People in the News

Eds: Contains items on Bill Murray, Andre De Shields, Celine Dion and Denise Brown

AP Photos NY122 of Murray; NY123 of Brown; NY124 of Dion

By The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Bill Murray, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year for his role in “Lost in Translation,” received a lifetime achievement award at the Jacksonville Film Festival.

Murray, 53, kissed the award – a glass-and-wood turtle – then made a face.

“It smells like the ocean,” Murray said at the ceremony Saturday night. “It’s the only award I have that does.”

The Golden Globe was the first major acting prize for Murray, who gained fame in the 1970s as a goofball on TV’s “Saturday Night Live” and continued that schtick in movies such as “Caddyshack” and “Meatballs.”

“Lost in Translation,” about two lonely Americans who find friendship in a Tokyo hotel, earned Murray an Oscar nomination.

He told a packed auditorium at the Florida Theatre that his latest honor proves “that I’m not in it just for the awards.”

“It’s just an accident I’m receiving this,” Murray said. “I happen to know Patrick Swayze left unexpectedly, and I happened to be here.”

Murray’s latest film, “Coffee and Cigarettes,” is a compilation of 11 vignettes featuring actors and musicians playing versions of themselves as they sit down for coffee, cigarettes and banter. The film opened Friday in select theaters.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A grounded airplane made Broadway star Andre De Shields late for his trip to Madison, but he wasn’t about to let that keep him from receiving an honorary doctoral degree.

De Shields, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970 and five years later created the title role in “The Wiz” on Broadway, stood for the 150-mile bus ride from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Madison.

He missed Friday’s graduation ceremony, but a few hours later, he stood in cap and gown in Chancellor John Wiley’s den before a small gathering of deans and fellow honorees.

After receiving his diploma, he spoke of his family’s struggle to succeed and their “deferred dreams.” He then broke into a sweet but forceful rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” bringing many in attendance to tears.

De Shields also has performed in “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Play On!” and “The Full Monty.”

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Celine Dion canceled the weekend performances of her nightly show at Caesars Palace because the singer needed more time to recover from a sprained neck.

Dion had already canceled three performances of “A New Day …” last week.

The singer been hampered by a sprained neck, which she aggravated while doing her show. The singer’s doctor examined her Friday and advised Dion that her recovery was not complete, show spokeswoman Kris Lingle said.

Dion, 36, is expected to resume performances on Wednesday. She is in the second year of a three-year engagement at the Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino.

On the Net:


NEW YORK (AP) – Nicole Brown Simpson’s older sister, Denise Brown, accused a former prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial of having “trashed” her family in a book.

Brown said the prosecutor, Marcia Clark, had been rude and arrogant to her from the outset of the trial.

“The very first time I went to Marcia Clark’s office, she had a huge poster-board picture of my sister with her head almost cut off propped up right near her desk,” Brown told The Daily News for Sunday editions. “I told Marcia I couldn’t look at that and she told me it was like ‘part of the furniture’ to her. How insensitive can you be? That was my sister.”

Clark also wrote a book about the trial that Brown said unfairly accused the family of not helping Nicole Brown Simpson leave her relationship with O.J. Simpson sooner.

“As if the murders and the trial weren’t bad enough, after the trial (she) goes and writes her $4.2 million book and she trashed my family. What kind of person does that?” Brown told the News.

O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend, Ronald Goldman, but a civil jury later held him liable and ordered him to pay the victims’ survivors $33.5 million.

AP-ES-05-16-04 1342EDT

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