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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   April 18, 2002 at 3:09 PM   |   Comments

URICH WANTED TO LIVE

Heather Menzies, married for 26 years to actor Robert Urich before his death on Tuesday, told People magazine the former star of "Vega$" and "Spenser: For Hire" wanted "everything done for him, because he wanted to live so much" -- but his health deteriorated to the point where she concluded that it wouldn't be right to put him on life support.

"I went in and held him," said Menzies. "And I said, 'I want to let you go and come into my heart because it's safe there.'"

According to People, Menzies and the couple's two children -- Ryan and Emily -- were with Urich when he died following a six-year struggle with synovial sarcoma, a rare cancer of the body's soft tissues.

Officials at Park City High School, in Park City, Utah have announced that a scholarship fund will be established in Urich's name.

Urich and Menzies spent a good deal of time during the '90s at their estate in Deer Valley near the school -- and helped raise money to build Eccles Performing Arts Center at the high school.


BULLOCK CHALLENGES POST-COLUMBINE DREAD

Sandra Bullock's new movie, which takes on the subject of high school killers, opens on Friday -- one day before the third anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

Hollywood often displays a preference to avoid such unpleasant subjects, but Bullock told the New York Daily News it's time to get past the fear and face the subject head on.

In "Murder by Numbers," she plays an FBI profiler who tracks down two gifted high school students who execute a series of what they think are perfect murders and try to pin the crimes on a friend.

"Everyone wants to tiptoe around issues," said Bullock. "But that's why so many things have gone wrong to begin with."

Bullock -- who also produced the movie -- conceded that she wondered at times while she was making the movie whether she was "putting messages out there" that might promote harmful behavior. She concluded that openness was best.

"If you sweep things under the carpet, you glorify it," said Bullock. "If you bring it out in the open, discuss what the problem could be, it's only going to help heal it."


AND AWAY WE GO!!

Mark Addy ("The Full Monty," "A Knight's Tale") has signed on to play legendary comic actor Jackie Gleason in a TV movie planned for the 2002-03 season on CBS.

"The Great One" was written by Rick Podell and Michael Preminger, who also wrote Gleason's last movie -- the 1986 comedy "Nothing in Common," in which Gleason shared the screen with the newly-minted star Tom Hanks.

The CBS movie is one of three high-profile Gleason projects being developed.

Plans call for Nathan Lane to play Gleason in a feature film, tentatively called "To the Moon." Paramount Pictures is working on a movie version of Gleason's pioneering TV comedy "The Honeymooners."


SHOULD LOVE HAVE HEAD EXAMINED?

According to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, surviving members of Kurt Cobain's band, Nirvana, are demanding that Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, submit to a psychiatric exam.

Love ("Man on the Moon," "The People vs. Larry Flynt") is engaged in a legal battle with former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic for control over the band's music. She and her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, filed suit last year to terminate Nirvana L.L.C., the business partnership she formed with Grohl and Novoselic.

Cobain's former bandmates alleged in December that Love is "incapacitated" and not fit to manage her business partnership with them.

"In her professional dealings, Love is irrational, mercurial, self-centered, unmanageable, inconsistent and unpredictable," said Grohl and Novoselic in a court filing.

A lawyer for Grohl and Novoselic told the paper that the evaluation would be used to determine whether Love is competent to remain as a member of the partnership. Attorney Kelly Corr said the partnership agreement includes a provision allowing any of the partners to request that another partner be examined for "capacity."

Grohl and Novoselic have requested that Love submit to an examination by a psychiatrist of their choosing by June 1.

Cobain shot and killed himself in 1994.


STARS LINE UP FOR CANNES

Sharon Stone ("Basic Instinct," "Casino") and Michelle Yeoh ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Tomorrow Never Dies") will sit on the jury that awards the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival next month.

The jury will be headed by director David Lynch ("Mulholland Drive," "Blue Velvet"). Other members of the panel include Indonesian actress Christine Hakim and French directors Claude Miller and Regis Wargnier.

Danish director Bille August ("Pelle the Conqueror") and Brazilian director Walter Salles ("Central Station") are also on the jury.


STARS COME OUT FOR Z-BOYS

Sean Penn and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk are on the guest list for Friday night's Los Angeles premiere of "Dogtown and Z-Boys," a new documentary about the birth of the Zephyr Skating Team and its contribution to American culture -- the high-flying "vert" style of skateboarding.

In the early 1970s, the team -- which came to be known as the Z-Boys -- developed its style in Dogtown, a rundown section of Santa Monica and Venice, Calif. They're the ones who figured out how to use banked school playgrounds and empty swimming pools to introduce a new style of skateboarding inspired by surfing.

Stacy Peralta, one of the original Z-Boys, wrote and directed the new movie -- combining interviews with original Zephyr team members with photography of Z-Boys at work. Penn is the narrator.

Peralta -- who is widely credited with discovering Hawk -- produced the skateboarding film "The Bones Brigade Video Show" in 1984 with Craig Stecyk, a co-writer on "Dogtown and Z-Boys." Peralta worked as a second unit director on "Police Academy 4" (1987) and "Thrashin'" (1986). He served as a scene choreographer and skateboard consultant on Steven Spielberg's "Hook" (1990).

© 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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