By PAT NASON and DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  April 19, 2002 at 6:48 PM
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Beyoncé Knowles, the driving force behind the R&B group Destiny's Child can tell you -- it's lonely at the top. The 20-year-old singer told W magazine: "The more successful I get, the more I want a boyfriend. But it's hard. Where am I going to meet somebody? Maybe at an awards show? Or on tour?" Knowles said she and her singing partners -- Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams -- go to clubs once in a while to try to meet guys, but they end up sitting around looking "unhappy and bored." She said a large part of the problem is that she and her band mates are surrounded by security. "I could say to the security guard, 'OK, he can come over,' but I don't want to have to tell somebody he can come talk to me. It just feels forced, like I'm out there looking and I picked the one I want. That's just whacked." Maybe Beyoncé will meet someone nice when she hits the promotion trail for "Austin Powers in Goldmember." She co-stars with Mike Myers as Foxy Cleopatra in the third Austin Powers movie, due in theaters on July 26.


A former housekeeper for Marlon Brando has filed a $100 million palimony suit against the Oscar-winning star of "The Godfather" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." According to a report in the New York Daily News, Cristina Maria Ruiz claims in a lawsuit filed in L.A. Superior Court that Brando is the father of three of her children. In court papers, Ruiz claims that she began working for Brando in 1982 and that they started living together less than three months after he began "romantically pursuing" her in 1988. Ruiz said Brando "promised that he would always provide for and financially support" her and the children, but that he "repudiated" the agreement in December 2001.


At a court hearing in Florida Friday, former major league slugger Darryl Strawberry admitted that he violated his probation and said he is willing to pay the price -- even if it means going to prison. Strawberry would be sent to prison for up to 18 months in connection with his arrest in 1999 on drug possession and solicitation of prostitution charges. He already avoided prison once in the case, when his lawyers persuaded a judge to send him to a drug rehab center. But he has violated probation repeatedly, and was recently turned away from the Phoenix House rehab facility for violating the rules of the house. The violations included smoking and having sex with another resident. He is scheduled to be sentenced for his latest violation on April 29.


A bidder paid $13,000 at auction Wednesday for a rare photograph of the glasses John Lennon was wearing when Mark David Chapman shot and killed him in New York in 1980. The photo shows the glasses, stained with Lennon's blood, sitting next to a half-empty glass of water -- or is it half-full? -- on a table near a window of Lennon's apartment. Through the eyeglasses, the water glass and the window, you can see the view of New York that Lennon had from his apartment in the Dakota. Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, shot the photograph and used it as cover art on her 1981 album "Season of Glass." The print that was sold at Bonham's auction house in London was one of only six prints that Ono made of the photographs. The auction also featured previously unreleased footage from the Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" film, which fetched $7,600.


For collectors who just can't help themselves, Sports Artifacts of Carmel Valley, Calif. is offering a bat once used by Dann Bilardello -- a catcher with the Reds, Padres, Pirates and Expos -- for $35. The company's Web site advises would-be shoppers that the bat is cracked, but Jeff Miller of the Miami Herald suggests that it never did work right. "In eight seasons," wrote Miller, "Bilardello hit .204." The Los Angeles Times reported that a Wisconsin gum maker, Curt Mueller, paid $10,000 at a charity auction for a piece of bubble gum chewed by Arizona Diamondback outfielder Luis Gonzalez. A story making the rounds about hockey great Wayne Gretzky may illustrate the depth of commitment that true collectors possess. Gretzky once paid $1,000 at a charity auction for a trip to the fire station for his kids, writing out a check for the amount and passing it to the auctioneer. According to legend, as soon as the auctioneer had the check in hand he said: "And the next item to be auctioned off is a check signed by Wayne Gretzky."


Our question for today is: "Do you now or have you ever had a recurring dream? What finally happened?" Put DREAM in the subject line and send to, via the Internet.


Last week we asked about your favorite cartoon characters. Just about all the favorites got at least one vote. The winners were Bugs Bunny (No. 1) and Scooby-Doo (No. 2). Many of the Warner Bros. cartoons got a lot of votes. CWS reminded me how "despicable" Daffy Duck was. Even the whirling dervish-esque Tasmanian Devil got a vote from cricketn. Among those getting single votes were Marge Simpson, The Wonder Twins, Yogi Bear and everyone from that show, including little Karen whose vote came from her namesake, Karen C. Calvin and Hobbes and the Flintstones also got votes. I called Jimmy Weldon to tell him that Yakky Doodle got two votes. He was thrilled. By the way, loubabe voted for Foghorn Leghorn. As a little background, at the same time that the loud rooster was appearing in cartoons there was a radio character called Sen. Beauregard Claghorn on the old "Fred Allen Show." He was a blustery, "I can't say 'no' because 'NO" is the abbreviation for North," kind of dyed-in-the-wool southerner. There is a tremendous similarity between the two characters. They are, except for their vocabulary, nearly interchangeable. I once asked Mel Blanc which came first, Leghorn of Claghorn. His reply: "They were the result of a simultaneous evolution of comedy." By the way, when I asked Blanc what it was like to "do" Bugs Bunny his reaction was immediate: "I'm not an old guy imitating a rabbit," he retorted." I AM Bugs Bunny." It's true, the talented men and women who do cartoon voices are not just doing cute characters, they are great actors. They have to be for the us to love their characters so much. NEXT: The worst highway intersection in your town. GBA.

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