People talk 8/22/02

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Injured Shriver to fully recover from recent fall

POTOMAC, Md. -- Eunice Kennedy Shriver is expected to recover fully from a left hip fracture suffered at her suburban Washington home, a spokeswoman for her son said Wednesday.

"She's alert, happy, talking about some news articles in the paper today," said Kim Elliott, a spokeswoman for Democratic Delegate Mark Shriver.

The 81-year-old sister of the late President John F. Kennedy underwent surgery Tuesday evening at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington. The accident occurred Tuesday morning when she fell in the office of her Potomac home.

Elliott said Shriver hoped to be back home by Sunday, but she said doctors haven't confirmed whether that will be possible.

The surgery lasted 97 minutes and "went very smoothly," Elliott said.

Singer stumbles while entertaining audience

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Cyndi Lauper tripped and fell while singing her new single, "It's Hard to Be Me," at the Ford Center.

In front of a sold-out crowd Tuesday night, Lauper fell about 5 feet, hitting her shin and ankle while walking on stairs near the stage, said Paul O'Leary, spokesman for the Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Lauper continued with her set but had to be carried off by a stage hand at the end. The colorful pop star is the opening act on Cher's farewell tour.

The 49-year-old singer was taken to a hospital, where she was treated and released a few hours later, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Date not yet set for Elton John concert

BOMBAY, India -- Elton John will perform for the first time in India, concert promoters said Wednesday.

John has planned a concert in the southern city of Bangalore in November, said Sukhetu Kohli, manager operations at DNA Networks. The date has yet to be set.

Bangalore was chosen over Bombay, India's film and entertainment capital, which has a 50 percent entertainment tax. The city also has a 10 p.m. curfew for live performances.

Contestant overshadowed by 'Austin Power' star

LAKELAND, Fla. -- For an hour or so, Tim Harmon was arguably the biggest celebrity in Lakeland. Then Mini-Me hopped down from the back seat of his black stretch limousine.

Verne Troyer, who portrayed Dr. Evil's ill-tempered clone in the last two "Austin Powers" films, got the rock star treatment when he arrived Tuesday for an appearance at a Taco Bell restaurant.

Harmon, a bakery supervisor at the Publix Supermarkets headquarters, got a day to remember.

Their lives converged because Harmon, 31, won $1 million and a Mini Cooper car from Taco Bell when he peeled a sticker off a plastic cup last month. Troyer, whose Mini-Me was featured as part of the contest, flew in to hand over the winnings.

The 33-year-old actor was scratching out a living in Hollywood, mostly as a stunt double for children and animals, when he was cast for 1999's "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."

Hendrix's flaming Fender going on auction block

LONDON -- A guitar that Jimi Hendrix burned onstage and Frank Zappa later owned is being offered for sale in London.

Zappa's son, Dweezil, is selling the Fender Stratocaster, auctioneers Cooper Owen said Tuesday.

Cooper Owen has set a minimum price of 350,000 pounds ($535,000) for the guitar, which will be put up for auction on Sept. 24.

Hendrix set fire to the instrument during his set at the Miami Pop Festival in 1968. -- From wire reports

He gave it to Frank Zappa, who restored it and played it on his 1976 album, "Zoot Allures." Hendrix died in 1970, and Zappa died in 1993.

"This guitar is obviously very historic because it was played by two of the greatest guitarists who have ever lived," Dweezil Zappa said. "Just by looking at the guitar you can sense the history behind the music. It's very inspiring."

The guitar had been put up for auction in the United States earlier this year but failed to sell.

On the Net:

Cooper Owen Web site:

MAYSVILLE, Ky. -- Members of the "Down From the Mountain" tour will perform at this year's Rosemary Clooney Festival on Sept. 28.

The tour is an offshoot of artists and songs made famous by the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" The soundtrack won five Grammy Awards this year, including album of the year.

Clooney died June 29 in Beverly Hills, Calif., after a long battle with lung cancer. She was 74. She soared to fame with her 1951 record of "Come on-a My House," and became a star in television and films.

Mayor David Cartmell said Clooney's son, actor Miguel Ferrer (television's "Crossing Jordan"), and her nephew, George Clooney, who starred in the "O Brother" film, had worked to bring the performers to Maysville, the singer's hometown.

"I think it's wonderful," Cartmell said recently. "They're family and we're family too -- the town is. I hope they'll all participate and all come back."

The evening will also include a tribute to Clooney by her brother, Nick Clooney.

The Rosemary Clooney Festival began four years ago to preserve the city's historic Russell Theatre.

The Russell, which was built in 1930, has been closed since 1983. It was purchased by the "Rescue the Russell" group in 1996. Since last year's festival, the theater's marquee has been restored.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- The bat Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium was found after languishing under a bed for two decades.

The owner of the bat plans to put it up for auction soon, Professional Sports Authenticators, a sports memorabilia company, said Tuesday.

Ruth hit the homer in the third inning on April 18, 1923. The three-run shot led the Yankees past the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

He autographed and inscribed the 45-ounce bat to Victor Orsatti, a winner of a California youth home run-hitting contest. Orsatti, who became a Hollywood talent agent, died in 1984.

The bat was passed from Orsatti to a woman who kept it under her bed for 20 years. The woman's name was not released.

The bat recently was acquired from the woman's family by Sports Cards Plus of Laguna Niguel, Calif., said James Spence of Professional Sports Authenticators.

SALINA, Kan. -- After meeting in Rome with Italian officials of the 2006 Winter Olympics, Jonathan Cloward, who helped produce the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, decided there's no place like Kansas.

Cloward is the new executive director of the Salina Fox Theatre, a more than 70-year-old movie house that is being turned into the city's performing arts center.

Why Kansas?

"I received that question a lot -- why would you go to Kansas over Italy?" the 32-year-old said recently. "You can't make that decision until you've walked in my shoes."

Cloward described the Olympics as "the single biggest thing you can do in your life," so figuring out what to do next was difficult.

"As my wife said as we rode the plane on the way home, 'It's amazing how many things we take for granted in the United States.'

"We then decided this was not only a great opportunity, but it was time to give something back to our kids since they've had to sacrifice so much in the last couple years with me working such an intense schedule."

Cloward replaces David Jenkins, who announced his resignation last December after raising $3.25 million to renovate the theater.

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia magazine has hired freelance journalist Larry Platt as its new editor.

Platt, the author of an upcoming biography on NBA star Allen Iverson, replaces Loren Feldman, who had been editor since November 2000. Platt starts Sept. 9, the magazine said Tuesday.

Publisher David Lipson said Platt was hired to "find new ways to keep the magazine relevant, exciting and award-winning."

The 38-year-old has been affiliated with the magazine for 10 years, writing pieces on sports, politics, media and business. He was listed by the magazine as editor-at-large.

His other books include "Keepin' It Real: A Turbulent Season at the Crossroads With the NBA" and "New Jack Jocks: Rebels, Race and the American Athlete." He has also written for GQ, Details, Men's Journal and Salon.

Platt, of Ardmore, called his new job an "adventure" and said the magazine will tell the area's "most dramatic stories of power, achievement, pathos and lifestyle."

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