- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 28, 2003

A Berry good friend

New York Post

Adding fuel to the speculative fire, Fred Durst — who flew out to Vancouver Wednesday to visit his new, close friend Halle Berry on the set of “Gothika” — has admitted he has a new “special” friend.

“Something has happened to me recently and I’m really at a different place,” Mr. Durst told MTV.com. “Someone has come into my life that I really feel like, for once in my life, that I really, really bond with like I’ve never bonded with anybody.” The Limp Bizkit frontman steadfastly refused to name his new “someone” — but Miss Berry, according to her rep, is still happily married to singer Eric Benet. “They are acquaintances, I don’t know if they are good friends,” the rep added.

‘Devil’s‘ new life

Reuters News Agency

The Rolling Stones cast a satanic glow over the U.S. music industry last Wednesday as a reissue of their 1968 opus “Sympathy for the Devil” opened at No. 1 on the singles sales charts, a spokesman said.

The six-minute song, in which singer Mick Jagger introduces his Luciferian alter ego as “a man of wealth and taste,” was recently dusted off by the group’s former record label, ABKCO Records, and remixed by a selection of hot-shot producers.

It replaces a song that is almost as old, a remixed version of Elvis Presley’s “Rubberneckin’,” which was originally released in 1969.

Sales data for the “Sympathy” single were not available, and the song bowed in the lower reaches of the benchmark Hot 100 singles chart, which combines both retail sales and radio airplay. “Sympathy” was released in the United States last week as a CD single featuring seven versions of the song — a pair of remixes each from producer duo the Neptunes, English DJ Fatboy Slim and another duo, Full Phatt, as well as the original recording. A slightly different configuration opened at No. 14 in Britain earlier this month.

Written by Mr. Jagger, and inspired by Soviet author Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel “The Master and Margarita,” “Sympathy for the Devil” was originally featured on the Rolling Stones’ 1968 album “Beggars Banquet.” It also was the B-side of a reissue of “Honky Tonk Women” in 1976.

Star trio criticized

New York Post

The Actors Studio — now under the control of Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel and Ellen Burstyn — is making enemies by evicting some of its elderly members.

The prestigious school founded by the late Lee Strasberg — who taught “method acting” to Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and dozens of other stars — is evidently trying to attract younger, up-and-coming thespians.

The new management claims the school’s open enrollment policy hasn’t changed. But insiders say elderly kibitzers — who audit classes and participate in scenes — have been asked to leave. One anonymous eyewitness told the New York Post they saw actor Ray Trail, 87, who sat in on seminars for a number of years, being told not to return. The regime change occurred in June when Estelle Parsons, 75, an Oscar-winner for 1967’s “Bonnie and Clyde,” stepped aside as artistic director after five years.

While the Manhattan institution looks for a new artistic director, it is being run by Mr. Pacino, Mr. Keitel and Miss Burstyn, who share the title of president though they are known on campus as “The Troika.”

“We have all served in various capacities as president, vice president, artistic director and whatever else is needed,” Miss Burstyn said in a statement.

Changing of the guard

Washington philanthropist Victoria P. Sant was elected president of the National Gallery of Art during a Friday meeting of the Gallery’s trustees. She succeeds Robert H. Smith, who becomes trustee emeritus.

Mr. Smith, chairman of the Charles E. Smith Companies, became the first chairman of the Gallery’s newly formed Trustees’ Council, a national advisory body to the Board of Trustees, in 1982. In 1985 he joined the board as a trustee upon the retirement of Paul Mellon, and in 1993 he succeeded John R. Stevenson as president.

Mrs. Sant and her husband, Roger, have been members of The Circle of the National Gallery of Art since 1987 and the Collectors Committee since 2000. She served as chairman of the Trustees’ Council from 2001 to 2002. She is the immediate past chairman of The Phillips Collection, where she also served as president for three years.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

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