Tyler Perry

announced yesterday that his mother, 64, has died.

"In Loving Memory. Willie Maxine Perry. February 12, 1945 to December 8, 2009," Tyler writes on his Web site ( "Thank you for all your prayers."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

Tyler, 40, has said his mother and his aunt were the inspiration behind his most famous character, Madea, who first appeared in his 1999 play I Can Do Bad All by Myself. Madea, whose religious sentiments are more than matched by her foul mouth and her fierce gunplay, was portrayed by Tyler in a series of hit films including Madea's Family Reunion and Madea Goes to Jail, which this year grossed $90.5 mil. In an '06 chat with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tyler said: "My mother is the wisdom of Madea, but my aunt Mayola, that's her wig, that's her voice, that's her gun in the purse."

'Brüno' angers nonterrorist

Don't know about you, but most people generally don't like to be labeled a terrorist.

Just ask Ayman Abu Aita, a Palestinian shopkeeper who is suing Sacha Baron Cohen for portraying him as a terrorist in Cohen's satirical film Brüno. In the film, Cohen's alter-ego, Brüno, has an on-camera chat with Abu Aita, who is labeled as a member of the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.

Filed in District of Columbia federal court, the $110 mil suit charges Cohen with libel and slander. It also names David Letterman, on whose show Cohen identified the shopkeeper as a terrorist.

A rep for the film's distributor, Universal Studios, declined to comment, as did Letterman's rep.

Former gf sues Nicolas Cage

In other lawsuit news,

Nicolas Cage

's former gf

Christina Fulton

, who is also the mother of Nic's adult son,


, is suing the actor and his former business manager,

Samuel J. Levin

, for $13 mil she says she is owed. Fulton claims that Nic promised to give her a house in Lalaland, but that she has recently been ordered to vacate the property. Cage attorney

Marty Singer

says the suit is absurd and Nic has been more than generous with Fulton.

Nic recently filed a $20 mil suit against Levin for allegedly mismanaging his money.

The Boss backs gay-marriage vote

New Jersey-born star

Bruce Springsteen

said yesterday that he wants lawmakers in the state to pass a measure legalizing gay marriage.

"I've long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same-sex couples," the Boss says on his Web site.

The State Senate was due to vote on the controversial legislation today. But its two main backers, Sens. Ray Lesniak (D., Union) and Loretta Weinberg (D., Bergen), announced yesterday that the vote would be delayed.

It's (kinda) official: George to 'GMA'

Could anyone fill

Diane Sawyer

's pumps after the veteran news reporter leaves ABC's

Good Morning America


George Stephanopoulos


After weeks of speculation, rumors, and idle gossip, Reuters reports that ABC will announce today that George, 48, will take over as GMA coanchor. A network rep says George, who formerly dispensed advice in President Bill Clinton's White House, will keep his Sunday show, This Week. He will reportedly begin his new gig on Monday.

Freeman's real-life inspiration

Morgan Freeman

was chosen to portray the great civil rights leader

Nelson Mandela

in the new drama


by no less a Nelson Mandela expert than - Mandela himself.

The 72-year-old Oscar-winning thesp did have one condition. "I said to [Mandela], 'If I'm going to play you, I'm going to have to have access to you. I'm going to have to be close enough to hold your hand,' " Freeman recently said to reporters. He meant it literally.

"I find that if I hold your hand,' he told Mandela, "I get your energy, it transfers, and I have a sense of how you feel. That's important to me trying to become another person."

Invictus, which was directed by Clint Eastwood and costars Matt Damon, tells the real-life story of Mandela's bid to bring the 1995 Rugby World Cup Championship to South Africa. It opens tomorrow.

Report: Even kids love Madonna


Fever has hit (infected?) kids as young as 4. The 51-year-old perma-ingenue tells British TV show


that her 4-year-old son


digs her grooves.

"He knows every song, every word, every step, and he wants to wear all the costumes," Madge says. "He likes my dress that I wear in 'La Isla [Bonita]." That'd be the 1987 Spanish lullaby the Material Mom often sings in a red flamenco dress.

Madge's work is a family affair: Daughter and would-be actress Lourdes Leon, 13, is featured in the video for "Celebration," and 9-year-old son Rocco popped on stage to dance at a recent concert - to Madonna's surprise. "He's always been quite shy, so I was shocked when he wanted to be in the show," she says.

Scotswoman Susan rules charts

Speaking of fevers musical,

Susan Boyle

's debut album,

I Dreamed a Dream

, continues to rule Billboard's album charts two weeks after its release. According to Nielsen SoundScan,


sold 527,000 copies during the week ended Dec. 6. Its brisk sales have already made it the 10th-biggest-selling album of the year, with total sales of 1.23 mil units.

In other charts news, Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas sold 428,000 copies this week to hold on to No. 2 for a fourth week. Taylor Swift's Fearless jumped five rungs to No. 3 with 127,000 units, while R. Kelly's Untitled debuted at No. 4 with 114,000. Lady Gaga's Fame rounds out the top five with 84,000.

A first child for Gisele

A thousand blessings on

Gisele Caroline Bündchen

and her husband, NFL quarterback

Tom Brady

, who on Tuesday welcomed a yet-to-be-named baby boy. It was "the most wonderful experience in my life," Brady said.

This is Gisele's first child. Brady has a 2-year-old son with Bridget Moynahan.