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October 10, 1994|BETH KLEID | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


Good Night, Robin: Anchor Robert MacNeil will announce next week that he plans to retire from PBS' "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" sometime next year, public television sources confirmed. The native Canadian, who will turn 65 in January, 1996, and his co-anchor, Jim Lehrer, will be celebrating their 20th year together in 1995. MacNeil, a prize-winning author, reportedly has several book projects in the works. Among MacNeil's published works is the best-selling "Wordstruck" (1989). Sources said plans call for Lehrer to continue as solo anchor of "News-Hour" when MacNeil steps down, with the operation consolidated in Washington. MacNeil presently anchors from New York.

Heh, Heh, Heh: Using the magic of video games, Beavis and Butt-head fans will soon be getting personally involved in the antics of the two MTV characters. A video featuring the metal-heads hits stores on Friday. The game's goal: to help Beavis and Butt-head get tickets to see Gwar, their favorite heavy-metal band. The Sega Genesis version of the game is first out; the Super Nintendo and Game Gear versions will be on store shelves soon.


Stallone-Stone in No. 1: Warner Bros.' "The Specialist" demolished the competition at the box office during the weekend. The movie starring Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone grossed $14.3 million its first weekend in release for the top spot, according to early industry estimates. There was a sharp drop to second place: Universal's "The River Wild" took in $7 million. "Only You," the new romantic comedy from TriStar Pictures, was third with $5.8 million. Paramount's "Forrest Gump," still holding strong in its 14th week, finished in fourth place with $3.9 million. And in fifth was Gramercy Pictures' "Jason's Lyric" with $3.5 million.

Native Americans Speak Out: An entertainment industry organization is criticizing the portrayal of Native Americans in film and television, calling the images demeaning and unrealistic. The group, American Indians in Film, said it's calling for a halt to the casting of non-Native Americans as Native Americans, and demanding that Native Americas be given equal opportunities in front of and behind the camera. "We the American Indian, the original inhabitants of this land, cannot and will not stand idly or passively by and allow the mediums of film and television to distort and fictionalize the images and lifestyles of our people," said the group's founder, Sonny Skyhawk. The organization said it will monitor film and TV projects to determine if its concerns are being addressed.


Rembrandt Stolen: A burglar with a sledgehammer smashed a window at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam on Sunday and stole a painting attributed to the Old Master. The missing painting was "Man With a Beard," dated 1647. Its value was not immediately available. It was the second smash-and-grab burglary in three months at the museum, which was once the artist's home. In July, the front door was broken in and thieves took two paintings by Rembrandt's teacher, Pieter Lastman. They have not been recovered.


Shakur Cleared in Atlanta: Prosecutors in Atlanta have dropped aggravated assault charges against rapper Tupac Shakur because of conflicting statements by witnesses. The charges stemmed from a 1993 incident in downtown Atlanta in which Shakur exchanged gunfire with two off-duty police officers. Shakur, 23, claimed that he fired in self-defense.


Cinewomen, the group of entertainment biz women, and Independent Feature Project West will sponsor a special screening of "Defending Our Lives," the 1994 Academy Award-winning documentary about domestic violence, tonight to benefit Haven Hills, the San Fernando Valley shelter for battered women. The event, which begins at 7:15 p.m. at the Laemmle's Sunset 5 in Hollywood, will also feature a Q&A session with the documentary's makers, Margaret Lazarus and Renner Wunderlich, as well as a panel discussion on domestic violence. Tickets are $10. . . . Universal Pictures is offering a "substantial" reward for three missing cans of undeveloped film from the shooting of the movie "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar" which stars Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Lequizamo as New York City drag queens. The cans disappeared after being unloaded from a plane last week at Newark International Airport. . . . Bonhams, the London auctioneer, expects the first Beatles record ever broadcast to fetch about $16,000 when it goes up for auction next month. The Radio Luxembourg library copy of "Love Me Do" is autographed by Paul McCartney.

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