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Celebritology 2.0: November 9, 2008 - November 15, 2008

Friday List: Who Fascinates You the Most?

What is it about Will Smith that fascinates Barbara Walters? Perhaps his on screen gravitas? (AP) Today's task is easy. Barbara Walters yesterday gave a preview of her "Most Fascinating People" of 2008 list. The year's honorees include actor/paparazzi target and outspoken Scientologist Tom Cruise, actor and Tom Cruise buddy Will Smith, tween sensation Miley Cyrus, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and all around funny chick and Sarah Palin impersonator Tina Fey. The remaining four names will be revealed when Walters's soft-focus special airs on Dec. 4. And those four had better be good, because otherwise Walters risks cementing a reputation for being either hopelessly out of touch or handing out superlatives to her friends. We started talking this out in yesterday's Celebritology Live discussion. Tina Fey, we get. Miley Cyrus and Michael Phelps -- sure, they hogged their fair share of the...

By Liz Kelly  | November 14, 2008; 11:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Morning Mix: Michael Jackson Says Goodbye to Neverland (Kind of)

Winona Ryder arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of the new movie 'Milk.' (Reuters) Headlines: Michael Jackson cedes control of Neverland Ranch (to himself, sort of)... Amy Winehouse stumbles through London neighborhood clutching bottle of vodka... Beyonce says she didn't want to marry too young... Miley Cyrus is a "family friend," says 20-year-old model Justin Gaston... Thank God! Whoopi Goldberg producing London stage version of "Sister Act"... Hilary Duff to star in new NBC show... Naomi Campbell records Hindi duet with Bollywood star... Britney Spears posts online album preview... Nicole Richie and Rachel Zoe make up... Sarah Silverman lands $2.5 million for book of comedic essays... "Full House" alumna Jodi Sweetin penning addiction memoir... HBO developing series based on Red Hot Chili Pepper Anthony Kiedis's childhood. Pix: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen -- leather mini or open-toed boots?... Jon Hamm Gap ad. Crime Watch: Jury finds fashion designer Anand Jon...

By Liz Kelly  | November 14, 2008; 8:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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The Madge-o-Lator: Making Snappy Sausage from the Scraps of Madonna's Relationships

When the Madge-o-Lator speaks, we listen. (Getty Images) This morning's alleged Madonna quote -- the one likening supposed boyfriend A-Rod to a buff Shakespeare -- got me thinking. How might Madge describe others who have touched her life? Using the Rodriguez example as a model, we attempt to get inside Madonna's head (where, yes, it is sticky and sweet) by putting more of her acquaintances through the Madge-o-Lator: Our Example: "[Alex Rodriguez] has the heart of a poet trapped inside an insanely gorgeous body." Now, we'll apply that model to... Soon-to-be-ex Guy Ritchie: He has all the charm of dysentery trapped inside the body of a wildly stupid mistake on my part. Ex-husband Sean Penn: He has the smell of an ashtray trapped inside the husk of an extremely stale Twinkie. BFF Gwyneth Paltrow: She has the insouciance of a trite Austen-inspired heroine trapped inside the brain of a...

By Liz Kelly  | November 13, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Celebrities  
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Morning Mix: Aniston Tells Oprah She's Over Brangelina

Photographers congregate outside Paula Abdul's house on Wednesday following news of the apparent suicide of a former 'American Idol' contestant nearby. (AP) Headlines: Woman found dead outside Paula Abdul's home was former "Idol" contestant, may have OD'd outside Abdul's house before... Jennifer Aniston opens up about reconciliation with estranged mom; tells Oprah she's over the whole Brangelina thing... Angelina Jolie hints that she may retire from acting... Rihanna cancels Indonesia concert amidst security concerns... William Shatner invites George Takei to appear on his (Shatner's) new talk show... Anne Hathaway's ex calls prison "intolerable"... Suge Knight sues Kanye West over lost earring... Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell found dead in hotel room. Pix: How many sizes too big are these boots for Lindsay Lohan?... Paris Hilton hits on heat lamp. When Celebrities Attack: Brad Garrett gets physical with a persistent paparazzo (some NSFW language): Rumor Mill: Angelina Jolie's rep denies...

By Liz Kelly  | November 13, 2008; 8:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (41)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Sick Day: Contemplating Celebrity Care

If you're a Facebook friend, you've probably seen my recent crush of whiny status updates lamenting my state of health. Or unhealth, as the case may be. Despite my best efforts to keep germs out of my system, some nasty pathogen managed to breach my defenses over the weekend and for the past few days, my body has been wracked by coughing fits, chills, sneezes and ridiculous amounts of something we'll call "fluid." Surprisingly, this scourge has given me a new insight into the lives of celebrities. In my delirium I finally see that there may be some benefits to a lifestyle that I had heretofore dismissed as shallow, invasive and fleeting. For in the throes of a feverish dream yesterday afternoon I awoke determined seek the help of a higher power -- cold medication. But where was my faithful toady, ever-ready to deliver pseudoepinephrine and soup? Non-existent. And where,...

