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By United Press International   |   July 6, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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

ERIC SYKES: Beloved British comedy actor and writer Eric Sykes has died following a short illness, his manager Norma Farnes said. He was 89.

"His family were with him," Farnes told the BBC Wednesday.

She did not specify the cause of his death or exactly where it occurred.

The BBC said Sykes dealt with gradual hearing and sight loss and was almost deaf and blind by the 1990s.

"Oh no! Eric Sykes gone? An adorable, brilliant, modest, hilarious, innovative and irreplaceable comic master. Farewell, dear, dear man," writer-actor Stephen Fry wrote on Twitter.

Sykes is best known for his TV shows "Dress Rehearsal," "Sykes and A...," "Curry and Chips," "Sykes" and "The Nineteenth Hole." His film credits include "The Plank," "The Others," "Son of Rambow" and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire."

He and his wife, Edith, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past Valentine's Day. He is also survived by their one son and three daughters, the BBC said.


KATIE HOLMES: Katie Holmes -- in an interview with Elle magazine weeks before filing for divorce from Tom Cruise in New York -- suggested she was ready for a big change.

The actress and fashion designer moved last week to end her 5-year marriage to the action film star.

Although Cruise and the media reacted with surprise to the decision, Holmes hinted it was coming in the interview, which was conducted in mid-May and will appear in the new issue of Elle, due out on newsstands July 17.

The New York Post quoted her as saying she was entering "a new phase" and knows "where I want to go."

"I definitely feel much more comfortable in my own skin," Holmes, 33, said when asked about being in her 30s. "I feel sexier. I think in my 20s, it's like you're trying too hard to figure everything out. ... I'm starting to come into my own. It's like a new phase."

Pressed to describe her identity as Mrs. Tom Cruise, she replied: "He has been Tom Cruise for 30 years. I know who I am and where I am and where I want to go, so I want to focus on that."


CLAIRE DANES: Claire Danes' publicist told People.com the U.S. actress is pregnant with her first child.

Danes married British actor Hugh Dancy in 2009. The pair co-starred together in the 2007 big-screen drama "Evening."

People.com did not say what the baby's gender is or when he/she is expected to be born.

Danes, 33, is best known for her work on TV's "Homeland" and "My So-Called Life" and in the films "The Hours" and "William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet."

Dancy's movie credits include "The Jane Austen Book Club" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic." He is to appear next season in the new TV drama "Hannibal."


AUDRA McDONALD: Audra McDonald has returned to Broadway's "Porgy and Bess" after two weeks of doctor-ordered vocal rest, the musical's producers said.

McDonald won a Tony Award last month for her portrayal of Bess in the show, which also was named Best Revival of a Musical.

She had been on a period of complete vocal rest since June 20 because of inflammation of her vocal cords, stemming from an earlier respiratory infection.

The tragic love story began previews Dec. 17 and officially opened Jan. 12 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in Manhattan. This is the first time "Porgy and Bess" has been seen on the Broadway stage in more than 35 years.

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