Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nicolas Cage Hit With $3M Lawsuit...updated

Nicolas Cage's financial difficulties are getting worse, but not as bad as previously reported.

The star has been struck with another lawsuit, but while on Saturday it was reported that an investment company was suing Cage for $36.7 million by People, and picked up by Access, it appears the lender is actually seeking around $3 million from the star. People's original report also claimed that the financially troubled actor had been accused of fraud, which has since been determined was incorrect.

According to the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 18, and obtained by Access Hollywood, Red Curb Investments is suing the actor for at least $2,943,486.64 related to a loan which Red Curb claims Cage is in default on.

Red Curb is seeking $1,093,216.97 for what they claim is an unpaid balance and accrued interest over default on a promissory note related to an original figure of $3.5 million, loaned in July of 2007. Additionally, according to the suit, Red Curb are asking a court to award them $1,850,269.67 related to a balloon note (a type of loan extension) with a guaranty of recourse obligation they claim was signed by the actor himself, and which they claim was due in August 2008.

The investment company is also suing for collection expenses, attorneys' fees and costs related to the promissory notes and guarantees.

Cage himself is only listed on some of the claims filed in the lawsuit, but other claims - including for fraud - are not directed at the actor.

A lawyer for Cage previously told People, "Any claims that Nic Cage engaged in fraud or wrongful conduct [are] absurd and ridiculous."

Instead, Red Curb levied those claims against a former business manger of the actor, a mortgage broker, a financial group and a real estate trust.

"[Red Curb] was assured that Cage had substantial assets consisting of high-end residential property, yachts, airplanes, antiques, custom automobiles, jewelry, furs, and other valuable assets sufficient to assure repayment of the... loan," the investment company noted in their filing.

"The representations made concerning Cage's financial condition were false and were made with the intent to deceive [Red Curb] about Cage's true financial condition," the paperwork reads. "By the summer of 2007, Defendants were aware that Cage was hopelessly in debt, yet continued to live in a lavish manner."

Red Curb is suing the other defendants for a minimum of $25 million.

The defendants do not yet appear to have filed a response in court, but a case management conference has been set for April 7, 2010.

Cage's lawyer told Access on Wednesday afternoon, "Any claim that Nic engaged in wrongful conduct is ridiculous."

As previously reported on, Cage recently lost two of his New Orleans homes due to foreclosure auction and the IRS has claimed the actor currently owes over $6 million back taxes.

Nicolas Cage Hit With $36.7M Lawsuit

Weinstein Co sees "Nine" losing ground at

It gained early success on the awards circuit, but the star-studded musical "Nine" will likely be pulled back from hundreds of smaller U.S. cities, after disappointing box office and lackluster reviews.

After playing in 1,400 screens last weekend, the Weinstein Company, which is behind "Nine", said on Tuesday it expects the movie to play in 800-900 screens in big U.S. cities in coming weeks.

"The movie is performing very well on about 890 key screens," David Glasser, an operations executive for the independent Weinstein Company told Reuters.

"The movie's doing well in those areas and obviously in some smaller cities, it was not doing as well," Glasser said, adding that the studio expected "Nine" to perform well in the weeks ahead.

"Nine" was one of the most anticipated movies of the year and cost an estimated $64 million to produce. But it finished eighth at the North American box office on its second week last weekend with a modest $5.5 million in ticket sales.

The poor showing came despite five Golden Globe nominations for the Federico Fellini-inspired song and dance spectacular whose cast includes Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Loren, Judi Dench and Nicole Kidman.

Harvey Weinstein, who earlier this year sought restructuring advice for his cash-strapped independent Weinstein Company, has long made a strategy of turning awards show buzz into box office success.

Movie industry watchers had expected "Nine" to finish in the top five over the Christmas holiday weekend in a crowded field that included action films "Avatar" and "Sherlock Holmes."

"Nine" opened in limited U.S. release on December 18 and expanded widely on December 25.

"It's got to be a major blow to their strategy," said Larry Gerbrandt, principal with Media Valuation Partners.

"(Weinstein) really needed this to work. I don't know if the blow is fatal or not, but this is certainly a setback," he said of the box office figures.

