Jill Jackson’s Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD… New Orleans is fast becoming Hollywood on the Mississippi. Word is that Sandra Bullock recently purchased a house in the Garden District. Already owning property in the Big Easy are Nic Cage, Helen Mirren, Francis Coppola, John Goodman, and Brad and Angelina. Interesting because the town is still recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. Aside to Louisa F. of Montgomery, Ala.: I’ve printed about all there is to print about Chris Pine at the moment. His agent, Susan Schwarz, tells me he was great onstage in a play at a theater in Westwood, that offers for movies are pouring in, and of course, the young femmes are still “mad about the man.” Something new in Los Angeles: the Downtown Film Festival, which runs from Aug. 12 to 22. And on Aug. 13, it will pay tribute to Paul Newman, with free public screenings of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hud and others in a huge outdoor plaza. Christian Slater is set to star in a new series titled “The Forgotten” for ABC. Slater has had quite a life. He has been arrested twice for drunken driving, and served 10 days in jail in 1990. He was arrested in 1994 for attempting to carry a pistol through a metal detector at an airport, was sued in 1995 for palimony seeking $100,000 plus property worth $2 million by fiancee Nina Huang, and was arrested again in 1997 for assault and battery and served 90 days in jail, admitting to being an alcohol and cocaine user. He also served 90 days of community service. Slater has two children by one of his wives.

Aside to Roberta G. of Biloxi, Miss.: You ask when is a good time to come to Hollywood? If you like it hot, come in September into October. If you like cool and foggy, come in June. If you like rain, don’t come. We never have much of that. And yes, I lived in New Orleans, but I did not know Ellen DeGeneres. Wish I had.

The swine-flu bug bit Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, but he whipped it and was able to get back to work on another Potter pic. Meanwhile, the most recent one is reaping big bucks at the box office.

The name Mary Pickford lives large in the annals of film history. She was one of the first big, big stars. Married to Douglas Fairbanks and then to Buddy Rogers, she had many idiosyncrasies. One of them being that each morning, the “help” and Mary would gather in the huge kitchen of Pickfair and march around saluting the flags of the United States and Great Britain. And although a tiny little lady, she could curse with the best of them. There will be a tribute to her presently with many of her films showing at theaters around the country.

BITS ‘N’ PIECES: The girls in the audience went crazy when George Clooney appeared on “The Ellen Show.” “Gorgeous George” just took it all in stride (and probably had a good laugh after he left). … Looking back into time, Clark Gable flunked his first screen test because Darryl Zanuck thought his ears were too large (Ha!) … And when Drew Barrymore was arrested for cocaine use, the arresting officer removed her handcuffs and asked for her autograph. … At this writing all is quiet on Britney, Lindsay and Paris.

(c) 2009 King Features Syndicate