Saturday, December 27, 2003

Winslet, husband have baby boy

Los Angeles -- Actress Kate Winslet and her husband, director Sam Mendes, are the parents of a baby boy.

Joe Mendes was born Monday in New York. He weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces, Winslet publicist Jennifer Allen said Friday. No other details were released.

It is the first child for the couple, who were married in May.

Winslet has a 3-year-old daughter, Mia, from her previous marriage to Jim Threapleton.

Mrs. Rogers learning to cope

Pittsburgh -- Joanne Rogers, Mrs. to the famed and beloved Mister Rogers, still speaks of the children's television host in the present tense nearly a year after his death.

"I talk about 'our' this and 'our' that, and I talk about him in the present tense an awful lot," said Rogers, 75. "I haven't been able to get used to the past tense."

Fred Rogers, host of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," died Feb. 27 of stomach cancer.

Rogers said she was learning to cope.

"Sometimes I'm surprised that he doesn't just show up at the door," she said. "But on the other hand, I also know that he's not here and I'm coming to the realization slowly that he's not coming back."

Aiken delights disabled teen fan

Atlanta -- "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken has granted a fan her Christmas wish.

Jennifer Wilson, a 15-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, was at one of his concerts earlier this month holding a sign for Aiken decorated with holiday lights.

Getting any closer to the 25-year-old singer was beyond her wildest dreams.

But when her father, Wayne Wilson, lifted her out of her wheelchair for a bathroom break, the two ran into band members of the Black Eyed Peas, who also were performing that night.

They took the teenager backstage.

Aiken, who went from obscurity to pop music stardom, posed for pictures with Jennifer and gave her an autograph.

"Even though Jennifer can be difficult to understand when she speaks, Clay listened intently and understood everything she told him," Wilson said. "He must have spent 10 or 15 minutes with her."

Garner staying on 'Simple Rules'

Los Angeles -- James Garner isn't leaving "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" any time soon.

Touchstone TV, producer of the ABC sitcom, has closed a deal with the veteran actor to continue on the comedy as a regular, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Garner started on the show in November after the death of the sitcom's star, John Ritter, who played a harried dad and newspaper columnist.

Garner, 75, plays the father of the columnist's widow, who helps his daughter and three teenage grandchildren as they confront the realities of becoming a single-parent family.