People in the news

By United Press International  |  March 15, 2012 at 4:00 AM
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'LUCK:' HBO and the producers of "Luck" say they've ceased production on the California-set racetrack drama after three horses were injured, then euthanized on its set.

"Safety is always of paramount concern," the cable network said in a statement Wednesday. "We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horse-racing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures. While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won't in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision. We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the film-making, the celebration of the culture of horses, and everyone involved in its creation."

"The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers," producers Michael Mann and David Milch said in a joint statement. "This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future."

The announcement came after The Hollywood Reporter said a third horse had been injured on the set and euthanized this week, prompting People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to call for its cancellation.

The show, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, was in the midst of shooting its second season at the time of the most recent incident.

CHARLIZE THERON: Charlize Theron's publicist says the South African-born Oscar winning actress has adopted a baby boy.

"She is the proud mom of a healthy baby boy named Jackson," Theron's representative told Wednesday.

No other details regarding the child's actual age or birth location were immediately released. Also not reported was when Theron adopted the baby.

Theron's film credits include "Young Adult," "Monster," "Sweet November" and "Cider House Rules."

DARREN CRISS: "Glee" star Darren Criss turned down an offer to serve as host of the American version of "The X Factor," show sources told E! News.

Criss -- who appeared on Broadway in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and is filming the movie "Imogene" with Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening -- was offered the "X Factor" gig after the Fox show's original host Steve Jones was dumped for the upcoming second season, along with judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.

Criss declined the job because of his busy schedule, and because he would rather perform than be a host, E! reported.

"They were after him," a show insider said. "But there's no way he could have done it with everything he has going on."

Representatives for Criss and Fox did not comment on the report, E! said.

ALEXANDER SHISHKIN: Alexander Shishkin, an actor who portrayed Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in movies and heavy metal shows, has died in Uzbekistan, a regional news agency reported.

The Ferghana Information Agency said Shishkin died Monday in a Tashkent hospital of complications from a broken leg and arm he sustained on New Year's Eve. His age wasn't provided, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti said.

Shishkin's career as a Hitler double took off in 1990 when won a look-alike contest, RIA Novosti said. He started in several obscure movies in the 1990s and relocated to Moscow, the news agency said.

He performed with the metal rock band Corrosia Metalla before moving back to Uzbekistan in 2001.

"The good thing about this place is, Uzbeks don't understand. Who's Hitler? They don't teach [in local schools] who's Hitler," Shishkin told the news Web site in a 2011 interview.

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