ROLL CALL: Jessica, Scarlett, Jake, ‘Ugly Betty,’ & More!

Your Daily Dispatch of Celebrity Shenanigans by Tommy Vergason

March 14, 2007

ANOTHER ‘UGLY’ WEDDING? : There’s a new announcement from the set of “Ugly Betty,” and it’s about another engagement for a member of the cast. Ana Ortiz, who plays Betty’s sister Hilda on the hit show, tells PEOPLE that she has been engaged to musician Noah Lebenzon since August, and that they’re planning to wed in Puerto Rico in June. PEOPLE quotes Ortiz as saying, “I’m really thrilled and my cheeks are hurting from smiling. He’s a California boy so it’s a nice balance for my crazy New Yorker.” Ortiz’s news follows on the heels of co-star Ashley Jensen‘s marriage in January, and last week’s announcement from the show’s executive producer Salma Hayek , who is engaged and expecting a baby.

More Celebrity Scoop After the Video!

‘Ugly Betty’ At Paley Fest

JESSICA GOES TO THE DOGS : Another celebrity wants in on the baby craze, according to THE NY POST’s CINDY ADAMS. Adams reports that Jessica Simpson is “getting ready” for a baby in her life, and it’s all because of her dogs. Simpson is said to be in a “maternal caregiving mode” due to taking care of her furry friends, claims Adams, and reportedly plans to adopt a child when the time is right.

SHE’D RATHER GO NAKED THAN WEAR… : Pamela Anderson is notoriously fond of furry creatures herself, having campaigned for animal rights for many years. E! ONLINE’s MARC MALKIN caught up with Pamela recently, and she told him of a man named Tommy who has made her quite happy lately. No, it’s not that “Tommy,” and no, it’s not that kind of “happy.” Pamela is referring to designer Tommy Hilfiger, who reportedly deemed his clothing line “fur free” yesterday. Malkin quotes Pamela as saying, “Since Tommy mostly used fur on collars and cuffs, his decision to go fur-free really puts the spotlight on fur trim, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. People who think ‘it’s just a little fur trim’ need to know that animals suffer tremendously for every piece of fur, and it’s unacceptable to wear any of it. Thanks, Tommy, for sticking up for the animals!”

ONCE BITTEN: Sarah Jessica Parker has added “fashion designer” to her resume, reports US WEEKLY and THE NEW YORK POST. Parker’s line, called “Bitten,” is reportedly being compared to the Olsen Twin’s fashion venture, says US, while The Post adds that her clothes will most likely be available for consumers at price-friendly chain store Steve & Barry’s, in a deal that is allegedly being struck after showing her clothes at a fashion editors’ luncheon in NYC yesterday. Parker’s “Bitten” line is said to consist of jeans, lingerie, casual wear and accessories.

THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM FOR SCARLETT : Speaking of “accessories,” it seems that Scarlett Johannson may be becoming something of a permanent fixture for Woody Allen, as VARIETY reports that she is set to star in a third film for the director. VARIETY notes that this makes Johansson the actress Allen has used most frequently since his early runs with Mia Farrow and Diane Keaton. Johansson and Rebecca Hall (“The Prestige”) will reportedly join Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in the film, which will shoot for six weeks in Barcelona and one week in Asturias. In other casting news, THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS’ RUSH & MOLLOY claim that New Line is eyeingJake Gyllenhaal to star in the recently-announced Captain Marvel (aka “Shazam!”) film, based on the classic superhero from DC Comics.

R.E.M. GETS A LOAN FROM U2 : R.E.M. is preparing to get to work on a new album, reports BILLBOARD, as they bask in the glow of their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this week. Tapped to produce the album is Jacknife Lee, best known for his work on U2‘s Grammy-winning “How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb” and Snow Patrol‘s “Final Straw.” Hopes are high that this will be a return to form for the band, who were reportedly disappointed with the way their last album, “Around the Sun,” turned out. And could the return of drummer Bill Berry be in the cards? Bassist Mike Mills doesn’t think it’s likely, despite the brief reunion they enjoyed at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “We’ve been fortunate enough to play with [Berry] several times in the past few years. Maybe we’ll do it again. He can’t wait to get back to his farm,” Mills told reporters Monday. “As a matter of fact, he’s already left,” lead singer Michael Stipe chimed in.

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