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Celebs look to snag the swag before Emmys

With the Primetime Emmy Awards on just a couple of days away, Hollywood is swimming with stars. They're beckoned by gift suites and parties around town, while round-the-clock preparations are under way at the Nokia Theatre, where the awards will be presented Sunday.

Nearly a dozen gift suites scattered throughout the city drew celebs in search of free jeans, handbags and other luxury goodies.

Rachel Leigh Cook, “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Maurice Greene and stars from “High School Musical” were among those collecting gifts at Melanie Segal's Celebrity Emmy House in West Hollywood, a multistory private home with views of the storied Sunset Strip. Stars perused blow dryers, blue-tooth headsets, shoes and sunglasses.

Gift suites “are a big deal,” said actress Monique Coleman, who grabbed candles, bath products and a Rock the Vote T-shirt. “They shouldn't be taken for granted.”

Her “High School Musical” co-star Kaycee Stroh called the freebies “a huge blessing,” adding that she was most interested in finding hats and jewelry.

At the Secret Room suite, stars such as Deborah Gibson and Zorianna Kit stocked up on vegan cosmetics and electromagnetic-charged water. Some had eyelash extensions applied. Others indulged in psychic readings and chair massages.

Associated Press

Oprah fans: Read ‘Edgar Sawtelle'

Oprah Winfrey announced Friday that she'd chosen David Wroblewski's “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” as her latest book club pick, calling the debut novel a classic. “I think this book is right up there with the greatest American novels ever written, I really do,” said Winfrey at the end of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Winfrey raved for several minutes about the novel, comparing it to the work of John Steinbeck and even, she said, Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Associated Press

Hepatitis drugs put Cole in hospital

Natalie Cole, who recently revealed she had hepatitis C, has been hospitalized as a result of side effects from her medication and a heavy promotional schedule, her representative said Friday. The singer has been in a New York hospital since Sept. 12 and is expected to remain there for at least a few days, according to publicist Maureen O'Connor. Cole said in July that the disease was revealed during a routine examination and was likely caused by her drug use years ago. Associated Press

O'Brien now out as ‘The Insider'

Already infamous for his voice mails in 2005, Pat O'Brien was fired Friday from “The Insider” for a few inter-office gossip e-mails trashing Lara Spencer, who replaced him as host in June. While describing a brief trip to Iowa, O'Brien was fired for announcing that middle-class folks “want to vomit” watching Spencer, his replacement as the show's host, picking out accessories. Philadelphia Inquirer

Birthdays

Actress-comedian Anne Meara, 79. Actress Sophia Loren, 74. TV news correspondent Deborah Roberts, 48. Actress Kristen Johnston, 41. Rock singers Gunnar Nelson and Matthew Nelson, 41. Rapper Yung Joc, 26.

This day in history Sept. 20

1958: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was seriously wounded during a book signing at a New York department store when a woman, Izola Curry, stabbed him in the chest. (Curry was later found mentally incompetent.)

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