Today's News: Our Take


THE SECRET'S OUT

Tickets for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets went on sale today in Britain — more than a month before the film's Nov. 15 debut. Simmer down people! You'll all get a seat! read more

NATURAL CAUSES

Late Drowning Pool singer David Wayne Williams died last month of heart failure, according to the autopsy report. The 30-year-old was found dead in his tour bus in mid-August. read more

YOKO WINS!

Yoko Ono scored a major legal victory on Thursday against a former personal assistant who wrote a tell-all book about her late husband John Lennon. U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand ruled that Frederic Seaman was bound by a confidentiality agreement that he signed in 1979. Ono is demanding Seaman pay unspecified damages and surrender the rights to 374 photos he took of the Lennon family. read more

Anthony Hopkins Avoids Hannibal Overkill


Can you have too much of an evil thing? Will a third Hannibal Lecter movie turn the horror icon into a Freddy Krueger-ish joke? When Anthony Hopkins was asked to reprise his Oscar-winning role for Red Dragon — a prequel to The Silence of the Lambs — he briefly pondered these questions.

"I did think of [the risks] for a while," Hopkins admits. "But then I thought, 'It's not life or death. It's only a movie after all.'" Tell that to the fans who mobbed him like a rock star at a recent Red screening. Or the British tabs, who love speculating that he's a real-life cannibal. "I've been living with this for 12 years," he says. "I sometimes have to remind people I have done other films."

Thus, before signing on the dotted line, Hopkins made one demand of director read more

IN RELATED NEWS...

Freddie Prinze Jr. will guest star on Friends later this fall playing a nanny that Ross and Rachel hire, Access Hollywood reports. read more

AILING

Grammy-winning soul singer Barry White, 58, is undergoing dialysis and is hoping to receive a kidney transplant, a rep for his label announced Wednesday. White's kidney failure was brought on by years of high blood pressure. read more

HIS SALAD DRESSING IS YUMMY

Paul Newman is making tracks to the Great White Way for the first time in 40 years. The Oscar-winning legend will appear as the stage manager in Broadway's upcoming revival of Our Town. Previews begin Nov. 22; the show opens Dec. 4. The 77-year-old actor last starred on Broadway in the 1964 comedy Baby Want a Kiss. read more

Mohicans Star Battles the Bottle


Here's a loaded question: Why did Eric Schweig choose to play Daniel Day Lewis's baby brother in Last of the Mohicans? He doesn't reply with the usual actorly spiel about "his art."

"I was drunk at the time!" laughs Schweig — who stars in Skins, an Indian reservation dramedy opening tomorrow. "So I thought, 'This is beer money! This is more beer money than I've ever seen. All I gotta do is run up a couple hills here and there.' I didn't say anything in Last of the Mohicans; I had like three lines. I thought, 'This is easy!'"

In Skins, Schweig plays a Sioux cop whose brother (Graham Greene) is slowly dying after years of alcohol abuse. The story hit close to home f read more

CONGRATULATIONS!

Tuesday's much-hyped wedding between Niles and Daphne on Frasier had NBC celebrating. The comedy attracted more than 21 million viewers, its biggest audience in nearly two years. John Ritter's 8 Simple Rules..., meanwhile, held up well in its second week with 12.8 million viewers — second only to CBS's season premiere of JAG (16 million). Finally, the season premieres of Smallville and The Gilmore Girls gave the WB its highest-rated Tuesday ever in adult demos. read more

IDOL FEAT

American Idol fans snapped up Kelly Clarkson's ghastly debut single "A Moment Like This" in record numbers — all but confirming that the pop phenom could have done a cover of the yellow pages and it would have been a smash. In its first week in stores, "Moment" sold 236,000 copies and soared from No. 52 to the No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was the largest jump to No. 1 in Hot 100 history. read more

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