MOURNED: Rod Steiger, who won a Best Actor Oscar for In the Heat of the Night and costarred in such classics as Doctor Zhivago and On the Waterfront, died today at 9 a.m. His publicist says the 77-year-old actor succumbed to pneumonia and kidney failure at a Los Angeles hospital.

AILING: Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura hospitalized Tuesday for a blood clot in his lung. He is listed in stable condition. According to his spokesman, Ventura is being treated with blood thinners and is in "good spirits."

RECOVERING: Sharon Osbourne is "in good spirits and doing well" after colon cancer surgery, her publicist says. A full recovery is expected. The matriarch of MTV's The Osbournes underwent surgery last week.

ROCKED 'N' ROLLED: Eddie Van Halen, 47, and Valerie Bertinelli, 42, have split after 21 years together, his publicist has confirmed. No word on whether the couple plans to file for divorce.

FRIENDS: Nightline's Ted Koppel launching his new ABC interview program Up Close with a sit-down chat with CBS Late Show host David Letterman. The interview comes only months after ABC tried to get the comic to replace Koppel.

WHO IS HE? Austin Powers star Mike Myers in talks to star in a new movie about Who drummer Keith Moon, who died of a drug overdose at the age of 32.

WORKIN' 9 TO 5: Dolly Parton kicking off a 13-city tour in New York on Wednesday, her first trek in decades. Parton says she launched the tour after fans clamored for it.

'N SPACE UPDATE: 'N Sync star Lance Bass beginning talks with country's space agency, Rosaviakosmos, about becoming the first pop star and the youngest space tourist aboard a flight to the International Space Station.

SUPERFRIENDS: Perfect Storm director Wolfgang Petersen coming aboard to direct Batman vs. Superman, a "clash of the titans"-style caper about the two superheroes who come to blows over differing philosophies. The film is expected to hit theaters in summer 2004.

GOOD WORKS: Stephen King and his wife, Tabitha, donating $1.1 million to the city of Bangor, Maine, to build a new public pool that will be three times larger than the current one.

GOOD WORKS ADD: Television producer Marcy Carsey (Cosby Show, Roseanne, That '70s Show) and family donating $2.5 million so the University of California at Santa Barbara can build its Center for Film, Television and New Media.

SOME LONG DIVISION: Women's cable network Lifetime ordering 22 more episodes of female cop show The Division, one of its top Sunday prime-time series and one of the highest-rated original dramas on cable.

UNDERCOVER: Director Robert Altman and Oscar-nominated actress Cate Blanchett teaming up for Mata Hari, an HBO original drama about the notorious real-life World War I spy.

A HERO WILL RISE? Vin Diesel signing on to star as Hannibal, the third century B.C. Carthaginian general who rode an elephant across the Alps to attack Rome.

BASIC COMEBACK: Sharon Stone, who hasn't had a hit movie since 1992's Basic Instinct, in talks to join two indie flicks, the spy drama A Different Loyalty costaring Rupert Everett and the family drama Liar's Club.

GOING SOLO: Veteran singer Sam Moore of the 1960s soul duo Sam & Dave making his solo album debut next month with Plenty Good Lovin': The Lost Solo Album, a collection of nearly forgotten tunes he recorded more than 30 years ago.

NOT RATED: The Motion Picture Association moving to crackdown on counterfeit DVDs in Asia by offering a $150,000 reward to anyone who can provide information on DVD piracy.

FINAL CURTAIN: Lore Noto, producer of The Fantasticks, the world's longest running musical, died Monday after a long battle with cancer. He was 79. The Fantasticks ended its 40-year run in January after 17,162 performances.

REMEMBERED: Animator Ward Kimball, who became one of Walt Disney's trusted "Nine Old Men" and helped develop or refine such characters as Mickey Mouse, Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, died Monday of natural causes. He was 88.

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