Faces & Names: Duff moving full speed ahead with lifeAlthough she’s appeared in hit movies, starred on a Disney TV show and sold millions of records, Hilary Duff still feels like she has things to prove in showbiz.
Duff moving full speed ahead with life
Although she’s appeared in hit movies, starred on a Disney TV show and sold millions of records, Hilary Duff still feels like she has things to prove in showbiz.
Duff said during her time on “Lizzie McGuire,” the show she starred in for two seasons that made her famous, she “got to do so many fun things and be so physical with my comedy. I had no inhibitions. It was fun for me to be goofy.”
“Then I wanted to sing and that was new but I had so many fans by that point they were all supporting me so I was really confident. Now I’m a little older and I feel I need to re-learn some of those things. I have goals and aspirations but they kind of fall into what I’ve already accomplished. I feel like I still have work to do within things I’ve already dabbled in.”
One recent success she’s had is in the publishing world. Duff’s a best-selling young adult novelist with her “Elixir” trilogy. The second book, “Devoted” is now in stores.
“To put a book out was huge,” she said. “To hear people be like, ‘I didn’t want to give you much credit but I love this book.’ It’s an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness and relief.”
Besides writing, 24-year-old Duff is expecting her first child with pro hockey player Mike Comrie. The two married in 2010.
Gere guitar collection fetches $1M
A collection of American vintage guitars owned by actor Richard Gere has fetched nearly $1 million at auction in New York City.
Tuesday’s sale of 110 guitars and amplifiers at Christie’s auction house included brands such as C.F. Martin, Gibson, Fender and Gretsch and guitars once owned by blues guitarist Albert King and reggae musician Peter Tosh.
The top sale went to a 1960 solid-body Les Paul electric guitar by Gibson, which sold for more than $98,000.
Gere said he’s parting with the instruments to support global humanitarian causes. Christie’s said the “Pretty Woman” star studied trumpet and is a self-taught pianist and guitarist.
Gere says he never planned to assemble a guitar collection and bought only ones that he liked and that sounded good to him.
Baldwin setting up post-’30 Rock’ lif
Alec Baldwin is preparing for life after “30 Rock,” working with New York public radio on an interview show that will be available via podcast starting Oct. 24.
The first interview posted will be with actor Michael Douglas, who talks about watching “Glee” with his young daughter. Other interviews to follow will be with Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins, reality-show celebrity Kris Kardashian Jenner, comic Chris Rock, actress Kathleen Turner, author Erica Jong and veteran talk-show host Dick Cavett, station WNYC said Thursday.
He’s an admitted “public radio junkie” who has filled in on the air for New York’s WNYC and also helped with fund drives. After his on-air work as a substitute host for Kurt Andersen, both Baldwin and WNYC were interested in doing something more, said Dean Cappello, senior vice president for programming at New York public radio.
New interviews will be available about once a week. Cappello said he expects they will eventually be made into an on-air radio show, but those plans aren’t set yet.
Duluth's Club Saratoga makes headlines on Leno
Duluth’s Club Saratoga caught Jay Leno’s eye on Monday night — though not for the floorshow.
One of a series of tongue-in-cheek ads running in the Duluth Budgeteer News and the News Tribune made "The Tonight Show’s" “Headlines” segment, reading, “Attention: Our ad requesting pole dancers did NOT require applicants to be of Polish descent.”
“I do not know how Jay Leno got ahold of that ad for his show, but my phone started blowing up (Tuesday),” the Saratoga’s Dan Lowe, who wrote the ad, told Faces & Names.
Whether Leno’s folks thought the ad was serious, who knows? But Budgeteer sales exec Pam Porisch, who writes many of them with Lowe, says a lot of thought goes into them.
“That was one that he had done months ago,” she said. “I kept telling him it was one of my favorites.”
For that, Lowe thanked his mentors (Proctor High School journalism teacher Phil Johnson and University of Minnesota Duluth educators Howard Martz and the late Linda Hilsen) as well as Leno, saying, “We love the exposure.”
