updated 03/28/2003 AT 1:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/28/2003 AT 1:35 AM ET
THEY HAD IT COMING: “Chicago” is singing anything but the blues: The big-screen adaptation of Bob Fosse’s murderess musical swept the 75th annual Academy Awards, scoring six Oscars including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones. The movie – which was a frontrunner coming into Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre with 13 nominations – also was cited for Art Direction, Costume Design, Sound and Film Editing. The night’s other big winner was the Holocaust drama “The Pianist,” which picked up three major awards: Best Actor for Adrien Brody, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director for Roman Polanski. Nicole Kidman was named Best Actress for her role as author Virginia Woolf in “The Hours”; Chris Cooper scooped the Best Supporting Actor award for “Adaptation.” And rapper Eminem – who skipped the ceremony – won the prize for Best Original Song, “Lose Yourself,” from “8 Mile.” Meanwhile, despite 10 nominations, Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” was shut out of the winners’ circle.
MUGGLE DELIVERY: J.K. Rowling, the author behind the “Harry Potter” franchise and one of Britain’s wealthiest women, gave birth to a baby boy, David Gordon Rowling Murray, Sunday in Edinburgh, Scotland. Young David beat the newest “Harry Potter” volume by three months, Reuters noted. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the highly anticipated fifth book in Rowling’s boy-wizard series, is due out June 21. Rowling’s previous first marriage produced a daughter, Jessica, now 9; the author famously finished the first of her “Potter” books in cafes while baby Jessica was napping. Rowling married her second hubby – anesthetist Neil Murray – in a secret ceremony in December 2001.
SORRY MS. JACKSON: Lisa Marie Presley, 35, on the publicity trail to promote her musical debut “To Whom It May Concern,” swears that her marriage to pop oddity Michael Jackson was genuine. “I absolutely fell in love with him,” Presley says in a Rolling Stone cover story. “I was really in this lioness thing with him – I wanted to protect him. Naive as hell. I never thought for a moment someone like him could actually use me.” In the interview, Presley, the sole heir of rock legend Elvis Presley, admits that leaving her first husband, Danny Keough (with whom she has two children, Danielle, 13, and Ben, 10) for Jackson “was probably one of the bigger mistakes of my whole life.”
REAL JOE MILLIONAIRE: ABC’s newest “Bachelor” arrived Wednesday night and introduced the world to its latest catch: Andrew Firestone, the grandson of tire mogul Harvey Firestone. A University of San Diego grad, 27-year-old Andrew lives in San Francisco and works at a currency trading firm. An admitted “big wine freak,” he spends time at his family’s Santa Ynez Valley vineyard, where he expects someday to work full time. Although the two previous incarnations of the show failed to lead to the altar, Andrew claims he’s ready to settle down. “I’ve done the things I’ve had to do – moved, taken career chances – all the things a single life requires,” he says. “Now I’m looking forward to enjoying those successes with someone else.”
A BIG ‘DAY’: Some 13 million fans tuned in to CBS’s opening-night broadcast of Celine Dion’s “A New Day,” her live show slated for a three-year run at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in the brand new $95 million Colosseum theater, built especially for the French-Canadian chanteuse. The high-tech, high-gloss Caesars extravaganza – staged by Cirque du Soleil veteran designer Franco Dragone – features more than 50 dancers, singers and musicians plus a massive, stage-spanning $6 million LED screen adorned with doors and catwalks that allow an array of special effects. Dion is expected to earn a reported $100 million for the three-year gig. Her latest CD, “One Heart,” also debuted this week.