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Quick Takes: Vader kid to have surgery

June 13, 2012

The 7-year-old actor best known as the boy behind the Darth Vader mask in a popular car commercial shown during last year's Super Bowl is having open heart surgery.

Max Page, who plays Reed on the CBS soap opera "The Young and the Restless," will have surgery Thursday to replace his pulmonary valve and repair a hole in his heart at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, CBS spokeswoman Elise Bromberg said.

Max was born with a congenital heart defect and has undergone multiple surgeries.

Bromberg said that Max told his mother that he didn't have a choice, and that he "might as well go through it with a good attitude."

The boy is expected to be hospitalized for about five days.

—Associated Press

Pynchon takes on e-book form

For the first time, Thomas Pynchon's back catalog will be available as e-books starting Wednesday. Pynchon is a major writer whose absence from the e-book canon was notable — particularly since his most avid readers tend to be intellectually curious, the kind of people who are often technology's early adopters.

"There has been a great desire to have all of Tom's books in digital format now, for many years. He didn't want to not be part of that," Ann Goodoff, president of his publisher, Penguin Press, told the New York Times. Now, however, "I think he wants to have more readers," she said.

Pynchon, 75, is a notoriously private author who has declined to speak to the media for decades. Seven Pynchon novels and his short story collection "Slow Learner" go on sale Wednesday as e-books. Chronologically they are "V" (1963), "The Crying of Lot 49" (1966), "Gravity's Rainbow" (1973), "Vineland" (1990), "Mason & Dixon" (1997), "Against the Day" (2006) and "Inherent Vice" (2009). They will be priced from $9.99 to $12.99.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Ex-Getty head set for Dallas

On the heels of earning a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, the Dallas Museum of Art has named Mark Leonard to the newly created position of chief conservator.

Leonard had served as the head of the paintings conservation department at the Getty Center for 12 years but retired to Palm Springs in 2010 to pursue his own painting interests.

Leonard will begin his new post in July at what will be the museum's first conservation studio, which has yet to be completed.

—Chris Barton

Demme teams with Chesney

And now for something a little different: Kenny Chesney and Jonathan Demme are working together.

Country music's king of the road and the Academy Award-winning director will collaborate on the next installment of the "American Express Unstaged" music series on June 20.

Demme, whose credits include "The Silence of the Lambs" and Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" concert film, will direct the livestream of the 75-minute performance from the beach in New Jersey. Chesney and the credit card company have given 20,000 fans free tickets to the seaside show, which will be framed by a roller coaster and a Ferris wheel in a boardwalk setting.

Fans at home can watch live and repeats for 12 hours after on YouTube. The show also can be seen on VEVO's mobile apps.

—Associated Press

Kinkade estate battle heats up

Thomas Kinkade's widow and girlfriend took their dispute over the late painter's estate to court on Tuesday as handwritten notes allegedly written by Kinkade that could be central to the clash were made public for the first time.

Amy Pinto-Walsh was living with Kinkade and found his body when the 54-year-old accidentally overdosed on alcohol and Valium in April. She asked a judge to allow arguments over the artist's contested will to be heard in open probate court.

Lawyers for Kinkade's wife of 30 years, Nanette Kinkade, and for his company, want the terms to be decided in secret binding arbitration. The couple had been legally separated for more than two years when Kinkade died.

Pinto-Walsh has submitted handwritten notes allegedly written by Kinkade bequeathing her his mansion in Monte Sereno and $10 million to establish a museum of his paintings there, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

A July 2 hearing is scheduled to determine the authenticity and legal weight of the notes.

—Associated Press

Finally

Ratings uptick: AMC's "Mad Men" averaged 2.6 million viewers per episode during its just-concluded fifth season, according to Nielsen, an increase of 15% over the previous season. And the audience climbs to 4.2 million when DVR viewing is included.

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