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Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International   |   Feb. 1, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

BRAD PITT

It didn't really look like Brad Pitt -- scruffy clothes, beard and all. But, according to published reports, the actor has gone "slumming" several times in London this week, joining the locals for a brew or two.

In one case, he ambled into a pub called The King's Arms in the Soho district of the British capital and joined the crowd for more than 45 minutes.

Even though the millionaire movie star may have seemed detached -- Jennifer Aniston was not with him -- he was certainly not alone. At least one publication notes that his "handlers" were close by, sitting at another table -- trying to fade into the woodwork.

(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)


DIAHANN CARROLL

Diahann Carroll has joined Sally Field and Pat Hingle in the cast of "The Court," the upcoming ABC drama set at the U.S. Supreme Court. Carroll will play a liberal associate justice. Miguel Sandoval and Chris Sarandon also appear as justices. Hingle will play the chief justice.

Carroll made her feature film debut in the 1954 drama "Carmen Jones." In 1959, she played Clara in "Porgy and Bess," and in 1967 she appeared in "Hurry Sundown." From 1968-71, she starred in the groundbreaking NBC comedy "Julia" as a young nurse who starts a new life after her husband is killed in Vietnam. It was the first time a black woman starred in a comedy series without appearing as a domestic, such as "Beulah" -- the 1950s comedy starring Ethel Waters as a black maid who was constantly bailing her not-too-smart employers out of some jam or another.

Carroll appeared in the TV miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations" and the TV movie "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," both in 1979. From 1984-87, she played Dominique Deveraux Lloyd on "Dynasty."

In 1999, she co-starred with Ruby Dee in the TV movie "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years," based on the best-selling book about Sadie and Bessie Delany. The daughters of the first black Episcopal bishop in the U.S., their personal histories provided something of a time line for the changes experienced by American blacks across the 20th century.

Carroll's most recent project was the NBC TV movie "Livin' for Love: The Natalie Cole Story." In 2001, she toured the United States in "Almost Like Being in Love -- The Lerner & Loewe Songbook."


WGA HONORS

The western chapter of the Writers Guild of America will present its highest TV writing honor to Glen and Les Charles, in recognition of a body of work that brought some of the smartest, funniest writing to TV audiences -- reaching as far back as "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and continuing to this day with "Frasier."

The brother team from Nevada will receive the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television at the WGA Awards ceremony March 2. The award is given to writers "who have advanced the literature of television through the years, and who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of the television writer."

Previous recipients include Steven Bochco, Larry Gelbart, Madelyn Pugh Davis & Bob Carroll Jr., Jess Oppenheimer, Carl Reiner, Rod Serling and David Lloyd.

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


'AMELIE'

The Paris tourist industry is getting an un-seasonal boost from Japan, as planeloads of young Japanese women fly in on "Amelie" package tours (6 days for $1,510) to cash in their vouchers for coffee and crème brulee at the Montmartre Café des Deux Moulins. They're on a pilgrimage inspired by the French movie that has taken Tokyo's female twentysomethings by storm, and looks set to win the Oscar for best foreign film.

The film about a delightfully wacky French waitress, portrayed by actress Audrey Tautou, has broken all Tokyo records for a French movie, colonized the covers of woman's magazines with Amelie-mania, her taste in food and clothes and furnishings -- thanks to smart tie-in deals with the Tomorrowland clothing chain, with 135 outlets around Japan, restaurants serving "Amelie" menus based on the movie and "Amelie" designs.

(From UPI Hears)


HAROLD RUSSELL DIES

Harold Russell -- Oscar-winning actor and three-term national commander of AMVETS, a veteran's organization -- died Wednesday night after a lengthy illness.

Russell entered the American consciousness for his Academy Award-winning portrayal of a double-amputee veteran in "The Best Years of Our Lives," winner of 1946's Academy Award for best picture. The film chronicled the difficulties encountered by U.S servicemen returning home after combat service in World War II. In real life, Russell lost both his hands during a World War II training accident.

(From UPI Capital Comment)


'TELETUBBIES'

After smothering the rest of the planet with group hugs and baby babble, Britain's Teletubbies are set to waddle across television's last great frontier and embrace the world's largest audience.

In March, Laa Laa and Co. will debut before the 600 million viewers of China Central Television's Channel One.

From India to Iceland, from Serbia to Somalia, more than 120 countries have fallen for the chubby quartet's infantile charms. Russian children know them as "Telepuzikis;" in Estonia they are the "Teletupsuds." China's audiences will know them as the "Tianxian Baobao" or "Antenna Babies."

In the Chinese version, Dipsy will be known as "Dixi" or "Enlighten the West." Dipsy's friend, Tinky Winky -- the purple, handbag-toting character that's become a gay icon in the West -- translates as "Ding Ding" or "Man Man."

(Thanks to UPI's Calum MacLeod in Beijing)

© 2002 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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