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Prime Time: Keeping up with Hollywood

The Academy Awards are coming up on Feb. 26, and attention must be paid. (That's a line from Death of a Salesman. But I digress. We do that as we age.)

My picks for Best Actress are either Meryl (as in Streep) or Glenn (as in Close). For Best Actor in a Supporting Role, I choose either Christopher Plummer or Max vonSydow. I haven't seen Meryl, Glenn or Christopher's movies. I don't think they've made it to Bemidji yet. I can report that Max was memorable in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."

While the folks who really pick winners spend hours in the dark reviewing films and actors, my choices are far made on a far simpler basis: Age, my dear, age.

Streep is 62, Close is 64, vonSydow is 82 and Plummer is 83. While Maggie Smith, currently starring in "Downton Abbey" on PBS, is 78, it seems that most women vanish from major films well before men do. And even as he retreats to his villa on the Pacific, a guy takes some chick at least 25 years younger than he is into his lavish retirement life. I will remind you that Demi Moore (age 50) recently split from Ashton Kucher (age 25), which again demonstrates the point I'm making here. Older woman, younger man? It just doesn't happen.

Which is not what I started out to write about. My mission today is to bring you up to date on the latest Hollywood buzz. Just because we're the age of Sally Field (65) or older, that doesn't mean that we must devote ourselves to the slow fade. Instead, here's a brief quiz that will bring you up to date on celebrities. We surely do not envy their lives. Imagine the challenge that Jane Fonda (age 74) faces keeping it all together. I wonder if Jane could answer these questions. She lives out there, and probably goes to parties with these folks. If they invite her, that is. She's an older woman. The following are based on documented facts, based on research from magazines I bought at Walgreen's. Plus Google. Okay, here goes:

1. Which actress recently directed her first film, "In the Land of Blood and Honey" and is now pregnant, 98 pounds, and headed for rehab?

2. What is Brad Pitt's greatest fear for Shiloh, his 6-year old daughter?

3. Who is Angelina Jolie's father? Who is Gwyneth Paltrow's mother? Who is Angelia Jolie? Who is Gwyneth Paltrow?

4. Who is Angelina Jolie's husband?

5. What Academy Award-nominated picture did Angelina Jolie's husband both star in and co-produce?

Well, that about sums it up. All you really need to know is that Angelina Jolie is famous, Brad Pitt is her husband and I did see him in "Moneyball" (very good movie), and that Blythe Danner (69) is Gwyneth's mom. Shiloh, one of Angelia and Brad's many children, insists in dressing in jeans and flannel shirts, and that concerns Brad. Angelina's dad is Jon Voight (73).

Stay tuned. Next month, the latest on Will and Kate, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Johnny Depp's new $10.8 million estate in England. Oh. You don't want to know? I guess it'll be back to the winter adventures of Sunshine the Big Black Dog. See ya.