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By United Press International   |   Nov. 23, 2011 at 4:00 AM

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JOHN NEVILLE: British actor and director John Neville has died in Toronto following a battle with Alzheimer's disease, his family said. He was 86.

The Edmonton Journal confirmed Neville's Saturday death but did not list a cause.

Neville started his career at London's Old Vic theater in 1953. He performed in stage classics such as "Hamlet," "Othello" and "Romeo and Juliet," as well as in West End hits like "Irma La Douce" and "Alfie."

He later served as artistic director of the Nottingham Playhouse before emigrating to Canada in 1972, the Journal noted.

In his new country, he held artistic directorships of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, the Neptune Theatre in Halifax and the Stratford Festival, the newspaper said.

His notable film roles include "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" in 1988 and "Little Women" in 1994. He also had a recurring role on the 1990s TV series "The X Files."

A memorial is planned for the new year, the Journal said.


MICHELE BACHMANN: Drummer Ahmir Thompson says he meant to be funny, not mean, when he played "Lyin' Ass Bitch" during Michele Bachmann's visit to "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Known professionally as Questlove, Thompson was criticized for performing a snippet of the Fishbone song when the Minnesota congresswoman and Republican presidential hopeful appeared on Monday's edition of the NBC late-night talk show.

Thompson, a member of the "Late Night" house band The Roots, addressed the controversy in a statement issued to ABC News Tuesday.

"The performance was a tongue-in-cheek and spur-of-the-moment decision. The show was not aware of it and I feel bad if her feelings were hurt. That was not my intention," Thompson said.

ABC News pointed out the musician hinted earlier in the day via Twitter that he had a song picked out for Bachmann's appearance, even though he did not divulge the title.

"late night walkon song devotees: you love it when we snark: this next one takes the cake. ask around cause i aint tweeting title," Thompson wrote.

Bachmann did not immediately comment on the incident, ABC News said.


'DANCING WITH THE STARS:' Iraq War veteran and actor J.R. Martinez and his professional dance partner Karina Smirnoff were crowned the winners of "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles.

The pair beat out reality TV personality Robert Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, and actress and talk-show host Ricki Lake and Derek Hough for the honor on Tuesday night's season finale.

"Oh, man! First and foremost, I want to thank everybody who voted for us for the last 10 weeks. Thank you, America, for believing in us," Martinez said upon hearing he and his partner won the competition.

Turning to Smirnoff, he added: "You are amazing and I'm so grateful that I was able to be a part of your first mirror ball trophy. Thank you very much."


MEG RYAN: Rocker John Mellencamp threw a dinner party to celebrate the 50th birthday of his girlfriend, actress Meg Ryan, the manager of an Indiana restaurant said.

The Indianapolis Star reported Ryan's friends, including actress Kathy Najimy, and Mellencamp's teen-age sons, Hud and Speck, attended the surprise party Saturday night at Downtown's Dunaways before they headed off to Clowes Memorial Hall to watch Mellencamp's show.

Connie McDonald, office and events manager for Dunaways, told the newspaper the group enjoyed dinner, followed by Ryan's birthday carrot cake.

"It was really, really sweet, you know," McDonald said of the event.

Mellencamp began dating Ryan late last year. His divorce from fashion model Elaine Irwin was finalized in August. Mellencamp and Irwin were married in 1992.

Ryan was previously married to actor Dennis Quaid.

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