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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 12/14/2006

Biggest Celebrity Stories of 2006?

By Liz Kelly

Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and daughter Suri -- the biggest headline grabbers of 2006? (AP)

I've been asked to compile a digest of the biggest celebrity stories of 2006. I'm fairly certain I can rattle off many of the year's big headlines in my sleep (the inevitable result of hours spent scanning my weekly stack of tabloids and the far reaches of the celebrity blogosphere), but odds are that if I rely on my usual top-of-mind method of research I'll miss an important story or trend.

That's where you come in.

What celeb-centric story or stories do you consider the biggest of 2006? Did a new king or queen of the headlines rise above the crowd? Did any stars flame out? What was the biggest surprise or unexpected trend? Who got too much attention and who too little? Who should we watch heading into 2007?

I could rattle off a list to get us started, but I'd much rather hear what you have to say. As my pal Gene Weingarten would say, let's go. I'll be checking back throughout the day to keep the conversation going.

By Liz Kelly  | December 14, 2006; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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2007: After many unsuccessful tries to find political supporters (HRC, Al Gore), LiLo will finally get Mark Foley in her corner and together write a tell-all "If I'd hit it" while pole exercising with LiLo's momma.

Posted by: not bluto | December 14, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Gotta be Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt.

Posted by: Dee | December 14, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

britiney gone wild

Posted by: Anonymous | December 14, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I think that LiLo showing the world just how stupid and self-centered she really is was the best story. Those emails... "Adequite"? She really needs a tutor.

Posted by: laura | December 14, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

-The appearance of leggings on the red carpet (and in general, really) was quite a shock!
-Anna Nicole and her baby daddy drama was up there.
-Hollywood arrests - Mel, Nicole, Paris, etc.
-The spawn of Brangelina & Tomcat
-Anything associated with Tomcat from the overly affectionate ways, Scientology (pregnancy techniques, marriage vows, cultish behavior).

Just to name a few..

Posted by: Alexandria | December 14, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I think Donald Rumsfelds dismissal as SecDefense is the big story.

Posted by: sandbag | December 14, 2006 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Tom Cruise: The jumping on the couch thing, fighting Brooke Shields and Matt Lauer, his cult( I mean religion),the double wedding with Katie, Suri's birth. Tom exposed himself crazy man with money and fame, and he's not afraid to use it.

Posted by: Lisa | December 14, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Biggest story of 2007........Where's Suri?

Posted by: snoootty | December 14, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

That's a tuffy. We still have two weeks and some days in the year, with the way the celebs are going I think train wrecks are still in store.

However, I've got to echo other posters:

The TomKat whirlwind, including the double slight to Harpo(Oprah).

Brit and Kev's shocking breakup and her subsequent freedom fetes. Apparently she wasn't celebrating her birthday for those two years, she was busy getting knocked up.

Anything that came out of Lohan's mouth or sprang from her typing. The stripping with mom is still the most priceless thing to date.

Smaller but still worthy stories:
What the heck happened to Meg Ryan's face? I saw her on a magazine the other day, it scared me. Her lips are way out of proportion. Brought back memories of Tara, who seems to have put down the bottle. I think.

Ashley Simpson and her ever changing face, which seems to be morphing into another version of Jessica's. Oh and Jessica, poor thing, dropped the husband and couldn't get a man who would admit to dating her, or attempt to stick around. Nick's looking good now huh.

Posted by: petal | December 14, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What about Anna Nicole Smith. Does her ongoing story rate a top spot in the 2006 review?

Posted by: Liz | December 14, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Liz, I didn't have the heart to be too catty towards Anna Nicole Smiith. She is trainwreck that left the station along time ago.

Posted by: Lisa | December 14, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the divorces, especially the shockers (for whatever reason being shocking) - Reese and Ryan, Whitney and Bobby, Brit and K-Fed, Pam and Kid Rock

Novemeber was a bad month for celebrity marriages!

