Water driller gets Jay Leno's celebrity hog

Sunday, October 21, 2001

PORTALES, N.M. -- A New Mexico water well driller has ponied up to take home Jay Leno's celebrity hog.

Frank Davis, of Portales, placed the high bid of $360,200 on the online auction site eBay this week for the talk show host's autographed Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

The money will go the Twin Towers Fund for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Wearing blue jeans and a blue button-up work shirt, Davis appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday. After making a joke about Davis' casual attire, Leno asked him what he planned to do with the bike.

"We want to show this off and raise more money with it," Davis said.

Leno asked celebrities who visited his show to sign the limited edition Harley-Davidson FXDL Dyna Low Rider, which he bought in July. A list of stars covered it in signatures, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise.

TV show 'Providence' won't make Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Set among the docks, sailboats and New England architecture, the NBC show "Providence" won't get any new on-location scenes this season.

The cast canceled plans to travel to Providence, R.I., because of last month's terrorist attacks.

Instead, scenes will be shot in California, said John Masius, the show's creator and executive producer.

"There was no way," Masius, 51, said. "It was a gut management choice."

The city will miss the economic boost the show brings, where NBC spends about $100,000 a day during eight-day shoots.

Masius, who has produced "Touched by an Angel" and "St. Elsewhere," said he hopes to return this spring to film for next season.

Actress Grier skips out on women's film festival

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- "Jackie Brown" star Pam Grier has canceled a weekend trip to an inaugural festival celebrating the accomplishments of women in film.

Grier said she was ill and unable to travel from California to the High Falls Film Festival to accept a career achievement award on Saturday.

CBS reporter Lesley Stahl of "60 Minutes" fame also canceled an appearance because of an assignment in Iraq.

She was scheduled to interview Grier before an audience at the George Eastman House, the world's oldest museum of photography and film.

In place of a personal visit, Grier promised to send along videotaped remarks.

After a two-decade absence from a starring role, the 1970s blaxploitation flick queen led an all-star cast in Quentin Tarantino's comedy "Jackie Brown" in 1997.

Her 1970s films included "Foxy Brown," "Black Mama, White Mama" and "Fort Apache, the Bronx."

Depp enjoys working back through history

LOS ANGELES -- Johnny Depp says he's always wanted to travel back in time. That's why he likes period films.

"I have a great affinity with the past and I'm a big history freak and always wanted to travel back in time. So period films give you that opportunity on some level," he told reporters recently.

The 38-year-old actor stars in the new film "From Hell" as an investigator chasing down the notorious Jack the Ripper.

"There wasn't a whole lot of information available about the real guy," Depp said. "We just sort of took various ideas and mashed them all together."

Depp said he's proud of the movie but doesn't know how filmgoers will react in light of recent terrorist events.

"Movies, I mean if they do anything at all, they do provide some degree of escape, escapism, escape from reality for a couple of hours. I'm not so sure this is the one that people will want to escape to but ... we have to keep walking forward," he said.

Top honors in classical music by Gramophone

LONDON -- Cecilia Bartoli was selected artist of the year by Gramophone and conductor Richard Hickox won both the record of the year and orchestral award.

The ceremonies were held Friday at Barbican Hall. The annual awards, selected by the magazine's critics, are considered among the most prestigious in classical music.

Hickox received both awards for his original manuscript recording of Vaughn Williams' "A London Symphony" with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Other winners include conductor/composer Pierre Boulez, who won the contemporary award for his "Sur incises" and the concerto award for Schoenberg's piano concerto with Mitsuko Uchida and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Conductor Antonio Pappano won the opera award for his recording of Massenet's "Manon" with Angela Gheorghiu, Roberto Alagna and the Symphony Orchestra of Monnaie.

Singer Collie croons at Brushy prison

PETROS, Tenn. -- Mark Collie walked onto a stage at Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex with hopes of reviving his career and a country music tradition -- recording live at a prison concert.

"I'm in serious need of a second chance," Collie said to cheers while performing two shows Wednesday, along with Shawn Camp, Kelly Willis, Clarence Gatemouth Brown and Tim McGraw.

Collie, who had a modest run of success in the early 1990s, told The Associated Press he wants to lead country music back to social relevance by emulating his idol, Johnny Cash.

Jeri Ryan trades deep space for school role

PASADENA, Calif. -- Jeri Ryan has gone from Borg to "a normal human being" in her new role on "Boston Public," David E. Kelley's drama-with-laughs about high school life.

Ryan played machine-human Seven of Nine on "Star Trek: Voyager," which ended earlier this year.

Now she's joined the cast of "Boston Public" as a new teacher who has just changed careers. The show has its season premiere Oct. 29 on Fox.

Although Ryan says Seven of Nine was "great fun to play," she's happy that she won't be sitting for hours in a makeup chair.

--From wire reports

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