The highs and lows of Hollywood in 2011
The highs and lows of Hollywood in 2011

It was a great year to be a Hollywood obstetrician or designer nappy manufacturer and, like most years, 2011 was a profitable one for Hollywood lawyers.

If celebrities weren't popping out babies in 2011, they were suing the pants off exes, business partners, producers, studios or anyone else worth tossing a lawsuit at.

Dr Conrad Murray blurred medical and legal boundaries in 2011, swapping operating theatres (or Michael Jackson's bedroom) for the theatre of a Los Angeles courtroom and then a less camera friendly cell at the LA County Jail.

Lindsay Lohan turned the front of courthouses into red carpet events and managed another brief jail stay while Charlie Sheen, who played a boozing, womanising party boy in Two and Half Men, was booted off the show for being a boozing, womanising party boy (and a little more).

On the good news front, Australia scored a record haul of five Oscars at February's ceremony, including the Australian-UK film The King's Speech claiming best picture.

Here's how 2011 played out in Hollywood:

THE IMPREGNATOR

After his final term as California governor expired and the once golden state was left in almost as good condition as the post-apocalyptic Earth he strode in The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger dropped another bombshell.

After The LA Times queried him about rumours of an extra-marital affair, Arnie came clean he was indeed a little dirty.

He admitted to fathering a child with his Guatemalan housekeeper - impregnating her within days of impregnating wife Maria Shriver with their fourth child.

Ms Shriver bolted from the couple's Brentwood mansion, the couple lawyered up and carved up their impressive estate.

Mildred Baena with her son, the lovechild of Arnold Schwarzenegger

40 IS THE NEW HOT

There was a time when turning 30 was the end of a career for Hollywood's leading ladies, but not now.

Look at most magazine covers and who is on front?

Who are the female leads of the most successful films?

You have 42-year-old Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock (47), Halle Berry (45), Salma Hayek (45), Nicole Kidman (44), Catherine Zeta-Jones (42), Julia Roberts (44), Courteney Cox (47), Demi Moore (49), Gwyneth Paltrow (39 - OK, she's not 40, but if we round up 39 it is 40), Cameron Diaz (39 - let's round her up too).

Jennifer Aniston

TWO AND A HALF DEBACLE

Charlie Sheen told us he was winning and he probably did during 2011's battle of Two and a Half Men.

After visiting a rehab centre in January for the third time in 12 months, Warner Bros decided to put the popular sitcom on indefinite hiatus. Charlie, out of rehab, went on a rant, upsetting the show's creator Chuck Lorre, and the world's most popular sitcom seemed doomed.

While Charlie vented about warlocks to anyone who would listen - including an Australian radio station - hung out with porn stars and went on a national stage show run, Warner Bros and Lorre booked Ashton Kutcher to replace Charlie - with the first new episode a funeral scene where viewers learn his character was run over and killed by a train.

Charlie (and his lawyers) had the last laugh after agreeing to a reported $US100 million settlement.

Charlie Sheen is seen walking through downtown Toronto with his angels and a group of his fans on the way to the second night of his Violent Torpedo of Truth tour

TWO AND A HALF MEN CURSE

Maybe when you are cast as the star of Two and a Half Men it gives you the libido of two and a half men?

No sooner had Ashton moved in to Charlie's Malibu mansion and was pocketing $US900,000 an episode for his role on the sitcom, rumours spread that he was spreading himself around town with women a few decades younger than his wife, Demi Moore.

Their lawyers are working out how to split the reported $US290 million fortune the couple once shared.


IS THE $15 MLN DEAL STILL ON THE TABLE?

When Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva split in 2010 Mel offered the Russian songstress and mother of his eighth child, Lucia, a $US15 million settlement.

She didn't take it. Tabloid hell broke out with pictures leaked of an alleged battered Oksana.

We heard tapes of Mel spewing naughty words. Lawyers for both sides went to war, but suddenly in August a deal was brokered giving Oksana just $US750,000 and a house she could live in until Lucia turned 18.


