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People talk 4/17/03

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Bob Hope named 'Citizen of the Century'

LOS ANGELES -- Bob Hope, whose 100th birthday is next month, was too frail to attend the rededication of one of his stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But comedian Dennis Miller said Hope probably wouldn't have come anyway. "I know if he was up-and-about he would have made a beeline for Iraq to entertain our brave men and women over there," said Miller, one of several celebrities at the gathering Tuesday.

At the event, an embedded plaque describing Hope as "citizen of the century" was unveiled on the star. Others in attendance included Hope friends Phyllis Diller, Eva Marie Saint and Cindy Williams, and his daughter, Linda Hope.

Hope and his wife, Dolores, spend their days mainly at his suburban golf estate just across the Los Angeles River behind Universal Studios. He stopped making public appearances about two years ago.

Singer Etheridge plans to tie the knot this year

LOS ANGELES -- Rocker Melissa Etheridge plans to tie the knot at the end of this year with her companion of two years, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels.

"This is the first wedding for both of them," Etheridge's publicist, Marcel Pariseau, said Tuesday. He declined to reveal plans for the ceremony except to say it would take place in Los Angeles.

Etheridge, 41, has been dating Michaels, 28, for about two years, Pariseau said.

Ryan, Soderbergh to jury Cannes Film Festival

PARIS -- Meg Ryan and Steven Soderbergh will sit on the nine-member jury awarding the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival next month, organizers announced Wednesday.

Ryan, the star of romantic comedies including "When Harry Met Sally ..." and "Sleepless in Seattle," and Soderbergh, director of "Erin Brockovich" and "Ocean's Eleven" who won an Oscar for "Traffic," will take part in the jury headed by French director Patrice Chereau.

Aishwarya Rai will become the first Indian actress on the Cannes jury. Along with Rai, a former Miss World, the jury features veteran French actor Jean Rochefort, actress Karin Viard and writer Erri De Luca of Italy.-- From wire reports

Also judging this year's festival, which runs May 14-25, is Bosnia's Danis Tanovic, who directed "No Man's Land," and China's Jiang Wen, director of "Missing Gun." Chereau, the jury president, is best known for his historical drama "La Reine Margot."

Cannes president Gilles Jacob is scheduled to announce this year's official film selection on April 23. The jury will award the prestigious Palme d'Or at the May 25 closing ceremony.

The futuristic sci-fi sequel "The Matrix: Reloaded" already is scheduled to premiere at Cannes. The second film in the thriller trilogy, "Reloaded" will screen out of competition on May 15, the same day it opens in theaters.

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LOS ANGELES -- Bob Hope, whose 100th birthday is next month, was too frail to attend the rededication of one of his stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But comedian Dennis Miller said Hope probably wouldn't have come anyway. "I know if he was up-and-about he would have made a beeline for Iraq to entertain our brave men and women over there," said Miller, one of several celebrities at the gathering Tuesday.

"Frasier" star Kelsey Grammer said Hope's "laughter has helped us through some very difficult days and helped us relish the good ones."

"Bob Hope's contribution to this country and our society is invaluable and it will last for centuries to come," he said.

At the event, an embedded plaque describing Hope as "citizen of the century" was unveiled on the star. Others in attendance included Hope friends Phyllis Diller, Eva Marie Saint and Cindy Williams, and his daughter, Linda Hope.

The ceremony coincided with the Universal Studios Home Video release of the "Bob Hope 100th Birthday Tribute Collection," 12 DVDs featuring 17 of his movies.

Hope and his wife, Dolores, spend their days mainly at his suburban golf estate just across the Los Angeles River behind Universal Studios. He stopped making public appearances about two years ago.

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WASHINGTON -- One casualty of the war with Iraq is the First Amendment right to oppose it, actor Tim Robbins says.

Robbins and his longtime companion, actress Susan Sarandon, are war opponents whose scheduled appearance at baseball's Hall of Fame was canceled last week by former Reagan administration aide Dale Petroskey, now the hall's president.

"A chill wind is blowing in this nation," Robbins told a National Press Club luncheon Tuesday. "Every day the airwaves are filled with warnings, veiled and unveiled threats, spewed invective and hatred directed at any voice of dissent."

