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Clooney News 8
 Clooney Zaps Agent in Italian Villa Flap
Claude Brodesser and Michael Fleming
Hollywood (Variety) - Call it "The Italian Job," part two.
George Clooney (news) has ditched his talent agent amid a furor over a finder's fee for a posh villa in Italy. Michael Gruber (news) in turn abruptly resigned from Creative Artists Agency, according to a terse statement Tuesday from the talent firm.
No official reason was given for the departure, but agency insiders say it stems from a dispute over a fee that Gruber was to have received -- though eventually didn't -- from a real estate transaction he helped set up for Clooney in Italy.

"This was a situation where I introduced friends to George," Gruber told Daily Variety, adding, "I was not involved in the negotiation of the transaction by any means. While a finder's fee was discussed, and disclosed to Clooney, it was never expected and it was never received."

However, the sellers of the eight-figure estate apparently assumed that Gruber would duly receive a payment of up to $250,000 for the introduction to Clooney. Sometime after this arrangement was disclosed to Clooney the actor became upset and refused to continue being represented by Gruber.

Stan Rosenfield, a Clooney spokesman, said his client declined to comment on the transaction. He said Clooney will now be represented personally by CAA managing partner Brian Lourd.

A spokeswoman for CAA would not elaborate on its one-line statement that Gruber had resigned from CAA effective immediately, saying only that "we appreciate Michael's contribution to the agency during his time here" and that "we wish him all the best in his future plans."

Gruber has not made a decision about his next move. His clients at CAA also included directors Steve Carr ("Friday") and Brett Ratner ("Red Dragon") as well as rapper-turned-thesp Ice Cube ("Barbershop").
 The Cold Fax Of Life
SHE may be known as one of the world's most beautiful women,but model-cum-actress Liz Hurley is leaving nothing to chance in the dating department.
On a recent trip to LA, the tenacious single mum asked her publicist to obtain the fax number of Hollywood heart-throb George Clooney so that she could contact him and tell him precisely what she thinks of him. To make her intentions perfectly clear, Hurley penned the following blandishment: "It's right what they say, you are the sexiest man alive - love Liz xxx."
Unfortunately, George's personal assistant assumed that the message was from that other famous Liz, Elizabeth Taylor, and passed the message on accordingly. "George found himself talking to the wrong Liz," close pal Tommy Hinckley reveals. "He had to chuckle when Taylor told him, 'I couldn't possibly have dinner with you - you're too sexy and way too young.'"
Thanks to Brenda
Catering To Clooney
In her Dish column in Globe magazine, Lycia Naff claims that George Clooney ("Return of the Killer Tomatoes!"), 41, may have a bit too much on his plate these days. While filming a scene with Catherine Zeta-Jones, ("Blue Juice"), 32, for their upcoming film "Intolerable Cruelty" at upscale L.A. eatery L'Orangerie, the dashing star kept flubbing his lunch order lines causing the director to yell "cut" several times. "I'm really sorry, everyone," Clooney sighed. "I'm working on two films at once and I'm a little brain dead. I don't know if I should be ordering chicken salad or chicken Cordon Bleu." What's wrong with "Chicken by George," George?
Clooney's skeletons prevent political ambition
There have always been movie stars who've harboured political ambitions. Most recently, there's been speculation that Arnold Schwarzenegger is lining-up a bid to become Governor of California. Indeed another actor, Ronald Reagan, made it all the way to The White House during the 80's!
However, one star who definitely won't be taking-up public office is George Clooney, who recently admitted to imdb.com that he's got a few too many skeletons in his cupboard.
"Run for office? No. I've slept with too many women. I've done too many drugs, and I've been to too many parties," the Ocean's Eleven star confessed.
 'Dallas' film must upscale the TV series
The already larger-than-life Ewings of ''Dallas'' will be supersized to the big screen via a multimillion-dollar deal sanctioned by series creator David Jacobs.

He envisions a grand-scale feature film with a new cast and more substantive roles for the series' often underfoot women.

