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Celebrity news

December 27, 2004

'CSI' actress takes a pass on morgue tour


RADNOR, Pa. (AP) - When Louise Lombard landed a role as the new crime-scene investigator on "CSI," a producer suggested she prepare by visiting a morgue.

"I turned to her and said, 'That's where the acting comes in,'" Lombard said. "There's no way I'm going to see a corpse just in the name of research. I'm dedicated, but not THAT dedicated."

Lombard became a household name in the United Kingdom on the BBC series "The House of Elliott." She had a starring role in the movie "Hidalgo."

On "CSI," Lombard plays a crime scene investigator demoted to work on the graveyard shift with star William Petersen.

"She's not a scientist by instinct," Lombard, 34, told TV Guide for its Dec. 26 issue. "She's a cop. Her interest is in justice."

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Still, Lombard hasn't been able to avoid the grimier tasks of her pseudo-job. In her first scene she inspects a pool of vomit, and it didn't get any better.

"The next shot was me putting my hand down a toilet," she said. "I've waited my whole career to do that."




Slender teen actress gains weight for role


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Renee Zellweger isn't the only actress packing on the pounds for plum roles these days.

Sarah Steele, the 16-year-old actress who plays the overweight daughter of Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni in the comedy-drama "Spanglish," had to gain 15 to 17 pounds for the role.

"And then I had my fat suit. It was cotton and spandex. It was pretty uncomfortable," the 5-foot-tall Steele told the Los Angeles Times for Sunday's editions.

Steele normally fluctuates between a size 1 and 2. She said she did not use a special diet to gain the weight because the food on the set was so good.

"I was the only actress who could eat it," she said.

Steele, a junior at a private Philadelphia high school, said playing the role of Bernice gave her an opportunity to explore teenage obesity for audiences who usually don't see it in movies.

Zellweger gained weight to play the British heroine in "Bridget Jones' Diary" and again for "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason."




Companies warn workers about Moore


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Some pharmaceutical companies are telling their employees to look out for the scruffy guy in the baseball cap.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that at least six drug companies have released internal communications telling employees to be wary of filmmaker Michael Moore.

Moore's targets have included General Motors ("Roger & Me"), the gun lobby (the Oscar-winning "Bowling for Columbine") and President Bush ("Fahrenheit 9/11").

Moore, normally seen sporting a beard and a ball cap, has now set his sights on the health-care industry, including insurance companies, HMOs, the Food and Drug Administration and drug companies.

"We ran a story in our online newspaper saying Moore is embarking on a documentary and if you see a scruffy guy in a baseball cap, you'll know who it is," said Stephen Lederer, a spokesman for Pfizer Global Research and Development.

In September and October, Wyeth, AstraZeneca and

GlaxoSmithKline, the second-largest in retail sales, sent out Moore alerts, instructing employees that questions posed by the media or filmmakers should be handled by corporate communications.

Heavyweights Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals and Synthelabo sent similar memos before their recent merger.




Former pro football center arrested


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Former pro football center Barret Robbins was arrested on battery and drunk and disorderly conduct charges after he allegedly hit a nightclub security guard, authorities said.

The former Oakland Raider and Pro Bowler allegedly struck a security guard after he was told the bar he was trying to enter was closed, according to the San Francisco Sheriff's Department. He was arrested around Friday morning.

The All-Pro center is best remembered for his infamous disappearance the night before the 2003 Super Bowl in San Diego. He spent Super Bowl Sunday in a hospital and later acknowledged he stopped taking his medicine for depression and bipolar disorder. The Raiders lost to Tampa Bay 48-21.

Robbins was released by the Raiders in July of this year, a week after he and two other players were fined three game checks for testing positive for the steroid THG.




Powell to spend New Year's Eve in NYC


NEW YORK (AP) - Secretary of State Colin Powell will celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square as the guest of honor at the 100th anniversary of the world-famous festivities.

Powell, a native New Yorker, will push the button to begin the New Year's Eve ball's descent as an expected 750,000 people swarm Times Square and more than a billion people worldwide watch on television.

Powell announced plans last month to resign from the Bush administration and plans to leave early next year.

"Colin Powell is as New York as you could possibly be," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made the announcement Tuesday.

TV personality-producer Dick Clark, who has hosted the New Year's Eve party for 32 years, will miss the celebration because he's recovering from a mild stroke. Daytime talk-show host Regis Philbin will fill in.

This year's party will feature athletes, music and celebrities, said organizers with the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment.

The New Year's Eve ball will drop at 11:59 p.m., counting down the last 60 seconds of 2004. The ball is about 6 feet in diameter, weighs roughly 1,070 pounds and is covered with 504 crystal triangles.

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