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Oscar-winning actors slated to drop in on "Ellen'

Ellen DeGeneres is lining up Oscar-caliber talent for an upcoming episode. Variety's Army Archerd reports two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson is slated to make an appearance on the ABC sitcom Ellen in a segment appropriately titled Emma. In the show, Thompson's character declares she is gay. Also appearing on the Emma segment is Sean Penn. Archerd reports Disney is so enthusiastic about the stars' appearances and the show's content the network has scheduled it for sweeps week on Nov. 19.

Samuel Fuller, director

and filmmaker, dies at 86

Samuel Fuller, a cigar-smoking reporter-turned-war hero-turned-director whose bleak and violent movies inspired many of today's top filmmakers, has died. He was 86. Fuller died Thursday of natural causes at his home in the Hollywood Hills, Calif. said a family friend. Fuller, who lived in France until recently, had a stroke several years ago. His box office power long since peaked, Fuller was best known for his 1979 classic The Big Red One, based on his own experiences with the First Infantry Division in World War II. He was a B-movie cult favorite, particularly in Europe, for his films' harsh takes on American society and sweeping camera work.