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Jan. 28, 2009 at 2:00 PM
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Author John Updike dead at 76

BOSTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Celebrated author John Updike died of lung cancer Tuesday in Massachusetts, his publisher announced. He was 76.

The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Pennsylvania native was a longtime resident of Beverly Farms and died at an area hospice, The Boston Globe reported.

"John Updike was one of our greatest writers," the Alfred A. Knopf Inc. publishing company said in a statement posted on its Web site Tuesday. "He was a part of the Knopf family for over 50 years. We will all miss him terribly."

Updike published his first book, a collection of poems called "The Carpentered Hen," in 1958. His volume "My Father's Tears and Other Stories" is slated to be published in June.

In between those two works, he published the novels "Rabbit, Run," "Rabbit Redux," "Rabbit is Rich," "Rabbit at Rest," "The Witches of Eastwick," "A Month of Sundays," "Roger's Version" "Bech: A Book," "Bech is Back" and "Bech at Bay."

"There's a kind of confessional impulse that not every literate, intelligent person has," Updike told The Globe in 1990. "A crazy belief that you have some exciting news about being alive, and I guess that, more than talent, is what separates those who do it from those who think they'd like to do it. That your witness to the universe can't be duplicated, that only you can provide it, and that it's worth providing."

The Harvard graduate is survived by his wife, Martha; two sons, David and Michael; two daughters, Elizabeth and Miranda; three stepsons and several grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced, The Globe said.


Missing Newton-John beau may be in Mexico

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Patrick McDermott, who dated pop star Olivia Newton-John for nine years before he disappeared in 2005, is alive in Mexico, a private investigator said.

A team of Texas-based private investigators hired by NBC's "Dateline" said they believe McDermott has been traveling along the Mexican and South American coastline since he vanished from a fishing charter off the coast of California four years ago.

McDermott, who had previously worked as a gaffer on television and film sets, reportedly was deeply in debt at the time of his disappearance. Newton-John has since married someone else.

Because he isn't being sought for a crime, law enforcement is not involved in the search for McDermott.

"We believe he is between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco," lead investigator Philip Klein told ABCNews.com. "He was two months behind in his rent at his home. His disability payments from getting injured on the job as a gaffer had stopped. He had reached rock bottom."

Klein said setting up www.findpatrickmcdermott.com, a Web site that tracks the location of those who visit it by recording their online addresses, has been helpful.

"Sayulita, Mexico, is where many of the hits were coming from," Klein said. "We got to Sayulita, we began to show his picture around to witnesses in the area, and we found people who said, 'Yeah, I know him, he comes here all the time.' We have witnesses, including five Americans, willing to give us signed affidavits that they've seen him.' ... He asked waiters to put him in corners, he had changed his appearance once or twice. He's moving as a lone wolf."

Newton-John's publicist declined to comment on the investigation, ABC News said.


Jerry's kid? Woman claims Lewis is her dad

NEW YORK, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A woman says she is willing to take a DNA test to prove she is the never-acknowledged, illegitimate daughter of U.S. comedian Jerry Lewis.

Suzan Lewis Minoret told TV's "Inside Edition" her former showgirl mother had an affair with Lewis in the 1950s.

"He loved my mother. Everyone fell in love with her, so it wasn't surprising," Minoret said in an interview scheduled to air Wednesday.

She went on to say she was conceived above New York's famous Copacabana nightclub in Lewis' suite. Lewis had been performing at the club with his longtime collaborator Dean Martin.

Minoret said her mother alleged on her deathbed that Lewis was Minoret's father, and signed an affidavit to make it official.

"She didn't want to die and me not know where I came from," Minoret said, adding that Lewis has never acknowledged her as his daughter. "He's making it hard and I don't understand why."

Although she said she has been down and out, living on the streets, and surviving on a meager disability allowance, she insisted she isn't looking for money from Lewis.

"A lot of people are going to ask, 'Are you coming forward in hopes of getting money from Jerry Lewis?' Absolutely not. I've lived in a car. I've done without food. I'm a survivor and I would rather have nothing than be a burden," she said, noting she would be happy to take a DNA test to prove she is Lewis' daughter.

"I don't understand why we can't just be friends and be family," she said.

"Inside Edition" said Lewis declined it comment on its report.


Bowie denies Ziggy Stardust revival

LONDON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- British singer David Bowie says he has no plans to revive his Ziggy Stardust glam rock character, contrary to reports claiming he will.

The BBC said numerous media outlets reported the 62-year-old recording artist has been preparing to perform his iconic 1972 album, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," in its entirety at the upcoming Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. Bowie has not performed as his ethereal alter ego since a 1973 concert in London.

"I'm sure the majority of you saw this tale for what it was anyway -- poppycock," Bowie countered the Ziggy comeback claims in a posting on his Web site. "However, we feel duty-bound to deny this particular story, lest members be fleeced of their hard-earned (money.)"

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