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Morning Report

Arts and Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services and the Nation's Press

May 08, 1999|JUDITH MICHAELSON

PEOPLE

'I'm Retiring From Movies': Actor Liam Neeson, who appeared in more than 20 films before achieving stardom at 41 as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning 1993 movie "Schindler's List," says in the June issue of Redbook magazine that he's quitting the movie business. "I'm getting out," he told interviewer Jeanne Wolf. "I'm retiring from movies next year. Honest to God, I don't want to do it anymore. I'm not happy doing it. Film is a director's medium, it has nothing to do with actors. We are basically puppets, walking around, hitting marks, saying lines. Producers earn all the money, and you get the sense that they hate actors." Neeson's publicist declined comment Friday. A spokesman for 20th Century Fox said that Neeson is attending the junket in New York this weekend for "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace," opening May 19--Neeson plays Qui-Gon Jinn, a Jedi master and mentor to Obi-Wan Kenobi--but that the actor has canceled almost all individual interviews.

Remembering Mothers: Australian actress Judy Davis--nominated for Oscars in 1984 for "A Passage to India" and in 1992 for "Husbands and Wives"--will star as Judy Garland in an ABC-TV movie of Lorna Luft's best-selling book about her mother, "Me and My Shadows." "Judy Davis was always my first choice to play my mother," said Luft, who will also serve as executive producer. The TV movie will begin filming in August under the direction of Robert Allan Ackerman. . . . In honor of Mother's Day, KKGO-FM (105.1) reprises pianist Mona Golabek's "The Romantic Hours" tribute to her mother Sunday at 11 p.m.--music teacher and concert pianist Lisa Jura Golabek, who survived the Holocaust when she fled to England. She died in December 1997 at 73.

LATIN POP

More Prizes for Elvis: After scoring four awards at last month's Billboard Latin Music Awards, Latin music's man of the moment, Elvis Crespo, took home five in Thursday night's Premio Lo Nuestro awards in Miami, all in the tropical category, including album of the year, male artist of the year and new artist of the year. The only other artist to come close to Crespo's sweep was ranchero star Pepe Aguilar, who won three statues in the regional Mexican genre, including album of the year, male artist of the year and song of the year. In pop, rock singer Shakira shared the honors with rock group Mana. Mexican regional female artist of the year was Ana Gabriel; Olga Tanon won in tropical. Ricky Martin won for pop male artist of the year and pop song of the year. New artist prizes went to Pablo Montero in Mexican regional, and Carlos Ponce in pop.

LEGAL FILE

'My Nightmare Has Ended': Tammy Wynette's daughters have dropped her widower from a $50-million wrongful death lawsuit that blames the country singer's doctor for her death. "Today, my nightmare has ended," George Richey said. The lawsuit was filed April 5 by three of Wynette's daughters--Tina Jones, Jackie Daly and Georgette Smith. Her fourth daughter, Gwen Nicholas, later joined it. Richey, Wynette's fifth husband, is not the father of any of the women. The daughters claim their mother's health wasn't monitored closely enough, and that she was given too many painkillers prior to her death on April 6, 1998. Dr. Wallis Marsh, Wynette's personal physician, was named along with Richey in the lawsuit. The daughters plan to continue seeking a judgment against Marsh. "George believed--and still believes--that Dr. Marsh provided excellent medical care to Tammy during the last years of her life, enabling her to have some quality of life she would not have otherwise had," said his attorney, Robert Ritchie.

MOVIES

Changed Title: Miramax Films is denying press speculation that it has changed the title of its high-profile summer teen film "Killing Mrs. Tingle" to "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" as a reaction to the recent high school massacre in Littleton, Colo. The dark comedy, directed by Kevin Williamson ("Scream"), revolves around a plot by students to outsmart their history teacher after they are falsely accused of cheating, Miramax executives said, but the old title was misleading. "These students will do everything they can to avoid killing Mrs. Tingle . . . nobody dies in the movie," said Mark Gill, president of Miramax L.A. "We have been looking for another title for a long time." The film is set to open wide Aug. 20.

MUSIC

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