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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 August, 2004, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Home win for Dawson's Creek star
Former Dawson's Creek star James Van Der Beek has won his legal case against an estate agent who "misrepresented" the condition of a home he purchased.

A jury ruled in favour of the actor over repair bills for the house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

He was awarded $123,000 (66,755), after the jury found agent Gwen Page had committed fraud in the sale of $826,000 (448,290) house.

Van Der Beek bought the waterfront house in 2000 and has since sold it.


Paltrow 'to play jazz legend Lee'

Gwyneth Paltrow is to star as singer Peggy Lee in a film about the life of US writer Truman Capote, reports say.

She will star alongside Mark Wahlberg, Sandra Bullock, Sigourney Weaver and Toby Jones in the film, Every Word Is True, Variety magazine reports.

British actor Jones will play the part of Capote, who shot to fame with his novel In Cold Blood in 1966.

Lee, who died in 2002 aged 81, collaborated with Capote in some of her best-known songs.


US R&B radio pioneer dies

Pioneering US radio DJ Hunter Hancock, one of the first presenters to play R&B and rock records, has died in a Los Angeles care home aged 88.

Known to listeners as Ol' HH, he also favoured jazz and gospel music in a 25-year radio career.

During the 1950s, Hancock appeared on TV alongside musicians such as Fats Domino and Duke Ellington.

He was rated the most popular DJ among black listeners - but many were surprised to find out he was white.


Vampire role bites Gandhi actor

Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley is to play an evil vampire in a film based on the computer game BloodRayne.

The Gandhi star will play Kagan, the ruler of an army of bloodsuckers, in the $47m (26m) movie, which is about to go into production in Romania.

Terminator 3 actress Kristanna Loken will play the title character, a half-vampire who has the strength of a monster but the emotions of a human.

She must overthrow Sir Ben's character to save the world from the living dead.


Branagh 'set for Roosevelt role'

Kenneth Branagh is being lined up to play US president Franklin D Roosevelt in a TV movie, according to US reports.

The Hollywood Reporter trade daily says Branagh will portray the country's World War II leader in Warm Springs, a drama about his early political career.

Roosevelt served 12 years as US leader, dying at his home in Warm Springs, Georgia while still in office in 1945.

But his early career was blighted when he was paralysed by polio. The HBO network declined to comment.


Bardot attacks Canadian seal cull

Actress Brigitte Bardot has called on Canada's prime minister Paul Martin to halt the country's annual "massacre" of young seals.

The Canadian government says harp seals are not in danger and that most are culled using cruelty-free methods.

But the 1960s actress-turned-animal rights campaigner says the practice is a "massacre of astounding cruelty".

"Who can restore my confidence and hope in humanity?," she asked in a letter to Mr Martin.



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