BLOND BOND SPEAKS: Daniel Craig defending his casting as James Bond to detractors who have threatened to boycott the upcoming Casino Royale because they think he was a poor choice for the part. "I'm a Bond fan," Craig told the BBC. "If I go and see a Bond movie, there are certain things I think should be in it. And they're there."

THE GANG'S NEARLY ALL HERE: Ocean's 13 set to start filming in July. George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon top the list of usual suspects; Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones sitting this one out; Steven Soderbergh to direct.

UPLIFTING NEWS: Star Jones Reynolds calling into The View to reassure her cohosts that though she needed a blood transfusion, she did not "almost die" during a recent breast lift, despite reports to the contrary. Jones Reynolds expected to return to the show next week.

STRIPTEASE: David Bowie and Sting reportedly in talks to open a branch of burlesque club Forty Deuce in Manhattan, per Britain's Daily Mail.

TAKING THE STAGE: The lineup for KISS 102.7's Wango Tango concert featuring Kanye West, Mary J. Blige and Daddy Yankee, among others. Ryan Seacrest hosting the May 6 event in Los Angeles.

NICE WHEELS: Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Laurence Fishburne donating custom-made motorcycles to an online charity auction organized by Morgan Freeman to benefit a planned memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington.

NEWLY SIGNED: Jessica Simpson ditching Columbia Records, where she's been signed for six years, in favor of Epic Records, where she will release her upcoming album, Billboard reports. Both labels are owned by Sony.

PHOTO FLAP: Jay Leno winning a ruling from a state appeals court that a lower court should have dismissed a suit filed by a woman who said the comedian violated her civil rights by using an unflattering photo of her in an on-air joke without her permission.

DIVING IN: Warner Bros. and producer Jerry Weintraub setting a July 21 start date for Ocean's Thirteen, with Ellen Barkin as the film's leading lady, Daily Variety reports.

BACK ON THE DANCE FLOOR: Angela Lansbury says she can dance again after undergoing knee replacement surgery. The 80-year-old actress, who put off the surgery for years for fear it would be too painful, is seeking to educate women about the procedure.

MOURNED: Country singer Buck Owens, who crooned more than 20 number-one hits, including Act Naturally, died Saturday in Bakersfield, California, at age 76. Owens also hosted TV's long-running hit, Hee Haw, a mix of comedy, music and girls, in the pre-Daisy Dukes era.

IN MEMORIAM: TV producer Dan Curtis, known for the epic miniseries The Winds of War and the offbeat soap opera Dark Shadows, died Monday at age 78 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor four months ago.

TALENT SEARCH: America's Got Talent, a new NBC reality show from Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol, kicking off a multiple city casting search for the most talented person in America April 6 in Los Angeles. Auditions will also take place in Chicago, New York and Atlanta.

INSIDE JOB AT BOX OFFICE: Spike Lee?s Inside Man debuting atop the box office, grossing an estimated $29 million in its opening weekend, and becoming the highest opening for star Denzel Washington.

FROM BEYOND: Dana Reeve hosting the PBS documentary The New Medicine Wednesday, believed to be the final project she taped before her Mar. 6 death.

SUING MAD: Keith Carradine suing indicted Hollywood detective Anthony Pellicano, claiming the P.I. invaded his privacy by tapping his phones.

NOT INVOLVED: Meanwhile, the FBI finding no evidence that Steven Seagal hired Pellicano to deposit a dead fish on a reporter's windshield in June 2002, and now believe the detective had another motivation for staging the mob-style threat.

REMEMBERED: Director Richard Fleischer, who helmed 20,0000 Leagues Under the Sea and Tora! Tora! Tora! among other notable films, died Saturday of natural causes. He was 89.

FREE SPEECH: Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock angering parents and teachers at a Philadelphia high school after poking fun of special needs teenagers during his talk at the school. Most of the 700 students who heard him, however, gave him a standing ovation.

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