Today's News: Our Take


ON THE MEND

Luther Vandross has been moved out of intensive care and upgraded to stable condition. The 52-year-old singer had been in critical condition since suffering a stroke on April 16. "[He] is more and more responsive each day," his manager says. "I feel as though I am watching a modern day miracle." read more

STORK REPORT

Joan Lunden and husband Jeffrey Konigsberg are the proud parents of twins. Kate Elizabeth and Max Aaron were born Tuesday via surrogate mother in Cincinnati, Ohio. The ex-Good Morning America host has three children from a previous marriage — Jamie, 22; Lindsay, 20; and Sarah, 15. read more

D'OH!

Here's another reason you gotta love them Brits. According to a just-released BBC online poll, the folks across the pond have named Homer Simpson the greatest American that ever lived. Bart's deadbeat dad outranked such bigwigs as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and George Washington. read more

SAD DAY IN HOLLYWOOD

Today, Hollywood is mourning Gregory Peck, who died overnight at his home. He was 87. Back in 1962, he won an Oscar for playing homespun attorney Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird; the character recently was named AFI's No. 1 movie hero. One of film's most distinguished leading men, Peck also starred in classics like Roman Holiday and Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound. His last role was in the 1998 TV miniseries Moby Dick. read more

Will S.Do Take On J.Lo?


When you think of TV's great musicals, you probably think of Bette Midler in Gypsy or Brandy in Cinderella... highfalutin fare like that. But us? No way, man. We think of Shannen Doherty in 1997's rockin' revamp of All About Eve, Friends 'Til the End.

Although NBC's story of sorority girls gone wild was never heralded as the classic that it was, it introduced to a small cult of us true film buffs the vocal talents of the former 90210 vixen (not to mention those of her rival, future Dark Angel co-star Jennifer Blanc). How good is the host of Sci Fi's Scare Tactics (Fridays at 10 pm/ET)? The movie made even her thi read more

BADA BLING

Don't fuhgetabout a sixth Sopranos season just yet. According to The Hollywood Reporter, series creator/executive producer David Chase is talking to HBO about the possibility of doing a sixth season. (The show's fifth season is currently in production and is slated to debut in early 2004.) Meanwhile, James Gandolfini has taken a giant step towards repairing his image in the wake of his very public salary renegotiation with HBO earlier this year. The Emmy winner, who recently received an advance on his share of the Sopranos profits from the network, reportedly handed out $500,000 in checks to more than a dozen of his fellow cast members. (Let's hope Edie Falco got most of the moolah.) "It was always part of his plan to shar read more

ANGER MANAGEMENT

Metallica's new CD St. Anger, which was rushed to stores last Thursday to combat piracy, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's album chart with 418,000 copies sold. Jewel's latest disc, 0304, entered at No. 2 with 144,000 copies sold. read more

SHE'S BACK

Jane Pauley apparently was experiencing major Peacock withdrawal. Pauley, who bid farewell to NBC last month after 27 years, has signed a deal with the network to host her own nationally syndicated daytime talk show, beginning in the fall of 2004. read more

BEWARE OF FLYING KOOSH

A 71-year-old New York woman is suing The Rosie O'Donnell Show for $3 million claiming she was injured when a staffer flung a rubber ball at her during a Nov. 29, 2001 taping. Lucille DeBellis, who was a member of the show's studio audience, claims the ball hit her "squarely in the mouth, causing her to suffer pain and swelling, as well as bleeding in her gums." (O'Donnell herself is not named as a defendant.) read more

CORDY RETURNS!

Former Angel leading lady Charisma Carpenter is hooking up with Joe Millionaire's Evan Marriott — well, sort of. Marriott will play one of several single guys courting Carpenter's title character in the upcoming ABC Family telepic See Jane Date. Among her other suitors: Antonio Sabato Jr., Zachary Levi (Less Than Perfect) and Geoff Stults (7th Heaven). The comedy — which co-stars Charmed sorceress Holly Marie Combs read more

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