- The Washington Times - Monday, April 4, 2005

Young at heart

Neil Young couldn’t make it to Sunday’s Juno awards ceremony (Canada’s Grammys), but other musicians made sure his presence was felt.

“If there is a beacon or a bastion of an artist who has maintained his integrity, uncompromising vision, and purity, it is Neil Young,” said K.D. Lang, who performed Mr. Young’s “Helpless” during the show, Reuters News Agency reports.

Mr. Young, 59, underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm late last month. He is expected to recover completely, but doctors advised him not to travel or perform.

Mr. Young watched the televised awards at the Canadian consulate in New York and was moved by Miss Lang’s performance, John Brunton, the show’s executive producer, said.

Old at heart

Lauren Bacall raised hackles last year when she said “Birth” co-star Nicole Kidman was too young to merit the label “legend.”

She denied it was meant as an insult. “I said I didn’t understand why she had to be labeled when she has her whole career in front of her,” Miss Bacall told Britain’s Radio Times magazine.

However, the 80-year-old screen legend wasn’t so sanguine about young actresses overall.

“Today, women with minuscule talent are willing to sacrifice everything for their careers. … I have a terrible time distinguishing one from another. Girls wear their hair the same and are much too anorexic-looking,” Miss Bacall said.

Not sparing actors, she added: “We live in an age of mediocrity. Stars today are not the same stature as Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart.”

Miss Bacall had backhanded praise for Hugh Grant, saying he’s “charming, marvelous. Not a great actor, but he doesn’t have to be.”

Daddy’s ‘Angel’

“Dark Angel” TV star Jessica Alba didn’t bare all in “Sin City,” the edgy Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller comic-book thriller, for one simple reason: She didn’t want to answer to her father.

“I felt like dancing around with the lasso and chaps was going to be sexy enough,” she told the Boston Globe. “Being nude, for me, would have been distracting, and I couldn’t even conceive of being bottomless.

“My dad would disown me or something. He’d freak out.”

Mr. Mayor

Justin Jeffre, a former member of boy band 98 Degrees, isn’t kidding when he says he wants to be Cincinnati’s next mayor.

“I am serious about this, and I intend to win,” Mr. Jeffre, 32, said, according to Associated Press.

Mr. Jeffre said he wants to bring people from all over the city together through Cincinnati’s arts and entertainment venues and build a strong downtown.

“We need to sell this city back to the people of this city,” he said. “We’ve forgotten how great this city can be.”

There’s also this, perhaps dubious, sideline pitch: Mr. Jeffre also wants the music channel VH1 to follow his campaign for a reality series. VH1 officials, for their part, have said no decision has been made on his proposal.

Wannabe ‘Housewives’

Happily married Britney Spears knows a thing or two about wedded bliss — and rumor has it the Hollywood-courting singer wants to land a guest spot on the ABC hit “Desperate Housewives.”

She isn’t the only one.

James Denton, who plays plumber Mike Delfino on the series, told the British magazine Female First that “Housewives” is turning away the cream of Hollywood.

“Everyone in town wants to be a guest star,” he reportedly said.

“Britney is my favorite. Her people have been trying to get her on the show, but I can promise you that will never happen,” Mr. Denton said.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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