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November 05, 2008

Phil Spector's no Dudley Moore


It's one thing to have his clumsy, drunken romantic come-ons rejected, but when some "fans" mistook him for an Oscar nominated (and very petite) actor, that's when Phil Spector really came unglued.

So says the testimony at the music legend's retrial for the murder of House of Blues hostess and model/actress Lana Clarkson.

Seems that Spector was mistaken for the late Dudley Moore, Oscar nominated for "Arthur," sometime in the early '90s outside the fashionable restaurant Elaine's in Manhattan. He responded by pulling out a gun and chasing the confused young guys down the street.

As an L.A. Times story points out, this testimony came, oddly, from a witness called by the defense. Maybe this trial will turn out differently from the first one, in which a number of women testified that the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer showed them the business end of a handgun when they refused his sexual advances or otherwise pissed him off.

Dorothy Melvin, who manages comedian Joan Rivers, dated Spector for four years and recounted the Dudley Moore tale yesterday on the stand. She also said the Grammy-winning record producer/songwriter turned into "a demon" when he drank. More of her testimony here.

Spector's trial is only a few days old (he's pictured here at the end of last year's case, which ended in a hung jury) so we expect weeks of unfortunate ensemble/wig choices and horrifying testimony. We'll bring you the lowlights as we see them.



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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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