We remain, as always, very happy and committed to our marriage and the beautiful family that we have built," the couple said.

Columbia Pictures will air an exclusive one-minute clip from Spider-Man 3 during Monday's episode of "Heroes" on NBC in anticipation of the film's debut on May 4. Meanwhile, a new animated "Spider-Man" series will swing into the CW's web, beginning in early 2008, the network announced Thursday.

News 02/28/2007

Just days after Fantasia Barrino landed a starring role in the Broadway production of The Color Purple, Michelle Williams joined the Chicago production of the musical.

News 02/27/2007

Eddie Murphy's rep is denying reports speculating that the actor was a sore loser because he left the Academy Awards after Little Miss Sunshine star Alan Arkin's upset victory in the Best Supporting Actor category. "Eddie had always planned on leaving after his category was announced to spend the rest of the evening with his family," Murphy's rep, Arnold Robinson said in a statement, pointing out that the Dreamgirls star did the same thing at the Golden Globes, where he won the category.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen topped Forbes' list of the top-earning young stars in Hollywood with combined earnings of $40 million last year, despite the fact they haven't appeared in a film since 2004's New York Minute. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe trailed the twins with a take-home of $13 million, followed by Lindsay Lohan, who banked a reported $6 million.

Fresh off their Oscar victories, Martin Scorsese and Departed scribe William Monahan are teaming up again on Paramount Pictures' rock 'n' roll epic The Long Play, Variety reports. In keeping with their formula, Scorsese will direct the film, while Monahan will write the script. Mick Jagger is producing the film, along with his Jagged Films partner Victoria Pearman.

The Los Angeles City Council is expected to declare Tuesday Elizabeth Taylor Day in honor of the Oscar winner's 75th birthday. Meanwhile, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation marked the activist's birthday by offering free HIV testing at the Out of the Closet thrift store in Hollywood.

Helen Mirren might soon have a royal engagement on her calendar. Buckingham Palace stated Monday that the Oscar-winning star of The Queen could be invited to have tea with the real Queen Elizabeth II.

Trekkies are getting a special gift next Christmas. The J.J. Abrams-directed feature film, Star Trek, is due to hit theaters on Christmas Day, 2008. Filming is slated to begin this fall.

News 02/26/2007

Ghost Rider took in an estimated $19.7 million to maintain its top spot at the box office. The Jim Carrey thriller The Number 23 came in second place with an estimated $14.9 million, the movie version of Comedy Central hit show Reno 911!: Miami came in fourth with an estimated $10.4 million, the Billy Bob Thornton quirky spaceman drama The Astronaut Farmer came in ninth with an estimated $4.5 million, and the abolitionist drama Amazing Grace came in tenth with an estimated $4.3 million.

The Departed led the pack at the 79th Annual Academy Awards with four wins, including Best Picture and Best Director for Martin Scorsese, who proved that the sixth time can be the charm. The violent cops-and-gangsters drama also scored statuettes for Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay. Forest Whitaker was named Best Actor for his turn as late Ugandan despot Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland and Helen Mirren was named Best Actress for her role as the reigning British monarch in The Queen. Jennifer Hudson won Best Supporting Actress for her role as soulful-and-scorned backup singer Effie White in Dreamgirls. Alan Arkin won Best Supporting Actor for his quirky turn as the randy, heroin-sniffing grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine, which also won Best Original Screenplay for first-time scribe Michael Arndt. Al Gore's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth not only became the most talked-about doc in years not to have been directed by Michael Moore, it was also named Best Documentary Feature and Melissa Etheridge's anthemic "I Need to Wake Up" won Best Original Song. Mexico's Pan's Labyrinth lost out to Germany's The LIves of Others for Best Foreign Language Film, but still picked up three technical awards for cinematography, makeup, and art direction to make it the second-most winning film of the night. Some 39.9 million viewers tuned in to ABC's telecast of the 79th Academy Awards, an increase over last year, according to overnight ratings.

Little Miss Sunshine dominated the Independent Spirit Awards Saturday with wins for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for Alan Arkin, Best Director for Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, and Best First Screenplay for Michael Arndt.

Basic Instinct 2 took home four dishonors at the 27th Annual Razzie Awards, including Worst Film and Worst Actress for Sharon Stone. Little Man was close behind with three Razzies, including a shared Worst Actor prize for Shawn and Marlon Wayans.

Angelina Jolie traveled to Africa on behalf of the United Nations to monitor the crisis in Darfur and visit refugee camps. The actor arrived in Chad Sunday and is expected to stay for several days, her political advisor, Trevor Neilson, told People. Meanwhile, Jolie has also been nominated to join the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, alongside heavyweights including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Alan Greenspan.

Escada perhaps inadvertently spilled the beans that Naomi Watts is pregnant, by sending out a press release touting the actor's Oscar gown as "set[ting] off her most precious new asset...the baby she is expecting with longtime boyfriend Liev Schreiber." The New York Post first reported Watts was expecting last Wednesday; so far, the actor's rep has kept quiet on the subject.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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