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In the news

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 2, 2003


Report: McKellen won't join 'Harry Potter' cast

Harry Potter's getting a brand new headmaster -- and his name isn't Ian McKellen, reports E!Online.

Contrary to rampant reports over the past several days claiming the current Gandalf portrayer would pull double wizard duty as Hogwarts' professor Albus Dumbledore, another acclaimed British thespian has been tapped for the role vacated by the death of Richard Harris.

Michael Gambon, who picked up Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his virtuoso performance as Lyndon Johnson in HBO's Path to War, will be donning the robes as Dumbledore for the upcoming Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, E!Online reported a source familiar with the production said.

After Harris' death from cancer in October, there had been much speculation over who would take over the role, with leading candidates supposedly including McKellen and even Harris' stand-in.

Gambon is a classically trained actor whose credits include Gosford Park and The Insider.

Rapper arrested on weapons charges

Rapper 50 Cent was arrested Tuesday morning after police found two guns inside a car double-parked outside a Manhattan nightclub.

The 27-year-old, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, was arrested just before 2 a.m. after police responded to a complaint about a sport utility vehicle double-parked outside the Copacabana nightclub, said police.

When officers approached the vehicle, they saw a .25-caliber handgun on the floor of the SUV. A further search turned up a .45-caliber pistol. Police said both weapons were loaded.

50 Cent and the four men with him were each charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

50 Cent was discovered by Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay, whose real name was Jason Mizell. After the Oct. 30 slaying of Jam Master Jay, investigators learned of a threat to 50 Cent; at their suggestion, the rapper canceled a performance.

Police later downplayed any suggestion that Jam Master Jay's killers were after 50 Cent. The Jam Master Jay shooting is still unsolved.

Eminem has been helping 50 Cent in his career, and he contributed a song to Eminem's multiplatinum 8 Mile soundtrack.

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