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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Sept. 10, 2002 at 3:00 AM   |   Comments

JERRY LEWIS COLLAPSES IN LONDON

Comic legend Jerry Lewis is taking it easy after collapsing Sunday night just before he was expected to appear at a London charity event. Organizers of the benefit to raise money for a drug and alcohol treatment group told the audience the 76-year-old actor was forced to cancel his performance due to illness.

Details of his symptoms were not disclosed, but the aging funnyman has been candid about his recent battle with pulmonary fibrosis in the lungs.


'N SYNC SINGER GROUNDED FOR GOOD

It's official. 'N Sync singer Lance Bass will not be the world's youngest space traveler after all. NASA officials confirmed reports the 23-year-old pop singer would not be leaving Earth any time soon because he and his corporate sponsors failed to fork over the staggering $20 million fare the Russian Space Agency charges civilians.

Bass' adventure in space would have been the focus of a seven-part mini-series funded by several corporate sponsors. His camp has insisted for weeks Bass was still negotiating details of his flight, stating his dismissal from training school last week was just a temporary glitch in the plan. However, a letter Russian space officials faxed to NASA confirmed Bass had been "officially withdrawn" from the historic flight.


RAPPER KIN BLAST LA TIMES' TUPAC REPORT

The family of slain rapper Christopher Wallace, also known as Notorious B.I.G, is furious with recent newspaper reports Wallace was involved in the killing of rival hip-hop star Tupac Shakur six years ago.

According to Variety, recent articles by the Los Angeles Times about Shakur's unsolved killing -- and the police investigation surrounding it -- have greatly upset the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, as well as Wallace's estate.

Wallace was killed in Los Angeles six months after Shakur and no one has been arrested for either crime.

Russell Simmons, chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and Wallace's family issued statements last week questioning the articles' claim Wallace was responsible for the fatal shooting of Shakur in Las Vegas, Variety stated.

Both parties swear Wallace was at his home in New Jersey the night of the shooting, not in Las Vegas, where The Times alleges he gave a gun to a member of the Southside Crips gang and offered to pay $1 million for Shakur's killing.

The Times printed the Wallace estate's objections on Saturday but pointed out Wallace's mother had refused to speak to the newspaper earlier based on advice from her lawyer.


FALCO ON CONQUERING PANIC DISORDER

On the hit HBO series "The Sopranos" it is mob boss Tony who suffers debilitating panic attacks and enlists the help of a therapist. It wasn't long ago, however, that Edie Falco, the actress who plays his wife, Carmela, on the show, was racked with the attacks in real life.

Falco recently revealed to Newsweek she was so devastated by panic attacks she even had a nervous break-down, fled New York City and considered giving acting up altogether. "There were some horrible years," the Emmy Award-winning actress is quoted as saying.

"You go to college and you go off and do some plays, and then when the dust clears you are left alone in your crazy apartment at 4 in the afternoon with no job, no prospects and a waitressing shift to go to," she admitted. "And real heavy-duty darkness can set in."

Falco said she experienced such terrible anxiety attacks in the city she eventually decided to go home to Long Island for a while and let her mom take care of her.

"My mother was so great. I'd try to sleep, but I'd wake with a start. And she would just sit there with me," Falco recalled. "She just talked me through it. Anxiety attacks have been in my family for years. We are sort of a high-strung bunch ... I've been in therapy a bazillion years."

The actress compares suffering an attack to "driving and all of a sudden you see a Mack truck crossing the divider and coming at you.

"And you stay like that," she exclaimed.

Falco maintains a positive attitude about her bout with anxiety, noting conquering it has made her a stronger person.

The new season of "The Sopranos" begins Sunday. Falco also can be seen nightly on Broadway opposite Stanley Tucci in "Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune."


COUPLE AUCTIONS DEAD ROCKER'S HOUSE

An Oregon couple is auctioning on eBay the childhood home of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

But, so far, not a single person has bid on the 100-year-old house where Cobain spent his early teen years with his father and stepmother. The troubled grunge rocker killed himself in Seattle a decade later.

Ed and Jennifer McKee hope his former home will fetch at least $200,000 at auction, but no one has shown any serious interest in the house, which was valued at just $52,660 two years ago.

Even if the McKees get that, they would be making a profit. The couple, who buy houses, fix them up and sell them, purchased the house where Cobain lived for $42,500.

The auction ends Sept. 15.


DUKE, LIGHTFOOT ON THE MEND

Oscar-winning actress Patty Duke remains hospitalized in good condition after fracturing her skull in a stable accident last week.The 55-year-old star of "The Miracle Worker" reportedly was injured while trying to apply fly spray to a 2-year-old filly in her Idaho barn.

Also wearing a hospital gown was Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, who underwent emergency stomach surgery Sunday.

Best-known for his hits "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Sundown," the 63-year-old balladeer was rushed to a hospital in his hometown of Orillia, Ontario, Saturday night shortly before he was scheduled to perform. He later was flown to the McMaster University Medical Center in Hamilton where he is recovering from his operation.

© 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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