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MORNING REPORT

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

November 11, 1998|Shauna Snow

MOVIES

AFI Honors Hoffman: Dustin Hoffman, the quintessential antihero and unlikely leading man whose role in the landmark 1960s movie "The Graduate" catapulted him to stardom, will receive the American Film Institute's 1999 Life Achievement Award, widely considered the film industry's highest career honor. "Over the course of a remarkable career that remains in full stride, Dustin Hoffman has set the standard for contemporary film actors and along the way [has] earned his place among the greats of American movie history," said AFI Board Chairman Tom Pollock. After more than 25 films, Hoffman, 61, has won two best actor Academy Awards (1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer" and 1988's "Rain Man") and seven Oscar nominations, including one for last year's "Wag the Dog." Hoffman becomes the 27th recipient of the AFI honor, joining the likes of John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Fred Astaire, Bette Davis, Steven Spielberg and Sidney Poitier. Hoffman receives the award Feb. 18 in Beverly Hills, with a future broadcast of the ceremonies scheduled for ABC.

POP/ROCK

Hall of Famers: Congratulations to the Boss, the Walrus, the Piano Man and Superfly. Yes, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Curtis Mayfield are among seven inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's contemporary wing that were announced Tuesday. The other inductees, selected by about 1,000 industry voters, are '60s rocker Del Shannon, British soul singer Dusty Springfield and gospel group the Staple Singers. They'll be formally inducted during ceremonies March 15 in New York. In addition, western swing band Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys and R&B singer Charles Brown will be inducted in the "early influences" category, while Beatles record producer George Martin will be honored in the "nonperformer" area. Springsteen distinguished himself by being the only artist this year who was elected in his first year of eligibility (artists become eligible 25 years after their first recording). McCartney and Mayfield, who were previously inducted as members of the Beatles and the Impressions, respectively, were saluted this time for their solo careers, which both began in 1970. Among those passed over this year: Black Sabbath, Steely Dan and Richie Valens.

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Rick James Suffers Stroke: Funk singer Rick James, 50, was in surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon after suffering a stroke Monday night. Doctors said the stroke resulted from a broken blood vessel in the back of his neck, probably caused by a repeated rhythmic motion of the head and neck that's known as "rock 'n' roll neck." James was suffering numbness in his right side Tuesday and was unable to walk, but a spokesman said his family was optimistic about his recovery.

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Cuban Singer Defects: Iris Sandra Cepeda, singer for the acclaimed Cuban salsa band Arte Mixto, has left the group and is believed to be defecting to the United States, Jimmy Maslin, owner of the group's Los Angeles-based record label, Ahi-Nama, said Tuesday. "We are extremely disappointed to see Iris leaving the band halfway through a tour," said Maslin, who was forced to cancel dates in New York, Puerto Rico and New Orleans. "Bringing a Cuban band to this country is already a tremendous uphill battle, and we fear that [Cepeda's] conduct might cause a negative impact on future tours by Cuban musicians." Maslin said the singer informed him before the group's appearance Saturday at the Mayan Theatre that she was remaining in Los Angeles indefinitely. "Iris has betrayed all the love and trust that was placed on her, and ruined the countless hours spent rehearsing in order to make Arte Mixto the band that it is today," added Alexis Correa, the group's leader. Cepeda could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Meanwhile, Correa and the other remaining Arte Mixto members left for Cuba on Tuesday and expect to return to Los Angeles in February with a new singer.

TELEVISION

'60 Minutes II' Additions: PBS host Charlie Rose has been named a correspondent for CBS' forthcoming "60 Minutes II," joining the previously announced Dan Rather and Bob Simon. Rose, who will also continue with his self-titled public television show, previously worked for CBS News from 1984 to '90, when he anchored the late-night newscast "Nightwatch." Also named Tuesday as a correspondent for "60 Minutes II" was Vicki Mabrey, who has been a London-based CBS News correspondent since 1995.

QUICK TAKES

U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky's production of Dante's "Inferno," previously presented at the 92nd Street Y in New York, will have its Los Angeles premiere Dec. 11, 12 and 13 at the Getty Center. Pinsky adapted the work for the stage from his own award-winning translation. . . . The WB's "7th Heaven" scored the fledgling network's all-time best ratings Monday with 9.1 million viewers, beating both Fox's "Melrose Place" and NBC's 8-9 p.m. sitcoms. . . . Filmmaker Oliver Stone responded Tuesday to ABC's decision to halt development on his proposed prime-time special investigating the theory that a Navy missile could have brought down TWA Flight 800. "It's frightening to think that there can be no outlet on network television for a show such as ours that would ask important questions and not settle for the 'official' version of anything," said Stone. ABC had said viewers might be confused as to whether the special was entertainment or news programming.

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