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LA.COMFIDENTIAL > CELEBS SEPARATION ANXIETY.

Larry David, co-creator of "Seinfeld" and creator and star of HBO's comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm," transformed his recent separation from his environmental activist wife, Laurie (one of the producers of the Oscar-winning Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth"), into comedy during his TV critics press tour press conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

When one journalist asked his net worth, David replied, "My worth has just been cut in half, so it's not that much anymore."

After another reporter queried whether David might incorporate his divorce into future episodes, the comic turned to Cheryl Hines, who plays his wife on the series, and mock-opined, "Oh, too bad you're going to be off the show in the seventh season!"

Mainly, though, David used his press conference to insult the attending journalists. When one reporter tried to posit a follow-up query, David cut him off: "Why do you get two (questions)? (Expletive) this guy. There's a lot of people here. Shut up. That's enough from you."

Another critic asked David why he was so willing to depict himself as "such a schmuck," to which he replied, "I'm portraying you, schmuck-o." He concluded a response to another inquiry with, "Does that answer your stupid question?"

He was kidding. We think.

>David Kronke

Hoping for a bigger 'Potter' part

Kenneth Branagh, who played the hilariously eccentric and self-important Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," is, like much of the rest of the world, anxious to discover Harry's fate in the final book of J.K. Rowling's series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," due in bookstores July 21.

"I almost feel like going to the midnight queue for the book," Branagh said. "I'll try and get it and read it before someone tells me (what happens to Harry). Of course, what I hope for is that somehow Gilderoy Lockhart appears massively in the last one in a critical manner and saves the day." Deadpan, he adds, "I don't think it's going to happen."

>D.K.

Carol Burnett, ace reporter?

"I feel sorry for anyone starting out right now who would want to do what we did," opined Carol Burnett, 74, whose long-running CBS variety show has helped vault her to becoming the subject of an upcoming PBS "American Masters" portrait in November.

"I miss good comedies," added Burnett, who was in a nostalgic mood during her press conference Wednesday at the TV critics press tour. "I do miss variety -- singing, dancing, comedy, guest stars. But it's really (up to) the suits -- they run (the business)."

Burnett, who said she wanted to be a journalist and a cartoonist when she was a child, got her biggest laugh during her session when she hypothesized, "I think I would have been happy if I had gotten a job at a newspaper." Those laughing, of course, were reporters.

The veteran actress also defended one of the troubled younger generation. "I think Lindsay Lohan is a big talent," said Burnett when asked which celebrities she admires. Lohan, who turned 21 on July 2, checked into rehab in Malibu in May, after she was charged with driving under the influence following a car crash. "She has a lot to offer, and I ... am praying for her, that she'll be OK."

>D.K.

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Title Annotation:LA.COM
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 16, 2007
Words:556
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