What would cause an actress to miss the biggest movie premiere of her career? For newlywed Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, it was a major tennis tournament halfway around the world. She had planned to skip the Los Angeles opening of her romantic comedy The Wedding Planner on Jan. 23, preferring to be with husband Pete Sampras at the Australian Open. But when the tennis ace lost in the fourth round, the couple hotfooted it from Melbourne to L.A., arriving just in time for Bridgette to join costars Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey on the red carpet. Even so, Sampras admitted it was a good news-bad news evening for the duo. “We were both hoping I wouldn’t be able to make [the premiere],” he told me. Andre Agassi won the tournament a week later.
Pamela Anderson guest stars as herself in the Feb. 15 episode of Just Shoot Me. Wearing a pink miniskirt and white go-go boots, she plays a magician’s assistant who gets into a catfight with Wendie Malick’s character, Nina. The real drama went on behind the scenes, however. Just before taping, Anderson suddenly became sick to her stomach. Producers called a doctor, who gave her a shot to quell the nausea while the cast and crew worked straight through lunch so she could do all of her scenes immediately. I’m told series costar David Spade, who finished his scenes as the lecherous Dennis Finch earlier in the day, stuck around—just to make sure everything went okay, I imagine.
Martha Stewart, former NBA star Charles Barkley and Survivor host Jeff Probst appear on the Feb. 6 episode of Celebrity Jeopardy! Barkley didn’t fare too well when he double-dribbled a question about one of his best friends. Under the heading Hey, Sport came the clue: “On Jan. 13, 1999, this Chicago Bulls player retired after 13 seasons in which he averaged 31.5 points a game.” The answer, of course, is “Who is Michael Jordan?” Who got it right? Martha Stewart.
Zoiks! The big-screen version of Scooby-Doo starts production in Australia this month, and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays Daphne, may need some Scooby snacks to stay on schedule. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer star will make at least two round-trips from the Brisbane set to L.A., where she films her WB series. Meanwhile her real-life boyfriend, Freddie Prinze Jr., has had his naturally dark hair and eyebrows bleached blond for the part of Fred. Rounding out the cast are Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks) as Velma and Matthew Lillard (Scream) as Shaggy. They’ll be asking, “Scooby-Doo, where are you?” I hear the cowardly Great Dane will be added by computer animation.
Anne Heche’s seventh and last episode of Ally McBeal airs Feb. 26. After she shot her final scenes (which creator David E. Kelley came to watch) as the sweet, quirky Melanie West on the set in Manhattan Beach, Calif., the cast and crew threw her a farewell bash. Her parting gift? A bamboo plant, a tradition among the cast and crew that signifies her acceptance into Ally’s family.