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This Is My Life, Robert Evans

July 22, 2002

After sauntering to Sundance and holding court at Cannes, barnstorming Robert Evans--the former boy toy-turned-studio-chief-turned disgraced Hollywood pasha--will finally bring his trademark throaty roar and suave '60s panache to multiplexes across America on Friday with the release of "The Kid Stays in the Picture," the documentary, or rather, hagiography about his life.

Just a few years ago, Evans--the studio kingpin who backed such legendary '70s films as "Chinatown," "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Godfather"--was just another disgraced mogul, convicted of drug charges, linked by innuendo to the infamous "Cotton Club murder" (for which he was never charged), and almost irrelevant in the movie business.

Now he's the hippest guy in Hollywood, holding screenings of the documentary, by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen, in his Beverly Hills home for tout Hollywood--from old pals Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, who knew the glory days, to up-and-coming directors Wes Anderson and David O. Russell, who are witnesses to the revival.

The film redefines the term "vanity project," and the filmmakers, who were nominated for an Oscar for their boxing documentary, "On the Ropes," note with the film's opening quote: "There are three sides to every story: my side, your side and the truth. And no one is lying."

The film is based on Evans' 1994 autobiography and is told exclusively from Evans' point of view. It's a pastiche of photos and rare footage (which Evans has squirreled away over the years), chronicling the glory days and skating charmingly--but elusively--over the dark underbelly. The high points include a tour of the famous house and gardens, a young Dustin Hoffman impersonating Evans and footage--shot by then newcomer Mike Nichols--of Evans pleading with the board of Gulf and Western, then-owners of Paramount, not to close the studio because he has some winners in the can, including one called "The Godfather."

You can take the interim title off Michelle Tuzee's anchoring duties at KABC-TV. Tuzee, who began anchoring the 4, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts two weeks ago--after longtime anchor Laura Diaz left the station for a job at KCBS-TV--will now officially headline those newscasts alongside Marc Brown.

A USC graduate who majored in journalism, Tuzee worked at TV stations in Colorado, her native Wisconsin and Florida before joining the "Eyewitness News" team in 1997.

As is customary in local news, KABC took Diaz--a 19-year veteran of the station--off the air as soon as she accepted the position at a rival station.

When the shift was announced, Diaz stressed that there was no bitterness surrounding her departure, calling the new job "the opportunity of a lifetime."

David Ono, meanwhile, continues to anchor KABC's 5 p.m. newscast, with a permanent co-anchor to replace Tuzee still to be determined.

When the band Heart plays the Orange County Fair on Friday, fans will notice a decidedly slimmer Ann Wilson. The singer has lost 50 pounds since surgeons placed a Lap-Band device around her stomach to reduce her food intake, her doctor told Reuters news service last week.

Wilson, 52, who with her guitar-playing sister, Nancy, was the spark behind the 1970s and '80s rock group, underwent the surgery in January, according to Dr. Brian B. Quebbemann, who performed the "minimally invasive" procedure.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year, the Lap-Band is a belt placed around the stomach to limit its capacity and produce an early feeling of "fullness," Quebbemann said.

The band can be adjusted without further surgery to increase or decrease the restriction on food intake. The surgery is designed for individuals who are 100 pounds or more overweight, or for those who are 75 pounds overweight with serious medical conditions attributed to their obesity.

It was not disclosed how much Wilson weighed before the surgery, but the statement said she had lost 50 pounds in the first five months and "expects to lose the vast majority of her excess weight."

Representatives for the singer could not be reached for comment.

Quebbemann said one advantage of the Lap-Band over other weight-loss procedures, such as gastric bypass surgery, was that it avoids any cutting or stapling of the intestines or stomach. He also said there was no risk of malnutrition.

A spokesman for the doctor said Wilson's surgery was at an Orange County hospital, but Quebbemann said it can be done on an outpatient basis for younger people.

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