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By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International   |   July 31, 2002 at 4:08 PM   |   Comments

BACALL TO VISIT ITALY FOR FUNDRAISER

Smoky-voiced Lauren Bacall has agreed to join Dame Shirley Bassey and Milla Jovovich for a special fundraiser in Venice, Italy, in early September. According to the publicist for the event, proceeds will go to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Bacall has been asked to be the chairwoman. Jovovich will be hostess and Bassey will sing. It's a black-tie gala and will take place during the 59th annual Venice Film Festival. The soiree is one in a series of fundraisers billed as Cinema Against AIDS. The evening will include an auction of mementos donated by a variety of worldwide media stars. A similar event last year raised more than $700,000 for AIDS research during the Venice festival.


BON JOVI TO HELP KICK OFF NFL SEASON

It's becoming a tradition in the NFL, asking Jon Bon Jovi and his group to help kick off a new season. Again this year he will participate. This time around, the popular entertainer will headline a celebration in New York City's Times Square that should bring in hundreds of thousands of fans. The football league's Web site -- nfl.com -- notes that the event will be staged just prior to the start of this year's NFL season, Sept. 5. Additionally, coming just a few days before the 9/11 anniversary, the partying, which will get international media attention, should give New Yorkers a chance to show how resilient they are. Later in the day Bon Jovi will perform during the halftime of the NFL game at nearby Giants Stadium. For more check out Bon Jovi's official Web site, bonjovi.com on the Internet.


RICKELS SAYS 'YES' TO NEW CONTRACT

You have to admit, for nearly four decades put-down comedian Don Rickles has been nothing less than a mainstay in Las Vegas. Now the Stardust Resort confirms that the venerable entertainer has had his contract renewed ... again. His exclusive deal with that casino runs through the end of 2003. The hotel-casino tells United Press International that Rickles began his career back in the 1950s, poking fun at some of the biggest names in show business. Two of the targets of his razor-sharp humor, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, eventually became his closest friends. In learning of his contract extension, Rickles quipped: "I am delighted to be spending an additional year at the Stardust ... but I'm getting pretty exhausted from having to wash Wayne Newton's car!" By the way, Newton, the other long-standing 'Vegas act, appears 40 weeks a year at the Stardust.


FATHERHOOD QUIETS CHARLIE ROBINSON

He's one of the most verbal, energetic stars of country music. Charlie Robinson is known as the Texas-born singer-songwriter who never is at a loss for words, some of them a little more abrasive than many would like. But, now that his wife -- Emily, one of the Dixie Chicks -- is "in a family way," CMT says that Robinson's bravado disappears and he becomes "giddy" when talking about fatherhood. Emily announced she was expecting during an appearance of her girl group in Las Vegas in May. The "due date" will coincide with a hiatus in the Dixie Chicks touring. Charlie now also has plans to take some time off.


NEW ARCHBISHOP WILL BE CONTROVERSIAL

With the exodus of longtime Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. George Carey, the new head of the Church of England will have a tough row to hoe. And, according to Assist News Service, Rowan Williams -- formerly the Archbishop of Wales -- is more liberal and controversial than his predecessor. Comments about the choice of Williams to head the church have been quick. Many, including a prominent Catholic prelate, say they welcome the decision because of Williams' liberal attitude on many issues, including relations between denominations. Others, though, think that the choice is a bad one and could cause a split in the Church of England. Meanwhile, Carey was here in the States when the announcement was made. He told media that he thought Williams was a good choice and greeted the decision "with joy."


PAT BOONE RETURNS TO HIS ROOTS

It's hard to believe that it was 40 years ago that a then-young singer named Pat Boone co-starred with Ann-Margret in the immensely popular movie "State Fair." Now, at age 66, Boone is going to visit several large state fairs this year to commemorate the movie. His first gig will be the huge Ohio State Fair, due to start this coming weekend. Over the years Boone has gone through many phases, from squeaky-clean boy singer to born-again Christian to second-time-around singer and record producer. His Gold Label has given many entertainers who are favorites of the baby boom generation a second career. Lately he's been the "cover boy" for a line of men's clothing for the Blair company. His trademark white buck shoes are being sold around the country through a franchise deal. With his re-emerging popularity, he is stepping up his concert appearances in the coming months, becoming nearly as active as he was at the beginning of his career, more than four decades ago. Author of more than a dozen books, star in 15 major movies, he is also on the top ten list of best-selling singers of all time.


UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 383

It seems that everywhere you look there are signs in stores hawking "Back to School" items. Where has the year gone? So, today's question: "What single thing had you planned on getting done by this time in 2002 that you haven't accomplished yet?" Put TIME in the subject line and send to comments@upi.com via the Internet.


RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 378 (TV)

Recently we asked how much television you watch, and whether your viewing habits have changed over the years. Here is a sampling of responses: Kyle R says that, being a member of the baby boom generation, he remembers a time before TV. He notes that when television first came out he could not get enough of it. It was, at the time, as revolutionary as the computer. MaggieMay says that for a long time she was "glued to the tube." Now, she reports, "I've seen every situation, know every joke, and am tired of every sitcom basing its humor on sex or body parts jokes." CWS says that "except for 'The Price is Right,' there is not a single interesting game show." A full third of respondents said they watched nothing but cable and usually the "older stuff," including the Cartoon Network and the Game Show Network. A surprising number only watch the History Channel, A&E or the Discovery Channel. Personally, I have not had my TV on since shortly after 9/11. I agree with the young boy who was asked if he preferred radio or TV. "Radio," he answered, "the pictures are better." TOMORROW: A food fight. 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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