Faces and Names: Streep may take on Thatcher role

Cinema chameleon Meryl Streep's latest challenge: becoming the Iron Lady. Pathe Films says the two-time Academy Award winner has expressed an interest in playing Margaret Thatcher in a new film about Britain's first female prime minister. The Lon...

Meryl Streep
(File / Associated Press>

Cinema chameleon Meryl Streep's latest challenge: becoming the Iron Lady.

Pathe Films says the two-time Academy Award winner has expressed an interest in playing Margaret Thatcher in a new film about Britain's first female prime minister.

The London-based producer and distributor said Thursday that discussions are under way with Streep's representatives, but no agreement is in place.

Written by Abi Morgan ("Sex Traffic," "Brick Lane") the film is provisionally titled "The Iron Lady." Pathe says it "tells the story of a woman who smashed through the barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world."

The director is Phyllida Lloyd, who directed Streep in the Abba musical "Mamma Mia!"


Cheesecake takes rhubarb contest

The winner of the CHUM Rhubarb Festival recipe contest followed an age-old recipe for success: She started with something she liked and then just added rhubarb.

Judy Rogers of Duluth told the CHUM judges she had attended a conference where a mango cheesecake was served.

"It was so good that I re-created it when I returned home but added the rhubarb," she said.

Here's the recipe:

Rhubarb Cheesecake

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup white sugar


½ cup butter

3 cups chopped rhubarb

½ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1 large container Philadelphia "ready to use" cheesecake filling (comes in a tub in the cream cheese section).

2 small containers of mango flavored yogurt

10 fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1 cup flour, ¼ cup sugar and ½ cup butter. Mix until crumbly and pat into bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan.


Toss together chopped rhubarb, ½ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon flour. Pour onto crust. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Fold the two containers of mango yogurt into the cheesecake filling. Pour over cooled crust. Slice strawberries and place on top of cheesecake. Chill.

Minnelli debuts designs on HSN

With velveteen and sequined clothes, Liza Minnelli has brought some glamour to the Home Shopping Network.

Minnelli joined the HSN broadcast for two hours Wednesday to debut her new clothing line, the Liza Collection. Minnelli seemed to enjoy herself, chatting with callers, directing the models and informing viewers that her clothes don't need selling, "It sells you."

A highlight reel of Minnelli's appearance circulated online Thursday featuring some of the actress's loopier moments.

The 64-year-old Minnelli last appeared in "Sex and the City 2."

Genie out of the bottle

Barbara Eden says she's been bottled up long enough.


The 75-year-old former star of "I Dream of Jeannie" is writing a memoir to be published by Crown Archetype.

Crown Archetype Vice President Tina Constable said "Jeannie Out of the Bottle" will be published next spring.

Eden co-starred with Larry Hagman in the '60s TV series about a beautiful genie named Jeannie. Hagman played the astronaut who found her on a beach and is constantly trying to keep her existence a secret.

She said in a statement that "it's time for me to pop the cork and talk about the amazing people I've been fortunate enough to meet along the way."

Bullock's divorce finalized

Sandra Bullock and Jesse James are divorced.

A court clerk in Austin, Texas, confirmed that the divorce between the Oscar-winning actress and celebrity biker was finalized Monday. Bullock filed to end the marriage in April after reports surfaced that James had been unfaithful.

Details of the settlement were sealed by the court, but Bullock's initial filing cited "discord or conflict of personalities" as grounds for the divorce.


Bullock's publicist, Cheryl Maisel, confirmed the couple's split was complete.

James' publicist, Monique Huey-Jones, declined to comment Tuesday.

CNN's King says he's quitting

Larry King, who has interviewed statesmen and stars from a prime-time perch at CNN for 25 years but has seen his ratings sag recently, said Tuesday that he will step down this fall from his nightly show.

"It's time to hang up my nightly suspenders," King said in a message sent to fans via Twitter.

King, 76, takes pride in a Guinness Book of World Records citation for hosting the longest-running show on the same network in the same time slot.

King said he felt no pressure from CNN to leave. He said he began thinking about stepping down as his 25th anniversary week ended earlier this month, on the airplane home after interviewing basketball star LeBron James. During that week, he also spoke to Bill Gates, President Obama and Lady Gaga -- an apt example of the mix that he always sought on his show.

"I said, 'I can't top this,' " King said Tuesday.


Lowe to write memoir

Rob Lowe is taking on a new role: author.

Publisher Henry Holt and Co. says it will release the 46-year-old actor's memoir in May 2011.

The actor is handling the writing duties on "Stories I Only Tell My Friends," which details his experiences as an actor and father.

Holt president Stephen Rubin described Lowe's book as "a mid-career meditation on his four decades as an actor."

Lowe became a teen heartthrob in 1983's "The Outsiders" and has amassed more than three dozen film credits since then.

He is a star of the ABC drama "Brothers & Sisters" and recently appeared on the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation."

Grandma's honors 15-year entertainer

If you've run Grandma's Marathon in the past 15 years, you've run past the marathon's 2010 Volunteer of the Year.

And you probably noticed him, because John Herbertz goes out of his way to make a spectacle of himself. Every year since 1995, Herbertz has been stationed at mile 18, entertaining runners as they make their way past the Brighton Beach area.

He has dressed up as characters including "The Dip In The Road," Santa Claus, Jesse Ventura, Shrek and a penguin with happy feet. In 1998 he dressed up as "The Jolly Rancher" and handed out thousands of Jolly Ranchers to runners as they ran by.

"I go for laughs because I know at mile 18, most runners don't have much to laugh about," he told marathon officials, who presented the award Sunday at a volunteer appreciation dinner.

Chris Brown performs Jackson tribute at BET Awards

It was a night of comebacks at the BET Awards, and none more unexpected than Chris Brown performing an emotional tribute to Michael Jackson.

The embattled pop star has mostly kept a low profile since pleading guilty to felony assault for beating up Rihanna in February 2009. But here he was, center stage, mimicking Jackson's signature dance moves with almost eerie accuracy. Brown embodied the King of Pop, wearing his fedora and spangled glove and moonwalking across the stage to "Billie Jean."

Sunday's ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium began with Kanye West opening the show in his first TV appearance since dissing Taylor Swift at last year's MTV Video Music Awards. Minnesota native Prince was to receive BET's lifetime achievement award.

'As the World Turns' receives honors at Daytime Emmys

Michael Park and Maura West of "As the World Turns" were named best actor and actress in a soap opera at the Daytime Emmy Awards on Sunday, an emotional send-off for a show that is going off the air in three months. The show took time from handing out trophies to pay tribute to the long-running show, which was canceled because of low ratings.

"The Bold & The Beautiful" won the Emmy for best daytime drama for the second year in a row.

Prince Harry tosses first pitch

Britain's Prince Harry showed he can shoot. On the second day of his U.S. visit, New Yorkers got to see his arm.

After firing an M4 rifle during a training exercise Friday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Harry threw out the first pitch at Saturday's New York Mets game against the Minnesota Twins.

Wearing a white T-shirt and blue Mets cap, he sheepishly waved to the crowd as he stood on the top of the mound. He then shook his right arm several times and did a full body jiggle to loosen up.

The 25-year-old prince threw with some zip to Mets catcher Rod Barajas, who stood from his crouch to catch the throw that crossed the plate.

Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey gave Harry throwing advice about a half-hour before the game.

The Twins won 6-0.

Earlier Saturday he visited UNICEF, where staff members briefed him on the U.N. agency's use of mapping technology to respond to crises such as the earthquake in Haiti.

The prince, the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, is third in line to the British throne.


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