Tattle: TATTLE: Ellen DeGeneres receives Mark Twain comedy award

ELLEN DeGENERES was hailed as a trailblazer Monday night as she received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center, in Washington.

The show will be broadcast Oct. 30 on PBS stations.


When DeGeneres first heard that she was receiving the same honor that Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell won in recent years, she joked, "It really makes me wonder . . . why didn't I get this sooner?"

More than just 'Avatar'

Deep-sea explorer James Cameron has come up from beneath the sea.

The director of "Aliens," "Terminator 2," "Titanic" and "Avatar," has picked up movie rights to The Informationist, a novel by Taylor Stevens, whose main female character has been compared with Lisbeth Salander, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

The Hollywood Reporter says that Cameron's goal is to make "The Informationist" after he finishes the second and third "Avatar" installments.

* In other powerful-director news, the Los Angeles Times reports that Tony Scott ("Top Gun"), who committed suicide by jumping from a bridge in August, was not only not suffering from cancer, but he was healthy, L.A.'s chief coroner, Craig Harvey, said.

The L.A. County coroner's office released its final cause of Scott's death and ruled that he died of multiple blunt-force injuries. Scott also had therapeutic levels of the sleep aid Lunestra and the antidepressant Mirtazipine, also known as Remeron, in his system, according to toxicology tests.

One of the horrible side effects of antidepressants is that they can make takers suicidal, so be careful, people.


Carol Burnett is being

honored by her alma mater, Hollywood High School.

Hollywood High's Performing Arts Center announced Tuesday that it is naming an annual award after Burnett and that she will be its first recipient.

She will receive the Carol Burnett Honor of Distinction Award on Jan. 10 at the El Capitan Theater, on Hollywood Boulevard, just around the corner from the high school she graduated from in 1951.

Other famous alumni of the Sunset Boulevard campus include Judy Garland, Rudolph Valentino, Cher, Laurence Fishburne, John Ritter and Mickey Rooney.

* Opera star Montserrat Caballe

has been hospitalized in Barcelona after suffering a minor stroke while visiting Russia recently.

A Sant Pau hospital spokesman said Tuesday that the soprano has been in intensive care since arriving from Russia on Saturday. He said that she was responding favorably to treatment and has not lost consciousness or suffered paralysis.

But the official said that Caballe, 79, had fallen during the stroke and broken an arm.

"Barcelona," Caballe's CD with

Freddie Mercury, was re-released in a special 25th-anniversary edition this year.

* The Walt Disney Co. is

defending its newest princess

following a backlash over her Hispanic-influenced ethnicity.

A new character named Sofia will star in the TV movie "Sofia the First: Once Upon a Princess" airing Nov. 18 on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Hispanic advocacy groups have questioned whether the fair-skinned, blue-eyed young princess is an accurate representation of the Hispanic population, and wondered why Disney isn't doing more to promote its first princess with Hispanic-inspired roots.

"They seem to be backpedaling," said Lisa Navarrete, spokeswoman for the National Council of La Raza. "They've done such a good job in the past when they've introduced Native American, African-American and Asian princesses. They made a big deal out of it, and there was a lot of fanfare, but now they're sort of scrambling. It's unusual because Disney has been very good about Latino diversity."

Craig Gerber, co-executive producer of "Sofia the First," clarified in a Facebook post on Friday that Sofia is "a mixed-heritage princess in a fairytale world," who was born and raised in Enchancia.

Tattle wants to find out if there are any affordable apartments in Enchancia.

Kimberly Townley-Smith, a

lawyer who represented a folk group that tried to stop a Harry Potter movie from being shown in Canada, has been disbarred.

Townley-Smith's license was revoked by the Law Society of Upper Canada on Tuesday for making unfounded allegations of bias and corruption against judges and others stemming from the Potter case.

A disciplinary panel found her guilty of professional misconduct.

In 2005, Townley-Smith represented the Canadian folk group The Wyrd Sisters, which sued Warner Bros. for $40 million.

The suit claimed that a scene in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" showed a fictional rock band that infringed on the group's trademark.

Townley-Smith lost the case, setting off years of appeals in which she accused nine judges and more than a dozen lawyers of conspiring against her.

Us Weekly reports that after a

couple of months of dating, Eva Longoria and Mark Sanchez have split.

"Mark adores and respects Eva," Sanchez's rep told Us. "It really was about scheduling more than anything else. They will remain close friends."

On Sunday, Sanchez's schedule included a loss to the New

England Patriots.

In other news, the New York Jets quarterback split with his wide receivers a few weeks ago.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com.