BILLY BOB SADDLES UP FOR ROAD TRIP
Billy Bob Thornton -- who co-stars with best actress Oscar-winner Halle Berry in "Monster's Ball" -- is gearing up for an eight-city U.S. concert tour, kicking off on May 17 in Los Angeles and continuing through May 28 in New York. Plans call for stops in San Francisco, Austin, New Orleans, Atlanta, Toronto and Philadelphia. In a statement issued Tuesday, the star of "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "Bandits" said he wants his concerts to recreate the feeling he used to get going to concerts "and feeling like you were actually a participant in the show." On his debut album, "Private Radio," Thornton turned his Oscar-winning writing talents ("Sling Blade") to songwriting. "These songs are incredibly personal to me," said Thornton, "and I think the best way to share them with an audience is in an intimate setting where they can really feel the emotion in them."
KING WAFFLES ON RETIREMENT PLANS
Stephen King, who has been quoted more than once lately saying he is retiring from writing, has a new version of his future plans in the current issue of Time magazine. The author of "Carrie," "The Stand" and "The Shining" told news magazine he can imagine retiring from publishing, but not from writing. "If I wrote something I thought was worth publishing, I would publish it," he said. "But in terms of publishing stuff on a yearly basis the way I have been, I think those days are pretty much over." Apparently, King isn't feeling any financial pressure to work. He told Time he figures he has made "maybe $100 million, $120 million" in his career. "I couldn't tell you exactly," he said. "It's a lot."
IS CLEESE A CONTROL FREAK?
John Cleese, who recently bought the four-bedroom, 6,000-square-foot house next to his Santa Barbara estate, already has put up the "For Sale" sign in front of the place. The 62-year-old star of the new ABC comedy "Wednesdays at 9:30 (8:30 Central)" told the Los Angeles Times he wants to find a buyer who will not disturb him too much. "I'm not just selling a house," said the former Monty Python trouper. "I'm buying a neighbor." He said he and his wife are hoping to sell to a movie director or a screenwriter -- "someone who doesn't have loud parties." According to the paper, the asking price is $5.5 million.
TV ACADEMY ANNOUNCES NEW HALL OF FAME CREW
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has named six new inductees for its Hall of Fame -- including three key players on the legendary CBS variety series, "The Carol Burnett Show." Comic actors Harvey Korman and Tim Conway and costume designer Bob Mackie, will go into the hall, along with Jean Stapleton, John Frankenheimer and Bud Yorkin. Korman won Emmys for his work on "Burnett" in 1969, 1971, 1972 and 1974. Conway won Emmys for the show in 1973, 1977 and 1978. Mackie has won eight Emmys for his designs for specials starring Burnett, Cher and Diana Ross and the Supremes. Stapleton won three Emmys (1971-72, '78) playing Edith Bunker on "All in the Family." She was nominated five other times. Frankenheimer directed more than 150 live programs during the 1950s and won Emmys for directing in 1994 ("Against the Wall"), 1995 ("The Burning Season"), 1996 ("Andersonville") and 1998 ("George Wallace"). Yorkin and his partner Norman Lear produced such classic TV comedies as "All in the Family," "Maude," "Good Times" and "Sanford and Son."
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 298
Here's today's question: "What do you think should be done with the site of the old World Trade Center towers?" Put WTC in the subject line and send to email@example.com via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 293 (NUMBER)
Last week we inquired about your favorite numbers and any coincidences or neat stories. Cricketn wrote to say that her favorite number is -- surprisingly -- 13! She says that her son was born on July 13, 1981 and it happened at 13-past-six. The hospital room was 313. He weighed six pounds, 13 ounces. Peggy says her "lucky" number is the house number of her grandma's ... 342. It's also the date of her birth. She says that ironically she wakes up at 3:42 in the morning, for some reason. But, 342 has never paid off in the lottery. Sue's numbers are 7 and 13. Her birthday is 7/13. She had a friend Jim with the same birthday. They were married on 7/31. Seven was a favorite of many, largely because of its Biblical implications. Me, I like any number that is a BINGO. My favorite bingo number is I-19 ... though it seems to be called fewer and fewer times in recent months. TOMORROW: The strangest day of your life. GBA.