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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Nov. 12, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

NICOLE KIDMAN

According to a report in Daily Variety, Nicole Kidman is in talks to star in "The Forgotten," described as a thriller about a man and woman who join forces to investigate the disappearance of their children.

Kidman -- who earned the best reviews of her career this year for "Moulin Rouge" and "The Others" -- is already set to appear in "The Hours," "Dogville" and "The Human Stain."

She plays writer Virginia Woolf in "The Hours," directed by Stephen Daldry ("Billy Elliot"). "Dogville" -- written and directed by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier -- is described as a dramatic thriller. "The Human Stain" -- based on Phillip Roth's novel of the same name -- also stars Anthony Hopkins.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


KIRK DOUGLAS

Kirk Douglas is taking action to fight heart disease. The legendary Hollywood star and his wife, Anna, will be at the American Heart Association's (AHA) annual Scientific Sessions 2001 in Orange County, Calif., Monday evening to take part in the official launch of the National Cardiovascular Research Initiative (NCRI). It's a joint effort of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Other celebrity ambassadors involved in the initiative include Angela Bassett, Dana Carvey, Larry King and Shawn Southwick King, and Sylvester and Jennifer Stallone.


KEN KESEY DIES

The novelist who wrote the 1962 trailblazer "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and later became a leading figure of the counterculture movement died early Saturday at the age of 66.

Funeral arrangements were still pending for Ken Kesey, who had been suffering from complications of liver surgery and had been hospitalized in Eugene, Ore.

Kesey's most notable work was "Cuckoo's Nest," which was turned into a Broadway play and then a 1975 film starring Jack Nicholson. The movie won five Oscars, including the Best Picture award.

The inspiration for the book came from a blend of Kesey's experiences working in a mental hospital and multiple doses of hallucinogenic drugs that were popular at the time.

The New York Times said it was while under the influence of peyote, a so-called "magic mushroom," that Kesey dreamed up the character of Chief Broom, a hulking American Indian inmate who turned the novel into a statement on repressive American culture in the early 1960s.

Kesey also wrote "Sometimes a Great Notion," the story of an Oregon logging family, which gained mixed reviews but was also turned into a film.

Much of Kesey's notoriety, however, stemmed from his exploits in the fledgling hippie movement of the mid-1960s. He and his cohorts experimented liberally with LSD and themselves became the subjects of a popular book, Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."

Wolfe's book chronicles the coast-to-coast road trips taken by Kesey and a group of friends known as the Merry Pranksters aboard a brightly painted bus that was aimed largely at attracting attention from passers-by.


BOX OFFICE

"Monsters Inc." again topped the nation's box office for a second weekend.

The computer-animated Disney/Pixar comedy has became the 240th film to top $100 million domestically and is already the 147th highest grosser of all time, tied with "Rocky III."

"Monsters Inc." took in nearly double the total of its closest competition, 20th Century Fox's opening weekend of romantic comedy "Shallow Hal," a tale of an overweight woman played by Gwyneth Paltrow and her hypnotized suitor.

A pair of dramas in their second weekends took the next two spots with Sony's "The One" in third and Paramount's "Domestic Disturbance" in fourth.

Warner's opening of crime thriller "The Heist," starring Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito, debuted in fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 were "K-Pax," "Thirteen Ghosts," "Life As A House," "Riding in Cars With Boys," and "Training Day."

© 2001 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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