The film, based on an award-winning Broadway stage musical, follows an Italian movie director through a mid-life career and personal crisis and his entanglements with women.

Two weeks ago it got five Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild nominations. But it left movie critics unimpressed, earning a meager 37 percent approval rating at review aggregating website .

Movie goers have been kinder. Show business buzz tracker reported nearly 50 percent of the 12,500 messages posted online about "Nine" fall into the "positive" category.

Success at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards shows in January is widely seen as a precursor to an Oscar nomination in February.

But Pete Hammond at the Los Angeles Times awards show tracker "The Envelope" wrote that "Nine's" poor box office could hurt its chances for a best picture Oscar nod.

"It may take all of Harvey Weinstein's considerable magic touch with Oscar to pull this one out of the hat," Hammond wrote.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wedding Released First Photo Of Kevin Jonas'

The first photo of Kevin Jonas and Danielle Deleasa's December 19 wedding has been released.

In their first official wedding photo, published on the cover of People magazine, Kevin wore a custom Brooks Brothers tuxedo with a bow tie, while his blushing bride wore an elegant strapless gown from Vera Wang.

"I've never seen a more beautiful bride," Kevin said of his ladylove.

As previously reported on, the two tied the knot earlier this month on the East Coast, despite a blizzard.

According to People, the wedding, which was held at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York, had a fairy tale theme and included a castle and an enchanted forest.

Kevin also gave his bride glass slippers in her size.

"I knew that my princess needed her glass slippers and her castle," Kevin told the mag.

"I always wanted my wedding to have that princess feel," Danielle added. "I couldn't have imagined this."

And the wedding was very much a family affair. Kevin Jonas Sr., the JoBros patriarch, who is an ordained minister, officiated the ceremony alongside Danielle's pastor Reverend Ron DePasquale Jr.

Danielle's dad, Thomas "Bucky" Deleasa, walked his daughter down the aisle to "Bella Notte" from "Lady and the Tramp," the mag reported.

The boy who paints like an old master

His pictures cost upwards of £900, there are 680 people on a waiting list to buy them, and his second exhibition sold out in 14 minutes. Patrick Barkham meets the gifted artist Kieron Williamson, aged seven
Kieron Williamson kneels on the wooden bench in his small kitchen, takes a pastel from the box by his side and rubs it on to a piece of paper.

"Have you got a picture in your head of what you're going to do?" asks his mother, Michelle.

"Yep," Kieron nods. "A snow scene."

Because it is winter at the moment, I ask.


Do you know how you want it to come out?


And does it come out how you want it to?

"Sometimes it does."

Like many great artists, small boys are not often renowned for their loquaciousness. While Kieron Williamson is a very normal seven-year-old who uses his words sparingly, what slowly emerges on the small rectangle of paper in his kitchen is extraordinarily eloquent.

This month, Kieron's second exhibition in a gallery in his home town of Holt, Norfolk, sold out in 14 minutes. The sale of 16 new paintings swelled his bank account by £18,200. There are now 680 people on a waiting list for a Kieron original. Art lovers have driven from London to buy his work. Agents buzz around the town. People offer to buy his schoolbooks. The starting price for a simple pastel picture like the one Kieron is sketching? £900.

Kieron lives with his dad Keith, a former electrician, his mum, who is training to be a nutritionist, and Billie-Jo, his little sister, in a small flat overlooking a petrol station. When I arrive on a Saturday afternoon, Kieron and Keith are out. When Kieron returns in football socks and shorts, I assume he has been playing football. But no, he has been replenishing his stock of pastels in Holt, a chichi little place where even the chip shop has grainy portraits for sale on its walls.

From Jan Lievens to Millais, there have been plenty of precocious geniuses in the art world. Excitable press coverage has compared Kieron to Picasso, who painted his first canvas, The Picador, aged eight.

"We don't know who Picasso is really," says Keith.

"I know who Picasso is," interrupts Kieron. "I don't want to become Picasso."

Who would he like to become? "Monet or Edward Seago," he says.

