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Archive for Tuesday, November 30, 2004

People

November 30, 2004

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Drew Barrymore's father dies

Los Angeles -- John Drew Barrymore, the sometimes troubled heir to an acting dynasty and absent father of movie star Drew Barrymore, died Monday. He was 72.

"He was a cool cat. Please smile when you think of him," Drew Barrymore said in a statement issued by her publicist's office.

John D. Barrymore was part of an acting clan that included his father, the famed stage and early film actor John Barrymore, and his father's siblings, Lionel Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore. Drew Barrymore was his daughter by his third wife, Ildiko Jaid Barrymore.

Barrymore had movie roles in the 1950s in "The Sundowners," "High Lonesome," "Quebec," "The Big Night," "Thunderbirds" and "While the City Sleeps."

But along the way there were problems with drugs, drunken driving and violence, domestic and otherwise. By the early 1960s he had left Hollywood for Italy to work in European movies.

Later, Barrymore had sporadic film and television roles.

Mandela aids AIDS fight

London -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela says the United Nations' global fund to fight AIDS needs $10 billion a year to be effective.

Launching "46664," a book documenting a star-studded fund-raising concert held in Cape Town, South Africa, last year, Mandela said governments and drug companies must do more to stop the spread of HIV and to ensure that every person infected with the virus receives treatment.

Mandela, 86, posed with several of his charity's musical ambassadors -- Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen, Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox and Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens. All performed at the 46664 concert last November.

Accuser won't be examined

Santa Maria, Calif. -- The judge in the child-molestation case against Michael Jackson refused on Monday to order Jackson's accuser and the boy's family to undergo psychological examinations.

Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville ruled without hearing arguments in court, and gave no reason for rejecting the request from Jackson's side.

The judge did grant a defense request to release transcripts of the grand jury selection process as long as grand jurors' names remained confidential. The defense has complained that prosecutors had too much sway over grand jurors.

The pop star is accused of molesting a boy and plying him with alcohol. His trial is set to begin Jan. 31.

Godzilla gets a star

The Godzilla character celebrates its 50th anniversary with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The monster's star, the 2,271st on the walk of fame, was dedicated Monday.

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