News Roundup, Jan. 27: Singer Billy Joel Involved in Car Accident

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Singer-songwriter Billy Joel was released from the hospital Sunday morning after crashing his Mercedes-Benz into a tree next to a Long Island freeway Saturday night, Reuters reports. Firefighters had to extricate the musician from the totaled vehicle. A hospital spokeswoman would not comment on Joel‘s injuries. Police said Joel was not issued any citations nor was he given a Breathalyzer test.


In a poll conducted by the magazine Total Film, fans chose British actor Jude Law as the next incarnation of James Bond. Coming in a close second was Scottish Moulin Rouge star Ewan McGregor followed by Reign of Fire‘s Christian Bale.

Pop princess Britney Spears‘ troubles with a Japanese businessman against whom she is seeking a restraining order are due to a “cultural misunderstanding,” according to the man’s lawyer. Masahiko Shizawa, 41, who was extradited from the U.S. when his visa expired, had sent the singer photos of himself and a love note saying, “I’m chasing you,” Reuters reports. Shizawa, reportedly a millionaire computer programmer, is “a VIP in Japan” and had “no intent” to disturb Spears, his lawyer says.

Veteran thesp Peter O’Toole will receive an honorary Academy Award for his nearly four decades in the film industry. The actor has been nominated seven times for Best Actor, including for his performances in Lawrence of Arabia and My Favorite Year, but has never taken home the prize. “He has appeared in some of the most unforgettable roles in the history of the medium,” Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the Associated Press Friday in announcing the award.

Cedric The Entertainer will host the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Image Awards ceremony, despite some of the backlash he received from the character he portrayed in the film Barbershop. The character makes disparaging remarks about civil rights icons Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. and has caused some controversy in the black community, getting complaints from Rev. Jesse Jackson, among others. The 34th annual NAACP Image Awards is set for Mar. 8 and will be broadcast Mar. 13 on Fox.

Three’s Company star Suzanne Somers got her own Hollywood Walk of Fame star Friday. “And the nuns in Catholic school said I’d never get to heaven,” AP reports Somers joked during the ceremony. “This is heaven and I’m just floating in it.”

Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was injured in a traffic accident nearly two months ago, has been moved from a hospital to a luxury suite at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Los Angeles, Calif., AP reports. On Nov. 27, the 85-year-old actress was in the passenger seat of a car when it struck a light pole. Gabor suffered from broken bones and received stitches in her head, arm and legs.

Screenwriter Norman Panama, who co-wrote with partner Melvin Frank such classics as White Christmas and the hit Broadway musical Li’l Abner, died Jan. 13 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 88.


After the success of Chicago and Moulin Rouge, Columbia Pictures is now jumping on the musical bandwagon by bringing an updated version of Bye Bye Birdie to the big screen. No cast or director has been set as yet. The original 1963 film starred Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret and Janet Leigh.