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Eric Roberts, last seen taunting Sam Shepard in TNT’s high-rated western “Purgatory,” has joined the cast of Signal Hills Pictures’ “Mercy Streets.” The pic, which starts shooting this month, is slated for a fall release through Providence Entertainment.

Roberts is repped by Innovative’s Adena Chawke.

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Actress Vanessa Williams (“New Jack City”) — not to be confused with fellow thesp and former Miss America Vanessa L. Williams — will star in the upcoming Showtime series “Soul Food.” Ironically, the new series is based on the 1997 Fox feature “Soul Food” that starred Vanessa L. Williams. Showtime has committed to air 13 episodes.

Williams is repped by Metropolitan Talent Agency’s Tony Chargin, and managed by Andre Wiseman of A. Wiseman Entertainment.

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Chris William Martin, one of the stars of the Canadian series “Madison III,” has landed a recurring role on the WB’s “Felicity.” Martin is repped by Metropolitan Talent Agency.

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Thesp Billy Wirth (“Relax…It’s Just Sex”) will make his feature directorial debut with the indie drama “MacArthur Park,” starring Lori Petty (“Tank Girl”) and Julie Delpy (“The Passion of Ayn Rand”). Wirth is repped by Michael Slessinger & Assoc. and managed by Erik Kritzer.

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Regina Hall (“The Best Man”) will co-star with Wesley Snipes in the HBO telefilm “Disappearing Acts,” an adaptation of the Terry McMillan (“Waiting To Exhale”) novel. Hall is repped by Meridian.

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