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Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2007

People in the news

July 26, 2007

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Winfrey richest TV star

Radnor, Pa. - TV Guide reports that Oprah Winfrey earns $260 million a year from "The Oprah Winfrey Show," making her the highest paid TV star.

Simon Cowell is at No. 2 with the $45 million he makes off "American Idol."

Courtroom chief Judith "Judge Judy" Sheindlin ($30 million), CBS News' Katie Couric ($15 million) and "Scrubs" actor Zach Braff ($6.3 million) round out the top five.

Guitarist completing Ph.D.

London - Brian May is completing his doctorate in astrophysics, more than 30 years after he abandoned his studies to form the rock group Queen.

The 60-year-old guitarist and songwriter said he plans to submit his thesis, "Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud," to supervisors at Imperial College London within the next two weeks.

May was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when Queen, which included Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, was formed in 1970. He dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band became successful.

Queen was one of Britain's biggest music groups in the 1970s, with hits including "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Will Rock You."

After Mercury's death in 1991, May recorded several solo albums, including 1998's "Another World." But his interest in astronomy continued, and he co-wrote "Bang! The Complete History of the Universe," which was published last year.

He was due to finish carrying out astronomical observations at an observatory on the island of La Palma, in Spain's Canary Islands, on Tuesday, the observatory said.

Cinema-arts group to honor Julia Roberts

Los Angeles - Julia Roberts will receive the 22nd annual American Cinematheque award this year, the nonprofit cinema-arts group has announced.

The organization's selection committee unanimously chose Roberts for the award, which has been granted in years past to Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, group chairman Rick Nicita said.

Roberts presented the award to George Clooney at last year's event.

"Julia Roberts is a true movie star who has delighted audiences and critics in so many pictures," Nicita said.

Roberts was nominated for Academy Awards for "Steel Magnolias" and "Pretty Woman" and won in 2001 for "Erin Brockovich."

The American Cinematheque award will be presented Oct. 12 in Beverly Hills and broadcast on AMC in December.

Damon honored with star

Los Angeles - When Matt Damon and pal Ben Affleck were struggling actors, they lived in a modest apartment near Hollywood Boulevard.

Damon said he used to look at the stars on the boulevard sidewalk and dreamed of seeing his name on one of them someday. So when it came time to receive one Wednesday, Damon reacted with disbelief.

"A few times in my life I've had these experiences that are just kind of too big to process and this looks like it's going to be one of those times," Damon said during a Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony attended by his wife, mother and a throng of screaming fans.

Damon, 36, won a screenwriting Oscar with Affleck in 1998 for "Good Will Hunting." He has also starred in "The Departed," "The Good Shepherd" and the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise. He stars as the amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne in "The Bourne Identity" and its two sequels.

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