Tom Hanks will play a gutsy New York City newspaper columnist when he makes his debut on Broadway in the spring.

Producers of Nora Ephron’s play “Lucky Guy” announced Thursday that Hanks will play Mike McAlary in the stage biography. Hanks, a two-time Oscar winner, had been in negotiations for the role when Ephron died last summer.

Previews begin March 1 at the Broadhurst Theatre and an opening night is set for April 1.

McAlary, the city’s one-time dominant tabloid reporter, got the first interview with Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant who was sodomized and beaten by white police officers at a station house in 1997. McAlary won the Pulitzer Prize the next year, but died of cancer a few months later at age 41.

McAlary, who worked at the New York Daily News and The New York Post, has already been the subject of a play, Dan Klores’ “The Wood,” which opened off-Broadway last year.

He was said to be the inspiration for the character played by Randy Quaid in Ron Howard’s “The Paper.”

Sammi Kane Kraft, whose baseball skills earned her the role of a youth league pitcher in the 2005 remake of “The Bad News Bears,” died in a Los Angeles car crash. She was 20.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Kraft was a passenger in an Audi that rear-ended a big rig and was struck by another car at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The California Highway Patrol said the Audi’s driver was treated for moderate injuries and arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

Kraft was 13 when she was discovered on a baseball diamond and cast in her only film. She played the role originated by Tatum O’Neal in 1976.

Radio talk show host Glenn Beck and his family had a close call when their sport utility vehicle rolled down a hill in New York’s Finger Lakes region just after they had gotten out.

In an account of the mishap posted on Beck’s website,, he said he was hugging his newly married daughter as his wife got their young son out of the vehicle.

They had just arrived at a cottage rented for the daughter’s wedding reception last weekend in Lodi, on Seneca Lake.

Beck said the SUV slid down the hill and overturned, coming to rest near the shoreline.

Wire reports