NOT SO SMOOTH CRIMINAL

It seemed Dr Conrad Murray had scored the dream job - get paid $US150,000 a month to look after Michael Jackson in a mansion in LA's best neighbourhood, Holmby Hills.

The gig didn't turn out so well for the doc, who sits alone in a protective custody cell in the LA County Jail serving a four-year sentence for the involuntary manslaughter of the King of Pop.

The court heard Murray was buying the surgical anaesthetic propofol for chronic insomniac Jacko with the regularity of you or me buying milk or bread.

The good news for Murray is California's over-crowded jail system, which releases non-violent inmates early, will likely have him out of the clink within two years.


LILO HITS A NEW LOW

What an average year for Lindsay Lohan. She went to court numerous times (once without wearing a bra) and frustrated a judge so much she was sentenced to 30 days' jail for violating probation in her drink driving, or was it for stealing a necklace ... case? LiLo also worked in a morgue as part of the punishment.

LiLo's acting career is on life support, but there are two silver linings to this sorry tale.

The first, Lindsay only served four hours in jail - enough to check her in and check her out - because of the overcrowded jails.

The second, Hugh Hefner must have watched Lindsay roll up to court sans bra as he agreed to pay her $US1 million to pose naked for Playboy.

KIM KARDASHIAN

Is it worth wasting space about KK, her 72-day marriage or family? No.

BABY BOOM

The easiest way to sum up Hollywood's baby boom is every actor/singer/reality TV show red carpet regular you can name was pregnant in 2011.

The only celeb confirmed not to have conceived a baby is Justin Bieber. No, the little fella did not impregnate a fan backstage at a concert like the fan initially accused him of doing.

For fear of being labelled lazy, here is a list of the pregnant of 2011 ... Victoria Beckham, Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Toni Collette, Jessica Alba, Mariah Carey, Pink, Tina Fey, Jessica Simpson, Penelope Cruz, Christina Applegate, Jennifer Connelly, Mindy McCready, Marion Cotillard, Kourtney Kardashian (oh, how did a Kardashian sneak in here?), Selma Blair, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Beyonce, Tori Spelling, Hilary Duff, James "Dawson's Creek" Van deer Beek's missus, Bruce Willis' supermodel missus, Curtis Stone's missus, Aishwarya Rai, Hugh Grant's missus, Owen Wilson's missus, David Schwimmer's missus, Jane Krakowski, Rachel Zoe, January Jones ... oh enough already.

And Sex and the City's Kristin Davis adopted a baby girl while another Davis, The Help's Viola also adopted a baby.

And, of course, Aussie Hollywood royalty, Nicole Kidman (via gestational carrier), and Miranda Kerr welcomed little ones in late December and January respectively.

David Beckham with daughter Harper
OSCAR DROUGHT?

Australia may have had a record five Oscar wins in 2011, but 2012 may be a barren one.

In the acting categories it looks like we'll be lucky to score a nomination with Joel Edgerton (Warrior), Naomi Watts (J Edgar), Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre), Sam Worthington (The Debt) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) not finding much support.

Aussie producer Emile Sherman, who won the best picture Oscar for A King's Speech, has another movie, Shame, starring Michael Fassbender, getting some buzz, but not best pic buzz.

The best picture favourite is The Artist.

Fassbender, George Clooney (The Descendants) and Jean Dujardin (The Artist) are the best actor favourites while Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Viola Davis (The Help), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) and Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) are the best actress frontrunners.

George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in The Descendants

BOX OFFICE GOLD AND DUD

The number one movie around the globe in 2011 was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 with $US1.3 billion, just ahead of Transformers: Dark of the Moon with $US1.1 billion.

The biggest dud was Mars Needs Moms, a motion capture children's sci-fi film by Disney that cost $US150 million to make and earned just $US39 million worldwide.


WHAT WERE YOU HIGHLIGHTS OF 2011? HAVE YOUR SAY BELOW.

The West Australian

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