These days, however, we are often suspicious of child prodigies. We wonder if it is all their own work, or whether their pushy parents have hot-housed them. People who don't know the Williamsons might think Kieron is being cleverly marketed, particularly when they hear that Keith is now an art dealer.

The truth is far more innocent. Two years ago, a serious accident had forced Keith to stop work and turn his hobby – collecting art – into an occupation. The accident also stopped Keith racing around outside with his son. Confined to a flat with no garden, surrounded by paintings and, like any small boy, probably influenced by his dad, Kieron decided to take up drawing. Now, father and son are learning about art together.

Kieron is rubbing yellows and greys together for his sky. "There's some trees going straight across and then there's a lake through the centre," he explains. Is this picture something you have seen or is it in your imagination? "I saw it on the computer and every time I do the picture it changes." he says, handling his pastels expertly.

Keith ducks into the kitchen and explains that Kieron finds pictures he likes on the internet. Rather than an exact copy, however, he creates his own version. This winter scene is imagined from an image of the Norfolk Broads in summer.

At first, Kieron's art was pretty much like any other five-year-old's. But he quickly progressed and was soon asking questions that his parents couldn't answer. "Kieron wanted to know the technicalities of art and how to put a painting together," says Michelle. Hearing of Kieron's promise, one local artist, Carol Ann Pennington, offered him some tips. Since then, he has had lessons with other Norfolk-based painters, including Brian Ryder and his favourite, Tony Garner.

Garner, a professional artist, has taught more than 1,000 adults over the last few decades and Kieron, he says, is head and shoulders above everyone. "He doesn't say very much, he doesn't ask very much, he just looks. He's a very visual learner. If I did a picture with most students, they will copy it but Kieron is different. He will copy it and then he will Kieronise it," he says. "It might be a bit naive at the moment but there's a lovely freshness about what he does. The confidence that this little chap has got – he just doesn't see any danger."

Garner says his parents have been brilliant at shielding Kieron from the business side and the pressure this invariably brings. Keith and Michelle are extremely proud, and protective, and perhaps slightly in awe of their son. They insist that Kieron only paints when he wants to.

"We judge ourselves every day, wondering whether we are making the right choices," says Michelle. "Kieron is such a strong character you wouldn't get him to do anything he didn't want to do anyway. It's a hobby. Some could argue he's got such a talent, why aren't we doing more for him in terms of touring galleries every weekend. We are a family and we've got Billie-Jo to consider; you've got to strike a balance."
With all the people wanting paintings, I ask Kieron if he feels he has to do them. He says no.

So you only paint when you want to? "Yep."

Do you have days when you feel you don't want to paint?


So you only do it when you're in the mood?


How many paintings or drawings do you do each week? One or two? "About six."

Is he a perfectionist? "You've got a bit of an artist's temperament, haven't you?" says Michelle, softly, as Kieron continues wielding his pastels. "You get really frustrated if it doesn't work out. You punched a hole in the canvas once, didn't you?"

That was rare. Sometimes, however, Kieron will produce "what we classify as a bag of trosh," says Michelle. "He's just got to go through the motions. It's almost as if it's a release. It's difficult to explain – it's the process that he enjoys, because there are days when he is not really focused on his work but he just enjoys doing it."

Sometimes, when they have taken Kieron out on painting trips in the countryside, the little boy has had other ideas: he has gone off and played in the mud or a stream. He is still allowed to be seven years old.

What do his school friends think? Are they impressed? "Yep." A few ­ moments later, Kieron pauses. "I am also top of the class in maths, English, geography and science," he says carefully, rubbing the sky in his picture.

Kieron explains he is sticking to landscapes for now but plans to paint a portrait of his 98-year-old nan when she turns 100. What does he think about people spending so much money on his paintings? "Really good." Would he like to be a professional painter? "Yep." So he doesn't want to be a footballer when he is older? "I want to be a footballer and a painter."

Kieron enjoys playing football and, like his dad, supports Leeds United ("I haven't ever pushed him into it," says Keith quickly). What other things does Kieron like doing? "You played on the Xbox but then you got bored of it didn't you?" says Keith.

"You said I could have it out when Christmas comes," says Kieron.

