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Archive for Sunday, August 22, 2004

People

August 22, 2004

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Bluegrass great Waller dies at 69

Gordonsville, Va. -- Bluegrass legend Charlie Waller, a self-taught guitarist and vocalist who founded the Country Gentlemen band, died Wednesday at his home in Gordonsville. He was 69.

Family members say Waller had been in poor health for the past five years or so.

Waller started playing guitar and singing when he was about 12 years old and dedicated his life to music.

The Country Gentlemen formed in 1957 in Washington, and Waller was still playing with the band, along with his son, Randy, until his death.

The Country Gentlemen had more than 100 members in its 47-year history and is scheduled to release a new album, "Songs of the American Spirit," next month.

The band is known for its singing and virtuoso instrumentals and expanded the definition of "bluegrass," making a name for itself by drawing a wide audience, from traditional country and bluegrass fans to folk and soft rock listeners.

Stamos marriage on the rocks

Los Angeles -- "Full House" actor John Stamos has filed for divorce from "X-Men" actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos.

The couple announced in April they were separating after five years of marriage. At the time, publicist Lewis Kay said the split was amicable. Court papers were filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Stamos, 41, and Romijn, 31, met in 1994 at a Victoria's Secret fashion show where she was a model; they began dating two months later and married in September 1998. They have no children.

Actress gets out Latino vote

New York -- Of 32 million voting-age Latinos, only 8 million voted in the 2000 election. Actress Rosario Dawson is trying to change that.

Dawson, 25, and Latino youth advocate Phil Colon have founded Voto Latino, a nonpartisan, nonprofit activist group that seeks to motivate young Latino voters.

A series of public service announcements will begin airing on MTV Networks beginning Aug. 30, with additional distribution on major English- and Spanish-language networks.

The initiative is being supported by MTV's "Choose or Lose" voting campaign.

Dawson, whose films include "Men in Black II," "The Rundown" and the upcoming "Alexander," appears in a spot that she concludes with the group's catch phrase: "It's your country, represent."

Alma mater honors MacDowell

Rock Hill, S.C. -- Andie MacDowell is among this year's recipients of Winthrop University's Medal of Honor in the Arts.

The award "annually recognizes the unique contributions to the cultural life of the university, the community and to the nation of a select group of artists and supporters of the arts," said Andrew Svedlow, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

MacDowell, who lives in nearby Asheville, N.C., will join other medal recipients at an Oct. 22 fund-raiser. Proceeds will go to arts scholarships.

The 46-year-old actress, a native of Gaffney, attended the school in the 1970s.

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