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Celebritology 2.0: January 20, 2008 - January 26, 2008

Catching Up With... Barry Williams (aka Greg Brady)

Barry Williams as Greg (top center) surrounded by his 'Brady Bunch' co-stars. With apologies to anyone born after the bicentennial, back in the early '70s, the sometimes sappy, sometimes hip "Brady Bunch" (watch the show's intro) was practically required viewing. Young actor Barry Williams was the prince of the shag-carpeted, orange-kitchened, astro-turfed backyard Brady manor as oldest son Greg. And, as Greg hit his teens, he soon morphed into serious competition for other eight-track era heartthrobs like "The Partridge Family's" David Cassidy. We pulled for Greg when he battled Marcia for the groovy attic space, cringed when he suffered through an accidental hair bleaching and tut-tutted knowingly when he fell under the spell of alter ego Johnny Bravo. In 1992, Williams's autobiography "Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg," spent three months on the New York Times bestseller list and was adapted into a made-for-TV movie. Williams has...

By Liz Kelly  | January 25, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Catching Up With..., TV  
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Morning Mix: Patients Want Angie's Lips, Katie's Eyes

Heath Ledger: Masseuse made four calls to Mary-Kate Olsen... Were Ledger and Olsen dating or just party pals?... Funeral details set. Headlines: Plastic surgery patients want Angelina Jolie's lips, Katie Holmes's vacant eyes... Stephen Colbert does a spot-on Tom Cruise impression... Troubled singer Amy Winehouse enters rehab... Scarlett Johansson to release debut album in May... Publisher sues Imus for $4 million... Enhanced version of "Lost" season 3 finale to air before new show. Crime Watch: Danny Glover convicted of trespassing for taking part in 2006 hotel workers union rally. Spears Watch: More odd behavior reported: Brit showed up at elementary school, said she was picking up attorney's kids... Pal Sam Lufti deposed by K-Fed's lawyers... Magazine says Spears has spawned her own mini-economy. Rumor Mill: Angelina Jolie pregnant with twins?... Rep says Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo are still going strong... Tori Spelling pregnant with second child; cable network renews...

By Liz Kelly  | January 25, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Diddy: By Any Other Name?

'Diddy' at Sundance earlier this week. (Reuters) And so it is again left to that mastermind of marketing -- Sean Combs -- who brought the world such unmatchable appellations as "Biggie Smalls" and "Danity Kane" to solve yet another nomenclature-induced dilemma. And, this time, the label exec turned rapper turned fashion designer turned actor turns his attention again, inevitably to his most perplexing riddle: himself. Yes, the man who recognized early on that he had nowhere to go but up from the banal hum-drummity of "Sean Combs" is set to change the game, and his stage name, yet again. Not content with the previous five permutations -- one can only guess they were too hot, too cold, too lumpy, etc. -- Combs will risk it all to reemerge from the ashes of Puff Daddy/Puffy/Puff/P. Diddy/Diddy as the newly-minted Sean John. (If it sounds familiar, it is in fact his...

By Liz Kelly  | January 24, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Morning Mix: Ledger to be Buried in Australia

Heath Ledger: Ledger to be buried in Australia... Police found six type of prescription drugs, rolled up $20 in Ledger's apartment... Massage therapist who found body called Mary-Kate Olsen first... Model says Ledger was "edgy" over holidays... Ex Michelle Williams arrives in New York... Death derails debut of White House anti-drug ad... Production shut down on Ledger's last movie... People magazine wins race to Heath Ledger cover. Headlines: Bono, who apparently mistook the Pentagon for a humanitarian org, discussed world poverty with Defense Secretary Robert Gates... Stephen Colbert raises $171,000 for charity with his "WristStrong" bracelets... Sylvester Stallone says he didn't take steroids, just human growth hormones... Kirstie Alley Scientology video surfaces. Crime Watch: Lil' Wayne booked on drug charges in Arizona... London police investigating alleged Amy Winehouse drug video... Busta Rhymes sentenced to probation in assault case. Spears Watch: Brit bolts from latest custody case hearing... Jamie Lynn will...

