Ocean's Eleven is a stylish remake of the 1960 Rat Pack movie, but a key plot element isn't updated accurately. The premise of George Clooney and his gang stealing $150 million from a vault shared by the Bellagio and two other casinos is that casinos must have enough money to cover all bets on any given night. When the first film was made, that was indeed the case (Sinatra and his boys went after $11 million). But with the electronic money transfers available today, it's no longer a necessity. Generally, the most cash any casino has on hand is only a few million or so. And the vault isn't nearly as elaborate as the subterranean fortress depicted in the film.

Vegas was also the scene of an overnight trip organized by Martin Sheen for his fellow West Wingers. The TV President rented a tour bus and took more than 40 cast and crew members, including John Spencer and Dulé Hill, to see costar Nicole Robinson's stand-up act at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on Dec. 8. To kill time during the five-hour ride, the traveling troops played bingo. After attending a reception that included an ice sculpture of the White House, they saw Robinson's act and then had dinner at the hotel restaurant. They gambled into the wee hours before boarding the bus at noon the next day for the trip back to L.A.

Kim Delaney celebrated her 40th birthday Nov. 29 on the set of her new ABC show, Philly, with help from a few of her true Blue friends. Delaney's former castmates at NYPD Blue surprised her by sending over an arrangement of more than 100 balloons. Not to be outdone, the cast and crew of Philly showed their brotherly love by filling her dressing room with champagne, gifts and streamers. The day before, she was surprised by her parents, who flew in from Philadelphia. But it was the actress who treated herself to the most extravagant gift: a brand-new black Mercedes S430 sedan.

Val Kilmer is getting a little preachy these days. For a year, at a Christian Science church near his home in Santa Fe, the actor has done such a good job as a reader that the congregation reelected him to the post last month. During each service two readers lead the congregation in reviewing Bible passages and Christian Science doctrine. Kilmer, who has been affiliated with the religion since childhood, brings his kids by his ex-wife, actress Joanne Whalley—Mercedes, 10, and Jack, 6—to attend Sunday school at the church.

She may be taking two years off from figure skating to raise her two children, Daria, 9, and Elizaveta, 6 months, but you'll still find Ekaterina Gordeeva at the ice rink. On Dec. 8 the Olympic pairs champion (her skating partner, husband Sergei Grinkov, died of a heart attack in 1995) was in Burbank watching Daria take part in her first major competition, an Ice Skating Institute holiday show. Gordeeva, who is not Daria's coach, helped with warm-ups and costume changes, but she sat in the stands like all the other nervous parents when her daughter took to the ice and won two events. Talk about a chip off the old block of ice!

  • Contributors:
  • Hugh McCarten,
  • Marisa Laudadio.