Celebrity News for the week of December 8, 2006 | EW.com

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Celebrity News for the week of December 8, 2006

Celebrity News for the week of December 8, 2006 -- Brief updates on births, divorces, court dates, and more

BIRTHS
Heidi Klum, 33, and husband Seal, 43, welcomed son Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel on Nov. 22 in L.A. And with this announcement, Hollywood is officially out of celebrity baby names.

ENGAGED
Survivor exec producer Mark Burnett and actress Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel), both 46, announced they’ll wed next year.

SPLIT
After four months of marriage (and multiple ceremonies), Pamela Anderson, 39, filed for divorce from Kid Rock (né Robert J. Ritchie), 35, on Nov. 27. The same day, Rock filed divorce papers of his own.

CONTROVERSY
A Nov. 17 airing of Live With Regis and Kelly got tense between Kelly Ripa, 36, and guest host Clay Aiken, 28. At one point, he covered her mouth, prompting her to declare, ”I don’t know where that hand’s been, honey” — a remark The View’s Rosie O’Donnell, 44, later labeled ”homophobic.” Ripa replied by phoning in to The View, saying she wasn’t hinting at his speculated-about sexuality, then added, ”To imply that it’s anything homophobic is outrageous, Rosie, and you know better.”

NOMINATED
Film Independent’s Spirit Awards nominations were announced Nov. 28, with drama Half Nelson and comedy Little Miss Sunshine earning five nods each, including best feature.

ARRESTED
Tracy Morgan (30 Rock), 38, was arrested for drunk driving on Nov. 28. Earlier this year, Morgan pleaded no contest to a 2005 DUI. A lawyer for Morgan, who is due in court Jan. 4, had no comment.

EXPELLED
Fox Atomic has canceled production on an updated Revenge of the Nerds movie starring Kristin Cavallari (Laguna Beach). The studio said Emory University barred the raunchy remake from filming on the Atlanta campus four days before its scheduled shoot.

COURTS
Several networks are arguing that FCC crackdowns unfairly restrict free speech. Fox is appealing an FCC ruling from earlier this year that said Cher’s and Nicole Richie’s four-letter utterances during Billboard Music Awards broadcasts in ‘02 and ‘03 (respectively) violated decency regulations. Meanwhile, CBS is still challenging the $550,000 fine for Janet Jackson’s infamous 2004 Super Bowl performance. The FCC defends its rulings, accusing both CBS and Fox of wanting free reign on the airwaves.

DEATHS
French director Francis Girod (Le Bon Plaisir), 62, of a heart attack, Nov. 19, in Bordeaux, France…. Actor Philippe Noiret (Cinema Paradiso), 76, of cancer, Nov. 23, in Paris, France…. Phyllis Cerf Wagner, 90, a socialite who collaborated with Dr. Seuss, after a fall, Nov. 25, in NYC…. Author Bebe Moore Campbell (Brothers and Sisters), 56, after battling brain cancer, Nov. 27, in L.A…. Former New York Times managing editor Gerald M. Boyd, 56, from lung cancer, Nov. 23, in NYC…. Blues guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr., 91, after a brain aneurysm and stroke, Nov. 21, in Cleveland.


LEGACY
ANITA O’DAY 1919-2006
A fabled jazz, swing, and big-band vocalist who recorded nearly 30 albums for Verve Records, O’Day died of cardiac arrest on Nov. 23 in L.A. She was a headline maker both on and off stage, writing candidly of her battle with heroin addiction and alcoholism in her 1981 autobiography, High Times, Hard Times. ”When I’m singing, I’m happy,” O’Day said in 1999. ”I’m doing what I can do, and this is my contribution to life.”

Betty Comden 1917-2006
She took us to ”Neverland” and believed we should ”Make Someone Happy.” A quick-witted writer-performer, Comden, 89, died on Nov. 23 in New York City — the place she once dubbed ”a helluva town.” With collaborator Adolph Green (who passed away in 2002), she penned lyrics to more than a dozen Broadway musicals, including 1944’s On the Town — in which the duo played a sailor and his sweetie — and the screenplay for 1952’s Singin’ in the Rain. Green’s widow, Phyllis Newman (star of their 1961 Subways Are for Sleeping), calls Comden ”the glorious other woman in my husband’s life. I mourn the loss but celebrate her brilliant talent.”