Robin Williams recovers after heart surgery
New York — Robin Williams was recovering at the Cleveland Clinic after heart surgery that his doctors deemed successful, his publicists said Monday.
The 57-year-old actor had an operation to replace an aortic valve on March 13, publicists Mara Buxbaum and Chris Kanarick said. He was expected to make a complete recovery in the next eight weeks.
“His heart is strong, and he will have normal heart function in the coming weeks with no limitations on what he’ll be able to do,” said Dr. A. Marc Gillinov, a cardiothoracic surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. “A couple of hours after surgery, he was entertaining the medical team and making us all laugh.”
Williams was initially treated at the University of Miami Hospital before being transferred to Cleveland. He had been in Florida earlier this month when he was forced to cancel the remainder of his one-man comedy show, “Weapons of Self-Destruction,” after experiencing shortness of breath.
Williams’ sold-out, multi-city tour is expected to resume in the fall.
Letterman marries longtime girlfriend
Los Angeles — David Letterman said he and longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko had a bumpy trip to matrimony last week.
During a taping Monday of CBS’ “Late Show,” Letterman said he and Lasko married March 19 at the Teton County Courthouse in Choteau, Mont., but only after their truck got stuck on a muddy road.
Letterman and Lasko, whose son, Harry, was born in November 2003, didn’t take an immediate honeymoon. The late-night host was back at work in New York on Monday to deliver the news — and a few jokes about the marriage.
“Regina and I began dating in February of 1986, and I said, ‘Well, things are going pretty good, let’s just see what happens in about 10 years,”’ Letterman, who turns 62 next month, said at the taping, according to a transcript.
After avoiding marriage for more than two decades, Letterman said, “I secretly felt that men who were married admired me … like I was the last of the real gunslingers, you know what I’m saying?”
Bruce Willis weds for the 2nd time
Los Angeles — Bruce Willis has tied the knot for the second time.
The actor’s publicity agency, Rogers & Cowan, said in a statement that the 54-year-old Willis married Emma Heming in a small, private ceremony at his home in Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
The couple met through mutual friends more than a year ago.
This is the first marriage for Heming, a 30-year-old model/actress.
Guests included Willis’ three daughters from his first marriage to actress Demi Moore: Rumer, 20, Scout, 17, and Tallulah Belle, 14, as well as Moore, and her husband, actor Ashton Kutcher.
The couple plan a civil ceremony when they return to California.
Lauer absent from ‘Today’ after bicycle flip
New York — A flip off his bicycle took “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer off the air Monday with a shoulder injury.
Lauer, 51, was riding his bicycle on Long Island this weekend when a deer jumped into his path. He flipped over the bike’s handlebars and was slightly hurt, NBC said.
“Today” show publicist Megan Kopf said Lauer, who was wearing a helmet, separated his shoulder and was scheduled to have surgery Monday.
“He’s doing well, and we hope to have him back on ‘Today’ later this week,” Kopf said in an e-mail.
Lauer’s broadcast partner, Meredith Vieira, joked on the air that Lauer thinks the deer was hired by the competition.
Lester Holt filled in as Vieira’s co-host Monday.
Drummer leaves Smashing Pumpkins
New York — Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has left the Smashing Pumpkins.
Chamberlin’s departure is posted on the Smashing Pumpkins’ Web site. The announcement didn’t say why the 44-year-old Chamberlin left the group.
Chamberlin joined the Grammy-winning alternative rock band in 1988 and played on all of their albums except 1998’s “Adore.” The band broke up in 2000 and reunited six years later with Chamberlin and frontman Billy Corgan on board.
The announcement says Corgan, who sings and plays guitar, will “continue to write and record as Smashing Pumpkins with plans to head into the studio this spring.”
More country artists to join salute to Strait
Nashville, Tenn. — A teen country princess and an R&B crooning actor will join industry veterans to honor George Strait as the Academy of Country Music’s artist of the decade.
Acts announced Monday for a concert honoring Strait include Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, LeAnn Rimes, Blake Shelton, Lee Ann Womack, John Rich and Jack Ingram.
The additions join previously announced guests Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift and Sugarland.
The show, “George Strait: ACM Artist of the Decade All Star Concert,” will be recorded April 6 in Las Vegas and will air on CBS on May 27.