People talk 10/6/03

Monday, October 6, 2003

Getting the 'West Wing' Lowe-down from Rob

RADNOR, Pa. -- Rob Lowe says he quit "The West Wing" because he felt slighted by the show's creator, Aaron Sorkin, over the size of his role and the money he was making.

Lowe was irked when his part as a White House staffer was cut back and he continued to take home $70,000 an episode, while co-star Martin Sheen, playing the president, got a raise to $300,000 a show.

"Why didn't (Sorkin) know how much I loved him, how much I loved that show?" the actor told TV Guide for its Oct. 11 issue. "Why didn't he love me like I loved him? It's weird, considering it's another man, but that's as close as I can put it."

Lowe also says the show would not accommodate requests for time off. He recalls a meeting at which producers upbraided him for an attendance record that showed he'd been late a total of 17 hours.

"I was spied on. No other cast member had a meeting like that," Lowe said.

Lowe is now the star and executive producer of "The Lyon's Den," a new legal drama on NBC.

Kilmer ruffles feathers of New Mexico senator

PECOS, N.M. -- Actor Val Kilmer has been talking about New Mexico, and one state lawmaker didn't like what he heard.

Kilmer, who has a ranch in the mountains south of Pecos, was asked about living in rural New Mexico in an interview published in a recent edition of Rolling Stone.

Kilmer told the magazine he carries a gun in his car.

"I live in the homicide capital of the Southwest," Kilmer said. "Eighty percent of the people in my county are drunk. So driving home on the highway, especially with kids," carrying a gun is "just a precaution."

Kilmer was also asked how he spends his time. He put on a hick accent and said: "We shoot the automatic weapons at the trespassers and people a different color than us."

State Sen. Phil Griego, whose district includes Kilmer's ranch and who lives nearby, said Friday that if the actor doesn't like San Miguel County he's welcome to leave.

"He's shooting from the hip and he's espousing stuff he really doesn't know anything about," Griego said.

John Hendry of the state tourism department said Kilmer actually loves New Mexico and its people.

"I don't believe for a minute he meant any of it. I know him and I have a feeling that you had to be there" to understand Kilmer's perhaps sardonic intent, Hendry said.-- From wire reports

The lawmaker said the actor lives behind a gate and doesn't know his community.

A call to Kilmer's agent requesting an explanation of the actor's remarks was not returned.

Columbia shuttle pilot honored at high school

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Kirstie Chadwick remembers her brother, William C. McCool, walking on crutches in high school after a motorcycle accident, but yelling encouragement to teammates at the athletic track now named for him.

"The Willie McCool Track and Field" was officially dedicated at Coronado High School in memory of McCool, who piloted the space shuttle Columbia on its final mission. The orbiter broke apart over Texas on Feb. 1, killing the seven astronauts aboard.

McCool, 41, wanted to teach science after his days of exploring space were over, his mother said at the ceremony Friday.

"He loved working with the children and motivating and getting them interested in the science field," said Audrey McCool. "He was getting a number of years in and approaching retirement."

A sign at the high school school track features the logos of Columbia's final mission.

'Youngbloods' singer suing record company

LOS ANGELES -- Jesse Colin Young isn't smiling on his brother.

The singer from the 1960s band The Youngbloods is suing a Minnesota record company he says is distributing his songs without permission.

The group had a smash hit in 1969 with the song "Get Together," which had the chorus: "C'mon people, now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together, try to love one another right now."

The song was also featured in the 1994 film "Forrest Gump."

Young and his business partner, David Bean, sued in federal court, accusing Liquid 8 Records and Entertainment LLC of copyright infringement and breach of contract.

Young contends he terminated his licensing agreement with the company but it kept distributing his songs.

A call to the record company for comment was not immediately returned Saturday.

The lawsuit, filed Friday, seeks a temporary restraining order, damages to be proven at trial and up to $150,000 per song for copyright infringement.

-- From wire reports

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