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UPI NewsTrack Entertainment News

Nov. 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM   |   Comments

Funeral held for actor Sherman Hemsley

EL PASO, Texas, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Television icon Sherman Hemsley, who died of lung cancer in July, has been buried in Texas after months of legal wrangling over his estate.

Hemsley, 74, served in the U.S. Air Force before finding fame as a cast member of the sitcom "All in the Family." He later starred in the TV shows "The Jeffersons" and "Amen."

His funeral was held up for months while his half-brother Richard Thornton fought his beneficiary, friend and business partner Flora Isela Enchinton Bernal in court over his estate. An El Paso probate judge ruled in Bernal's favor this month.

The El Paso (Texas) Times said about 200 people attended his Wednesday funeral at Cielo Vista Church and saw him buried at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery with full military honors.

"I know there are millions of fans who are saddened by his death," the Times quoted Chaplain Sam Faraone as saying during his eulogy. "As [characters] George Jefferson and Deacon Frye, he helped us laugh. He helped us forget the stresses of life, sit back and laugh."

"I'm happy that he got what he wanted and that he found peace," Bernal said. "His body might be here, but spiritually, he is everywhere. He loved everyone."


Tony Hall named BBC director general

LONDON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Tony Hall, chief executive of London's Royal Opera House and the BBC's former news director, has been named the British broadcaster's director general.

He replaces George Entwistle, who resigned earlier this month after only 54 days in the position following the broadcast of an erroneous "Newsnight" report.

Acting director general Tim Davie will continue until Hall assumes the post in March.

BBC Trust Chairman Chris Patten said the BBC needs "to take a long, hard look at the way it operates and put in place the changes required to ensure it lives up to the standards that the public expects.

"Tony Hall is the right person to lead this," he said.

"Tony Hall has been an insider and is currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man he understands how the corporation's culture and behavior make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world. And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the sometimes justified criticisms of the corporation -- that it can be inward-looking and on occasions too institutional. But perhaps most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his background in news will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences."

The shakeup at the BBC comes amid a scandal in which hundreds of women said former radio and TV personality Jimmy Savile, who died last year at age 84, sexually abused them when they were girls. Police and BBC investigations are currently under way.


Craig takes, passes N.Y. driving test

NEW YORK, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- British actor Daniel Craig took written and driving tests and sat through a five-hour safety course to obtain his New York driver's license, officials said.

Craig is the current portrayer of James Bond, a fictional superspy known for his frequent, death- defying car chases with assorted villains.

The New York Post said he earned his New York driver's license in September shortly before his latest 007 adventure "Skyfall" became a blockbuster.

Craig passed his written test, then went to Manhattan's Professional Driving School of the Americas on 23rd Street to take a five-hour classroom-based safety lesson.

"His assistant requested a special class for Daniel by himself. No other students were there," Richard Fernandez, an office manager at the driving school, told the Post. "He was such a nice dude, so friendly. ...

"No one is exempt, regardless of who you are," Fernandez said of the requirements for getting a New York driver's license.

He then took and passed his road test on Staten Island, the Post said.

Craig married longtime New York resident, actress Rachel Weisz, last year.


'Diamonds' tops U.S. record chart

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Rihanna's "Diamonds" is No. 1 on the U.S. record chart, Billboard.com reported Thursday.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 is Maroon 5's "One More Night," followed by Ke$ha's "Die Young" at No. 3, Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven" at No. 4 and fun.'s "Some Nights" at No. 5.

Rounding out the top tier are Ne-Yo's "Let Me Love You [Until You Learn to Love Yourself]" at No. 6, PSY's "Gangnam Style" at No. 7, Lumineers' "Ho Hey" at No. 8, Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" at No.9 and Flo Rida's "I Cry" at No. 10.

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