Originally created 09/09/04

People in the News

LONDON -- How old is a movie legend?

Definitely older than 37-year-old Nicole Kidman, according to Lauren Bacall.

Bacall became irritated during an interview on a British TV show Wednesday when the younger actress was described as "a legend."

"She's not a legend," Bacall said, cutting off interviewer Jenni Falconer in mid-sentence.

"She's a beginner. What is this 'legend?' She can't be a legend at whatever age she is. She can't be a legend, you have to be older."

The two actresses were in Venice, Italy, to promote their new film "Birth," in which 79-year-old Bacall plays Kidman's mother.

Later, reporters peppered Kidman for a response to Bacall's comments. Embarrassed, she finally suggested they direct their questions elsewhere.

It may, however, simply be a matter of semantics. Bacall, the former wife of Humphrey Bogart and star of such films as "The Big Sleep" and "Key Largo," insisted she and Kidman get along famously.

The two women acted together once before, with Bacall playing a supporting role in Kidman's star vehicle "Dogville" last year.

"I love working with a young actress," Bacall said. "Nicole and I worked together on 'Dogville' and we were friends when we started this. That laid the groundwork for our fabulous relationship on screen and off."

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NEW YORK -- The fashion faithful braved heavy rains Wednesday morning for the start of the New York Fashion Week, and the reward was a taste of next spring from Kenneth Cole.

The designer's collection - in mostly white, tangerine and seafoam - had simple shapes and flattering details such as boning and paneling. He achieved beach-worthy styles using ripped-up nylons and viscose knits.

Actor Alan Cumming sat in the front row with magazine editors, retailers and other celebrities as Fashion Week began its eight-day run.

Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Loren and Marc Jacobs were among other designers set to preview their spring 2005 collections.

Missing from this year's schedule: eveningwear designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, who won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for best menswear designer earlier this year.

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Katharine Hepburn's estate is giving back to the group that awarded the famed actress four Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences library has received thousands of photographs and decades worth of letters, scrapbooks and screenplays Hepburn saved over her career.

She meticulously stored objects documenting her life and career, which spanned 60 years. Academy officials said the donation is one of the most comprehensive collections devoted to any performer's career.

The collection of letters includes numerous exchanges with directors, including George Cukor, John Huston and David Lean.

There also is material showing her involvement in social and political issues and her close personal relationships with Cary Grant, Tennessee Williams, Laurence Olivier, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and of course, Spencer Tracy.

Hepburn, who died in June 2003 at 96, received 12 Oscar nominations; her four wins are a record for an actor or actress.

Once fully catalogued, the collection will be made available to qualified researchers.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Islamic fundamentalists urged the Malaysian government Wednesday to bar a concert by the German rock group Scorpions, claiming the band would corrupt Malaysian youths.

"Concerts like these are the catalysts for hedonism and vice in society," Salahuddin Haji Ayub, a youth leader of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, said in a protest note to the Religious Affairs Department. "Research has shown how the crumbling of self-worth, morals and dignity in young people begin from deviant programs like these."

There was no immediate response from the government of this moderate, predominantly Muslim Southeast Asian country and promoters said they planned to go ahead with the concert Sept. 13 at a 50,000-seat stadium.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said that the concert comes a day after the Muslim holy day commemorating the Prophet Mohammed's ascension to heaven and therefore "insults Islam."

Selina Kok, a spokeswoman for concert organizer Star Planet, said the Islamic party was being unfair.

"These guys are rockers, no doubt, but they've been around for years and people know they are a healthy band," she said.

Kok said that the organizers would work with the department should any changes be proposed.

The fundamentalist party, which was obliterated as an opposition force in elections in March, has previously protested concerts by Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and Linkin Park. None of the acts were banned.

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EDINA, Minn. -- Music producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis have sold their Flyte Tyme Studios for $2.3 million.

Jam and Lewis, who have produced more No. 1 hits than anyone except Beatles producer George Martin, have moved their production business to Los Angeles. They have produced hits for Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men and the Spice Girls, among others.

The deal for the 18,000-square-foot facility closed Sept. 1, said Brian Fogelberg, who represented Jam and Lewis' Flyte Tyme Productions.

The buyer, Karl Bohn, is a prominent real estate developer who has been involved in a number projects south of the Minnesota River. It's expected that Bohn will continue to use the Flyte Tyme building for producing music.

The five-studio building has been on the market since early in the year. Fogelberg said Bohn was not among a small group originally targeted as potential buyers for the building.

"We are very pleased with the results," Fogelberg said. "The Twin Cities is not like the Los Angeles with a deep music industry, and we knew there was a very limited market for such a high-end facility."

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NEW YORK -- He won't be live from New York, but he will be on tape.

"Saturday Night Live" cast member Darrell Hammond has been tapped to host the 25th annual news and documentary Emmy Awards. Unlike "SNL," the ceremony won't be live from New York. Instead, it will be taped at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Sept. 13 and then telecast on Sept. 25 on the Discovery Times Channel.

"We are pleased to have Darrell Hammond join these prestigious news personalities at this year's celebration," Peter Price, president of the National Television Academy, said Tuesday. "Mr. Hammond brings the special credential of having impersonated many of America's most prominent newsmakers and newscasters."

Peter Jennings, Diane Sawyer, Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams and Dan Rather will present awards. Rather is among many newsmen and political pundits Hammond has imitated during his eight-season run on NBC's "SNL." He's taken on almost everyone in the Bush administration (Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Colin Powell, Tom Ridge), and is well-known for his portrayal of former President Bill Clinton.

"We're delighted that Darrell Hammond has agreed to host this year's ceremony," said Discovery Times General Manager Vivian Schiller. "It's only fitting that he stand up in front of the very people he routinely skewers in his hilarious and incisive comedy sketches."

The Academy's lifetime achievement award for news and documentary will be presented to Tom Brokaw, who's retiring as the anchor of "NBC Nightly News" later this year.

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LONDON -- Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand, whose debut album has been hailed by critics as a masterpiece of pop, won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize.

The Glasgow-based quartet were the favorites among the 12-strong shortlist to take home the award for their self-titled album.

The $35,600 prize, now in its 13th year, honors the best album of the year by a British or Irish band. It is judged on talent and innovation rather than commercial sales, and the winner can usually expect a surge in sales and publicity.

Among the acts Franz Ferdinand beat for the prize, announced Tuesday, were two-time nominee The Streets, aka rapper Mike Skinner; young soul sensation Joss Stone; urban star Jamelia; and guitarless rock band Keane.

The shortlist was rounded out by new rockers The Zutons, jazz singer Amy Winehouse, Northern Irish quartet Snow Patrol, dance outfit Basement Jaxx, pop group Belle & Sebastian, rapper Ty and singer Robert Wyatt.

The panel of judges, made up of music experts and journalists, debated the contest right up until moments before the winner was announced.

The gong was handed over by last year's winner, garage star Dizzee Rascal, otherwise known as Dylan Mills.

Franz Ferdinand, named after the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire whose assassination started World War I, have only released one album with a mere 11 tracks. But they sell out all their shows and reviewers have lavished praise on their powerful guitar riffs, making them the standard-bearers for Britain's "art rock" movement.

The shortlist for the Mercury Prize is whittled down by judges from an original choice of 180 albums.

In recent years, critics have criticized the award for being willfully obscure and selecting "token" classical or folk acts, but this year, no music from that genre was nominated.

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Disney Enterprises may have to sell its trademarks in South Africa to pay for damages if a poor family wins a lawsuit claiming it lost millions in royalties from the hit song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

The Pretoria High Court on Tuesday dismissed an application by Disney Enterprises to prevent its trademarks from being sold off if the family of the late musician Solomon Linda, who wrote the original song, "Mbube," in 1939, wins its suit.

Lawyers for Linda's family obtained a court order in July attaching more than 240 trademarks registered here to their $1.6 million lawsuit in order to establish local jurisdiction.

The trademarks, which include well-known images such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, could be sold locally to pay Linda's heirs if they win their lawsuit, according to Tuesday's ruling.

Linda's three surviving daughters and 10 grandchildren, living in poverty in the Johannesburg township of Soweto, have received only a one-time payment of $15,000, according to their lawyers.

"It means that Mickey Mouse is still in captivity," said Adri Malan, spokesman for the family's legal team.

Joyce Lorigan, a London-based spokeswoman for Disney, said the judgment Tuesday was disappointing, but had no impact on the substance of the dispute.

"The real issue in this lawsuit is whether Linda's estate or Abilene Music Publishing - who bought the rights to the song from Linda's wife - owns the copyright to 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight,"' Lorigan said in a statement.

The action is based on laws in Commonwealth nations at the time the song was first recorded. Under these provisions, the rights to a song revert to the composer's heirs 25 years after his death.

No court date has been set.

Linda died penniless in 1962, having sold the rights to his original song to the South African company Abilene Music Publishing. It went on to generate an estimated $15 million in royalties after it was adapted by other artists, including the American songwriter George Weiss, whose version is featured in "The Lion King."

The song has been covered by at least 150 artists, including The Tokens, George Michael, Miriam Makeba and The Spinners.

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NEW YORK -- Julianne Moore wants to give children more time for their imaginations - and she's doing it one watch at a time.

The 43-year-old actress will appear in a public service campaign bearing the slogan, "Time is Precious: Use it Wisely," seeking to highlight the declining resources available for children's arts education programs and reverse the trend.

With each purchase of a Montblanc watch or pen, the luxury accessory brand will make a contribution to the National Arts Education Initiative, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF).

The campaign will run in fashion and lifestyle publications starting in October and continue until next March.

Moore has received four Oscar nominations, including best actress nominations for 2002's "Far From Heaven" and 1999's "The End of the Affair," and best supporting actress nominations for 2002's "The Hours" and 1997's "Boogie Nights." Her next film, "The Forgotten," opens Sept. 24.

The EIF is the official charity of the entertainment industry. It also sponsors initiatives for cancer research, cardiovascular research and cessation of smoking.

Montblanc is a nearly century-old designer of jewelry and stationery.

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