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Steve Martin Receives Twain Humor Award


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Steve Martin Receives Twain Humor Award

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Steve Martin

Steve Martin's character in 1979's "The Jerk" is ecstatic to find his name in print in the phone book. "Things are going to start happening to me now!" he says. Twenty-six years later, the actor and writer is receiving a more prestigious form of recognition. For his career achievements, Martin is being honored Sunday with one of the nation's top comedy awards the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Among those saluting the versatile performer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts were actors Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Diane Keaton, Martin Short and Claire Danes and musicians Paul Simon and Randy Newman. PBS plans to air the Martin tribute on Wednesday, November 9. Previous Mark Twain Prize winners include Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters, Whoopi Goldberg and Bob Newhart.

Martin's career got off the ground in the late 1960s, when he wrote for the television variety series, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour." As a standup comic, he grew popular on campuses and often appeared on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show." His trademark comedy routine was playing the banjo while sporting an arrow through his head.

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Steve Martin

Martin hit his stride playing larger-than-life characters while hosting "Saturday Night Live" in the 1970s. His performances on that show from a singing King Tut to Georg Festrunk, better known as one of two "wild and crazy guys" earned him fame as a zany comedian. Martin has appeared in more than 30 films. He also wrote the screenplays for such films as 1987's "Roxanne" and 1994's "A Simple Twist of Fate."

Over the years, Martin expanded his repertoire to include plays, novels and humorous magazine pieces for The New Yorker. His 1993 play, "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," which envisioned a meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso at a Paris cafe, has been produced around the world.

Despite these sophisticated career turns, Martin, now 60, hasn't forgotten where he came from he will star next year as the stumbling, bungling Inspector Jacques Clouseau in "The Pink Panther," a prequel to the popular Peter Sellers movies.

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Presley Tops Forbes' Dead Celebrities List

by Leah Hoffmann and Peter Kafka

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Rocker Elvis Presley and Cartoonist Charles Schulz rank

the highest among dead celebrities still earning revenue

from beyond the grave.

They're famous across the globe. Their work is treasured by millions. And they're rolling in cash--they just can't spend any of it. Elvis may have left the building but he's still bringing home the bacon.

Elvis Presley tops the annual Forbes list of celebrities who are the top moneymakers from beyond the grave. The singer, who died in 1977, made an estimated $45 million in the past year.

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Beatle John Lennon and Pop Icon Andy Warhol came in

a respectful third and fourth on the Forbes list.

The 13 members of Forbes Annual Highest-Earning Dead Celebrities list brought in a collective $186 million in the last year. They, or more accurately, their estates, earned that money by selling their work--both written and recorded--or just the rights to use their likenesses on T-shirts, posters or in advertisements.

Sometimes their life stories themselves are worth something: Musician Ray Charles makes the list for the first time this year, in part because of income related to his 2004 biopic. Johnny Cash, who also makes his first appearance this year, has his own movie out in November.

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'Cat in the Hat' Author Theodore 'Dr. Seuss' Geisel and

Method Actor Marlon Brando were fifth and sixth on the

Forbes Dead Celebrities list.

Cartoonist Charles Schulz (2000) is second on the list with $35 million, followed by musician John Lennon (1980), who raked in $22 million. Artist Andy Warhol's (1987) take was $16 million, "Cat in the Hat" author Dr. Seuss (1991) made $10 million, followed by actor Marlon Brando (2004) with $9 million.

Actress Marilyn Monroe (1962) and "Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien (1973) are tied with $8 million apiece. George Harrison (2001), Johnny Cash (2003), and Irving Berlin (1989) finished in a three-way tie, with each musician bringing in $7 million.

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'Some Like It Hot' Actress Marilyn Monroe and 'Lord of the

Rings' Author J.R.R. Tolkien were seventh and eighth on

the Forbes list.

Top 13 Dead Celebrities

  1. Elvis Presley ~ $45 million
  2. Charles M. Schulz ~ $35 million
  3. John Lennon ~ $22 million
  4. Andy Warhol ~ $16 million
  5. Theodore 'Dr. Seuss' Geisel ~ $10 million
  6. Marlon Brando ~ $9 million
  7. Marilyn Monroe ~ $8 million
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien ~ $8 million
  9. George Harrison ~ $7 million
  10. Johnny Cash ~ $7 million
  11. Irving Berlin ~ $7 million
  12. Bob Marley ~ $6 million
  13. Ray Charles ~ $6 million
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Mariah Takes Four Honors at Vibe Awards

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Mariah Carey accepts one of her four music honors at the Third

Annual Vibe Awards ceremony that proved an uneventful event.

Mariah Carey walked away with four honors at the Third Annual Vibe Awards, a celebration of hip-hop and R&B that went smoothly after last year's ceremony was marred by a brawl and stabbing. Carey won Artist of the Year, R&B Voice of the Year, Best R&B Song for "We Belong Together" and Album of the Year for her comeback hit, "The Emancipation of Mimi."

"Whatever you're going through in your life, don't ever give up," Carey said during one of her acceptance speeches at the evening festivities on Saturday, November 12. The music star studded show was taped at Sony Studios in Culver City, California and scheduled to air on UPN on Tuesday, November 15.

With cognac and champagne flowing freely, rappers sporting diamonds and gold 'grills' on their teeth mingled peacefully, although they had to pass through metal detectors to enter and police and security guards were plentiful.

