Tuesday, March 25, 2003

It's a boy for J.K. Rowling

London -- "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has given birth to a boy, her second child, her spokeswoman said Monday.

David Gordon Rowling Murray was born Sunday at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, Scotland, spokeswoman, Nicky Stonehill said.

"Both mother and baby are doing well," she added.

Rowling's four Potter books -- published in at least 55 languages -- have sold an estimated 192 million copies worldwide. The fifth, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," is due out June 21.

The author, 37, has a daughter, Jessica, from her previous marriage. She wed Dr. Neil Murray, an anesthetist, in December 2001. They live in Scotland.

Give war a chance

Hollywood -- It was hard to find an actor who wasn't wearing some kind of peace pin on Oscar night. But as war invaded the Academy Awards, a few stars were willing to let President Bush finish what he started, reports the New York Daily News.

"We can't go back now," Brad Pitt said. "We're in this together as Americans. We're going to have to go in and get the job done as soon as possible."

Joe Pantoliano, who lost his head as Ralphie Cifaretto on The Sopranos, also has embraced the wisdom of decapitating Iraq's leadership.

"I didn't vote for Bush," he said. "But now that the war is on, there's something compelling about a photo of hundreds of Iraqis kissing U.S. Marines."

The criminal kind

New York -- Nick Nolte, who made headlines last year when he was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, says he's now clean and sober but still finds himself drawn to "criminal" characters.

Nolte, 62, who has appeared in nearly 50 films and received two Oscar nominations, is trying to mend his career with a starring role in a remake of the 1955 French film "The Good Thief."

Nolte says he gravitates toward characters who reflect his antiestablishment persona.

"Socialization is difficult for me," he explained. "I'm not comfortable with a lot of people I don't know, so I'll pick out the criminal and go talk to the suffering one."

From soaps to sitcom

New York -- Kelly Ripa -- now a co-host of "Live! With Regis & Kelly," but for years a regular on "All My Children" -- is close to inking a deal to star in a new sitcom as, ahem, a washed-up soap star, notes The New York Post.

Ripa, who is on maternity leave after giving birth recently to her third child, will keep her morning-show gig, the paper says.

In the new ABC sitcom, called "Faith and Hope," Ripa will play a newly unemployed soap actress, Faith, who moves in with her family-oriented fraternal twin sister, Hope.

Ripa has been two-timing co-host Regis Philbin for a while. Though she reluctantly gave up her "All My Children" role to focus on the talk show, she made her prime-time debut as a limited-run character on the NBC series "Ed."