Today's News: Our Take


MISS MATCH

Heather Locklear has been tapped to play Hilary Duff's mother in Universal's upcoming romantic comedy The Perfect Man. The film, which begins shooting April 29 in Toronto, centers on Duff's efforts to find her romantically challenged mom a mate. Worse case scenario there's always Andrew Shue. read more

RICH KIDS

Eighteen-year-old Malcolm in the Middle offspring Justin Berfield — he plays Reese — has purchased a five-bedroom Hollywood Hills home for slightly more than $1.2 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. In related news, 32-year-old TV Guide columnist Michael Ausiello is on the lookout for a one-bedroom apartment in Hell's Kitchen for considerably less than that. E-mail any leads to the link at the bottom of this column. read more

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY

Jerry Springer — The Opera is coming to Broadway in the fall of 2005. The $13.9-million musical, which has been a critical and commercial success since opening on London's West End last April, revolves around Springer's TV persona getting shot and going to hell. Which means it'll probably play across the street from Mamma Mia!. read more

LEGAL THRILLER

Michael Jackson's two A-list lawyers, Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman, beat it over the weekend due to "a number of complicated legal and practical issues." Jackson promptly replaced them with high-powered criminal attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., who briefly represented Robert Blake in his murder case. The big switcheroo comes just days after a grand-jury indictment was dangled before the former King of Pop and less than a week before his latest arraignment. read more

MUST BE HELL

7th Heaven's Jeremy London, who plays an assistant reverend on the WB's teen smash, was arrested Friday for investigation of vandalism, marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license. Officers responded to calls from motorists who saw London arguing with his girlfriend on California's Interstate 5. read more

SHORT CUTS

Miami Vice alum Don Johnson has reportedly filed for bankruptcy to protect his Colorado ranch from being sold at auction... Sharon Stone was honored with the National Center for Lesbian Rights Spirit Award Saturday night for her support of gay and lesbian civil rights... Alanis Morissette is teaming up with Barenaked Ladies for a summer tour that begins July 13 in Cleveland... NBC has ordered a second season of its daytime reality soap Starting Over, which will relocate from Chicago to Los Angeles next fall... Redmond O'Neal, the 19-year-old son of Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett, has been ordered to undergo treatment for heroin addiction. read more

HE'S GOT A WAY OF CRASHIN'

Did Billy Joel go to the Cher Horowitz School of Driving? On Sunday, the Piano Man sustained minor injuries when he lost control of his car and crashed into a house on Long Island — his third car accident in two years. There was no evidence of alcohol or drugs being involved, which all but confirms that the dude is just one crappy driver. read more

SUDDENLY AN AUTHOR

Brooke Shields will write a book that chronicles her struggle with postpartum depression following the birth of her now 1-year-old daughter, Rowan Francis. By sharing her experience, the 38-year-old actress hopes to "shed light on a real, yet often hidden or ignored problem that affects women of all walks of life in varying degrees." Down Came the Rain is due in stores in the spring of 2005. read more

BEAUTY QUEEN DIES

Cosmetics icon Estee Lauder, who parlayed face creams and bath oils into a $5-billion-a-year international empire, died of cardiopulmonary arrest Saturday at her home in Manhattan. She was 97. Lauder, the lone female to make Time magazine's 1998 list of the 20 most influential business geniuses of the century, was once quoted as saying, "There are no homely women, only careless women." read more

IN OTHER GARNER NEWS...

ER's Goran Visnjic is in talks to play Jennifer Garner's love interest in her upcoming Daredevil spinoff, Elektra, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the film, Garner falls for Visnjic's character, but things go awry when she repeatedly butchers his last name. read more

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