Posted by: mfd | December 14, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I can understand in the world of tabloid-ness that the big news of course would be the union of two large stars, but why do people insist on referring to celebrity divorces as "shockers." They get divorced all the time... and remarried all the time, not a surprise to me. What would be shocking is if the couples stayed together. I admit, it would get a little boring.. "Cruise and Holmes Still Together"-- what's happened since last year and whatnot, but anyway.. That's a lost cause.

Posted by: confused | December 14, 2006 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I think Madonna adopting the Malawian boy was also a huge story.
Also what about Nicole Kidman getting married, and the new husband going immediatly into rehab. I thought that was strange.

Posted by: Barb | December 14, 2006 1:06 PM | Report abuse

biggest story: Suri Cruise isn't human, but an alien overlord. I mean, look at all that damned hair. its like a toupee

Posted by: peter | December 14, 2006 1:12 PM | Report abuse

The biggest story of 2006 is that Mr. Weingarten has put his chats on hiatus until April of 2007. This is causing mayhem of utmost proportions, however, he is answering me emails now!

Posted by: Doug | December 14, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

It's probably the train wreck that is Tom Cruise, complete with stops all over crazy land conveniently scheduled throughout 2006.

Posted by: sb | December 14, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

in no particular order:

Michael Richards racist tirade
George Clooney's pig died
Kelly Ripa vs. Rosie O'Donnel re Clay Aiken
Kid Rock, jealous over Borat, loses Pam
Britney-Paris-KFed-Panties, etc
Stephen Colbert rocks the WH Press dinner

Posted by: Mikopedia | December 14, 2006 1:24 PM | Report abuse

... I forgot Faith Hill's "Whaah" look when Carrie Underwood won whatever country award was given out that month. That was pretty priceless.

Posted by: Mikopedia | December 14, 2006 1:27 PM | Report abuse

How is there any way Tom-Kat doesn't win this? From the beginning of the year to last weeks "we're home from the honeymoon" fete IT NEVER ENDS. Neither, however, does the extreme weirdness that pervades the whole topic: Is Tom Gay? Is Tom an alien? Is Suri an alien? Is Kate drugged? Is she brainwashed? Does she have a cat, comb, and a pan? It goes on and on and on...

Posted by: BB | December 14, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I hope 2LiveCrew makes their comeback in 2007.

Posted by: not bluto | December 14, 2006 1:45 PM | Report abuse

I haven't an original thought in my head today, so I'm seconding Mikopedia.

Posted by: KiKi | December 14, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Cat Stevens releases a new album.

Posted by: Dog Tired | December 14, 2006 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh Liz, how COULD you do this to us?!? We don't WANT to contribute. We want to be TOLD what to think! Help us, please! We are not worthy, we are not worthy..!

But I would probably say that the top story would be that whole Tomkat thing as it goes on, morphs, winds and unwinds and unhinges... too much too long.

Posted by: a fan | December 14, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

What about the "outing" of so many celebrities? Lance, Patrick, etc. Why is their sexuality even an issue?

Posted by: ckf | December 14, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

You're sleeping now, MizLiz? Great!

Posted by: kurosawaguy | December 14, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

DEFINITELY TomCat absurdity, followed closely by the Mel Gibson arrest and the Jolie-Pitt family. But TomCat just takes the cake. I was getting ready for class today and came across the pilot episode of Dawson's Creek on tv. Oh, what a long time ago, Katie Holmes...

Posted by: sarah | December 14, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

sums it up really well.....

click on "Opening Song"

Posted by: b | December 14, 2006 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Only problem is that being the biggest story of the year would make Tom Cruise SO happy! I'd hate to see a creep like that get what he wants (more fame). Actually fame for being a weirdo creep.

Posted by: Barb | December 14, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

re: "What about the "outing" of so many celebrities? Lance, Patrick, etc."

Is that why Lance broke up with Sheryl Crow?!