Robbins, 44, said he didn't regret supporting the 2000 presidential campaign of consumer activist Ralph Nader, who has been blamed for taking enough votes away from Al Gore to enable George W. Bush to win the White House. He said he hadn't decided whom to support in 2004.

Petroskey sent a letter to Robbins and Sarandon, telling them the 15th-anniversary celebration of "Bull Durham" set for April 26-27 at Cooperstown, N.Y., had been called off. Robbins and Sarandon co-starred in the 1988 baseball film.

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LONDON -- A British newspaper apologized to film producer Steve Bing Wednesday and admitted it falsely accused him of orchestrating a campaign of defamation against actress Elizabeth Hurley, the mother of his son.

Associated Newspapers Ltd., Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre and journalist Daniel Jeffreys had agreed to apologize to Bing and to Los Angeles attorney Martin Singer, Bing's lawyer, Nathalie Paterson, told the High Court in London. The defendants also agreed to pay "substantial sums" to British children's charities.

"They accept that the article was not true and they sincerely apologize for the embarrassment and distress which they have caused the claimants. They have undertaken not to repeat the libels," said Rebecca Jackson, the defendants' attorney.

Bing has admitted being the father of Hurley's son, Damian Charles, who was born in April 2002. Some British tabloids were critical of him after he initially expressed doubt that he was the father.

The libel action arose from an article published in the Daily Mail in December 2001, which alleged that Bing and Singer organized a campaign against Hurley.

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LONDON -- Scores of volunteers shed their clothes near Parliament and the River Thames to pose for nude photographs by artist Spencer Tunick.

Tunick, 35, has created nude landscapes in cities around the world. He arranged the 160 naked models on a terrace overlooking the Thames at dusk Tuesday to coincide with the opening of the nearby Saatchi Gallery. Tunick recruited his nudes through advertisements.

Tourists riding a popular Ferris wheel on the other side of the Thames ended up getting more in their photos of Big Ben, Westminster Bridge and Parliament than they'd planned.

Following Tunick's directions, the volunteers -- some of them giggling with embarrassment -- posed several times, lying down in a courtyard just above a path by the Thames and standing there in several positions.

At the nearby Saatchi gallery, the onlookers included Mick Jagger's daughter, Jade, and British actor Stephen Fry, who said: "It's good to have an artistic reason for watching this sort of thing."

Tunick has been photographing and filming nude volunteers in unlikely public places around the world since 1992, organizing more than 50 group performances, some of which have led to his arrest.

He plans to package his photos in a portfolio, "Nude Adrift."

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NEW YORK -- An authorized biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is coming out in 2005.

"First Man" will be written by historian James Hansen, who has exclusive access to Armstrong's personal archives.

The book "will trace Armstrong's life from his boyhood to his time as a Korean War fighter pilot through his experiences in the American space program and his historic place as the first astronaut to set foot on the moon in 1969 and up to the current day," publisher Simon & Schuster said in a statement Tuesday.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hansen, a professor of history at Auburn University, is the author of "Spaceflight Revolution" and other books.

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BOSTON-- Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart is going to be a pop.

The 43-year-old conductor and his wife, violinist Lucia Lin, are expecting a baby sometime in late summer.

"Luci and I are thrilled to be expecting our first child," Lockhart said in a statement this week. "Luci and the baby are doing well. The Boston community has always been very supportive of me, and Luci and I really appreciate your good wishes at this special time in our lives."

Lockhart and Lin were married in September 1996. Lockhart became conductor of the Boston Pops in 1995 after serving as associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops.

Lin joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1985 after graduating from Rice University. She became one of the BSO's first violins after serving as assistant concertmaster.

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LOS ANGELES -- "Pretty Woman" director Garry Marshall has a grandson, his first.

The director's son, Scott Marshall, and wife Elissa announced Tuesday that Sam James Marshall was born April 1 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The infant weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and was 21 inches long, publicist Paul Bloch said.

Scott Marshall is a second unit director and is working with his father on the Kate Hudson film "Raising Helen." The younger Marshall also worked on "Runaway Bride," which his father directed.

Garry Marshall's sister is actress-director Penny Marshall.

-- From wire reports


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