NEWS BRIEFS: Brittany Murphy Engaged

01/14/2004 AT 01:00 PM EST

BETROTHED: Actress Brittany Murphy, 26, and talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz, 38, got engaged Jan. 9 at a silent-movie theater in L.A. The couple started dating last spring after Murphy's breakup with Ashton Kutcher, her costar in 2003's "Just Married." And how did Kwatinetz rate with his ring? Says jeweler Neil Lane: "Jeff was looking for something cool, big, flawless and old. And he ended up getting all four -- a big ol' rock that was flawless, just like Brittany."

BORN: "Angels in America" actress Mary-Louise Parker, 39, gave birth to her first child Jan. 7, a boy she named William, after the child's father, "Big Fish" actor Billy Crudup, 35, reports USA Today. Parker's publicist declined comment, and a rep for Crudup (who reportedly is now seeing Claire Danes, 24), could not be reached. ... "Frasier" costar Jane Leeves, 42, who plays Niles's wife, Daphne, and in real life is married to TV executive Marshall Coben, gave birth to a boy Dec. 19, reports New York's Daily News. Finn William Leeves Coben is the couple's second child.


QUOTED: "There is no $350 million loan." -- Michael Jackson adviser Charles Koppleman, on Wednesday's "Today" show, disputing reports that the financially strapped musician was ready to default on a major bank loan


REVEALED: Ozzy Osbourne's collarbone has been replaced by a rod and he nearly lost his arm in an all-terrain-vehicle accident last month, Sharon Osbourne said on her syndicated talk show Monday. Sharon Osbourne, 51, said Ozzy had to have an artery transplant because part of his collarbone cut an artery leading to his arm, and he nearly had to have the arm amputated. At one point, he had no pulse, she said.

HURT: Rocker Ted Nugent, 55, was injured on the Texas set of the VH1 reality series "Surviving Nugent: The Ted Commandments," when a chain saw cut through his leg, reports the Associated Press. Nugent required 40 stitches to close the gash in his leg on Sunday, said Michelle Clark, a spokeswoman for the cable music channel.

DIED: Randy VanWarmer, 48, who recorded the pop hit "Just When I Needed You Most" and had a successful career as a songwriter, died Monday night in Seattle at the University of Washington Medical Center, where he was being treated for leukemia. He had been ill for about a year, says AP. ... Facial and skin-care queen Georgette Klinger, 88, who operated a nationwide chain of salons bearing her name since 1941, died Friday in a Manhattan hospital, reports The New York Times.

DISCUSSED: Screen hunks Heath Ledger, 24, and Jake Gyllenhaal, 23, are in negotiations to play gay cowboys in "Brokeback Mountain," the next film from "The Hulk" director Ang Lee, says the Hollywood Reporter. Adapted by Larry McMurtry ("Terms of Endearment") and Diana Ossana from a short story by "The Shipping News" scribe E. Annie Proulx, the Focus Features project, about a 20-year love affair, has long been regarded as one of the great screenplays that never got produced, says the trade paper.

NOMINATED: "Sex and the City" and "Six Feet Under" have received three nominations each in the Directors Guild of America awards, announced Tuesday. The nods for "Sex" are in the comedy category, while those for "Six" are in drama. Veteran TV director James Burrows picked up his 20th nomination for comedy nominee "Will & Grace." The awards will be presented at L.A.'s Century Plaza Hotel on Feb. 7.

SPUN: The wife of Dr. Gilbert Lederman is speaking out for her husband after he was sued by George Harrison's family for allegedly forcing the dying ex-Beatle to sign autographs. According to an account in the New York Post, Dr. Josiane Lederman says: "How Gil is (being portrayed) is not how he is at all. He's a sweet, caring, dedicated and devoted doctor who has always had very close relationships with all his patients."

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