Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   April 29, 2003 at 6:31 PM
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The late cinematographer Conrad L. Hall, a three-time Oscar winner, will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Thursday.

Hall -- who died at 76 in January of complications from cancer -- won the Oscar for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969), "American Beauty" (1999) and last year's "Road to Perdition." His star will be located near the star of his friend, cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who won the cinematography Oscar for "Bound for Glory" (1976).

Katherine Ross, one of the stars of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," will be on hand to help honor Hall -- along with screenwriter-directors Robert Towne ("Chinatown") and Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List").

Hall was born and raised in Papeete, Tahiti. His father was James Norman Hall, who co-authored "Mutiny on the Bounty."

He worked on such TV series as "Stoney Burke and "The Outer Limits," before going on to a film career in which he was also nominated for Oscars for "A Civil Action," "The Day of the Locust," "In Cold Blood," "Morituri," "The Professionals," "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and "Tequila Sunrise."

The American Society of Cinematographers honored Hall with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. Hall also won four ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards -- for "American Beauty," "Road to Perdition," "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and "Tequila Sunrise."


Hollywood columnist Army Archerd reported Tuesday that Cindy Williams ("Laverne & Shirley") is trying to correct the impression that she is anti-military.

Williams told Archerd she was almost removed from the invitation list for last week's Hollywood ceremony honoring Bob Hope as Citizen of the Century, because people have been confusing her with another Cindy Williams. According to the actress, a senior research fellow at MIT named Cindy Williams had a column printed in The Washington Post a couple of years ago arguing against pay raises for the military.

"Someone put this article and a rebuttal from an airman on the Internet asking that they forward it to everyone they knew," Williams said. "The trouble began when the Internet sender credited the article to Cindy Williams of 'Laverne & Shirley.'"

Williams said she had been getting hate mail. She said she has tried for more than two years to set things straight, but hasn't had any success.

"I'm heartsick over this because I am a patriot and I stand behind our brave, young men and women and, may I say, if I could, I would give them a raise myself," said Williams.


"Chicago" producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are developing two new musical projects for TV, according to a report in Daily Variety.

Zadan and Meron have signed with Fox to develop a weekly drama with writer Lizzy Weiss ("Blue Crush") that will feature musical numbers. Also, the producing partners will develop a TV movie adaptation of the Tony-winning 1969 Broadway musical "1776" for ABC's "The Wonderful World of Disney."

They previously produced "Annie," "Cinderella" and "The Music Man" for the Sunday night series.

The Fox drama -- titled "The Rise" -- will depict the struggle for success of a group of aspiring singers and dancers sharing a house in Hollywood. Fox Entertainment President Gail Berman told Variety she asked Meron and Zadan to develop the show.

"Neil and Craig are the pre-eminent guys dealing in the musical form right now," said Berman. "It's something we've been interested in for a long time, but we haven't been able to crack the genre yet. So who better to try than Neil and Craig?"

Zadan said "The Rise" would use music in unconventional ways -- as "Chicago" did.

"We're looking for ways to do a dramatic series that uses music and dance in a new way, a very, sexy way," he said. "We haven't seen that in television."

Zadan and Meron are also working on a new TV version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" for ABC.


Gerard Butler has been offered the title role in the movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The paper said Butler ("Reign of Fire," "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life") had not decided whether to take the gig as the disfigured musician who haunts the Paris Opera House. The Reporter said Anne Hathaway ("The Princess Diaries") and Emmy Rossum ("Passionada") are the top contenders to play the phantom's beloved Christine.


Jack Osbourne, of the MTV Osbournes, has checked into a Southern California substance abuse rehab center, according to a report on "Entertainment Tonight."

The syndicated TV show said the 17-year-old son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne entered the facility Saturday. Citing an eyewitness, the show said the young Osbourne had an "emotional moment" with his mom and dad before going into the rehab center.

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