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By United Press International   |   March 1, 2012 at 4:04 AM

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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

MERYL STREEP: Hollywood actress Meryl Streep made two $10,000 charitable donations this week in honor of her friend and "Doubt" co-star Viola Davis, officials said.

Streep beat out Davis for the Best Actress Oscar Sunday for her performance in "The Iron Lady." Davis had been nominated for her work in "The Help."

The Providence (R.I.) Journal said Streep made one donation to Upward Bound, a program housed at Rhode Island College that helps poor high-school students attend university.

Davis spent two years in the program before enrolling at RIC, the newspaper said.

Streep also made a donation to the Segue Institute for Learning in Central Falls, Davis' hometown, the report said.


EDDIE MURPHY: Actor Eddie Murphy and singer Toni Braxton have been dating for about four months, a source close to the Hollywood couple told UsMagazine.com.

They "are seeing each other and very into it," the insider told the celebrity news Web site. "Their kids have met and everything. It's getting very serious."

However, Braxton's publicist is downplaying the romance report, stating, "Toni and Eddie are just friends and have been fans of each other's work for a long time."

Murphy has eight children from previous relationships.

Braxton was married to musician Keri Lewis from 2001 to 2009. They have two children together.


LINDSAY LOHAN: U.S. actress Lindsay Lohan confirmed she will play screen icon Elizabeth Taylor in a TV movie.

Lohan, 25, is a former child star with a string of hits behind her such as "The Parent Trap," "Freaky Friday" and "Mean Girls." But her once-bright career has been eclipsed in recent years by legal problems stemming from her addictions to drugs and alcohol. She went through rehab and is on the comeback trail, having booked a gig as guest host of "Saturday Night Live" in March.

"We're in the middle of casting," Lohan told "Today" show Matt Lauer about her Taylor project in an interview to air Thursday on NBC. "We start production soon. I've been doing tons of research. But I've always kind of researched her. She's always been a fascinating woman to me. So I'm really honored. And I will not let anyone down, especially myself."

Asked why she felt the need to add that last part to her reply, Lohan said: "I could see where it could be scary for people to invest in me. And I don't want people to have that reason to be scared anymore. So being able to have this opportunity with 'SNL' and the film, I'm gonna do what I'm supposed to do, and enjoy doing it, and do it as best as I can."

Taylor died last year at age 79.

The actress won two Academy Awards and was married eight times. Her film credits include "National Velvet," "Father of the Bride," "A Place in the Sun," "Giant," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Suddenly, Last Summer," "BUtterfield 8," "Cleopatra" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" She also suffered numerous health issues and an addiction to prescription drugs throughout the years.


EMILY BLUNT: "The Five-Year Engagement" has been selected as the opening night movie for the 11th edition of New York's Tribeca Film Festival, organizers said.

The Universal Pictures comedy reunites the "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" team of director/writer/producer Nicholas Stoller and writer/star Jason Segel. Starring Emily Blunt, Rhys Ifans, Chris Pratt and Alison Brie, it will premiere April 18 at the festival, which is to run through April 29.

The movie is about what happens when an engaged couple, Segel and Blunt, keep getting sidelined on their way to the altar. It is to open in U.S. theaters April 27.

"The Tribeca Film Festival has always celebrated the power of creative collaboration, and there is no better example of that than 'The Five-Year Engagement,'" Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, said in a statement Wednesday. "We are so pleased to join with Universal Pictures to bring the wit and energy of this hilarious and affecting film to Tribeca as we kick off our 11th edition."

"When Jason and I met during the production of [of the TV comedy series] 'Undeclared,' we couldn't have imagined that one day we would write a comedy that would open such a prestigious film festival as Tribeca," Stoller said. "We are so honored that the festival organizers have given us this platform to premiere the film. To be honest, this is all just a ploy to stand on top of a building with Robert De Niro and look out over New York City at dusk."

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