Headlines (Club Saratoga ad begins at 1:00 mark):
Duluth poet makes Reader’s Digest
Duluth poet Connie Wanek’s poem “Butter” from her collection “Harley Field” will be published in the November 2011 issue of Reader’s Digest magazine.
“It was just one of those things that came out of the blue,” Wanek said.
Wanek has been published in a mix of magazines including Atlantic Monthly, Poetry magazine and Country Journal. She called “Butter” a whimsical meditation.
Jim Perlman of Holy Cow! Press, publisher of “Hartley Field,” said he was contacted by the magazine to get permission to print the poem.
Following is the poem’s first wry stanza:
Butter, like love,
seems common enough
yet has so many imitators.
I held a brick of it, heavy and cool,
and glimpsed what seemed like skin
beneath a corner of its wrap;
the decolletage revealed
a most attractive fat!
Fun fact: When Wanek graduated from high school in Las Cruces, N.M., in 1970, she was awarded a free subscription to the special-interest magazine because she was valedictorian.
“I applaud Reader’s Digest for including poetry in their format,” Wanek said.
These days the writer is working on her fourth book of poetry. She’s in the “tinkering phase,” she said.
Jackson could not have administered drug, examiner says
Michael Jackson could not have given himself the lethal dose of the surgical anesthetic that killed him, a medical examiner who performed the singer’s autopsy testified Tuesday, dealing a blow to the defense argument that the singer died by his own hand.
As the third week of testimony in Dr. Conrad Murray’s involuntary manslaughter got under way, Dr. Christopher Rogers, an examiner with the Los Angeles County Coroner, testified it was the words of the defendant that led him to rule out a scenario in which Jackson gave himself the anesthetic propofol. Murray’s attorneys have told jurors scientific evidence will show Jackson caused his own death.
Murray told detectives in an interview that he left the singer’s bedside for about two minutes to go to the bathroom and returned to find his patient had stopped breathing. That window, Rogers said, was not enough for any propofol Jackson took himself to make its way to the singer’s brain and take effect.
“The circumstances from my point of view do not support self administration of propofol,” the medical examiner said.
Sondheim to receive NYC arts award
Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim will receive New York City’s highest honor for achievement in the arts.
The New York Times says Sondheim will receive the Handel Medallion on Nov. 1 at Alice Tully Hall.
Other honorees will include Mikhail Baryshnikov; arts advocate Alice Diamond; musician Jimmy Heath; artist Maya Lin; and the Theater Development Fund.
Sondheim has won more Tony Awards than any other composer.
A revival of the 81-year-old’s “Follies” will be on Broadway until Jan. 22. His other hit musicals include “A Little Night Music” and “Sweeney Todd.”
Sondheim also wrote the lyrics for “West Side Story.”
Ono campaign to raise hunger awareness
Yoko Ono is launching a global campaign to raise money and awareness to help fight childhood hunger and poverty.
The 78-year-old widow of John Lennon is asking that on Nov. 1, at noon CDT, people “take a moment to imagine a nourished and abundant world, where ‘the world will live as one.’ ”
Hard Rock International and WhyHunger are partners with Ono for the campaign called “Imagine There’s No Hunger.” Various Hard Rock locations will host events on that day aimed at raising awareness.
Sunday would have been Lennon’s 71st birthday, and today is the 40th anniversary of his song “Imagine,” which Ono co-produced.
A limited-edition bracelet will go on sale to support the campaign’s efforts and people can also text the word “Imagine” to 50555 to donate.
Bjork album fuses music, tech, nature
As a child growing up in Iceland, Bjork would compose music in her head as she walked to school.
The cadence of her footsteps became the rhythm. The dramatic landscapes of her homeland became the inspiration.
In her new album, Bjork says she fuses that natural world with iPad apps to invent a music genre she calls an “appbox.”