"You can have it out in the holidays," promises Michelle. "He's a bit all-or-nothing with whatever he does, like the artwork. You have to pull the reins in a bit because otherwise he'd be up all night."

What would his parents say if Kieron turned around and told them he was not going to paint any more? "Leave him to it. As long as he's happy. At the end of the day, he's at his happiest painting," says Keith. "It's entirely his choice," says Michelle. "We don't know what's around the corner. Kieron might decide to put his boxes away and football might take over and that would be entirely his choice. We're feeling slightly under pressure at the moment because there is such a waiting list of people wanting Kieron's work, but I'm inclined to tell them to wait, really."

I doubt many artists could paint or draw while answering questions and being photographed but Kieron carries on. When he finishes, we lean over to look. "Not bad. That's nice," says Keith, who can't watch Kieron at work; I wonder if it is because he is worried about his son making a mistake but Keith says he just prefers to see the finished article.

"Is it as good as the one I did this morning or better?" asks Kieron.

"What do you think?" replies Keith. "It's got a nice glow on it, hasn't it?"

Kieron nods.

I would love one of his pictures but, I tell Kieron, he is already too expensive for me. "I can price one down for you," he says, as quick as a flash.

No, no, I couldn't, I say, worried I would be exploiting a little boy who is eager to please. I thank him for his time and hand him my business card. And Kieron trots into his bedroom, comes out with his business card and says thank you back.
Kieron's tips for landscape painting

1 "Go on holiday to where you really want to go, and be inspired."

2 "Start with acrylics, then watercolours, then pastels and then oils"

3 When you set out to do a landscape, "start with the sky first, top to bottom."

4 "When you do distance, it's lighter, and when you do foreground it comes darker."

5 "If you're doing a figure in the winter, do a brown head, leave a small gap, do a blue jacket and brown legs. Then with the gap get a red pastel and do a flick of red so it looks like a scarf."

6 "Keep on painting."

'blue moon' to ring in 2010 New Year's Eve

Once in a blue moon there is one on New Year's Eve. Revelers ringing in 2010 will be treated to a so-called blue moon. According to popular definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a month. But don't expect it to be blue — the name has nothing to do with the color of our closest celestial neighbor.

A full moon occurred on Dec. 2. It will appear again on Thursday in time for the New Year's countdown.

"If you're in Times Square, you'll see the full moon right above you. It's going to be that brilliant," said Jack Horkheimer, director emeritus of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium and host of a weekly astronomy TV show.

The New Year's Eve blue moon will be visible in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and Africa. For partygoers in Australia and Asia, the full moon does not show up until New Year's Day, making January a blue moon month for them.

However, the Eastern Hemisphere can celebrate with a partial lunar eclipse on New Year's Eve when part of the moon enters the Earth's shadow. The eclipse will not be visible in the Americas.

A full moon occurs every 29.5 days, and most years have 12. On average, an extra full moon in a month — a blue moon — occurs every 2.5 years. The last time there was a lunar double take was in May 2007. New Year's Eve blue moons are rarer, occurring every 19 years. The last time was in 1990; the next one won't come again until 2028.

Blue moons have no astronomical significance, said Greg Laughlin, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

"`Blue moon' is just a name in the same sense as a `hunter's moon' or a `harvest moon,'" Laughlin said in an e-mail.

The popular definition of blue moon came about after a writer for Sky & Telescope magazine in 1946 misinterpreted the Maine Farmer's Almanac and labeled a blue moon as the second full moon in a month. In fact, the almanac defined a blue moon as the third full moon in a season with four full moons, not the usual three.

Though Sky & Telescope corrected the error decades later, the definition caught on. For purists, however, this New Year's Eve full moon doesn't even qualify as a blue moon. It's just the first full moon of the winter season.

In a tongue-in-cheek essay posted on the magazine's Web site this week, senior contributing editor Kelly Beatty wrote: "If skies are clear when I'm out celebrating, I'll take a peek at that brilliant orb as it rises over the Boston skyline to see if it's an icy shade of blue. Or maybe I'll just howl."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tyra Banks Ending Talk Show

Tyra Banks is ending her daytime TV talk show.

