People: Lisa Whelchel, Karl Rove, Tom Cruise, Marion Cotillard, Edward Furlong, Maurice Sendak

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Prepare to see more of Lisa Whelchel.

Almost 25 years after "The Facts of Life" went off the air, Whelchel, 49, has joined the cast of "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas," People reports.

But instead of playing a spoiled prep school student, she'll be someone in charge. "I play the role of Nancy Porter, the country school principal," Whelchel said. "I'm having fun!"

Since "The Facts of Life" ended, Whelchel has put her career on hold to raise her three children, acting in just two TV movies. (Her last role was a "Facts of Life" reunion in 2001.)

She returned to the spotlight last fall as a contestant on "Survivor: Philippines." At the time, she told People that she was exploring new opportunities after her stint on reality TV. "I'd host," she said. "I'd do a sitcom. Really, I've got a lot of opportunities."

After placing second on "Survivor" -- and winning an extra $100,000 as fan favorite -- Whelchel signed with Hollywood agency David Shapira and Associates. Her audition for "Madea" was her first in 33 years; three hours after reading for the part, she was offered the role.

Whelchel said that she loves working on the film, which started production in Atlanta this week. "Tyler Perry is such a brilliant man," she says. "He's a nice guy and so funny when he gets in his Madea garb."

Fox News, the most-watched cable news channel, said it re-signed former presidential adviser Karl Rove to serve as a contributor through the 2016 presidential election, Bloomberg News reports.

The former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to President George W. Bush will provide analysis on Fox News and Fox Business, Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp.'s Fox News Channel, said Thursday in a statement.

"Karl's detailed knowledge of state and national politics, as well as fundraising and strategy, makes him an important player in our ongoing political coverage, and we look forward to him continuing his analysis across all platforms for Fox News and Fox Business," Ailes said.

Rove, 62, was acting as a commentator for Fox News on election night in November when the network's staffers correctly called Ohio for President Barack Obama. Rove questioned their call on the air, saying he didn't believe it. He argued with the newscasters while seeking information from the Romney campaign and Ohio's secretary of state.

Tom Cruise found a few good men outside his home Thursday -- but for all the wrong reasons, E! News reports.

The actor's Beverly Hills, Calif., house was swarmed by police after they received a call reporting an armed robbery in progress at his home.

However, the call, received at approximately 11:51 a.m., turned out to be bogus, as cops found nothing amiss on the "Jack Reacher" star's property. "It was determined the residence belonged to actor Tom Cruise, and no emergency was discovered. Neither Mr. Cruise nor his family were home when the emergency was reported. Beverly Hills Police Department Detectives will be investigating the incident as a crime due to the false report," the Beverly Hills Police Department said in a statement.

The incident makes Cruise yet the latest victim of celebrity swatting, in which pranksters target stars by calling police to report major crimes that warrant massive personnel response.

In October, L.A. cops stormed the home of Ashton Kutcher after being alerted to an alleged shooting there, only to learn that they'd been punk'd.

Then, a week later police responded to a call notifying them of a supposed incident at Justin Bieber's house and discovered that was a hoax.

Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard has been named the 2013 Harvard University Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Woman of the Year, The Associated Press reports.

The 37-year-old French actress, who won the 2007 best actress Oscar for her role in "La Vie En Rose," will be honored with a parade and roast, and given her ceremonial pudding pot, at Harvard on Jan. 31.

Cotillard has appeared more recently in "Inception," "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Rust and Bone."

Claire Danes was the woman of the year last year.

The man of the year will be announced at a later date and honored on Feb. 8.

Hasty Pudding Theatricals is the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe. The awards are presented annually to performers who have made a lasting and impressive contribution to entertainment.

Edward Furlong's latest movie role has been terminated.

The 35-year-old "Terminator 2" star was fired from "Other Plans" following his alleged assault bust on Sunday.

Joe Eckardt of Rock On! Films told E! News in a statement: "I feel very bad for Eddie, he needs help right now to get him through this time of his life, and we wish him well, but our production has suffered way too long waiting for him to be clear of all his legal issues. It's time to move on now and make our film without him."

Furlong was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor battery and booked on $50,000 bail. As of Wednesday afternoon, a source told E! News the actor was still in custody and his family was working on raising the bail money.

The actor was arrested back in October on suspicion of domestic violence for an alleged incident at LAX, and then accused again of getting rough with his girlfriend in November.

In November, at the request of his ex-wife, Rachael Kneeland, a judge ordered that Furlong only be allowed supervised visits with his 6-year-old son, Ethan.

A collection of works by the late children's author Maurice Sendak is coming to a New York City auction, the AP reports.

Swann Auction Galleries says many of the works at the Jan. 24 sale are signed.

Sendak died May 8, 2012, at age 83.

Among the highlights is a first edition of "Where the Wild Things Are." The inscription includes a drawing. The work has a pre-sale estimate of $7,000 to $15,000.

The seller is the late Reed Orenstein, a longtime Sendak collector and bookseller.

He gave Sendak an early copy of one of the author's own books that he didn't possess himself.

In gratitude, Sendak often gave Orenstein inscribed copies of his books.

The auction also will have works by Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter and others.



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