Today's News: Our Take


Question: I can't remember ...

Question: I can't remember the name of the actor who played the beast on the TV series Beauty and the Beast. I am told this actor recorded poetry to music from the show. I would like to find a copy of this recording, but according to the retail stores, they need to order using his name. When browsing the Web, all I find are facts about the movie. Help! — Karen, Columbia, Tenn.

Televisionary: Not only can I tell you name of the actor, Karen, but I'll also throw in the name of the album. Actor Ron Perlman (Blade II), who played romantic, lion-faced underdweller Vincent in the CBS cult favorite, read poetry amid cuts of music from the show on Capitol Records's Beauty and the Beast: Of Love and Hope. Unfortunately, what I can't do is find you an easily obtained copy of the disc, which is out of print. However, checking around with your favorite used-record shops and on various auction websites should net you read more

Stephen Dorff Goes Wild


Stephen Dorff throws a few punches in Deuces Wild — opening Friday — a gritty rumblefest about teen gang violence in the late 1950s. But the sexy Blade star reserves the rough stuff for the big screen. In real life, he's much more of a peacemaker. "I'm a lover, not a fighter," Dorff says with a dry laugh.

Recalling the one time he's resorted to fisticuffs — after kissing another boy's girlfriend when he was 16 — Dorff says he prefers to discuss a disagreement. "I'm usually good at talking my way out of things," he shares. "Fighting to me seems kind of macho, and that's not really who I am."

Though Dorff prefers verbal sparring, he understands why his character, Leon — a gang leader who's out to drive drug dealers off his block  read more

FAST EXIT

Vin Diesel has dropped out of Universal's planned sequel to The Fast and the Furious. Variety reports that money may have been a factor. The follow-up will now be built around Paul Walker's cop character Brian O'Conner. read more

OUT ON BAIL

Robert Blake posted $1 million bail on Friday for bodyguard Earle Caldwell, who's charged with conspiring to kill the actor's wife. "He's an employee and a friend and Robert felt responsible for him," Blake's attorney Harland Braun said. read more

BARBIE CREATOR DIES

Ruth Handler, who created Barbie, the planet's most popular — and controversial — doll, died Saturday in Los Angeles of complications from colon surgery. She was 85. "My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be," Handler wrote in a 1994 autobiography. "Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices." More than 1 billion Barbie dolls have been sold since being introduced in 1959. read more

SHORT CUTS

HBO has renewed Six Feet Under for a third season. Fox, meanwhile, has renewed Boston Public for a third season as well... Actor Donovan Patton replaces Steve Burns as host of Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues on tonight's show (7 pm/ET). read more

7th Heaven Hunk Loves Lucy


Just when fans thought 7th Heaven's hunk quotient was slumping — heartthrob Barry Watson is leaving at the end of the season — a tasty new piece of eye candy has come along.

Last Monday, single Camden gals Lucy and Mary (played by Beverley Mitchell and Jessica Biel) found romance on a trip to Buffalo. Turns out, Mary's firefighter beau Ben (Geoff Stults) had a brother named Kevin who was perfect for her sister Lucy. But the real coincidence here is that the siblings are kin in real life too!

"When [Geoff] came in to read for the part, he told us that he had a brother," recalls exec producer read more

EMERGENCY ACTING LESSONS?

Madonna's London stage debut has been delayed. Previews of David Williamson's Up for Grabs — scheduled to start on May 9 — will now begin May 12. Producers blame the delay on technical difficulties. The play's official opening is still slated for May 23. read more

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

The season finale of ABC's The Bachelor attracted 18.2 million viewers Thursday night, beating NBC's combo of Will & Grace and Just Shoot Me. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that not only is the network gearing up for a Bachelor 2, but it's also developing a Bachelorette version. Despite ABC's Bachelor boost, NBC has taken the early lead in the May sweeps derby, which began Thursday. CBS is tops among total viewers. read more

Jami Gertz: Goofy as Gilda


What a difference an Emmy nod makes, huh? Best known as the resident bombshell in so many '80s angst-bombs (Less Than Zero, Solarbabies), Jami Gertz never got the props she deserved. We first met her as &#252berprep Muffy Tepperman on the cult gem Square Pegs. Since then, she's handed in handfuls of strong turns, including a brief visit to ER as head shrinker Nina Pomerantz.

But it wasn't until the stunner stunned us with her Emmy-nominated stint as Ally McBeal misfit Kimmie Bishop that folks finally realized she is one funny honey. Now, she's ready to be taken seriously, playing one of comedy's greatest gals in tonight's Gilda Radner: It's Always Something (airing read more

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