Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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Roberts starts medical leave from ‘GMA' next week


Co-host Robin Roberts during a broadcast of "Good Morning America."

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Robin Roberts says Friday will be her last day co-anchoring Good Morning America for a while.

On Monday's edition of the ABC News wakeup program, Roberts made official the start date for what's being called her "extended medical leave."

Roberts told viewers in July that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease once known as preleukemia.

She says she will be hospitalized next week to prepare for the bone marrow transplant that will take place about 10 days after that.

But looking further ahead, Roberts noted she is luckier than many workers who become ill. She says her bosses have been generous in giving her the needed time off, and her job is waiting for her when she's well enough to return. She described herself as "very blessed."

Lorenzo debuts

Jersey Shore star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi early Sunday gave birth to her first child, a boy.

The reality TV star and her fiance, Jionni LaValle, welcomed 6-pound, 5-ounce Lorenzo Dominic LaValle into the world at just before 3 a.m. Sunday at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., MTV said.

"The world just got another Guido!!!" a Polizzi rep told MTV. "Nicole, Jionni & Enzo are doing great!"

MTV congratulated Polizzi and her fiance and looked toward the newborn's possible appearance on Jersey Shore.

MTV has said it's bringing Jersey Shore back for a sixth season, with the 24-year-old Snooki as part of the action, but has declined to offer specifics on how big a part Snooki will play in the show about hard-partying Italian-American friends.

More baby news

Anna Faris has given birth to a baby boy, her first child with actor husband Chris Pratt.

A spokesman for the couple says their son, Jack, "arrived earlier than expected and will be spending some time" in the neonatal intensive care unit. No other details were provided.

The 35-year-old Faris and 33-year-old Pratt were married in 2009. She recently shared the screen with Sacha Baron Cohen in The Dictator. He is a star of TV's Parks and Recreation.

Stage parents

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's six kids have been trailed by paparazzi from a very early age. Now, one of Brangelina's children is stepping into the spotlight in a film role.

At the tender age of 4, the A-list couple's daughter Vivienne will make her acting debut alongside her mother in Walt Disney Studios' upcoming adaptation of Maleficent.

The 3-D film, set to hit theaters in March, 2014, stars Jolie as the villain from the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The movie details why the evil fairy cursed Princess Aurora — a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty — to die on her 16th birthday. Though 14-year-old Elle Fanning will play Aurora during the majority of the film, Vivienne will act briefly in scenes that depict the character as younger.

A Disney spokesman described Vivienne's role as "minor" and had no further details on whether the part involved any dialogue.

Jolie and Pitt have long said they would support their children should the tots want to go into show business one day. Asked at last year's Tree of Life premiere if his kids would go into acting, Pitt said: "I just want them to follow their bliss. Whatever makes them happy."

Directed by two-time Oscar-winning production designer Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland) and produced by Joe Roth (the recent Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Huntsman), Maleficent is written by Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast) and executive produced by Jolie, Don Hahn, Matt Smith, and Palak Patel.

Production began in June in London.

Star robot

Susan Sarandon isn't used to getting upstaged by inanimate objects, but the possibility does exist in the unusual little indie Robot & Frank.

Frank Langella stars as one of the title characters — the human one — as a suburban senior citizen suffering from dementia. How we know: When his grown son drops by (James Marsden), Dad asks how college is.

Marsden is so concerned for his elderly dad that he hires a robot to take care of the house and other chores (the film is set sometime in the near future).

Sarandon is Langella's friendly neighbor, but it is the robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard) who is No. 1 in Langella's life. They go on all sorts of adventures together, some legal, most not. Apparently Frank did some nefarious things back when he could remember stuff.

"It's very unusual, yeah!" says Sarandon of the plot. "That's one of the reasons I wanted to do it. When I read the script I didn't know where it was going and that rarely happens. That was a selling point, for sure."

As for Sarandon's character, there's a mystery there, and you get to figure out the pair's complicated relationship at the end. "He's losing his memory and she's just taking care of them like everyone else, kind of keeping an eye on him."

Overall, the tone of the set was fun and light.

"When you do a movie when you're not getting paid much ... anyone who would put themselves in that situation — these are people that are willing to be cheerful under meager circumstances," she says. "Because otherwise you wouldn't be doing it. That's what makes it very special."

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