LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Oscar organizers on Thursday brought back funnyman Billy Crystal to host the film awards after recent days of turmoil that led to the departure of one producer and his handpicked emcee Eddie Murphy.
Crystal, who has hosted the widely-watched Hollywood telecast eight times previously, announced his new job on Twitter with a post: “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In a day of drama befitting Hollywood, Oscar organizers on Wednesday said comedian Eddie Murphy was bowing out as host of the world’s top film honors and producer Brian Grazer was stepping in to run the show.
The dual announcements by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences follows Tuesday’s departure of producer Brett Ratner who earned the wrath of academy members after using a gay slur at a weekend screening of his new movie, “Tower Heist,” which co-starred Murphy.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Film director Brett Ratner is out of a high-profile job as Oscar producer, submitting his resignation to Academy Award organizers on Tuesday in the face of an industry firestorm over his use of a gay slur.
During a question-and-answer session at a screening of his new comedy “Tower Heist” last week, Ratner was asked about rehearsals ahead of a film shoot, and he replied “rehearsing is for fags.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A judge on Wednesday sentenced Lindsay Lohan to 30 days in jail for violating probation and ordered the troubled actress to perform a strict schedule of community service and psychological counseling.
The “Mean Girls” actress must report to jail on November 9 and will not be eligible for house arrest or early release, unless required by law. With overcrowding in Los Angeles jails, the sheriff could order Lohan’s release after just a few days.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – She’s been atop the leader board on TV contest “Dancing With the Stars” several times, but Ricki Lake still doesn’t believe she’ll end up with the mirror ball trophy. The winner, she thinks, will be J.R. Martinez.
“The war hero is going to be hard to beat. He’s a better dancer than I am,” Lake told Reuters. “I want to win, but if I’m second, that’s okay.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – An angry Los Angeles judge on Wednesday revoked the probation for Lindsay Lohan because she failed to perform community service, and admonished the troubled actress for failing to treat her sentence seriously.
At a progress hearing for Lohan, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner called her previous ruling of probation on a theft charge a “gift” and told Lohan, “there’s something called looking a gift horse in the mouth.”
Fresh off hydrangea-gate at the Venice film festival — when she was caught on camera expressing her distaste for the flowers after receiving a bouquet from an appreciative fan — Madonna has found herself in another slight controversy in Toronto.
The Material Girl’s spokesperson was quick to deny on Wednesday a press report that Madonna’s security detail had ordered Toronto film festival volunteers to turn their backs to the wall as she passed by on the way out of a press conference for her new movie “W.E.”
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It was among the most exciting periods of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s life, so what could be better in a bad economy than to retrace the 1960s’ good times and give readers a break on the price of his magazine?
Hefner is slashing the cost of Playboy’s October issue, which hits newsstands this Friday, to 60 cents. His editors have styled the men’s magazine with retro look matching 1961, when the first Playboy Club was founded, and linked it to the debut of TV show “The Playboy Club” by putting star Laura Benanti on the cover — and inside the pages.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – He may have looked like he was “winning,” but actor Charlie Sheen took it on the chin on Saturday night at a Comedy Central TV roast where his sex life, drug use and talent drew punches — and punch lines.
Sheen, once TV’s highest paid actor on the comedy series “Two and a Half Men” before he was fired in March by the CBS network, has seen numerous ups and downs in recent years.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor Cliff Robertson, who won an Oscar playing a mentally disabled janitor in “Charly” and worked in movies ranging from “PT 109″ to “Spider-Man 2,” died in New York on Saturday, the day after his 88th birthday.
A spokesman confirmed Robertson’s death, citing the actor’s family, but gave no further details. Media reports said he died at Stony Brook University Medical Center of natural causes.