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MORNING REPORT

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

October 17, 1998|JUDITH MICHAELSON

PEOPLE

Wedding Ahoy!: "Titanic" star Kate Winslet is getting married. The intended groom is Jim Threapleton, a director. "When you know it's the right thing, you just know," she said Friday outside the couple's London home. "We want to get married sometime next summer, but we want to keep the details a secret." Winslet, 23, and Threapleton, 24, met last year on the set of the upcoming British film "Hideous Kinky," where he was an assistant director. Winslet also made other news this week. On Thursday, having recently been voted "Body of the Year" in a women's poll conducted by the lotion manufacturer Nivea, she told a London television show that she finds the title "a little bit irritating." "Why do we keep talking about women's bodies all the time, particularly actresses? I'm a normal human being, and we all go up and down," said Winslet, who suffered from an eating disorder in her teens. "There are so many young girls out there whose minds are being so messed up by this, and I just think it is upsetting and it should just stop."

Ms. Wonderful: Actress Sally Field will be presented tonight with the "Ms. Wonderful" award by the Thalians organization, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Thalians Mental Clinic at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Field, who's being honored for her career and humanitarian efforts, won an Emmy in the NBC movie "Sybil" (1976) and a pair of Oscars for best actress in "Norma Rae" (1979) and "Places in the Heart" (1984). Also participating in the Thalians' 43rd annual ball at the Century Plaza Hotel are Candice Bergen, Goldie Hawn, Shirley MacLaine, Meg Ryan, Thalians President Debbie Reynolds and Chairman of the Board Ruta Lee. Composed mainly of show-business personalities, the organization has raised more than $25 million for the mental health center.

TELEVISION

Once Burned, Twice Shy: NBC, disappointed with viewer turnout for "Crime and Punishment," said Friday it is moving another TV movie based on classic literature out of the November ratings sweeps. A new version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," starring Peter Fonda, will now air Dec. 13, with the John Travolta film "Get Shorty" replacing it on Nov. 22 against original movies on CBS and ABC. NBC's two-hour adaptation of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" finished in 64th place in last week's ratings.

Political 'Hardball': With the midterm elections approaching, CNBC's "Hardball With Chris Matthews," which is seen at 5 and 8 p.m., heads to Los Angeles and San Francisco next week to assess California's political pulse. In Los Angeles from Monday to Wednesday, Matthews' guests are director Rob Reiner, Steve Allen, Ed McMahon, A. Scott Berg (author of "Lindbergh"), Robert MacNeil and author Shelby Steele.

On Surviving: Olympic figure skater and breast cancer survivor Peggy Fleming hosts a five-part series next week on Lifetime Television's magazine series "New Attitudes," which airs at 11 p.m. Segment topics include emotional support for patients, exercise regimes after chemotherapy and advice for couples affected by the disease.

THEATER

Phantom Feeling Strain: Davis Gaines, who celebrated his 2,000th performance Oct. 4 in the title role of "Phantom of the Opera," is out at least for the weekend. Vocal strain was cited as the reason for his brief bow-out at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Doctors say his condition is not serious and expect his absence to be short, a production spokesman said Friday. However, Gaines is also scheduled to miss 14 shows because of prior commitments between now and the end of the run on Nov. 15; understudy Ian Jon Bourg will step in. Buyers are not automatically informed which Phantom will be performing, so those who care should ask at point of purchase.

LEGAL FILE

Fontaine Sues: Some stars would be flattered to be featured in a documentary about great actresses. Not Joan Fontaine. The best actress Academy Award winner for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 movie "Suspicion" has filed suit in Superior Court against Rhino Home Video, claiming she has been hurt and humiliated due to her inclusion in the video "Great Actresses of the 20th Century." Fontaine alleges that Rhino invaded her privacy by showing movie clips of her without her permission. She is seeking more than $25,000 in damages. Rhino Home Video could not be reached for immediate comment.

QUICK TAKES

The WB network has picked up nine additional episodes for three of its first-year dramas: Monday night's "Hyperion Bay," the Tuesday night series "Felicity" and the Wednesday night show "Charmed." . . . Oprah Winfrey will do a live online chat Monday at 6 p.m. (http://www.Oprah.com), discussing her new movie, "Beloved," as well as her talk show's renewal to 2002. . . . Gordon Davidson, artistic director of the Los Angeles Center Theatre Group, and ICM literary agent Rosalie Swedlin will be honored by the Southern California chapter of the American Jewish Congress on Monday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel. . . . Suzanne Muchnic, author of "Odd Man In: Norton Simon and the Pursuit of Culture" and The Times' art writer, will discuss Simon's last interview and sign copies of her recently published book at the Norton Simon Museum tonight at 6 in Pasadena.

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