Today's News: Our Take


SPEAKING OF KING...

Stephen King's agent is downplaying his client's retirement chatter. "He's spoken about retiring many times in the past," Arthur Greene told The Associated Press. "In my own mind, I think it's unlikely he'll stop working." read more

OSCAR WINNER DIES

Harold Russell, a disabled World War II vet and an Oscar winner for his role in The Best Years of Our Lives, died Tuesday of a heart attack. He was 88. Russell — who had become an advocate for the rights of the disabled — won two Oscars for the film: one as best supporting actor, and a second, special Oscar for "bringing aid and comfort to disabled veterans through the medium of motion pictures." read more

SHORT CUTS

Australian supermodel Elle Macpherson is engaged to French-Swiss banker Arpad Busson. This will be her second trip down the aisle... Warner Bros. is developing a sequel to its live-action/CGI smash Cats & Dogs... Miramax is planning a film adaptation of David Auburn's Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof. — Michael Ausiello read more

TRAGEDY FOR THE ACTING COMMUNITY

First Stephen King and now this! Former Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson is threatening to retire from acting within two years and possibly take up pole dancing. The 34-year-old V.I.P. star tells Extra that, "Within a couple of years, I am just going to bow out. I have a stripper pole in my bedroom. I was thinking that I would just take pole dancing lessons and go on the road with [boyfriend] Kid Rock." Anderson says the career change would allow her to be a full-time mom to sons Brandon and Dylan (with ex-husband Tommy Lee). "I crave being with them," she says. "I really want to stop everything and be with my kids. I have had a lot of craziness and it is just time to simplify." read more

SLEEPLESS IN MALIBU

Meg Ryan is breathing a little easier today. The 40-year-old actress has obtained a restraining order against alleged stalker John Michael Hughes, who has claimed to be her fiancé. Last month, Hughes was arrested when he broke into a Malibu home he mistakenly believed was Ryan's. Sheriff's deputies later searched his car and found an issue of US Weekly magazine with Ryan on the cover and a night-vision scope. read more

SHORT CUTS

Ewan MacGregor will join Ren&#233e Zellweger on the big screen in Down with Love, a new romantic comedy, according to Variety... Normally overprotective mother Madonna took a rare step in bringing her five-year-old daughter Lourdes to a public event on Tuesday. The duo attended the opening of an exhibition by fashion photographer Mario Testino. read more

MIRACULOUS RECOVERY

Katie Couric was caught in a flu-faux pas Tuesday night when the Today show anchor was seen at a party in Boston with her beau Tom Werner — on the same day she called in sick to work. A rep for Today told the New York Post, "After resting for a day and a half, she felt well enough to attend [the party]." Couric was back in New York by 9:30 pm that evening and back on the show Wednesday. read more

Queen Latifah Previews Chicago


Queen Latifah has good news for those Broadway aficionados skeptical about Miramax's upcoming movie version of the Tony-winning musical Chicago: Don't worry, it's good. "They are going to be totally blown away by it," the singer-actress tells TV Guide Online. "I'm telling you — Renée Zellweger (Roxie) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Velma) have got it going on! It's gonna be great."

In the highly anticipated adaptation (due in theaters this Christmas), Latifah assumes the role of prison matron Mama Morton. How did she take to the character's enticing — if dwindling and drafty — wardrobe (read: Miniskirt)? "You won't be seeing me kicking my legs up that high," laughs the onetime talk show hostess of her sex read more

END QUOTE

"I am out of work May 22. I am totally available next season." — Rosie O'Donnell, telling Access Hollywood about her availability to do more sitcom roles. O'Donnell guest stars as the lesbian mother of Jack's son on tonight's Will & Grace. — Lauren Kane and Angel Cohn read more

THE BODY ON BROADWAY?

Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is working with librettist and lyricist Stephen Dolginoff on The Body Ventura, a musical based on the life of the former pro wrestler-turned-politician, reports Reuters. read more

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