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News 09/30/2007

Lois Maxwell, the Canadian-born actress who originated the role of Miss Moneypenny in the first 14 James Bond movies, died of cancer Sunday at the age of 80, the BBC reports. Maxwell's other credits include Stanley Kubrick's Lolita, That Hagen Girl with Shirley Temple for which she won a Golden Globe, and the TV show "The Saint." Her last 007 adventure was 1985's A View to a Kill opposite Roger Moore as the superspy.

Iconic fashion house St. John adamantly denies that Angelina Jolie has been booted from her post as resident celebrity spokesmodel and says that she will indeed suit up for its spring collection. "Rumors that St. John has fired [the actress] are untrue. She appears in the current St. John campaign and she will appear in the upcoming Spring Campaign as well," read the official statement.

Alan Ladd Jr., showbiz scion and Oscar-winning producer of Braveheart, Blade Runner, and Chariots of Fire, received the 2,348th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday. He's also renowned for commissioning George Lucas to pen the Star Wars script, despite the lack of a ready market for a character-driven sci-fi space flick. "I've known this guy for 30 years," said Mel Brooks, one of the celebrities in attendance. "He is one of the sweetest and nicest guys and he has saved my life many times. If anybody deserves a star, it's this legendary, incredible, iconic filmmaker." Ladd's latest film, the Ben Affleck-helmed crime thriller Gone Baby Gone, hits theaters Oct. 19.

An Arizona Man who agreed to plead guilty to hatching a scheme to extort more than $1 million from Tom Cruise in return for the thespian's stolen wedding photos was found dead in his home. According to Phoenix police 47-year-old David Hans Schmidt, who was under house arrest and faced a two-year federal prison term, appeared to have killed himself.

Ben Stiller told Ellen DeGeneres that pal Owen Wilson is "doing really well" in the wake of his hospitalization for a reported suicide attempt. "I sort of like to protective his privacy, 'cause I feel like it's his own thing. But he's a really good friend of mine. He's an incredible guy and I wish him as everybody does, all the best."

Woody Harrelson called for more anti-oil activism during the Picnic media and technology conference in Amsterdam Thursday, announcing that he and billionaire Virgin mogul Richard Branson would be awarding $700,000 to the best green design for a forthcoming environmental project.

News 09/27/2007

Vivica A. Fox pled not guilty to drunken driving charges Thursday stemming from her March arrest. The actress was not in court and entered her plea through her attorney. Her next court date is Oct. 29; in the meantime, she's been ordered to abstain from drinking.

Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty is still haunted by a controversial kiss from Richard Gere that took place some five months ago. Shetty was briefly detained at Mumbai airport on Wednesday by officials who said she was still wanted on obscenity charges. After prolonged questioning, the actress was finally allowed to rejoin her dance troupe and continue on to Berlin where she is starring in a musical.

Contrary to speculation, Lindsay Lohan will not be checking out of the Cirque Lodge rehab facility in Utah this weekend, according to her mother. "Not true, staying in Utah," Dina Lohan wrote in an email to "Access Hollywood." The actress began her stint in the treatment program last month, after her July 24 drunken driving arrest following a brief car chase.

A Texas man shelled out a winning bid of $47,100 to land his 10-year-old son a role as an extra in Will Ferrell's upcoming film Step Brothers. The money will go to the Cancer for College foundation, an organization run by one of the actor's University of Southern California frat brothers. "I lost my mother to ovarian cancer a few years ago, so I feel fortunate that my 10-year-old and I are able to participate in an event involving Cancer for College and Will Ferrell," the auction winner, who asked to remain anonymous, said in a statement.

Martin Scorsese will direct an authorized documentary about late Beatle George Harrison, who died of lung cancer in 2001, Variety reports. Early production is slated to begin this year, but the film is expected to take several years to complete. Harrison's widow, Olivia, will serve as producer, and surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will participate, as will Apple Records.

Thieves raided the Buenos Aires home of Francis Ford Coppola late Wednesday and made off with items including a laptop containing work on his new movie, Tetro, an employee said Thursday. The Oscar-winning director was not home at the time of the robbery, but a member of his production crew was injured during the break-in. "Coppola is very sad, and the only thing he's asked for is to get back his computer, which is essential for him and for his work," the employee, who was not identified, told an Argentine television station.

Robert Redford has signed on to direct Against All Enemies, an adaptation of former U.S. terrorism czar Richard A. Clarke's bestselling memoir about the Bush administration's handling of the al Qaeda threat before and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Capitol Films will finance the project, taking it over from Columbia, which had shelved it, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Paramount and DreamWorks have set a June 26, 2009 premiere date for Transformers 2, with Michael Bay expected to return to helm the sequel, Variety reports. Once the director officially signs on, Shia LaBeouf is expected to return as well.

News 09/26/2007

Jennifer Aniston is slated to star opposite Aaron Eckhart in the drama Traveling, per Variety. The actress plays a floral designer who works in a Seattle hotel where a well-known lifestyle coach is conducting a grief seminar. As she becomes better acquainted with the self-help guru, she factors into his realization that he practices none of the principles he preaches. Shooting on the film begins next year.

News 09/25/2007

Jessica Biel is in negotiations to suit up as Wonder Woman in the upcoming superhero film Justice League of America, Variety reports. Other heroes expected to be featured in the flick include Superman, Batman, the Flash, and Aquaman, but no other casting info has been revealed to date.

A special effects technician involved in the filming of Batman: The Dark Knight has died after his 4X4 vehicle crashed into a tree during a dummy film run, Warner Bros. said in a statement Tuesday. An investigation into the cause of the accident was said to be underway. None of the cast members were present for the crash. The victim's name was not released.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will meet with Angelina Jolie in New York this week to discuss global diplomacy, officials said Tuesday. The foreign policy chief is reportedly seeking to soften the tone of global relations after Britain became involved in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. No word on what role Jolie might play in achieving this goal.

Sally Field has signed on to play Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's forthcoming biopic Lincoln, based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Per the Hollywood Reporter, the film is expected to focus on the 16th president's role in leading the North in the Civil War. Liam Neeson will play the titular character. Spielberg is due to turn his focus to the film after he wraps up production on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

News 09/24/2007

Famed Franch mime Marcel Marceau died Saturday, his assistant announced on France-Info radio. He was 84. The cause of death has yet to be released.

The Screen Actors Guild has announced that veteran character actor Charles Durning will receive the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment at the 14th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 27.

A federal judge has fined New Line Cinema $125,000 for failing to produce potential evidence in Peter Jackson's legal battle with the studio over the accounting of Lord of the Rings. Jackson sued the studio last year, claiming he never received a fair and proper accounting of the first film in the franchise's income, including DVD sales and foreign receipts. His lawsuit does not specify damages, but could mean payouts into the tens of millions of dollars.

John McTiernan, the director of Die Hard and Predator, was sentenced Monday to four months' behind bars and two years of supervised release for making "knowingly false" statements to FBI agents about celebrity private eye Anthony Pellicano's alleged illegal wiretapping operation. McTiernan was also fined $100,000.

William Baldwin is auctioning off posh VIP packages such as a day on the campaign trial with presidential hopeful John Edwards and a private falconry lesson with Robert Kennedy Jr. in an effort to raise funds for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, the foundation his mother established in 1996 after surviving breast cancer.

All news gathered from E! Online and other sources

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