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J-Lo, Ben and the Legacy They Leave

Bennifer's Legacy Woody's New One Bing Crosby End of 'Days'

J-Lo and Ben, the Legacy They Leave

Well, no one's surprised that it's over. The romance of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez was maybe the least popular pairing of celebrities in history.

Was anyone in favor of it? Affleck's mother and friends objected to it. Lopez's longtime manager was forced to endure a painful separation from his friend and client because of it. Affleck prostituted himself in Lopez's music video. Lopez had to read about Affleck's extra-curricular adventures in the tabloids.

To paraphrase Martha Stewart in reverse, it was not a good thing.

"Bennifer," as they were known, leave a couple of ironies in their wake. Affleck's younger brother, Casey, will soon marry before Ben. He's engaged to Summer Phoenix, the sister of actor Joaquin. They're expecting their first child.

Meanwhile, Affleck's best friend, Matt Damon, has found an even hotter Latina girlfriend, Eva Mendes, who's also a much better actress than Lopez. Ouch!

There are other legacies as well. Lopez made two movies at Miramax, Affleck's "home base," during the relationship. One of them, Lasse Hallström's "An Unfinished Life," could be her ticket to respect.

But Lopez and Affleck will also be remembered for all time for their hilariously bad movie, "Gigli," which featured Lopez on her back, spreading her legs and uttering the immortal line, "Gobble, gobble."

J-Lo and Ben will almost certainly blame overheated media attention for their break up, and they'll be right to some extent. US Weekly and The Star tabloid literally built whole careers and circulations on the ill-fated romance.

But the couple courted the attention, too. As much as they said they hated the limelight, Affleck and Lopez were drawn to it, and ultimately it did them in.

Now all eyes will be on Hollywood this weekend, where Lopez's former manager and recently revived advisor Benny Medina — the man who shaped her career — is throwing a Golden Globes party. Will Jen show up? Will she be wearing black? Will Ben head back to Vegas and the gaming tables? And what of Usama bin Laden? Wait! Who? Oh, sorry.

Woody Allen's New One: 'Melinda and Melinda'

You'd think everyone left Sundance this morning and flew directly into the bar at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills tonight as the stars showed up for the pre-Golden Globe preparations.

Eating in the dining room last night were, separately, Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall and John Cleese.

Meanwhile, Marla Maples (formerly Trump) appeared in the bar area with friends such as TV producer Russ Kagan. She told me she's been watching ex-husband Donald's NBC show "The Apprentice" avidly.

By the way, Marla — who lives in L.A. — looks sensational. She recently turned 40, believe it or not. And her daughter with Trump, little Tiffany, is now 10.

There were stars everywhere yesterday. "Roseanne" TV sister Laurie Metcalf was patrolling the Delta terminal at Los Angeles International Airport mid-day, while "M*A*S*H." star Sally Kellerman, the original Hot Lips O'Houlihan, came flying from Park City after spending a night at Sundance showing off her latest film.

The eternally young Kellerman, she of the sexy, husky voice, told me she got no sleep at all the night before — explaining her sunglasses and coffee.

"The producers of the film had a party in the condo where we were staying, and they didn't go to bed until 4 or 5 am," she said.

Kellerman is still married to former John Travolta manager/ producer Jonathan Krane after 25 years. They have 14-year-old twins.

In town, "All in the Family" veteran TV star Sally Struthers — who makes a nice cameo in Mario Van Peebles' "Gettin' the Man's Foot Outta Your Baadasssss!" — brought her little brown dog, named Bob, to watch her get her hair done at the Bel Age Hotel.

Painfully stupid Paris Hilton pal Nicole Richie, fresh from her infamy on "The Simple Life," dined downstairs at Mr. Chow's in Beverly Hills, while Kiss rocker Gene Simmons was a guest in the private dining room alongside a hugely plastic-breasted woman.

Yes, we're in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, I did learn that superb Australian actress Radha Mitchell is the double star of Woody Allen's new movie, "Melinda and Melinda." The film does not feature Allen — thank goodness — and is not necessarily a comedy. (Well, neither were his last three films.)

An observer from the set told me, "Woody seems very old and frail on the set. Even more so than in his recent movies."

Allen has been on a long down cycle. His last picture, "Anything Else," and the previous one, "Hollywood Ending," were not exactly laugh-packed or box-office successes. Let's hope "Melinda," which also stars Will Ferrell, puts him back on track.

Bing Crosby's Last 'Original' Son Dies

I have to comment on the death of Phillip Crosby, 69, the last living child from famed crooner Bing Crosby's first marriage.

Crosby and singer Dixie Lee had four sons. Two of them committed suicide. Gary Crosby, who wrote a book in which he claimed his father abused all of the children from his first marriage, died of lung cancer several years ago. Now they are all gone.

One reason I bring this up is that over the Christmas holiday Larry King had Crosby's "second" family on to promote some new book designed to prop up the Bingster's reputation. Not a mention was made of the first family, or any of the accusations against the singer, during the hour-long plug.

It was as if the whole thing had never happened. To make matters worse, King didn't even seem to notice that Kathryn Crosby, Bing's widow, has had Jocelyne Wildenstein-like cosmetic surgery.

Is King a journalist? Uh, no. Whatever he is, he certainly did a disservice to adult children who've suffered abuse by simply re-writing Crosby family history. "White Christmas" for the Crosby boys was, according to them, a myth. Now the last of them is gone. May they all rest in peace.

'Days of Our Lives' Heads for the Exit

Is NBC's "Days of Our Lives" wrapping up its run? I told you that executive producer Ken Corday — son of the show's beloved late creators Ted and Betty Corday — had recently fired three longtime cast members and set a serial killer loose in the fictional town of Salem to do his dirty work.

Now the word from the show is that John Clarke, who's played key character Mickey Horton since day 1 some 38 years ago, has quit over show's downward direction. Clarke is said to be upset over the firing of actress Suzanne Rogers, who played his wife for most of the run.

Also rumored is that Corday is about to kill off the show's beloved matriarch, played by Frances Reid, who's also been on since the show's inception in 1965. Reid turned 90 last month, and — like the "General Hospital" nonagenarian Anna Lee — is about to join the unemployment line thanks to Corday's bizarre decisions.