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Archive for Saturday, June 20, 2009

People in the news

June 20, 2009

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Tony Hawk takes a glide through White House

Washington — Hey, kids, don’t try this at home.

Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk on Friday took a brief ride at the White House as part of a Father’s Day celebration.

Hawk, 41, skated in the grand foyer and the nearby Old Executive Office Building, with the permission of White House officials.

The skateboarding icon, also known for his popular brand of skateboarding video games, posted photos to his Web site and Twitter page.

One photo shows Hawk on his skateboard with his hands in the air in what appears to be a hallway.

Hawk joined other dads, athletes and celebrities at a Father’s Day forum hosted by President Barack Obama. Celebrity chef Bobby Flay helped man the barbecue grills for a White House picnic for the attendees, which included NBA players Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and Etan Thomas of the Washington Wizards.

“The Prez addressing all of us fathers before we split up to visit DC charities,” Hawk tweeted. “D Wade & Etan T make me feel short.”

T.R. Knight leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Los Angeles — A medical mystery was solved Friday: T.R. Knight won’t be back on “Grey’s Anatomy” next season.

“Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ was not an easy decision for me to make. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to play this character and will miss my fellow cast and crew very much,” Knight said in a statement.

He also thanked fans for their support, but conspicuously didn’t mention series creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes.

Knight, who played Dr. George O’Malley, had seen his role diminished this season and asked to be let out of a contract that still had three years to go. In the season finale, his character had been injured — fatally, it appeared — as he saved a woman from a bus collision.

Katherine Heigl’s character, Dr. Izzie Stevens, also appeared to have an uncertain future after brain surgery in the May finale. But Heigl will return to the show, ABC said Friday.

Heigl had previously expressed discontent with the writing for her character and, with steady film roles, was considered a candidate for departure. In March, however, she said she was ready to stay and the decision rested with producers.

Adam Lambert album expected this summer

Los Angeles — An album featuring Adam Lambert is coming out sooner than expected.

Songs from the “American Idol” runner-up will be released this summer by Hi Fi Recordings and Wilshire Records, beginning with the single “Want.” A spokeswoman for the label said the tracks were recorded in 2007 and 2008 before Lambert’s rise on the popular Fox singing competition. The album will be titled “On with the Show.”

Lambert inked a record deal with 19 Entertainment and RCA Recordings earlier this month after losing to Kris Allen on the “Idol” finale. Lambert is scheduled to record that album while on the road with the show’s finalists for the “Idols Live Tour,” which starts July 5. The untitled album is expected for release in the fall.

Settlement deadline set in Freeman lawsuit

Jackson, Miss. — A federal judge says actor Morgan Freeman and the woman suing him over a car wreck should submit settlement proposals to the court by July 15.

Demaris Meyer claims the 71-year-old Oscar-winning actor was negligent when the car he was driving ran off the side of a rural Mississippi highway in August. Meyer was a passenger in the car when it flipped several times. Both of them were seriously injured.

Freeman’s attorney has said in court papers that Meyer shares blame for the accident.

The judge set the deadline on Wednesday. Such deadlines are common in federal civil cases and don’t necessarily indicate the sides will agree.

U.S. Magistrate S. Allan Alexander has scheduled a July 29 conference on the case in U.S. District Court in Oxford.

Winfrey visits festival at her S. African school

Henley-On-Klip, South Africa — Oprah Winfrey sat rapt Friday in the front row of the state-of-the-art theater during a show put on by the poor girls she has built an exclusive school for.

The talk show host clapped enthusiastically, tapped her foot during a musical item and had a warm hug for one young girl who recited an essay she wrote describing her broken poverty-stricken family and her desire to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

“I am moved by the stories,” Winfrey told The Associated Press at the end of the school’s annual weeklong arts festival. “When you think about these little girls three years ago carrying buckets of water on their heads and (living) with no running water. Now they are talking about going to Harvard and winning a Nobel Peace Prize.

“I am moved by the fact that I have a vision for them and it now feels like they have embodied that vision for themselves. They are living the dream,” she said.

The girls were treated to acting classes by British actress Thandie Newton and learned about art and design from Greg Lauren, nephew of American fashion designer Ralph.

The festival included dance classes, photography workshops, and even cooking sessions with Art Smith, Winfrey’s former personal chef.

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