4 April 2007
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'A Christmas Story' Director Bob Clark Killed in Car Crash
Director Bob Clark
, who helmed the modern holiday classic A Christmas Story
and was the writer-director-producer of the Porky's
films, died in a car crash with his son on the Pacific Coast Highway early Wednesday morning; he was 67. According to police reports, Clark's car was hit head-on around 2:30am by an SUV that swerved into Clark's southbound lane; Clark and his 22 year-old son, Ariel, were pronounced dead at the scene. The SUV driver, who was driving without a license, was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and is to be booked for gross vehicular manslaughter. The director of the 1974 cult horror film Black Christmas
as well as the 1980 Jack Lemmon
(which nabbed Lemmon a Best Actor Oscar nomination), Clark scored a major box office success in the early '80s with the teen sex comedy Porky's
, a surprise hit that he wrote, directed and produced which became the highest-grossing film of 1982 and one of the highest-grossing films ever in Canada. Clark went on to helm the sequel, Porky's II: The Next Day
, a year later, but it was another 1983 film that would become his most memorable. Based on humorist Jean Shepherd
's short story collection In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash
, A Christmas Story
was the nostalgic and humorous tale of a young boy named Ralphie (Peter Billingsley
) growing up in the 1940s who yearned for the ultimate Christmas gift, a Red Ryder BB gun. Also starring Darren McGavin
and Melinda Dillon
, the comedy (which Clark directed, co-wrote and produced) was a modest success in its initial box office run but gained a strong and steady following through the next two decades, becoming a TV staple during the holiday season and a consistent seller on DVD. Clark's other films included the Dolly Parton
, Turk 182!
, From the Hip
, and the two Baby Geniuses
movies. Recently, there had been talk of Howard Stern
producing a remake of Porky's
, and Clark had begun development on a remake of one of his first films, the horror movie Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff
Will Smith Tops Power List
Two-time Academy Award nominee Will Smith
is the most powerful actor on the planet, according to an annual list by America's Newsweek magazine. The Independence Day
hunk has eclipsed last year's winner Tom Cruise
and previous regular winner Tom Hanks
. Newsweek spoke to a host of studio chiefs and film producers anonymously for fear of offending other stars. Smith was chosen because of his huge box office success and his ability to tackle any genre - sci-fi I, Robot
, action comedy Men In Black
or drama The Pursuit Of Happyness
. Following behind was Johnny Depp
at two, Ben Stiller
at three, Brad Pitt
at four and Cruise at five.
Richards: "I Snorted My Dad"
Rolling Stones star Keith Richards
has stunned fans by revealing he once snorted his father's ashes, mixed with cocaine. The 63-year-old guitarist, who has long been associated with all manner of substance abuse, has told Britain's Nme his most bizarre drug-taking session came after his father Bert died in 2002. He says, "He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared. It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive." Richards accepts he should be one of rock's casualties - but luck and an amazing constitution has kept him alive. He adds, "I've no pretensions about immortality. I'm the same as everyone... just kind of lucky. I was number one on the 'Who's likely to die' list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list."
Berry Unveils Star Four Years Late
Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry
claimed her star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame yesterday - four years late. The sexy Monster's Ball
star unveiled the 2,333rd star on the famous Hollywood Boulevard landmark - an honor she was set to receive in 2003. Berry's busy work schedule kept her from making that ceremony, but she told organizers she wouldn't miss the belated honor this time around. Speaking to fans in Hollywood this morning, Berry said, "I'm thrilled and very honored to be part of Hollywood history." Berry will next be seen in thriller Perfect Stranger
opposite Bruce Willis
Travolta's Air Scare
Hollywood star John Travolta
was forced to make an emergency landing in Ireland on Monday while piloting his private jet from Germany to New York. The actor, who was jetting back to the US after promoting his new movie Wild Hogs
in Germany, landed safely at Shannon Airport after his Boeing 707 suffered "technical difficulties" mid-flight. He was said to be unhurt but shaken by the dramatic incident. Nevertheless, the 53-year-old hired another plane and completed the journey, while his jet was grounded for repairs. A source reveals, "If he hadn't made it to Shannon, it could have been the end of him. You could tell that he was very relieved." A spokesman for Shannon Airport confirms, "John Travolta was diverted to Shannon due to technical difficulties." Eight years ago the star suffered a similar mid-air drama when his plane lost an engine and he was forced to make an emergency landing in Boston.
