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By United Press International   |   Aug. 5, 2011 at 4:00 AM

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BRETT RATNER: Brett Ratner and Don Mischer have been hired to produce the 84th Academy Awards telecast in Los Angeles, it was announced Thursday.

This will be Ratner's first involvement with the Oscar show. Mischer will for the second year in a row serve as a producer and as the telecast director.

"I was so impressed with Brett when I met with him to discuss the Oscar show," Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak said in a statement. "He has an incredible love of film and its history and is a true student of the business of movies. He's unbelievably creative and knows how to take risks that are both interesting and inspiring. Together with Don Mischer -- who, by the way, just earned an Emmy nomination for his work on the 83rd Academy Awards -- I think these two will give us a fantastic Oscar show that you won't want to miss."

"Making movies has been my dream since childhood, and I've been fortunate enough to have made several, but the Oscar show is in a league of its own," Ratner said. "It will be fantastic to work with a live television master like Don to meld the glamour of legendary Hollywood with the enormous talents who thrill moviegoers today."

"The Academy Awards are in a class by themselves, and I'm elated that the academy has asked me to return," Mischer said. "I hope to take the wealth of knowledge I now have about the Oscars, which is a completely unique kind of show, and work with Brett to create an evening that is fast-paced, fun, and memorable to movie fans and Oscar fans everywhere."

Ratner's work includes more than 100 music videos, the "Rush Hour" movies, "Family Man," "Red Dragon" and "X-Men: The Last Stand."

Mischer's producer/director credits include "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial"; "The Kennedy Center Honors"; several Super Bowl halftime shows and the opening ceremonies of both Winter and Summer Olympic Games. He has produced specials with Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Justin Timberlake and Yo Yo Ma.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 are to be presented Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles, and televised live on the ABC Television Network.


DEBRA WINGER: Debra Winger is to lead a dramatic reading as part of a panel discussion about addiction during the American Psychological Association convention.

The star of "Urban Cowboy," "An Officer and a Gentleman," "Terms of Endearment," "Shadowlands" and "Rachel Getting Married" will join other professional actors for Saturday's dramatic reading of Act III of Eugene O'Neill's drama "Long Day's Journey into Night" at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, organizers said.

Winger will be reading the part of Mary Tyrone, who is addicted to morphine. Tyrone's husband and sons suffer from alcoholism in the play, set in 1912.

Following the performance, a panel of psychologists will lead a discussion on addiction and audience members will be allowed to give their emotional and professional reactions to the production. Heading up the discussion will be Carlo C. DiClemente, Ph.D., psychologist and addictive behaviors expert, and David Shurtleff, Ph.D. and acting deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


JOE JONAS: Recording artist Joe Jonas announced Thursday he is joining the European leg of Britney Spears' upcoming international concert tour.

Jonas will be touring to support the release of his forthcoming solo debut album, "FastLife," which hits stores in the United States Oct. 11, Hollywood Records said.

Jonas, a member of the Jonas Brothers vocal group, is to join Spears' tour Oct. 16 in Stockholm, Sweden. His last date with the pop icon is scheduled for Oct. 31 in London.


DUCHESS KATE: The bespoke hat Kate, duchess of Cambridge, wore to a recent wedding was created by British milliner Gina Foster and retails for $675, People.com said.

The fashion icon, who is known for donning items from her wardrobe more than once, procured the new accessory 10 days before the July wedding celebration of her husband Prince William's cousin Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall, the celebrity Web site said.

The duchess, herself newly married to the prince, wore the hat with a cream Collette Dinnigan French lace dress and Day Birger et Mikkelsen brocade coat she was seen wearing in 2006.

"She rang and asked to come in, then she tried a few [hats] on and we went from there," Foster told People.com.

"She wanted something in a color to match her outfit," she added. "She had her outfit and her bag with her. ... There were people in the shop but she just strolled in -- she's a normal person, I guess. She's very down-to-earth and polite."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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