Monday, May 23, 2005

Smell of success

Maybe she’s looking to capitalize on that “new mom” glow: Makeup and fragrance giant Estee Lauder has named Gwyneth Paltrow as one of its official faces.

The Oscar-winning actress has signed a multiyear contract, according to Associated Press. She’ll appear first in a new global print and TV ad campaign to begin this holiday season for Lauder’s Pleasures fragrance.

“I am very proud to be a part of such a fine company,” Miss Paltrow said “Its roots have been deep in the culture of classic American beauty for decades.”

Shareholders in Estee Lauder Cos. are no doubt pleased by the deal. There’s no telling, though, how Miss Paltrow’s hubby, Chris Martin, will react. Last week, he called shareholders “the great evil in this modern world.”

Help is on the way

Tom Hanks told Vassar College graduates that one four-letter word holds the answer to most of life’s problems: help.

Whether it’s battling gridlock in Southern California or embracing “diversity,” Mr. Hanks said Sunday any problem in the world can be solved as long as people are willing to help, Associated Press reports.

“Help and you will make a huge impact in the life of the street, the town, the country and our planet,” the Oscar-winning actor said. His daughter, Elizabeth Hanks, was among about 670 graduates in the 141st commencement ceremony at the private liberal arts college in the Hudson Valley.

“You will always be able to help, so do it,” Mr. Hanks said. “Make peace where it is precious. Help plant trees. Help embrace diversity and celebrate difference. Help stop gridlock.”

Patriot action

Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star in “The Chancellor Manuscript,” a political thriller based on a novel by Robert Ludlum, whose books spawned the Matt Damon hits “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mr. DiCaprio will play a novelist writing a thriller about intelligence agencies that try to blackmail Washington power brokers. The author’s research exposes some unsavory truths, forcing him to flee for his life.

The 1977 novel took place in the context of the Cold War; the forthcoming adaptation, to be directed by Michael Seitzman is set in the present day and apparently was inspired by such hobgoblins as the Patriot Act.

“We live in this crazy post-Patriot Act environment where Benjamin Franklin’s warning that those that give up essential liberties for temporary security don’t deserve either one are being ignored, so the subject matter seemed ripe,” Mr. Seitzman said.

Open fight night

Two members of singer Bobby Brown’s entourage wound up hospitalized after being stabbed during a fight yesterday at an Atlanta restaurant, police said.

Trouble magnet Brown apparently was not involved, authorities told AP. He lives outside Atlanta with his wife, Whitney Houston.

Mr. Brown was performing at Justin’s Restaurant and Bar during a weekly open-microphone event when the people with whom he had arrived got into an altercation.

“There was a lot of music and talking going on,” Detective D.L. Dixon said. “It could have been something as simple as a bump, you know, somebody bumped into each other.”

Justin’s Restaurant and Bar is owned by rapper-producer Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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