People news 9/30/03

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Drew Carey takes show to troops serving in Iraq

TIKRIT, Iraq -- Comedian Drew Carey performed at an American base in Saddam Hussein's hometown, staging the show for the troops in front of a bomb-damaged palace.

Carey entertained hundreds of soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division for more than an hour on a stage in front of Saddam's main Tikrit palace. Flanked by two tanks, Carey showed up on stage in a desert camouflage uniform.

"We just came here to tell you that we appreciate you and that we support you completely," Carey said Sunday.

He was joined on stage by comedians Kathy Kinney, Bruce Clark, Kyle Dunniggan, Jeff Ross, Rocky LaPorte and Andres Fernandez.

Carey, 45, is the star of "The Drew Carey Show" and hosts the improvisational comedy show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Reserve officers pay tribute to Bob Hope

LOS ANGELES -- Bob Hope was inducted posthumously into the Reserve Officers Association Minuteman Hall of Fame for his 50 years of entertaining military troops overseas.

Hope's son, Kelly, accepted the award at Saturday's banquet, saying his famous father took his show on the road to thank the troops for their efforts in defending freedom.

Hope's traditional Christmas tours began in 1948, when he went to Berlin to entertain soldiers. His last visit was during Operation Desert Shield in 1990.

Other famous honorees include President Bush and former presidents John F. Kennedy and Harry S. Truman.

A recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon Johnson, Hope received an honorary knighthood in England, his native country, in 1998.

Hope was 100 when he died of pneumonia at his Toluca Lake home on July 28.

New Jersey community honors famous resident

NUTLEY, N.J. -- Martha Stewart has taken her spot in the township's Hall of Fame.

The home decorating diva was among nine Nutley residents who entered the hall Sunday during ceremonies at the township library. The group -- which included two college professors, a supermarket magnate and a pharmaceutical president -- were the hall's first inductees.

Before her induction, Stewart toured her hometown, passing by her former home and the schools she attended.

"I took a ride down memory lane and found that Nutley has changed so little and so much," she told a crowd of more than 300 people that included her mother.

Stewart, who now lives in Westport, Conn., graduated from Nutley High School in the late 1950s and worked as a model and stockbroker before setting up a catering business and eventually establishing a multimillion-dollar lifestyle company.

To be considered for the hall, nominees had to have been born in Nutley, graduated from its high school or lived there for at least 10 years.

Besides Stewart, inductees included ShopRite CEO and Chairman Thomas Infusino, former Merck & Co. President John Lloyd Huck, mathematician Eileen Poiani and scientist Geerat Vermeij.

Neighborhood rehab project aided by director

PHILADELPHIA -- Director M. Night Shyamalan has agreed to donate $1.5 million to help the South Philadelphia neighborhood that served as a backdrop to his hit film "The Sixth Sense," and the city plans to contribute nearly the same amount to aid in the revitalization.

The money will help rehabilitate 31 abandoned houses and vacant lots in a southwest section of downtown where parts of the 1999 film were shot, Mayor John F. Street said Sunday. The second stage of the project involves fixing up 26 properties.

The donation by Shyamalan, who also directed the films "Signs" and "Unbreakable," will be supplemented by a planned contribution of about $1.2 million from the city's Neighborhood Transformation Initiative program.

"For some reason, I was meant to be here, and we were meant to do this," Shyamalan said.

Security guards help themselves on film set

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico -- Police arrested six security guards hired to protect the set of Brad Pitt's movie "Troy" and charged them with stealing an all-terrain motorcycle and tools belonging to the production crew, police said.

Producers built a replica of ancient Troy in Baja California Sur, not far from the Pacific Coast resort city of Cabo San Lucas. The set, which is closed to the media and visitors, suffered minor damage when Hurricane Marty blew through the area last week, said Cabo San Lucas police captain Francisco Solis.

Solis said Saturday six Mexicans hired as part of the set's private security team had complained for several days that they hadn't been paid since before the hurricane arrived. On Friday, police said they stole a 2003 Honda four-wheel motorcycle designed for use on sand dunes, a chain saw and an air compressor from the set.

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