English school teacher David Edwards can now retire from teaching.
Edwards, a physics teacher from Denstone, has become the second person to win the £1 million jackpot on Britain's Who Wants to be a Millionaire, BBC News reports. The first person to win the jackpot was garden designer Judith Keppel in November.
The big win had still not quite sunk in yet, Edwards said at a press conference.
"One afternoon, I had a couple of hours of smug contentment. I had some idea of what is going on," said Edwards, whose win aired Saturday.
The new millionaire and his wife, who have two children in college, plan to go on vacation
Host Chris Tarrant said Edwards "was so cool and had an amazing general knowledge."
Martin is no "Zorro"
Ricky Martin will not wear the mask of Zorro. Martin's reps have dismissed British tabloid reports claiming that the Latin singer would star as Zorro in a new West End musical.
" [He's] not planning on taking over the lead in the show and has had no discussions with its producers," a rep for his record company said, according to ABC News reports.
The singer has had some acting experience, first as an actor in soap General Hospital and in Les Miserables.
David Lee Roth and Van Halen reunite
Former Van Halen singer David Lee Roth recorded three songs last year at Van Halen's private studio, ABC News reports.
"About a year ago, myself and the great Van Halen band played together once or twice and it sounded amazing, phenomenal," Roth said on his Web site.
The recording was made in July, but he hasn't made music or kept in touch with the band since, Roth said.
"But I am holding forth. I'm in the shape of my life and I got the high note. I'm ready to go," Roth said.
Van Halen fans hoped to see a such a reunion after Roth joined the band to present an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards. Roth also recorded two songs for a Van Halen's compilation album, but soon departed ways again with his former bandmates.
Producer Jack Haley dead
Jack Haley Jr., longtime Hollywood producer, actor, writer and the former husband of Liza Minnelli, died early Saturday of respiratory failure, The Associated Press reports. He was 67.
Haley, who had been in poor health, was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, Calif., on Friday in a semi-comatose condition, said his assistant, Kelly Brandt. He died Saturday at the hospital.
During his 30-year career, Haley produced numerous films and television specials, including a number of the Academy Awards presentations. He also produced The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a 1990 documentary on the making of the classic movie. His father, actor Jack Haley, starred in The Wizard of Oz as the Tin Man.
The Oz connection did not end there. In 1974, Haley married Minnelli, the daughter of Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Haley and Minnelli divorced in 1979, but remained close friends.
" I fell in love with him the first time I met him, and I have loved him with all my heart ever since," Minnelli said in a statement released Saturday.
Conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli dead
Italian conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli, best known for his daring interpretations of the works of Verdi and Puccini, died late Friday after suffering a heart attack while conducting at a Berlin opera house, The Associated Press reports. He was 54.
Sinopoli was rushed to the city's German Heart Center clinic after collapsing during the third act of Giuseppe Verdi's four-act Aida. Doctors first tried to resuscitate Sinopoli at the Opera house and then at the hospital. The opera house sent home its shocked audience members.
Sinopoli founded the Bruno Maderna ensemble in 1975. He began his career as an avant-garde composer before turning to conducting.
Poland to sell unpublished Monroe pictures
The Polish state treasury will sell thousands of unpublished photographs of Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood legends, Reuters reports.
Celebrated photographer Milton Greene's collection, which also features Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Frank Sinatra, was acquired in 1995 by Poland's foreign debt agency from an American businessman.
" The time is ripe to turn it into cash,'' said Piotr Grzeskiewicz, an administrator of the assets of the liquidated Foreign Debt Servicing Fund.
Greene worked for such magazines such as Life and Vogue. He died in 1985.
The collection contains about 300,000 negatives from the 1950s and is valued at least several million dollars. Grzeskiewicz said he hopes the collection arouses strong interest from Monroe collectors.
" We have to decide on the best way to sell the collection. We do not want to spoil the market by flooding it with the photos,'' he told Reuters.
Stax Museum breaks ground
Numerous R&B musicians gathered Friday at the site of Stax Records in Memphis, Tenn., to reminisce and celebrate the groundbreaking of the museum and music conservatory honoring the former label.
