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By United Press International   |   Jan. 18, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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

'DEAR ABBY:' U.S. newspaper columnist Pauline Phillips has died after a battle with Alzheimer's disease, her publicist said. She was 94.

Phillips was the creator of the "Dear Abby" advice column, which her daughter, Jeanne, took over writing in 2002.

"I have lost my mother, my mentor and my best friend," Jeanne told TMZ after confirming her mother's death Wednesday. "My mother leaves very big high heels to fill with a legacy of compassion, commitment and positive social change. I will honor her memory every day by continuing this legacy."

Pauline's twin sister, Eppie Lederer, was also an advice columnist, writing under the name Ann Landers. She died in 2002 at the age of 83.


'GRACE OF MONACO:' Monaco's royal family says "Grace of Monaco," a film starring Nicole Kidman as actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly, does not have its blessing.

The star of "High Society," "Dial M for Murder" and "Rear Window" married Prince Rainier III in 1962, becoming Princess Grace. She died after suffering a stroke and crashing her car in 1982 at age 52.

Prince Albert II and his sisters -- Princesses Caroline and Stephanie -- released a statement in response to producers' claims the royal family supported "Grace of Monaco," the BBC reported.

"The Princely family wishes to emphasize that this film is by no means a bio-pic," the statement said. "It recounts one rewritten and needlessly 'glamorized' page in the history of the Principality of Monaco and its family. ... The Palace of Monaco cannot accept that the producers of this film imply they have received their Highnesses' support in any way whatsoever, since this is not the case."

The statement said the movie contains "major historical untruths and a series of purely fictional scenes," the BBC reported.

"Grace of Monaco," due for theatrical release in 2014, is directed by Oliver Dahan, whose credits include "La vie en rose," the 2007 biography of singer Edith Piaf.


KRIS KROSS: Chris Kelly and Chris Smith, the U.S. rap duo who performed under the name Kris Kross in the 1990s, plan to reunite on stage next month.

Billboard.com said the artists, who are both 32, will sing their hit song "Jump" at a concert celebrating the 20th anniversary of So So Def Recordings at Atlanta's Fox Theatre Feb. 23.

Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat and Bow Wow are also expected to take part in the show.


BETTY WHITE: Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes and Bill Clinton are to honor U.S. actress Betty White during her 2nd annual 90th birthday special, NBC announced.

Also confirmed to take part in the event marking White's 91st birthday are Blake Shelton, Rico Rodriguez, Lily Tomlin, Sarah Silverman, Katie Couric, Vicki Lawrence, Zachary Levi, Larry King and Kate Flannery.

White's "Hot in Cleveland" co-stars Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick will be there, as well.

The program is to air on NBC Feb. 5.

"At 91 years old, White is one of the funniest and busiest actresses in Hollywood, currently starring on NBC's 'Betty White's Off Their Rockers' and TV Land's 'Hot in Cleveland,'" NBC said in a news release. "With a career that has spanned more than 60 years, the star of classic series like 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' and 'Golden Girls' has created unforgettable roles in television and film. She has also authored seven books and won numerous awards, including those for her lifelong work for animal welfare."

© 2013 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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