Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   April 10, 2003 at 3:00 AM   |   0 comments

SPIELBERG IS NO. 1 ON HOLLYWOOD POWER LIST

Steven Spielberg is No. 1 on Premiere magazine's 2003 Power List of the 100 most influential people in Hollywood.

The director of "Catch Me if You Can" knocked off AOL-Time Warner honchos Richard Parsons and Robert Pittman to finish on top of this year's list, moving up from No. 6 last year. The rest of the Top 10 are all producers, including George Lucas -- who last year directed the fifth "Star Wars" movie.

"Spielberg is the Tiger Woods of the movies," said Premiere's Editor-in-Chief Peter Herbst, "the guy who's so talented, smart, and hard-working that he seems to be playing a different game than everyone else."

The most bankable movie stars in Hollywood right now, according to Premiere, are Tom Hanks (No. 13), Tom Cruise (No. 14), Mel Gibson (No. 15) and Julia Roberts (No. 16).

Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman jumped from No. 83 to No. 31, and Oscar-nominated actress Renée Zellweger went from No. 97 to No. 63. The biggest jump of all was Reese Witherspoon, who went from No. 96 last year to No. 32 on this year's power list.

Jack Nicholson came in at No. 74, after not making the list at all last year. Some newcomers to the list include Tobey Maguire ("Spider-Man"), director Rob Marshall ("Chicago") and writer Charlie Kaufman ("Adaptation"). Colin Farrell ("Minority Report," "Daredevil") also made the power list.

Halle Berry made the list, but only came in at No. 96 -- after a year in which she won a Best Actress Oscar and scored a blockbuster hit, co-starring with Pierce Brosnan in the latest James Bond picture.

The list also includes producer Brian Grazer (No. 18), producer Jerry Bruckheimer (No. 19), "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson (No. 20), "Signs" writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (No. 21) and director Ron Howard (No. 26).

Denzel Washington moved up from No. 40 last year to No. 28 this year, and "The Matrix" directing team of Andy and Larry Wachowski is No. 27 this year -- up from No. 89 last year.

(Thanks to UPI's Pat Nason in Los Angeles)


BRITISH COMEDIENNE SIGNS ON FOR POTTER FILM

British comedienne Dawn French reportedly has signed on to play the Fat Lady in the third "Harry Potter" film.

Best-known as one-half of French and Saunders, the team who gave us the comedy series "Absolutely Fabulous," French will appear in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," which began filming last month.

French recently sent up the Potter films in a Comic Relief spoof in which she played the schoolboy wizard, notes the British Web-site Ananova.com.

Now she will have a role in the real thing as the Fat Lady, a ghost who appears as a talking painting at Hogwarts school.

Chris Columbus, director of the first two Harry Potter movies and co-producer of the third, told BBC3's Liquid News: "Yes, Dawn French is playing the Fat Lady. I've been (in England)for three years and fell in love with her work. I think she's incredibly funny and her Harry Potter spoof for 'Comic Relief' was pretty amazing."


BOB HOPE TO BE NAMED 'CITIZEN OF THE CENTURY'

Legendary entertainer Bob Hope will be named "Citizen of the Century" by the Hollywood Walk of Fame folks next week.

Expected to attend the special plaque dedication ceremony are Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Miller, Phyllis Diller and several members of Hope's family. The event will take place Tuesday in front of the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in

Hollywood.

The event coincides with the April 15 release of "The Bob Hope 100th Birthday Tribute Collection," 12 DVDs of his classic films.


MAYER, COUNTING CROWS ANNOUNCE TOUR

John Mayer and the Counting Crows have announced they will team up for a major national summer tour.

The 40-date summer tour will run from July to September and will continue to support the Crows' hit album "Hard Candy" and Mayer's triple platinum breakout album "Room for Squares."

For updated info on dates please visit countingcrows.com and johnmayer.com.

© 2003 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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