A crowd of 3,000 met on the empty lot where Stax's famed recording studio - dubbed "Soulsville, USA" - once stood, The Associated Press reported.
The planned $20 million Stax Museum of American Music and adjoining Stax Academy and Performing Arts Center will serve tourists and budding musicians, said Deanie Parker, president of Soulsville, the nonprofit group behind the project.
"All around the world, this is the stamp of approval of what we did back in the '60s," said Steve Cropper, one-time guitarist for organist Booker T. Jones and his Memphis Group (MG's). "It will educate the people, and especially the kids, about the music."
"Boys Don't Cry" mother deserves more compensation
The mother of murdered cross-dresser Teena Brandon - the inspiration behind Boys Don't Cry - deserves more compensation, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday. The Supreme Court determined that a lower court had blundered by awarding $17,361 in damages to JoAnn Brandon for official negligence in the death of her daughter. The Supreme Court remanded the case to a District Court to determine new damages. The damages were awarded against Richardson County, Neb., and its sheriff, Charles Laux.
In his review of the case, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Hendry said Judge Orville Coady's decision not to award damages to Brandon's mother for the loss of her daughter's companionship "shocks the conscience."
"Nothing will bring Teena back, but I will sleep better knowing that we found some justice for her, and because of this case, fewer parents will find their children abused and exposed to danger by law enforcement officials," Brandon told the Omaha World-Herald.
Hilary Swank won an Oscar for her portrayal of Teena Brandon in the 1999 film, Boys Don't Cry.
Actor Bill Bellamy to host Miami soul festival
Actor and comedian Bill Bellamy will host the inaugural Soul Beach Music Festival at the Orange Bowl in Miami, The Associated Press reports.
Among the performers are: Angie Stone, Eric Benet, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Musiq and the Isley Brothers.
The concert shows how much the city's racial climate has improved since the early 1990s, Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas said. At the time, Miami was boycotted by black tourists after the Miami City Commission snubbed visiting anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela for his refusal to repudiate Cuban President Fidel Castro.
``We have overcome some very painful experiences in this community,'' Penelas said.
The festival runs from May 30 through June 3.
Rapper Suge Knight leaves jail
Rapper Suge Knight, the co-founder of rap music label Death Row Records has been paroled five days earlier than expected, at Mule Creek State Prison, The Associated Press reports.
Knight told Sacramento, Calif., television station KXTV before his parole that prison had been a good experience for him and hopes to persuade young people not to follow his path.
" I had everything. I still do," he told the station. "But I had everything I could possibly have and I had six of the best lawyers and I still got nine years."
Death Row Records remains successful despite Knight's incarceration. The late Tupac Shakur's newly released album has been at the top of Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop chart for three weeks.
"Wind" parody publication blocked
U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell on Friday blocked the publication of a novel that he said borrows too liberally from Gone With the Wind and infringes on the copyright of Margaret Mitchell's classic novel.
Alice Randall's novel The Wind Done Gone is essentially a retelling of Gone With the Wind from a different point of view using the same fictional characters and places, Pannell wrote.
Publisher Houghton Mifflin argued that the story, told from the point of view of Scarlett O'Hara's mulatto half-sister on the plantation Tara, was a political parody. Pannell disagreed, writing that Randall's "recitation of so much of the earlier work is overwhelming'' and constitutes an unauthorized sequel.
Attorneys for Mitchell's estate had sued to stop publication of Randall's book.
" It's a wonderful decision," said Martin Garbus, a lawyer representing the Mitchell trust. "It protects authors and publishers."
Writers, such as Pat Conroy, Harper Lee and Toni Morrison, who signed a petition in support of Randall's novel, were surprised.
" I can't believe the book will be suppressed,'' historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. said. "The Mitchell estate is doing a wonderful job of advertising for Houghton Mifflin."
Ex-"Beverly Hills 90210" star Jason Priestley today was sentenced to five days in jail (well, a private "correctional institution"), dinged with nearly $600 in fines and ordered to complete an alcohol-treatment program, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said. This, after entering a no-contest plea to one count of misdemeanor drunken driving.
