Jake Gyllenhaal to take on movie role of 'Broadway Joe' Namath

The Baltimore Sun

Joe Namath was born in Pennsylvania, but he is a New Yorker's dream figure of a top sports star. The Jets former star athlete once wrote a book titled I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow ... 'Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day. The book captures his essential qualities of good-humored ego. He was - and remains - a beloved figure in American pop culture. (Remember those delightful pantyhose commercials?)

Now it seems Paramount Pictures wants to put Joe's colorful - and not always jolly - life onscreen.

Jake Gyllenhaal is first choice to play Joe. If you ever saw Jake as the Marine in Jarhead, you know he can bulk up impressively. He can look like a star quarterback. And, he is a terrific actor.

Wikipedia, always good for certain salient details, says Joe lived a "hedonistic" lifestyle back in his heyday, and there were many "anecdotal" reports of women propositioning him whenever he appeared in public. Really? I knew Joe a little bit. And I'm shocked, shocked at this report about my fellow females.

Rolling out 'Roller Derby'

Hollywood hotshot Dale Olson is an enduring phenomenon in Los Angeles. He has promoted more than 150 film campaigns, from the original Superman to Rocky to the Halloween series. Now he is one of the producers of a coming musical for Broadway titled Roller Derby.

This amazing show will play six performances Sept. 20 to 26 at the West 46th Street Theatre at St. Clements. Other producers, Dale and Eugene Harbin, are behind this book by Barry Arnold with lyrics by Barry and the late John Braden. Everybody seems to have fine theater credentials, such as Tony nominee and Drama Desk winner Harold Dreamgirls Wheeler, who composed the score with Braden. Donald McKayle, another legit name, is to direct and choreograph.

Roller derbies dominated the nation's life from 1935 to 1973. This one will tell of a brash young rookie from New York battling with an aging star. And the producers believe their six days of showing it off in the Big Apple will create a yen for a bite by Hollywood and elsewhere.

How do they put a roller derby on a theatrical stage? Let's wait and see.

Lohan's not a lost cause

We have defended our talented friend Lindsay Lohan in this space over and over. Her troubles - being arrested only days after her latest release from rehab - has the tragic tinge of inevitability. She is going to have to fight this fight about addiction over and over again. (But first, she'll have to admit she has a problem!)

But for Pete's sake, haven't these kids ever heard of hiring a chauffeur, a driver or a precautionary bodyguard? It's driving under the influence that makes alcoholism a crime, not the drink itself.

I for one have not written Lindsay off.

Grace to host charity walk

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation's coming "Strides for Life," a 3-mile walk around Lake Agawam in Southampton, N.Y., boasts the pregnant and happy Nancy Grace as chair and it happens Aug. 26, rain or shine. Laurie C. Carson established this run/walk/slide to fight lung cancer and you can register at lungcancerresearchfoundation.org, or call 212-332-4403. The cost is $35 for adults, $15 for children.

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