A new image for Dr. Watson

Poor Dr. Watson. Always the sidekick, never the star.

Jude Law hopes to rectify that situation with his charismatic performance alongside Robert Downey Jr. in "Sherlock Holmes," making the detective's right-hand-man a handsome action hero in his own right. He's just not that comfortable with his new nickname: "Hotson."

"Mostly I was only hot because I was wearing those thick tweed suits, massive overcoats and hat and gloves," Law said, deflecting the accolade. "I was always the one perspiring on set."

Law stresses that the film's version of Watson — a dapper army veteran with an eye for the ladies — is firmly based on the 19th-century stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Director Guy Ritchie wanted to give the tales a 21st-century spin while staying close to the original material.

"There's a reference in one of the books to Watson being very popular with women," Law said. "So that fits."

Sarandon, Robbins call it quits

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins have broken up.

Publicist Teal Cannady said in a statement that the two actors separated over the summer after 23 years together. She did not elaborate.

Sarandon, 63, and Robbins, 51, met while shooting the 1988 film "Bull Durham." He played a hotshot pitcher, she was the passionate fan who simultaneously seduced him and prepared him for the big leagues.

One of Hollywood's most enduring couples, Sarandon and Robbins never married. They have two sons together.

Feliciano gets an apology

Grammy winner Jose Feliciano has gotten an apology after accusing a pair of radio producers of trashing the spirit of Christmas by using his popular holiday song, "Feliz Navidad," for a racist musical spoof about undocumented immigrants.

Feliciano released a statement Wednesday saying that he was "revolted beyond words" and that the song was never meant to be "a vehicle for a political platform of racism and hate."

"When I wrote and composed 'Feliz Navidad,' I chose to sing in both English and Spanish in order to create a bridge between two wonderful cultures during the time of year in which we hope for goodwill toward all," the Puerto Rico-born singer said.

The parody, titled "The Illegal Alien Christmas Song," was created by radio producers and writers Matt Fox and A.J. Rice and was posted in mid-December on the Web site for Human Events, a Washington-based conservative weekly publication founded in 1944.

Web site editor Jed Babbin apologized Wednesday and said the song would be removed from the site.

Another year older

Today's birthdays: singer Tony Martin , 96... actor Dick Miller , 81... actor Gary Sandy ("WKRP in Cincinnati"), 64... singer Jimmy Buffett , 63... pro and college football Hall-of-Famer Larry Csonka , 63... country singer Barbara Mandrell , 61... actress Sissy Spacek , 60... former White House adviser Karl Rove , 59... actress CCH Pounder , 57... singer Annie Lennox , 55... reggae singer-musician Robin Campbell (UB40), 55... country singer Steve Wariner , 55... baseball Hall-of-Famer Rickey Henderson , 51... rock musician Noel Hogan (The Cranberries), 38... rock singer Mac Powell (Third Day), 37... R&B singer Ryan Shaw , 29... country singer Alecia Elliott , 27.