''Dallas,'' which ran from 1978 to 1991 on CBS, made the city an international tourist mecca and a symbol of high-handed lust and greed epitomized by Larry Hagman's portrayal of oily J.R. Ewing.

The show's ''Who Shot J.R.?'' episode, telecast Nov. 21, 1980, is still the second highest-rated program in TV history, behind only the farewell ''M.A.S.H.'' movie.

''In some ways, 'Dallas' has to be upscaled,'' Jacobs said. ''Then, we were dealing with the oil business, and now we're dealing with the energy business. But it's not as if we're going to do an Enron story. The characters have to stay essentially the same, but the people who play them have to be different.''

Tentatively scheduled for a 2004 release, the ''Dallas'' movie ''absolutely'' will be shot in Dallas - ''I don't see how it can't be,'' Jacobs said.

The film is being bankrolled by Regency Enterprises, a production company based at 20th Century Fox. Finding the right actor to play villainous J.R. will be the biggest casting hurdle, Jacobs said.

''Every actor 40 to 50 years old has been mentioned. From John Travolta to George Clooney to Harrison Ford, who I guess would be too old. Kevin Costner has been mentioned by more than a few people. The scale is bigger and the stakes are bigger.

''So you've got to have someone with great humor, a really gutsy actor like Hagman just playing the hell out of the part.''

Jacobs said he won't write the script for the movie but expects to have considerable input. He'd ''love to see more than just cameos (in the movie) by Larry Hagman and some of the others.'' And he wants a makeover of J.R.'s mother, ''Miss Ellie'' Ewing, played by Barbara Bel Geddes in the series.

''She should be a figure of more potency,'' Jacobs said. ''One of the things I'm looking forward to doing is punching up Miss Ellie, because I think she had a lot of untapped potential.''

''Dallas,'' prime time's No. 1-rated entertainment series from 1980 to 1984, was meant to be a straight-ahead drama, even if many fans came to see it as a lark.

''Part of the pleasure of watching 'Dallas' was seeing people that rich being that miserable,'' Jacobs said. ''It was fun, but it was never a send-up.

"And I don't think the movie can be a send-up. It's not going to be 'The Godfather,' but I don't think it's going to be 'Charlie's Angels' either.

After being canceled by CBS, ''Dallas'' returned to the network in two made-for-TV reunion movies. The last, ''War of the Ewings,'' premiered in April 1998 and included a cameo by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

There was occasional talk of a big-screen 'Dallas' movie during the run of the series, but ''it didn't get very far,'' Jacobs said.

''The only thing I remember about it is finding out that plans were afoot without anybody telling me about it. And then getting ticked off.''
 Mentor scheme helps children to help themselves
IN THE United States, the actor George Clooney is among the huge number of citizens who have acted as a mentor to a child from a single-parent family.

The Big Brother and Sister scheme has attracted massive support across the US and become the nearest thing to a civil form of national service.

Yesterday, Jack McConnell, the First Minister, launched a similar scheme for Scotland, with the aim of young people having a friend and role model at a formative stage in their lives, when some under-achieve or go off the rails.

The Big Brothers and Sisters, whose background will be rigorously vetted, spend two to four hours a week with them, playing football or frisbee, or going for coffee or to a cinema.

Research in the US, where the scheme has been operating for 100 years, found that children with a mentor were 46 per cent less likely to abuse drugs, 57 per cent less likely to truant, 37 per cent less likely to lie to their parents, 32 per cent less likely to be violent and 27 per cent less likely to abuse alcohol.

Launching the scheme which is jointly supported by the Scottish Executive and businessman Sir Tom Farmer, the First Minister said he expects it to become embedded in Scotland. "This is not just a bright idea that someone has had," he added. "It has a proven track record. It seems to me that it can help young people get the start in life that they should in the 21st century."

Mr McConnell said he hoped the scheme would prevent some young people going off the rails and would provide "a shoulder to lean on from time to time".

He stressed that it was not aimed exclusively at children whose lives were troubled and appealed to employers to release staff to act as mentors.

