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By United Press International   |   Aug. 15, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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

RON PALILLO: Ron Palillo, the actor best known as Horshack, the sweathog with the infectious laugh, on TV's "Welcome Back, Kotter," died at his Florida home, a friend said.

He was 63.

The Connecticut-born actor's friend Stacy Sacco confirmed his sudden death Tuesday to the Palm Beach Post.

No cause has been disclosed yet, but Sacco said he had not been in poor health.

"He just couldn't have been more fun and intelligent or talented. He was an amazing human being," Sacco told the Post, recalling how she met him 20 years ago when he was a guest star on "Ellen" and Sacco was the sitcom's script supervisor. "I had been a fan. We all knew who he was. He was a shining star."

The newspaper said Palillo spent the last three years teaching acting classes at G-Star School of the Arts, a charter school in Palm Springs.

He is survived by his partner of 41 years, Joseph Gramm, a retired actor, the Post said.


TAYLOR SWIFT: U.S. country music star Taylor Swift announced on her Web site her fourth studio album is set for release Oct. 22.

Her Big Machine Records CD "Red" goes on sale Oct. 22 and will feature 16 tracks.

"For the last two years, I've been working on an album called 'Red,'" Swift said in a statement Monday. "I called it 'Red' because of the tumultuous, crazy adventures in love and loss that it chronicles. In my mind, when you experience love that's fast paced and out of control and mixes infatuation, jealousy, frustration, miscommunication, and all of those lovely emotions...in retrospect, it all looks red."

The first single from Red, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" debuted on the radio this week.


KRISTEN STEWART: The sequel to "Snow White and the Huntsman" won't feature Kristen Stewart, the actress who played the first film's titular heroine, The Hollywood Reporter said.

Universal Pictures is re-tooling the follow-up as a spinoff to focus on Chris Hemsworth's huntsman character, rather than a sequel with both Hemsworth and Stewart, the report said.

The decision was made after Stewart and Rupert Sanders, the married director of "Snow White," publicly apologized to their respective romantic partners for their affair.

The Hollywood Reporter said Sanders is expected to return to helm the second "Huntsman" movie, but screenwriter David Koepp is leaving the project since it is taking a new course.

Universal did not respond to a request for comment on the recent developments, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.


'THE PRICE IS RIGHT: "The Price is Right" is holding its first search for a male model to help hand out prizes on the iconic American game show, CBS said.

The search will air as a five-episode Web series competition on PriceIsRight.com and Youtube.com/PriceIsRight in late September.

The winner, who will be chosen by viewers, will secure a one-week modeling gig on the game show.

"Male model hopefuls will be interviewed and judged by the show's female models and show producers on qualities such as their verbal skills, posing and ability to properly showcase a product," CBS said in a news release.

"Contestants who are selected to move on will participate in a series of challenges designed to reveal who has the best on-camera presence and modeling skills. The judges will eliminate contestants after each challenge, but at certain points, one of the two contestants who finish in the bottom of a challenge may have the chance to win their way back into the competition. At the end of the Web series, up to six contestants will remain, where it will be up to the viewers to determine the winner."

The finalists will be revealed during the Sept. 28 episode of "The Price is Right." Viewers will have the opportunity to vote online for their favorite model at PriceIsRight.com through Oct. 4. The winner will begin his week-long modeling gig Oct. 15.

Comedian Drew Carey has been the show's host since 2007.

© 2012 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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