- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2007

Pregnant pause

The wedding between Usher and his pregnant fiancee has been canceled, his publicist told Associated Press on Saturday.

The wedding between the multiplatinum singer and his longtime girlfriend, Tameka Foster, was scheduled for Saturday. The two are expecting their first child together sometime this fall.

However, a statement released by publicist Patti Webster to the AP read: “It was announced today that the wedding ceremony for Usher Raymond IV and Tameka Foster was canceled. No additional information will be given regarding the circumstances of the cancellation, but we hope the privacy of this matter will be respected.”

The couple announced their engagement earlier this year and, later, that she was expecting his first child. Miss Webster would not comment on whether the two were still engaged or even a couple.

Steve Martin weds

In happier entertainment world marital news, actor Steve Martin married girlfriend Anne Stringfield during a ceremony at his Los Angeles home.

Former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, a friend of Mr. Martin‘s, presided over Saturday’s ceremony, his publicist, Alan Nierob, said. “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels was Mr. Martin’s best man, he said.

Most of the roughly 75 guests — who included Tom Hanks, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Carl Reiner and Ricky Jay — were not told that Mr. Martin and Miss Stringfield would wed when they were invited to his home for a “party,” Mr. Nierob said. The ensuing nuptials were a surprise to them, he said.

Mr. Martin, 61, was previously married to actress Victoria Tennant, whom he divorced in 1994 after about eight years together.

It was the first marriage for Miss Stringfield, 35, a writer and former staffer for New Yorker magazine.

The two had dated for about three years, Mr. Nierob said.

Mr. Martin exchanged vows sporting an Inspector Clouseau mustache he let grow in for his appearance in the upcoming sequel to 2006’s “Pink Panther” remake.

Zappa’s strasse

Berlin has named a street after the late American rock legend and counterculture guru Frank Zappa in a ceremony complete with a tribute concert, organizers said yesterday.

Marzahn, a district on the eastern fringe of the capital made up of communist-era prefabricated high-rise housing blocks, became home to Germany’s first Frank Zappa Strasse late Saturday.

Orwo Haus, a former factory billed as the biggest practice center for young bands in Europe, began an initiative two years ago to rename the 980-foot-long Strasse 13 after the provocative star.

Seventeen bands rocked into the night after the unveiling of the new street sign, covering hits by Mr. Zappa and his Mothers of Invention.

Mr. Zappa, who died of cancer in 1993 at the age of 52, still has a strong cult following, particularly in the former communist bloc.

Belmondo resurfaces

Legendary French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo may return to the silver screen at the ripe age of 74, emerging after some six years of recovery from a stroke.

Mr. Belmondo’s return would be directed by Francis Huster, who wants to produce a new version of the film “Umberto D.”, the 1951 master work of Italian director Vittorio de Sica, Le Parisien newspaper said, citing Ici-Paris magazine.

When contacted by Agence France-Presse, the actor’s wife, Natty Belmondo, confirmed the project and the actor’s “joy” about doing a new version, but added that “nothing has been signed yet.”

The film, “A Man and His Dog,” tells the story of a retired teacher who lives in misery with a dog as his only companion.

According to sources close to the production, the film’s insurers have not yet given their approval.

Mr. Belmondo’s last film was “Amazones” with Arielle Dombasle in July 2001.

In August that year, Mr. Belmondo suffered a serious stroke while on vacation in Corsica. It left him partially paralyzed. Since then the actor has undergone intensive therapy and has made consistent progress.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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