Plus: Alicia Keys on the wall, Colin Farrell film delayed, and more

September 23, 2004 08:00 AM

BORN: Billy Bob Thornton, 49, and his girlfriend Connie Angland, 39, announced Wednesday that she has given birth to a baby girl, the Associated Press reports. The girl, named Bella, weighed 6 lbs. 1 1/2 oz., said the actor’s publicist. Mother and child – Thornton’s fourth and Angland’s first – were both said to be doing well. Thornton, who has three children from two of his five previous marriages, divorced Angelina Jolie in May 2003.

SET: Alicia Keys, 24, is set to rock China when she headlines an unprecedented “Wall of Hope” charity concert expected to bring 5,000 fans to the Great Wall on Saturday, reports Reuters. “It’s so much more historical than America,” the Grammy-winning R&B star told a news conference. “I am very much inspired by my surroundings.” This first-ever Wall concert, which will raise money for the China Children’s and Teenagers’ Fund, will also feature Cyndi Lauper and Boyz II Men.

POSTPONED: Amid unconfirmed reports that the film isn’t quite ready yet, Warner Bros. has officially delayed the release of its highly anticipated Oliver Stone film Alexander by about three weeks, Reuters reports. The film, starring Colin Farrell as the conqueror Alexander the Great, had been set to debut Nov. 5 against another major release, Pixar’s computer-animated The Incredibles. Alexander will now open Nov. 24, which “positions it better for Academy consideration,” says a studio statement.

DIED: Ellis Marsalis Sr., 96, patriarch of the family of jazz greats that includes his grandsons Wynton and Branford, died in a hospital Sunday, a New Orleans funeral home said on Wednesday. Marsalis was a poultry farmer who in 1943 converted a barn into a motel along the Mississippi River. The 40-room motel (which lasted until 1986) catered to African Americans, who were not allowed to stay in New Orleans hotels because of racial discrimination. Among those who checked in: Martin Luther King Jr., U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr.

ANTICIPATED: A lawyer for music producer legend Phil Spector said on Wednesday he has been asked to bring his client to court next week and fears Spector has been indicted by a secret grand jury for the 2003 murder of B-movie actress Lana Clarkson. “Nobody said to me, ‘Your client has been indicted,’ but as a former deputy district attorney and a lawyer for 34 years I can’t imagine any other reason to be there Monday morning with Phil,” attorney Roger Rosen told Reuters. Spector, 64, has claimed in an interview that Clarkson, 40, killed herself in a bizarre suicide that involved her kissing the gun.

SIGNED: Robert Downey Jr., 39, has closed a deal with Sony Classical, which will release an as-yet-untitled album by the singer-songwriter-pianist on Nov. 23, says the Hollywood Reporter. The collection will feature eight original pop compositions by the actor, who will perform covers of “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin (whom the Oscar-nominated Downey played in the 1992 film Chaplin) and Yes’s “Your Move.”

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