Plus: Anne Bancroft dies, Brad & Angelina separate, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 10, 2005 11:00 AM

SORRY, MATE: Russell Crowe publicly apologized on Wednesday’s Late Show with David Letterman for throwing a telephone at a hotel concierge early Monday morning. “This is possibly the most shameful situation I’ve ever gotten myself in in my life, and I’ve done some pretty dumb things in my life,” the Cinderella Man star told Letterman (who greeted Crowe by hiding the phone on his hosting desk). “So to actually make a new No. 1 is spectacularly stupid.” On Monday, Crowe, 41, was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The assault charge is punishable by seven years in prison. In explaining his actions, Crowe told Letterman he was jetlagged and trying to reach his wife in Australia. “I’m, you know, trying to fulfil my basic obligations to my wife who needs to know I’m at home, I’m in bed, I haven’t had too much to drink, and that, you know, primarily important, that I’m alone.” Crowe – who was released without bail – is due back in court Sept. 14.

AMAZING ANNE: Oscar-winning actress Anne Bancroft died of uterine cancer on Monday at New York’s Mt. Sinai Medical Center, a family spokesman announced. She was 73. A longtime friend of the actress and her husband, comic writer and filmmaker Mel Brooks, tells PEOPLE that Bancroft had been suffering with the disease for some time, and that Brooks had been at her side all throughout the treatment period. Bancroft won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Helen Keller’s real-life teacher in the 1962 movie The Miracle Worker, for which she had also won the Tony on Broadway. But her most famous screen role was as the seductive older woman Mrs. Robinson, opposite Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 generation-gap classic The Graduate. Said Bancroft years later: “To this day, when men meet me, there’s always that movie in the back of their minds.””

BRANGELINA BOWS: The Los Angeles and Mexico City premieres of their movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith may have been back to back, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were not. Both stars were careful to have their producer stand between them as photographers snapped away on the red carpet. At Tuesday’s post-screening party in L.A., the studied distance between the two stars caused awkwardness. “Can you believe this craziness?” Pitt, 41, reportedly asked Jolie, 30. At Wednesday’s South of the Border event, Pitt called Jolie “a firecracker” who’s “dear to my heart. ? You never know what she’s going to say.” Separately, Jolie called Pitt “a great person” who’s “very down to earth and very funny.” Asked if he were marriage material, Jolie just laughed and moved on.

CHURCH MATTERS: After weeks of questions about how strong her interest is in her boyfriend Tom Cruise‘s controversial Church of Scientology, Katie Holmes, 26, said to Access Hollywood that she is looking into it. “I really like it. … I feel like I’m bettering myself,” she said at the premiere of her movie Batman Begins. Pressed about the idea that she and Cruise may get married, Holmes told show host Billy Bush: “You’ll be the first to know.” As for Cruise, on Wednesday night’s Tonight show, he again declared his love of Holmes, telling host Jay Leno,: “She’s … it’s great. She’s lovely.” He then turned to examine the couch on the set and slowly crept over to it as the audience squealed. Reprising his routine on Oprah, Cruise, 42, pounced on the furniture and struck a Rocky pose.

ANNIVERSARY SPREE: To mark their first anniversary, Jennifer Lopez had a treat for her hubby, Marc Anthony: A $5,000 shopping spree in Malibu at Lisa Kline Men, PEOPLE reported. “She had so much fun dressing him up,” said an observer of the couple, who married in a secret ceremony on June 5 last year. Gifts included a $900 backpack, a $200 ring and a $1,200 bracelet with sapphires. “They were really laid-back, not all over each other, but just being a cute couple,” the onlooker added.