Celebrity Grapevine

Bar Refaeli made the inside pages of Sports Illustrated with a very provocative pose.

Bar Refaeli 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bar Refaeli 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
IT'S PURELY coincidental, in the same month that Israel is deciding on the song that will represent the country at the annual Eurovision song contest, that Hannah Drezner-Tzach, professionally known as Ilanit, is emerging from a long hiatus with a new single that is to be part of an Israel-themed album to be released later this year. Ilanit was Israel's pioneer entrant in Eurovision, appearing in 1973 in Luxembourg where she ranked fourth with her signature song "Ey Sham" (Somewhere). She didn't do nearly as well when she again participated in Eurovision in London in 1977 with the far less memorable "Ahava Hi Shir L'Shnayaim" (Love is a song for two). She would have been the only Israeli to compete three times at Eurovision if not for the fact that the date of the 1984 contest fell on Yom Hazikaron and the Israel Broadcasting Authority withdrew after both the singer and the song had been selected. However she is not the only Israeli singer to have appeared on Eurovision twice. Izhar Cohen won the 1978 contest with "A-ba-ni-bi" and came fifth in 1985 with "Ole Ole." Israel romped into first place again in 1979 with Gali Atari and Milk and Honey singing "Hallelujah," and in 1998 with Dana International's "Diva." MANUFACTURERS OF maternity clothes are increasingly turning to expectant celebrities to present their new collections. This strategy ensures new faces each season. The word on the rumor-mill a few weeks back was that singer Miri Mesika and her husband Uri Zach were in the process of expanding their family. A pregnancy was strenuously denied, especially by Zach. However when Rami-Lee, a leading maternity wear brand, was looking for a celebrity to model its spring/summer collection, the short list included Miri Mesika. Go figure. RUMOR HAD it that Israel's best known supermodel Bar Refaeli might be featured on the cover of the current edition of Sports Illustrated. In the end she didn't make the cover, but she did make the inside pages in a very provocative, topless pose in which part of her breast was visible. She's come a long way since breaking her contract with Renuar, the company that brought her to public attention, because they allegedly wanted her to pose in garments that were too immodest. NOTHING LASTS forever. Yael Bar Zohar has split up with her long-time agent Boaz Ben Zion and transferred to the legendary Zohar Jacobson, who represents so many stars that she could build her own firmament. Still, all is not lost for Ben Zion. He is still representing the other half of the family, namely Guy Zuaretz, to whom Zohar is married. WITH THE prolonged Hollywood writers' strike coming to an end, the Academy Awards can go ahead as planned, and all those attending can start thinking about what they will wear. In fact almost immediately after the strike, Oshri Cohen, the star of Beaufort (which is nominated for best foreign language film), was seen at a relatively new Tel Aviv store trying on suits. Apparently the one he wore last year in Berlin just won't do for Hollywood. This time around he's going to look like a favored son of the Mafia - black, suit, black shirt and black tie. Meanwhile, prize-winning Beaufort director Joseph Cedar, who is already in Los Angeles, has accepted an invitation to direct a film about Veit Harlan, who 70 years ago was one of Germany's leading directors and worked for Goebbels. The film will be shot in Berlin. MANY TELEVISION personalities have additional sources of income, often from appearances as moderators at social events, or if they've been wise with their money, from sound investments. Popular weatherman Danny Roup has often appeared as a moderator, but now he's been appointed as a consultant to Vringo, which sends video images to mobile phones and enables callers to share both videos and music with their friends. Roup, who has a weakness for new gadgets, was delighted when Jerusalem-based entrepreneur and venture capitalist Jonathan Medved invited him on board. Medved, by the way, is brother to Michael Medved, the nationally syndicated talk show host and movie critic in the US, and Harry Medved, who has written extensively about Hollywood and has directed public relations for the Screen Actors' Guild, Warner Bros. Online and Yahoo Movies.