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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Oct. 26, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

TOM HANKS

The American Film Institute has announced that it will present its life achievement award to two-time Oscar-winning actor-director Tom Hanks.

The 45-year-old actor will join a list of AFI honorees that includes such screen legends as Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Bette Davis, James Cagney, Elizabeth Taylor, James Stewart, Jack Lemmon and Barbra Streisand.

He will pick up the award on June 12 in ceremonies at the new Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland, which will also be the new home of the Academy Awards beginning next March.

"Tom Hanks is American film's Everyman for a new generation,'' said Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI board of trustees.

In addition to winning best actors Oscars for "Forrest Gump" (1994) and "Philadelphia" (1993), Hanks has been nominated for best actor for his performances in "Cast Away" (2000), "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) and "Big" (1988).


WILL SMITH

As the buzz builds around his upcoming movie "Ali," Will Smith is beginning to sound a bit like the three-time heavyweight boxing champion he played in the movie.

Muhammad Ali was famous for -- among other things -- claiming he was "the greatest." He even played himself in the movie biography, "The Greatest," in 1977.

In an interview in the December Playboy, Smith shows he can boast with the best of them -- either that or he's a real kidder.

The star of "Men in Black" and "Independence Day," who is also a four-time Grammy-winning rapper, told the magazine his accomplishments in the entertainment business are "just a pit stop on the way to my true greatness."

How great does Smith think he can be?

"I honestly think I could be the President of the U.S. if I really wanted to," he said.

Smith has yet to join the top tier of Hollywood stardom, but he's anxious to get there -- and beyond.

"I want Tom Cruise to take movies that I turn down," Smith told Playboy. "I want you to have to ask Tom Cruise, 'So what does it feel like to have to wait until Will turns it down?' I want you to have to ask Tom Hanks, 'If Will turns down the next whatever, will you take it?'"

"Ali" may put Smith in the inner circle of Hollywood's A-list. If and when that happens, he apparently will regard it as fate. "I felt like there was nobody in the world who could do this but me," he said.

(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


FRANK SINATRA

Rita Rudner, Siegfried & Roy, Wayne Newton, Wolfgang Puck, Blue Man Group, David Brenner and a host of other performers from Las Vegas resorts have joined together to sing along with the late Frank Sinatra in two new television ads featuring the never-before-released Sinatra song "It's Time for You."

The new 30-second spots also feature the ladies of Le Femme, the casts of Jubilee, "Mystere" and "O," the knights of Excalibur, the pirates from Treasure Island and seven Elvis impersonators. The entertainers were filmed at recognizable locations and in front of landmarks throughout the city -- such as the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign and the Fremont Street Experience.

The ads are part of a new advertising campaign launched by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

(Web site: vegasfreedom.com)


LET'S DO THE TIME WARP AGAIN

"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is returning to Broadway just in time for Halloween.

The cult musical comedy re-opens next Tuesday for a 10-week engagement at its original home, Circle in the Square Theatre. It stars Sebastian Bach, Jarrod Emick, Liz Larsen, Kristen Lee Kelly, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jason Wooten and Terrence Mann as Dr. Frank 'N' Furter.

There will be a series of celebrity narrators, including: Dick Cavett (Oct. 30-Nov. 4, Dec. 16-Jan. 6), Cindy Adams (Dec. 4-9), Robin Leach (Nov. 6-11) Sally Jessy Raphael (Dec 11-16), Gilbert Gottfied (Nov. 13-18), Penn & Teller (Dec 18-23), MTV's Dave Holmes (Nov. 20-25) and Jerry Springer (Nov. 27-Dec. 2).

The revival opened on Broadway on Oct. 20, 2000, but closed Sept. 23, 2001, due to the disruption in theater business after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

(Web site: RockyHorrorLive.com)

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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