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Archive for Sunday, April 13, 2003

People

April 13, 2003

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Fisticuffs with the Osbournes

Los Angeles -- Police say they are investigating an alleged fight between reality-TV star Sharon Osbourne and a Hollywood agent.

Osbourne, rocker husband Ozzy and their son, Jack, were dining at Koi Japanese restaurant when the fracas allegedly occurred Thursday evening, police Sgt. John Pasquariello said Friday. The other woman allegedly involved was Renee Tab of the talent agency ICM.

Sharon Osbourne "started with spitting on her and calling her names," said Tab's attorney, Nejila K. Brent.

Osbourne spokeswoman Lisa Vega issued a statement saying her client had been "viciously assaulted" and was treated at a hospital for injuries. In an interview, she refused to characterize the injuries.

Broadway family affair

New York -- Melanie Griffith is joining her husband, Antonio Banderas, on Broadway.

While Banderas plays a women-obsessed film director in "Nine," Griffith will be portraying show-biz floozy Roxie Hart in the long-running revival of "Chicago."

Griffith will join the cast of "Chicago," now in its seventh year on Broadway, on July 11. She is scheduled to appear through Sept. 28.

Banderas opened to generally positive reviews Thursday in "Nine," a revival of the 1982 musical by Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit. The actor is scheduled to stay in the show through Aug. 10, although an extension is possible.

A chimp's life of leisure

Palm Springs, Calif. -- Cheeta lives in this desert resort town like a lot of old movie stars, painting, playing the piano and watching his old movies. But as one of Palm Springs' only retired chimpanzees, he stands out.

The last actor to have played the lead chimpanzee role in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and '40s, Cheeta is 71 now -- the oldest chimp in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

"He's just part of the family," said Dan Westfall, who saved Cheeta's life when he adopted him from Tony Gentry, an animal trainer who worked in Hollywood.

Gentry, Westfall's uncle, originally left instructions in his will to have Cheeta euthanized after his death because he worried that the 142-pound chimp would wind up in a research lab. His nephew talked him out of that by promising he'd always take care of Cheeta.

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