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Morning Report

Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press.

June 24, 1995|JERRY CROWE

POP/ROCK

Bjork Cleared: Pop star Bjork, the Icelandic-born singer whose unusual, wailing style has sold millions of albums, was cleared of copyright theft by a London court. The High Court cleared the singer, whose full name is Bjork Gudmundsdottir, of stealing the work of songwriter Simon Lovejoy on her first solo album, "Debut." "Where there's a hit there's a writ," the judge, Sir Robin Jacob, told the court. "It's an old saying in the record world and Bjork has found that to be true to her cost." Lovejoy claimed that he partly wrote the song "Crying."

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Rather Funky: Dan Rather loosened up and donned a pair of cool-dude shades to jam with R.E.M. on a song he helped turn into a hit. The "CBS Evening News" anchor joined vocalist Michael Stipe at the band's pre-concert sound check Thursday at Madison Square Garden, where they sang "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" The title refers to a bizarre incident in 1986 when Rather was pummeled by a well-dressed stranger on the street who kept asking, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" R.E.M. had expressed interest in meeting Rather after the song took off. The duet was taped for Friday night's "Late Show With David Letterman."

TELEVISION

Speaking of Dave . . . : The "Late Show With David Letterman" hits the road again in November, with its second visit to Los Angeles. The weeklong series of broadcasts, which will originate from CBS Television City, will mark the show's third venture outside New York's Ed Sullivan Theater since its premiere in August, 1993. The program's first trip to Los Angeles, in 1994, was highlighted by a surprise appearance by Johnny Carson.

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Soap Star Injured: Soap opera actor Gregory Todd Watkins was seriously injured when he fell from a boat and was struck by its propeller near Bullhead City, Ariz. Watkins, who plays Evan Walsh in CBS' "As the World Turns," remained in serious but stable condition Friday in a hospital in Nevada after breaking his leg and arm in the accident Wednesday on Lake Mohave. The role of Evan will be temporarily played by Trent Bushey beginning July 19. Before the accident, Watkins, 30, taped episodes of the serial that will be broadcast through July 11.

MOVIES

Newton Wants Pocahontas Home: With the release of the film "Pocahontas," Wayne Newton is reviving his efforts to bring the bones of Pocahontas back to Virginia. The singer, who claims to be a descendant of the Powhatan Indian princess, wants to exhume her remains from the St. George's church graveyard in Gravesend, England, where Pocahontas was buried in 1617.

Encouraging News for Reeve: Christopher Reeve got some encouraging news as the actor works toward getting off a respirator. His doctor said the two phrenic nerves that run from Reeve's neck to his diaphragm to control breathing are intact. "This means he has a very important part of the mechanism to breathe on his own," Dr. John Jane said. The finding does not alter Reeve's chances for breathing on his own, but confirms that it's possible, Jane said. Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down in a fall during a May 27 horse-riding competition.

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Jed, 1977-1995: Friends of Jed, the husky who starred in "The Journey of Natty Gann," "The Thing" and "White Fang," took out a full-page ad in Variety to commemorate his death. "Running at the head of the pack," it said. "Good luck on your next journey."

STAGE

'Inspector' to Call: The touring company of J.B. Priestley's thriller, "An Inspector Calls," has been scheduled to play the newly renovated Ahmanson Theatre in May-June, 1996--the final show to be slated for the inaugural season of the refurbished facility. Stephen Daldry's staging of "Inspector" was a hit for the Royal National Theatre in London and on Broadway.

ART

Bard Mask Genuine: A disputed death mask of William Shakespeare that has been in German ownership for two centuries is a genuine image of the English Bard, a Shakespeare scholar said in Darmstadt, Germany. Hildegard Hammerschmidt-Hummel, a professor at Mainz University, said the mask matches two disputed portraits of the Bard of Avon, and then linked one of the portraits to an engraving generally accepted to be of Shakespeare.

QUICK TAKES

Dancers Juliet Prowse and Gene Nelson will be honored at FanFlair's fifth annual Feather Awards ceremony tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. . . . "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson and her husband of four months, Motley Crue rocker Tommy Lee, learned this week that the actress is pregnant and due in February. . . . Eva Gabor is recuperating from a fall that left her with a broken right hip. The Hungarian-born actress was in Mexico when she fell Wednesday. . . . Organizers of the Mariachi USA Festival today and Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl ask that fans use the Bus Bowl Express because parking is nearly sold out. Information: (213) 850-2000.

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