Mon, Jan 05, 2009 - Page 13 News List




autopsy is planned in the Bahamas for actor John Travolta’s 16-year-old son, who died suddenly during a vacation at his family’s resort home, authorities said. Police Superintendent Basil Rahming said on Saturday the autopsy, which could determine the cause of death of Jett Travolta, was likely to be performed today.

Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, under threat of death from Islamist extremists who accuse her of blasphemy in her writings, is to take up residence in Paris, the city hall said Saturday.

Municipal authorities will provide her with a large studio in an artists’ residence in the 10th arrondissement, in the east of the French capital, and initially pay her rent.

Nasreen, who was made an honorary citizen of Paris in July of last year, put in an application for housing six weeks ago.

Nasreen was forced to flee her native country in 1994 after her novel Lajja (Shame) about the persecution of a Hindu family by Muslims in Bangladesh drew accusations of blasphemy.

A gynecologist by training, she spent several years moving between Europe and the US before settling in India in 2004. Renewed threats drove her to Sweden in March last year.

Actor Will Smith, star of Hancock and Seven Pounds, was voted the top money-making movie star of last year, dethroning Johnny Depp in an annual poll released on Friday of movie theater owners and film buyers. Smith, 40, is only the second African-American actor to win the Quigley poll in its 76 year history. Sidney Poitier was placed first in 1968 after the success of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night.

Surviving members of The Grateful Dead say they’ll regroup for a 19-city tour, their first since 2004, beginning April 12 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The group, which now calls itself The Dead, announced its plans on Thursday.

Original band members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have toured sporadically since the 1995 death of guitarist Jerry Garcia, but struggled to get along personally and artistically. They told Rolling Stone in November that they’ve worked out their differences, aided by a successful October benefit concert in Pennsylvania for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Warren Haynes joins The Dead on lead guitar, and Jeff Chimenti will play keyboards.

British actor Edmund Purdom, star of Hollywood blockbusters The Egyptian and The Prodigal in the mid-1950s, has died aged 82 in Rome where he was a longtime resident, his family said on Friday.

Purdom, who died Thursday, began his acting career in theater on both sides of the Atlantic.

He landed the lead role in the MGM musical The Student Prince in 1954, displacing an overweight Mario Lanzo, and moved on to replace Marlon Brando who opted out of The Egyptian the same year.

After settling in Rome in the mid-1960s, Purdom played in “sword-and-sandal” epics and Italian B movies, and then worked for many years as a voice-dubbing actor, mainly from Italian into English.

In a romantic history that included four weddings and three divorces, Purdom was best known for abruptly leaving his first wife Anita Philips and their children to marry Mexican actress Linda Christian, with whom he starred in Athena (1954).

Christian was the ex-wife of heartthrob Tyrone Power.

Mystery writer Donald Westlake, one of the most prolific figures in US literary history, has died after a career that spanned half a century, it was reported Friday. He was 75.

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