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Entertainment Today

By DICK KELSEY, United Press International   |   Aug. 30, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

CLEAN AND SOBER MATTHEW PERRY: 'LIFE GOT BETTER'

"Friends" star Matthew Perry tells People magazine he's clean and sober now, after a "very dark time" during which he drank a quart of vodka a day and was hooked on pain pills.

The 33-year-old actor says he hit a wall in February 2001 and phoned his parents from a Dallas hotel room to ask for help. He spent two and a half months in rehab, where he found he can be happy without alcohol and drugs.

Perry admits there's "no grey area. I'm an alcoholic."

Even though his current movie, "Serving Sara," is a box-office disappointment, Perry says the success of the film "doesn't matter" because the film represents a time during which his "life got better."


WINONA RYDER READY TO COP PLEA?

Actress Winona Ryder and Los Angeles prosecutors may be about to strike a plea bargain in her shoplifting case.

The New York Daily News says Ryder's attorney, Mark Geragos, is close to a deal that would allow her to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for community service.

Ryder is charged with second-degree burglary, grand theft, vandalism and possession of painkillers.

Police said she tried to steal $6,000 in merchandise from the Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue store.

If convicted of those charges, Ryder could go to jail for three years. A judge scheduled a hearing next Wednesday to set a trial date.


DENNIS MILLER OUTTA HERE TONIGHT

"Dennis Miller Live" ends its nine-year run on HBO Friday night. But unlike so many past TV show swan songs, the last episode will seem like the others, with Miller ranting and getting laughs from a crowd of everyday people who wrote to the show for tickets.

There will be no long goodbyes, best-of clips or tributes.

Miller's high-brow humor worked for a long time on HBO but a few weeks ago the cable channel unexpectedly canceled the show. HBO plans a Dennis Miller comedy special next year.

Miller was recently bumped from ABC's Monday Night Football telecasts when the network hired longtime color man John Madden.


PORN STAR WOWS HARD-HAT CREWS

Porn actress Savanna Samson says she simply wants to give all those construction workers "a little lift."

Lately the X-rated film star has been flashing hard hat crews working on a high-rise across from her apartment building in Manhattan.

Samson says, "It's good fun for them and for me -- and now it seems to be a daily ritual."

© 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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