‘Shaft’ star Richard Roundtree joins Susan Sarandon for ‘Speed Racer’ flick


Whooo is the man who’s in the live-action “Speed Racer”?

Shaft! Damn right.

Well, more accurately, joining the cast is New Rochelle native Richard Roundtree, who played the title role in the 1971 “blaxploitation” epic. Seen here with Samuel L. Jackson on the set of the 1999 “Shaft” remake, Roundtree has built up some buzz of late with a recurring role as Charles Deveaux on “Heroes,” featuring Palisades native Hayden Panettiere.

Roundtree plays another kind of hero in the “Speed Racer” movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter:


Roundtree will play Ben Burns, a racer-turned-commentator who is an icon to the fans and a hero to Speed.


He’ll have some more LoHud company on that set. Pound Ridge resident Susan Sarandon is also appearing in the film as Mom Racer — mother to Racer X (Matthew Fox), wife to Pop Racer (John Goodman) and possible Mom Racer in Law to Trixie (Christina Ricci).

The Scoop: Behind the scenes at star-studded charity golf tourney

Photo by Seth Harrison/The Journal News

If you want the formal account of yesterday’s Autism Speaks celebrity-laden tournament at Mamaroneck’s Winged Foot Golf Club, check out this story in today’s Journal News.

In it, you’ll find quotes by former NBC Chairman Bob Wright, who cofounded the charity; “Dateline NBC” co-anchor and Dobbs Ferry homeowner Stone Phillips; “Fox5 News at 10” meterorologist and New Rochelle resident Nick Gregory; National Football League Hall-of-Famer Harry Carson; fellow former New York Giant and one-time star of “The Bachelor” Jesse Palmer; and “Late Show with David Letterman” announcer Alan Kalter.

Now for some behind-the-scenes gossip that didn’t appear in print due to the constraints of space, time and relevance:

• Some of the other celebrities to appear at the event, in alphabetical order: actor Gregg Bello; CBS sportscaster Don Criqui; Kansas drummer Phil Ehart; CourtTV commentator Jack Ford; “Squawk Box” cohost Joe Kernen; actor Richard Kind; former NFL cornerback Jeremy Lincoln; “Today in New York” sports anchor Otis Livingston; music producer Brendan O’Brien; and musician Tyrone Vaughan, who is the nephew of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan.

• Among those scheduled to appear at the event, but didn’t show, were season-five “American Idol� champ Taylor Hicks, “Today� show cohost Matt Lauer and comedian George Lopez.

• True to his persona on “The Bachelor,” Palmer charmed members of the public and media, enthusiastically posing for photos and answering questions.

• Carson said he was happy to help out the charity, despite repeatedly stating that his golf game “sucks.” Asked what his score was minutes after completing the 18-hole course, Carson said, “I have no idea.”

• Celebrity golf handicaps (or at least those they want us to believe): Kalter, 14; Palmer, 15; Lincoln, 16; Wright, 18; Gregory, 26.

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New Rochelle’s Robin Givens opens up about Iron Mike

Can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but I was starting to feel something approaching pity for old Mike Tyson. Last weekend, I downloaded the old Nintendo game “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” on my Wii, only to discover that the boxer’s name has actually been stripped from the title. Now it’s just called “Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream,” with Mr. Dream being Tyson’s apparent replacement. That’s just wrong.

Tom Nycz/The Journal News

Then in today’s Journal News, I read a story by our celebrity-loving colleague Heather Salerno about Tyson’s ex-wife, New Rochelle native Robin Givens. In her recently released memoir, “Grace will Lead Me Home,” Givens reveals that Tyson began hitting her before they got married. What’s more, before her famous interview with Barbara Walters, “Tyson choked and sexually assaulted Givens, tried to commit suicide and threatened to kill her.” And yet somehow, Givens told Salerno:

<blockquote><div>”I think it was easier for me to forgive Michael than it was to forgive myself. … I felt a loyalty to him, or that I failed him. He had issues, and (I thought) I was going to help him with those issues, and that I did a bad job.”</div></blockquote>

Poor girl! I hereby rescind all feelings of pity for Iron Mike and reassign them all to her. Somebody needs to get Givens on Oprah for a pep talk.

“Robin Givens is forgiving about her abusive marriage to Tyson” [The Journal News]

Bryce Dallas Howard part of Spider-Mania


(OK, so I’m excited.)

bry.jpgThe “Spider-Man” movie franchise is the only set of movies in my life that I’ve seen in theatres on their day of release. I’m obsessed enough to admit that at 12:30 today, I’m heading over to the New Roc IMAX to see the next (last?) installment, featuring Byram Hills High School alumna Bryce Dallas Howard in her first (last?) appearance as Gwen Stacy.

