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Jewish Entertainment News

Last updated: 2003-09-22

Debra Messing won an Emmy

Emmy winner Debra Messing

It was a good night for Jewish stars at this year’s Emmy Awards, which honour achievements in US TV.

Winners of some of the main awards included Debra Messing, who picked up Best Comedy Actress for Will And Grace, Steven Spielberg for the sci-fi series Taken, and Gene Wilder, who won best Guest Star in a Comedy Series for Will And Grace. But it wasn’t such a successful night for Sex And The City star Sarah Jessica Parker, who lost out on the Best Comedy Actress award to fellow Jew Messing (finally winning the award after four previous nominations)

Former S Club star Rachel Stevens has missed out on a Number One single with her debut solo effort. Sweet Dreams My LA Ex went straight into the charts at number two on Sunday, failing to unseat the current chart-topper Where Is The Love by Black Eyed Peas. The track marks Stevens’ first chart appearance since S Club split earlier this year, and she’s the first former member of S Club to release a solo effort. An album, Funky Dory, hits the shops next week.

This year’s London Film Festival is set to take place between October 22 and November 6, with a number of Jewish stars set to take centre stage as their new films are screened. Among these are Sean Penn playing a terminally ill maths professor in 21 Grams (a role for which he is already being tipped for Oscar glory), British actress Rachel Weisz and Clueless star Paul Rudd in the black comedy The Shape Of Things and Gwyneth Paltrow playing Bell Jar author Sylvia Plath in the closing night film Sylvia. Look out too for A Mighty Wind, a mock documentary from the people who brought you This Is Spinal Tap which features the likes of Eugene Levy and actor-director Bob Balaban, and The Human Stain, which stars Anthony Hopkins as a college professor who has spent his entire career claiming to be Jewish (even though he isn’t), until a series of dramatic events threaten to give away his secret. Nicole Kidman co-stars in the film, based on the novel by Philip Roth.

In Brief:

  • The son of actor Gerard Depardieu has denounced his father as a “chronic liar”. Guillaume Depardieu told the French newspaper Le Parisien that his dad was “obsessed with the desire to be loved and the need for money”. Guillaume, 32, recently received a nine-month suspended sentence for firing a gun in a bar in August
  • Israel’s Los Angeles consulate is attempting to attract celebrities to the country to boost morale. Consul-general Yuval Rotem praised former Superman star Christopher Reeve for his recent visit to the country, saying celebrities could visit as “an expression of solidarity with the people”. Singer Whitney Houston, director Quentin Tarantino and film produer Laurence Bender are among others who have visited Israel recently.

Happy birthday this week to: Actress and comedian Helen Lederer (48 on September 24), actor Michael Douglas (59 on September 25) and Karate Kid/Oceans Eleven producer Jerry Weintraub (66 on September 26)