By Cindy Elavsky
Q: I was stunned to hear about the passing of actress Natasha Richardson. I am ashamed to admit that I mostly know her as Liam Neeson’s wife, although I know she was an accomplished actress in her own right. Can you tell me some things she has been in so I can get a belated education on this beautiful actress who has left us too soon? — A Reader via e-mail
A: The world was devastated to learn last month that the entertainment community had lost a wonderful actress and human being. Natasha succumbed to a head injury she sustained during a skiing lesson in Quebec, Canada. She was 45. Throughout her career, she starred in “Nell,” “The Parent Trap,” “Maid in Manhattan,” “The White Countess” and “Evening,” the latter co-starring her real-life mom, Vanessa Redgrave. She won a Tony Award in 1998 for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.” She leaves behind Liam, her husband of 14 years, and two sons, Micheal and Daniel.
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Q: While it was great to see George Clooney on “ER” again, I was especially happy to see Julianna Margulies. Does she have anything else in the works? — Jessie H., via e-mail
A: Julianna, 42, is set to star in the CBS drama called “The Good Wife,” which is said to revolve around Julianna’s character, the wife of a politician, who works as a junior associate at a large Chicago law firm. Christine Baranski (“Mamma Mia!”) has been cast as one of the firm’s top litigators. An interesting tidbit I recently learned: Julianna’s father, writer Paul Margulies, wrote Alka-Seltzer’s catchphrase, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is!”
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Q: I am excited that new episodes are finally being aired of “90210” after a few weeks away. What can we expect as the show comes to a close, and when is the season finale? — Gracie H. in New Hampshire
A: “90210” returned with new episodes at the end of March, and will continue to do so until the season finale May 19. Tori Spelling returned April 7 (in an episode directed by former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star Jason Priestley) for a three-episode run as Donna Martin. Shannen Doherty is set to reprise her role of Brenda Walsh for the May 19 finale. Rumor has it that since Brenda found out she can’t have children, she is interested in adopting Adrianna’s baby.
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Q: I love “Dancing With the Stars” — it just gets better with every season. I have a question: How much do the celebrities get paid for their appearance on the show? — Rhiannon F., Portland, Ore.
A: According the Yahoo! TV blog called The Wrap, the celebs on “Dancing With the Stars” receive $200,000 for the entire season, whether they’re booted first or fourth-to-last. Contestants receive a bonus of $100,000 if they come in first place, $50,000 for second and $25,000 for third.
Have a question for Cindy? E-mail her at [email protected], or write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.