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

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

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

WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT...

Saturday Night Live's Ana Gasteyer announced she's pregnant and expects to give birth to her first child in June. Gasteyer will be the first SNL cast member to be pregnant while on the show. 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

DAY CARE

Greeting card companies rejoice! Michael Jackson wants the world to create a new holiday to celebrate kids. In a recent interview with Vibe magazine, the King of Pop visualized Children's Day — a peaceful occasion that would be similar to Mother's or Father's Day. 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

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

WHO'S YOUR DADDY?

The Hollywood baby boom is still kickin' as actors Eddie Murphy and Andy Garcia took on the role of proud papas this week. Murphy and wife Nicole welcomed their fifth child on Tuesday night, a girl named Bella Zahara. Garcia (Ocean's Eleven) and his wife added a son to their brood of three daughters. According to The Associated Press, Andres Antonio Garcia-Lorido was delivered Monday in Los Angeles. read more

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