- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gandolfini returns

Just months after “The Sopranos’ ” ambiguous ending, show star James Gandolfini (aka Tony Soprano) will return to HBO this fall with the documentary special “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq” — his first project since playing the notorious mob boss and his first production for his Attaboy Films.

The documentary about wounded soldiers surveys the physical and emotional costs of war through memories of their “alive day,” the day they narrowly escaped death in Iraq, HBO said yesterday. It debuts on the premium cable network Sept. 9.

Mr. Gandolfini, a three-time Emmy winner who has visited the troops in Iraq on behalf of the USO, will serve as executive producer. He also interviews 10 soldiers who reveal their feelings on their future, their severe disabilities and their devotion to America.

“Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq” is HBO Documentary Films’ third production focusing on the war in Iraq, following its Emmy and Peabody winner “Baghdad ER” and “Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops From the Battlefields of Iraq.”

Mouth almighty

Rosie O’Donnell rocked out on Sunday night — and joked about her tumultuous year as co-host of “The View.”

The comic, 45, is appearing as a special guest on Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors tour and played drums for the singer at Sunday’s gig at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. Afterward, she tossed her sticks into the crowd like any good rock star, People.com reports.

Earlier in the night, she gave the crowd her take on her “View” experience. “I got to tell you, I’ve been hanging around with those heteros for a full year, and it’s not fun,” she said. “Turn around one minute, and they’ll stab you in the back with a high heel. They will.”

On her well-publicized feud with Donald Trump, Miss O’Donnell said: “We have a difference of opinion, Donald and I. He likes his women thin and silent. I like large and loud. Every time I saw Trump on one of those shows saying I was fat and unappealing, I’m like, ‘Pass the Doritos.’ “

More ‘L&O;’ for Martin

Jesse L. Martin has inked a deal to return to NBC’s “Law & Order” next season.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, he will appear in at least 13 episodes of the series.

Next season will mark Mr. Martin’s ninth year portraying Detective Ed Green. “L&O;” returns in the fall for its 18th season.

The actor, an original cast member of “Rent,” also starred in the 2005 film adaptation of the long- running Broadway musical. He next appears in the film “Caretakers” and also is set to play Marvin Gaye in the feature film “Sexual Healing.”

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