By Liz Kelly  | January 24, 2008; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (69)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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For Heath Ledger, a Surprise Ending

Update, 10:31 a.m. ET: Medical examiner says autopsy results for Ledger were inconclusive and will need about 10 more days for additional tests. ----- A smiling Heath Ledger arrives at the New York premiere of his movie 'Candy' in November 2006. (AP) Photo Gallery: Ledger's Life While we were busy agreeing that Britney Spears's is a life that can only end badly and prepping obits for Spears and other high-profile troubled starlets like Lindsay Lohan and Amy Winehouse, it was Heath Ledger who apparently lived fast and died young before we had a chance to gawk at a leaked YouTube video or tut-tut at a DUI charge. Ledger, 28, was found dead yesterday in a New York apartment, apparently from a drug overdose. We're left with two things -- Ledger's interesting, still nascent career and a question: Why didn't we notice? We've harnessed the incredible power of the Internet age...

By Liz Kelly  | January 23, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Morning Mix: Ledger's Parents Say Death Was an Accident

Headlines: Heath Ledger dead at 28... Autopsy inconclusive, additional tests could take 10 days... Family says death was an accident... Death stuns attendees at Sundance Film Festival... Ringo Starr walks off set of "Live with Regis and Kelly"... Beyonce and Tina Turner to duet at Grammys... Lenny Kravitz says he's been celibate for three years... Fans line up to see Clay Aiken in "Spamalot"... Demi Moore takes it (almost) all off for magazine cover... Judge says Denise Richards reality show can go on. Spears Watch: Brit to make new bid for custody of kids... Wife of Brit's former paparazzo beau files for divorce... Ghalib says Spears wants his baby. Rumor Mill: Rep says Amy Winehouse is not in rehab (no, no, no). Say What? "Oh, that stupid voice of his and the fake teeth! Honestly, I cringe to think about it." -- Kathleen Turner reminisces about "Peggy Sue Got Married"...

By Liz Kelly  | January 23, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
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Heath Ledger Dead at 28

Ledger at the 2006 Academy Awards. (AP) The Associated Press is reporting that actor Heath Ledger has been found dead in a New York City apartment. According to the New York Times City Blog, Ledger was discovered by a masseuse who had arrived at the house for a scheduled appointment and that pills were found near the body. As recently as last week, Ledger was reportedly in London shooting the upcoming film "The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus." Ledger will (will he?) next be seen in the role of the Joker in the next Batman Installment, "The Dark Knight." Ledger, nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in "Brokeback Mountain," leaves behind a two-year-old daughter Matilda Rose with ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams. Background Info: Filmography (IMDB.com) Biography (Wikipedia)...

By Liz Kelly  | January 22, 2008; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Highbrow: Tom Cruise's Straight-to-Video Hit

Cruise in an image from what celeb-tracking Web site Gawker calls his 'Indoctrination Video.' (YouTube) In one of the feverishly earnest videos that surfaced last week in which Tom Cruise extols the virtues of Scientology, he says something to the about the duty of that group's members to stop at car crashes because, see, only a Scientologist is capable of truly understanding the situation and providing help. In that spirit, today's Highbrow attempts to shed a little light on Cruise and his recent ramblings. Proving the old saw that there's no such thing as bad publicity, Cruise's IMDB Star Rating (I'd link, but it's behind a pay-for-play wall) has spiked since the release of the videos last week. He's nowhere near list toppers Ellen Page ("Juno") and Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd"), but Cruise's Scientology vids have given the actor the kind of profile bump he sorely needed when "Lions...

By Liz Kelly  | January 22, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Highbrow, TomKat  
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Morning Mix: Lohan, Murphy Top Razzie Noms

Mischa Barton is swarmed by photographers at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Reuters) Headlines: George Clooney, Ellen Page among Oscar nominees... Lindsay Lohan and Eddie Murphy lead Razzie nominations ... Katie Holmes's "Mad Money" sputters at box office... Tom Cruise videos keep on coming... Leave Cruise alone, says John Travolta... Troublesome starlets prompt early canned obit files... Chris Noth ("Sex and the City's" Mr. Big) and girlfriend welcome son Orion Christopher... John Legend unapologetic about penchant for models... Actress Suzanne Pleshette dead at 70. Crime Watch: Kiefer Sutherland released from jail after 48 days... Witnesses say Diddy assaulted man at 2007 post-Oscar party. Britney Spears... a. Breaks up with photog after finding out he cashed in on pix. b. Gives deposition in custody case. c. Was canned from low-budget movie role. d. Calls in camera-wielding horde before she goes out. e. All of the above. Rumor...

By Liz Kelly  | January 22, 2008; 7:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
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