Reuters People News Summary

Following is a summary of current people news briefs.

"Snakes on a Plane" director David R. Ellis dies in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - David R. Ellis, the child actor and former stuntman who went on to direct gory films including "Snakes on a Plane", has been found dead in a Johannesburg hotel. Ellis, 60, was last seen alive in a restaurant on Saturday. His body was discovered in a bathroom by a hotel manager at the weekend. There was no indication of foul play or robbery, police said in a statement on Tuesday.

Depardieu skips court to set up Strauss-Kahn role

PARIS (Reuters) - French film star Gerard Depardieu skipped a court hearing on drink-driving charges on Tuesday as he pursued a headline-grabbing world tour that has seen him set up an alleged tax haven home in Belgium and pick up a passport in Russia. The garrulous actor's lawyer said he had missed the hearing in Paris because he was now in Montenegro for meetings about a film in which he will play disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Schwarzenegger is back, and Hollywood hopes he's still a star

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As he famously droned on-screen in his signature "Terminator" movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back. A year after leaving the California governor's office and becoming tabloid fodder for fathering a boy with his family's housekeeper and splitting with his wife, Maria Shriver, the 65-year old former bodybuilder will star in no less than three Hollywood movies over the next 12 months.

French actor Depardieu meets Putin, picks up Russian passport

MOSCOW (Reuters) - French film star Gerard Depardieu met Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea town of Sochi and obtained his Russian passport, the Kremlin said on Sunday, after he left his homeland to avoid a new tax rate for millionaires. Putin signed a decree on Thursday granting Russian citizenship to Depardieu, who objected to French Socialist president Francois Hollande's plan to impose the 75 percent tax rate. His decision to quit France had prompted accusations of national betrayal.

Actor Depardieu denies leaving France for tax reasons

PARIS (Reuters) - Film star Gerard Depardieu denied that he was leaving his homeland for tax reasons on Monday, saying that, although he now had a Russian passport, he was still very much French. In an interview with sports channel L'Equipe 21 - his first since a row broke out in December over his decision to buy a house over the border in Belgium - Depardieu said that if he had wanted to leave to avoid tax hikes he would have gone earlier.