Archive for Friday, September 24, 2004

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September 24, 2004

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Salsa queen was blacklisted

Miami -- Salsa queen Celia Cruz was removed from a U.S. list of suspected communists in 1965 after she performed and raised money for groups trying to overthrow Cuban President Fidel Castro, according to newly released immigration documents.

U.S. officials suspected in the 1950s that Cruz, who died last year of a brain tumor, supported Castro's communist government. She was refused a visa at least twice starting in 1952 because U.S. law at the time forbade entry to foreigners affiliated with communists.

Documents obtained by The Miami Herald for a story Thursday show she was finally granted permission to stay permanently in the United States in 1965.

Cruz kept her blacklisting a secret, and her husband, trumpeter Pedro Knight, has said she never mentioned it to him.

Olivier alive in 'World of Tomorrow'

New York -- The idea of raising Laurence Olivier from the dead for the new film "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" started with producer Jon Avnet.

"I'm kind of bored with these living villains," Avnet told The Associated Press by phone Tuesday. "They have a pulse, but they're dead."

Old footage of Olivier, who died in 1989, was used to create Dr. Totenkopf, an evil scientist who plans to destroy the world. The role is small and fragmented, comparable to the wizard in the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz."

The filmmakers acquired nondescript documentary footage from the actor's estate. Director Kerry Conran then manipulated the images into 3-D to create a figure they could move and mouth the lines.

"At the time we did this with such affection," Conran said Wednesday. "These are actors here, and we're not doing anything to damage or change this person's legacy."

'View' co-host expecting first child

New York -- "The View" audience received a surprise Thursday: Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck announced her pregnancy.

The former "Survivor: The Australian Outback" contestant and "The View" co-host revealed the news during the ABC daytime chat fest's "Hot Topics" segment.

"I'm nauseous," said Hasselbeck, "but I'm fine with that because it's all for a good cause."

Hasselbeck told the co-hosts and audience she was 13 1/2 weeks pregnant, due sometime around the end of March or beginning of April next year. She also said she and her husband, Tim Hasselbeck, quarterback for the Washington Redskins, didn't want to know the sex of the child.

More SpongeBob in store

New York -- Looks like SpongeBob is getting squeezed for more screen time.

"SpongeBob SquarePants," the popular animated Nickelodeon show, is returning with 20 all-new episodes, set to premiere on the cable channel sometime in 2005 after the big square sponge and his undersea friends soak on the big screen.

"What could be better than announcing that the world's most beloved and optimistic sea sponge is coming back with 20 new episodes?" asked Nickelodeon Television President Cyma Zarghami Wednesday.

"The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" hits theaters Nov. 19.

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