People talk 8B

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Smith's battle with late husband's son flares up

LOS ANGELES -- The war of words between former Playboy centerfold Anna Nicole Smith and the son of her late oil tycoon husband is heating up.

The flare-up came after Smith gave an urn containing half of J. Howard Marshall's ashes a tour of her home on a recent episode of E! Entertainment Television's "The Anna Nicole Show."

"This is the fireplace. See?" Smith said, holding back tears as she cradled a box containing the urn. "This is the kitchen. Food. I have money now."

A judge in 1995 ruled that Marshall's cremated remains should be split evenly between Smith and Marshall's son, E. Pierce Marshall.

With a smear of lipstick on his face, attorney Howard K. Stern accompanied Smith on the tour.

Said Marshall in a statement: "I think the public will conclude that this plus-sized model and her lipstick-covered attorney don't have an ounce of decency or credibility between them."

Shot back Stern, also in a statement: "E. Pierce should just pay the money he owes, mind his own business and let Anna Nicole move on with her life."

In March, over the objections of Marshall, a federal judge awarded Smith nearly $89 million from her late husband's estate.

Connery views Prague flooding firsthand

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Sean Connery had a front-row seat for the devastation wrought by flooding in Prague.

"I don't know if the world realizes the depth of the disaster," said Connery, the star of "Dr. No" and other James Bond movies. The 71-year-old actor has been in the Czech capital since June to film "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," a historic thriller.

City officials have described the flooding as the worst in Prague in 175 years.

"The magnitude of it won't be complete until you see the destruction," Connery told reporters Thursday. "I have to just say how sorry one is to see all this."

Connery, who won a best-supporting actor Oscar for 1987's "The Untouchables," said he's been impressed by the international outpouring of support for the historic city.

"What's been really wonderful I think is the response," he said. "There were so many people volunteering."

'Brady Bunch' star now voice for ADHD ads

Christopher Knight played the rambunctious, jittery middle brother on the 1970s sitcom "The Brady Bunch" and says it was perfect casting.

"Peter definitely had ADHD," says Knight, now 44, who learned he had an attention deficit disorder five years ago.

Knight says he had difficulty focusing and speaking slowly, symptoms that went undiagnosed until he sought medical help for depression after his brother's suicide in 1997.

Now Knight is lending his voice to a national awareness campaign about ADHD.

The campaign sponsored by the National Consumers League and the ADDitude Foundation advocacy group will include public service announcements featuring Knight, to be broadcast on radio stations nationwide starting later this month.

Now head of a successful computer business in suburban Los Angeles, Knight said knowing what's wrong and getting help has given him "this new sense of self."

Museum honoring Tex Ritter relocated

CARTHAGE, Texas -- When singing cowboy Tex Ritter crooned "Hillbilly Heaven," the lyrics seemed as fanciful as the rhinestone outfits he wore onstage.

An earthly version of his wish for a "Hall of Fame with gold guitars and fiddles a-hanging on the wall" is coming true as the Tex Ritter Museum and Texas Country Music Hall of Fame reopens in a new building dedicated to the state's country music pioneers.

Previously located in a historic home that also houses the Panola County Chamber of Commerce, the new museum has moved into a $2.5 million city-owned building featuring music memorabilia, a performance hall and gift shop.

The museum, which started in 1993 as a modest display of memorabilia donated by the singer's relatives, captures "the spirit of my dad as a guy and an entertainer," said actor John Ritter by telephone from Los Angeles. "It's amazing that in a tiny little town, so many people go to this museum."

Tex Ritter, who died in 1974, rivaled Gene Autry as a leading Western film and recording star in the 1930s. He appeared in 78 films and recorded hundreds of songs, including the title song for 1952's "High Noon," starring Gary Cooper.

Glover honored for efforts to combat AIDS in Africa

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Actor and human rights activist Danny Glover has been honored by the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund for his efforts to combat AIDS in Africa.

The 55-year-old star of "The Royal Tenenbaums" and the "Lethal Weapon" movies accepted the Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement Award, named for a Wilcox County civil-rights activist, at Birmingham's Civil Rights Institute on Thursday.

The organization supports the rights of farmers and rural cooperatives in the South's Black Belt.

Glover said he was honored to receive the award because his grandparents were Georgia farmers.

It's important to ensure that all farmers have access to resources necessary for their survival, he said. "The moment is upon us. There is no time to vacillate."-- From wire reports

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LOS ANGELES -- The decade-long friendship between actresses Leslie Hope ("24") and Wendy Crewson ("Air Force One") helped smooth the way for their romantic scenes in the TV movie "This Much I Know."

"I can't think of anybody I'd rather be doing a love scene with than Wendy. The moments when you feel a little uncomfortable, you can have a good laugh," Hope said.

"It was much more comfortable than many love scenes I've done with guys," she said Thursday from Vancouver, British Columbia, where she and Crewson are filming the Lifetime movie.

Hope and Crewson, who are both from Canada, became friends 10 years ago when they shared the same manager. The film brings Hope back to TV after her "24" character -- she played Kiefer Sutherland's wife -- was killed off last season.

In "This Much I Know," Hope plays an unhappily married mother of two who leaves her husband and later develops an attraction to her new boss, a lesbian (played by Crewson). The film, from writer-director Lee Rose, is to air next year.

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NEWARK, Ohio -- This central Ohio city said "Danke Schoen" as Wayne Newton came home to lead its bicentennial parade.

The Las Vegas entertainer -- best known for the thankful hit -- greeted fans and received a key to the city from Mayor Frank Stare as grand marshal of Friday's parade, which an estimated 25,000 people attended.

"Whoever it was who said you can't go home again just never went to Newark, because this is one of the highlights of my life," Newton said.

Newton, 60, who lived in Newark as a child in the 1950s, said he didn't immediately recognize anything.

Fans had their pictures taken next to the white 1958 Oldsmobile Classic he rode with a sign reading, "Wayne Newton, Grand Marshal."

Carol Walker, a sixth-grade classmate of Newton's, held a sign that included their class picture, which the singer autographed before giving her a kiss.

Newton said his aunt and uncle, who still live in Newark, encouraged him to lead the parade.

-- From wire reports

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