People talk 9/18/02

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Angelina makes it officially 'Jolie'

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- It's been "Angelina Jolie" on movie billboards, but now it's official.

On Sept. 12, a Los Angeles County judge granted a petition by the actress, whose legal name was Angelina Jolie Voight, to drop her last name, according to court documents.

The actress, who won a supporting-actress Oscar in 2000 for "Girl, Interrupted," has been publicly feuding with her father, Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight, and in July filed for divorce from actor Billy Bob Thornton after two years of marriage.

In an interview on the syndicated TV show "Access Hollywood" last month, Jon Voight, 63, blamed himself for much of the trouble between his daughter and Thornton, acknowledging that when Jolie was a baby, he had an affair and subsequently left his wife and family.

'American Idol' Justin Guarini will pay up

EASTON, Pa. -- Justin Guarini, who came in second on Fox television's "American Idol" singing competition, has decided not to fight a traffic ticket from a March accident.

Guarini, 23, had been scheduled to appear Wednesday in Northampton County Court but decided it wasn't worth a trip from Los Angeles, where he's recording music, his lawyer said.

Guarini was cited by police for following too closely in the March 12 traffic accident in Bethlehem. The offense carries a $25 fine and $75 in court costs.

TV viewers selected 20-year-old Texan Kelly Clarkson over Guarini, the big-haired heartthrob from Doylestown, Pa., as the winner of the "American Idol" competition.

24 hours of Courtney Love featured on MTV2

NEW YORK -- You've really gotta love Courtney Love if you tune into MTV2 this weekend.

For 24 straight hours, the rock diva will be in control of the music network. She'll play the videos she likes, invite her friends over for an on-camera gab fest and do whatever else she pleases, the network said Monday.

This is the first time the network has relinquished control to an artist for a day, representatives said.

Love won't even need to stay awake the entire 24 hours; an MTV spokesman says when she sleeps, the network will probably show snippets of her dozing.

The former lead singer of Hole will take over the MTV studios in Times Square for "24 Hours of Love" Saturday.

Hometown Macon honors Otis Redding with statue

MACON, Ga. -- Otis Redding, the soul singer best known for "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," has been honored in his hometown with a 7-foot bronze statue that shows him sitting on a dock, playing his guitar.

Redding's widow, Zelma Redding, attended the unveiling ceremony Sunday in Gateway Park on the banks of the Ocmulgee River.

"Today, he would say, 'I finally got all the respect I deserved,'" she told The Macon Telegraph.

Redding was killed in a plane crash on Dec. 10, 1967, on the way to a concert in Wisconsin.

A tribute concert will be held in Macon on Dec. 7, the 35th anniversary of the song's recording.-- From wire reports

Bill and Monica Gates welcome third child

SEATTLE -- Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have a third child, baby girl Phoebe Adelle Gates.

The baby was born Saturday at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in suburban Bellevue. The birth was announced Monday.

The baby weighed 9 pounds, 13 ounces, family spokeswoman Annemarie Hou said.

"Bill and Melinda are delighted to welcome another child, and mother and daughter are both doing well," Hou said.

The couple have a 6-year-old daughter, Jennifer, and a 3-year-old son, Rory.

-- From wire reports

DENVER (AP) -- An Honorary Award of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire has been approved by Queen Elizabeth II for Donald R. Seawell, founder and chairman of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

The announcement was made Monday by the British Consulate in Colorado. The Honorary Award of O.B.E. will be presented at a ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington at a later date.

John Maguire, British consul in Denver, said Seawell, 90, is being honored for his work as a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and for his lifelong commitment to bringing the best of British theater to the United States.

Seawell brought the first Royal Shakespeare production to the United States in 1962. Under his leadership, the Denver Center won an Emmy Award for best regional theater. The National Theater Conservatory is based at the Denver Center.

On the Net:

The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Web site:

On the Net:

MTV2 Web site:

PARIS (AP) -- When director Franco Zeffirelli first set eyes on French actress Fanny Ardant, he knew he'd found the star of his film about the last days of opera diva Maria Callas.

"Fanny Ardant arrived like a gift from God," Zeffirelli said Monday, the 25th anniversary of Callas' death, and the day his film "Callas Forever" premiered in Paris. "She opened the door, and it was Callas."

Ardant -- who has a strong resemblance to the opera star -- has already played Callas on the stage, in Terrence McNally's "Master Class."

Callas died in 1977 at 53. Zeffirelli's movie, which also stars Jeremy Irons, is a fictional account of her life after she stopped singing because her voice had changed.

For Callas, her voice was either going to be "perfect, or nothing," the director told Associated Press Television News. "I show exactly what price she paid" for her art.

ROME (AP) -- Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti will perform at a charity concert in Monaco next month to help raise money for a U.N. anti-hunger program.

Pavarotti will be joined Oct. 12 by the Orchestra Sinfonica Italiana and singers from the Monte Carlo Opera for the "Pavarotti Sings Verdi" concert, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said Monday.

Pavarotti, 66, frequently performs for charities. Every year, he holds a fund-raising concert in his hometown of Modena in northern Italy.

The FAO TeleFood campaign uses concerts, broadcasts and other events to raise funds for agriculture and livestock projects.

On the Net:

Food and Agriculture Organization Web site:

Natalie Cole, Kelly Price headline benefit

NEW YORK -- Natalie Cole will be the headline performer next week at the Avon Foundation's "Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer" concert.

R&B star Kelly Price, who has family members who have suffered from the disease, is also expected to perform at Monday's event.

Price will perform during a pre-show ceremony where Avon will honor five people or organizations that have helped lead the fight against breast cancer.

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