- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 16, 2005

Coleman comes first

“Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, VH1?”

The music network for the parents of MTV watchers has named Gary Coleman No. 1 on its list of the top 100 child stars of all time, Associated Press reports. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was second, and the Olsen twins were third.

Mr. Coleman, now 37, was the precocious star of the hit sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes,” which ran from 1978 to 1986. Mr. Coleman played Arnold, who along with his older brother, Willis (Todd Bridges), moves from Harlem to live with an affluent white family in a ritzy section of Manhattan.

In 2003, Mr. Coleman joined 134 other candidates to run for governor of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger successfully replaced the recalled Gov. Gray Davis, but Mr. Coleman got a few more minutes in the spotlight.

“This is really interesting and cool, and I’ve been enjoying the heck out of it because I get to be intelligent, which is something I don’t get to do very often,” the 4-foot-8 actor said at the time.

Jodie Foster, Drew Barrymore, Emmanuel Lewis, Ron Howard, Corey Feldman, Maureen McCormick and Danny Bonaduce round out the top 10 on the VH1 list. Virtually every actor who made a splash in his or her younger days gets a mention, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Alyssa Milano and Jason Bateman.

VH1 will wrap its kiddie countdown at 9 tonight.

Salary ‘Nip/Tuck’

The stars of the FX drama “Nip/Tuck” will soon see their salaries get a handsome makeover.

The Golden Globe-winning show is boosting the paychecks of both Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh as the actors begin shooting the series’ third season, Reuters News Agency reports.

The pair have been given a bonus in the $280,000 to $320,000 range, with FX providing most of the cash and producer Warner Bros. Television contributing a small portion. Both FX and WBTV declined comment on the matter to Reuters, while the actors’ reps either declined comment or didn’t return calls. Production on the third season began Monday.

The lump-sum payments would beef up Mr. McMahon’s and Mr. Walsh’s per-episode fees to more than $60,000, according to sources. Co-star Joely Richardson is also said to have received a bonus going into the third season.

Although actors sign long-term series deals when they are cast in pilots, it is customary for the cast members on a hit show to renegotiate their deals after the first two seasons and receive a salary increase.

Getting bonus checks instead of per-episode fee increases is more unusual. Most recently, the principal cast members of ABC’s red-hot freshman dramedy “Desperate Housewives” were each given a bonus reported to be about $250,000 four months into the run of the show.

Mr. McMahon’s profile could rise dramatically this summer. He’s set to star as the evil Dr. Doom in the big screen adaptation of the Fantastic Four comic book.

Separately, actress Rhona Mitra is joining the cast of “Nip/Tuck” as a recurring character.

Details about her character are being kept under wraps, but sources said she will play a gorgeous and tough New York detective who comes to Miami to investigate the attack on Dr. Christian Troy (Mr. McMahon) that ended the past season.

Miss Mitra most recently co-starred as Tara Wilson on the final season of David E. Kelley’s ABC legal drama “The Practice” and the first season of its spinoff, “Boston Legal.”

Russell heads ‘West’

“Into the West’s” Keri Russell got a crash course in the Cheyenne Indian language to help her star in the new TNT miniseries, Associated Press reports.

Miss Russell, whose character lives for a time with the Indian tribe, told AP she worked with Cheyenne advisers to learn some of the language “because you also have to understand even if you’re not speaking, you have to understand the scenes.”

After all that study, however, she can’t remember a lick of it, she says.

“Oh, for the love of God, no. Literally, Hebrew’s easier, much easier than this. It was so hard,” says Miss Russell, 29, who achieved TV stardom as the title character in “Felicity,” a series that aired on the WB from 1998 to 2002.

“Into the West,” which also stars Tom Berenger, Beau Bridges, Josh Brolin, Keith Carradine, Jessica Capshaw, Matthew Modine and Skeet Ulrich, spans 65 years of history in the Old West. The show airs tonight at 8 with encore broadcasts at the same time Saturdays and Sundays.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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