Entertainment News from March 1999

George Clooney, who recently doffed his scrubs having said so long to ER, has reportedly signed on with filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen in their next film, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? The film, set in the 1930s, is about three men who escape a chain gang, only to find themselves in a series of scrapes.
Nicole Kidman, star of the critical and commercial Broadway hit The Blue Room, announces that because of a bronchial infection, she will not be able to complete the show's run, which had been scheduled to end March 7.
Cruel Intentions co-stars Ryan Phillippe, 24, and Reese Witherspoon, 22, announce they are expecting a child in the fall. The couple are engaged, though no wedding date has been set.
About 48.5 million people tune in to Monica Lewinsky's first televised interview. In her sit-down with Barbara Walters during 20/20, the former intern was alternately smug, insecure, funny, and girl-like (but she did look like a million bucks). Though she didn't reveal much new about her affair with President Clinton, she did let the world in on a few personal secrets that should have remained private.
Victoria Adams, better known as Posh Spice, gives birth to a boy, named Brooklyn Joseph. It is the first child for Adams and her husband, David Beckham, a star football player for Manchester United and England.
Steven Spielberg, who helmed Saving Private Ryan, wins top honors at the Directors Guild of America awards. Television awards go to Paris Barclay for an episode of NYPD Blue, Thomas Schlamme for the pilot of Sports Night, and Michael Cristofer for the television movie Gia. See Annual DGA Awards for a full listing of winners.
Country star George Jones is listed in stable condition after crashing his sport utility vehicle into a concrete bridge. He suffers from a ruptured liver and a bruised lung.
Stanley Kubrick, the iconoclastic director of such legendary films as Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange, dies at his home outside London. Kubrick dies of natural causes, though his family reveals few details. The 70-year-old filmmaker lived as a recluse, but continued to make masterful films. His most recent, Eyes Wide Shut, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, is due out in June. He was a meticulous, demanding director who settled for nothing less than perfection. Though his exacting standards were a strain for those working with him, the result was intense, inspired art.
ER's Noah Wyle announces he's engaged to make-up artist Tracy Warbin. The pair met while working on the independent film Myth of Fingerprints. No date has been set.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Roberto Benigni win acting awards and Kathy Bates (Primary Colors) and Robert Duvall (A Civil Action) win supporting acting honors at the Screen Actors Guild awards. In the television categories, Law & Order's Sam Waterston and ER's Julianna Margulies win for drama, and Spin City's Michael J. Fox and Tracey Takes On's Tracey Ullman win for comedy.
Forbes names Michael Jordan the most powerful celebrity on the planet in its debut Celebrity 100 issue. The magazine used influence, as well as media attention as criteria for inclusion. Jordan made $40 million in 1998 and made headlines (in print, electronic, and broadcast media) more than 40,000 times. Rounding out the top five are Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jerry Seinfeld, and Steven Spielberg. In the magazine's list of highest earners, Seinfeld lands on top, having earned a whopping $267 million in 1998. Seinfeld co-creator, Larry David, comes in second, with $242 million (the pair signed a fortuitous syndication deal), Spielberg's in third place with $175 million, Winfrey in fourth with $125 million, and Titanic director James Cameron in fifth with $115 million.
The nominations for the Daytime Emmys are announced, and as expected, All My Children's Susan Lucci has been nominated, again. It's the 19th time she's been in the running, though she has yet to bring home the trophy. The Oprah Winfrey Show earns seven nominations. The Jerry Springer Show comes up empty.
Laurence Fishburne lashes out against a rude fan during a performance of The Lion in Winter at Broadway's Roundabout Theater. After listening to someone's cell phone beep for about 25 seconds, Fishburne roared, “Will you turn off that f------ phone, please?!” The offending fan left the theater and received a round of applause from an appreciative audience.
Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Staple Singers, Curtis Mayfield, Del Shannon, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, Charles Brown, and Beatles' producer George Martin are officially inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The highlight of the induction ceremony is traditionally a jam session featuring new inductees and other stellar musicians. This year, McCartney, Springsteen, and Joel are accompanied by Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Lauryn Hill, Wilson Pickett, and Bono for a stirring rendition of “Let It Be.”
Charemon Jonovich, 25, the girlfriend of actor Robert Pastorelli, is found dead in the couple's home. Police believe she accidentally shot herself. They had a 13-month-old child. Pastorelli is best known for his role as painter and live-in babysitter to Candice Bergen on Murphy Brown. He recently starred in the ABC drama Cracker.
Warner Bros. announces plans to file suit against the Star and the National Inquirer for running false stories about Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, the stars of Stanley Kubrick's much-anticipated Eyes Wide Shut. The Star said Cruise and Kidman, real-life husband and wife who play husband and wife in the film, saw sex therapists to help with their roles in the film. The Inquirer alleged the couple hung out with heroin addicts and studied sadomasochism, also for the film. “We are dismayed that someone would attempt to tarnish Stanley Kubrick and his final film with totally untrue claims. Our recourse is to file lawsuits and see them through to the end,” Warner Bros. said in a statement.
Former Tonight Show host, Johnny Carson, 73, undergoes quadruple bypass surgery to treat coronary artery disease. “The operation went very well and his heart is functioning normally” a spokeswoman said. “Mr. Carson is expected to fully recover from surgery.”
Teen phenom Britney Spears appears to be going the way of Brandy. She signs a deal with Columbia TriStar TV to star in an upcoming show. This will not be the 17 year old's first foray in television. As an 11 year old, she was a member of the Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club, and she will appear in three upcoming episodes of Dawson's Creek.
Gods and Monsters, the biopic of Frankenstein director James Whale, cleans up at the Indie Spirit Awards, winning Best Picture and acting awards for Ian McKellen and Lynn Redgrave. The awards, sponsored by the Independent Feature Project/West, are held on the beach in Santa Monica. Rushmore, which was shut out by the Oscars, earns directing honors for Wes Anderson and a Best Supporting Actor nod for Bill Murray.
Joe Eszterhas' Burn, Hollywood, Burn: An Alan Smithee Film takes five Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture. The awards, also called the Razzies, honor the year's worst in film. The Spice Girls collectively took home the Worst Actress award for Spice World.
Oscar loves Shakespeare — Shakespeare in Love, that is. In the big surprise of the night, the film beats out Saving Private Ryan as Best Picture. The film's star, Gwyneth Paltrow takes the Best Actress nod. Life Is Beautiful takes Best Foreign Film and Best Actor honors for its director, writer, and star Roberto Benigni.
David Strickland, who played music critic Todd on Suddenly Susan, is found hanging in a Las Vegas hotel room. Police call his death a suicide. “I am devastated by the loss of my best friend, whose talent and humor graced all who knew him,” Susan star Brooke Shields said in a statement.
Ian McKellen didn't take home Oscar gold, but he did go home with a new friend . . . the omnipresent Monica Lewinsky. The two met at a post-Oscar soiree and became fast friends. She accompanies McKellen to the London premiere of Gods and Monsters, in which he stars. Lewinsky is in London to promote her tell-all written by Andrew Morton.