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T.I. picked up a Vibe Award in the Street Anthem category.

Even hardcore rapper T.I., who won the Street Anthem award for "U Don't Know Me," acknowledged he didn't look very 'hard' in a dapper velour suit and cravat. "But y'all just keep it pimping," he said onstage.

Last year, violence overshadowed the show when audience member Jimmy James Johnson approached rapper and producer Dr. Dre, seated at a table in front of the stage, and appeared to ask for an autograph before punching him. A chair-throwing melee ensued and Johnson was then allegedly stabbed by rapper Young Buck.

In September, Johnson was sentenced to a year in jail after he pleaded guilty to punching the rap mogul. Young Buck, whose given name is David Darnell Brown, has pleaded not guilty in the case and is free on bail awaiting trial. Young Buck and Dr. Dre did not attend this year's ceremony. Good vibes, however, did not prevent rapper The Game from creatively dissing 50 Cent, his former collaborator and current nemesis.

The night's first award, for Hottest Hook, went to "Hate It or Love It," billed as being performed by The Game featuring 50 Cent, who did not attend the ceremonies. The Game pointedly avoided mentioning the former G-Unit rap crew member onstage but showed off the word 'G-Unot' shaved into the side of his head.

The subject of possible skirmishes prompted jokes throughout the show, which was hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross from the sitcom "Girlfriends" and "Hustle & Flow's" Anthony Anderson. "Three awards have been given out, and no one's been stabbed yet. Come on black people!" said presenter Tony Rock, brother of comedian Chris Rock.

Music remained the focus. Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley, Bob Marley's son, elicited cheers for a thunderous rendition of his reggae hit, "Welcome to Jamrock," which won the Boomshot Award honoring Caribbean music. The Diplomats were named Best Group at the spectacular event.

Flames and fireworks accompanied artists affected by the hurricanes, including New Orleans-based Lil' Wayne, Houston's Paul Wall and rapper David Banner from Jacksonville, Mississippi. Banner performed his hit "Play" surrounded by scantily clad women lifting weights, wearing boxing gloves and bouncing on a trampoline.

Quincy Jones presented singer Mary J. Blige with the VLegend award, a special honor for her 15 years in music. "Like a phoenix, I stayed strong and didn't kill myself," Blige said backstage, noting her struggle over the years with depression and substance abuse.

A small number of winners did not attend, including Kanye West, who won the Best Rapper award. R. Kelly was not on hand to pick up his Reelest Video award for "Trapped in the Closet."

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Third Annual Vibe Awards Winners

Artist of the Year

Mariah Carey

Album of the Year

Mariah Carey

R&B Voice of the Year

Mariah Carey

Best R&B Song

"We Belong Together"

Mariah Carey

Best Rapper

Kanye West

Next Award

Keyshia Cole

Coolest Collabo

"Oh"

Ciara featuring Ludacris

Street Anthem

"U Don't Know Me"

T.I.

Power Broker of the Year

Kevin Liles

Club Banger

"1 Thing"

Amerie

Reelest Video

"Trapped in the Closet" (Chapters 1-5)

R. Kelly

Hottest Hook

"Hate it or Love It"

The Game featuring 50 Cent

Video Goddess

Esther Baxter

Video: "Number One Spot"

Artist: Ludacris

Boomshot Award

"Welcome to Jamrock"

Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley

Best Group

The Diplomats

VStyle

Baby Phat

Vibe Vixen

Kimora Lee Simons

VLegend

Mary J. Blige

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Rock Hall of Fame Announces Inductees

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Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath, Miles Davis and the Sex Pistols are among five musical legends to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation will hold its induction ceremony on March 13 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, the organization announced recently.

Also to be inducted into the class of 2006: 1980's New Wave band, Blondie and Southern rockers, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, who founded A&M records in 1962, will receive a lifetime achievement award in the non-performer category.

Inductees into the side-men category will be announced at a later date. Musicians, industry professionals and journalists vote on the nominations. Artists are eligible to be inducted into the Rock Hall after at least 25 years have passed since their first record was released.

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Alistair Cooke's Bones Stolen

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Alistair Cooke

NEW YORK, New York - The bones of the late British broadcaster Alistair Cooke were stolen by a crime ring that snatched body parts to sell for transplant procedures, according to reports in two New York newspapers Thursday, December 22.

Citing sources close to an investigation by the Brooklyn d bnistrict attorney's office, the Daily News said Cooke 's bones were snatched before his cremation and sold for more than $7,000 to two tissue processing companies. The use of cancerous bone for transplant violates Food and Drug Administration regulations and using body parts from the elderly is also against transplant protocol, the News said.

It quoted Cooke's daughter, Susan, as saying she had learned of the theft last week and was shocked and saddened by it. A spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney's office would not comment on the report. A similar story ran in the New York Post.

Cooke, the long time host of the U.S. public television show, "Masterpiece Theatre," and known for his "Letter from America" broadcasts for the BBC, died in New York in March 2004 from lung cancer. He was 95. The Daily News said its sources said that paperwork uncovered in the investigation showed that Cooke's cause of death was changed to a heart attack and that his age was reported as 85.

"That people in need of healing should have received his body parts, considering his age and the fact that he was ill when he died, is as appalling to the family as is that his remains were violated," Cooke's daughter was quoted as saying.

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