By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Aug. 2, 2002 at 4:22 PM
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Now that actress Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from husband Billy Bob Thornton, it would appear that she is also distancing herself from others, trying to start a new life. The latest edition "Access Hollywood" reveals that Jolie has also burned her bridges with her father, actor Jon Voight. The actor, appeared misty-eyed in talking about his Jolie's distancing herself from him. He noted that he has had a strained relationship with his daughter and blames the fact that he more or less abandoned Jolie and her mother (Marcheline Bertrand) early on. Voight says that he has never seen his daughter's adopted son Maddox, whom Jolie brought from Cambodia nearly a year ago. Voight appeared apologetic about his "mistakes" in the interview and was openly distraught.


Starring on "Hollywood Squares" has never really been something to which stars aspire. The New York Post points out that over the years the squares have been populated with some really fun people, but most of them "has-beens." Now the latest incarnation of the show -- with Whoopi Goldberg in the center square and the program based on bathroom humor -- is undergoing a revamping in the wake of falling ratings. As part of the change, Whoopi is out and two stars will rotate in and out of the coveted center spot. Alec Baldwin is one of them; the other is Ellen DeGeneres. The surprising thing about Baldwin's taking over the assignment, according to the publication, is that by doing so Baldwin accepts the fact that he is now on "Hollywood's B-list." I don't exactly agree with the assessment, after all I never considered Wally Cox or Ethel Merman or Paul Lynde to have been over the hill, only really funny people who took on a second career as their initial time in the footlights came to a close. It will be interesting to see how much the character of the show changes with Ellen and Alec in the center. Who knows, maybe the show will regain the savvy it had during the Peter Marshall days.


During a fundraiser for a Jewish children's charity in Toronto this week, former Pres. Bill Clinton made what some people see as a startling remark. He told the guests there that, in spite of the fact he did not go to Vietnam, he would "pick up a gun and fight for Israel" during the current unrest in the Holy Land. According to columnist Liz Smith, Clinton -- who was unable to bring the two sides to the peace table during his time in the White House -- decried the current "cycle of violence" in the region. He noted that there is no military solution and that terrorism only makes things worse. He told the group that he, unlike Pres. Bush, is not in favor of ousting Yasser Arafat. He says the best way to get the ball rolling is to set up a true, viable Palestinian state ... immediately.


Popular country star Travis Tritt says he was so inspired by the successful rescue of those nine Pennsylvania miners that he's going to make a large donation to the fire department team that carried out the operation. Tritt tells that he will be donating $25,000 to the Sipesville Volunteer Fire Company. He will make the presentation over the weekend while performing at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus -- only about a 200 mile drive from the rescue site. Tritt told media that he was among the millions who watched the rescue on television and listened on radio. His contribution will be used to renovate the fire company's headquarters.


Some time ago we noted that the artist who created the character of Spider-Man was going to be honored at Universal Studios in Hollywood and would be joined by a large group of school kids. What we failed to mention was that the gala was being staged not only in the wake of the successful movie, but to honor the character's 40th birthday. Stan Lee, the man who brought Spider-Man to life first worked at Marvel Comics when he was still in high school. At age 16 he was the youngest comic editor in the nation. He developed the original Spider-Man character as part of a collection he called "Amazing Fantasy." By the way, Universal has just opened a big Broadway-style revue called "Spider-Man Rocks."


This year's "Neon Circus and Wild West Show" has come to a close, after months of exhaustive touring. The Brooks & Dunn vehicle has become one of the most energetic and unusual acts in the nation. CMT reports that when the final performance ended this week (in Holmdel, N.J.) "snakes slithered underneath drum risers ... midgets lined the stage ... and uniformed Marines marched proudly." Old P.T. Barnum would have been proud. Between the "sideshows" this year's tour has featured the talents of funnyman Cledus T. Judd, and singers Chris Cagle, Trick Pony, Gary Allan and Dwight Yoakam. It would appear that Brooks & Dunn have found the formula, bringing back the best of Ed Sullivan and a county fair with the best of country thrown in.


Today's question is inspired by a conversation with a friend in Washington state. "What is the oddest question anyone has ever asked you?" Put QUESTION in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we gave you the opportunity to talk about anything you wished. Here, grabbed at random from the e-mailbox, is a sampling of the printable, non-controversial replies: Duckey says he's tired of the increasing minutes of commercials on TV during any given hour. And he says they are now creeping into local movie theaters. Ducky, I've have heard that from a lot of people. It's interesting to note that in the early days of TV most half-hour shows ran for 28 minutes, of which only three minutes were taken over by commercials, leaving 25 minutes of program. Kelly M says that she is nearly scared to drive on the freeway (she lives in Los Angeles) because of what she sees as the "Indianapolis Motor Speedway" manner in which people drive. She also fears being the victim of road rage if she does something wrong in front of the wrong person. PillBox wrote to say that, as we had talked about earlier, some foods just don't taste the same anymore and wonders if her metabolism is changing, there are too many chemicals in foods or if the companies have changed formulas over the years. Finally, ClarkBarker says he wishes more people would take the time to volunteer. For years he has given his time to his local YMCA and says that groups such as that could use more help. MONDAY: Your rescue stories. GBA.

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