PEOPLE of the Year
BRAD PITT &JENNIFER ANISTON
Together we stand: By their fourth anniversary July 29, rumors swirled that Brad and Jen were splitting, expecting, adopting or just plain out of sync – depending on which headline you read. It seems someone forget to clue them in. Now, for the record, the couple tell us they are very much together and meeting in London for a preholiday visit, then heading to the States to celebrate Christmas with each other.
Not in years – seriously, maybe not since Ann-Margret rattled hips alongside Elvis – has there been such an adorable redheaded starlet. Which may explain why the 18-year-old's breakthrough year was so fabulous, yet so frenetic. She starred in a teen comedy that won over adults (Mean Girls), released an album (Speak), dated and broke up with That '70s Show's Wilmer Valderrama, and dealt with familial dysfunction – sparring parents, father in and out of jail. No wonder she was hospitalized for exhaustion in October.
Serious actress that she is, she prepared for the part by immersing herself in the character – eating, singing, cooking, even scrubbing toilets. And when the big moment came, in the early hours of Nov. 28, she embraced her new twins Phinnaeus and Hazel. With two movies – Ocean's Twelve and Closer – in theaters now, Roberts, 37 (left, with husband Danny Moder), can take the time to bond with her baby boy and girl – at least until the Oscars roll around.
Jamie Foxx turned in a performance that bordered on identity theft in Ray, the Ray Charles biopic that has already earned him one of three Golden Globe nominations this year for best actor. If Ali and Collateral earned the former comic his actor's chops, Hollywood buzz says Ray could bring Foxx the ultimate validation: Oscar gold.
TV's highest-rated new drama has more than 20 million viewers and five Golden Globe nominations. Here's what else we've deduced from the first nine episodes:
Number of cardigans worn by Bree: 9
Number of meals Bree has prepared: 4
Number of places we've seen Gabrielle having sex with John: 4 (dining room; her bedroom; her bathtub; John's bedroom)
Number of times we've seen any of the other housewives having sex: 1, we think (Susan and Mike got hot and heavy the night Mrs. Huber was murdered)
When she showed up at the courthouse, the fur was faux, but the no-apologies-no-excuses look was real: Start 2004 in the penthouse, end it in the big house. But phoenix-like, Stewart, currently a resident of the Alderson Federal Prison Camp in West Virginia, will rise again. There's a fall TV talk show (with hitmaker Mark Burnett), and MSO stock has jumped from a post-scandal low of $5.26 to $26.59 a share.
They were supposed to celebrate their 18th birthday together on June 13, but instead Mary-Kate (far left) was checked into a treatment facility in Utah for an eating disorder. She was well enough by September to enroll at New York University with Ashley. Still waiting to settle into a $7.3 million penthouse, they've been spending after-school hours at late-night haunts (including Butter, co-owned by Ashley's friend Scott Sartiano). As for Mary-Kate's health, her battle is ongoing, said her rep, but she's in no danger of a relapse.
Among the 26-year-old RampB singer's awards for Confessions: 11 Billboard Music awards; 4 American Music awards; 4 Teen Choice awards; 3 Radio Music awards; 2 MTV Video Music awards; 2 Source Hip-Hop Music awards; 2 BET awards; 1 Vibe award. He also received 8 Grammy nominations. Better clear another shelf.
"I didn't realize I was fat," Kirstie Alley admitted. But the
tabloids noticed, and their coverage led her to create Fat Actress, her upcoming Showtime series. Filming convinced Alley, 53, to quit living up to the title and try to lose about 70 lbs. "My goal," she declared, "is that in March, when my show is released, I'm skinny."
And lo, Mel Gibson created The Passion of the Christ, a heartfelt, blood-soaked hymn to Jesus' last hours (starring Jim Caviezel). And the critics rose up, some calling it anti-Semitic while others hailed it as truth. Its ancient Aramaic was like babel unto many, but in Hollywood mammon doth talk loud and clear: $600 million in worldwide grosses. Gibson, who hath begotten seven children, was said to be spending $15 million of his good fortune on Mago, a 5,400-acre island in Fiji. Hath he found heaven on earth?
JESSICA SIMPSON & NICK LACHEY
"Don't believe the crap out there," says Nick Lachey about rumors of a Newlyweds breakup. "We're madly in love," adds Jessica Simpson. With the taping of a third season of their MTV show under way, the couple are branching out: Simpson recently inked a deal for a clothing label and is filming The Dukes of Hazzard. Lachey, who has appeared on The WB's Charmed, got his own MTV show. Busy as they are, no babies are on the horizon. "Daisy the dog is it for now," says Simpson.
It's been a whirlwind year for Spears: After a 55-hour marriage to high school classmate Jason Alexander, Britney Spears waited eight months before she wed Kevin Federline (left) in a surprise Studio City, Calif., ceremony. She also launched her fragrance, Curious; decided to take time off from her career; and is contemplating motherhood. And as she told fans on her Web site, "The only thing I haven't done so far is experience the closest thing to God and that's having a baby. I can't wait!"