The supermodel-turned-TV-mogul announced she that she will wrap up her talk show at the end of its current season - its fifth -- this coming spring.

"This will be the last season of 'The Tyra Show,'" she wrote on her Web site. "I've been loving having fun, coming into your living rooms, bedrooms [and] hair salons for the past 5 years."

And Tyra was quick to claim she isn't ending her show due to the ratings.

"The thing is, 'The Tyra Show' is not leaving because of YOU. Most times, a show leaves the air because not many people are watching. Well, you all ARE watching, in record numbers. You must know this love and support is always felt by me and it's given me the courage to take more exciting steps in my life. So I thank you for that."

Instead of sitting down to talk to guests on a daily basis, Tyra will shift her focus to Bankable Studios, a film production company based in New York, which she is set to launch.

"This year I'll be unveiling some HUGE surprises from me and my company Bankable - new out-of-the-box projects," Tyra wrote. "And I'm incredibly excited to announce that I'll be launching Bankable Studios soon, which means my company will be making MOVIES!!! And what I love about creating new projects is that it also creates new jobs for talented people, in front of and behind the camera."

Oprah Winfrey also recently announced she would end her daytime TV talk show run in September 2011 in order to concentrate on another project - in Oprah's case the Oprah Winfrey Network.

And Tyra referenced Oprah's big move as she thanked her loyal "Tyra Show" fans.

"Before I go, I have to pay homage to the ultimate Queen of Talk, Oprah, who made a huge impact on my life by giving me my first shot in daytime TV. We all know she announced that her last year with her talk show will be in the 2010-2011 season. We will all miss her show so much," Tyra noted. "And to you Oprah: You have had, and continue to have, such an amazing impact on me. I salute you."

Tyra will stay committed, however, to her longtime reality competition, "America's Next Top Model," which recently crowned its first petite model winner, Nicole Fox. The show will return in 2010 with its 14th cycle.

Tyra Lynne Banks Hot Photo.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nicolas Cage Hit With $36.7M Lawsuit

Nicolas Cage's financial difficulties are getting worse.

The star has been struck with another lawsuit, this time for $36.7 million, according to People.

The mag reported that Red Curb Investments is suing the star, alleging that the tax-troubled actor did not repay over $5 million in loans nor did he disclose his tax problems, notably a $6 million debt.

"Our client was assured that Cage had substantial assets consisting of high-end residential property, yachts, airplanes, antiques, custom automobiles, jewelry, furs ... to assure repayment of the loan," the company claimed in the suit, according to the mag. "But the values of Cage's assets were grossly exaggerated."

However, a Cage lawyer told the mag that "Any claims that Nic Cage engaged in fraud or wrongful conduct are absurd and ridiculous."

Cage, embroiled in a lawsuit of his own against former business manager Samuel Levin over his recent financial issues, is also facing another recent lawsuit from ex Christina Fulton, who is suing the star for $13 million.

UPDATED: Nicolas Cage Hit With $3M Lawsuit

Meryl Streep's Fashion Hits and Misses Through The Years

In her new film, "It's Complicated," Meryl Streep plays a divorced mother who finds herself having an affair. . . with her ex-husband (played by Alec Baldwin). Streep just received a Golden Globe nomination for her work, and we imagine it's pretty empowering to be playing a strong, sensual romantic lead at 60 years old. Not that we're surprised. In fact, at the film's recent premiere Meryl, dressed in a black wrap dress and peep-toe pumps, never looked more gorgeous. To celebrate Streep's long reign as the Queen of Hollywood, we put together a gallery of her fashion hits and misses, including a dress that she wore recently -- and at the 1979 Oscars. Good thing her resumé is colorful because her style is pretty much black and white.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jennifer Lopez Comeback

For one of the biggest stars of the past decade, Jennifer Lopez has flown relatively low on the radar for the past few years. She has not released a studio album since 2007's "Brave," and her last movie, "Monster-in-Law," debuted over four years ago. In a media culture when "any press is good press," the low tide of PR comes with good reason: Lopez gave birth to twins in early 2008, opting to focus on her family since then.

