Archive for Tuesday, February 22, 2005


February 22, 2005


Simply 'tacky'

Wood-Ridge, N.J. -- An episode of "The Simple Life" that showed hotel chain heiress Paris Hilton and sidekick Nicole Richie working at a funeral home upset some local residents.

The pair drove a hearse, filled in a grave and held a mock funeral during an episode of the Fox TV reality show that aired last Wednesday. They also spilled what appeared to be human ashes onto a carpet, then used a vacuum cleaner to clean them up.

The ashes were actually a mixture of cat litter and cement, according to John Podesta, the owner of Kohler Funeral Home. A disclaimer at the end of the show said no human bodies were used in any of the scenes, but that failed to appease some viewers.

"It was totally tacky," Amy Van Dalinda told The Record of Bergen County. She said the mock funeral was in the same room where her late father had been laid out, "which was really horrible to me."

Podesta said he has received few complaints and would not have participated if he thought the episode would hurt the funeral home's reputation. He said the funeral home was not compensated for hosting the show's taping.

Slater is Broadway-bound

New York -- Christian Slater is jumping into the Broadway revival of "The Glass Menagerie," which begins preview performances Thursday at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

Slater replaces Dallas Roberts as Tom, the discontented son and narrator of the Tennessee Williams drama. No reason was given for Roberts' departure.

Slater recently won rave reviews in London for his performance in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and has appeared in such films as "Heathers," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "Windtalkers" and "Tucker."

Until he joins the production, the role of Tom will be played by Joey Collins, the understudy for the part, Philip Rinaldi, a spokesman for the show, said Monday.

The play's March 15 opening date remains unchanged, Rinaldi added.

Danes have reason to Smile

Copenhagen, Denmark -- Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson is scheduled to play at Denmark's annual Roskilde Festival this summer.

Wilson will bring his signature melodies to the annual music bash, organizers said Monday.

He won the Grammy for best rock instrumental performance for "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" earlier this month -- his first ever. He released his album "Smile" after a more than three-decade wait.

Other artists scheduled to play during the June 30-July 3 festival include Black Sabbath and Junior Senior.

First held in 1971, the festival in Roskilde, 25 miles west of the capital, Copenhagen, was inspired by the 1969 Woodstock Festival in upstate New York.

Brosnan boosts Bollywood

Bombay, India -- From Hollywood to Bollywood? Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan says his forthcoming movie will be partially filmed in India.

Brosnan, 51, said Monday that the project would be shot there as well as in Los Angeles and London. He did not give details.

"The cross-pollination between Hollywood and Bollywood is getting closer," Brosnan told reporters, using the term for India's movie hub. It's Brosnan's third visit to India.

Movies such as "Monsoon Wedding" and "Bend It Like Beckham" have been appreciated by mainstream audiences in the United States. Last month, Michael Douglas visited Bombay and said he would co-produce and star in "Racing the Monsoon," an action flick about a diamond heist aboard an Indian train.

Brosnan played Bond in four 007 films between 1995 and 2000; he said last year he would not do another.

Role of a lifetime

Radnor, Pa. -- Brenda Strong, who plays the deceased Mary Alice Young on ABC's "Desperate Housewives," has a long history of playing dead.

In "Desperate Housewives," Strong's character has shot herself to death but she still watches over the women of the upscale suburb and narrates their activities.

According to TV Guide's Feb. 20 issue, Strong was in several movies and nearly 100 TV appearances before "Desperate Housewives." They included roles playing a dominatrix killed by a machine gun and a character cut in half by the door of a spaceship.

In the show "Everwood," her character's death prompted her grieving family to move to rural Colorado to rebuild their lives.

But she isn't complaining about her dead-but-not-gone "Desperate Housewives" character.

"In a weird way, I have the most job security of anyone on the show," she says. "They can't kill me, my husband can't divorce me, and they definitely can't move me out of the neighborhood, so I'm here for good!"

Civil rights icon remembered

Little Rock, Ark. -- For Arkansans, Presidents Day is also a day to honor the late civil rights leader Daisy Bates.

Gov. Mike Huckabee signed legislation during Black History Month four years ago, making the third Monday in February a state holiday in her honor.

Bates served as adviser to nine black high school students -- now known as the Little Rock Nine -- who broke the color barrier at Little Rock's Central High in 1957.

Her home, where the students often met with her to strengthen their resolve, is designated a National Historic Landmark.

The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville celebrated its third annual "Celebrating the Life of Daisy Gatson Bates" on Sunday.

Bates died in 1999, at age 84.

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