Originally created 05/04/04

People in the News



RENO, Nev. -- Donald Trump will assume the role of apprentice himself when he puts his frailties on display in an atmosphere many find more intimidating than the corporate board room - the golf course.

Trump, comedian Jimmy Fallon and actors Kurt Russell and Luke Wilson are among the first-time players entered to play July 16-18 at the American Century celebrity golf tournament on the shores of Lake Tahoe, officials for NBC Sports told The Associated Press on Sunday.

"The pressure will be on and I'll have to perform," Trump said in a statement he issued through his New York office. "It's a tournament that has both big names and serious competition."

Tourney regulars Michael Jordan, John Elway, Mario Lemieux and Mark McGwire will return to the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course for the 54-hole event with a $500,000 purse.

Other newcomers include NFL quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Trent Green, Carson Palmer and David Carr, along with singer Nick Lachey and talk-show host Carson Daly, tourney officials said.

Trump's caddy might hear Trump's famous line - "you're fired!" from his hit television show "The Apprentice" - if the real estate tycoon loses too many balls on the 7,445-yard course. But don't count on it.

"A lot of people don't realize this, but he is a very, very good golfer," said Jon Miller, senior vice president for programming for NBC Sports.

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DANVILLE, Ill. -- Nobody told Dick Van [filtered word] you can't go home again.

Sixty years after he graduated from Danville High School, Van [filtered word] returned over the weekend to be honored by the community he left to become a television star.

"A lot of memories are popping into my head," Van [filtered word] said. "It's just incredible, the sights, the sounds, the smells."

Van [filtered word] watched a student production of "Bye Bye Birdie," a play he appeared in on Broadway just before he starred in "The Dick Van [filtered word] Show."

He took the stage with the students, singing and dancing with them.

"It has been amazing to know that one of my idols will be sharing the stage with us," said Johnny Howard, a high school student who is playing the same role in "Bye Bye Birdie" that Van [filtered word] played on Broadway. "It's a dream come true to me."

Van [filtered word] also attended a reception and a tribute to him that was attended by former classmates, family members and friends.

"I never got this much attention in high school," said Van [filtered word], 78.

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LOGAN, Utah -- Former CBS "Early Show" co-host Jane Clayson Johnson offered Utah State University's class of 2004 some advice she put into practice herself: Keep your perspective.

"There is more to life than a job; there is more to life than a successful career," said Johnson, who recently walked away from a 15-year broadcast career.

The 1990 Brigham Young University graduate served as the early morning show's co-host with Bryant Gumbel. When he decided to leave the show, she was reassigned in September 2002 as a news correspondent, contributing to the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" and "48 Hours."

Then last year, hours after Mark Johnson proposed to her, she received a call from her agent with an offer for a four-year contract. The couple weighed her options before she chose to give up her career, move to Boston and start a family.

"When I left broadcasting ... I was on top of the world. But this has been one of the most important lessons of my life: There will always be another project," Johnson said Saturday.

"I didn't ever want to look back ... and point to a bookshelf of videotapes and say that's been my life. It's so much easier to write a resume than it is to craft a spirit."

She expects to become a mother this fall.

"There are seasons in life. Don't ever let anyone try to deny you the joy of one season because they believe you should stay in another season," Johnson said. "Listen to yourself. Trust your instincts. Keep perspective."

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PHILADELPHIA -- Monty Python's Flying Circus alumnus Terry Jones doesn't mince words about why the troupe's film "Life of Bryan" is being rushed into rerelease this month.

"It's shameless commercial opportunism on our part," Jones told the Philadelphia Inquirer in Sunday's editions.

The original plan was to get the movie prints out in August, the month that marks the 25th anniversary of the Python's tale of an accidental messiah. Then came Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ."

"We just saw the opportunity and thought we'd take it," Jones said. "We're definitely trying to cash in on Mel's enormous success."

Jones, who directed the wickedly funny biblical send-up, also helmed "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and "The Meaning of Life." A quarter-century ago, "Life of Bryan" sparked controversy and bans.

"That was rather good, really, because it gave us a lot of publicity," Jones said. "It also gave us a great ad line in Sweden, because the Swedes regard the Norwegians as having no sense of humor, and as it was banned in Norway the Swedish distributor ran a line that read, 'This film is so funny it was banned in Norway!"'