Originally created 01/15/04

People in the News

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Kevin Costner said it was Richard Burton who inspired him to pursue an acting career.

Costner was boarding a plane decades ago when he had a chance meeting with Burton and asked the actor if one could have an acting career without the turmoil that surrounded Burton's life.

"I think it's possible. It hasn't been for me, but I think it's possible," Costner said Burton told him.

The brief comment was the inspiration he needed, Costner said Monday during a question-and-answer session at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, where earlier he received the event's Career Achievement in the Art of Cinema Award.

The 400 people participating also watched screenings of his films "Dances With Wolves" and "Open Range," both of them Westerns that embody an independent spirit.

"I would like to have a big fat hit," Costner said, explaining, however, that he wasn't willing to compromise himself for that hit. "Otherwise, I would be spitting on my life."

Costner said he refuses to cut the heart and soul out of movies.

"I'm not a fearful person, and Hollywood operates on fear," he said. "I would be afraid in Vietnam, on the beaches of Normandy, and I'd be afraid in Iraq. But I'm not going to be afraid to bring you an original piece of entertainment that I thought was worth fighting for."

The 48-year-old actor-director-producer also spoke of his love for the Western genre, and he recalled watching "How the West Was Won" at the Cineramadome in Hollywood when he was 7 years old.

"I never moved. I never moved during intermission. Westerns are probably one of the genres you watch and wonder if I would have been as brave as them or would I have been as resourceful," Costner said.

The Hollywood Reporter said Monday that Costner plans to make another Western titled, "Horizon," which he would also star in. Details of the plot weren't released, and it wasn't clear whether "Horizon" would be Costner's next project.

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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Martin Scorsese, director of films such as "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas," will leave New York City's mean streets for serene Lake Placid in June.

Scorsese, 61, has agreed to participate in the fifth annual Lake Placid Film Festival, which will be held June 2-6.

"It is inked into his calendar, and he is coming," the festival's executive director, Muriel Luderowski, told the Press-Republican of Plattsburgh in Tuesday's editions.

Just what Scorsese will be asked to do at the festival is not yet known.

Luderowski said festival organizers lured Scorsese to Lake Placid in part through his relationship with author, screenwriter and film festival co-founder Russell Banks.

Scorsese's involvement should help the festival rebound from a year that was a critical success, but a financial failure. Suffering from a lack of corporate sponsorships, the 2003 event operated on a shoestring budget and ran up a sizable deficit.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Dolly Parton will host Country Music Television's Flameworthy Video Music Awards in April, and Shania Twain will perform.

Parton also will perform during the fan-voted awards show, which airs live from Nashville on April 21 (8 p.m.-10 p.m. EST). The announcement was made Tuesday.

The singer said she's looking forward to being master of ceremonies.

"I like to do that kind of thing," Parton said from Los Angeles, where she was filming a video for her latest album, "For God and Country." "I like to ad-lib and let things happen. I kind of work without a net."

She should fit right in on the Flameworthy awards. The show has a more irreverent style than other country music events. It is closer in tone to its sister networks MTV and VH1 than to the award shows by the Country Music Association or the Academy of Country Music.

Last year, Toby Keith and actress Pamela Anderson were co-hosts of the show. Performers included Twain, Kid Rock, Tim McGraw and Sheryl Crow.

Rock, seated next to Hank Williams Jr., took sips from what appeared to be a tiny whiskey bottle, while Anderson brought a man onstage clad in underwear and cowboy boots with "Naked Cowboy" written across his bottom.

The show drew one of the largest audiences in CMT's history with more than 8.3 million viewers.

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KERRVILLE, Texas -- Jim Bouton would like to see Pete Rose on the Hall of Fame ballot - but that's it.

Bouton shook up baseball more than 30 years ago with one of the game's first tell-all books. He spoke at Schreiner University Monday about Rose, the career hits leader whose gambling led to his banishment from baseball in 1989.

"He should be made eligible to be voted on by the writers for the Hall of Fame," Bouton said. "But I don't think he should be allowed in baseball in any capacity.

"Letting the writers decide his fate will prevent him from becoming a martyr because one man, the commissioner, stood in his way. That way at least a jury has decided, not a judge."

Rose ended 14 years of denials, acknowledging in his memoir, "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars," that he bet on Cincinnati Reds games while he was their manager.

Bouton, promoting his own book, "Foul Ball: My Life and Hard Times Trying to Save an Old Ballpark," had a 62-63 record in a 10-year career that included stints with the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves.

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NEW YORK -- Actress Brittany Murphy and talent manager Jeff Kwatinetz became engaged Jan. 9 at a silent movie theater in Los Angeles, according to People magazine.

The couple started dating after Murphy's breakup with Ashton Kutcher, her co-star in 2003's "Just Married," People says in its Jan. 26 issue.

Murphy, 26, also appeared in "8 Mile" and "Don't Say a Word."

Kwatinetz is 34.

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WOODSIDE, Calif. -- Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle and one of the world's wealthiest men, married his fiancee of eight years, novelist Melanie Craft, over the winter holidays.

The wedding was the first for Craft, 34, and the fourth for Ellison, 59.

The ceremony, held Dec. 18 at Ellison's 45-acre Japanese-style compound in Woodside, was attended by friends and relatives, including Ellison's best friend, Apple computer co-founder Steve Jobs, and Ellison's children. Ellison has a 17-year-old daughter and 21-year-old son from a previous marriage.

Craft is the author of two novels, "A Hard-Hearted Man" and "Trust Me."

Earlier this week, Ellison named the No. 2 software company's longtime chief financial officer Jeff Henley as chairman. The unexpected appointment was an effort to create more autonomy between Oracle's board and management - a dividing line that has become more important after a series of accounting scandals rocked corporate America.


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