Posted by: not bluto | December 14, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

different lance.... lance bass came out.. lance armstrong broke up w/sheryl

Posted by: b | December 14, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh crap I forgot about Anna Nicole Smith. It's harder to get her out of the Bahamas rental than getting red wine out of a carpet. While I feel for her that her son died the sympathy is waning with reports that she sold photos of him to the tabloids and the international paternity suit. Year after year she makes it on the list.

Posted by: petal | December 14, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Most of the instances mentioned are big, but they almost all happened in the last two months. I can't remember what happen in Jan or Feb of 2006, but something significant must have...

I think Paris and Nicole breaking up and getting back together deserves notice. Considering their personalities, I am stunned they managed to have such a public fued and keep the source of it a secret. If I had a "one-use-only" crystal ball, I might just spend my question on "ok, really, what were those two hooches going on about?"

LiLo has had a year of headliners - breakups and dancing in the parking lot and parental letters/poems/cartoons from jail.

Oprah promotes a "memoir" that turns out to be mostly fiction.

Oprah is skipped over for the TomKat celebrations (which is cruel, seeing as how she invited the couple to her Black and White party).

Oprah is not a lesbian.

That woman who posted her sex-blog about liasons with important people on the Hill, was that this year or 2005?

Posted by: ishkabibble | December 14, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

The best story of the year has to be babies by celebs who HAVEN'T ANNOUNCED THEM AND WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Gwen Stefani and Angela Bassett have had additions to their families without ANNOUNCING THEM AND BEING IN YOUR FAVORITE TABLOID AND ON TV 24 HOURS OF THE DAY! That's a lesson that Shiloh and Suri in later years will come to realize that having a nutty mom and dad doesn't make you exempt from the world's stupidity.

Posted by: LA | December 14, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the biggest news story will be that the public finally realizes that all of our "favorite" dysfunctional celebrities, i.e. LiLo, Brit, Kev, Paris, Nicole, Tomkat, et. al have more than used up their 15 minutes of fame and that we are ready to trade them in for newer, classier models.

Posted by: pnina | December 14, 2006 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Something no one else has mentioned...
The Spelling feud, granted not as glamorous as some of the others, but I think it still rates up there.

Oh-and who can forget the hype that was Snakes on a Plane!

Posted by: Tiff in the OK | December 14, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Rosie vs Star spat on The View.

Posted by: J | December 14, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Weingarten cancels chat

Posted by: MikeW | December 14, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, it wasn't Lance Burton that dated Sheryl Crow? ahha

Posted by: not bluto | December 14, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Thought of another one, the weirdness that was "Vaughniston." The only relationship to have ever been denied up until the breakup.

Posted by: Tiff in the OK | December 14, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sleeping -- just don't have much to contribute since you guys are doing all the heavy lifting here.

Looks like we've got 2006 pretty well covered, but what about 2007. I see a couple of hopes/predictions (though sadly I don't think we'll see a new 2Live Crew release, NotBluto). But will Brangelina marry? Will Tom Cruise make it big with his new production company? Will Lilo's rehab stick? And that Dakota Fanning has been making the talk show rounds for "Charlotte's Web" looking awfully poised an mature. Is she our best hope for a reinvigorated young Hollywood?

Posted by: Liz | December 14, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

2007: JLo w/ child (after using Scientology fertility treatment, no doubt)

Posted by: BB | December 14, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I might be going out on a limb here but for 2007 I predict that Lohan will break her sobriety about 1 minute 34 seconds after the ball drops.

Posted by: petal | December 14, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

No! You said up top that you could quote rattle off many of the year's big headlines in my sleep unquote and I was glad the Wormy Legs were leaving you alone at last.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | December 14, 2006 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Losing Gene. I hear thousands are on a hunger strike and women everywhere have forsworn their VPL and boots-with-skirts ensembles until he's back. Hosts of various other, more sensible WaPo chats are being inundated with messages consisting solely of sad faces and declarations of fecal matter. Pretty much life in this city has ground to a halt, and there is no joy in Mudville.

I need to stop before I cry.

