Entertainment Today: Showbiz news

By United Press International  |  Dec. 26, 2001 at 4:45 AM
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In a major cover article, People magazine reports that many of today's young Hollywood stars are following in the footsteps of their counterparts who traveled around the world doing USO shows during World War II.

Julia Roberts joined many in the cast of the new movie "Ocean's 11" recently -- including leading man George Clooney -- to take holiday cheer to fliers at an Air Force Base in Turkey. Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Andy Garcia were also there.

The publication says many stars, and not just from Hollywood, have quietly gone to entertain the troops in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Many went with little fanfare or press reports. They "donned the Bob Hope mantle" in doing so.

By the way, the venerable comedian, now 100 according to some reports, last went on the road with his "gypsies" during the Gulf War.

During the holidays, a plethora of country stars -- including Dwight Yoakam and Neal McCoy -- have gone overseas to entertain. They went to what the Pentagon calls "undisclosed locations."

(Thanks to UPI Feature Reporter Dennis Daily)


Oscar winning screenwriters have shorter lives than losing nominees, even though greater success is usually linked to better health, according to the British Medical Journal.

Researchers in Canada identified all 850 screenwriters ever nominated for an academy award. On average, winners were more successful than nominees, as indicated by a 14 percent longer career, 34 percent more films, and 58 percent more four-star films.

However, life expectancy was 3.6 years shorter for winners than for nominees, equivalent to a 37 percent relative increase in death rates.

Additional awards were associated with a 22 percent relative increase in death rates, whereas a career with many nominations but no awards caused no significant increase in death rates.

These results are not easily explained by talent, prestige, financial earnings, material conditions, or simple demographics, according to the researchers. They suggest that screenwriters are more apt to have unhealthy lifestyles e.g. more smoking, less exercise, frequent late nights with no sleep, unlike actors whose lives are under steady scrutiny.

This may explain why Oscar winning actors and actresses live longer than nominees, and underscores the importance of behavior.

(Thanks to UPI Science Writer Alex Cukan)

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