Mon, Dec 06, 2010 - Page 13 News List

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Americans would invite comedian Ellen DeGeneres to a holiday party, take a vacation with actor George Clooney and ask US first lady Michelle Obama to decorate their Christmas tree, a survey released on Thursday suggested.

The first lady received 38 percent of the vote among Americans asked who should decorate their home for the holidays, followed by former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin with 22 percent, according to the study conducted for HomeGoods stores.

Given a list of celebrities to select from, 39 percent of Americans picked DeGeneres as their No. 1 cocktail party guest, followed by comedian Whoopi Goldberg with 29 percent and talk show hosts Kelly Ripa with 21 percent and Kathie Lee Gifford with 11 percent.

As for a holiday getaway, 43 percent said they would like to spend a day at Clooney’s Lake Como villa in Italy, 27 percent chose Oprah Winfrey’s Santa Barbara estate, 20 percent picked the French chateau of actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and 11 percent liked rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyonce’s New York City home, it said.

Following the first lady and Palin on the decorating wish list, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner got 16 percent, comedian Joan Rivers 13 percent and entertainer Lady Gaga 11 percent.

And if the idea of Lady Gaga decorating your house doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, try the new Narnia film — it reportedly did the trick for Queen Elizabeth.

Describing a poignant scene toward the end of the third film in the blockbuster series, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, actor Liam Neeson said he became emotional during its royal world premiere last week.

“I shed a tear the other night and I was told the Queen shed a few tears as well,” he told a news conference on Thursday.

Neeson provides the voice of the animated lion Aslan in the movies, based on the children’s classics by C.S. Lewis.

Or if you just want to look like you’ve been crying, a couple hours at a performance by Buju Banton is almost guaranteed to leave your eyes glazed and bloodshot. The Jamaican reggae singer will hold a concert to raise money for his security and other expenses while he awaits retrial on federal drug charges in Florida.

As a condition of his release from jail last month, Banton must remain in his home under electronic monitoring and pay a private security team to ensure that he does not flee the country.

US District Judge James Moody said on Wednesday that Banton is allowed to perform so long as he follows security measures filed with the court. The concert is scheduled for Jan. 16 in Miami.

Banton is accused of conspiring to buy cocaine from an undercover officer. He’s been nominated for a Grammy for the album Before the Dawn, released in September just after Moody declared a mistrial because jurors deadlocked.

Far from Florida, Dutch actor and singer Johannes Heesters has given up smoking for love — at age 106.

“I did it for love, for my wonderful wife,” Heesters, who is better known as “Jopie” in Germany where he has spent most of his 90-year career, told the German magazine Bunte. “She should have me as long as possible.”

Heesters, who turned 107 yesterday, has been married to German actress Simone Rethel, 61, since 1992. Heesters said he quit smoking three weeks ago.

Heesters, who in 2008 apologized for his cooperation with the Nazi regime, is known for his roles in the film Die Fledermaus (1946) and the German film The Moon Is Blue (1953).

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