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Hollywood Digest

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   July 1, 2002 at 3:36 PM   |   Comments

THE WHO WILL ROCK ON

The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles should rock pretty hard Monday night when The Who kick off their new U.S. tour -- four days after the death of founding member John Entwistle of a heart attack at 57.

The band has hired session bassist Pino Palladino (Clapton, Phil Collins, Melissa Etheridge) to replace Entwistle, who died in Las Vegas Thursday on the eve of the legendary rock band's new U.S. tour.

The band called off Friday and Saturday performances in Las Vegas and Irvine, Calif. The Who plans to reschedule the gigs.

Guitarist Pete Townshend issued a statement saying Palladino is not expected to replicate Entwistle's work.

"I made it clear we do not expect him to attempt to emulate, parody or copy John Entwistle in any way," said Townsend. "The one request I made was that -- at first -- he play as loud as he can bear."

Townshend also told visitors to his Web site (petetownshend.com) that the decision to go on with show is based on a sense of duty -- "to ourselves, ticket buyers, staff, promoters, big and little people." He said has no intention "to deliberately establish any sense of memorial or tribute to John ... My immediate mission is to complete this tour in good heart, and to remember John in my quiet and private times. ... Pino is determined to enjoy the music, and so am I."

The rest of the line-up features Roger Daltrey, Townshend's brother Simon on guitar, Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums and John Bundrick on keyboards. Townshend and Daltrey are the only surviving members of the band's original line-up.


REMEMBERING ROSEMARY CLOONEY

The entertainment community is mourning the death on Saturday of singer-actress Rosemary Clooney, who became a star in the 1950's and came back from personal problems in the '70s to become one of the most respected singers of her generation.

Clooney died of lung cancer at her Beverly Hills home. A publicist said she was surrounded by her family.

Clooney had undergone surgery for lung cancer at the Mayor Clinic in January, where she remained for treatment until May. The cancer recurred and she was hospitalized again in early June, until she returned home recently to continue treatment.

"For over 50 years she has brightened our lives with the richness of her personality and her voice," said Dolores Hope -- also a singer, and the wife of entertainment legend Bob Hope -- in a statement. "Her courage and love have been an inspiration to all who called her friend."

Michael Feinstein, a leading singer-pianist-arranger, recalled Clooney with words of the highest praise.

"Her music was an extraordinary extension of this joyful soul," Feinstein told the Los Angeles Times. "She was an earth mother, a heart person, and that quality came through in her music."

Clooney was best known for a string of hits records that includes "This Ole House," "Hey There" and "Come On-A My House." She also played in a half dozen Hollywood movies in the '50s, including "White Christmas" and "Deep in My Heart," and hosted "The Rosemary Clooney Show" on TV in 1956.


'DEEDS' LEADS AT U.S. BOX OFFICE

The new Adam Sandler comedy "Mr. Deeds" opened with $37.6 million, leading the U.S. box office to another big weekend with an estimated $140 million in total grosses -- an increase of almost 11 percent over the same weekend in 2001.

Total grosses for the year-to-date are running well ahead of last year's record-setting pace.

Box-office tracker EDI Nielsen said the box office has taken in $4.4 billion this year, a 19 percent increase over last year's performance. For the summer season so far -- May 2 to June 23 -- the tracking firm Exhibitor Relations reported that the box office is running 27.5 percent ahead of last summer.

The Disney animated feature "Lilo & Stitch" held onto the second spot, grossing an estimated $22.2 million in its second weekend, and a 10-day gross of $77.8 million, while the Steven Spielberg-Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller "Minority Report" fell from first to third with $21.6 million, and a 10-day total of $73.5 million.

The weekend's only other major new release, "Hey, Arnold! The Movie" opened at No. 6 with $6 million, falling short of expectations.

The Fourth of July weekend will feature more competition from the new releases "Men in Black II," "The Powerpuff Girls Movie" and the basketball fantasy "Like Mike," starring teen rapper Bow Wow.

This could turn out to be a big year for Sandler, who will show up in two more projects, including the animated "8 Crazy Nights" at Thanksgiving. He is getting excellent reviews for his performance in the new Paul Thomas Anderson ("Magnolia," "Boogie Nights") movie "Punch-Drunk Love," as a repressed small business owner who embarks on an adventure with a mysterious woman.


TELLING CHRISTOPHER REEVE'S STORY

ABC has plans to air three TV specials focusing on Christopher Reeve's attempt to walk.

Reeve was best known as the star of four "Superman" movies until he was paralyzed from the neck down in a horseback riding accident in 1995. Since then, he has dedicated himself to walking again, and to a host of issues involving paraplegics -- including research that might some day enable others in his condition to walk again.

The specials are expected to run over a two-year period, beginning with the first one some time this fall. Network officials said it might air around Sept. 25, Reeve's 50th birthday, or it might be used during the November sweeps period.

The project originated with Reeve's son Matthew, a film student at Brown University, who convinced Reeve to allow him to film his therapy for the specials.

After Reeve was paralyzed, he swore that he would walk again before he was 50.

© 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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