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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   April 18, 2003 at 7:23 AM   |   Comments

DIET GURU ATKINS DEAD AT 72

Best-selling diet guru Robert Atkins died Thursday in New York. He was 72.

The creator of the high-protein, low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet suffered a severe head injury and was left comatose after he slipped on an icy sidewalk last week while walking to his New York office.

His spokesman said he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain, but died at New York Weill-Cornell Medical Center, surrounded by his wife and friends.

Atkins' 1972 book, "Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution," defied conventional nutrition, said Book magazine, and his 1992 book, "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution," renewed the diet's popularity.


LUTHER VANDROSS SUFFERS STROKE

Five-time Grammy winner Luther Vandross suffered a stroke just days before his 52nd birthday.

Vandross' label, J Records, said Thursday the legendary R & B songwriter and singer was undergoing medical treatment after having a stroke Wednesday.

"Vandross is under medical care, and his family and friends are hopeful for a speedy recovery," the singer's business manager, Carmen Romano, said in a statement.


TOMMY LEE CLEARED IN PRE-SCHOOLER'S DEATH

Tommy Lee was cleared of charges in the wrongful-death suit filed by the family of a little boy who died while in his care.

A California jury Thursday unanimously rejected the claim the former Motley Crue drummer's negligence led to the 2001 drowning death of a 4-year-old boy during a birthday party held at his Malibu home.

The little boy's parents, actress Ursula Karven and TV producer James Veres, sued Lee for wrongful death, alleging he was negligent in failing to have a lifeguard or someone trained in CPR at the party.

Lee said in a statement: "Although I am relieved that the court has found me not negligent, there are no winners in this sad situation."


BOOK CATALOG OFFERS PEEK AT POTTER

A book catalog summary offers new clues about J.K. Rowling's eagerly awaited fifth novel, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

According to the book's plot summary in a new Scholastic catalog, Potter confronts "the unreliability of government and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts," said Book magazine.

The dark arts teacher is said to have a personality "like poisoned honey," and Harry dreams of a door in a silent corridor which is "more terrifying than any other nightmares combined," the magazine reported.

Ron Weasley, Harry's best friend, also becomes Keeper of Gryffindor's Quidditch team.

The book is scheduled for release June 21.

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