8 March 2004
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Spalding Gray's Body Found in East River
The body of Spalding Gray
was found this weekend in the East River, confirming suspicions that the actor, writer and monologuist had died two months ago, when he left his Manhattan apartment and never returned; he was 62. While the official cause of death had not yet been determined, it was widely reported that Gray had battled severe depression and had previously attempted suicide, including a 2002 attempt in which he tried to jump from a Long Island bridge. Last seen on January 10, Gray's family had kept up a search for him despite pressing evidence that he may have taken his own life. A superb live performer, Gray began his acting career in the 70s, but came to prominence with Swimming to Cambodia
, a staged monologue that recounted his adventures while making the 1984 film The Killing Fields
; Jonathan Demme
in 1987. The resulting acclaim helped garner Gray roles in such films as True Stories
, King of the Hill
, The Paper
, and Kate & Leopold
, among others, and his recounting of his travails with an eye condition was turned into Gray's Anatomy
(1996), directed by Steven Soderbergh
. Despite his film career, Gray continued to work onstage, playing the Stage Manager in a Tony Award-winning revival of Our Town
, and turning his midlife crises into another acclaimed monologue, It's a Slippery Slope
. Gray's life was marred by tragedy in recent years, as he suffered a horrible car accident in Ireland in 2001, which jeopardized his health, derailed his most recent monologue, Blind Spot
, and seemed to accelerate his depression. Gray is survived by his wife, Kathleen Russo
, and their two children. --Prepared by IMDb staff
Kidman Considering Narnia Movie?
Hollywood superstar Nicole Kidman
is one of the actresses said to be up for the role of the White Witch in a new movie version of CS Lewis
' classic children's novel The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe
. According to press reports from Australia and New Zealand, Kidman flew last week to New Zealand to scout out locations for the upcoming Disney adaptation of the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia
series, and was said to have taken a tour of Canterbury's high country via helicopter and met with the crew. Walt Disney chairman Richard Cook recently said of the movie - which is due to start filming in Auckland later this year - "It's a very, very ambitious project and one that we believe could be very important to the studio."
(A previous version of this story stated that Kidman had signed for the role of the White Witch; production sources have said that this was not the case, and that she was only one of the actresses under consideration.)
J.Lo Battles with Construction Workers
Following Jennifer Lopez
's break-up with Ben Affleck
, the singer and actress is now facing more domestic heartache - this time over her Los Angeles home. American TV show Celebrity Justice
has obtained court documents from a nearly two-year ongoing legal battle between J.Loand a construction company she blames for causing more than $2 million in damage with their allegedly sloppy workmanship. According to documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, New York native Lopez claims a California construction company did "defective work" on her imposing mansion in the Hollywood Hills. The suit claims work on the windows, doors, swimming pool and waterproofing were all done "poorly". The suit even states the company knocked out the hill her house sits on. It says the hillside is now covered with tarpaulins and is held up by sandbags. Lopez also accuses the construction company of taking advantage of her good nature. She says they charged her for "expensive meals" and "entertainment" and she was paying people who were at the construction site, but not working. Sources say Lopez is quietly showing the house to potential buyers - and the asking price is a surprisingly low $10 million. The construction company has not commented on the lawsuit.
Crowds Rush for Jessica Simpson
Police were called to control crowds when thousands of fans turned up to meet pop star-turned-reality TV queen Jessica Simpson
at a Massachusetts store on Thursday night. Simpson was hosting an album signing at the Wal-mart in Danvers and the crowd became so big at one point that police had to shut down roads leading to the store. They eventually shut the signing down and told fans to go home. Police then had to keep the peace when fans outside the store rushed to get a last sight of their heroine. Three teenagers were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and another was charged with assault and battery and a police officer was scratched in the face. Simpson has since apologized to fans who missed out on meeting her. In a posting on her website she says, "I want to thank all my fans in Danvers and Boston for coming to see me. I am so sorry that I was not able to meet all of you. Given the large crowd, the police asked the store to shut down out of concern for your safety. I feel very blessed to have the love and support of my fans and hope to meet you all in the future."
Dustin Hoffman in Car Accident Riddle
Movie veteran Dustin Hoffman
was at the center of a car accident riddle Thursday night - after it was claimed his chauffeur-driven vehicle knocked over a pedestrian in Italy. The Rain Man
star was reportedly a passenger in the smash, which is said to have taken place as Hoffman left the San Remo Music Festival. According to local police, the victim - a 56-year-old man - only suffered minor injuries from the incident but they intend to probe the crash to discover exactly what happened. A spokesperson told British tabloid The Daily Express
, "We will speak to witnesses."
