Although the Ropers are no longer around to comment, John Ritter's old costars Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers are making the rounds to mourn the loss of their old TV roomie.
"He was just so -- very talented. It's hard to remember that he's on the other side. He was so full of joy and love. And so ready to play all the time. And he could make fun out of anything. I mean, you walked down the street with him and anything within his peripheral vision was a potential prop," DeWitt, who apparently kept in quite close touch with Ritter, told Larry King this week, adding that Ritters comedic ability was "absolutely natural. It fell out of him as if -- he had no choice. He had no choice but to spread joy. It was the nature of his very being. And it was also his conscious desire. He loved relating from his heart to your heart. And his life was so about that."
Somers, meanwhile, is grieving not only the loss of her friend, but also the loss of a project. The actress tells TV Guide Online that she was just about to pitch Ritter a project in which the two of them would team up for the first time since "Three's Company." "It's a romantic comedy [called] 'The Dumbheads,'" Somers explains. "It's a feature [film], and I wanted us to end up together in the end. I was going to play Dumb and he was going to play Dumber. It would have been great; it would have worked." Our condolences, Suzanne.
In other news ... Harlene Stein, a 70-year-old grandma from California, has filed suit against Eminem -- along with his buddy and producer, Dr. Dre -- for sampling the work of her late husband, Ronald. According to Stein's suit, the Eminem song "Guilty Conscience" includes a section of her husbands tune "Pigs Go Home," which he wrote for a 1970 film called "Getting Straight," starring Elliott Gould and Candice Bergen. Guilty conscience, indeed. (The Smoking Gun)
"Jersey Girl" director Kevin Smith weighs in on his pals Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck: "Wednesday night, I was up at their place, watching 'Dirty Pretty Things' (they've got a sweet-ass 35mm theater in their house) and they looked and sounded pretty far from broken up to me. And mind you, that was the day they called off the wedding ... Regardless, I'm still giving them their wedding gifts. The shit I got them both is too cool not to give 'em just because they're not getting married TODAY (not to mention, the gifts are unreturnable)." (News Askew)
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Ben watch continues for those of you who still care. Media consensus? Jennifer Lopez's presumable ex seems tremendously unAffleckted by his recent alleged breakup. The New York Post reports that he was seen emerging from Lopez's Beverly Hills home late Sunday afternoon with his assistant Chay Carter (apparently spurring some reporters to conclude that he had already taken up with someone new) and two other attractive young women, hopping into the Rolls-Royce he gave Lopez as an engagement present and zipping off to lunch and back. Later, Affleck was seen zooming around on his motorcycle all by his lonesome. Or maybe "lonesome" is the wrong word. "It looked like a case of when the cat's away," one witness told the paper.
Affleck's joyride comes a day after he was seen gambling up a storm at Larry Flynt's Hustler casino in Los Angeles. Though he arrived at the casino on Friday night, Affleck didn't leave until 6 a.m. Saturday. "He lost some significant money and kept trying to win it back," a source told the New York Daily News. Again, Affleck was snapped by paparazzi in the company of "another woman," his assistant, Chay Carter.
Beyoncé Knowles on her inexperience with the Fryolator: "I can't cook, I absolutely can't cook. I can write a song but I can't fry no chicken." (The Daily Star via Sky News)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Beyoncé Knowles and Cris Judd rumored to have collected up to $25,000 to attend Gianfranco Ferre fashion show in Bryant Park, though Lara Flynn Boyle said to have been refused her demand for $25K; Venus Williams at opening of new NYC lounge just hours before learning of her older sister's murder; "Babar" author/illustrator Laurent de Brunhoff on Madonnas recent incursion into his children's book territory: "I know who Madonna is, though I don't know much about her, but I really don't feel attracted by the idea of making a Babar music video and CD with her."
Rush and Molloy: Supermodel Helena Christensen repeatedly seen stepping out with Ed Norton; Norton's ex Salma Hayek holding out for "a man who has more balls than me"; Mark Ruffalo allegedly impresses with more than his acting talents during nude scenes with Meg Ryan in the new "In the Cut"; Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards are expecting their first child next spring; Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson get into food fight on Neverland Ranch.
Boldface Names: Nicole Kidman causes much excitement at "The Human Stain" opening; says she was "intrigued, fascinated" with Philip Roth, who wrote the book on which the film was based and with whom she met; says she's "always wanted to do 'War and Peace'" on film, would like to play Natasha; takes off high heels in middle of party to show reporter that she's "not this tall."