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Rossellini in talks to visit Israel
Isabella Rossellini wants to visit Israel. The 53-year-old actress has been in contact with members of the Israeli entertainment industry about arranging her first visit here later this year.
Among the ideas under discussion is Rossellini's participation in October's Haifa International Film Festival, where the world famous actress would appear in events to honor her father, the late Italian director Roberto Rossellini. The festival's creative director was quoted as saying that no specific arrangements have been made, but she confirmed that discussions with the actress are continuing to take place.
The daughter of actress Ingrid Bergman, Rossellini has long been celebrated for her beauty and cinematic lineage. A former Golden Globe and Emmy nominee, the actress is slated to appear in two movies later this year. - Nathan Burstein
Neil Simon thrilled about Twain
The Kennedy Center has announced that Neil Simon will receive its ninth annual humor prize for more than four decades of Broadway hits, movies and TV shows blending the serious and the silly: The Odd Couple, Lost in Yonkers, Barefoot in the Park and dozens more.
Simon, 78, once had four plays running on Broadway at the same time. A revival of The Odd Couple - which spawned a movie and TV series - ended on Broadway only last week.
He has written more than 40 Broadway plays; more than a dozen became movies. Four brought him Academy Award nominations. He has won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, the Kennedy Center Honors and a Golden Globe.
"I'm awed, thrilled and delighted to receive The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize," Simon joked in the written announcement. "It makes up for my losing the Samuel Clemens Prize." - AP
Chekhov's final play attracts Gesher
The Gesher Theater takes on Anton Chekhov again with Yevgeny Arye's production of The Cherry Orchard, the good doctor's tale of a woman whose heedless denial of reality loses her and her family the cherry orchard. In Chekhov's great classic, the orchard represents a traditional way of life that is withering, like the trees in it.
Yevgenia Dodina plays Ranevskaya, the aristocratic landowner, Israel (Sasha) Demidov her ineffectual brother, Gayev, Yael Levin her adopted daughter, Varya, and Micki Leon plays Lopakhin, the energetic and upstart entrepreneur who purchases the orchard in the end and whacks down the trees to build a holiday village.
Chekhov saw his play as a comedy, but Stanislavsky and his Moscow Arts Theater turned it into a drama, which upset the playwright. Chekhov wrote The Cherry Orchard in 1903, his last play before dying of tuberculosis on July 1904 at the age of 44. - Helen Kaye
Famous 'Friend' wins defamation suit
Former Friends star, David Schwimmer, won a $400,000 judgment in a defamation lawsuit against former charity fundraiser Aaron Tonken.
Schwimmer, who played the Jewish character Ross on Friends, filed the lawsuit last year over statements Tonken made claiming that the actor demanded two Rolex watches to attend his own charity event. Tonken, who is serving a prison sentence of more than five years for unrelated charges of defrauding charities of hundreds of thousands of dollars, has retracted the statements and apologized to the actor. - AP