Entertainment Today: Show-biz news

By United Press International  |  Oct. 12, 2001 at 5:50 AM
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Actor James Woods may have encountered some of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Boston Globe reports some of the hijackers, including alleged ringleader Mohammed Atta, took practice runs aboard airliners from Boston to the West Coast.

The newspaper said Woods took a flight from Boston to Los Angeles in August, and was alone in first class except for four Middle Eastern-appearing men.

The actor reportedly became suspicious of the men because they neither drank nor ate during the 6-hour flight, did not read or sleep, and talked only in whispers. He told flight attendants of his suspicions when the plane landed and notified the FBI about the flight on Sept. 12.


The Screen Actors Guild has chosen seven-time Emmy-winning actor Edward Asner to receive its most prestigious honor -- the Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

The former star of "Lou Grant" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" will receive the award at the 8th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on March 10, 2002.

"Edward Asner's prolific and much-honored acting career demonstrates a consummate ability to transcend the line between comedy and drama," said SAG President William Daniels in a statement announcing the award. "His passion for social and political causes has been consistently underscored by deeds as well as words. His service and commitment to the rights of the working performer is unparalleled."

Daniels called Asner "a superbly versatile actor and a dedicated advocate for human rights, world peace, environmental preservation and political freedom."

Asner was nominated for 16 acting Emmys. He won five times as newsman Lou Grant -- three times for best supporting actor in a comedy series in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (1971-72 and 1975), and twice for best actor in a drama series in "Lou Grant" (1978 and 1980). He also won best actor Emmys for the miniseries, "Rich Man, Poor Man" (1976) and "Roots (1977).

Asner served as SAG president two consecutive terms from 1981-85. In 2000, the union honored him with its Ralph Morgan Award, presented from time to time "for distinguished service to the Guild's Hollywood membership."

A well-known political activist, Asner has associated himself with Defenders of Wildlife, Peace Now, the ACLU, Food First, Death Penalty Focus, the Disarm Education Fund, Democratic Socialists of America and Amnesty International.


Paula Poundstone has been sentenced to five years' probation and six months of drug treatment after pleading no contest last month to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor infliction of injury upon a child.

Los Angeles Judge Bernard J. Kamins also ruled that the entertainer may no longer be a foster parent.

In exchange for the no contest plea, prosecutors dropped three counts of lewd acts upon a child.

Poundstone's attorney, Steve Cron, said the felony charge followed an incident June 6, when she drove her three adopted and two foster children -- ages 2 to 12 -- to get ice cream while she was intoxicated. Prosecutors said the misdemeanor charge had to do with "inappropriate touching."

Judge Kamins ordered the comic to complete the remaining 55 days of her six-month treatment at a drug rehab center in Malibu, undergo psychiatric counseling, participate in a child abuse prevention program, and avoid alcohol and drugs. Poundstone was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay $1,000 in fines.

The children were taken away from Poundstone's home after her June 27 arrest.

The judge also refused Poundstone's request that she be allowed to do comedy shows while she is undergoing treatment, telling her to focus on fighting her alcoholism and being a good mom.

Kamins said he'll review that decision when Poundstone next appears in court on Nov. 13 for a progress report.

"Given everything that's going on in the world," said the comic in a statement, "My problems clearly don't amount to very much. Still, to the extent that anyone is interested, I'm glad that the legal proceedings against me have been settled."

Cron said Poundstone is committed to regaining custody of her adopted children. He said she has visited them frequently since she checked herself in to the rehab center.

(The above two items thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


After more than a week of treatment for what doctors described as a brain aneurysm, 43-year-old actress Sharon Stone was released from a San Francisco hospital earlier this week and is now recuperating at home. Doctors say Stone has fully recovered from the condition, which caused bleeding in the brain, and will be able to soon resume normal activities.

The New York Daily News says that during the diagnosis of her problem, experts had thought a blood vessel in her brain might have burst. She underwent two separate angiograms. The condition was not as serious as some had feared.

Stone went to the hospital after suffering severe headaches.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


Rush Limbaugh was back on the air Thursday -- using an upgraded control panel designed to assist him in hosting his conservative radio talk show despite a sudden hearing loss that has left him virtually deaf.

Limbaugh, 50, was diagnosed with autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) after he experienced a sudden deterioration of his hearing in June.

Doctors at the House Ear Clinic and Institute in Los Angeles told reporters the condition was the result of a problem with Limbaugh's immune system. However, they say there's a chance it could be reversed with medication.

AIED is a relatively rare disorder that is responsible for about 1 percent of the cases of hearing loss in the United States. It strikes quickly and can lead to total deafness unless treated, usually with immunosuppressive drugs such as prednisone. Experts, however, caution that little is known about the drug protocol, including the most effective dosages.

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