Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Bigelow directs "Zero Dark Thirty" torture critics to Washington
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The director of Oscar-nominated thriller "Zero Dark Thirty" on Wednesday defended the film's depiction of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, saying criticism would better be directed at the U.S. officials who ordered such policies. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Kathryn Bigelow said she personally opposed any use of torture, but said it was a part of the decade-long hunt for the al Qaeda leader that the film could not ignore.
"Diff'rent Strokes" star Conrad Bain dies at 89
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Conrad Bain, best known for his role on the 1970s and '80s television comedy "Diff'rent Strokes" as a wealthy, white New Yorker who adopts two young black boys from Harlem, has died at age 89, his daughter said on Wednesday. Bain, who starred opposite the young Gary Coleman on the NBC sitcom as his adoptive father, Philip Drummond, died of natural causes at a comfort-care facility in Livermore, California, east of San Francisco, on Monday. He was three weeks shy of his 90th birthday, according to his daughter, Jennifer.
"American Idol" returns with feuds, fame, fortune
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "American Idol" returns on Wednesday with the tantalizing promise of fame, fortune and feuds - and that's just among the celebrity panel hired to find the next pop music sensation. Singer Mariah Carey, rapper Nicki Minaj and country artist Keith Urban make their debut as judges when the TV talent contest begins its 12th season on Fox.
Christian singer Chris Tomlin tops Billboard album chart
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Christian singer-songwriter Chris Tomlin topped the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday as his album, "Burning Lights," became the fourth Christian album to top the charts. Tomlin, 40, who scored his first mainstream No. 1 album, sold 73,000 units in its first week, according to figures compiled by Nielsen SoundScan.
Sex, politics and Steve Jobs highlight Sundance Film Festival
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Movie executives and first-time directors trudging through the snow this year at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah will find tales of pornography and sex addiction awaiting them, in a trend to show more skin at Robert Redford's annual film showcase. Showing in theaters alongside the Steve Jobs biopic "jOBS," festival goers can catch a movie about porn star Linda Lovelace, played by Amanda Seyfried in "Lovelace," and British soft porn publishing magnate Paul Raymond, played by Steve Coogan in Michael Winterbottom's "The Look of Love."
In online baby shower, Shakira seeks mosquito nets, vaccines for the poor
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singer Shakira and Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué are asking fans to donate gifts like mosquito nets and vaccines for the world's poorest children in an online baby shower to mark the couple's first child. The 35-year-old Colombian pop star, who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and the FC Barcelona center back said on Wednesday they had launched a "virtual living room" for purchase of life-saving items which will be distributed to children and communities in some of the poorest parts of the world.
Singer Elton John a father for second time
LONDON (Reuters) - British pop star Elton John announced on Wednesday he had become a father for the second time after the birth via a surrogate mother of Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John. The "Rocket Man" and "Candle in the Wind" singer and his partner David Furnish confirmed the news in a short statement on John's official website, which also provided a link to an article in Hello! magazine.
Adam Lambert, "Smash," "Wallflower" among GLAAD award nominees
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Television shows "The New Normal" and "Smash," animated film "ParaNorman," and "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert were among nominees on Wednesday for the GLAAD Media Awards. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which monitors media depiction of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender people, announced more than 150 nominees for its 24th annual awards in categories ranging from film and theater to journalism and music.