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Entertainment Briefs

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - Updated: 5:49 PM

Playwright Anna Deavere Smith wins Gish Prize

NEW YORK (AP) -- Anna Deavere Smith has won one of the largest and most prestigious awards in the arts.

The committee that awards the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize announced Friday that the actress and playwright known for pioneering a form of theatrical journalism is this year's winner.

"Anna opens our eyes, ears and minds to some of the most challenging aspects of our lives, and in so doing helps give others the courage to do the same," said Darren Walker, of the Ford Foundation, who was on the selection committee.

The Gish Prize, now in its 19th year, recognizes leading artists in such fields as drama, music and dance, as well as literature. Smith joins past winners including Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Chinua Achebe and Robert Redford. The prize, from silent film stars Dorothy and Lillian Gish, comes with $300,000.

Smith creates one-woman documentary-style works such as "Fires in the Mirror" about a 1991 riot in New York and "Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992," about the 1992 Rodney King case. She recently tackled health care in "Let Me Down Easy."

As an actress, Smith has appeared on TV in "Nurse Jackie" and "The West Wing" and in films including "The American President," "The Human Stain," "Life Support" and "Rachel Getting Married."

Schwarzenegger talks about gun control

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't think there's a parallel between film and real-world gun violence.

The 65-year-old former governor of California returns to the big screen Friday as the sheriff of an Arizona border town tasked with stopping a Mexican cartel boss from returning to Mexico. It marks his first leading role since serving as The Governator for six years.

"I personally feel that this is entertainment," said Schwarzenegger. "The other thing is a serious real life tragedy. I think that we are going to continue doing entertainment. That is what we are doing as our profession, but at the same time, we all have a responsibility, I think, to improve the situation that we are in."

Schwarzenegger noted it's important not to stigmatize mental illnesses. He also cited parenting, education, security and gun laws as contributing factors to the issue of gun violence.

"We as a society have the responsibility to look at this and leave no stone unturned," he said.

Pregnant Kim Kardashian wants to be more private

NEW YORK (AP) -- As the tabloids speculated about whether Jessica Simpson is expecting again (she is) and the media zeroed in on Kate Middleton's acute morning sickness, Kim Kardashian says it was nice to be out of the media spotlight during the early stages of her pregnancy.

"I'm obviously so happy for them, but if anything I loved the privacy," the 32-year-old reality TV star said in an interview Wednesday.

That bit of privacy went out the window when Kardashian's boyfriend, Kanye West, revealed during a Dec. 30 concert in Atlantic City, N.J., that they are expecting their first child together.

Now that the word is out, Kardashian says her motherly instincts have made her pull back from being so open about her personal life.

"I think that definitely kicks in where you're like, 'OK, I have to go in protect mode,' and as ironic as it sounds, you live your life on a reality show but then when you grow up ... certain things change your life that make you want to be more private and this is definitely one of them."

The couple went public with their relationship in March.

Kardashian married NBA player Kris Humphries in August 2011 and their divorce is not finalized.

West rarely grants interviews, and the 35-year-old rapper is the ying to the Kardashian family's "out there" yang. Kardashian says she is somewhat influenced by West's approach.

"When you spend time with someone, you learn things from them, so I see what (his) views are in wanting to be private, so that's a choice we make together as a family just in how we're gonna raise our kid," she said. "... But my personal experience of having really open relationships on the show, I've done that, and for me I feel like I got really scrutinized when people didn't maybe understand my decisions at some point, so I feel like after that experience I've become more private more so than just like Kanye's views or anything."

Kardashian is due in July.

A new season of her reality show with her sister Kourtney, "Kourtney and Kim Take Miami," premieres Sunday on E! (9 p.m. EST).

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Online:

http://www.eonline.com/shows/kourtney--and--kim--take--miami

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Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar

Cotillard named Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard (koh-tee-YAR') has been named the 2013 Harvard University Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Woman of the Year.

The 37-year(equals)old French actress, who won the 2007 best actress Oscar for her role in "La Vie En Rose," will be honored with a parade and roast, and given her ceremonial pudding pot, at Harvard on Jan. 31.

Cotillard has appeared more recently in "Inception," "Contagion" and "The Dark Knight Rises."

Claire Danes was the woman of the year last year.

The man of the year will be announced at a later date and honored on Feb. 8.

Hasty Pudding Theatricals is the nation's oldest undergraduate drama troupe. The awards are presented annually to performers who have made a lasting and impressive contribution to entertainment.

Shakira hosts shower for underprivileged kids

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NEW YORK (AP) -- What does the baby of the world's most famous Latin American singer need? Nothing, apparently.

Expectant parents Shakira and soccer star Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona are inviting friends and family to join an online baby shower to benefit underprivileged children. Their own child is expected to be born early this year.

A UNICEF-hosted web site invites those attending the virtual baby shower to buy gifts costing as little as $5, which can buy a mosquito net to ensure a sleeping baby stays safe from malaria -- a leading cause of child deaths worldwide. Guests can spend $10 for polio vaccines to protect 17 children, or $37 for a baby scale.