Julia Ogilvie, managing director of the jeweller Hamilton & Inches, is Scottish patron of the scheme, which operates in 30 countries.
 Maysville's weekend of song in full swing
Carla Redden
Event organizers are expecting an evening nothing less than greatness when performers take the stage for the highly-anticipated fourth annual Rosemary Clooney Music Festival.

In addition to a large local crowd, downtown Maysville will host several state lawmakers and dignitaries who are expected to be on hand for the festival.

Duff Giffen, festival coordinator and Maysville's Renaissance Program manager, said among those expected to be in attendance tonight are Lt. Gov. Steve Henry and his wife, Maysville native and former Miss America Heather French Henry.
Kentucky Attorney General Ben Chandler, Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards., Sen. Jim Bunning and Congressman Ken Lucas are also expected to attend, Giffen said Friday.

Maysville Mayor David Cartmell said Kentucky House Majority Leader Greg Stumbo is coming and Sylvia Lovely, executive director/CEO of the Kentucky League of Cities, will be there as well.

"I know (Lovely's) bring bringing mayors with her from around the state," Cartmell said. Gov. Paul Patton, who has been at the center of a sex scandal which broke last week, has canceled plans to attend.

George Clooney, nephew of the late Rosemary Clooney, will appear with the singer's son, Miquel Ferrer.

"A lot of former residents, people who grew up here and moved away will be coming back (for the festival)," Giffen said.

Maysville native Nick Clooney will emcee the evening which will also feature bluegrass music star and Grammy award-winning Alison Krauss as headliner.

Other performances will be by Krauss' fellow "Down From the Mountain" tour artists The Peasall Sisters and The Whites. Music of the tour was inspired by George Clooney's movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" The Blue Wisp Big Band will entertain with big band music during dinner tonight.

The evening will also include a tribute to Rosemary Clooney with treasured film clips and memories shared by Nick Clooney.

"I think it's going to be a great, great evening," she said.

Despite the rainy conditions Thursday and through most of Friday, Giffen said Jerry Lundergan's employees didn't experience any setbacks.

"They've worked through the rain and haven't missed a beat," she said.

The festival kicked off Friday night with a free performance by the Van-Dells. Today, local performers will also provide entertainment, including the Limestone Chorale and the Mason County High School Orchestra.

Giffen said tickets will not be sold for the event today. She said 1,200 tickets were sold and "we decided to cut it off at 1,200."

People without tickets can come to watch the festival in an area open for the public on middle Market Street, she said.

The Rosemary Clooney Festival was initiated to preserve and restore the Russell Theatre where Clooney's first movie, "The Stars are Singing," premiered in 1953.
 'ER' Actors Talk About Changes
New York (AP) - ER is entering its ninth season, and the cast has almost completely turned over from its premiere in 1994.
Actors Noah Wyle and Maura Tierney talked with reporters about what it is like having so many people come and go.
Noah Wyle, the only holdover from the original cast, says he is going to miss Anthony Edwards and Eriq LaSalle, "both personally and professionally."

Wyle says that is sure he will keep in touch with Edward and LaSalle, just as he has kept up with George Clooney, but there will be changes.

"My relationship with George is radically different than what it was when we were spending 12 hours a day together 5 days a week, nine months a year," Wyle told reporters.

Still, Wyle sees the changes as an opportunity to grow professionally.

"I've spent now a third of my life on this show, and each year I've found myself moving up the call sheet," Wyle points out. "Now I'm finding myself at No. 1, it's really very exciting."

Tierney says she will also miss Edwards, the last actor to leave the hit NBC show, but she thinks the show will not miss a beat.

"It seems to have withstood everybody else's departure," Tierney says
 DETERMINED: Hairy chests are back in, The New York Times reported in its Men's Fashion supplement Sunday. Acknowledging that, according to the manufacturer of Nair, some 30 percent of the American males aged 18 to 34 regularly shave their chests, The Times nevertheless says that such smoothies as Mark Wahlberg are out, while such bears as Hugh Jackman, George Clooney and Russell Crowe are in. As for what star possesses the most iconic chest of all time: Sean Connery, who first exposed his luxuriant brush in 1962's "Dr. No." So let it grow, boys.
Thanks to Marie


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