Today's News: Our Take


Actor John Thaw, known around the globe for his role as the grumpy detective in the acclaimed British series Inspector Morse, died Thursday of throat cancer. He was 60. Inspector Morse ran for 13 years in the United States on PBS's Mystery! series. read more


Singer-actress Brandy is expecting her first child in July, her rep confirms. The news comes just weeks after the 23-year-old revealed that she secretly wed producer Robert Smith last summer. read more


The parents of Daniel Karven-Veres — the four-year-old boy who drowned during a birthday party at Tommy Lee's Malibu home last June — are now suing the rock star. Their suit alleges that the children in Lee's pool lacked adult supervision that day, and had no one available to perform CPR in case of an emergency. They seek to recover Daniel's medical and funeral expenses, plus punitive damages for their pain and suffering. read more


Thanksgiving dinner should be a tad more pleasant at the Rimes household now: LeAnn Rimes's heated and very public legal tussle with her dad reportedly has been settled. Wilbur Rimes, father of the 19-year-old singer, told The Tennessean that, "all of the legal troubles between my daughter and I are over." He did not provide specifics. Rimes sued her pa in 2000 alleging that he and a former co-manager cheated her out of more than $7 million. Wilbur filed a countersuit against Rimes's company. read more


Film critic Roger Ebert will undergo surgery today to remove a cancerous growth from his thyroid gland. The 59-year-old movie reviewer underwent a similar operation in 1987. "I am told this type of tumor is slow-growing and not aggressive," he said in a statement. read more


HBO is developing a biopic on '70s fashion icon Halston titled Simply Halston... Bill Murray is in talks to play the title role in Bad Santa, a feature about a pair of con men who masquerade as Santa and an elf... In an effort to boost the Oscar chances of Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, Warner Bros. is rereleasing Training Day in a handful of theaters in New York and Los Angeles this weekend. — Michael Ausiello with Daniel R. Coleridge read more


Macaulay Culkin is headed back to the big screen for the first time in eight years. The Home Alone star will portray real-life party promoter and convicted murderer Michael Alig in the dark comedy Party Monster, Variety reports. Seth Green (Austin Powers) co-stars. read more


Reruns of CBS's Amazing Race 2 will run on sister network UPN on Fridays at 9 pm/ET — two days after its regularly scheduled Wednesday airing on CBS. Race 2 debuts March 11. UPN, meanwhile, has picked up a new version of The Twilight Zone for the fall. read more

Mel's Co-Star Sounds Off!

Let there be no doubt that veteran actor Sam Elliott was the perfect choice to portray gruff, no-nonsense Sergeant Major Basil Plumley in the upcoming Vietnam drama We Were Soldiers (opening March 1). Case in point: At the film's Feb. 10 junket, the 57-year-old thesp appeared to still be playing the part!

Asked to weigh in on a number of topics — everything from the impact Sept. 11 has had on military movies to actors goofing off between takes (regarding the latter, big surprise, he's not a fan of it) — Elliott hardly minced words. But the popular TV cowboy (The Shadow Riders, The Yellow Rose) was at his most animated when discussing America's current war on terrorism.

"To be honest, I think we all got real soft," he asserts. "And it's one reason I am as read more

Kevin Costner Sees Dead People

So you thought messages from "beyond" were only for phone psychic Miss Cleo, mon? Kevin Costner doesn't think so. In Dragonfly — opening tomorrow — he plays a widower faced with overwhelming signs that his late wife is trying to contact him. "I've never had such experiences myself," he tells TV Guide Online, "but I've never been skeptical about anybody else who's having them.

"Most of the time when I'm listening to their story," Costner says, "it's somebody that I actually have a history with. So I know how reliable they are — then, I'm a little disappointed that I haven't had one of those kind of things happen to me!"

No doubting Thomas, the actor insists he doesn't need an unseen being to levitate his living room furnishings to embrace spirituality. "If I take a look at read more

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