Entertainment briefs – March 8

Comic actress Mary Walsh is battling a severe respiratory infection in hospital. Walsh’s agent Michael Oscars says the 22 Minutes star is being treated in St. John’s, N.L., where she was admitted to hospital over the weekend.

Comic actress Walsh sidelined by respiratory infection

TORONTO — Comic actress Mary Walsh is battling a severe respiratory infection in hospital.

Walsh’s agent Michael Oscars says the 22 Minutes star is being treated in St. John’s, N.L., where she was admitted to hospital over the weekend.

Oscars says Walsh is “eager to recover quickly.”

The illness forced Walsh to cancel the start of a one-woman show in Toronto.

A publicist for Theatre Passe Muraille says “Dancing with Rage” has been postponed indefinitely and that tickets are no longer available.

The show had been slated to begin preview performances Tuesday, the same day Walsh was named a recipient of a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

Downton is too downhearted for star

Dan Stevens wants to make ’em laugh.

The Downton Abbey star has had a double-dose of drama this month. The British actor, who plays Matthew Crawley, has been shooting the third series of the Golden Globe-winning country house TV series set in 1920 — and another period piece at the same time.

Stevens is starring alongside Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning, “Summer in February,” Christopher Menaul’s film about a love triangle set in an Edwardian artistic community.

Shooting on the movie wrapped in London on Wednesday. And neither project has been lighthearted fare. It’s left Stevens craving some comedy.

He said he would “like to do something modern and possibly funny,” adding that he hasn’t had “many laughs for a while so that would be nice.”

Andrea Martin pulls out as host of Genie broadcast

TORONTO — Andrea Martin has dropped out of the Genie Awards.

The SCTV comic had been slated to host Canada’s film awards tomorrow night.

CBC says the actress had to pull out of the broadcast due to a prior commitment that had been rescheduled against the awards bash.

The network says co-host and CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos will helm the Genie ceremony on his own, but that Martin will still appear on the show through pre-taped segments.

Cafe de Flore, A Dangerous Method and Monsieur Lazhar lead the nominees.

The Genie Awards air on CBC-TV.