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Archive for Thursday, March 22, 2007

People in the news

March 22, 2007

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Spears leaves rehab center after completing treatment

Los Angeles - After nearly a month of seclusion in a luxurious rehabilitation center, Britney Spears has moved on.

The pop star checked out of Promises Malibu Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Facility "after successfully completing their program," Spears' manager, Larry Rudolph, said in a statement released by Jive Records late Tuesday.

He asked that Spears' privacy be respected.

Spears, 25, entered the facility Feb. 22 after a bout of bizarre behavior that included shaving her head, getting tiny lips tattooed on her wrist and beating a car with an umbrella.

Spears' activities have been steady fodder for weekly magazines and entertainment Web sites since she filed for divorce from aspiring rapper Kevin Federline in November, citing irreconcilable differences.

'Late Show' regular Larry 'Bud' Melman dies at 85 after illness

New York - Calvert DeForest, the white-haired, bespectacled nebbish who gained cult status as the oddball Larry "Bud" Melman on David Letterman's late night television shows, has died after a long illness.

The Brooklyn-born DeForest, who was 85, died Monday at a hospital on Long Island, Letterman's "Late Show" announced Wednesday.

He made dozens of appearances on Letterman's shows from 1982 through 2002, handling a variety of twisted duties: dueting with Sonny Bono on "I Got You, Babe," doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

DeForest appeared in 1986 at Kansas University's "Late Show with Larry."

"Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself - a genuine, modest and nice man," Letterman said in a statement. "To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him."

At his request, there will be no funeral service for DeForest, who left no survivors.

Regis Philbin back home after heart bypass surgery

New York - Kelly Ripa says Regis Philbin, her co-host on "Live With Regis and Kelly," is back home after having heart bypass surgery last week.

Ripa revealed on Wednesday's show that Philbin, 75, had been released from the hospital two days ago. "We were sworn to secrecy, I don't know why," she said.

"So you couldn't even mention it to me?" asked comedian Howie Mandel, who was filling in for Philbin. Ripa replied, "I don't know if I can mention it to you now!"

Ripa, 36, said Philbin might call the show Friday to give an update on his recovery.

Hilton, Richie to serve as camp counselors on 'The Simple Life'

New York - On-again friends Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are taking "The Simple Life" - which shows the tabloid-ready celebutantes thrown into everyday situations with real people - to camp.

After last season's format allowed the then-feuding friends to have little to do with each other, this year's edition brings them together again.

"The Simple Life Goes to Camp," set to debut in May, has Hilton and Richie working as counselors at Camp Shawnee in the mountains near Los Angeles, E! Entertainment Television Inc. announced Wednesday.

Hilton, 26, and Richie, 25, will be expected to eat, sleep and keep the same schedule as the campers.

Hawaii honors TV bounty hunter 'Dog' Chapman and wife

Honolulu - Hawaii lawmakers honored TV bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman and his wife, Beth, for getting crooks off the street.

The state House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution honoring the couple for their work capturing criminals.

Duane Chapman is the star of the Hawaii-based A&E reality series "Dog the Bounty Hunter," which follows his exploits in apprehending people who have avoided arrest.

Before he hunted fugitives, Chapman was a member of a biker gang and was convicted in 1977 of being an accessory to murder. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Actor Woody Harrelson's dad dies in federal prison at 69

Denver - Actor Woody Harrelson's father, Charles Harrelson, died of a heart attack in the Supermax federal prison where he was serving two life sentences for the murder of a federal judge, officials said Wednesday.

Charles Harrelson, 69, was found unresponsive in his cell on the morning of March 15, said Felicia Ponce, a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman in Washington.

Fremont County Coroner Dorothy Twellman said an autopsy showed Harrelson had severe coronary artery disease. She said he probably died in his sleep. "It appears it was very sudden," she said.

Charles Harrelson was convicted of murder in the May 29, 1979, slaying of U.S. District Judge John Wood Jr. outside his San Antonio home. Prosecutors said a drug dealer hired him to kill Wood because he did not want the judge to preside at his upcoming trial.

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