Entertainment News from October 1998
Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
- On CNN's Larry King Live, Roseanne says she has no problem paying Monica Lewinsky a couple of million bucks to tell her story on the actress's new talk show. No word yet from Monica's people.
- Singing cowboy Gene Autry dies at his home at age 91. He began his career in the 1920s as a radio singer, and got his big break when he was discovered by another singing cowboy, Roy Rogers. He moved on to star in movies and host his own television show. Autry retired from entertainment in 1965, when he entered the business world. He bought the California Angels (then the Los Angeles Angels) and several television and radio stations. His 95 films include Old Santa Fe and Tumbling Tumbleweeds. His 635 records include the Oscar-nominated “Be Honest With Me, ”“Back in the Saddle Again” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
- The rumor mill begins churning at full throttle after WCBS in New York reports on the 5 p.m. news that Ally McBeal has been shut down because its star, Calista Flockhart, was undergoing treatment for an eating disorder. But during the 6 p.m. news, the station issued an on-air denial from Flockhart's spokesman David Pollick.
- Today show co-host Matt Lauer marries model Annette Roque in Bridgehampton, New York.
- Actor, director, producer and photographer Roddy McDowall dies of cancer at age 70. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in April, but announced the diagnosis only two weeks ago. McDowall began his film career as a child, starring in Lassie Come Home and How Green Was My Valley. In an effort to re-establish himself as a serious actor as an adult, he took to the stage, appearing in Broadway's widely acclaimed Billy Budd and The Fighting Cock, for which he won a Tony Award. He also acted in several television dramas, including Naked City and Batman. He won an Emmy for his performance in Not Without Honor. In 1968, he returned to the big screen, playing simian Cornelius in Planet of the Apes. He was also an accomplished photographer, with celebrities being his favorite subject.
- Margaret Rey, the woman who stalked David Letterman since 1988, commits suicide by kneeling in front of an oncoming train in Colorado.
- Roseanne's syndicator, King World, announces that there will be no deal with Monica Lewinsky for a tell-all interview.
- Monica Lewinsky may get rich after all. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. reportedly offers the former White House intern $3 million to get down and dirty with the details in a mixed media deal, including a prime-time Fox interview special and a HarperCollins book.
- David Arquette, 27, announces on Access Hollywood that he and Friends' Courteney Cox, 34, are engaged. He proposed, down on one knee, on a Florida beach and arranged to have fireworks go off over the ocean after she accepted. No wedding date has been set.
- Fox cancels Costello, a so-called comedy about a woman bartender. The show is the first casualty of the 1998–1999 television season.
- Tim Burton is out as director out of the inappropriately titled Superman Lives, which has been stuck in production limbo for months and has seen a steady flow of writers come and go. There's no word on why Burton exited the film. If it ever gets made, Nicolas Cage will don the cape.
- Ally McBeal's Calista Flockhart can't seem to keep herself out of the spotlight, though undoubtedly she would like to. Manhattan law firm Frankfurt, Garbus, Klein & Seltz files suit against the actress, claiming she owes the firm $39,000, or 5 percent of her earnings from the show. The firm negotiated her contract and claims the contract stipulated it receive a cut of her salary. Flockhart's attorneys say they were not aware that the suit had been filed.
- A Los Angeles County Superior Court overturns a jury decision and throws out the $60 million punitive damage award director Francis Ford Coppola won from Warner Bros. Judge Madeleine I. Flier said “there is not substantial evidence to support the finding of outrageous conduct, malice, or fraud.” In July, Coppola won $20 million in compensatory damages in his trial against Warner Bros. The director claimed the studio intentionally blocked his lifelong dream of bringing Pinocchio to life on the big screen in a live-action feature by acting with “fraud” and “malice” in claiming ownership to the adaptation of the children's classic. The $20 million in compensatory damages still stands, however.
- Variety reports that Julia Roberts will earn a whopping $17 million to star opposite Richard Gere in The Runaway Bride,about a woman who has a habit of leaving men at the alter. Gere will play a journalist who falls for her. The payday makes her the highest-paid woman actress, edging out Jodie Foster who'll earn $15 million for her turn in Chow Yun-Fat's Anna and the King.
- Riley Weston, a former writer and actress on WB's Felicity, admits she lied about her age to land a job with the show. The 32-year-old Riley Weston, reinvented herself in 1997, changing her name and her birth date. She was born Kimberlee Elizabeth Kramer in 1966, not 1979, as her résumé reads.
- Kate Winslet announces she's engaged to assistant film director Jim Threapleton. The pair has been engaged since the summer. They plan to marry sometime next summer. And no, she isn't wearing the heart of the ocean on her ring finger. Her engagement ring is a tad more subtle.
- Jerry Seinfeld has been spotted enjoying his unemployment with a young, recently married, though soon-to-be-divorced, woman. He's been out and about with Jessica Sklar, age 26, and the wife of Broadway theater heir Eric Nederlander. The couple walked down the aisle in June, and not long after they returned from their extravagant honeymoon, Jessica began spending time with the 43-year-old Seinfeld.
- Tim Allen reveals on Access Hollywood that this will be the last season of Home Improvement. “I think the boys want to get on with their secondary school; I think Pat Richardson would like to continue doing movies; and Richard Karn has his career,” he said. Allen is the highest-paid television actor, earning $1.25 million for each episode.
- The Hollywood Reporter releases its annual list of the most powerful directors, based on his or her ability to land financing, ensure a wide release by a major distributor and, of course, score a boffo box office based on their name alone. Steven Spielberg tops the list, followed by James Cameron, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and Stanley Kubrick.
- Entertainment Weekly names Oprah Winfrey the most influential person in showbiz. She beats out Steven Spielberg, Rupert Murdoch, George Lucas and Time Warner chairmen Ted Turner and Gerald Levin.
- Jerry Seinfeld's former college buddy, Mike Costanza, files a $100 million lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court, accusing Seinfeld and the producers of his show of slander, libel, violating his civil rights, invading his privacy and using his likeness, name, and persona without permission. Costanza, a real estate agent and struggling actor, claims that he has been damaged emotionally from being portrayed in a negative light week after week for nine years. Seinfeld and Seinfeld's co-creator, Larry David, did not comment.
- President Clinton awards the 1998 Medal of the Arts to Gregory Peck, Antoine “Fats” Domino, Philip Roth, the Steppenwolf Theatre Co., Jacques D'Amboise for dance and choreography, folk singer Ramblin' Jack Elliott, actress/dancer Gwen Verdon and the Sara Lee Corp., for its continued support of the arts.