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October 28, 1998|SHAUNA SNOW


National Arts Medalists: Actor Gregory Peck, musician Antoine "Fats" Domino, Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company and visual artist Agnes Martin will join Santa Monica-based architect Frank Gehry and others in receiving the 1998 National Medal of the Arts, to be presented by President and Mrs. Clinton at a Nov. 5 White House ceremony. Gehry, reached in Tokyo on Tuesday, called the medal "a great honor" and commented: "When I, as an architect, apply for federal work, they always throw me out, so to be honored by the president is very nice. I didn't think [the administration] liked me." Other recipients include dancer-choreographer Jacques d'Amboise, folk singer "Ramblin' " Jack Elliott, arts advocate Barbara Handman, opera singer Roberta Peters, writer Philip Roth, actress-dancer Gwen Verdon, and the Sarah Lee Corp. (recognized for arts patronage). Candidates are recommended annually by the National Council on the Arts; the president then selects the final honorees.


Who's the Real Costanza?: A former Queens College classmate of Jerry Seinfeld has sued the comedian, "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry David and distributor Columbia TriStar TV for $100 million, claiming that the loutish George Costanza character--played by Jason Alexander--was based on him. "They have . . . portrayed him in a very negative light," said an attorney for Michael Costanza, a real estate agent who claims to even bear a physical resemblance to actor Alexander. "As a result, people don't treat my client with respect." However, Glenn Padnick, president of Castle Rock Entertainment, which produced the series, said the character was "modeled 100%" on co-creator David, who "has never met Michael Costanza." Last year, Michael Costanza published a memoir titled "The Real Seinfeld: As Told by the REAL Costanza." He also had a small role on the 1992 episode "The Parking Space."


Musicians for Boxer: Music producer Don Was has put together a cyber concert to help raise funds for Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) reelection campaign. The concert footage--featuring Boxer supporters Bonnie Raitt, Brian Wilson, Herbie Hancock, Richie Sambora, Poe, Kris Kristofferson, Saul Hernandez (lead singer of the Mexican rock groups Caifanes and Los Jaguares) and Was (Not Was)--is available for free on Boxer's campaign Web site (, but organizers hope viewers will also make an online campaign contribution.


Cable's Fox Family Channel announced plans Tuesday for two new companion networks--The Boyz Channel and The Girlz Channel--slated to carry gender-specific programming for 2- to 14-year-olds starting sometime next year. . . . Twentieth Century Fox will re-release Warren Beatty's "Bulworth" in Los Angeles theaters on Dec. 4, in hopes of boosting the movie's Oscar chances. . . . CBS has given full-season orders to its Monday night sitcom "King of Queens" and the Saturday night action series "Martial Law." . . . HBO has renewed the Sarah Jessica Parker comedy series "Sex and the City" for a second season. . . . Davis Gaines has joined Kelsey Grammer, Dale Kristien and Melissa Manchester in the "Reprise! Broadway's Best in Concert" production "Sweeney Todd--The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," slated for March 12-14 at the Ahmanson Theatre. Meanwhile, Gregory Harrison will join Maureen McGovern in the "Reprise!" show "Of Thee I Sing," Nov. 11-22 at UCLA's Freud Playhouse. . . . KCRW-FM's (89.9) "Which Way, L.A.?" will air a live debate between the two candidates for state superintendent of public instruction, incumbent Delaine Eastin and challenger Gloria Matta Tuchman, on Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. (with a repeat at 7 p.m.). . . . After a month as a fugitive, rapper Keith Murray, a solo performer and member of Def Squad, has surrendered to begin serving a three-year Connecticut prison sentence for assault. Murray was convicted of beating a teen with a bar stool in a 1995 nightclub fight.

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