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Archive for Friday, October 19, 2007

People in the news

October 19, 2007

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Deborah Kerr, star of 'The King and I,' dies

London - Deborah Kerr, who shared one of Hollywood's most famous kisses while portraying an Army officer's unhappy wife in "From Here to Eternity" and danced with the Siamese monarch in "The King and I," has died. She was 86.

Kerr, who suffered from Parkinson's disease, died Tuesday in Suffolk in eastern England, her agent, Anne Hutton, said Thursday.

For many she will be remembered best for her kiss with Burt Lancaster as waves crashed over them on a Hawaiian beach in the wartime drama "From Here to Eternity."

Kerr's roles as forceful, sometimes frustrated women pushed the limits of Hollywood's treatment of sex on the screen during the censor-bound 1950s.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated Kerr six times for best actress, but never gave her an Academy Award until it presented an honorary Oscar in 1994 for her distinguished career as an "artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance."

Joey Bishop, last of the 'Rat Pack,' dies at 89

Los Angeles - The Rat Pack once was the coolest group of entertainers on the planet - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. Oh, yeah, and a stone-faced comedian named Joey Bishop.

Although not as widely appreciated, it was Bishop with his deadpan delivery, dead-on timing and bottomless pit of jokes, who was "the hub of the big wheel," according to Rat Pack leader Sinatra himself.

Bishop, who also starred on two TV shows throughout most of the 1960s, died Wednesday at age 89. He turned out to be the Rat Pack's last man standing, having outlived Sinatra, Martin, Davis and Lawford.

The Rat Packers were a show business sensation by the early 1960s, when they appeared together at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in shows that combined music and comedy in a seemingly chaotic manner.

"They were the ultimate in cool," said film historian Leonard Maltin. "I think guys admired and envied them, women wanted to be with them, and I think Joey Bishop's deadpan style of comedy suited that group well. He was a combination straight man and comedian."

Judge suspends Britney Spears' visitation rights

Los Angeles - Britney Spears can't even visit her children now.

The troubled pop star may not see 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James - who are in the custody of Spears' ex-husband, Kevin Federline - until she complies with a court order, Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon ruled.

The order, dated Wednesday, does not spell out what directives Spears defied. A hearing in the matter was scheduled for Oct. 26.

A message left with Spears' attorney, Anne Kiley, was not immediately returned.

In the past, Gordon has reprimanded Spears for not complying with other court orders, repeatedly saying that she lost primary custody to Federline because of her own choices.

Among other things, Gordon has ordered her to undergo random weekly drug testing, citing evidence that Spears engaged in "habitual, frequent and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol."

She could not visit with her children without a parenting coach present. The coach participated in the emergency hearing Wednesday. Both parents were ordered to remain sober around their children.

Jon Stewart extends 'Daily Show' contract

New York - You'll be seeing Jon Stewart on the air with "The Daily Show" for at least three more years. And you can go online to see him on past episodes stretching back to 1999.

Stewart has signed a two-year contract extension that keeps him in the anchor chair of his Comedy Central "faux news" show through 2010, the network announced Thursday. His contract had been set to expire at the end of 2008.

In a separate announcement, Comedy Central unveiled a stand-alone "Daily Show" Web site stocked with video clips from every episode since January 1999, when Stewart took over.

Visitors to that new site (separate from the Comedy Central site) can watch video clips from the most recent "Daily Show," as well as the week's highlights and some 13,000 videos spanning the full Stewart era. There are also episode synopses, games and mobile content, among other features supplementing the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning series.

Part of street named for Motown's Berry Gordy Jr.

Detroit - A section of the street where the Motown sound originated has been renamed for Berry Gordy Jr., the music label's legendary founder.

Detroit City Council unanimously voted to give a section of West Grand Boulevard the name Berry Gordy Jr. Boulevard, Councilwoman Martha Reeves said Wednesday in a statement.

Berry Gordy Jr. Boulevard will stretch west from the John C. Lodge freeway to Grand River Avenue. It includes the block where "Hitsville USA," Gordy's former home and Motown recording studio, stands.

A dedication ceremony was planned today.

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