By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 14, 2003 10:20 AM
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EXPECTED: Actress Jennifer Connelly, 32, and actor Paul Bettany, 31, have announced that they are expecting their first child together. The couple, who met on the set of 2001’s A Beautiful Mind, wed on New Year’s Day in Scotland. Connelly already has a son, Kai, 5, from her previous relationship with photographer David Dugan.

DISCUSSED: Robert Downey Jr., 37, is in negotiations to star opposite Halle Berry, 36, and Penelope Cruz, 27, in the supernatural thriller “Gothika,” set to begin filming in April, says the Hollywood Reporter. Berry, who was named Best Actress for “Monster’s Ball” last year, will play a criminal psychologist suddenly accused of a murder and kept prisoner in her own institution. Cruz would portray a fellow mental patient. Downey, who is building back his career after having been behind bars for charges related to substance abuse, would play a psychiatrist and colleague of Berry’s character.

EXPECTED: Former “Good Morning America” host Joan Lunden, 52, and her husband, Jeff Konigsberg, 42, are expecting twins in June. A surrogate mother is carrying the babies, Lunden told Larry King on his CNN show Wednesday. The couple have established a close relationship with their surrogate, her husband and her children. “She has no biological connection to our babies, but she couldn’t be any more dedicated to their well-being,” Lunden said. She has three daughters from a previous marriage.

MARKED: Veteran entertainer Bob Hope, who turns 100 on May 29, is getting an early birthday present by being honored this weekend at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Associated Press reports. A “Bob Hope: American Patriot” exhibit featuring rare photographs, video and film clips, and letters from the families of military personnel Hope visited on overseas USO tours opens to the public on Monday, while on Saturday former First lady Nancy Reagan, 79, will welcome Hope’s wife, Dolores, 93, and daughter Linda, 61, to a preview. As for Hope himself, “He’s hanging in there,” his daughter said. “He’s determined to live to 100-plus.”

TEAMED: TV stars of the ’60s Dawn Wells (“Gilligan’s Island”), 64, and Adam West (“Batman”), 74, will appear this weekend in a special performance of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” at the Golden Phoenix hotel-casino in Reno to help raise money for Project Solution, a local charity in Wells’s home state of Nevada, says AP. “I guess your hometown is where your heart is,” Wells said. “I’m really hoping a lot of my classmates will come.”

DIED: Stacy Keach Sr., 88, radio personality, actor, director and father of actors Stacy and James Keach, died on Thursday of congestive heart failure, a spokesman for the Keach family said. He was perhaps best known for the radio and television series “Tales of the Texas Rangers,” that he developed, produced and directed. The series is still heard on over 300 radio stations, says Reuters.

MODELED: Cell phone designers in Paris reportedly closely examined the washboard-like abs of actor Mark Wahlberg, 31, in coming up with their design for the keypad of the Siemens S56 phone, reports the Wall Street Journal. This means that the design follows the ripples in the actor’s body — not, as the reporter points out, that the keys are flesh-colored or that the 1 and 3 keys resemble nipples. The S56 sells for between $200 and $250.