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By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International   |   May 3, 2002 at 6:40 PM   |   Comments

ACTING NATURALLY CAN BE VERY PROFITABLE

It would appear that Ozzy Osbourne and his family will profit handsomely from their participation in the hugely successful MTV "reality" show, "The Osbournes." People magazine says that Ozzy and his pals could be paid as much as $20 million for just being themselves ... if that is actually the case. If reports about the paycheck are true, then the $200,000 they were paid for the 10 shows of season one would seem a pittance. The series has turned into cable's most-watched series, ever. It would appear that if the family agreed to the $200,000 on "spec," hoping that the show would take off, its initial willingness to participate has really paid off.


IS GOLDIE READY FOR 'ALL ABOUT EVE?'

We all know that Goldie Hawn is quite an actress. None of us ever thought that the giggling starlet of "Laugh-In" fame would ever turn out to be the kind of seasoned veteran that she has become. Now, though, she may be facing her toughest acting challenge. According to columnist Liz Smith, Hawn and her daughter, Kate Hudson, think they should be the stars of a remake of the classic movie "All About Eve." But, considering the way Bette Davis "chewed up the scenery" in that movie, is Goldie too much of a lightweight to step into Bette's sizable shoes? The part of Margo Channing was given to Davis on a fluke. Claudette Colbert (who played everything from Cleopatra to the hassled farm wife in "The Egg and I") had to opt out of playing the part because of a back problem. The rest is cinematic history. Smith says that the second question surrounding the possible success of a remake of "Eve" is whether today's supporting actors are up to the performances put in by the likes of Thelma Ritter, Gary Merrill, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Anne Baxter, Gregory Ratoff and Marilyn Monroe.


MEMPHIS BEAUTY CONTESTANTS IN LIMBO

Traditionally, when a beauty contest announces its winner a statement is made that if the winner "can't serve her term" then the runner-up would be crowned as a replacement. But in Memphis, promoters of a pageant there are in a quandary about what to do. It seems that the woman who recently won the Miss Memphis event was subsequently disqualified. Brandi Watkins was stripped of her crown after a check of local utility bill records showed that she had not lived in Memphis long enough to be eligible under the pageant's residency requirements. Now the Commercial Appeal newspaper says that the Jaycees -- owners of the local pageant franchise -- have not made any decision about whom to send to the state contest. One reason for the slowness in naming a successor is that friends of the former queen have been coming forward with what the newspaper calls "tons of paperwork" to show that Watkins did qualify for the event and call her ousting "ludicrous."


COUNTRY STARS DO ZZ TOP MUSIC TRIBUTE

The raucous rock group ZZ Top has been honored by a group of country artists in a new CD with an incredibly ungrammatical title, "Sharp Dressed Men: A Tribute to ZZ Top." The RCA release features country artists covering many of the songs of the group, self-described as "the little ole band from Texas." The news provider country.com says that the set is a mixed and varied one. Among the ZZ Top songs redone are "Legs," "Jesus Just Left Chicago" and "Cheap Sunglasses." The lineup of stars on the album is impressive: Hank Williams Jr., Tracy Byrd, Brooks & Dunn, Dwight Yoakam, Andy Griggs, Kenny Chesney, Montgomery Gentry, Phil Vassar, Hank Williams III, Lonestar, Brad Paisley, the Warren Brothers, Trace Adkins and Alan Jackson. By the way, the bearded band that is the subject of the tribute continues to tour, with a major appearance in Las Vegas on May 11. For more, check out zztop.com on the Internet.


HAGGARD FIGHTS FOR 'MISSING' SONGS

Lawyers for Merle Haggard have obtained a court order in Texas to prevent a music promoter from selling unreleased songs by the country star. The action follows in the wake of another court case in which the object of Haggard's suit filed papers against him, claiming he failed to appear at a concert she had promoted in Texas. Now the musician's lawyers, according to the Dallas Morning News, claim that Haggard was a no-show because of chest pains. Further, they claim that the woman stole a cassette from the singer's tour bus and is now trying to sell copies of the as-of-yet-unpublished music on the Internet. After learning of the court flap, the Internet auction site eBay took the music from its catalog. Haggard says he feels as if the missing cassette's songs are his "kidnapped children." The asking price for the tapes was nearly a third of a million dollars.


LEGACY OF SEATTLE SLEW HANGS OVER DERBY

There are two major topics of discussion as the Kentucky Derby nears: The great visible increase in security at this year's event and the continuing legacy of Seattle Slew. That was the horse that captured the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing in 1977. Slew is the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner and the only remaining Triple Crown champion. The horse's legacy remains in the blood of many of racing's top participants. Sports writer Mickey Herskowitz points out that although the horse made its owners millionaires during its racing days, it "broke the bank" during its years at stud. His more than 1,000 offspring have won all the major races. Included are more than 100 stakes winners. Swale won the Derby in '84. If you look at film of 1977's three events you'll see Slew easily outdistancing the rest of the field, running away with each race. At the time the victories seemed dramatic; now, with the passage of time and many recent near-photo-finish races, what Seattle Slew did in that breathtaking year seems even more incredible. By the way, the venerable horse nearly died of a viral infection some time ago. Seattle Slew is now 28 and recently underwent surgery to fuse neck bones.


UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 325

Here's an interesting question sent in by PS: "What's the oldest thing in your purse or wallet?" Put OLDEST in the subject line and send to survey@upi.com via the Internet.


RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 320 (PERSON)

Last week we asked if you are a "day" person or a "night" person. A quick sampling from the mailbox shows that an overwhelming number of people who read this column don't know when to go to bed at night. The term "night owl" is an understatement for many of them. Peggy says that her bedtime has changed over the years. She is among many who note that when they were younger they were up all night, but the rules and regulations of the "adult" world dictate a new schedule. Cards, on the other hand, is an "absolute morning person. The minute I get out of bed, I'm raring to go." Reminds me of a statement Peggy Cass made to me in an interview once: "Whenever I get up in the morning I say WHOOPEE!" Many told horrible tales of the problems with working overnight shifts. I think I mentioned that I had to see a sleep specialist once after more than a decade of horrible hours. PP was among a few who mentioned they were an "all day" person. Some even reported sleeping in shifts. Thanks to all for the huge response on this question. NEXT UP: Your least favorite commercials. GBA.

© 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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