Sean Hayes

By Tony Rizzo
Ben Affleck, who won an Oscar for writing “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon, has completed director Terence Malick’s (“Tree of Life”) untitled film, with Oscar winners Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”) and Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”), as well as Rachel McAdams (“Midnight In Paris”). This summer, Affleck will star in and direct “Argo” for George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s company. It’s about how the CIA used a “Planet of the Apes” make-up artist to rescue six Americans during the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis by faking the production of a large-scale sci-fiction film. It’s based on a story from Wired Magazine and will be released in 2013.

A Michigan reader asks, “Why did ‘Gunsmoke’s’ James Arness and his brother, Peter Graves, have different names?” Years ago, Peter Graves, of TV’s “Mission: Impossible,” sat next to me on a plane headed to the Jack Benny tennis and golf tournaments in Texas, and I asked him that very question. Peter explained, “My grandfather came to America and told immigration his name was Aursnes but they wrote Aurness, which became our family name. When my brother, James Aurness started acting, he dropped the “u” and became James Arness. When I started acting, I couldn’t be Peter Aurness when my brother was James Arness, so I took the last name of my maternal grandfather and became Peter Graves.” The last thing Peter did was narrate the computer game “Darkstar: the Interactive movie,” released eight months after he passed away. Having met James Arness, who left us on June 3, and his brother, Peter Graves, who left us in March 2010, I can honestly say that they were extraordinary dedicated actors and devoted family men. We won’t see their like again!

We reported earlier that “Will & Grace” star Sean Hayes would play Larry Fine and “Madtv’s” Will Sasso would play Curley in “The Three Stooges Movie.” Now we can tell you that Moe Howard will be played by Chris Diamantopolas. You saw him as Robin Williams in the “Mork & Mindy” TV movie, in the eighth season of “24” as chief of staff Rob Weiss, and as Frank Sinatra in the “Kennedy’s” mini-series. To check out what they’ll look like, Google the new Three Stooges film. Add “Glee’s” Jane Lynch, “Modern Family’s” Sofia Vergara, “Dreamgirls” Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, “Boston Legal’s” Craig Bierko and “7th Heaven’s” Stephen Collins, and you’ve got a great cast. It looks as if The Farrelly Brothers will give “The Stooges” the send-up they truly deserve. After this movie comes out, though, if anyone asks you to “pick two fingers,” trust me … DON’T!

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(c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.