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By United Press International   |   Jan. 4, 2013 at 3:58 AM

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GERARD DEPARDIEU: Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has offered Russian citizenship to actor Gerard Depardieu, who is leaving France for tax reasons.

"In accordance with clause 'A' of article 89 of the Russian Constitution, the application for Russian citizenship by Gerard Xavier Depardieu born in France in 1948 has been granted," the Kremlin press office said in a statement to RIA Novosti.

Depardieu recently announced he was moving to Belgium to avoid France's 75 percent tax rate for incomes more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million).

The Wall Street Journal said Depardieu's spokesman didn't immediately respond to its request for comment regarding the film star's citizenship.

Putin's representative, Dmitry Peskov, told the Journal the actor had applied for citizenship and it was granted because of his "influence in the cultural realm" and his "significant role in films about Russian history and historical figures."

The actor is best known for his work in the films "Green Card," "1492" and "The Man in the Iron Mask." He plays a supporting role in the current release "Life of Pi."


GEORGE LUCAS: "Star Wars" filmmaker George Lucas is engaged to DreamWorks Animation Chairwoman Mellody Hobson, The Hollywood Reporter said.

No wedding date was disclosed, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

The couple began dating in 2006.

This will be the first marriage for Hobson, 43, and the second for Lucas, 68. Lucas divorced his wife Marcia in 1983 after 14 years of marriage.


JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Jennifer Lawrence is to make her debut as guest host of "Saturday Night Live" in New York this month, NBC said.

Lawrence is currently being seen in the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy "Silver Linings Playbook." Her past credits include "The Hunger Games," "Winter's Bone" and "X-Men: The First Class."

The musical guest for Lawrence's Jan. 19 "SNL" episode will be The Lumineers, NBC said.

The Lumineers have been nominated for Best New Artist and their debut album is up for Best Americana Album at the upcoming Grammy Awards.


'KILLING KENNEDY:' America's National Geographic Channel and Scott Free Productions are working together on a factual drama based on Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Kennedy."

The 2-hour film will follow the channel's first feature, "SEAL Team Six," which aired in November, and the upcoming world premiere in February of a small-screen adaptation of O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln."

The announcement regarding "Killing Kennedy" was made Thursday by National Geographic Channel President Howard T. Owens.

"The common parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy are astonishing, with both assassinations profoundly changing the nation during crucial moments in its history. It made perfect sense that my follow-up to Lincoln would naturally lead to Kennedy," O'Reilly said in a statement. "While Kennedy's assassination continues to garner many conspiracy theories, our story is based on facts, some that haven't been publicly known. And with National Geographic Channel and Scott Free once again at the helm, I have the utmost trust and faith that they will bring the story of Kennedy and Camelot to life."

"Collaborating with National Geographic on Bill O'Reilly's follow-up was an easy decision. They share the same passion of storytelling, willing to take creative leaps and risks to keep viewers entertained to tell the provocative story of Kennedy's last days, a pivotal and historic moment," said producer Ridley Scott.

Production on the TV movie will begin this spring. Casting news will be announced shortly, the producers said.

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