- Despite only a handful of top-quality films to choose from at the multiplexes, audiences spent a whopping $6.86 billion at the box office in 1998, up 10 percent from 1997, according to Variety's estimates. To put that in perspective, $6.86
billion buys 1.38 billion tickets.
- Charlton Heston tells the Associated Press that he's battling prostate cancer and is on the road to recovery. “Happily, I seemed to have survived,” he said. “It's very good news.”
- Alyssa Milano and alt-rocker Cinjun August Tate marry in Rosewood, Louisiana.
- In an attempt to shore up the dismal ratings of its morning news show, ABC announces that Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson will temporarily be in the drivers' seats of Good Morning America, replacing Lisa McRee and Kevin
Newman, who will be reassigned. Gibson co-anchored the show from 1987 to 1998, and Sawyer hosted CBS Morning News from 1981 to 1984.
- A 19-year-old woman is arrested on charges of misdemeanor trespass after she's found sleeping in Brad Pitt's Hollywood Hills house. A caretaker found Athena Marie Rolando decked out in Pitt's comfy sweats.
- Will Smith cleans up at the American Music Awards, taking home three trophies. His Big Willie Style wins the best album in both the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories. He is also named Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist. See American Music Awards for a full listing of winners.
- Rosie O'Donnell tells her live audience that she'll be hosting the Grammy Awards on February 24.
- Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard is arrested in Brooklyn on charges of attempted murder. During a traffic stop for driving without headlights, ODB allegedly fired at the plainclothes officers. The cops shot back, and ODB took off in his SUV. His
cousin, Frederick Cuffie, was a passenger in the car and ran off during the melee. ODB's attorneys claim the rapper was holding a cellular phone, not a gun. The weapon in question has not yet been located. It is the latest in a string of run-ins with the law
that have plagued ODB throughout the past year.
- British law firm Mischon de Reya confirms that Jerry Hall has filed for divorce from Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. The aging rocker has reportedly been cozying up to a series of models. One of them, 27-year-old Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez Morad, claims
she's carrying Jagger's child. Jagger and Hall have been together since the late 1970s and married since 1991. They have four children.
- The New York Post reports that recent A-lister Adam Sandler is engaged to model Jackie Titone. No wedding date has been set.
- It looks as if Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger's divorce is going to be long and messy. Jagger's lawyers announce they are contesting Hall's petition for divorce because the couple were never legally married. Jagger claims the requisite legal papers were never
filed following their 1991 Hindu-style marriage ceremony that took place in Bali.
- USA Today reports that super supermodel Cindy Crawford is pregnant. She married nightclub owner and former model Rande Gerber last May. The baby is due in late June.
- The 1999 Sundance Film Festival kicks off in Park City, Utah, where the usually serene ski town is transformed into Los Angeles without the star maps.
- Steven Spielberg wins top directing honors for Saving Private Ryan at the 56th Golden Globe Awards. The film also takes the Best Drama Award. Shakespeare in Love is another big winner, earning
the Best Comedy nod, an acting trophy for Gwyneth Paltrow and the screenplay award. Jim Carrey wins the Best Actor in a Drama for his turn in The Truman Show, and Cate Blanchett wins the Best Actress in a Drama for her titular
role in Elizabeth. In the television awards, Ally McBeal wins Best Comedy honors, and The Practice takes home the drama award. David E. Kelley created both shows and
writes most of their scripts. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hands out the awards. See Golden Globes for a full listing of winners.
- The Directors Guild of America announces the nominees for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film. Nominees include Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan; Peter Weir, The Truman
Show; Terrence Malick, The Thin Red Line; John Madden, Shakespeare in Love; and Roberto Benigni, Life Is Beautiful. The winners will be announced March 6.
- There's a shake-up Hollywood style in the agent/manager business. Creative Artists Agency, the powerhouse company that represents many A-list stars, announces it will not do business with any actor who hires Michael Ovitz' new management company, Artists
Management Group. Ovitz and several partners established CAA more than 20 years ago. He left the company to become Disney's president but lasted just over a year before he was ousted by longtime friend Michael Eisner. Ovitz' latest venture sparked the ire of
CAA, which considers AMG a competitor. “He is competitor, not a collaborator. His work cannot be trusted,” said CAA president Richard Lovett. “We are not going to be sharing any clients.” While CAA is essentially declaring war between the two companies,
many Hollywood insiders think it will make the uneasy relationship between managers and agents even more tenuous.
- Laura Dern announces that she and Billy Bob Thornton plan to marry soon. It will be the fifth marriage for the Oscar-winning actor. His most recent union ended bitterly, with Thornton's ex-wife Pietra, claiming he physically abused her during their four-year
- The Sundance Film Festival comes to a close, with Three Seasons, Tony Bui's hauntingly beautiful look at Vietnam today, emerging as the big winner. The movie takes both the grand jury prize and the audience award in the
dramatic competition, the first time a film has garnered both awards. The grand jury prize in the documentary competition goes to American Movie, a humorous look at the grind of filmmaking. See Sundancefor a full listing of winners.