Originally created 12/02/05

People in the News



BARNSTABLE, Mass. - Joan Kennedy, the former wife of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, has sold her 13-room waterfront home on Cape Cod, according to her son's congressional office.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island confirmed the house had been sold, but said she didn't know the price.

"He doesn't have any details of the sale," Robin Costello said of Patrick Kennedy, "(and) he does not know who the (new) owners are."

Barnstable County property tax records show the house, on Squaw Island near the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, has six bedrooms, sits on 1.18 acres and is assessed at $3.7 million.

At the request of her three children, a court-appointed guardian was named in June to oversee the affairs of the 69-year-old Kennedy, who has battled alcoholism and been through several treatment programs. The children had contested her earlier attempts to sell the house.

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BOMBAY, India (AP) - Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan was reported in stable condition Thursday after undergoing surgery for an intestinal ailment.

The operation was performed late Wednesday to treat the 63-year-old actor's diverticulitis, which involves ruptures in pockets of the intestine, Lilavati Hospital said in a statement.

Fans organized gatherings at temples to pray for Bachchan's speedy recovery. He has appeared in more than 150 Indian movies over three decades.

"There's life and there's the body, so something or the other will happen," the DNA newspaper quoted Bachchan as saying before the surgery.

When fellow actor Anupam Kher visited and asked if he needed cheering up, Bachchan replied, "Please do, I need to laugh," the Bombay-based newspaper reported.

Bachchan was admitted to the hospital Monday after complaining of stomach pain.

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - "NYPD Blue" star Dennis Franz will serve as grand marshal of Santa Barbara's holiday parade, but plans to spend Christmas in Idaho.

Franz, who lives in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, will join marching bands, floats and Santa Claus in the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization's Holiday Parade on Friday. But Franz will then head to his family's new ranch in Idaho.

"Coming from Chicago, I like a white Christmas," said the 61-year-old actor, who played police Detective Andy Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue." "That was one of the things I had a hard time getting used to when I came to California in '78 - Santa Claus in shorts."

Franz also said he would avoid the phrase "Merry Christmas" in favor of a more secular message.

"I have to say that I now say 'happy holidays' to people," Franz told the Santa Barbara News-Press. "That's usually my greeting because there are so many people celebrating their own holidays. It's really just a generic way to say, 'Let's all have a great holiday season.'"

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BERLIN - Charlotte Rampling will head the jury at next year's Berlin International Film Festival, which will run Feb. 9-19.

Rampling "has come to stand for unconventional and memorable cinema," festival director Dieter Kosslick said Wednesday.

The 59-year-old actress has starred in films such as Francois Ozon's "Swimming Pool," Dominik Moll's "Lemming" and Laurent Cantet's "Heading South."

Festival organizers didn't name the other members of the jury, which will award the top Golden Bear prize.

This year's winner was the South African film "Carmen in Khayelitsha," directed by Mark Dornford-May.

On the Net:

http://www.berlinale.de/en/HomePage.html

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NEW YORK - John Bucchino is the first recipient of the Fred Ebb Award for aspiring musical-theater songwriters.

Bucchino received the $50,000 prize Tuesday from Chita Rivera, who starred in "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "The Rink," two musicals Ebb wrote with his longtime collaborator, composer John Kander.

Ebb, who died in September 2004, was the man behind the words for hit musicals such as "Chicago" and that big-city anthem "New York, New York."

The lyricist, according to Kander, was a champion of new talent and loved awards, so the Fred Ebb Foundation was set up after his death by Ebb's nephew, Mitchell Bernard.

At the ceremony, held at the Roundabout's American Airlines Theatre, Bucchino sang his best-known song, appropriately titled, "Grateful."

On the Net:

http://www.FredEbbFoundation.org

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BERLIN - Peter Gabriel, Jessye Norman and the Black Eyed Peas will perform at the World Cup's opening gala next year.

The two-hour show on June 7 at Berlin's Olympiastadion will kick off soccer's monthlong showcase.

FIFA hopes the new gala will become a tradition at future World Cups. It will be staged as a separate event from the first match, when the opening celebration has traditionally been held.

The opening match will take place June 9 in Munich. It will have its own show.

"This is a legacy that should be transferred to all World Cups," FIFA General Secretary Ours Lines said.

On the Net:

http://fifaworldcup.yahoo.com

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LAS VEGAS - Muhammad Ali is expected to be at the starting line Sunday when officials begin the New Las Vegas Marathon.

"He wants to be a part of this race," said race chairman Bernie Yuman, a longtime friend and agent for Ali. Yuman said the 63-year-old former heavyweight boxing champion was retooling his schedule to join local dignitaries for starting ceremonies on the Las Vegas Strip.

About 11,000 runners are signed up to start the race beneath neon, fireworks and the sound of Elvis Presley's recording of "Viva Las Vegas," race president Bill Burke said.

It's the first time in 39 races that the route includes the Las Vegas Strip.

Ali, who has Parkinson's disease, recently received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House and attended the opening of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Ky.

On the Net:

http://www.lvmarathon.com