Archive for Wednesday, July 16, 2008

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July 16, 2008

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Michael J. Fox set for role on 'Rescue Me'

Beverly Hills, Calif. - Michael J. Fox will return to series TV with a four-episode guest role on FX's "Rescue Me."

FX also announced on Tuesday that Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollock") will be joining the Glenn Close legal drama "Damages" as a second-season series regular, while Ted Danson will return to the show for several episodes.

On "Rescue Me," which stars Denis Leary as troubled firefighter Tommy Gavin, Fox will play a "very funny, very original character," said John Landgraf, president and general manager of FX Networks.

Fox's character, who uses a wheelchair, is the new boyfriend of Tommy's estranged wife Janet (Andrea Roth) and will be introduced in the fifth-season premiere in spring 2009. The episode's air date was not announced.

Fox, 47, a friend of Leary's, was "really excited about the part," Landgraf said.

The star of TV's "Family Ties" and "Spin City" and the "Back to the Future" films was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1991 and revealed his condition publicly in 1998. He quit acting full time in 2000 because of his symptoms, which have included shaking and rocking.

Elton John inspires Ben & Jerry's flavor

Montpelier, Vt. - Ben & Jerry's has done it again: Hoping to honor rocker Elton John before his first-ever Vermont performance, Vermont's crazy-cool confectioner has whipped up a flavor just for him - "Goodbye Yellow Brickle Road."

The limited-batch ice cream, made from "an outrageous symphony of decadent chocolate ice cream, peanut butter cookie dough, butter brickle and white chocolate chunks," is a take-off on his 1970s album and song "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."

It will be available from July 18 to July 25 in the company's Vermont scoop shops, with proceeds going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, officials said Tuesday.

It'll also be doled out in cups, cones and dishes at John's sold-out Champlain Valley Expo show Monday.

The Burlington-based ice cream maker - whose rock 'n' roll-themed products have honored late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia ("Cherry Garcia") and Vermont-bred jam rockers Phish ("PhishFood") - wanted to toast John because he was finally getting around to playing the Green Mountain State.

He's performed in every other U.S. state.

Jolie's dad happy about grandchildren

Los Angeles - Jon Voight says he's doubly happy about his ultra-famous new grandchildren.

Voight says he's "so excited" that daughter Angelina Jolie has given birth to twins in southern France.

He says he hasn't spoken to Jolie yet. The two have been estranged for many years.

But speaking during a Television Critics Association press tour, Voight told The Associated Press: "My heart is with them, and all my love goes to them."

He spoke Monday night in Los Angeles.

Jolie gave birth to Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Leon in Nice on Saturday with proud papa Brad Pitt at her side.

Attorney: Lohan on track with sentence

Beverly Hills, Calif. - Lindsay Lohan's attorney says the star is on track after pleading guilty last year to drunken driving.

Lohan's attorney, Blair Berk, gave an update Tuesday on how the actress is complying with her sentence for misdemeanor drunken driving and cocaine charges.

Berk told the judge that Lohan is "completely on track with everything." The judge seemed satisfied but scheduled another progress report for January.

The hearing came less than a year after Lohan's plea. It required the "Mean Girls" star to complete various programs or else face stiffer penalties.

Lohan has so far spent 84 minutes in jail, completed community service, and visited a morgue and an emergency room.

Lohan did not attend Tuesday's hearing.

Farm Aid to take stage in New England

Boston - Farm Aid, the long-running benefit concert, will be held this year in New England for the first time.

The show will be Sept. 20 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, co-founder John Mellencamp said Tuesday. Farm Aid, which held its first concert in 1985 and has raised more than $30 million, supports family farms.

"New England was built on the strength of independent family farmers," said Mellencamp, who was in Boston for concerts Monday and Tuesday. "We can honor that independent spirit by joining Farm Aid to grow the movement that is changing the way all of America eats."

Farm Aid co-founders Willie Nelson, Mellencamp and Neil Young will headline the concert, along with board member Dave Matthews, who owns the Best of What's Around farm near Scottsville, Va. More performers will be announced later.

Organizers plan to offer local and organic farm products at the concert, such as apples, cider and baked goods, as well as information on composting, water and soil quality and other farming topics.

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