Abuse charges shadow career of comedian

Saturday, October 5, 2002

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. -- Paula Poundstone says she can't hide from her arrest last year on child abuse charges as she tries to resume her standup comedy career.

"I am not a victim," Poundstone told Newsday before an appearance Friday night at a small club on Long Island, part of a three-day swing through the Northeast this weekend. "I am absolutely responsible for what has happened in my life, and it is safe to say there has been some unfairness."

Poundstone lost custody of her three adopted children after pleading no contest last year to a felony count of child endangerment and a misdemeanor charge of infliction of injury on a child. The endangerment charge involved driving while drunk with children in her car.

'Mockingbird' author makes rare appearance

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Author Harper Lee greeted fans and posed for photos during a rare public appearance, but the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" spoke for only a few moments while accepting the 2002 Alabama Humanities Award.

The book won a Pulitzer Prize and was the basis for a 1962 film that earned Gregory Peck a best-actor Oscar for the role of attorney Atticus Finch.

Since then, the 76-year-old writer has had little to say in public, and Thursday's awards ceremony was no exception.

When longtime friend and fellow author Wayne Greenhaw introduced her, the audience applauded for several minutes. All Lee said was: "Mr. Greenhaw has robbed me of words, so I'll say thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Ex-football star attends documentary on his life

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown will return to Syracuse University Sunday to join Spike Lee at a showing of Lee's film "Jim Brown: All-American."

Lee's 130-minute HBO Sports Documentary examines Brown's childhood on Long Island, his football and lacrosse achievements at Syracuse and his NFL career as a running back with the Cleveland Browns.

The filmmaker also explores Brown's film career, his work with street gangs and well-publicized problems with women. In a recent episode, Brown, 66, served a jail sentence in March after being convicted of vandalizing his wife's car.

'Saturday Night' gets two new members

NEW YORK -- Two new cast members are joining NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in time for the season's opening show this week.

Fred Armisen and Will Forte will replace Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer, two longtime cast members who've left the show.

Armisen has appeared on NBC's "Late Night" with Conan O'Brien, a former "SNL" writer. He's also been on HBO's music show "Reverb" and done work on "HBO Zone."

Forte comes from Los Angeles' improv outfit The Groundlings, a troupe that's a frequent farm team for "SNL."

Poll rates Bono as top man in music industry

LONDON -- Bono, the globe-trotting, conscience-tugging singer with the Irish rock group U2, is the most powerful man in music, according to a poll of music industry figures.

Bono, whose given name is Paul Hewson, tops a list compiled by music magazine Q. The top 10 names were released Thursday.

U2, formed in Dublin more than 20 years ago, remains one of the world's top-selling groups.

Bono, 42, also has emerged as a powerful lobbyist for causes such as relieving the debt of the world's poorest nations.

Earlier this year, he traveled through Africa with U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill.

--From wire reports

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