“Biophilia” — and a host of applications representing tracks on the album — were released Monday and are meant to immerse listeners in a complete audiovisual experience.
Bjork said she sees “the structure and shapes of songs” during the creative process. That led her to work with a team of iPad app designers and musicians to chart out visual representations of the songs.
In addition to traditional album form, Biophilia is being released as a “mother app” for iPad, and within it, individual apps give a new dimension to tracks on the album with interactive visuals.
McCartney weds in nostalgia-filled ceremony
A hint of autumnal Beatlemania was in the air Sunday as Paul McCartney, for the second time in his improbable life, climbed the steps of venerable Old Marylebone Town Hall to take himself a bride.
True, thousands of heartbroken female fans crowded the columned building in 1969 when he married Linda Eastman, and only a few hundred showed up Sunday as he wed another American, Nancy Shevell, at the very same registry office.
But the feeling this time was not regret at the loss of a bachelor heartthrob. Instead there was joy that McCartney, regarded as a national treasure and revered the world over, seemed happy again.
The 69-year-old former Beatle appeared proud, content and eager to share his joy with the crowd, raising his bride’s hand in triumph as he walked down the steps after they became husband and wife in a simple civil ceremony attended by close family and friends, including drummer Ringo Starr and Barbara Walters, a second cousin of the bride.
“I feel absolutely wonderful,” McCartney told fans as he arrived at his home after the ceremony. He was expected to sing a new song he had composed for his bride at the reception.
Gone was the memory of McCartney’s terribly unhappy marriage to Heather Mills, which ended in 2008 in an ugly public divorce. Remembered was his marriage to Eastman, a serene union that lasted nearly three decades until her life was cut short by breast cancer, leaving McCartney alone and adrift despite his fame and wealth.
The ceremony Sunday afternoon was everything his wedding to Mills was not: simple, understated, almost matter of fact. By contrast, McCartney and Mills married in an over-the-top lavish spectacle at a remote Irish castle that was disrupted several times by news helicopters flying overhead, hoping for a glimpse of the A-list guests.
Huppert teams up with Asian directors
French actress Isabelle Huppert says curiosity has drawn her to Asia and helped her discover the region’s innovative talents.
Huppert made inroads into Asia as an actress this year when she starred in Filipino director Brillante Mendoza’s “Captured.” In the thriller, she plays a hostage taken by a group of terrorists.
Huppert has appeared in more than 90 productions since making her screen debut in 1972. She received the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her 2001 role in “The Piano Teacher.”
She told reporters that she is now working with South Korean director Hong Sang-soo on a new film.
Wisconsin artist paints Clooney
A Wisconsin artist says he has to pinch himself after being commissioned to paint a portrait of actor George Clooney.
Some scenes from Clooney’s new movie “The Ides of March” were filmed at the University of Michigan, where paintings by Ben
McCready hang. He said the actor wanted some of them to hang in the background.
So while getting permission from McCready to use the images in the movie, university staff and Clooney’s staff also arranged for
McCready to paint Clooney as a surprise. McCready and his family presented it to him in March on the set.
McCready told WMTV-TV that Clooney was friendly and genuine. He says Clooney loved the portrait and told McCready he made him look young.
Zsa Zsa Gabor rushed to L.A. hospital
Zsa Zsa Gabor has been hospitalized after slipping out of consciousness at her Los Angeles-area home.
Gabor’s husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, said Saturday that the actress had a high fever and was bleeding from a tube in her stomach.
Paramedics rushed Gabor from her Bel Air mansion to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center.
The 94-year-old Gabor has been hospitalized repeatedly since July 2010, when she broke her hip falling from bed. Most of Gabor’s right leg was amputated in January because of gangrene.
She appeared in films ranging from “Moulin Rouge” in 1952 to “Queen of Outer Space” in 1958. She also appeared on TV specials, game shows, and guest-starred on various TV series, often playing herself.
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