Crosby Arrested on Pot and Gun Charges
Legendary musician David Crosby
has been arrested on cannabis and gun possession charges in a New York hotel. The singer, 62, founder of both The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young, returned from New Jersey after a concert to the Double Tree Suites Hotel in Times Square, Manhattan, in the early hours of Saturday , where he had been residing earlier in the week. A hotel employee found the bag, which Crosby had left behind upon checking out, and searched it to identify the owner. The worker discovered marijuana, a .45-caliber handgun and two knives. Upon returning to the hotel to collect his possessions, Crosby was met by police and arrested. Now released $3,500 bail, Crosby could faces up to seven years behind bars if the gun charge if convicted. The rocker is set to return to court on May 19 In 1985 he was convicted of drug possession in Dallas, Texas and spent a year in prison before his conviction was overturned on appeal.
Salary Demands Jeopardizes 'Sex and the City' Movie
Huge salary demands made by Sarah Jessica Parker
and Kim Cattrall
are threatening plans for a film version of the hit TV show Sex And The City
. The actresses - who play Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones respectively in the hit comedy - are both demanding a reported $14.4 million to reprise their famous roles for the silver screen - plus royalties. A senior source at the HBO cable network says, "They (Parker and Cattrall) are making demands we simply cannot meet. We do not have the budget of a Steven Spielberg
film. The actresses were each offered $5.4 million and box office royalties on top, but they say it's not enough. If we can't reach an agreement, the film won't happen. It wouldn't be the same without two main stars." The other actresses who make up the fashionable Manhattan quartet - Cynthia Nixon
and Kristin Davis
- have both agreed terms with HBO.
Caviezel Under Protection
The Passion Of The Christ
star James Caviezel
is being protected by a security team from attack by religious fanatics following his performance as Jesus Christ in the Mel Gibson
movie. Studio bosses are concerned that zealots will attack Caviezel for his role in the controversial film and have hired a 'protection squad.' A furious mob have already screamed 'anti-Semite' and hurled a bucket of lamb's blood at Oscar-winning actor and director Gibson in a New York street. A studio source tells British tabloid newspaper Daily Star On Sunday
, "There are some crazy people out there and everything is being done to protect Mel and Jim from physical attack." Caviezel, a devout Catholic, says, "Of course I'm scared that someone could get it in his head to make me a target. But I won't let this stop me doing my business. I'm an actor, helping to promote a movie I truly believe in."
Porky LeBlanc Blames His Friends
star Matt LeBlanc
has blamed the filming of the hit American TV series on his over sized love handles. The 36-year-old actor is on strict orders to try and lose the extra pounds for his Friends spin off show Joey
. An insider said, "He's doing great with the exercise and OK with the diet apart from his weakness for doughnuts. They used to have a special delivery every day to the Friends set and now he finds it difficult to function unless he's had his coffee and at least one doughnut to start the day."
Clooney Claims $54 Million for 'Ocean's Twelve'
Hollywood hunk George Clooney
will earn an astonishing $54 million for the sequel to the blockbuster Ocean's Eleven
. Yet the actor turned director will only see $18 million in his bank for Ocean's Twelve
- the other $36 million will be given to the funding for his next film project Syrina
. Syrina is based on See No Evil
, the memoirs of former CIA operative Robert Bauer and claims that meddling by "White House and Pentagon pen-pushers" sealed the fate of the thousands that died in the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks in September 2001. Filming for the sequel is due to start this April and will star Julia Roberts
, Brad Pitt
, Catherine Zeta-Jones
, Andy Garcia
and Matt Damon
Keitel To Be a Dad Again
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Hollywood veteran Harvey Keitel
is to be a dad for the second time - his wife Daphna Kastner
is four months pregnant. The 64-year-old Reservoir Dogs
star announced the news to American gossip columnist Cindy Adams
. He told the New York Post
writer the pair don't care what sex the baby is "as long as it's a healthy baby". Keitel - who married Israeli actress Kaster, 42, in October 2001, three weeks after meeting her at the Toronto Film Festival on September 11 - has a daughter Stella with first wife Lorraine Bracco