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May 13, 1997|SUSAN KING | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press


Where There's Hope: Bob Hope is set to receive yet another honor--the 1997 Ronald Reagan Freedom Award--on May 29, his 94th birthday. He will receive the award at a gala dinner in his honor at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation selected the legendary comic for his "tireless efforts on the front lines of liberty," according to board chairman Lodwrick M. Cook. Hope's wife, Dolores, is also in the limelight these days. She began a two-week engagement Sunday with Rosemary Clooney at at New York's Rainbow and Stars nightclub. In 1933, Hope caught the act of a young Manhattan nightclub singer Dolores Reade, and they were married a year later. Mrs. Hope gave up her career after their marriage, but never abandoned her singing. She recorded her first album in 1993. Three more followed, including her latest, "That's Love."

Birthday Wishes: A New York City garden was dedicated to actress Katharine Hepburn on her 90th birthday Monday. The actress, though, remained at her home in Old Saybrook, Conn. Anthony Harvey, who directed her to an Oscar in "A Lion in Winter," said she was doing well when he spoke to her over the weekend. Hepburn was probably celebrating the landmark day by eating chocolates, "her most favorite thing," said Harvey. Hepburn lived in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of New York City, where the garden is located, for six decades. The Katharine Hepburn Garden is part of the larger Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the front of the United Nations.

Taylor Bows Out: Actress Elizabeth Taylor has bowed out of an AIDS fund-raising event in France this week stating that she wants to remain close to the doctors who removed her benign brain tumor in February. Last month, the 65-year-old Oscar winner said she was planning to make her annual trip to France to chair AmFAR's Cinema Against AIDS event at Cannes on Thursday. Demi Moore will replace Taylor for the event. "I am so incredibly pleased that Demi is hosting in my place," Taylor said in a statement Monday. "She has made such important contributions toward AIDS charities and is an inspiration to all."


Concert Delay: Because of a shoulder injury to first violinist Kathleen Lenski, the Angeles String Quartet has postponed two early June engagements, an appearance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center on June 1 and a performance at the L.A. County Museum of Art on June 4. New dates have not yet been chosen. According to a spokesperson for the Angeles' management, the extent of Lenski's injury, at first thought to be tendinitis but as yet undiagnosed, will not be known until later this week.


Musical Tribute: On Wednesday, more than 200 radio stations across the country, including KKBT-FM (92.3) and KPWR-FM (105.9), will participate in a musical tribute to slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. At noon, radio stations will play both tribute singles and participate in a 30-second moment of silence. The first tribute single, "I'll Be Missing You," features Sean "Puffy" Combs with Faith Evans and 112. The second tribute single, "We'll Always Love Big Poppa," features L.O.X.

On-Air Apology: KPWR-FM (105.9) morning deejays the Baka Boyz apologized on the air Monday for a skit last month in which an Asian American character was portrayed with a heavy Chinese accent, saying it had been intended as humor but had offended some listeners. Toshi Yang, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which had met with KPWR executives to express objections to the stereotypical depiction, said the apology didn't sound as sincere as she would have liked but was acceptable nonetheless because KPWR management had backed it up with a pledge not to use such race-based humor in the future.


The 'Don' Comes in First : CBS' "The Last Don" slayed the competition Sunday, attracting 28% of viewers in major cities metered by Nielsen, more than the combined rating for ABC's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and NBC's telecast of the movie "Timecop." CBS estimates 36 million people watched at least part of the telecast, which continues tonight and concludes Wednesday.


Mayor Richard Riordan and the City Council of Los Angeles have declared May 17 as "Bella Lewitzky Day." The resolution will be presented to the champion of modern dance at the Lewitzky Dance company's farewell gala that day at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State Los Angeles. . . . Hank Hill, the animated star of Fox's "King of the Hill," will be giving his first live online interview with Prodigy today at 5:30-6:30 p.m. The outspoken Texan will no doubt talk about his favorite subjects, propane and fishing. . . . TNT is preparing a documentary on Oscar-winning actor-director Clint Eastwood, to be shown later this year. Based on Richard Schickel's biography of Eastwood, the documentary will feature interviews with Eastwood as well as clips from his films, TV appearances and home movies. Schickel will produce, write and direct.

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