Originally created 06/14/06

People in the News

LOS ANGELES - Jack Black and his wife, Tanya Haden, are parents of a baby boy, the actor said.

"I'm going to be the best daddy on the planet and I'm going to enter the best daddy competition. And I'm going to win it," Black said in a story posted on the Web site of Us Weekly magazine.

The couple's first child was born Saturday, Black told "Access Hollywood" on Monday evening at the Mann Grauman's Chinese Theatre premiere for his new movie, "Nacho Libre."

"I've got the babe back at home safe and sound and I'm actually very anxious to get back" to them, Black, 36, told the TV show.

Neither Us Weekly nor "Access Hollywood" reported the baby's name.

Black has starred in films including "The School of Rock" and "King Kong," and has a band called Tenacious D.

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LONDON - Heather Mills McCartney, the estranged wife of Paul McCartney, said the couple will divorce, and that she plans to sue newspapers that have been digging into her past, according to a statement released by her lawyers.

The couple had not mentioned "divorce" when they announced May 17 that they had "decided to go our separate ways" after four years of marriage.

Since that announcement, she has been the subject of several unflattering newspaper articles that included pictures of her in naked or semi-naked poses.

The News of the World, a mass-circulation Sunday newspaper, has written lurid stories that she spent nights with wealthy men when she was in her 20s.

"Heather is very distressed by this article," said the statement Tuesday from the law firm of Coyle White Devine, adding that she will sue for libel.

"She will defer issue of legal proceedings until the arrangements in relation to the divorce are concluded but intends to sue at that stage all parties (including individuals) who are intent on damaging her reputation."


NEW YORK - Bob Dylan's new album, "Modern Times," to be released Aug. 29, features 10 original songs recorded by the singer-songwriter and his touring band.

Song titles include "Thunder on the Mountain," "Spirit on the Water," "Workingman's Blues" and "When the Deal Goes Down." Dylan plays keyboard, guitar and harmonica on the album, and sings the vocals.

In a statement Monday, Columbia Records Chairman Steve Barnett characterized "Modern Times" as the third in a trilogy that includes 1997's "Time Out of Mind" and 2001's "Love and Theft." Both albums were Grammy winners.

"Bob is that rare artist whose music defies all trends and resonates throughout all levels of our culture, and he continues to be as contemporary and relevant as any artist in music," Barnett said.

Dylan, 65, is the host of a weekly show, "Theme Time Radio Hour," on XM Satellite Radio. The show debuted last month.

"Modern Times" is his 44th album.

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LOS ANGELES - Johnny Mathis will receive the 15th annual ELLA Award from the Society of Singers.

The award, named after its first recipient, jazz great Ella Fitzgerald, honors entertainers for their professional success and contributions to charitable and humanitarian causes. Mathis, 70, is celebrating 50 years in show business.

He will receive the award Sept. 12 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

"Johnny sings from the heart, with one of the most identifiable voices and individual vocal styles of our time," Jerry F. Sharell, president and chief executive officer of the Society of Singers, said in a statement Monday. "He was also one of the first singers to join SOS - and while he doesn't seek publicity for doing it, Johnny has been hosting and performing at charity events for decades."

Mathis' hits include "Chances Are," "The Twelfth of Never" and "Wonderful! Wonderful."

Besides Fitzgerald, previous recipients include Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Julie Andrews, Placido Domingo, Barry Manilow and Celine Dion.

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NEW YORK - Julia Stiles says shooting a remake of the 1976 horror classic, "The Omen," was a real nightmare for her because the original scared her so much.

"I think I kind of absorbed a lot of the imagery from it and the themes in it and so I had horrible nightmares while we were shooting. I kept dreaming images from the original," the 25-year-old actress told reporters recently, according to AP Radio.

Stiles, whose screen credits also include "The Bourne Identity" and "Mona Lisa Smile," said she was very superstitious while making the movie.

"I was very scared. I kept thinking that we were tempting the fates, said Stiles, so she wouldn't let anyone say the words "devil" or "spirits" on the set, "and before certain scenes, we would have to remind ourselves that it was a work of fiction."

Stiles, who considers herself pretty tough when it comes to stunts, said having to fall 30 feet from a balcony was the scariest thing she's done on film.

"I was surprised and terrified. I am normally very much of a daredevil, especially on a movie set 'cause I have this naive idea that everything is safe on a movie set.

"And I noticed that they scheduled the stunt for one of my last days of shooting, which made me very skeptical," she said. "But it was a lot of fun."

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MEXICO CITY - "The Vagina Monologues" has filled theaters here for nearly five years because it encourages self-acceptance for women in a country where men still wield most of the power, says Mexican theater producer Morris Gilbert.

"This play particularly opens the minds of people in Mexico," Gilbert told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "It's a very liberating play."

Last month, Gilbert hosted Salma Hayek and Jane Fonda in a benefit performance of "The Vagina Monologues."

"It was an enchanting experience - impressive, moving - and I learned a lot from her," Gilbert said of working with Fonda. "Most of us unfortunately in this lifetime never worry about anyone but ourselves, and the fact that she is not this way is a big lesson."

In his 30 years as a producer, Gilbert has brought musicals such as "The Phantom of the Opera," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Chicago" from Broadway to Mexican theaters. He has eight productions now on Mexico City stages.

His theater career began in 1975 with a minor acting role in Noel Coward's "Design for Living," but he quickly moved backstage, producing his first play at 22.


LIMA, Peru - Music piracy is unstoppable - and justified for poor fans, says Puerto Rican reggaeton sensation Daddy Yankee.

"You can't control (piracy). They gonna keep on doing it," said Yankee, who was in Lima to promote his "Barrio Fino en Directo" album, which features live and remixed versions of 2004 hits such as "Gasolina" and "Lo Que Paso, Paso."

Music and software piracy are widespread in Peru, as is poverty.

"Sometimes, economically speaking, in different countries... it's hard for a kid to buy your record," said Yankee, whose real name is Raymond Ayala.

Even if it means he makes less money, said Yankee, if a fan can only afford a pirated copy of his album, "nothing matters because the kid is poor."

Likewise, if a fan has the money to buy the record, "why not, you know, buy it?" he said Saturday.

Reggaeton - an infectious tangle of Spanish rap, Jamaican dancehall reggae and the pulsating tropical rhythms of bachata, salsa and merengue - is a fixture on urban radio stations and dance clubs.


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