By Liz Kelly  | November 12, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Morning Mix: Aniston Calls Angelina 'Uncool'

Nicky Hilton and Nicole Ritchie attend the Tuesday L.A. launch party for a new H&M line of clothing. (Getty Images) Headlines: Jennifer Aniston says Angelina Jolie was "inappropriate" and "uncool" about Pitt romance... Pitt manhandled by overzealous security guard... George Clooney compares Proposition 8 to segregation... Lindsay Lohan praises the country's first "colored" president... Kevin Federline won't seek hearing on son's hospital visit... Beyonce calls tabloid offers to buy wedding photos "ridiculous"... Jay Leno and Martha Stewart cook up a little sexual innuendo... Miley Cyrus and boyfriend drop in on Stephen Baldwin book signing (four words we thought we'd never utter)... But wait, there's more: Baldwin shows off "Hannah Montana" tattoo... "Sopranos" alum Tony Sirico debuts cologne... John Mayer says he's not "moodier" lately... Jesse Metcalfe hospitalized after Monaco balcony fall... Fergie puts on pounds for upcoming movie role... Adam Sandler and wife welcome second daughter... Art by "Leave...

By Liz Kelly  | November 12, 2008; 8:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (53)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Beyonce's No 'Wonder Woman' (Yet)

The author as Wonder Woman. (Illustration by Troy Witcher) Guest blogger Tanya Ballard Brown considers Beyonce's latest whim. I have read and watched Wonder Woman since I was a wee tot. I put aluminum foil on my wrists and head, attached my jumprope to a big belt from my mom's closet and donned a leotard and tights to create a Wonder Woman costume. I flew the invisible plane. I can recite the lyrics to the theme song of the 1980s-era television show (and I know that it changed later). Wonder Woman was my childhood idol. So, over the weekend when I saw this piece about Beyonce's desire to play Wonder Woman, I felt a sharp pain in my eye. Likely caused by the pencil I jammed in it. I'm sorry Beyonce, but you're not ready to fight for our rights in your satin tights. I understand that DC Comics...

By Liz Kelly  | November 11, 2008; 10:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (76)
Categories:  Celebrities, Insta-Polls  
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Morning Mix: Spears's Son Jayden James Released from Hospital

Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman share a private moment at Monday evening's Glamour Women of the Year event in New York. (Reuters) Headlines: Britney Spears's son Jayden hospitalized (and released) after treatment for "something he ingested"... Spears up for People's Choice Award for "How I Met Your Mother" cameos... Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt up next for "HIMYM"... Obama daughters invited to appear on "Hannah Montana"... Brooke Smith's firing from "Grey's" is "disgusting," says erstwhile homophobe Isaiah Washington... Mickey Rourke apologizes for using anti-gay slur... Evan Rachel Wood says she's not dating Rourke... Will Smith to co-produce "Karate Kid" remake starring son Jaden... Lance Bass says he came back from Russian space training two inches shorter... Tim Robbins went to wrong polling place, say officials... Fan asked "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson to bite her; Pattinson causes "mini-riot" at San Francisco mall... Nude Daniel Radcliffe in "Equus" video leaked...

By Liz Kelly  | November 11, 2008; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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Comment Box: Have We Had Enough Hef?

Hugh Hefner and Paris Hilton at Hef's 80th birthday party in 2006. (AP) Would we respect Hugh Hefner and his legacy more if he just gave up the young chicks and the illusion of studliness to which he clings? This week, I decided to go with a question that has been gnawing at the edges of my brain for a while now: Is an 82-year-old man who still primarily identifies himself as sexually voracious impressive or pitiable? Whether you love or hate Hugh Hefner, there's no doubt that the man lives a life not only of his own choosing, but his own creation. There was certainly sexually explicit material before Hef, but he mainstreamed it. The iconic Playboy bunny symbol is recognizable the world over and the porn industry is one of the most reliably profitable businesses around (if only there were a mutual fund). (For the sake of...

By Liz Kelly  | November 10, 2008; 9:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Celebrities, Comment Box  
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Morning Mix: Nicole Kidman to Play Transsexual in Upcoming Movie

In our continuing effort to chronicle Beyonce's morph from pop star into pop eccentric, we offer this photo of B performing at Sunday's World Music Awards in Monte Carlo. Note the crazy woman hair and, yet again, the metallic handy thingy. (Reuters) Headlines: Britney Spears takes sons on Louisiana trip, plans to spend Thanksgiving in Europe... Angelina Jolie says she and Brad Pitt will "definitely" have more kids... Rihanna fine after collapsing on stage, says rep... Nicole Kidman to play transsexual opposite Charlize Theron... Val Kilmer considering run for New Mexico governorship... Evan Rachel Wood says split from Marilyn Manson was mutual, amicable... Shia LaBeouf's wrecked truck for sale on eBay... Celebs contend with fake Twitter profiles... Pam Anderson's kids teased at school... Prince ordered to pay $58,000 for editing work... Judge awards man $15,000 for being slugged by former "Hills" star Jason Wahler... Neighbors want John Turturro's brother...

By Liz Kelly  | November 10, 2008; 8:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Daily Mix  
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