The 30-year-old actor was not personally in the Los Angeles courtroom. He's currently on the boards in London with the Tony-winning play "Side Man." When he returns to the States, he'll be hoofing it around town for a while. The court also suspended Priestley's license for a year. In fact, he's got two weeks to turn over the card to authorities.
According to Priestley's lawyer, Peter Knecht, other than the license deadline, the actor can pretty much serve his sentence, such as it is, at "his leisure." In fact, Knecht told Hollywood.com that Priestley might not return to these shores until September or October. "Side Man" wraps in June, and Priestley tells Knecht that he's got other Euro gigs to tend to after that.
Priestley's car troubles began Dec. 2 when he ran his Porsche into "several fixed objects," including, er, a parked car. His passenger, a 27-year-old friend, suffered a broken arm.
At the time, the actor argued that he'd merely been trying to avoid a deer when he started crashing into all that stuff. Police later said the actor was legally drunk.
The jail that's Priestley headed to, by the way, isn't exactly Sing-Sing. Knecht says the star won't be required to stay on the grounds 24/7 -- although he will have to bed down there at night.
HOLD THE RICE: Courtney Love is not engaged to record exec Jim Barber, no matter what Women's Wear Daily says. Love's publicist today denied the WWD report that had the couple walking down the aisle. Love and Barber are an item, the rep says -- they're just not spouses-to-be.
IMAGINE HOW CHAD LOWE FELT: Best Actress winner Hilary Swank "should not stand up there and thank my child," so says the ticked-off mother of Teena Brandon, the real-life gender-bended subject of "Boys Don't Cry." JoAnn Brandon took exception to Swank's Oscar-night speech, the one in which she forgot to thank her husband but did pay tribute to Teena, or as Swank called "him," "Brandon Teena." Says Mrs. Brandon: "I get tired of people taking credit for what they don't know."
NOW THAT'S THEATER! Kathleen Turner is drawing raves (and raising blood pressures) among pasty-faced theater critics for taking it off -- taking it all off -- in the new London stage production of "The Graduate," based on the 1967 film. Turner, 45, bowed as Mrs. Robinson in a Monday night preview performance.
SO SORRY: Led Zeppelin rocker Jimmy Page did not don a robe, cast a satanic spell and otherwise stand idly by whilst bandmate John Bonham choked to death on his own vomit in 1980. The British magazine Ministry, which said all that stuff about Page, today apologized for the story that appeared in its pages last year. Unfortunately, the magazine could not take back the thing about Bonham choking to death on his (Bonham's) vomit. That part really happened.
GOOD-TIME CHARLIE: In a Malibu, Calif., court Monday, onetime bad-boy Charlie Sheen, 34, was released from probation two months early on account of the judge doesn't think he's such a bad boy anymore. That sigh of relief you hear is from the producers of "Spin City," the ABC sitcom on which Sheen will step into next season.
THEY SEE DEAD PRESIDENTS: Shut out at the Oscars or not, "The Sixth Sense" keeps rolling along at the box office. The thriller is now the No. 10 domestic grosser of all time. Through March 23, it had raked in $290.3 million at the box office, bumping 1980 "Star Wars" sequel "The Empire Strikes Back" ($290 mil) from the vaunted Top 10.
HEADLINE NEWS: CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour is a new mommy, having given birth to son Darius on Monday in Washington, D.C. The dad (and Amanpour's husband) is U.S. State Department spokesman James P. Rubin.
GRUNGE LIVES: Pearl Jam has announced plans to launch a 39-date North American tour August 3 in Virginia. The caravan is tentatively scheduled to wrap Nov. 5 in (where else?) Seattle.
When Teena Brandon's body was found with two others in a Nebraska farmhouse in 1993, the world took notice because Teena had been living as a man. Even more shocking -- she had reported being raped the week before by two acquaintances. The program examines the investigation, trial and social repercussions of the basis for the film "Boys Don't Cry."