Mon, Jan 12, 2009 - Page 13 News List

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Patrick Swayze has checked himself into the hospital for observation after contracting pneumonia, A&E President Abbe Raven announced on Friday at a meeting of the Television Critics Association.

Swayze, who has pancreatic cancer, was scheduled to discuss his upcoming drama The Beast. Robert DeBitetto, A&E’s programming senior vice president, explained his absence.

“Patrick has asked that I tell you that this morning he checked himself into the hospital for observation,” said DeBitetto.

“Chemotherapy can take its toll on the immune system, and illnesses are a part of that. Patrick wishes me to tell you that he’s very sorry he cannot attend, but plans to get back to promoting The Beast soon.” Earlier this week, Swayze told ABC’s Barbara Walters that his yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer put him “through hell” while he pushed ahead on his new TV series.

The 56-year-old actor also owned up to his fear: “Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m angry. Yeah, I’m [asking], ‘Why me?”’

Will Ferrell says audiences should expect the unexpected from his upcoming one-man Broadway show and HBO special about US President George W. Bush.

Ferrell, known for his Bush impersonation on the TV comedy show Saturday Night Live, said on Friday there’s nothing derivative about the production. He says it will surprise people with its twists and turns and what it has to say about Bush.

Executive producer Adam McKay says the show aims to be funny but also hold the Bush administration’s feet to the fire.

Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W. Bush is set to begin previews on Jan. 20 and open on Feb. 5.

Can he type with those shades on? Bono is now a contributing columnist for the New York Times.

The Irish rocker’s first column, a lengthy meditation on Frank Sinatra, appeared yesterday. He also did a podcast for the column.

Bono called the gig “an honor,” and joked that he’s “never been great with the full stops or commas.”

The 48-year-old U2 rocker has been an advocate in the fight against AIDS and poverty in Africa.

R. Kelly can officially bump and grind with whomever he chooses: He has finalized his divorce from his wife.

Kelly and his former wife, Andrea, confirmed they were officially divorced after 11 years of marriage.

A joint statement on Thursday said they had reached an amicable resolution concerning all issues related to their marriage and will share joint custody of their three children.

The 41-year-old Kelly — known for the hits Bump N’ Grind, I’m a Flirt, Trapped in the Closet, I Believe I Can Fly and many others — was acquitted of child pornography charges last year.

A convicted pedophile, fugitive filmmaker Roman Polanski, on Friday lost his bid to disqualify the Los Angeles County court system from considering his motion to dismiss a 30-year-old charge of unlawful sex with a minor.

Lawyers for the Oscar-winning director behind such classics as Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown filed court papers this week requesting the case be referred to the California Judicial Council for “selection of an impartial, out-of-county” judge.

But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza ruled the defense motion “discloses no legal grounds for disqualification” and was therefore “ordered stricken.”

Polanski’s lawyers filed a separate motion last month seeking to dismiss the 30-year-old case altogether, citing “extraordinary new evidence” of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct.

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