Entertainment Today: Show-biz news

By United Press International  |  Oct. 24, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is taking steps to guard against anthrax disrupting its third attempt at staging the 53rd Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 4.

The academy is not accepting mail at its North Hollywood headquarters or at the Schubert Theater, where the awards are scheduled to be presented in ceremonies that'll air live on CBS. Academy officials said mail is being diverted to another location, where inspectors will sort it and examine it for signs of sabotage.

The Emmy Awards were originally scheduled for Sept. 16, but were postponed to Oct. 7 because of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York and Washington. The Oct. 7 show was called off hours before it was to begin, following the announcement that the United States and Britain had launched airstrikes against Taliban targets in Afghanistan.

(Thanks to UPI Hollywood Reporter Pat Nason)


When Bob Hope turned an alleged 98 on May 29, many of his friends realized that he had actually reached the century mark.

Long-time Hollywood actor and historian Frank Bresee ended the latest edition of his "Golden Days of Radio" show on the YesterdayUSA network by saying there's no reason to keep Hope's real age a secret anymore. After all, columnist James Bacon spilled the beans, quietly, earlier this year. Bresee claims Leslie Townes Hope was born in Eltham, England, in 1901 -- not in 1903 as his official bio lists.

You see, when Hope first became an international movie star, he was already in his 30s. Realizing that when he turned 40, Hollywood would no longer accept him as a dashing, younger comedic leading man, he fudged on his actual birth date -- buying two extra years in the process. Then WWII intervened, Hope started touring military bases and his alternate birthday was taken as gospel. Along the way he has become the most-traveled entertainer of all time, and holds the record for performing to some kind of audience in every decade of the last century.

By the way, Bresee told UPI in a phone interview Monday night that Hope once told him that he "wanted to live to be a hundred because his grandfather had." Well, he apparently has. One hundred? 98? Doesn't really matter, he's a national treasure. By the way, if bio information on the late George Burns was accurate, he lived about 50 days beyond his 100th birthday.

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


John Travolta, Vince Vaughn, Teri Polo, Matt O'Leary and Susan Floyd are scheduled to attend next Tuesday's world premiere of their new movie "Domestic Disturbance."

The event is being held at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood.

The movie stars Travolta as a man whose young son, a chronic liar, has accused his stepfather of committing a murder. It opens nationwide Nov. 2.


Actor Dennis Weaver is taking to the road in his "Drive For Life" to alert America about the dangers of dependence on fossil fuels.

The "Drive For Life" begins at the California Speedway near Los Angeles Sunday morning with Weaver driving a hybrid hydrogen-powered vehicle to Las Vegas as an entrant in the Michelin challenge Bibendum 2001. Weaver's vehicle has been retrofitted to utilize hydrogen as a fuel.

Sixty unconventionally fueled cars will take part in the Michelin event, with ceremonies in Las Vegas that evening.

Weaver and his team will go on toward Denver the next morning, continuing the "Drive For Life." They will hold eight news conferences en route before reaching Denver on Nov. 3.

Weaver will also be signing copies of his autobiography, "All The World's A Stage," which Hampton Roads publishes Oct. 24. In the book, the actor talks about the progress of his Institute of Ecolonomics, which is striving for a less polluted planet.


Jane Fonda will appear for the first time on the nationally syndicated "Hollywood Squares" for a special series of environmentally themed episodes, titled "Protect Our Planet," Nov. 1-2 and Nov. 5-7.

The actress and activist is making the rare television appearance to help promote the Environmental Media Association (EMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for the environment through television, film, print and radio.

All of the episodes' prizes will be eco-friendly -- including a Toyota Prius (featuring the

gasoline-electric Toyota Hybrid System), a Galapagos Island Cruise, a Natural Habitat Costa Rican Safari, a Cross Country International Walking Tour of Ireland, and other vacation packages to Gamboa Rainforest Resort in Panama, Explorama Eco-Lodges in Peru and Green Valley Spa in Utah.

"Hollywood Squares' special 'Protect Our Planet' episodes presents an opportunity to educate viewers about important environmental issues in a fun and unique way," said Fonda. "I've been very impressed by the level of commitment shown here by (producer) Whoopi Goldberg and the series."

In addition to Fonda, the grid of "green" celebrities for "Protect Our Planet" includes Amy Smart (feature film "Rat Race"), Squares regulars Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond") and Bruce Vilanch, Ed Begley, Jr. ("Six Feet Under"), Enrico Colantoni and Wendie Malick ("Just Shoot Me") and director Rob Reiner.

(Web sites: hollywoodsquares.com, kingworld.com)


Convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick will bring an air of credibility to his latest job: playing a CIA computer expert on the ABC-TV spy drama "Alias."

Arrested in 1995 for hacking into the networks of companies such as Pacific Bell and Bell Atlantic, Mitnick was released from prison in 2000 with the orders not to use a computer until 2003. He is allowed to use a mobile telephone to keep in touch with his family because his father is seriously ill. The terms of his release also banned him from serving as a technical consultant or writing about computers.

Mitnick -- who gave an interview to Wired News as part of the publicity for appearing on "Alias" -- said young hackers should not be taking any chances. "Set up a network with your friends and try to hack into it. I know it's not the big challenge you're looking for," he said. "You don't get the thrill of entering into forbidden territory, but now is not the time to be hacking. Trust me, you do not want to be the next big winner of the scapegoat sweepstakes."

(Thanks to UPI's Joe Warminsky in Washington)

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