For many celebrities, this kind of spotlight scarcity can spell career trouble. Not so for Jennifer Lopez. The J. Lo tide is rising again, surging strong into the new year. This month, she released a new single "Louboutins" off her new album "Love?," which slated to come out April 2010. But that isn't the only Jennifer Lopez debut this month. The theatrical trailer for her upcoming film "The Back-up Plan" came out late last week right here on Yahoo! Movies.

Lopez not only seeks to recharge her singing and acting careers, but she continues her trend of living up to high expectations. With new twins at home and an ever-demanding professional life, Lopez looks vibrant and youthful as ever at 40. At the American Music Awards recently, she continued her trend of dazzling cameras on the red carpet.

But hip and hype aside, Lopez is a moneymaking force that means serious business. "Monster-in-Law," "Shall We Dance," and "Maid in Manhattan" combined tallied almost half a billion dollars in worldwide box office between 2002 and 2005. And between her 2001 album "J. Lo" and 2002's "This Is Me...Then," Lopez sold over 10 million records worldwide. With "Love?" coming out next year, the album title poses a truly million-dollar question: will Jennifer Lopez, now 40, fill the shoes of her superstar legacy?
See Jennifer Lopez Sexy pictures

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Carrie Underwood Is Engaged

Carrie Underwood and Ottawa Senator hockey player Mike Fisher are engaged, her rep tells
"I'm happy to confirm that Carrie Underwood is engaged to Mike Fisher, and the couple couldn't be happier," the rep tells Us. "No wedding date has been set at this time."
According to the Ottawa Sun, he also confirmed the news at a press conference Monday. He said he popped the question Sunday, but declined to offer any other details.
"It's true," he said. "We're both obviously excited and very happy."
His teammate Chris Neil said Fisher, 29, called him shortly after he proposed. "I think it's great," Neil told reporters. "It's a long time coming. There's going to be a lot of broken hearts in Ottawa with all those girls who are in love with Mikey."

Underwood, 26, and Fisher have mostly been hush-hush about their relationship since they began dating last year.
But lately, they've been opening up.
Underwood gushed about the hockey player, 29, on the liner notes of her new CD, Play On.
"Thank you #12," she wrote, referring to his jersey number. "You are the most amazing addition to my life! You are such a wonderful person and have had such an amazing hand in the building of this album and in the growth of me as a person. I love you so much! You make my life better in every way! I thank God for you every day... xoxo, Carrie."

He also praised her singing during a recent chat on The Sens Show, a Web news program for his team.
"She can sing anything I like it when she sings a good rock song," he said.

He added that she was "very committed" and worked "extremely hard. She doesn't get too many days off a lot less days off than I get. She's always going."
Despite their tough schedules, "we always find a way to make it work," he said.

Now that they're engaged, are babies next?
In the January issue of Self, she opened up about wanting to start a family.

"Not that I have a husband to have one with yet, but someday I'd like a family not a big one, but not a small one either," she said. "Two kids is good; three is fine. Four? Somebody's getting something done, because we ain't having five!"
Before romancing Fisher, Underwood has dated Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford and former Bachelor star Travis Stork.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, Others Mourn Brittany Murphy

Following Sunday's shocking death of actress Brittany Murphy at age 32, her friends and admirers in Hollywood are sharing their grief and memories on Twitter and elsewhere.

Lindsay Lohan: "My deepest condolences go out to all of Brittany Murphy's loved ones& may she rest in peace....She was a great talent w/a beautiful soul xo"

Kim Kardashian: "I am in shock that [Brittany] Murphy has died! Clueless is my all time favorite movie. My prayers go out to her family & husband"

Khloe Kardashian: "OMG!!!! This is horrible news when anyone passes. I'm so sorry for her family. Send prayers out please!"

Jessica Simpson: "Brittany Murphy was an incredible ray of Light to so many people. Her smile was contagious. My prayers are with her family and loved ones."

Russel Simmons: "I met Brittany murphy before her star rose its tough to find peace in fame. I wish her peace and happiness in her next lifetime"

Alyssa Milano: "[Brittany] and I did a USO Tour together in 2003. [Love] She was a sweet soul, with a lot of talent and heart."

