Hepburn Hospitalized in Hartford, Conn.
Four-time Academy Award winner Katharine Hepburn underwent tests at a Hartford, Conn., hospital Thursday and is expected to go home in a few days. The nature of the 94-year-old actress' illness has not been disclosed. Past health problems include arthritis, pneumonia and Parkinson's-like tremors. Hepburn, who was admitted Wednesday evening, was resting comfortably in stable condition Thursday morning, Hartford Hospital spokesman James Battaglio said. Hepburn, who lives in Old Saybrook, is a Hartford native; her father was chief of staff at Hartford Hospital.
'Jurassic Park' Sequel Here With a Vengeance
Evidently audiences still haven't had enough of dinosaurs. "Jurassic Park III" debuted to the second-highest Wednesday opening ever, an estimated $19 million in 3,434 theaters. Only "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace" has ever outdone it, with $28.5 million in its first day. Helped by generally good reviews, a PG-13 rating, a hard-sell marketing campaign and a 90-minute running time, "JPIII" took advantage of the youth market's seven-day availability in midsummer. Universal distribution President Nikki Rocco is expecting the usual Thursday dip (maybe to $11 million), giving the film $30 million headed into the weekend.
Davis' 'Jezebel' Oscar Auctioned for $578,000
Bette Davis' best actress Oscar for 1938's "Jezebel" sold for $578,000 at auction Thursday, the third-highest price ever paid for one of the golden statuettes. The Oscar was the highlight of a sale of Davis' and other Hollywood memorabilia at Christie's. The final figure, which includes Christie's commission, was more than twice the high estimate of $250,000. The top price for any Hollywood memorabilia was $1.54 million for the 1939 best picture Oscar that went to producer David O. Selznick for "Gone With the Wind"--bought by pop star Michael Jackson at Sotheby's in 1999.
Fonda's Philanthropy Targets Teen Sexuality
Atlanta's Emory University unveiled the Jane Fonda Center Thursday, using a $2-million donation from the actress and former fitness guru to study adolescent reproductive health research, training and program development. Fonda's gift will include an endowment to create a research position specializing in teen sexuality and reproductive health. Earlier this year, Fonda gave $12.5 million to Harvard's Graduate School of Education for a study of gender in education. "I learned from my Harvard experience that if you want to get an academic institution to do something it may not do otherwise, you endow a chair," Fonda told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "If you endow a chair, there'll always be a professorship in that field."
NBC Executive Issues Apology
NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa reiterated Thursday the network's apology for a racial epithet that made it to air on a July 11 broadcast of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien." On the show, comedian Sarah Silverman twice used a word derogatory to Asians during couch banter with O'Brien. Sassa, speaking to television critics in Pasadena, said the remarks were edited out of rebroadcasts. But Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, called on O'Brien to issue an on-air apology.
Official Pulls Plug on Rap Concert
A civic center director stopped the music during a Jackson, Tenn., show by rapper Juvenile, saying the New Orleans rapper was using too much profanity. "We haven't had [a rap concert] in 11 years," said Mose Burton, who runs the Carl Perkins Civic Center, named for the late rockabilly singer who lived in Jackson. "I said I'd try it if it is clean. I told them I would pull the plug if it wasn't. I take full responsibility." Children were allowed into the Wednesday night concert if accompanied by a parent, he added. Juvenile's hits include "Back That Thang Up" and "Ha." His album "400 Degreez" has sold more than 3 million copies. "I think it was unfair," said Slonda Coupeland, 25, a fan who paid $25 for her ticket. "We paid the money for a show and Juvy was giving us what we asked for."
Jackson a No-Show Due to a Chipped Tooth
Janet Jackson postponed a Milwaukee concert just hours before showtime after she suffered what promoters called an injury requiring emergency dental surgery. The singer's Web site said only that the singer "was regretfully forced to cancel her performance," but Milwaukee TV station WTMJ reported that she had chipped a tooth and had to undergo a root canal. Bradley Center spokeswoman Michelle Kempin said Jackson's accident occurred sometime Wednesday afternoon while the show was being set up.