Saturday, October 11, 2003

Auction is the cat's meow

New York -- Frederique Van Der Wal has gone from the catwalk to cat food.

The supermodel is helping launch an auction of celebrity cat food bowls, which will be up for bids from Thursday through Oct. 26 on eBay.

The hand-painted bowls reflect the famous cat owners' personalities and tastes. Bob Costas' dish, for example, features a baseball, a TV set and a sports page.

Patricia Heaton of "Everybody Loves Raymond," Frankie Muniz of "Malcolm in the Middle" and author John Grisham are among the other celebrities who designed dishes.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, which the St. Louis Cardinals manager established with his wife in 1990 to find homes for dogs and cats.

Spend the night with SpongeBob

Welcome to the SpongeBob SquarePants Honeymoon Suite.

The first Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn will open in Orlando, Fla., in early 2005. The first Nick-themed hotel will take over the current Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort in Lake Buena Vista and give the hotel's 800 suites a new style.

The $20 million renovation project will include Nick-decorated children's suites (with bunk or twin beds and a TV and video-console system), two pools with waterslides and flumes, poolside game areas and game room, wake-up calls from Nick stars and daily character breakfasts.

There will also be live Nickelodeon-based entertainment.

Stars stage policy protest

New York -- Memo to Jack Valenti: A lot of filmmakers disagree with the decision to stop sending special DVDs and videos to Oscar voters.

Nearly 150 directors, including Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Redford, sent a letter to Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, urging the association to immediately repeal the anti-piracy plan it implemented last week.

The ban on sending screeners means the 5,600 Academy Awards voters will have to catch most movies in theaters.

The association said the policy would remain.

Strummer's 'Streetcore' launches

London -- Friends and family toasted the late punk pioneer Joe Strummer at the launch of his last album.

Mick Jones, Strummer's former bandmate in The Clash, was among guests at the Thursday night event at London's White Cube Gallery to mark the release of "Streetcore." Other guests included actor Keith Allen, comic Paul Kaye, actress Sadie Frost and her former husband, ex-Spandau Ballet star Gary Kemp.

Strummer's widow, Lucy, helped launch the Strummerville charity, which aims to help youth groups, organizations and individuals buy instruments, studio and rehearsal time.