"To celebrate the arrival of our first child, we hope that, in his name, other less privileged children in the world can have their basic needs covered through gifts and donations," reads a message from the 35-year-old Colombian superstar, a goodwill ambassador for the UN children's agency, and Pique. "Thank you for sharing this unforgettable moment with us."

The site also features never-seen photos of the couple, taken in December.

In a black-and-white image, a shirtless, 25-year-old Pique poses with his right arm around a hugely pregnant Sharika, who wears a bikini top and hip-hugging skirt that shows off her exposed belly.

A second photograph shows her in a white full-length gown that accentuates her expanding torso.

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Online: http://uni.cf/baby

Elton John, David Furnish welcome 2nd son

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LONDON (AP) -- Elton John and David Furnish say they have become parents for a second time.

The couple say they are "overwhelmed with happiness" at the birth of Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John.

John's spokeswoman Fran Curtis confirmed an announcement on the singer's website that the baby was born Friday in Los Angeles. The infant, born to a surrogate mother, weighs 8 pounds, 4 ounces (3.7 kilograms).

John, who is 65, and 50-year-old Furnish wed in a British civil partnership in 2005 and are parents to 2-year-old Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, born in California in December 2010, also through a surrogate mother.

John told The Guardian newspaper last year that he hoped to have a sibling for Zachary because "it's difficult to be an only child, and to be an only child of someone famous."

John and Furnish told Hello! magazine Wednesday that "the birth of our second son completes our family in a most precious and perfect way."

Club fire charity to Great White singer: No thanks

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By MICHELLE R. SMITH

Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A foundation working to build a permanent memorial at the site of a deadly 2003 nightclub fire caused by a band's pyrotechnics has asked the lead singer to take the foundation's name off a benefit concert.

The fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick was started when pyrotechnics for the heavy metal band Great White ignited flammable foam that lined the club's walls and ceiling. It killed 100 people and injured more than twice that many. The 10th anniversary is Feb. 20.

The band's lead singer at the time, Jack Russell, announced on Tuesday that he would play a Feb. 7 benefit for the Station Fire Memorial Foundation in a club in Hermosa Beach, Calif., near Los Angeles. Members of the foundation learned of the show Wednesday, Victoria Eagan, the foundation's vice president, told The Associated Press on Friday. Members of the group did not wish to be associated with the event and immediately began working to get Russell to drop his use of its name.

"This is due to the resentment and animosity still felt by many of the families and survivors that our very organization represents," the foundation wrote in a statement. "We feel that the upset caused by his involvement would outweigh the amount of funds raised at this event."

In a statement to the AP Friday, Russell said he would honor the request and donate the money from his show to a different charity that he would determine soon.

"I am utterly saddened by the response of the foundation and the motives behind it," he wrote.

The foundation needs to raise more than $1 million to build and maintain a permanent memorial at the fire site, said its president, Gina Russo. The group secured the land last year and plans to release a design during a Feb. 17 ceremony at the site. It has so far raised more than $100,000, Russo said, and has several other fundraisers planned.

Great White held benefit concerts after the fire, Eagan said, and raised about $185,000 for the Station Family Fund, a charity that helped people who were severely burned, children who had lost parents and others. She said that at that time, there was backlash from some families, but board members decided people so desperately needed the money it didn't matter where it came from.

That fund agreed to allow the band to raise money in its name, and agreed ahead of time that band members would not be making money off the performances, she said. Their association ended in 2005.

Since then, band members agreed to pay $1 million to settle lawsuits brought by families of those killed, although they did not admit wrongdoing. The band's tour manager, Daniel Biechele, who lit the pyrotechnics, pleaded guilty to 100 counts of manslaughter. The brothers who owned the club pleaded no contest.

Russell and Great White have split and are arguing over who has rights to the name of the band.

AP Source: Alicia Keys to sing Super Bowl anthem

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By HOWARD FENDRICH

AP Pro Football Writer

Alicia Keys is adding her voice to the Super Bowl show.

The Grammy-winning R&B singer has been lined up to perform the national anthem before the NFL championship game on Feb. 3 in New Orleans, a person familiar with Super Bowl entertainment plans told The Associated Press on Friday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL has not yet announced the anthem singer.

Keys, who turns 32 next week, released her fifth studio album, "Girl on Fire," late last year.

The Super Bowl teams will be determined this Sunday, when the San Francisco 49ers play the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game, and the Baltimore Ravens face the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.

The NFL said in October that Beyonce will be the star of the halftime show at this year's Super Bowl. She sang the national anthem at the 2004 NFL title game in her hometown of Houston.

Others who have performed the national anthem at past Super Bowls include "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson last year, as well as Whitney Houston, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond and Mariah Carey.

At the 2011 Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas, pop star Christina Aguilera flubbed a line while belting out the national anthem. When she was supposed to sing the words "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming," Aguilera instead repeated an earlier line, with a slight variation -- drawing plenty of attention on Twitter.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP--NFL

     

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