NEWS BRIEFS: Aguilera in Holiday Spirit
CHEERED: Christina Aguilera, 23, who hails from the Pittsburgh suburb of Wexford, on Sunday visited the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh where she has donated $200,000, reports the Associated Press. Aguilera spent two hours signing autographs and talking to the 18 women and 23 children at the shelter in Pittsburgh’s Oakland section. She also helped wrap Christmas presents for children at the shelter.
BORN: “The Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” host Chris Harrison has become a dad again, reports PEOPLE. Wife Gwen gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter, Taylor Marie Harrison, at 10:44 am PT on Dec. 2 at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles. Weight: 7 lbs. 2 oz. Says the proud papa: ” We are all doing great. The birth was smooth. It was her first earthquake the next morning — that was a little hairy. She is the most precious baby girl, and this is definitely the best Christmas gift I ever received.” The Harrisons’ son, Joshua, is 2.
LAUNCHED: Grammy-nominated hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams has signed a deal with Reebok to create footwear and men’s apparel, says his representative. Williams — one-half of producers the Neptunes, a member of the band N.E.R.D. and contributor to Nelly and Justin Timberlake’s summer singles — has named his footwear “Ice Cream,” and his menswear “Billionaire Boys Club.” He expects the line to land in stores next summer, while N.E.R.D. will release a second album, “Fly or Die,” in March.
SET: Actors Rachael Leigh Cook (“She’s All That”), 24, and Daniel Guilles, who will costar with Tobey Maguire in the upcoming “Spider-Man 2,” have announced their engagement, say reports. Cook, a former model, reportedly previously dated “Boy Meets World” star Rider Strong.
DIED: Actress Madlyn Rhue, 68, who made countless TV appearances, including several on “Murder, She Wrote,” died Dec. 16 of pneumonia and heart failure, says reports. She had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1977 but continued to work into the ’90s. Film buffs will remember her as Spencer Tracy’s shapely receptionist in the Santa Rosita police station in the 1963 comedy “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.”
CAST: The former Dr. Doogie Howser, Neil Patrick Harris, now 30, will play JFK’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, in the long-awaited first Broadway production of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim‘s controversial musical “Assassins,” reports Variety. The show, first staged off Broadway in 1991, has long been deemed too hot to handle because of its subject matter — presidential murderers — but will begin previews on March 26 in a Roundabout Theater Co. production at Studio 54, after “Cabaret” closes there. A fall 2001 production of the show was canceled after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.