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BY TONY RIZZO

Reese Witherspoon will produce and star in a film based on Robin Gerber’s 2010 book, “Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her.” Reese will play Ruth Handler, who was inspired to create the Barbie Doll after seeing her daughter playing with paper dolls modeled after infants. She wanted her daughter to become a woman with choices, so she found an adult novelty toy overseas and remodeled it into Barbie. As luck would have it, her husband was the president of Mattel Toys, which gave birth to Barbie in 1959.

Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, author Kathy Reichs and executive producer Barry Josephson have filed lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court against 20th Century Fox TV, the producers of “Bones.” The plaintiffs contend they were cheated out of tens of millions of dollars in profits from the series via self-dealing and misallocation. The lawsuit claims that as the series became more profitable for the studio, accounting statements showed them falling further and further from achieving profits. The plaintiffs claim that Fox withheld key documents, and an audit discovered “more than a dozen accounting errors, tricks and deceitful acts.”

In 1980, James Garner played sick when he felt Universal TV was using creative accounting to cheat him out of millions of dollars of profits from “The Rockford Files.” Universal sued him, claiming his “sick strike” cost them $9 million. The suit dragged on for nine years, but Garner was vindicated to the tune of $14 million.

President Barack Obama recently presented 17 Presidential Medals of Honor. Among the honorees was the late great New York Yankees catcher and New York Mets manager Yogi Berra (he passed away in September at 90), and centerfielder Willie Mays (now 84 and living in Atherton, California), who played 22 Major League seasons.

From the movies he awarded Steven Spielberg, saying, “In his career Steven has introduced us to extra-terrestrials, rogue archaeologists, killer sharks, taken us to “Neverland” and “Jurassic Park,” but also the beaches of Normandy and Nazi concentration camps.” From the music world Obama named James Taylor, saying, “He can turn an arena into a living room”; and Itzhak Perlman, “the most beloved violinist of our time.”

He also honored Barbra Streisand, of whom he said, “She has collected just about every honor and award there is. I couldn’t believe she hadn’t gotten this one. Off stage she’s been a passionate advocate for issues like heart disease and women’s equality.” I’ll relinquish my usual punchline to President Obama, who then said to Streisand, “I’m getting all ‘verklempt’ just thinking about it!”

© 2015 by King Features Syndicate

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