Originally created 06/12/04

People in the News

NEW YORK -- Paris Hilton will make her long-awaited first appearance on the "Late Show" with David Letterman on Monday, CBS announced.

Hilton was to have been a guest on the late-night show on Nov. 26, but scrapped all planned media appearances promoting her Fox series, "The Simple Life."

At the time, Hilton's spokesman said no slight to Letterman was intended. He added that she wanted to keep a lower profile because of the attention she'd received from her ubiquitous Internet sex video.

The hotel heiress had said she was "embarrassed and humiliated" that a homemade sex video she shot several years earlier with then-boyfriend Rick Salomon had been making the rounds online.

Hilton and her friend Nicole Richie, daughter of Lionel Richie, star in "The Simple Life 2: Road Trip," which premieres June 16 on Fox television. It's the sequel to their hit show that chronicled their stay with the Leding family in rural Altus, Ark.

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LISBON, Portugal -- England soccer officials were angry at photos splashed across British tabloid newspapers of star captain David Beckham in his underpants.

The Sun and the Daily Star printed the photos on their front pages Thursday.

The English Football Association told British newspaper editors and reporters that it considered the pictures "an unjustifiable intrusion into his private life."

England opens play in the European championship against France on Sunday.

England has also consulted the Press Complaints Commission and complained to the Newspaper Publishers Association.

Beckham is pictured wearing only underpants and sunglasses. More photos were printed on the inside pages, with Phil Neville also pictured.

"I've not spoken to David about it," Neville said. "Really, the way that football (soccer) is going now with the high-profile players, it's something that you probably can't do anything about."

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Kevin Costner says he would be glad to make another baseball movie, and wants to direct another cowboy film.

He also believes that disgraced Chicago White Sox star Shoeless Joe Jackson should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Costner was on hand Wednesday at the DVD release party for the 15th anniversary edition of "Field of Dreams." Universal Studios dressed a West Hollywood baseball field with corn stalks and bleachers and projected the film on an outdoor screen for a crowd that included Costner's co-stars Amy Madigan and Timothy Busfield.

Costner said the mystical tale might have a tough time finding an audience today in the middle of special effects-laden blockbusters and sequels.

The movie follows Costner's character as he builds a baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield to attract Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was banned from baseball for life after his team was found to have thrown the 1919 World Series.

Jackson's teammates were found to have taken money from gamblers to purposely lose the series. Jackson knew about the scheme, but said he refused the money and actually played some of the best games of his career during the series.

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SHANGHAI, China -- Yao Ming is a popular guy.

The Houston Rockets center was chosen as a global ambassador for the Special Olympics Thursday, the same day he topped a Chinese survey of favorite athletes.

Yao will join California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, rocker Bono and others who will be representatives of the games. The Special Olympics is dedicated to empowering people with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and athletic competition.

"Yao's especially strong standing in his homeland, China, makes him extremely well-suited to increase the profile of the Special Olympics movement," the organization said in a statement.

Yao's hometown of Shanghai is to host the Special Olympics World Games in 2007.

In the survey of Chinese TV viewers, Yao won out over soccer stars David Beckham and Ronaldo.

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LOS ANGELES -- Has Bo Duke grown up to be Uncle Jesse?

John Schneider is still a good ol' boy at heart, but the former troublemaking off-road driver from "The Dukes of Hazzard" is now more known as young Superman's responsible, tough-talking father from the WB network's "Smallville."

He said both TV shows are about teaching values to the main characters.

"It's a remarkable testimony to television's ability to affect people's families. And it's a good feeling," the 44-year-old actor told The Associated Press recently. "(On both shows) we have the good guys who are good not because they're lily-white, but they're good because they make the right choices even when they don't want to."

The first season of "The Dukes of Hazzard" debuted on DVD for the first time last week.

Schneider said those episodes from 1979 show the Duke cousins learning right from wrong, and when to trust authority and when to rebel, by getting lectures from wise, snowy-bearded Uncle Jesse, who was played by Denver Pyle.

As the adoptive parents of super-kid Clark Kent on "Smallville," Schneider and co-star Annette O'Toole are doing the same thing for a younger generation.

"There's a belief in the reality of Jonathan and Martha Kent and the reality of the family that they bring to young Clark - as Uncle Jesse did in a way," he said.

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LAURENS, Iowa -- In 1994, Alvin Straight gained nationwide attention when he rode his old John Deere lawnmower on a 290-mile trip to Wisconsin to visit a sick brother he hadn't spoken to in a decade.

Straight was 73 when he took the six-week journey from northwest Iowa that inspired the 1999 film "The Straight Story," directed by David Lynch and starring Richard Farnsworth.

After his death in 1996, Straight's house slowly fell into disrepair and has been declared a public nuisance.

Some people, including Lynch, want the house saved. The 58-year-old director ("Mullholland Dr.," "Twin Peaks") told The Associated Press: "It serves as a reminder to people that Alvin Straight did something connected with kindness and forgiveness - and it could in time become a place that people want to visit and see and think about those things."

Last weekend, 14 people drove a 6 1/2 -mile loop around town on riding lawnmowers, including Straight's original, to raise money for repair of the house, but the only sizable donation came from a man who gave $2,000.

Mayor Peter Hong said the City Council will discuss how to proceed. "If we can't raise the money either by donation or activity, then ... why are we allowing this to be here?" he said.

Some residents angry over the way their town of 1,400 people was portrayed in the movie aren't eager to save the old house, which has a crumbling chimney and window frames that are falling off.

"People just need to relax and go about their life and enjoy life and enjoy Laurens for how they see Laurens," Lynch said.

The movie was about Straight, he said, not the town.


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