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Bill Zwecker

Barkin enjoys double windfall with 'Ocean's' role

March 28, 2006


Ellen Barkin not only just landed a huge divorce settlement with Revlon boss Ron Perelman (estimated as high as $60 million), the actress also has leapfrogged over Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones -- snaring the female lead in ''Ocean's Thirteen,'' the third installment of the popular film franchise.

Just for the record: The producers insist Roberts and Zeta-Jones' characters were just not in the new script. Even so, it's a coup for Barkin, whose acting talents have been mostly hidden during her five-year marriage to the cosmetics mogul. Don't know much about the plot, except Daily Variety reports Barkin's character and Matt Damon's get ''closely involved.''

Along with Damon, back for the new ''Ocean's'' will be George Clooney and Brad Pitt (having worked out some tricky filming schedules), Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Carl Reiner and Elliott Gould.

Filming starts July 21, with ''Ocean's Thirteen'' planned for a summer 2007 release.

DEC'S DESTINY: It was quite a weekend for Our Town's entertainment and night life guru Billy Dec. The Rockit Bar and Le Passage mainstay just learned he got into the special MBA program for entrepreneurs at Harvard Business School -- and spent the weekend celebrating with good pal (''We're just friends -- nothing else''), Chicago native Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child. The duo partied hearty at the big Grammys fete at the Sofitel, later at Le Passage -- plus caught the Saturday night performance of ''Sita Ram'' at Lookingglass.

*Today, Williams is out in L.A. with her Destiny's Child soulmates Beyonce Knowles and Kelly Rowland -- getting their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

PIN THIS PINUP! WWE wrestling diva Candice Michelle will be on hand from 6 to 8 tonight at Virgin Megastore, 540 N. Michigan, autographing copies of the April issue of Playboy -- which features Michelle in a 10-page nude pictorial. Among other things, Michelle is also known for her commercials, parodying Janet Jackson's ''wardrobe malfunction'' at the 2004 Super Bowl.

PARTY TIME: Michael Jordan's well-known love of partying in Las Vegas was evident again this weekend, with the Bulls legend spied working his way through the hot Sin City eatery Stack and nightspot Jet, before ending his weekend at the Bellagio Hotel -- hitting up the hotel's Caramel and Light with a few buddies.

JUDY, JUDY, JUDY: Some of Our Town's top cabaret stars are teaming up to bring back the ''Judy at Carnegie: Celebration of a Legend'' show. The four-performance tribute to the legendary Judy Garland at the Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway, runs April 20-23 -- corresponding with the 45th anniversary of the release of Garland's ''Judy at Carnegie'' concert album of her landmark performance at New York's Carnegie Hall in April 1961.

Among those on the bill, organized by award-winning singer Daryl Nitz, are Amy Armstrong, Elizabeth Doyle, Margie Gibson, Ester Hana, KT McCammond, Colleen McHugh, Stephen Rader, Spider Saloff and Mekole Wells. George Howe serves as musical director of the show. For tickets, call (773) 472-3492.

Bill Zwecker is seen at 6:20 and 11:25 a.m. weekdays on WBBM-Channel 2.


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