Archive for Tuesday, September 18, 2007

People in the news

September 18, 2007


Gore wins Oscar, Emmy in same year

New York - Though his documentary won an Oscar and he now has an Emmy, Al Gore doesn't rate his chances high for a Grammy.

"I'm working on my dance steps and singing performance, but don't hold your breath," the former vice president said with a laugh Monday, speaking by phone from Los Angeles.

But it might have sounded equally ludicrous five years ago to suggest that Gore would, in one calendar year, receive standing ovations at both the Academy Awards and the Emmys. At Sunday night's Emmy ceremony, Gore and Joel Hyatt were honored for creative achievement in interactive television for the cable channel they founded, Current TV.

This follows the best documentary Oscar that "An Inconvenient Truth" won earlier this year. The film chronicles Gore's campaign to educate people on global warming. For the same cause, Gore helped organize Live Earth this summer, a series of global concerts held to raise awareness for climate change.

"It reminds me a little bit of the old cliche about the country singer who said, 'It's taken me 30 years to be an overnight sensation,'" Gore said. "In each one of them, I've had great partners."

50 Cent cancels three European performances

London - 50 Cent, who is in a much-hyped battle of album sales with Kanye West, has canceled several performances in Europe.

MTV News said the 31-year-old rapper canceled performances at the MOBO Awards and the Vodafone Live Music Awards, both in London on Wednesday, and a performance for MTV in Germany on Friday.

No details were posted on the rapper's Web site, and Polydor Records, 50 Cent's record label in Britain, wasn't immediately available for comment Monday.

MTV said the rapper canceled the appearances due to changes in his schedule.

50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had said he'll retire as a solo artist if West's new album, "Graduation," outsells his latest CD, "Curtis," in first-week sales.

West, 29, beat 50 Cent to the No. 1 spot on Britain's album chart Sunday, with 50 Cent in the No. 2 spot, the Official UK Charts Co. said on its Web site. No sales figures were posted. U.S. sales figures will be available this week.

Actress-comedian Brett Somers dies at 83

Westport, Conn. - Actress and comedian Brett Somers, who amused game show fans with her quips on the "Match Game" in the 1970s, has died, her son said. She was 83.

Somers died Saturday at her home in Westport of stomach and colon cancer, Adam Klugman said Monday.

Hosted by Gene Rayburn, "Match Game" was the top game show during much of the 1970s. Contestants would try to match answers to nonsense questions with a panel of celebrities; much of the humor came from the racy quips and putdowns.

Shows from the 1973-79 run, featuring regulars like Somers, Richard Dawson and Charles Nelson Reilly, are still seen on cable TV's GSN (formerly Game Show Network.)

She was born Audrey Johnston in New Brunswick, Canada, and grew up in Portland, Maine. She ran away from home at age 17 and headed for New York City, where she settled in Greenwich Village. She changed her first name to Brett after the lead female character in the Ernest Hemingway novel "The Sun Also Rises." Somers was her mother's maiden name.

Ed Burns opens up in magazine interview

New York - Ed Burns says it took hard work to woo Christy Turlington.

"Friends of ours had tried to fix us up - we both live in New York, we're both pretty low-key, both heterosexual - but she was like, 'Uh, not really interested,'" the 39-year-old actor-director tells Best Life magazine in its October issue. "That did not deter me. I just wanted to get her to laugh."

How long did it take to build up the nerve to kiss her?

"Probably within five minutes of meeting her," Burns says. "Which hurt my chances. It took her a long time to come around. But I got her good and drunk, if I remember correctly, which never hurts."

Turlington and Burns wed in 2003. They have two children.

Burns was seen as the next Woody Allen after directing and starring in 1995's "The Brothers McMullen."

"I was the toast of the town," he tells the magazine. "All of a sudden I was semifamous. There were six-figure checks."

However, his other New York-based movies, including "Sidewalks of New York" and "The Groomsmen," didn't fare well at the box office, and failed to meet critics' expectations.

Next month, Burns' new romantic comedy, "Purple Violets," will become the first featured film to be released and distributed by iTunes.

Billionaire buys late cellist's art collection

London - An art collection belonging to the late cellist Mstislav Rostropovich has been sold to a Russian billionaire for substantially more than $40 million, Sotheby's auction house said Monday.

Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia's richest men, said he bought the trove of Russian artworks in order to return them to their homeland.

"When I knew that this collection would be sold at auction, I felt the need to try to preserve the collection in its entirety," Usmanov told Russian state-run television.

"The second goal, which is even more important, is to return (the collection) to the country that the art belongs to - Russia," said Usmanov, who is involved in mining, telecoms and natural gas and was ranked 278th in Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest people in 2006.

Usmanov said he intends to hand the collection over to the state.

An auction of the collection, scheduled for today and Wednesday in London, was canceled.

Rostropovich, who died in April at age 80, was considered one of the finest cellists of the 20th century.


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