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Ask Stacy for Sept. 22-23, 2018

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith on

DEAR STACY: What is Billy Crystal up to lately? I miss him. -- Fran

DEAR FRAN: The funnyman, who will be honored with the Friars' Club Entertainment Icon Award on Nov. 12, is working to launch a new play he has written with Quinton Peeples, called "Have a Nice Day." He is going to do a live reading for Audible on Oct. 7 with Annette Bening and Kevin Kline, at New York's Minetta Lane Theatre. It will be made available to Audible listeners worldwide soon afterward. "Have a Nice Day" has to do with a U.S. president beset by problems including a representative of the "angel of death," who's given him a day to live.

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DEAR STACY: With all the attention on the new "Murphy Brown," nothing has been said about the actor who played her pal, the painter, on the first show. Whatever happened to him? -- Diane

DEAR DIANE: It's a sad story. Robert Pastorelli, known as Eldin the painter to "Murphy Brown" fans from 1988 to 1994, died of a morphine overdose in 2004, at age 49. His career took a plunge after the 1999 death of his girlfriend, Charemon Jonovich, of a gunshot wound to the head during an argument in his home. It was initially classified as a suicide or accident -- cause of death "unknown." Pastorelli eventually made two TV films with his friend Glenn Close, starred onstage with her in London in "A Streetcar Named Desire," and co-founded the Garden State Film Festival. At the time of his death, he reportedly had been told that Jonovich's death had been reclassified as a homicide and that he was going to be arrested. He left two daughters, one with Jonovich.

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DEAR STACY: I read with great interest that Lee Daniels, creator of "Empire" and director of "Precious" and other films, was planning to do a biographical film about Billie Holiday. That was months ago, and I am wondering if there is any news. -- J.J.

DEAR J.J.: The story broke in June that Daniels was in discussions with singer/songwriter Andra Day for a Holiday feature to be titled "Billie." It's not far enough along to have a production start, but it does sound like a good bet to actually get made. Daniels has a script by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Suzan Lori-Parks ("Topdog/Underdog"). And producers Joe Roth and Jeff Kirschenbaum are aboard, along with Lakeith Stanfield attached as male lead. The dramatic saga of jazz icon Lady Day certainly makes for gripping storytelling, as it did in the 1972 Diana Ross film, "Lady Sings the Blues." Stay tuned.

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DEAR STACY: Is Adam Baldwin of "Full Metal Jacket" and "Serenity" any relation to the Baldwin acting clan of Alec, Billy, et. al ? -- Lisa

DEAR LISA: No, he is not.

Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate Inc.
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