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News From the Wild West: Hollywood, Austin and Absarokee, Mont.

Sandra Bullock, 39, and cycling legend Lance Armstrong, 31, are in the midst of something hot and heavy. They have been friends for several years, as they are both from Austin, Tex., but whatever it is they’re going through burst into flames last spring while they were planning a charity bike ride in their hometown. Lance, a five-time Tour de France champion, broke up his five-year marriage last month, and her friends think Sandra really believes Lance could be the one. He has given her a gold bracelet with two charms, a cyclist and a heart, inscribed “You keep my heart racing.” Both are settling their past affairs so that they can be together. Lance and his wife, Kristin, are seeing lawyers about the details of the divorce and Sandra is pulling the plug on the on-again, off-again relationship with Matthew McConaughey, 33. Obviously all of these people are comfortable on the fast track.

This story first appeared in the October 29, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

It’s nice to know that Jane Fonda and Ted Turner have remained the best of friends since their divorce in 2001 and that they meet regularly with their respective children on one of Ted’s four Montana ranches: Snowcrest, Flying D, Red Rock and Bar None, which stretch out — way out — across 300,000 acres. This is where he’s raising bison to make buffalo burgers for his growing chain of restaurants, called Ted’s Montana Grill.

Jane loves home on the range so much that Ted bought her a ranch in Wyoming and, of course, he and Jane still enjoy riding and fly fishing together. Naturally, this leads to some talk about a possible reconciliation, but let’s leave that talk to others. Meanwhile, pass the buffalo burgers, just hold the ketchup.

Tom and Meredith Brokaw also have a ranch in Montana, where he plans to split his time between there and New York City after retiring from anchoring “NBC Nightly News” next year. They love life on the ranch, and Tom laughs that he recently had to shoo a bear and a rattlesnake away from the barn on his way to collect fresh eggs for breakfast. We don’t want to lose you, Tom. Move the chicken coop closer.

Maureen O’Boyle of your TV and mine has been spending a lot of time in Montana with her handsome new beau, William Kriegel, whose 80,000-acre ranch, La Cense Montana, trains quarter horses using the “horse whispering” technique made famous in the Robert Redford movie, “The Horse Whisperer.” The ranch is a sister property of Kriegel’s Haras de la Cense, the noted equestrian center near Versailles, France. Maureen met Kriegel at the hairdresser and they have been inseparable ever since. She has taken time off to raise her four-year-old daughter, Keegan, but is now in serious talks to return to TV full time.

Shakira, the 26-year-old Colombian pop diva, has become the youngest-ever ambassador to UNICEF following in the footsteps of Angelina Jolie, Audrey Hepburn, Roger Moore, Harry Belafonte, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Lange and Mia Farrow. “UNICEF has done tremendous work in my home country and I have seen firsthand the difference,” Shakira says. Well, good for that, muchacha!

Halle Berry is disappointed at the news that due to “creative differences,” MGM is dropping its plans to star her in the film, “Jinx,” based on her Bond-girl character of the same name in “Die Another Day.” Not to worry about Halle’s career, however. She’s in Canada filming “Catwoman” with Sharon Stone; has “The Set-Up,” directed by Sidney Lumet and co-starring Benjamin Bratt and James Gandolfini, in preproduction, and is in the process of doing the voice of “Cappy” with co-stars Ewan McGregor, Mel Brooks and Stanley Tucci in the animated film, “Robots.”

Merely some of Henry Kissinger’s friends and fans filled The Grill Room of the Four Seasons to celebrate his new book, “Crisis.” Nancy K. wasn’t there — she tripped over their dog, Abigail, and broke her leg — but everyone else was. The hosts of the party were Annette and Oscar de la Renta, Barbara Walters and Jayne Wrightsman. In the crowd were Happy Rockefeller, Barbara and Conrad Black, Lynn Nesbit, Shirley and Abe Rosenthal, Grace Dudley, Jamie Niven, Susan Burden and Nan and Tommy Kempner. Also congratulating Henry were Catie and Don Marron, Anna Wintour with Shelby Bryant, the Greek shipping heirs Philippe and Stavros Niarchos, Cecile and Ezra Zilkha, Drue Heinz, Suzanne and Bill McDonough, Veronica Hearst, Casey Ribicoff, Edith and Philippe de Montebello, Judy and Ed Ney, Lynn de Rothschild, Betsy Gotbaum, Freddie Melhado, Gayfryd and Saul Steinberg, Sharon Hoge and every other big shot in town.

On Saturday in Absarokee, Mont. (of course you’ve heard of it, it’s not that far from Billings, friends), Catharine Delano Ryan and Daniel Selznick will marry at the spread of Mary Ellen and Pony Duke, the bride’s half-brother. It will be the third marriage for both.

The bride and groom have interesting bloodlines, to say the least. She is the daughter of the very social Priscilla St. George Ryan and Allan Ryan, the same Priscilla St. George who was first married to Angier Biddle Duke, Pony’s father. Priscilla’s mother was Catharine St. George, one of the first women in Congress, and the family tree boasts such social forebears as the Delano family, which included Franklin D. Roosevelt’s mother, Sara.

As for Danny, he is Hollywood royalty. His father was the famous flamboyant producer, David Selznick, and his mother was the wonderful Irene Mayer Selznick, Louis B. Mayer’s daughter and a dazzling personality in her own right, a Broadway producer and the most sophisticated of women. The couple will live in New York, where both are in the theater. The bride is a playwright and teacher of Shakespeare to children and the groom is the chairman of the board of Ensemble Studio Theatre.

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