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Director revealshis leading lady
LONDON -- Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") has confirmed he is having an affair with Kate Winslet, BBC News reports. "Yes, we are having a relationship," Mendes said. "It's early days, and we are very happy."
In September, Winslet split from her husband, assistant film director Jim Threapleton, after less than three years of marriage. But Mendes, 35, who has been linked with a string of stars, including "The Mummy" actress Rachel Weisz, denied that he played a role in ending the 26-year-old's marriage.
"I was very careful to ensure that I was not endangering her marriage," he said. "Indeed, it was already over, and I came along well after."
'Shallow' actor doesn'tlike what he sees
LOS ANGELES -- Jack Black is just as insecure about his looks as Gwyneth Paltrow's character in their film, "Shallow Hal," now in theaters. Paltrow -- in elaborate latex makeup and body suit that added nearly 200 pounds to her frame -- plays a self-conscious woman in the Farrelly brothers' new movie. Black plays a man who's hypnotized and sees Paltrow's character as thin and beautiful. Just how insecure is Black? When he watches himself in the movie, this is what he sees: "Mostly my big fat head. And beady eyes. And, uh, misshapen torso. And, uh, clown feet."
However, the 32-year-old actor, who first gained attention as a know-it-all record store clerk in last year's "High Fidelity," joked with reporters recently that he did such a good job, he carries the film "all the way to the bank."
Boy band singer wentfrom rags to riches
NEW YORK -- Sometimes, Chris Kirkpatrick of *NSync can't believe how his life has changed.
"It's absurd to have gone from totally poor to totally rich," the 30-year-old singer told Us Weekly for its Dec. 3 issue. "I wake up in my house in the middle of the night and go, 'Whose house is this?"'
Growing up in Clarion, Pa., Kirkpatrick and his four younger half-sisters moved frequently. After his father died, his mother worked as a maid and did odd jobs; his stepfather had trouble finding steady work.
At one point, they lived in a trailer that had no heat and a hole in the side. He used layers of dirty laundry as blankets to keep warm at night. After he graduated from high school, Kirkpatrick moved to Orlando, Fla., to pursue his dream of pop music. That's where he met Justin Timberlake, and the two co-created the five-member boy band *NSync, which earned $42 million last year. But Kirkpatrick said he's still frugal. "I have a financial adviser who won't let me do anything," he joked. "He's so tight that if I go through the drive-through, he makes me call him if I wanna supersize."
Today's Birthdays
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Stan Musial is 81. Country singer Jean Shepard is 68. Actor Laurence Luckinbill is 67. Actress Marlo Thomas is 64. Actor Rick Lenz is 62. Ballet dancer Natalia Makarova is 61. Singer Dr. John is 61. Actress Juliet Mills is 60. Comedian-director Harold Ramis is 57. Television producer Marcy Carsey is 57. Actress Goldie Hawn is 56. Rock musician Lonnie Jordan (War) is 53. Singer Livingston Taylor is 51. Actress-singer Lorna Luft is 49. Actress Cherry Jones is 45. Rock musician Brian Ritchie (The Violent Femmes) is 41. Gospel singer Steven Curtis Chapman is 39. Actress Nicollette Sheridan is 38. Singer-actress Bjork is 36. Football player Troy Aikman is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chauncey Hannibal (BLACKstreet) is 33. Rock musician Alex James (Blur) is 33. Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. is 32. Rapper Pretty Lou (Lost Boyz) is 30. Country singer Kelsi Osborn (SHeDAISY) is 27. Actress Jena Malone is 17.

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