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Eric Clapton weds Ohio native, 25



Published: Fri, January 4, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Eric Clapton wedsOhio native, 25

LONDON -- Eric Clapton, 56, married his 25-year-old American girlfriend in a private ceremony on New Year's Day that included the christening of his two daughters, the presiding priest said Thursday.

The Rev. Christopher Elson, vicar of the 15th-century church of St. Mary Magdalen in Ripley, southwest of London, said he married Clapton and Melia McEnery, of Columbus, Ohio. He also baptized their 6-month-old daughter Julie Rose and Clapton's 16-year-old daughter Ruth Patricia.

"It was a very happy occasion, and God's blessing upon Eric and Melia in the married life as well as for Julie and Ruth at the beginning of their Christian lives," Elson said in a statement.

Elson said he had known about the wedding for some time and helped the couple plan the ceremony. He said no further details would be released.

The guitar legend met McEnery in Los Angeles, where she was living with a boyfriend at the time.

Britain's No. 1 beauty

LONDON -- "Pearl Harbor" star Kate Beckinsale was picked as Britain's No. 1 beauty by readers of Hello! magazine and by celebrity hairdressers, designers and photographers.

The actress, who once described herself as "a hideous and awkward-looking child," led the list of 25 most beautiful women.

Second was model Yasmin le Bon, third was actress Kristin Scott Thomas, and fourth was model Kate Moss.

Penn prefers bin Laden

NEW YORK -- In the latest issue of Talk magazine, Sean Penn compares Bill O'Reilly and Howard Stern to Osama bin Laden.

"I think that people like the Howard Sterns, the Bill O'Reillys and to a lesser degree the bin Ladens of the world are making a horrible contribution" to society, says the 41-year-old star of "I Am Sam." He says of the Fox News Channel host: "I'd like to trade O'Reilly for bin Laden."

He said that men like "Joe McCarthy, Bill O'Reilly, die like everyone else. And when they do, their legacy is one of damaging the spirit of good things, and they become rather broken, pathetic figures. And it is going to happen to him."

O'Reilly said Wednesday that he planned to highlight Penn's quotes as his "most ridiculous" news item of the week. "Madonna called me up and told me not to worry about it," he said, referring to Penn's ex-wife.

Who were busiestfilm stars last year?

LOS ANGELES -- Two young talents and a veteran proved to be the hardest-working people in movies last year, reports USA Today.

Cate Blanchett, 32, Josh Hartnett, 23, and Gene Hackman, 71, each had major roles in five films.

Blanchett, who somehow found the time recently to have a baby boy with her writer husband Andrew Upton, began her year as Lola, a dancer in "The Man Who Cried." She followed that with a turn as the love interest of Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis in "Bandits." She currently can be seen as Galadriel in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," Petal in "The Shipping News" and as the title role in "Charlotte Gray." (News and Gray are playing in limited release and expand Jan. 11.)

Hartnett marked the year with prominent war films as a soldier in "Pearl Harbor" and "Black Hawk Down" (which returns to theaters Jan. 18 after a one-week run in New York and Los Angeles to qualify for year-end awards). He also starred in "O," an adaptation of Othello, as well as the comedy "Blow Dry" and the disastrous "Town & amp; Country."

Today's birthdays

Football Hall-of-Fame coach Don Shula is 72. Former heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson is 67. Actress Dyan Cannon is 65. Opera singer Grace Bumbry is 65. Actress Ann Magnuson is 46. Country singer Patty Loveless is 45. Rock singer Michael Stipe (R.E.M.) is 42. Actor Patrick Cassidy is 40. Actor Dave Foley is 39. Actress Julia Ormond is 37. Tennis player Guy Forget is 37. Country singer Deana Carter is 36. Rock musician Benjamin Darvill (Crash Test Dummies) is 35. Actor Jeremy Licht is 31. Actress-singer Jill Jones is 27.




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