Originally created 02/03/06

People in the News



HONOLULU - One of the actors of the ABC series "Lost" left behind his star power to promote a different type of strength among local lawmakers - harmony and hope.

Dressed in a simple gray suit draped with a single strand of maile leaves, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, a devout Buddhist, quietly delivered the traditional daily prayer before the state Senate on Tuesday.

"I thank you very much, deeply, from the root of my heart because I believe this is what my mission is in life to share this practice and to create dialogue with others," Akinnuoye-Agbaje said.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays the character of Mr. Eko, a former African drug lord who had taken on the identity of a Roman Catholic priest. The series is filmed in Hawaii.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje read the 23rd Psalm, which is also the title of the "Lost" episode during which Eko's violent past and struggle for redemption are revealed.

Akinnuoye-Agbaje was invited to deliver the invocation by Sen. Fred Hemmings, R-Lanikai-Waimanalo, after the senator saw the episode featuring Eko's story.

Though the show has been sweeping up awards, including a Golden Globe last month for best television drama series, Akinnuoye-Agbaje called his appearance before the Hawaii Legislature "the pinnacle" of his career.

"This to me is the greatest reward because it's based upon my faith," he said in an interview following the invocation.

On the Net:

"Lost": http://abc.go.com/primetime/lost/index.html

Hawaii Legislature: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov

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ROWE, N.M. - For sale: 1,800 acres of Val Kilmer's Pecos River Ranch southeast of Santa Fe. Asking price: $18 million.

Sotheby's listed the riverfront property near Rowe on Jan. 3. It's only a part of the actor's 6,000-acre ranch, and was once part of the Forked Lightning Ranch owned by Greer Garson and her husband, Texas oil man Buddy Fogelson.

Real estate agent Garrett VeneKlasen said buyers can choose to purchase only part of the land.

The property already has been subdivided into two parcels, he said. The first part, which includes a fishing operation, covers nearly 1,000 acres and includes 3 miles of the river, three houses, a stable and a rock quarry.

Part of that parcel is protected from further development and subdivision by a conservation easement held by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust.

The other piece consists of about 850 acres of undeveloped land with three-quarters of an acre of river. San Miguel County zoning ordinances would allow it to be split into parcels as small as 5 acres, VeneKlasen said.

Kilmer, whose screen credits include roles in "Alexander," "Batman Forever" and "The Doors," is keeping the rest of the ranch.

"He wants to build his own big facility on the other side of the ranch," VeneKlasen said. "He likes the amenities, but he just wants to start from scratch. If he is going to deal with maintaining a whole bunch of buildings and stuff, he wants his own stuff. He wants to have his own architectural plans and his own sort of dream."

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NEW YORK - Destiny's Child will reunite to sing the national anthem at the 55th NBA All-Star game at the Toyota Center in their native Houston on Feb. 19.

Their appearance before the game, which will be televised on TNT (8 p.m. EST), is being billed by the NBA as their "last-ever performance."

The Grammy-winning trio of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams disbanded last year to pursue solo careers. They had a string of hits, including "Bootylicious," "Survivor" and "Independent Women (Part I)."

On the Net:

http://www.nba.com

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NEW YORK - Harvey Weinstein says Judi Dench was snubbed by three network talk shows because of her age while promoting "Mrs. Henderson Presents," according to New York magazine.

Dench, 71, was nominated Tuesday for an Oscar for her performance in the film, which was distributed by Weinstein's new production company, The Weinstein Co.

Weinstein, who co-founded Miramax Films, says Dench was turned down for interviews by NBC's "Today" show and ABC's "Good Morning America" and "The View."

"They said that she didn't fit their demographics," the outspoken movie mogul tells the magazine in this week's issue.

"I told that to my mother, who was pretty... offended," he is quoted as saying. "I mean, what do they think, 25-year-old people can't watch 70-year-old people? The insanity of youth. It also assumes none of us like our families."

Bill Geddie, executive producer of "The View," released a statement to the AP that said Dench had appeared a number of times on the show, including to promote "Shakespeare in Love." The actress won an Oscar for her performance in the 1998 film.

"I was never pitched Dame Judi Dench to appear on 'The View' in support of 'Mrs. Henderson Presents,' and we would welcome her back to the show anytime we have an opening," Geddie said.

The "Today" show and "Good Morning America" released statements saying that although Dench had been a guest on the shows, they hadn't been able to offer coverage of her new movie.

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CANCUN, Mexico - She may be a second-generation boxer, but if Laila Ali eventually has children, the world's most famous woman fighter will discourage them from taking up the sport.

"I'm not encouraging anybody else's kids," she said. "So why would I encourage my own? No. I'm crazy, but I hope my kids are sane."

The comments by the daughter of Muhammad Ali came on the sidelines of Monday's World Boxing Council's Night of Champions in Cancun, Mexico, where she received the Female Boxer of the Year Award.

"I love to fight," she said. "Boxing's obviously in my blood, so I don't have to work so hard to catch on to certain things, and I have very high expectations of myself. Only another fighter can understand."

Ali, 22-0 since beginning her career in 1999, is in the middle of a world tour to promote herself and has a scheduled bout against an unidentified opponent in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on April 20.

Despite her expressed career choice for any future children, the 28-year-old light heavyweight says she didn't follow her father's advice.

"Well, he feels the same way," she said with a slightly embarrassed laugh when asked if her father approved of her boxing. "But it didn't stop me in the beginning, and it won't stop me now. So he's happy I'm undefeated, I'm doing well, and he'll also be happy when I retire."