People in the news

By United Press International   |   May 21, 2011 at 3:55 AM
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The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

JEFF CONAWAY: U.S. actor Jeff Conaway remains in a coma after an apparent drug overdose last week, his manager told

Conaway, 60, is best known for his work in the movie musical "Grease," and the TV shows "Taxi," "Babylon 5" and "Celebrity Rehab."

The actor, who battled addictions to drugs and alcohol for decades, slipped into a coma a week ago in Los Angeles.

"He seemed fine early last week," his manager Phil Brock told Thursday. "He had spoken with his agent and his management team and even attended an autograph signing. He really seemed in fine spirits."

Brock said he remains hopeful Conaway will recover.

"We hope he can finally exorcise the demons that have plagued him. He is an amazingly kind soul and there are many people who care about him," Brock said. "Over the weekend, there was head movement, but there have not been any changes in his movement or condition since then. We are concerned it may have been an overdose but we have no way of knowing for sure."

PRINCESS BEATRICE: The hat that launched 1,000 double-takes during the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton also helped launch a U.N. fundraiser.

The pale pink hat of fabric circles and sashes Princess Beatrice wore to the royal wedding April 29 is being auctioned on eBay, with the proceeds to be divided equally between the U.N. Children's Fund and the Children in Crisis charity, the United Nations said Friday in a release.

The auction, which opened May 12, will close Sunday night. U.N. officials said at least 83 bids had been received as of Friday morning, with a leading bid up to that point of about $81,570.

Princess Beatrice said she has been amazed by the amount of attention that the hat has drawn. The hat, which was designed by milliner Philip Treacy, has been described as being fashion-forward to looking like antlers.

"I hope whoever wins the auction has as much fun with the hat as I have," the princess said. "I really hope this idea can raise lots of money to give children a better future."

Katie Morrison, a spokeswoman for UNICEF in Britain, said the agency didn't anticipate the bidding frenzy.

"It's wonderful that something that had such mixed press has really been used to do some good and to raise some money for children," Morrison said. "We're surprised and we're delighted."

GEORGE CLOONEY: Hollywood film star George Clooney and Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis are still dating, friends of the couple told ANSA.

Clooney and Canalis, who have been dating nearly two years, recently have been the subject of breakup reports.

But friends told ANSA they buzz is not true.

"They're always together. When he's working she follows him onto the set, always surrounded by very tight security," one pal said.

RICKY GERVAIS: Ricky Gervais, creator and star of the British version of "The Office," admits he doesn't think of the U.S. edition of the workplace comedy as "art."

The award-winning actor and writer, who also wrote and starred in the show-business satire "Extras," was blasted by some critics this year for mercilessly teasing celebrities at the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles.

He took to his blog to weigh in on Thursday night's Season 7 finale of the U.S. version of "The Office," in which he, Will Arnett, Ray Romano, Jim Carrey, James Spader and Warren Buffett made cameos.

"Watching 'The Office' finale may remind some of the Chris Martin episode of 'Extras,'" Gervais wrote on his blog, referring to how the Coldplay front-man made an unlikely cameo as himself on a factory-set sitcom in the "Extras" show-within-a-show "When the Whistle Blows."

"If you're going to jump a shark, jump a big one," Gervais added. "Still we've had good innings. Ha ha. I assume most people know I didn't do the U.S. remake for the art. I did my version for the art. That's why I stopped it after a few hours of telly. Don't get me wrong. I'm very proud of the U.S. version. It was not only a very, very good network comedy but it was also a massive success story. But you know, I did it for different reasons, ambitions and with slightly different emotional attachments to the project. And once and for all ... I would never ever in a million years take a permanent role in the show as an actor. It really would be [expletive] mental. You don't start a company to work on reception. Can't wait to start work on the Chinese version. Bill Gates is in that one. Anyway, as you may know there's been 10 years of 'The Office' in some form or another. Happy Birthday."

Steve Carell, who played the boss in the U.S. version of "The Office," left last month after seven seasons, prompting fans to speculate about who might replace him. Many viewers have suggested Gervais should reprise his role from the original version of the show in the Americanized "Office."

The British edition ran for 14 episodes.

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