Stern & Birkhead Must Wait Another Week for DNA Results
Feuding fathers Howard K. Stern
and Larry Birkhead will have to wait a week until the paternity of Anna Nicole Smith
's baby, Dannielynn, is determined in the Bahamas. Stern, Smith's longtime companion, and Birkhead, her ex-boyfriend, both maintain they're the baby's biological father - and the results of a DNA test are reportedly in. But the ongoing paternity hearing was stalled yesterday and will resume next Tuesday. On Monday, Stern's lawyer withdrew an appeal to block the DNA test results from being made public. There is a gag order in effect on all the parties involved in the case, which will keep the identity of the father confidential until the hearing.
Kingsley To Marry Wife Number Four
Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley
is engaged to be married for the fourth time, to 32-year-old actress Daniela Barbosa
. Kingsley, 63, first unveiled Barbosa at a Hollywood premiere last January, just three months after he divorced his third wife, German aristocrat Alexandra Christmann. That marriage ended when the Gandhi star discovered pictures of Christmann with another man on the internet - but the experience hasn't put him off marrying again. Kingsley says, "I'm very happy. Marriage is going to happen. But I don't know when, I call her my fiancee because she is." Barbosa - who uses the acting name Daniela Lavender
- has only made fleeting film and TV appearances. Her most high-profile acting role to date was as a maid in Sacha Baron Cohen
film Ali G Indahouse
Melanie B Welcomes Baby Girl
Former Spice Girl Melanie Brown
has given birth to a baby girl - who she claims is the child of ex-boyfriend Eddie Murphy
. The singer, formally known as Scary Spice, welcomed a healthy baby girl in a Santa Monica, California hospital just after midnight (local time) yesterday. Brown's spokeswoman says, "The baby is completely healthy with a good head of hair. Mother and baby are now resting. No name has been decided on as yet, and she is purely known as Baby Brown." Following the birth, Brown now faces a paternity battle with Murphy, who insists he isn't the tot's father. The couple dated for six months last year until Murphy announced on TV that "we're not together anymore." Last November - a month after Brown announced her pregnancy news - the Dreamgirls
actor publicly dismissed her claims of paternity on Dutch TV show RTL Boulevard
, saying, "I don't know whose child that is, until it comes out and has a blood test." The following month, Murphy went public with new love Tracey Edmonds
- ex-wife of R&B singer/producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds
Beyonce Wins Former Business Aide Court Case
A New York judge has dismissed a suit filed against Beyonce
and Tina Knowles
over a business deal gone bad. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Herman Kahn ruled yesterday there was no evidence of a written contract between the plaintiff, Icon Entertainment CEO Greg Walker, and the mother-and-daughter fashion team behind House Of Dereon. Walker claimed the Knowleses had held back commission he felt he was owed for helping them set up a deal with clothing manufacturer Wear Me Apparel Corp, which prompted the birth of the House Of Dereon line. Walker filed the lawsuit last summer, after Beyonce paid him $25,000 for his help in setting up a string of marketing and endorsement deals for her. He felt that figure was an insult.
Timberlake Hits Out at Celebrity Culture
Pop superstar Justin Timberlake
"despises" celebrity magazines who follow his personal relationships and turn them into a public soap opera. Timberlake has had two high-profile romances, with singer Britney Spears
and actress Cameron Diaz
, and hates the way his private life is portrayed in the media. He tells US magazine Details, "I despise what they do. They create soap operas out of people's lives. It's a spin game, and I choose not to take part in it." And Timberlake insists he will never talk publicly about a past girlfriend. He adds, "I would never say anything bad about anyone. I love a lot of those people."
Faris Files for Divorce
Lost In Translation
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star Anna Faris
has filed for divorce from her husband of almost three years, actor Ben Indra
. The actress is citing irreconcilable differences in legal papers. The couple wed in June, 2004 after a 12 month engagement. They started dating in 1999 after meeting on the set of horror film Lovers Lane