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Archive for Sunday, September 4, 2005

People in the news

September 4, 2005

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'Blondie' comic strip celebrates 75th anniversary

St. Louis - When Murat Bernard Young graduated from McKinley High School in 1918, chances are he never foresaw the fuss being made over one of his creations that started appearing in newspaper comics.

In 1930, "Chic" Young created the "Blondie" cartoon. Sunday's episode in the comic section celebrates the 75th anniversary in a unique way: The strip will include other famous comic-strip characters. In fact, as part of the celebration, strips such as "Beetle Bailey," "Hi and Lois" and "Mother Goose and Grim" have been visited by "Blondie" characters over the past few weeks.

"Blondie" is read by about 250 million fans in 55 countries and is considered one of the most successful in history. It is now drawn by Denis LeBrun and written by Dean Young, Chic's son. Some of Dean's daughters also help in the production. The strip has appeared in the Post-Dispatch since 1936.

He worked at King Features Syndicate as a bullpen artist. Sometimes he filled in for Jean Knott, a former Post-Dispatch cartoonist who was nationally syndicated by then. Young's first two strips, "Beautiful Babs" and "Dumb Dora," fell flat. But in 1930, he launched "Blondie," about a penniless, beautiful flapper named Blondie BoopBoopadoop, and her millionaire boyfriend, Dagwood Bumstead. But during the Depression, readers grew tired of reading about rich people, and Young knew he had to change the strip's direction.

Dagwood's parents warned him that, if he married Blondie, he would lose his inheritance, but he married her anyway. And in 1933, their middle-class adventures began.

In the past 75 years, the Bumsteads have become world famous through newspapers, radio, TV and film. And of course The Dagwood, an impossibly tall sandwich that he loved to make, has become a culinary classic.

In a 1937 interview with this newspaper, the facetious Chic Young was asked to give young, aspiring cartoonist readers some tips on the profession. He said: "If you can't get an idea in six or seven hours, don't start monkeying around at your desk snapping pencil shavings, sticking your finger in the ink bottle and chewing the eraser off your pencil. Just say, 'The heck with it,' and lay on the sofa to take a nap."

Spoken like a writer who knew Dagwood Bumstead very well.

Actress proves poker prowess wasn't just beginner's luck

Los Angeles - Jennifer Tilly has won her second major poker tournament and confidence in her playing ability.

"I felt like I was suffering from the 'impostor syndrome,"' said Tilly, who jumped from the table after her win. "I had these niggling self doubts. But now I know I can really play. These women were extremely tough pros with blood lust at the poker table."

Tilly's victory at the World Poker Tour Ladies Night III at the Bicycle Casino on Thursday makes her the first woman to win that title and the World Series' Ladies World Poker Championship held in June.

The win guaranteed her a spot in the $25,000 buy-in WPT Championship in April at Bellagio.

The actress, an Oscar nominee for her role in the 1994 film "Bullets Over Broadway," has been playing the game for a year. She said she learned pointers from her boyfriend, poker player Phil "Unabomber" Laak.

Model-turned-bounty hunter died of painkiller overdose

Los Angeles - An accidental overdose of a powerful painkiller killed Domino Harvey, a model-turned-bounty hunter whose life is depicted in the upcoming action movie "Domino," according to a coroner's report.

Fentanyl, a drug more potent than morphine, was found in her heart, blood and liver, according to a toxicology report released Friday by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office.

Harvey, 35, was found unresponsive June 27 in the bathtub of her West Hollywood home and was pronounced dead at a hospital. Neither drowning nor foul play contributed to her death, the report said.

British-born Harvey, daughter of actor Laurence Harvey, star of the original "The Manchurian Candidate," gave up a modeling career and socialite life to become a bounty hunter.

Queen of Jordan commended for her women's right work

Milan, Italy - Queen Rania of Jordan, a women's rights activist and founding board member of the World Economic Forum, was awarded honorary citizenship of Italy's financial capital at a ceremony Saturday.

Mayor Gabriele Albertini presided over the ceremony at Milan's City Hall to recognize the queen's "courageous contributions on several fronts," including pushing for reforms of Jordan's social, administrative and cultural systems, promoting peace and prosperity in the Middle East and protecting human rights, especially for women and children, the municipality said in a statement.

Rania said she was proud to have been honored by a city as "cosmopolitan and open to dialogue as that of Milan," according to the news agency Apcom.

The Palestinian-born queen last year helped launch a regional campaign to change stereotypes about Arab women and boost their role in development.

Rumsfeld cancels 'Late Show' appearance

New York - Due to hurricane relief efforts in the Gulf Coast, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has postponed an appearance on the "Late Show With David Letterman" that had been set for this coming week.

Rumsfeld was to appear Tuesday night. He will reschedule his visit at a future date, CBS said Friday.

"We obviously understand this decision," Rob Burnett, executive producer of the "Late Show," said in a statement.

Rumsfeld has been secretary of defense to President Bush since January 2001.

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