- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008

Actor’s estate

Heath Ledger’s 2-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose, will inherit the late Australian actor’s entire estate, estimated to be worth $16.6 million, Agence France-Presse reports.

Mr. Ledger, 28, died in New York in January from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. He had named his parents and sisters as the beneficiaries in his will, Perth’s Sunday Times reported. There was speculation that the child’s mother, actress Michelle Williams, would lodge a claim.

Mr. Ledger’s father, Kim, put an end to such speculation, revealing that Matilda will inherit the lot. “There is no claim. Our family has gifted everything to Matilda,” he told the News Ltd. paper. The will listed about $120,000 in assets and cash when it was drawn up in 2003.

Different road trip Can singer Dionne Warwick can carry a reader’s attention through the pages of a children’s book based on her own life? She thinks so and calls the public reaction to her first book “unbelievably enthusiastic.” The book, “Say a Little Prayer,” is an inspirational picture story from Running Press. The publishing project, which has a CD attached, has had her on the road in a new way, including an appearance at the Library of Congress National Book Festival on the Mall.

“Over these many years, I’ve been asked by different publishers to write a book, but not the kind of book I was looking for. I had an incredible childhood, a loving family, and was not abused in any way, so I had nothing of that nature to give them,” she recently told The Washington Times.

For art’s sake

• A self-portrait by British supermodel Kate Moss, drawn with lipstick and marked with her lip prints — and stains of blood from rocker Pete Doherty — was bought by a private buyer for about $61,800, a spokesman for the Lyon & Turnbull auction house told Agence France-Presse. Miss Moss, 34, created the work while in a troubled relationship with Mr. Doherty, who inscribed on the painting: “Who needs blood when you’ve got lipstick?”

Pablo Picasso’s 1909 cubist painting “Harlequin,” owned for about 60 years by surrealist painter Enrico Donati, will be offered Nov. 3 by Sotheby’s auction house. It is expected to bring more than $30 million. Mr. Donati, who died in April at age 99, bought the painting in the early 1940s for $12,000.

Italian police on Friday recovered the stolen painting of a nude by French master Pierre-Auguste Renoir, nabbed from a Milan family’s collection 33 years ago, AFP reports.

Police were acting on a tip from prominent art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, who had been contacted by an art-gallery owner in the Italian city of Riccione for a valuation of the impressionist master’s work. Police arrested the gallery owner and two other suspects.

Compiled from staff reports by Ann Geracimos and wire and Web dispatches

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