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Reality show pioneer Bunim dies at 57

Producer Mary-Ellis Bunim, who brought television into the age of reality with MTV's The Real World and whose latest hit series was The Simple Life, has died at age 57.

Ms. Bunim died Thursday (Jan. 29, 2004) after a long battle with breast cancer, MTV announced.

She and business partner Jonathan Murray, who kicked off the reality trend in 1992 with The Real World, were among the genre's most prolific producers.

Their series included Road Rules, The Love Cruise, Making the Band, Starting Over and, most recently, Fox's The Simple Life with party girl and headlinemaker Paris Hilton.

Ms. Bunim, Murray and other producers upended the TV order as reality shows soared in popularity, eventually wresting chunks of broadcast and cable schedules away from traditional, scripted series.

Before she turned to real-life soap opera, Ms. Bunim had vast experience in the traditional kind. She was responsible for more than 2,500 hours of daytime TV as executive producer of Search for Tomorrow, As the World Turns, Santa Barbara and Loving.

Crowe hurt while training for movie

LOS ANGELES _ Russell Crowe dislocated his shoulder in Sydney, Australia, while training for a boxing scene in his upcoming film Cinderella Man, Universal Pictures said Friday.

He will immediately undergo arthroscopic repair surgery followed by physical therapy, the studio added. That will delay the start of filming by about a month, from early March to April.

The movie, about Depression-era boxer and folk hero Jim Braddock, co-stars Renee Zellweger and will be directed by Ron Howard, who previously collaborated with Crowe on the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind.

High-priced statue of Yoda stolen

PASADENA, Calif. _ Someone stole a 170-pound bronze statue of Yoda, the Star Wars Jedi master.

The theft from a flatbed truck was reported to police last weekend and artist Lawrence Noble has offered a $1,000 reward for its return. The limited-edition bronze is worth as much as $20,000.

"It's a real high-end collectible," Noble said.

The statue was one of four bolted to a flatbed truck parked overnight Jan. 17 at the Westway Inn on Colorado Boulevard. Police said someone grabbed Yoda that night or early the next morning.

Lucasfilm Ltd. commissioned the statues, part of a planned series featuring other Star Wars characters.