'Law & Order' star plans to stay put on television

Sunday, May 19, 2002

NEW YORK -- Sure, Jesse L. Martin would like to be a movie star, but he feels no career pressure to leave his job on NBC's highly rated "Law & Order."

Many of the show's 12 seasons have ended with the departure of a high-profile star, such as Benjamin Bratt, Angie Harmon and Chris Noth, but there's been no such announcement this year.

Martin, 33, has played New York police detective Ed Green for the past three years. "As far as I know, yes, I'll be back next season. We already shot the season finale. ... I guess I could get killed offscreen," he says with a laugh.

During the three-month break from filming, Martin, who sits on the board of directors of a classic repertory theater called The Acting Company, says he'll look for short-term stage roles and catch up on other TV shows.

"I could get in trouble for this but it is true -- HBO on Sunday nights is just phenomenal regardless of what show is on."

The season-ending episode of "Law & Order," which also stars Jerry Orbach, Sam Waterston and Elisabeth Rohm, airs Wednesday.

Billy Bob joins Elvis for two weeks of concerts

LOS ANGELES -- Billy Bob Thornton's counting on an Elvis sighting.

The "Monster's Ball" actor and screenwriting Oscar-winner for "Sling Blade" began a two-week, nine-city concert tour Friday showcasing his rockabilly musical roots. He announced he's going to team up with rocker Elvis Costello on dates in Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio.

Thornton, who began his music career playing drums and opening for artists including Humble Pie, Hank Williams Jr. and the Earl Scruggs Review, met Costello during the actor's recent European tour.

Costello joined him on stage for a surprise guest appearance in Dublin.

"I have always been an admirer of Elvis Costello, and when he jammed with us in Dublin, we had a great time. He is one of our generation's most prolific singer-songwriters, and I'm thrilled that he has invited me and my band to join him on his tour," Thornton said Friday.

Thornton's "Private Radio" tour began at Los Angeles' El Rey Theater and continues to San Francisco; Austin, Texas; New Orleans; Atlanta; Toronto; Philadelphia; New York; and Stamford, Conn. He joins Costello for performances in Minneapolis; Detroit; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; and Cleveland.

Thornton's debut album, "Private Radio," was released last fall. It includes the song "Angelina," about his wife, Angelina Jolie.

'Pappy' from 'Survivor' gets hometown cheers

THOMASTON, Ga. -- "Pappy" has made it to the final four, and the hometown folks are cheering.

Paschal English, the Griffin District Superior Court judge from Thomaston, has made it to the last episode of "Survivor: Marquesas," scheduled to air Sunday night on CBS. Nicknamed "Pappy" by his tribe, English is one of four contestants still vying for the show's $1 million prize.

Having one of their own in the running has given this central Georgia town of 10,000 people, still reeling from the closing of Thomaston Mills last year, a reason to cheer.

"We're very excited and very proud of our contestant," Mayor Samuel Brewton said.

Hundreds of residents and "Survivor" fans are expected to fill the Ritz Theatre downtown and the courthouse square here to watch the program Sunday. Weather permitting, sand will be poured to create an artificial beach in the square and a big-screen TV will be set up.

"This will be a first for our little community," the mayor said.

At 58, English is the second-oldest cast member to make it to the final four. In the original "Survivor," Rudy Boesch, a 72-year-old retired Navy SEAL from Virginia Beach, finished in third place.

Gov. Ventura turns attention to Stones

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- You can't always get what you want, but Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura hopes if he tries, he can lure the Rolling Stones back to Minnesota.

"You're not going to be successful unless you try," he said.

The longtime fan said Friday that as soon as the legislative session wraps up, he'll turn his attention to rerouting the Stones' upcoming tour through Minnesota.

"Who knows? This could be their last tour," he said. "Let's face it -- Keith Richards is no spring chicken. I would just hate to see this be the Stones' last tour and not have them come to the Twin Cities."

He said he'll have his staff look into whom he needs to contact.

"I am going to focus in because I am the only governor in the world who has declared 'Rolling Stones Day.' Whether Keith would remember that, I don't know. That was back in '99 and sometimes I'm not sure if his memory goes back that far," he said, laughing.

--From wire reports

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