Daily dose of celebrity

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NEW YORK (AP) – Dave Chappelle is still explaining to his wife why he left his Comedy Central show and walked away from a $50 million contract.

“My wife is still a little salty with me,” Chappelle joked on NBC’s “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” on Wednesday night. “She’s not mad at me, but don’t think you can walk away from $50 million and your wife is just going to be cool with it.”

In frequent TV appearances over the past few months, the comedian has repeatedly defended his sudden departure last year from the popular and lucrative “Chappelle’s Show.”

With humor and candor, Chappelle, 32, has laughed at claims that he’s “crazy,” and said he had doubts about how racial elements of his show were received.

He has since returned to performing standup and released the concert documentary, “Block Party.”

On “Late Night,” he also joked about his quick exodus to Africa, where he stayed after leaving “Chappelle’s Show.”

“When you go to Africa, especially your first time, you have this overwhelming feeling like you’re home,” he said. “I had a feeling of “man, this feels like home.’

“I think I felt that way because there was a McDonald’s in the airport.”

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On the Net:

http://www.nbc.com/Late-Night-with-Conan-O’Brien/index.shtml



LONDON (AP) – Snoop Dogg has accepted responsibility for using “threatening words or behavior” in a brawl last month at Heathrow airport.

The 34-year-old rapper, whose real name is Calvin Broadus, appeared at Heathrow police station and “accepted a caution for a Section Four Public Order Act matter, using threatening words or behavior,” police said Thursday.

A caution means a person has accepted responsibility for the offense, and a record will be made. No further action will be taken, police said.

Snoop and five other men were arrested on charges of violent disorder and starting a brawl, and spent the night in jail after trouble flared when some members of the rapper’s party were denied entry to British Airways’ first-class lounge.

Seven officers received minor injuries – mainly cuts and bruises – and one suffered a fracture to the hand.

British Airways has banned Snoop from future travel on the airline, it said last month.



On the Net:

http://www.snoopdogg.com/



NEW YORK (AP) – Jerry Hadley, a tenor who has performed in the world’s leading opera houses, has been arrested for being intoxicated while sitting behind the wheel of his parked car, the district attorney’s office said.

Hadley, 54, was arraigned Wednesday night in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and impaired, said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

He was sitting in the parked car with the key in the ignition when he was arrested on the Upper West Side on Wednesday, Thompson said. A woman had reported seeing him in a drunken state before getting into the car, she said Thursday.

Thompson said a person doesn’t have to be operating a vehicle to be charged with driving while intoxicated; “intent” is enough to be arrested.

No bail was set. Hadley was released; he is scheduled to return to court July 27.

Hadley’s lawyer, Lou Freeman, said the singer never intended to drive. He said Hadley realized he was too tipsy to drive once he got behind the wheel.

“I don’t believe a crime was committed,” Freeman told the Daily News, adding that Hadley was coming from a business lunch when he was arrested.

Hadley, a graduate of the University of Illinois School of Music, has performed at major opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera in London.

He has sung works as varied as composer John Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby” and Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte,” in which he appeared with mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli.



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Johnny Cash’s boyhood home is among 10 historic places in danger of being lost through neglect or development, a preservation group said.

The small house in which Cash grew up in the northeast Arkansas town of Dyess topped the list issued Tuesday by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas. The group has compiled similar lists since 1999 in an effort to educate people about the importance of the state’s historic sites.

Mark Stodola, president of the alliance, said the group focused on the home partly because of the increased attention Dyess received from “Walk the Line,” the 2005 film about Cash’s rise to country music stardom.

“Dyess definitely had a huge role in that movie, and this is a great piece of history,” Stodola said. “There’s some tremendous opportunities to preserve this structure and tell the history of Johnny Cash and Arkansas.”

Cash was born in Kingsland and moved to Dyess as a child. The Cash home in Dyess is privately owned and occupied, according to the group’s report. The owner has offered the property for sale, but at a prohibitive cost, preservationists said.



On the Net:

http://www.preservearkansas.org/



TOKYO (AP) – Ken Watanabe said he hopes a new Clint Eastwood film about the bloody World War II battle for Iwo Jima, in which he plays a main role, can help young Japanese face their country’s wartime history.

“As we went through this film, we realized that until now, we haven’t really looked at Japan’s past. We kind of looked away from it,” said Watanabe, who stars in “Red Sun, Black Sand.” “But we have to look at it and accept the fact that this is what our fathers and grandfathers have actually done.”

“Accepting the reality is the first step,” he said at a recent news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

Watanabe plays the general who loses the battle, causing the death of many young Japanese soldiers who followed his orders.

He called the film a portrayal of human beings through the lens of war – how ordinary people thought, functioned and lived.

Eastwood has spent the past year working on “Red Sun, Black Sand,” in Japanese and with a predominantly Japanese cast, and a second film, “Flags of Our Fathers,” which follows the story of the U.S. troops famously photographed raising the flag at Iwo Jima.

Both movies are scheduled for release this year.



WASHINGTON (AP) – “Sabado Gigante” host Don Francisco, whose Spanish-language show has been a Saturday night staple across Latin America and in the United States, can now add congressional honors to his numerous awards.

The 65-year-old TV host, whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger, received a tribute Tuesday from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, delivered from the House floor. He also took home a U.S. flag that was flown over the Capitol.

“Your commitment to the U.S. Hispanic community helped bridge the gap between the North American and the Latin American cultures,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

“Sabado Gigante,” filmed in Miami and aired by Univision, is viewed by more than 100 million people in 42 countries.

He created the television program in his native Chile in 1962 and brought it to the United States in 1986.

The show mixes comedy routines, competitions and musical entertainment with interviews and information, including analysis of the recent debates on illegal immigration.


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