When Hilary Swank won a best actress Golden Globe for her role in Boys Don’t Cry, she thanked all the usual people—the Hollywood foreign press, her mom, her actor husband, Chad Lowe, and a Reverend Michael. Oddly, that’s the same guy whom Christina Applegate thanked when she won a People’s Choice Award last year for her starring role on Jesse. So who is this Reverend Michael? Turns out he is the senior minister and founder of the Agape International Center of Truth in Culver City, Calif., which counts a number of celebrities among its 7,000 members.
Marlee Matlin will turn up as a guest star on the Feb. 9 and Feb. 23 episodes of The West Wing, NBC’s political hit, as Joey Lucas, a congressional candidate’s campaign manager. She also catches the eye of presidential aide Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford). A few months back, Matlin, who is hearing-impaired, sent a note to the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin, praising him for a deaf storyline on his ABC show Sports Night and was surprised when he wrote a letter back and later created a part for her.
Four-time Superbowl winner and NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who now cohosts FOX NFL Sunday, recently spent two days on jury duty in Fort Worth, where he owns a ranch. Despite his fame, attorneys signed off on him, and Bradshaw became the foreman of a jury in a two-day-long DWI misdemeanor case. Bradshaw stayed inside the jury room during lunch to avoid fans. Even his fellow jury members brought footballs in for him to sign. Still, a civic-minded Bradshaw says he’d do it all again if he were asked.
Paul Burrell, former butler to Princess Diana, wants to keep alive the anti-land-mine campaign that was so close to his boss’s heart. This summer, Burrell will join 100 other supporters of the Mines Advisor/Group, one of the organizations Diana worked with, for a trek through one of the world’s oldest deserts, the Namib, in Namibia. “There are more land mines in Africa than in any other part of the world, and we want to raise awareness and money,” says Burrell. “The princess championed this mission, and it must continue.”
Kirsten Dunst (Dick) was the only one of five young actresses in Sofia Coppola’s upcoming The Virgin Suicides to get a star trailer. But instead of keeping it to herself, she turned it into a mess hall where the girls played music, drew pictures and gabbed. She even hung a collage on the wall with everyone’s photos. Virgin Suicides producer Julie Costanzo says, “She was an exceptional human being. She taught everyone how to behave.”
Fast Takes: Steven Spielberg is planning a trip to Britain for a powwow with author J.K. Rowling to discuss her first two Harry Potter books. A screenplay approved by Warner Bros., which owns the film rights, has made its way to Spielberg, who would direct the movie version, independent of his DreamWorks company…. Sighted recently at East Hampton’s trendy Delia Femina restaurant: Billy Joel, having an early dinner with Jerry Seinfeld and his new bride, Jessica Sklar.