SPIELBERG'S 'GEISHA' PLANS
According to a report in Daily Variety, Steven Spielberg has decided not to direct the screen version of Arthur S. Golden's best-selling book, "Memoirs of a Geisha," but will produce the project.
Spielberg has had the project on his to-do list for four years. However, he is knee-deep in one of the busiest periods of his career.
He shot last summer's sci-fi fantasy "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" and this summer's sci-fi thriller "Minority Report" back-to-back and is now at work on "Catch Me If You Can" -- starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a young con artist who impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor, an assistant attorney general and a history professor, cashing millions of dollars worth of bad checks in 26 countries.
(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)
CBS is planning a four-hour miniseries on the life of Adolf Hitler.
It will be based on English historian Ian Kershaw's best-selling tome "Hitler: 1889-1936 Hubris." The miniseries will stress Hitler's childhood, youth and early years as dictator-in-the-making. The script of the as-yet-untitled project is being written by G. Ross Parker for Alliance Atlantis, with that organization's Peter Sussman and Ed Gernon as producers.
The producers have said they will not attempt to make a sympathetic character of Hitler, and that their depiction of Hitler will not be heavy-handed in regard to his depraved intentions for mankind. They're aiming for a historically accurate portrait of Hitler rather than a sensational account.
Said producer Gernon, "We are telling the story of an antihero, and he is the main character of the film."
Actress/writer Carrie Hamilton has died. She was the daughter of comedienne Carol Burnett and the late producer Joe Hamilton.
Published reports indicate Carrie Hamilton died of cancer. In her brief life she had appeared in a variety of roles in several hit TV shows -- including "Murder, She Wrote," "Fame," Beverly Hills 90210" and "thirtysomething." While barely out of her teens she talked with the media about her addiction to drugs and her fight to go straight.
Just this past year she and her mother collaborated on a play based on Burnett's best-selling autobiography "One More Time."
Carrie Hamilton was only 38. She is survived by her mother and two sisters.
(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)
PEGGY LEE DIES
Singer/songwriter Peggy Lee -- whose career covered six decades, more than 650 songs and some 60 record albums -- has died. She was 81.
Family members said Lee had a heart attack on Monday and died at her home in Bel Air, Calif.
Lee was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and won twice for "Is That All There Is" in 1969. She was probably best known for her song "Fever." Her other hits included "It's a Good Day," "What More Can a Woman Do?" and "Lover."
While Lee appeared in a handful of films, she's better know for writing the lyrics and performing the soundtrack voices for such movies as Disney's "Lady and the Tramp." Lee sang several songs and provided the voices for four characters in "Tramp," and when Disney released the hit movie on videocassette, she sued for breach of contract, claiming the studio sold the cassettes without her permission under terms of a 1952 contract. A jury awarded her several million dollars.