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Archive for Saturday, December 29, 2001

People

December 29, 2001

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Hobbit role no cakewalk

New york Sean Astin learned something during his latest film project: It isn't easy being a hobbit.

Playing Frodo's sidekick, Sam, in "The Lord of the Rings" movies, the actor said he had a hard time with the big, hairy prosthetic feet that the actors playing hobbits had to wear. While filming in New Zealand, Astin said a pony stepped on his fake feet one day and ripped off three of the toes.

He's also having trouble losing the weight he put on for the role.

"It's really hard, especially that I'm 30 years old now," he said. "I mean, I did great right when we finished filming. I lost about 25 pounds. I was running on the treadmill every day, but over the last year I've kind of gone back up. I'm about halfway down now."

Dietrich tribute long time coming

Berlin Movie legend Marlene Dietrich was honored on what would have been her 100th birthday in Berlin, the city where she was born but which she shunned for years after turning her back on Nazi Germany.

Wreaths from President Johannes Rau and the city government were laid in a ceremony Thursday at Dietrich's grave in the German capital, where she was born Maria Magdalene von Losch in 1901. Rau sent a message lauding her commitment to "democracy and freedom in Germany" during the Nazi era.

The Berlin mayor's chief of staff marked the anniversary by asking forgiveness for a hostile reception Dietrich received in 1960, prompted by her support for the Allies during World War II and her failure to return home after the war. She was met with bomb threats, signs reading "Marlene Go Home" and editorials calling her a "traitor."

She died in Paris in 1992, never having made another visit to her native country.

Dietrich, who left Germany for the United States in 1930, turned her back on Germany after Adolf Hitler rose to power three years later. She became a U.S. citizen in 1939 and sang for American troops as they fought her countrymen.

'Slowly but surely' works for her

Los Angeles Lila McCann just turned 20 this month, but the country singer has already seen lots of changes in the music business.

"When I first had a single come out five years ago, if the single didn't hit top 10 in 13 weeks, it was done," she told AP Radio.

"Now, it takes 36 weeks sometimes to get a single to really, really make an impact because things are changing so much with the radio, and their playlists are going from current songs of 25 or 30 to 15 or 16 songs, and that makes it difficult for anyone to get a song on the radio."

McCann, who released her third album, "Complete," in June, said she still has many goals, including winning a country music award.

"My time is coming. I've worked really hard, and I think what I really like about my career is, I haven't had everything fall in my plate at once," she said. "I haven't had a ton of success all at one time. Things have happened slowly but surely."

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