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People in the News

Eds: Updates with items on Andy Rooney, former President Clinton and Gov. Jeb Bush, Olivia Goldsmith and Eric Clapton. Contains items on Queen Elizabeth II, Beyonce, Tom Cruise, Cliff Robertson, Zach Braff, Joan Rivers and Magic Johnson.

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By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Many words come to mind when describing Andy Rooney. Opinionated. Cranky. Curmudgeonly.

Sexy? Perhaps.

The 85-year-old “60 Minutes” commentator is among the candidates on Playgirl magazine’s online ballot for sexiest TV newscaster.

Among the 18 men on the list: CNN’s Bill Hemmer, MSNBC’s Lester Holt and Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith. The “big three” network anchors – Peter Jennings from ABC, Dan Rather from CBS and Tom Brokaw from NBC – also are on the ballot.

“We’re looking for all the elements that make the perfect guy – intelligence, personality and good looks,” said Michelle Zipp, Playgirl’s editor in chief. “We know that ‘handsome’ is really in the eye of the beholder. We’re anxious to see what the outcome will be.”

Voters can click onto www.playgirlmag.com. The winner will be announced in September and profiled in the magazine’s October issue – with his clothes on. Playgirl also will make a contribution to a charity of the winner’s choice.

On the Net:


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Former President Clinton’s new autobiography is expected to sell millions of copies, but Gov. Jeb Bush isn’t buying.

Bush said Tuesday that Clinton’s book, titled “My Life,” isn’t something that he’s anxious to read.

“It’s just 947 pages is a little more than my threshold,” Bush said.

“I briefly read a great novel about the Alamo after watching the movie. I read a book about Barcelona, I read a book on Cicero,” he said. “I’ve (got) a pretty wide range of interests, but Bill Clinton is not on that list.”

The memoir came out Tuesday with an initial printing of 1.5 million copies.

Clinton defeated Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, in 1992.

NEW YORK (AP) – “First Wives Club” author Olivia Goldsmith’s death after going into cardiac arrest during cosmetic surgery was “a known complication” of anesthesia, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner said.

Goldsmith’s cause of death was cardiorespiratory arrest during facial cosmetic surgery under sedation with four drugs – meperidine, promethazine, propofol and fentanyl – spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said Tuesday.

The 54-year-old author died Jan. 15 at Lenox Hill Hospital, where she was taken after going into cardiac arrest and lapsing into a coma during surgery at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.

A second patient died at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital on Feb. 16 after she was erroneously given an anesthesia injection in her larynx, the medical examiner’s office said.

In May, the state health department fined the hospital $20,000 for breakdowns in patient care in anesthesia and plastic surgery.

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) – Eric Clapton will auction off 56 of his guitars in New York on Thursday to raise money for a new drug treatment center in Antigua and Barbuda, a manager of his center said.

Proceeds from the auction at Christie’s will go toward the recently completed 16-bed Bevon House, a center for recovering patients that is an expansion of Clapton’s Crossroads Center, said Kim Martin, the center’s marketing manager.

More than 500,000 is need to finance the construction, and money raised through the auction also will go toward paying for patients who can’t afford the program, Martin said.

Clapton, who overcame his own heroin addiction years ago, underwrote the Crossroads Center, which opened in 1998 in the Caribbean country where the guitarist has a home.

According to Martin, the rock star described the guitars up for auction as “the cream of my collection.”

Clapton auctioned off other guitars in 1999 and said in a statement that the ones being sold now are guitars he didn’t want to let go of in the last sale. “I kept them back from the first auction because I seriously couldn’t consider parting with them at that point,” he said.

LONDON (AP) – Queen Elizabeth II has posed for many artists in her time, but she stepped up the technology ladder for her latest portrait.

The 3-D laser-light hologram, titled “Equanimity,” was commissioned by the Jersey Heritage Trust. Designer Chris Levine’s blue monochrome portrait shows the monarch wearing a crown, pearls and ermine cape.

Levine, who has designed high-tech laser representations for rock stars including Liam Gallagher of Oasis, took more than 10,000 images of the queen.

“She took to it very well,” he said of the photo shoot. “We were able to chat about how far technology had moved on. She was surprisingly well informed.”

The process of hologram design is complex and time-consuming with a high resolution and 3-D computer scanner used to capture the figure.

Levine said the queen had to stay perfectly still for eight seconds to get a usable image.

“It was quite nerve-racking,” he said recently. “She was really obliging given that a strange man was telling her what to do.”

Prince Charles introduced the official high-tech portrait while on a visit to the Channel Islands. A copy will be on display in The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace July 17-Oct. 3.

