People in the news

By United Press International  |  Oct. 15, 2011 at 4:00 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter
| License Photo

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

PATRICIA MODELL: Actress and philanthropist Patricia Modell has died at Gilchrist Hospice in Baltimore, her family said. She was 80.

The Baltimore Sun confirmed her death following a long illness Wednesday, but said the cause was unknown.

The wife of former Ravens owner and President Art Modell worked frequently in theater, television and film in the 1950s and 1960s, then later left the spotlight to focus on charity work.

Among her small-screen credits were "Perry Mason," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Maverick," "The Rifleman," "The Donna Reed Show," "The Dick Powell Theater," "People's Choice," "Twilight Zone," "Peyton Place" and "General Hospital." She also appeared in the movies "Homicidal" and "I Saw What You Did."

"She was a woman who didn't have to do anything, because of her very successful husband, but she did so much," her friend Nancy Grasmick, recently retired Maryland superintendent of schools, told the Sun. "She had an absolute dedication to children who really had struggles in life, whether it was poverty, disability or any kind of abuse."

The newspaper said Modell is survived by her husband, two sons and six grandchildren.

LARRY HAGMAN: U.S. actor Larry Hagman says he has been diagnosed with "very common and treatable form of cancer."

Hagman, 80, is best known for his work on the 1960s sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie" and the nighttime soap "Dallas" from 1978 to 1991. He is due to start work Monday on a revamped version of "Dallas."

"As ['Dallas character J.R. Ewing] I could get away with anything -- bribery, blackmail and adultery," Hagman said in a statement issued to Friday. "But I got caught by cancer. I do want everyone to know that it is a very common and treatable form of cancer. I will be receiving treatment while working on the new 'Dallas 'series. I could not think of a better place to be than working on a show I love, with people I love. Besides, as we all know, you can't keep J.R. down!"

"Everyone at Warner Horizon Television, TNT and the entire 'Dallas' family completely supports Larry Hagman during this time. We look forward to watching Larry once again work his magic by bringing one of television's most interesting, complex and controversial characters back to the screen in the new 'Dallas' series," TNT and Warner Bros. TV's Warner Horizon said in a joint statement.

Other original "Dallas" stars returning to the spinoff are Patrick Duffy, Charlene Tilton, Linda Gray, Steve Kanaly and Ken Kercheval. New cast members include Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo, Josh Henderson, Brenda Strong and Jesse Metcalfe.

MARIO BATALI: Celebrity chef Mario Batali may lose his liquor license at the new restaurant he opened in tony Newport Beach, Calif., the planning commission said.

Pizzeria Mozza, the fine dining restaurant Batali created with chef Nancy Silverton, opened last month after a delay while the owners secured their liquor license and a separate approval from the city of Newport Beach to offer a full bar over beer and wine service, the Newport Beach Daily Pilot reported Thursday.

The permits were granted but Newport Beach Planning Commissioner Robert Hawkins appealed the decision on grounds the zoning administrator's findings were unsubstantiated. He alleged a bar would lead to liquored up customers whose noise would annoy residents in multimillion-dollar homes on the bluffs above the restaurant.

"This [restaurant] requires review by the planning commission to ensure that residents and others in the community have an opportunity to present their comments and concerns to the city and its decision makers," Hawkins wrote in his appeal.

Councilwoman Leslie Daigle said at Tuesday's meeting she supported the restaurant and if the planning commission overturned the liquor permit, she'd work to overturn the decision, the newspaper said.

"Here's a business that creates jobs, and we want them to flourish. We want them to thrive, and not create bureaucratic delays," Daigle said.

OPRAH WINFREY: Former U.S. talk show host Oprah Winfrey is making good on her nearly year-old promise to an audience by giving out her first round of 2011 Volkswagen Beetles.

Winfrey, who promised the cars to an audience of 275 people last November during the final season of her show, distributed the first vehicles Thursday in suburban Chicago at Volkswagen of Orland Park, with 21 audience members arriving to claim their cars, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

The cars were paid for in full by Winfrey.

"All the taxes are paid; I haven't had to write a check for a penny," Anita Swift-Meyers, 57, of Dolton, Ill., said. "I've watched Oprah for years, and I always wanted to be on the 'Favorite Things' episode."

The cars were promised to people who attended the November taping of the show.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories