Originally created 05/13/05

People in the News



NEW YORK - "Gilligan's Island" is getting a little diversity.

Tiy-E Muhammad, 35, a psychology and human sexuality professor from Atlanta, donned a dress shirt and some slacks as one of the Professors in the upcoming second installment of TBS' "The Real Gilligan's Island," which premieres June 8.

"A black person on 'Gilligan's Island'? I think the only other time they had a black person on there was the Globetrotters," Muhammad told The Associated Press Wednesday. (The Harlem Globetrotters visited the island in a 1981 TV movie.)

In the reality-show take on the '60s stranded-on-an-uncharted-island sitcom, two real-life versions of the "Gilligan's Island" crew live together in a village reminiscent of the CBS show and battle each other in "Survivor"-style challenges. The other Professor is Andrew J. Schuler, an assistant environmental engineering professor at Duke University.

"I was a big fan of 'Gilligan's Island' growing up," said Muhammad. "I was actually a big fan of the Professor - and Mary Ann. Growing up, it was 'Happy Days,' 'Gilligan's Island' and 'The Jeffersons.' The Professor was sexy. He's not the Fonz, but he's a cool cat."

The other cast members are actress Erika Eleniak and model Angie Everhart as the Gingers, retired U.S. Navy officer Ken Callen and Louisiana harbormaster "Crazy" Charlie Albert as the Skippers, waitress Randi Silvers and interior designer Mandy Weaver as the Mary Anns, Boston bouncer Shawn Manning and cabana towel boy Zac Turney as the Gilligans, Millionaire and Billionaire magazine publisher Jim Bounce and New York banker Howard Schur as the millionaires, and Donna Bounce and Melissa Jones, respectively, as the millionaires' wives.

The winner will receive $250,000.

On the Net:

http://tbs.com/shows/therealgilligansisland/

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OAK PARK, Mich. - Eminem, who grew up on both sides of 8 Mile Road, is helping revitalize the highway he made famous in a hit song and film.

The 32-year-old rapper, born Marshall Mathers III, has autographed 30 bricks from the recently demolished Detroit Artillery Armory on 8 Mile in Oak Park. One brick was auctioned last month, and the rest are to auctioned on eBay within the next month.

Proceeds will be split between Eminem's charity, the Marshall Mathers Foundation, and the Eight Mile Boulevard Association.

The association, a coalition of 13 cities, Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties and several businesses, asked Eminem to sign the bricks. It plans to use its share of the auction proceeds for revitalization efforts along 8 Mile.

"He's identified with 8 Mile Road, and he's famous," Association President Barry Brickner told the Detroit Free Press for a Thursday story.

The bricks are painted gold and covered with a clear sealant on the side bearing Eminem's autograph, said Tami Salisbury, the association's executive director. The bricks will be packaged with DVD copies of 2002's "8 Mile" film.

R. Miles Handy, supervisor of Wayne County's Redford Township, submitted the winning bid of $300 for the first brick, which says "Save 8 Mile Slim Shady 2005."

"Here's a kid who lived close to 8 Mile, now is one of the largest entertainers in the country," said Handy, 40. "I think it's a pretty nice piece of history."

Eminem grew up in Detroit and Warren - cities divided by 8 Mile Road - as well as Roseville and St. Clair Shores. He now lives in Rochester Hills in a 29-room, 15,000-square-foot mansion.

On the Net:

http://www.eightmile.org/

http://www.eminem.com/

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PHILADELPHIA - Joseph H. Kluger is resigning after 16 years as president of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Kluger said he'll step down Aug. 31 to join a consulting firm specializing in arts facilities and operations.

"It felt like the right time in the orchestra's institutional life and in my life," Kluger, 50, said Wednesday. He recently negotiated a labor contract with musicians that helped land a new record deal for the orchestra.

Kluger became the orchestra's general manager in 1985, after serving as orchestra manager for the New York Philharmonic. He was named music director in 1989.

He was president while the orchestra lost its earlier recording contract and national radio broadcasts, turned over its concert hall to an independent authority as fund-raising slumped, ran deficits for years and endured a 64-day strike in 1996.

He also led two searches for music directors, moved the orchestra to a new concert hall and nearly doubled its budget.

"It is a sad moment, I must say," said Music Director Christoph Eschenbach. "It was a wonderful collaboration with Joe. We were very good friends. He understood me very well, I understood him very well."

On the Net:

http://www.philorch.org/styles/poa02e/www/index2.html

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Terri Clark and Greg Kaczor, her longtime friend and tour manager, are engaged. They plan to be married this fall.

"Greg couldn't be a more perfect fit for me," the 36-year-old country singer said in a statement Thursday. "I mean, who knows me better than the man I'm with around the clock? He supports my grueling career schedule and has always been there for me."

The couple have known each other and worked together for nearly 10 years. Kaczor became her tour manager and acoustic guitar bandmate in 1997.

Clark's hits include "Girls Lie Too" and "I Just Wanna Be Mad."

On the Net:

http://www.terriclark.com/

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FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - Angelina Jolie, on a goodwill visit to Sierra Leone, said she was overwhelmed by the "strength and spirit" of a nation struggling to recover from a decade of brutal conflict.

The Oscar-winning actress, who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, arrived in the West African country Monday.

"I will bring international focus here and continue to come back to let Sierra Leone not drop off the international agenda," Jolie told reporters Wednesday.

Sierra Leone's rebels were notorious for their brutality. They burned down parts of the capital during a decade-long war that left tens of thousands of people dead before fighting ended in early 2002.

"The strength and spirit of the people of Sierra Leone have overwhelmed me," the 29-year-old actress said. "I do not know how I could go through 11 years of war with such spirit and strength and continue to fight for family and human rights in the way that the people of Sierra Leone did."

Jolie was in Sierra Leone to meet survivors of the conflict and to urge authorities to make public the recommendations of a special commission set up to reconcile the nation.

She has been a UNHCR goodwill ambassador since 2001 and has traveled to refugee camps around the world. She won a supporting-actress Oscar for 1999's "Girl, Interrupted."

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MONTCLAIR, N.J. - It still ain't over for Yogi Berra.

The St. Louis-born New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher, one of the most enduring and beloved icons in sports, turned 80 on Thursday.

He planned to celebrate at home with his wife, Carmen, his children and 10 grandchildren, probably having a backyard barbecue. And he expected to get a phone call from his childhood pal Joe Garagiola, the catcher-turned Hall of Fame broadcaster, who says Yogi always returns the favor on his birthday each February.

"He'll call me and leave a message on my answering machine, singing, 'Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, you're catching up to me, happy birthday to you. From Yogi Berra.' He tells me who it was, like I thought it was Pavarotti or Bocelli singing to me," the 79-year-old Garagiola said.

Along with his baseball career, Berra is known for his many "Yogi-isms," statements that crack you up at first, but kind of make sense once you think about them. For example, "It gets late early out there" was a reference to how the afternoon shadows play in the outfield. And when he tried to explain why he stopped dining at a busy restaurant, it came out, "Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."

When asked what time it was, he once replied, "You mean now?" And who can refute the pennant race logic of his most famous quote, "It ain't over till it's over?"

"He says things and people giggle a lot, but in there is something pretty useful, and that never stops," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Berra hadn't pondered turning 80 too much.

"Baseball has been good to me," he said. "I met a lot of good people and made a lot of good friends. Life must go on."

But he does have a plan for next year's birthday.

"I think I go backwards now," he joked. "Next birthday, 79."

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NEW YORK - NBC's "Saturday Night Live" will close out its 30th season on May 21 with Lindsay Lohan as host and Coldplay as the musical guest.

It will be Lohan's second appearance as host, the network said Wednesday.

Coldplay, also making its second appearance on "SNL," will perform songs from its upcoming album, "X & Y," scheduled for release next month.

Lohan, 18, co-starred with "SNL" Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey in the comedy "Mean Girls." Her upcoming films include "Herbie: Fully Loaded," with Breckin Meyer and Matt Dillon, which will be in theaters June 22.

On the Net:

http://www.nbc.com

http://www.coldplay.com/index.php

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OAK HILL, W.Va. - The town of Oak Hill plans to turn the former Pure Oil service station - where a chauffeur discovered the death of country singer Hank Williams Sr. - into a museum.

Williams was being driven from Montgomery, Ala., to Canton, Ohio, for a concert when his driver found him dead after pulling the songwriter's baby blue Cadillac into the station.

The 29-year-old Williams, whose hits included "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and "Your Cheatin' Heart," was declared dead on New Year's Day in 1953. He died of a drug and alcohol overdose.

The lease will be held by the town until it can be turned over to a new foundation that will administer the museum, Oak Hill Mayor Barbara Hickman said Tuesday.

Hickman is encouraging donations of memorabilia and hopes that state funds will be allotted for the project.

But Williams' memorialization hasn't enjoyed universal support among state lawmakers. A measure to designate a section of state Route 16 in Fayette County the "Hank Williams Sr. Memorial Road" failed during this year's legislative session.

On the Net:

http://www.hankwilliams.com/

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OSLO, Norway - Liv Ullmann has been awarded one of Norway's highest royal honors, the Commander with Star of the Order of St. Olav.

The order, created in 1857, is awarded by King Harald V based on recommendations from a panel to Norwegians deserving a "reward for excellent services to country and mankind."

Ullmann, 66, was awarded the honor Wednesday.

She had established herself as a Norwegian stage and screen actress in the 1950s, but it was her creative liaison with Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman that gave her international stardom.

Ullmann may be best known for her roles in nine Bergman movies, including "Persona" (1966), "Shame" (1968) and "Autumn Sonata" (1978). The liaison with Bergman also turned romantic, and their five-year affair produced a daughter.

She made her debut as a director in 1992 with the film "Sofie."

The Order of St. Olav is named after the martyred Viking and Christian King Olav the Holy. There are five classes: Grand Cross, Commander with Star, Commander, Knight Class 1 and Knight.

On the Net:

http://www.saintolav.com