People talk 2/19

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Woman who stole mail put in psychiatric care

LONDON -- A schizophrenic woman who stole mail from the home of soccer star David Beckham and Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was ordered Monday to be detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital.

Chinyelu Mary Obue pleaded guilty in November to stealing mail last July from the married couple's home in Alderley Edge, northwestern England.

Obue, 38, took a taxi 230 miles from her home in Edinburgh, Scotland, to the luxury apartment building where the Beckhams live. She took 13 pieces of mail addressed to the couple from the building's communal hallway.

The taxi driver grew suspicious and drove to a nearby gas station and called police.

Obue had previously been warned by police for sending love letters and photographs to Beckham, who plays for Manchester United and England. Judge Merfyn Hughes told Obue she represented "a very substantial risk of serious personal injury, not only to Mr. Beckham and his family, but also to the public at large."

Play about Hepburn adds performances

HARTFORD -- Kate Mulgrew is going where no actress has gone before in the world premiere of a play about Katharine Hepburn at the Hartford Stage Co.

Mulgrew, who as Capt. Kathryn Janeway, led a crew through the far reaches of the galaxy in the "Star Trek: Voyager" series for several years, stars in the one-person biographical play "Tea at Five."

The play is set in the Hepburn family's summer home in the Fenwick section of Old Saybrook. The script is heavy with personal remembrances from the suicide of Hepburn's brother, professional disappointments with Hollywood and talk about her well-known affairs with John Ford and Spencer Tracy.

While Mulgrew doesn't have all of Hepburn's physical characteristics such as her carved cheekbones, Mulgrew's got the voice down pat and refers to herself as "Heppen." "Tea at Five" was still in previews when the decision was made last week to extend the show to March 17 with an additional seven performances.

Nobel laureate Naipaul returns to Indian roots

NEW DELHI, India -- Nobel laureate V. S. Naipaul was feted Monday in India, his ancestral country that he has often derided in a writing career spanning nearly four decades.

On his first visit to India since he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature four months ago, Naipaul was greeted by a standing ovation led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Vajpayee said Indians across the country had rejoiced when the Naipaul's Nobel was announced. "One may or may not agree with your description of India as a land of a million mutinies. But I do know that this nation of 1 billion people celebrated your winning the Nobel Prize as a proud event," Vajpayee said.

Actress Roberts joins Denzel's bandwagon

NEW YORK -- Add Julia Roberts to the list of those who want to see Denzel Washington walk away with a best actor Academy Award next month. "He should be on his third Oscar by now, and that might not be enough," Roberts told Newsweek magazine in its Feb. 25 edition.

"I cannot absorb living in a world where I have an Oscar for best actress and Denzel doesn't have one for best actor." Washington, who won an Academy Award in 1989 for best supporting actor in "Glory," is nominated for his turn as a bad cop in "Training Day." He competes against Sean Penn in "I Am Sam," Tom Wilkinson for "In the Bedroom," Russell Crowe in "A Beautiful Mind" and Will Smith in "Ali."

In the 73 years since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began handing out Oscars, five black actors and actresses have won for supporting roles and only one black actor has won for best actor: Sidney Poitier.

Roberts, who starred with Washington in "The Pelican Brief," called Washington "the best actor of this generation."

-- From wire reports

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