Posted by: Silver Spring | December 14, 2006 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree with ishkabibble that most of the things being mentioned as the big stories of 2006 have happened recently. I think TomKatSuri is one of the few sagas that happened throughout all of 2006. I also think celebrity arrests was a continuing trend all year, along with the latest crop of "anorexic" starlets who will regain the weight and be replaced by new ones.

However, I don't need a crystal ball to know why Nicole and Paris "broke up", season 3 of The Simple Life started losing viewers in large numbers and season 4 was an absolute disaster, so it was part of the season 4 story arc that Paris and Nicole hate each other because of some feud (and the reason for said feud is always cited as "She knows what she did." Please, as if Paris would last ten seconds without telling the paparazzi why she hated Nicole if she really did hate Nicole) and "miraculously" reconcile at the end of season 4 to go on to doing season 5 together again. Cliff Notes: It was all a publicity stunt to rekindle interest in their show, there never was any feud.

> But will Brangelina marry?

Not unless the gays can, if Brad keeps his word.

> Will Tom Cruise make it big with his new production company?

No. Considering that he's the LEAST popular movie star now, and about 1/3 of the people who responded to that poll said they would purposefully avoid seeing a movie he was in, I would say his movie career is finished.

> Will Lilo's rehab stick?

No. She's apparently been going to AA for almost a year now and she's been drinking the whole time. Why start now?

> Is Dakota Fanning our best hope for a reinvigorated young Hollywood?

Besides the fact that she has been photographed on red carpets wearing leggings and is not even old enough to be wearing them post-ironically, I have a hard time believing she's not the next LiLo or Hilary Duff.

Posted by: dittoishkabibble | December 14, 2006 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I would have to say how about all that plastic surgery for 2006.
Nicole Kidman, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone and of course Ashley Simpson.

Posted by: Rockville | December 14, 2006 6:20 PM | Report abuse

You Weingarten groupies need to move on. He doesn't walk on water. If your life is that empty, read a book or something.

Posted by: enough with wein-ing already | December 14, 2006 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Think Tom Cruise is finished? Seems like craziness hasn't hurt Mel Gibson too much.

Posted by: New Orleans | December 14, 2006 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton making up--and the two of them hanging out with Lindsay Lohan. Yikes.

Posted by: Lori | December 14, 2006 9:46 PM | Report abuse

"Dakota Fanning has been making the talk show rounds for "Charlotte's Web" looking awfully poised an mature. Is she our best hope for a reinvigorated young Hollywood?"

You know she's reminding me of?
Jody Foster.

Posted by: Mikopedia | December 15, 2006 8:07 AM | Report abuse

I see some hope...Dove's real beauty campaign, fashion shows in Madrid and elsewhere setting weight limits, etc....that the aneroxic-model look will no longer be in vogue in 2007. And the commercial success of "The Devil Wears Prada" may point the way toward more movies featuring mature female stars.

Posted by: ckf | December 15, 2006 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I would add that someone needs to say something about that guy who's always whining that his paper doesn't come. What about him? Have we all forgotten his earnest, solitary fight for justice? Doesn't that count for anything?

And as for Dakota Fanning - poised, elegant, etc - sorry, I just see the next Drew Barrymore. It's just not an easy row to hoe, what with the fame and attention. Far easier to end up like a Paris or LiLo than a sane person... And look at Drew to see what price you have to pay along the way.

And what's with this "LiLo" thing anyway? I thought it was some new kind of Tivo or tee-voh or whatever it is...

Posted by: Bog | December 15, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Rosie "I'm Gay and Loud About It" O'Donnell signing up to play a heterosexual white trash lotto winner character on Nip/Tuck and her character having sex with the Christian character to boot. I haven't been able to watch Nip/Tuck since that scene. Ugh!

Posted by: Mabel | December 15, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Please keep Dakota Fanning away from Lindsay, Paris, Brittany and above all Tom Kat!!!!

Posted by: David Ehrenstein | December 15, 2006 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the Che posts belong in there in some ironic, what on earth?! kind of way.

Posted by: jlr | December 15, 2006 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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