If time allows today, I’ll post a review (with no spoilers, I promise) of both the movie and Howard’s performance.


(Associated Press file photo by Jennifer Graylock)

Vincent Pastore quits ‘Dancing With The Stars.’ You got a problem with that?

New Rochelle product Vincent Pastore, whose character on “The Sopranos” both “slept with the fishes” and was the voice of one during a subsequent Tony Soprano dream sequence, in so many words said fuggetaboutit to “Dancing With The Stars” last week.

Pastore’s heart problems were a factor when he participated in VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club.” According to the Associated Press, he released the following statement:

<blockquote><div>I didn’t realize just how physically demanding it would be for me. Unable to put forth my best effort, I felt it appropriate to step aside and give someone else the opportunity.</div></blockquote>

In other words, one could argue that he lived up to his “Sopranos” character’s nickname.

It’s been reported that Cliff Claven himself, John Ratzenberger, will replace Pastore. On the ABC show, not the HBO one. Although that would be pretty funny to see Claven ask Uncle Junior for a “favor.”

<blockquote><div>Uncle Junior: (answering door) Claven?

Cliff Claven: Norm!

Uncle Junior: Not Norm. Junior. Jeez, and I thought I was the one losing my mind. Come in and have some lasagna.

Cliff Claven: Due to the shape of the North American elk’s esophagus, even if it could speak, it could not pronounce the word lasagna.

Uncle Junior: Cut the [expletive] chit-chat. Whaddya want?

Cliff Claven: Well, Tony won’t talk to me ever since I botched his “special delivery,” so I figured I’d talk to you about my needs. (Looks both ways.) Stamps. $2 million worth of those 2-cent varieties.

Uncle Junior: The ones that fell off the back of the truck?

Cliff Claven: (Nods.)

Uncle Junior: OK, fine. But I’m only doing it because I owe a favor to both Johnny Sac and Sam Malone. But in return, you gotta remind Lilith to strong-arm Frasier. He’s late on his payments again.</div></blockquote>

This juxtaposition begs a few questions. Which “Sopranos” actor/actress would you most want to see on “Dancing With The Stars”? And which “Cheers” character would make for another entertaining “Sopranos” exchange?

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Meet the Suburbarazzi Class of 2007

In five months of blogging about Lower Hudson Valley celebs, Suburbarazzi has attempted to not only recycle the latest Angelina Jolie gossip and Rosie O’Donnell rants, but also to introduce you to a few up-and-comers who you might not have heard about.

This week gave us theater newbie Paige Howard, daughter of Ron Howard, and a couple weeks ago you met Judge Judy’s son, Adam Levy. In ’06 we added Aaron “Hug Boy” Perez, Jessica “Sextortionist” Wolcott, and Filliam H. Muffman to our Google News Alerts.

But today, dear readers, prepare to meet not one, not two, but SEVEN youngsters who have officially been inducted into Suburbarazzi’s celebrity honor roll. In this month’s InTown Westchester, we published an article called “On the Verge,” profiling each of these rising stars. And now, on LoHud, you can read an extended version of the story, along with extra photos. So, without overhyping them any further, here they are (clockwise, from top left):

<li>Singer Hillary Johnson (Bedford)

<li>Rutger running back Ray Rice (New Rochelle)

<li>Knicks guard Nate Robinson (White Plains)

<li>Singer-songwriter Elza Mueller-Roemer (Mamaroneck)

<li>Movie star Joseph Cross (Pelham)

<li>Actor Noah Fleiss (New Rochelle)

<li>Theater newcomer Skye Jarrett (Chappaqua)


Just remember, you heard about ’em here first.

“On the Verge” [InTown Westchester]

Bernie Williams redefines ‘home run’

Take a curtain call, Bernie!

While outfielder/classical guitarist Bernie Williams and the New York Yankees this weekend continued mulling the possibility of reuniting in 2007, The Journal News’ Len Maniace reported about the Armonk resident’s five years of volunteer contributions to Hillside Food Outreach.

The charity operates out of a White Plains warehouse and delivers food to needy families and individuals throughout Westchester County. In the Dec. 17 article, Williams discusses a memorable early morning food delivery:

<blockquote><div>The woman got very excited and woke everyone in the house and the kids got excited. It was like a little party. It was funny to see, but I could see how we were able to bring a smile to their faces, in spite of their harsh situation.


Bernie Baseball also helps with Hillside’s fundraising efforts, whose annual marquis event has attracted fellow Yankees, including manager Joe Torre, who resides in both Harrison and Mahopac, and relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, who lives in Purchase and owns a New Rochelle steak house.

In honor of Bernie’s generosity, Suburbarazzi adds his name to our poll for best bald look. Piermont resident William Hurt, in dead last place, is about to have another reason to be Hurt.