Hilary Duff: "RIP Brittany Murphy forever in our hearts"

Fred Durst: "What a sweet human being. My prayers are with her friends and family."

Film critic Roger Ebert: "She had a genuine quality."

Actress Soleil Moon Frye: "I was so blessed to know your grace...I will never forget the beautiful school girl you were and woman you became."

Jeff Bowler, who produced the just-released film Across the Hall co-starring Murphy, tells "It's truly a tragedy what happened. She was a great person with a huge heart."

Celebrity talent agent Mike Heller tells, "My heart is broken. She was an icon and an extremely talented actress and a good friend. She will definitely be missed."

Brittany Murphy the Actress dies in LA at age 32

Brittany Murphy, the actress who got her start in the sleeper hit "Clueless" and rose to stardom in "8 Mile" before her movie roles declined in recent years, died Sunday in Los Angeles of what appeared to be natural causes, a Los Angeles County coroner's official said. She was 32.
Murphy was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Sally Stewart said.
Murphy was transported to the hospital after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at 8 a.m. at the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills.
Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Murphy apparently collapsed in the bathroom, and authorities were looking into her medical history.
An official cause of death may not be determined for some time, since toxicology tests will be required, but "it appears to be natural," Winter said. He said an autopsy was planned for Monday or Tuesday.
Winter said Murphy's family was cooperating with the coroner's investigation. Funeral arrangements have not been announced, he said.
Los Angeles police have opened an investigation into Murphy's death, Officer Norma Eisenman said. Detectives and coroner's officials were at Murphy and Monjack's home Sunday afternoon but did not talk to reporters. Paparazzi were camped outside the multistory home, located above the Sunset Strip.
Messages left for Murphy's manager and agent by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Neighbor Clare Staples said she saw firefighters working to resuscitate the actress Sunday morning. She said Murphy was on a stretcher and "looked as though she was dead at the scene."
Murphy's husband, wearing pajama bottoms and no shoes, appeared "dazed" as firefighters tried to save her, Staples said. "It's just tragic," she added. first reported Murphy's death Sunday morning.
Murphy's father, Angelo Bertolotti, said he learned of her death from his son, the actress's brother, and was stunned.
"She was just an absolute doll since she was born," Bertolotti said from his Branford, Fla., home. "Her personality was always outward. Everybody loved her — people that made movies with her, people on a cruise — they all loved her. She was just a regular gal."
He said he hadn't heard much about the circumstances of Murphy's death. Bertolotti divorced her mother when Murphy was young and hadn't seen Murphy in the past few years. He said he used to be in the mob and served prison time on federal drug charges.
"She was just talented," Bertolotti said. "And I loved her very much."
Meanwhile, Murphy's publicist, Nicole Perna, said in a statement: "In this time of sadness, the family thanks you for your love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy."
Born Nov. 10, 1977, in Atlanta, Murphy grew up in New Jersey and later moved with her mother to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
Her career started in the early 1990s with small roles in television series, commercials and movies. She is best known for parts in "Girl, Interrupted," "Clueless" and "8 Mile."
Her on-screen work had lessened of late, but Murphy's voice gave life to numerous animated characters, including Luanne Platter on more than 200 episodes of Fox's "King of the Hill" and Gloria the penguin in the 2006 feature "Happy Feet."
She is due to appear in Sylvester Stallone's upcoming film, "The Expendables," set for release next year.
Her role in "8 Mile" led to more recognition, Murphy told AP in 2003. "That changed a lot," she said. "That was the difference between people knowing my first and last name as opposed to not."
Murphy credited her mother, Sharon, with being a key to her success.
"When I asked my mom to move to California, she sold everything and moved out here for me," Murphy said. "I was really grateful to have grown up in an environment that was conducive to creating and didn't stifle any of that. She always believed in me."
She dated Ashton Kutcher, who costarred with Murphy in 2003's romantic comedy "Just Married."
Kutcher sent a message on Twitter Sunday morning about Murphy's death: "2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine," Kutcher wrote. "My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon."
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