Gossip columns cooing over Crowe

Facts, fiction bandied about loosely when it comes to Oscar winner

— Poor Russell Crowe. Since winning the Best Actor Oscar earlier this year for his work on "Gladiator," he's been firmly entrenched in the nation's gossip columns.

Earlier this week, for instance, the World Entertainment News Network � which provides syndicated entertainment news to the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) � claimed that Crowe saved a small dog from being eaten by coyotes. The story quoted an anonymous "pal" of Crowe's who said the actor heard a woman screaming for help in Los Angeles's Runyon Canyon.

Upon discovering that the woman's dog was about to be ingested by wild canines, Crowe supposedly jumped into the fray and saved the poor pooch.

"Russell wasn't worried about himself," said the supposed friend. "He wanted to make sure nothing happened to the dog."

Well, that certainly is a great story � too bad it's not true. Crowe couldn't possibly have participated in the daring dog rescue because at the time he was filming "A Beautiful Mind" on the East Coast. A quick call to his publicist confirmed that Crowe hasn't been anywhere near crotchety coyotes lately.

The overseas press has been Crowe crooning a lot lately too. The British tabloid The Guardian, for instance, reported last week that Crowe would be co-starring alongside Julia Roberts in a new biopic about Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.

Tracy and Hepburn appeared in 10 films together including "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "Desk Set" and "Woman of the Year." A film about the duo's relationship, both on-screen and off, has been long rumored to be in the works.

The story quotes an anonymous source (is there any other sort when it comes to Crowe?) as saying that "like Hepburn and Tracy, both of them have a slightly old-Hollywood, mythic air about them" and goes on to say that they are "hot favorites."

Again, such a pairing would be fantastic for film fans. But according to Crowe's publicist, this story is false as well.

So too, apparently, is the report that surfaced on Jeannette Walls' "Scoop" column on MSNBC alleging that Crowe has been toting his Best Actor Oscar around with him and pulling it out for dramatic emphasis.

Walls claims, for instance, that Crowe walked into a party at Manhattan's Mercer Kitchen, where a performer was doing celebrity impersonations. The Australian actor then supposedly whipped out his statue and called out:"You deserve an Oscar." The story quoted an "observer" who said: "For someone who says he doesn't care for the trappings of Hollywood, he certainly enjoys its prizes."

Crowe's publicist just sighed when Zap2it asked for clarification on this rumor. No truth there either.

Reports have also surfaced that Crowe will be taking over the role of super-spy James Bond from Pierce Brosnan. (It seems as if Walls is the originator of this rumor as well.) The actor's publicist, however, doesn't know anything about it.

Crowe's fans are quick to jump to the actor's defense. In an e-mail to Zap2it, one angry fan had this to say: "You know, maybe one reason Russell Crowe is so short with journalists is the sloppy reporting and inane questions they ask. I know I'm pretty sick of the redundancies and innuendos ... The garbage that the media reports on this man is shameful."

Of course, it is important to keep in mind the old Hollywood axiom: "You know you're in trouble when they stop talking about you."

Crowe may not be thrilled about all the extra publicity he's getting these days, but he should be comforted that his career shows no signs of cooling.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.