NEW YORK (AP) – Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries is coming out with a new women’s fragrance collection inspired by Beyonce.

True Star, which contains contrasting florals and notes of toasted grains, was introduced Monday at a launch party in London. The 22-year-old singer attended the event dressed in a blue gown.

The collection, which includes eau de parfum, body lotion, shower gel and fragrance satin shimmer, will be available in October, the company said.

Beyonce will be featured in a TV ad campaign singing “Wishing on a Star” a cappella. A national print campaign photographed by Mario Testino will show “Beyonce in a way she’s never been seen before,” the company said.

On the Net:


NEW YORK (AP) – Tom Cruise’s new thriller, “Collateral,” will open the eighth annual Urbanworld Film Festival Aug. 4 in Manhattan.

Cruise plays a contract killer who hijacks Jamie Foxx’s taxicab. Jada Pinkett Smith and Mark Ruffalo also star in the movie, directed by Michael Mann, which is scheduled to open in theaters on Aug 6.

“”Collateral’ is the perfect film to open this year’s Urbanworld,” festival founder Stacy Spikes said in a statement. “This picture illustrates what the term “urban’ truly represents in 2004. Urban is about sensibility, not just ethnicity.”

The five-day festival will include live staged readings, panel discussions and feature, documentary and short film screenings. It also will have the Actor’s Spotlight, with previous honorees including Samuel L. Jackson, Billy Dee Williams, Vondie Curtis Hall and Rosie Perez.

On the Net:


MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) – Among the thousands who traveled to the Mojave Desert to watch the flight of the world’s first privately financed spacecraft was actor Cliff Robertson, who flew his own plane there from Los Angeles.

The rocket plane, piloted by Mike Melvill, made the first privately financed trip into space, soaring a little more than 62 miles above Earth during a 90-minute flight.

Robertson is a longtime friend of aviation pioneer Burt Rutan, who designed SpaceShipOne.

“When I talked to him later, his eyes were still burning with excitement and exultation. He was really hyped,” the 78-year-old actor said Monday.

After SpaceShipOne’s landing, Robertson flew to Beverly Hills to help promote “Spider-Man 2,” which opens in theaters on June 30. He plays Ben Parker, uncle of Spider-Man’s alter-ego, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), in the film.

WAILEA, Hawaii (AP) – A record 20,000 people who attended the fifth annual Maui Film Festival honored Zach Braff’s “Garden State” with the award for best feature film.

Braff, who plays Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian on the NBC series “Scrubs,” accepted the award as the five-day festival concluded over the weekend.

“Garden State,” scheduled for release in theaters July 30, is Braff’s directorial debut. He also wrote the screenplay.

The 29-year-old stars as a man who returns home for his mother’s funeral and breaks free of a lifetime of medication-induced passivity, striking up a relationship with a quirky young woman (Natalie Portman). The film co-stars Peter Sarsgaard and Ian Holm.

LAS VEGAS (AP) – Comedian and celebrity fashion critic Joan Rivers will return to Sin City for the first time in nine years, appearing for four nights at the Stardust hotel-casino.

“The last time I appeared in Las Vegas, they were wearing hoop skirts and Davy Crockett hats,” Rivers joked. “But they say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.’ And as far as fashion is concerned, that’s a good thing.”

Rivers will be performing her “Can We Talk?” routine, a candid discussion about everyday life. The four-night engagement begins Wednesday.

Rivers also will be hosting the awards ceremony for the Stardust’s Red Carpet Celebrity Slot Tournament, which is scheduled for Thursday.

ATLANTA (AP) – A televangelist is tapping into mainstream celebrities – including Magic Johnson and India.arie – to attract people to his religious festival this week in Atlanta.

With his four-day Mega Fest beginning Wednesday, Bishop T.D. Jakes hopes to draw as many as 200,000 people to a series of events and concerts at three downtown venues.

He has enlisted the help of major corporate sponsors and celebrities who normally wouldn’t be found at the traditional Christian revival.

Tens of thousands each year have attended his Woman, Thou Art Loosed! and ManPower conferences, which focus on women’s and men’s spirituality issues in separate events that draw predominantly black audiences.

But the bishop said conference attendees have clamored for something more family-inclusive, inspiring him to create Mega Fest.

The event will merge the two annual conferences and add workshops for children, while featuring distinctly nonreligious attractions such as a celebrity basketball exhibition game with Johnson, a seminar by financial guru Suze Orman and a concert with Patti LaBelle and India.arie.

Mega Fest’s more mainstream flavor also has attracted sponsorship from major corporations, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and Bank of America.

On the Net:

Mega Fest 2004: http://www.mega-fest.com

AP-ES-06-23-04 1503EDT

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