Taking Names

Bradley Cooper named People’s ‘sexiest man’

Bradley Cooper is now an official sex symbol.

People magazine has bestowed the “Hangover” star with its “sexiest man alive” title, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Cooper told the magazine that his first reaction was to think that his mom would be “so happy” and that he’s “decent-looking.”

The 36-year-old actor dated Renee Zellweger for two years and recently has been linked to Jennifer Lopez. Mr. Cooper, however, said he’s single.

Other actors who have received the “sexiest” label include George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds.

People’s “Sexiest Men” issue hits newsstands Friday.

One of four remaining ‘Oz’ Munchkins dies at 93

Karl Slover, one of the last surviving actors who played Munchkins in the 1939 classic film, “The Wizard of Oz,” has died. He was 93.

According to the Associated Press, the 4-foot-5 Slover died of cardiopulmonary arrest Tuesday afternoon in a central Georgia hospital, said Laurens County Deputy Coroner Nathan Stanley. According to friends, Slover appeared at events in the suburban Chicago area as recently as last weekend.

Slover was best known for playing the lead trumpeter in the Munchkins’ band, but he also had roles as a townsman and soldier in the film, said John Fricke, author of “100 Years of Oz” and five other books on the movie and its star, Judy Garland. Slover was one of the tiniest male Munchkins in the movie.

Long after Slover retired, he continued to appear around the country at festivals and events related to the movie. He was one of seven Munchkins at the 2007 unveiling of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame dedicated to the little people in the movie. Only three remain of the 124 diminutive actors who played the beloved Munchkins.

“He has a genuine immortality,” Mr. Fricke said. “Of the 124 little people, he’s one of the handful who got to enjoy this latter-day fame, to have people know who he was and be able to pick him out of the crowd in the movie.”

Slover is the first of the three trumpeters to herald the Munchkin mayor when he makes his entrance. Slover had been cast to play the second trumpeter but switched when another actor got stage fright during filming, said longtime friend Allen Pease, the co-founder of the former Munchkinland Market Days outside Chesterton, Ind.

“Karl didn’t know what stage fright meant,” he said.

Slover was born Karl Kosiczky in what is now the Czech Republic and he was the only child in his family to be dwarf sized.

“In those uninformed days, his father tried witch doctor treatments to make him grow,” Mr. Fricke said. “Knowing Karl and his triumph over his early life, you can’t help but celebrate the man at a time like this.”

Slover was paid $50 a week for the movie and told friends that Garland’s dog in the movie, “Toto,” made more money.

The surviving Munchkin actors found new generations of fans in the late 1980s when they began making appearances around the country.

“It wasn’t until the Munchkins started making their appearances in 1989 that they all came to realize how potent the film had become and remained,” Mr. Fricke said. “He was wonderfully articulate about his memories, he had anecdotes to share.”

Anticipation swirls for ‘Twilight’ bridal gown reveal

Many brides keep their wedding dresses a secret until the moment they walk down the aisle, but all of cyberspace isn’t usually speculating about it. The exception is Bella Swan.

The much anticipated bridal gown will make its debut on Friday as “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” is released in movie theaters.

According to the Associated Press, here’s what’s known about the gown worn by Kristen Stewart’s character as she married Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen: It’s designed by Carolina Herrera. It has 100 buttons down the back. It’s made of lace and satin, and it aims to be simultaneously romantic and mysterious.

“Well, the inspiration became a little bit by the book,” said Miss Herrera on the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere Monday night. “And the description of the book, and the magic and the moment that is the wedding and also about [Bella’s] personality, which is very important in a wedding gown. She is this very innocent girl that is believing in her first true love and there is romance and there is fantasy and mystery. Everything so, I took all that into consideration.”

Letter offering Beatles audition sold for $55,000

Christie’s auction house said a handwritten letter from Paul McCartney offering a Beatles audition to a mystery drummer has sold for more than $55,000, the Associated Press reports.

The note, found folded in a book at a Liverpool yard sale, offered an audition to someone who had advertised their availability in the Liverpool Echo newspaper four days earlier. The unsigned ad said simply: “Drummer - Young - Free.”

The letter was dated Aug. 12, 1960 - two years before the band bounced drummer Pete Best in favor of Ringo Starr.

Christie’s said a European buyer made Tuesday’s winning bid over the phone.

The auction house had estimated the letter would fetch more than $11,000.

Compiled from web and wire reports.

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