October 28, 2003 08:18 AM

SET: Whitney Houston is preparing to release her first album of Christmas songs, reports Billboard. “One Wish: The Holiday Album,” featuring 11 songs, is scheduled to hit stores Nov. 18 and features a duet with her 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. “I’ve wanted to do an album of holiday songs for some time,” Houston, 40, said in a statement. “I think these are some of the most beautiful songs ever written about such a wonderful time of year and I hope they appeal to everyone.”

DIED: Rod Roddy, 66, the flamboyantly dressed announcer on “The Price Is Right” whose booming voice invited lucky audience members to “Come on down!” for nearly 20 years, died at Los Angeles’s Century City Hospital Monday, according to his longtime agent, Don Pitts. He had been hospitalized for two months and for the past two years suffered from colon and breast cancer, though he continued to work, reports the Associated Press. “The courage he showed during those difficult times was an inspiration to us all,” “Price” host Bob Barker said in a statement.



QUOTED: “I would have, too, if I were married to him.” — Actress Shirley MacLaine, 69, to The New York Times, when asked if she believes Liza Minnelli hit her (now-estranged) husband, David Gest, as he claims


DELAYED: The court battle between Rosie O’Donnell, 41, and her ex-publishing partner, Gruner + Jahr USA, was put on temporary hold as a scheduling conflict caused the judge to delay Tuesday’s scheduled start, reports Reuters. The $100 million-plus breach-of-contract case over the messy demise of the entertainer’s namesake magazine will likely open later this week, according to Manhattan supreme court officials.

SENTENCED: Donnell Langham, the well-fed star of MTV’s latest run of “Road Rules,” pleaded guilty in a Massachusetts courtroom to assaulting his ex-girlfriend; he was sentenced to a year’s probation and ordered to enter an anger-management program and to stay away from the teenager, reports the Smoking Gun Web site. Langham entered his plea after he was arrested for outstanding warrants stemming, in part, from his failure to show up for a court hearing last month.

NAMED: Tim Robbins, 45, will host the Nov. 10 musical tribute to Johnny Cash at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Cash’s longtime manager Lou Robin said Monday. “He’s looking forward to being the emcee because he’s been a friend and fan for many years,” Robin said. Cash died Sept. 12 at age 71 of complications from diabetes. Tickets for the tribute concert are free and being distributed by lottery. John Mellencamp, Dwight Yoakam, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Sheryl Crow, Hank Williams Jr., Jack Clement, Steve Earle, Larry Gatlin and Cash’s daughter, Rosanne, are scheduled to perform.

SIGNED: David Bowie, 56, and his wife, the model Iman, 48, have sealed a deal with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger for the couple to appear in their first ad campaign together, reports Billboard. The campaign will be for the new H Hilfiger line, to be launched in spring 2004 and which the company describes as “sophisticated, sexy and refined” and as a high-end “gold standard among Hilfiger’s diverse product offerings.” The ads will begin to appear next April.

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