People talk 8/19/03

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Lowe to campaign for Schwarzenegger

BURBANK, Calif. -- Actor and longtime Democrat Rob Lowe says he's volunteering for Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign because he believes the action-film star has injected new energy into California politics.

Schwarzenegger is "motivating and energizing people in this state that haven't been interested in politics in many, many years," Lowe said in a taped interview with the syndicated TV entertainment show "Extra," that aired Monday.

Despite their party differences, Lowe said he wanted to help the Republican candidate unseat Gov. Gray Davis in the Oct. 7 recall election because Schwarze-negger will "put the people above partisan politics."

Lowe, who will organize celebrity support for the campaign, said Schwarze-negger is a natural leader.

"I know that when I'm on a set, I want to know who the director is. I don't want to have to guess," the 39-year-old said. "That's what Arnold will bring to this state. He's a leader."

Gibb homes, copyrights left to wife in last will

MIAMI -- The will of Bee Gees member Maurice Gibb leaves his widow more than $2 million, their six homes and all ownership in copyrights and musical compositions.

Gibb's last will and testament, drawn up 12 years ago and filed in Miami-Dade County court, also establishes trust funds for his children -- Adam, 27, and Samantha, 22, of Miami Beach.

"We're in the process of administering the will," Rose La Femina, the local attorney representing Yvonne Gibb, told The Miami Herald for Monday's editions. She declined to discuss specifics.

The couple, married for nearly 30 years, owned two homes in England, two in Miami Beach, one in Spain and one in the Bahamas. Most are now up for sale.

Gibb, a longtime Miami Beach resident, died Jan. 12 at 53 after emergency surgery for a blocked intestine.

Jockey still in hospital after being trampled

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens remained hospitalized in fair and stable condition Monday, two days after he was thrown to the turf and nearly trampled in the Arlington Million.

There was no word when Stevens might leave the hospital, Northwest Community Hospital spokesman Bob Niersbach said Monday.

Stevens, who has a supporting role in the horse racing movie "Seabiscuit," fell off Storming Home a few strides past the finish line in Saturday's race. After he remained motionless for five minutes, Stevens, whose left shoulder was stepped on, sat up and moved his legs before he was carried off the track on a stretcher and taken to the hospital.

Jethro takes Reno to abandoned Wal-Mart

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Nearly four years after his dreams for a Jethro's Beverly Hillbillies casino fizzled in Reno, actor Max Baer Jr. is planning a $54 million resort in a former Wal-Mart store a half-hour's drive away in Nevada's capital city.

"It's a very different concept from anybody that's doing anything else," Baer said Friday in describing the 240-room hotel-casino venture that will key on the popular "Beverly Hillbillies" TV series in which he starred as the doltish Jethro Bodine.

Among the highlights: a 200-foot-tall, flame-belching oil derrick, a "Granny's shotgun wedding chapel," Uncle Jed's gift shop, Jethro's buffet and "Elly May's buns bakery." Baer also envisions a nine-screen movie theater and a dancehall-show lounge.

Caan returning to Sin City in new series

LOS ANGELES -- James Caan returns to his roots when he revisits Sin City.

Caan was a regular visitor to Las Vegas in his early 20s when, as he put it, "it was smart to gamble because I had nothing." Caan returns in the upcoming NBC drama "Las Vegas," in which he plays the head of a surveillance team that oversees security in the city's casinos.

The 63-year-old actor spent his single years in Las Vegas hanging out with Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in the '60s and '70s.

"Everything was more personalized in those days. Everything was on a first-name basis. There is no such thing as a comp anymore. It's gotten really kind of corporate and cold."

Eventually, Caan stopped going to Vegas after he married. It's only in recent years that he's gone there with his sons, ages 4 and 7.

"A warm place in my heart and an empty pocket," he said of the old days. "I used to go in a $30,000 car and come home in an $800 bus."

Late-night host O'Brien recalls unfunny early years

LOS ANGELES -- Comedian Conan O'Brien can laugh now -- but his early years as a late night TV host were far from funny.

Audiences and critics were unimpressed when the red-haired rookie replaced David Letterman in NBC's "Late Night" slot 10 years ago. The network wasn't sure about their choice, either, and O'Brien recalled NBC initially suggested week-to-week renewals.

"I thought the reviews were fair when they went after me as a performer and a late-night host because I just didn't have the confidence and the chops yet, but I thought that they were unfair when they attacked the comedy because I always thought the comedy was good," he said recently.

"We were put in a very difficult position," he said. "Going through that gauntlet, going through the thousand-mile-long spanking machine that we went through helped us earn the right to be there. I honestly wouldn't change anything. It worked out. I'm lucky to be here."

NBC will air his 10th anniversary special in primetime on Sept. 14.

-- From wire reports

In 1994, Letterman was a guest on O'Brien's show after moving to CBS and O'Brien has been indebted ever since.

"It was a great thing because I think it got people to come back and look at the show again who thought, 'Well, that thing's dead, he's an idiot,' and walked away," he said. "They came back and maybe said, 'OK, I still don't love him but maybe, and Dave seems to like him.' It may have helped keep me on the air."

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