Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008

Heath Ledger doesn't meet most mags' deadlines

By Joe Uchill
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This week, recently-deceased Heath Ledger graces the cover of People magazine – and no other celebrity magazines. Due to an eccentricity of the industry, People goes to press on Tuesday, a day later than all their competitors. Ledger’s death fit in to that brief window that benefits People’s patience. No one else could run a story.

Obviously, this will be one week gossip-minded people spurn the rival rags and buy People. Here is the best of the celebrity news that everyone is going to miss:

  • OK! Magazine reveals with photographic certainty that Heidi Klum has, at least once, paid the parking meter [page 35]. “‘She was having a day to herself’ a source tells OK.”
  • Star [page 66] and Life & Style [page 69] both compile entirely separate lists of who tips well and who doesn’t. Nichole Richie, Bill Gates and Lindsay Lohan are all very generous. Jeremy Piven tips with Entourage DVDs.
  • Jessica Simpson’s “such strong feelings” for Tony Romo are “clearly mutual” [In Touch page 82]. Jessica Simpson was dumped by Tony Romo [OK! Magazine page 50]. Jessica Simpson “has a lot of flaws that can’t be ignored,” said a source close to the star [OK! page 52]. Jessica Simpson is a bad tipper [Life & Style page 69].
  • Lance Bass invited his boyfriend to move in [Star page 22]. Don’t expect gayness anywhere else in any magazine.
  • “[Pregnant] Jamie Lynn Spears and [baby-daddy] Casey Aldridge are happier than ever, and ready for the biggest challenge of their lives [In Touch page 35].” “They’ve barely seen each-other since she moved back home, says [an] insider. ‘Casey certainly seems to be shying away from all aspects of daddy duty’[Life & Style page 29].” Worry about: fetal alcohol syndrome (Life & Style’s Dr. Steven Sherman), the family’s history with bipolar disorder (Life & Style’s Stacy Kaiser), and her crazy-ass sister (all mags).
  • The reason to loathe Dr. Phil has changed. Formally, it was his condescending, soulless advice. Now [Star page 58], it’s probably best to hate him for his fleeing Topeka, Kansas to escape investigation for a membership scam he ran at his spa. Or his history of sexual harassment (including a yearlong suspension of practice by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists). Or the rampant affairs. You decide.
  • “Dane Cook is great pals with many movie babes but hasn’t found the one [OK! Magazine Page 38].” But don’t worry, ladies. He “believes in true love.”
  • 65% of US Weekly readers thought that Brittnay Snow looked better than Jennifer Morrison when both were caught wearing the same Marchesa dress at different celeb events [page 6]. 54% of Life & Style readers [page 10] though Jennifer Morrison looked better. 75% of Star readers went with Morrison [page 28].
  • An overwhelming number (86%) of US Weekly readers believe that Mathew McConaughey would make a good father [page 12]. An underwhelming majority of OK! Magizine (51%) thought that having a child would not force McConaughey to grow up [page 18]. I like to believe both are true, and the key to fatherhood is being 12 – Jamie Lynn, you’re in luck.
  • US Weekly [page 66] and Star [page 56] both offered compelling portraits of the victim of last week’s other celebrity tragedy, Brad Renfro. For pure emotional impact, it’s hard to beat Star’s first hand account from “industry friend” Karen Castrischer, who outlines her experience being assigned to keep Renfro sober for auditions and shooting. His drinking and drug use came to a head by his audition for The Patriot, when he needed to drink to seem sober. He lost the part, oddly enough, to Heath Ledger. US comes up with the most information – including a rare mention of Renfro’s henceforth unknown son, who was even concealed from Renfro’s friends.
  • Light beer has less calories than not-light beer [Life & Style page 59].
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