- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fab Four score

The Beatles have topped a poll as the greatest entertainment icons of the past 100 years.

The ever-popular Fab Four fended off competition from Elvis Presley and screen goddess Marilyn Monroe in the survey, which was conducted by Variety magazine to celebrate its 100th birthday, reports Contactmusic.com.

“We are excited to honor the Beatles, giving special recognition to the sole group which has most shaped the face of modern show business,” says Variety Executive Editor Steven Graydos.

Others making the list, in order of ranking: 2.) Louis Armstrong; 3.) Lucille Ball; 4.) Humphrey Bogart ; 5.)Marlon Brando; 6.)Charlie Chaplin; 7.) James Dean; 8.) Miss Monroe; 9.)Mickey Mouse; and 10.) Mr. Presley.

On the mend

Style guru Steven Cojocaru received a second kidney transplant — this one donated by his mother — after the first one in January had to be removed due to infection.

Mr. Cojocaru, a correspondent for the syndicated TV shows “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” had the transplant Tuesday and was resting comfortably, according to a joint statement released by the television shows.

The fortysomething Mr. Cojocaru, author of “Red Carpet Diaries: Confessions of a Glamour Boy,” suffers from polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary disorder that causes the growth of cysts on the kidney, Associated Press reports. He received a kidney from a friend in January, but it was removed in June after it became infected with a virus that can attack transplant recipients and lead to eventual loss of the organ.

Purple pain

Will Prince’s penchant for platform shoes send him to the operating room?

The 5-foot-3 funk master has reportedly been told he needs hip replacement surgery at the unusually young age of 47, reports the New York Post.

But Prince, a Jehovah’s Witness, is thought to be against having surgery because the religion does not allow blood transfusions. He’s been prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs to help him cope, the newspaper said.

A representative for the star could not be reached.

Kudos for Kermit

Kermit the Frog began a globe-hopping tour to celebrate his 50th showbiz birthday in the small West Texas town that shares the beloved amphibian’s name.

The town of about 5,700 rolled out the green carpet Friday for the singing, dancing Muppet and former “Sesame Street” star, giving him the key to the city, dubbing him grand marshal of the homecoming parade and crowning him honorary homecoming king.

“I haven’t seen such nice faces since Miss Piggy’s last makeover,” Kermit said in an appearance at City Hall, which is on a street that’s been renamed Kermit the Frog Boulevard.

Kermit’s 50th birthday tour will stop in 50 cities on four continents and last through 2006, the Associated Press reports. Stops include the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Johnson Space Center and a courageous appearance at a Frog Leg Festival in Fellsmere, Fla. He’s even scheduled to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

Kermit made his debut in a 1955 television comedy called “Sam and Friends,” which aired locally on WRC-TV, the District’s NBC affiliate — but he looked more lizardlike back then. Kermit was fashioned from an old coat belonging to the mother of late Muppets creator Jim Henson and was named after one of Mr. Henson’s childhood friends.

Mr. Henson gave Kermit a voice and a life for 35 years, until his death in 1990. Since then, Steve Whitmire, who had worked with Mr. Henson for about 13 years, has taken over his voice and movements.

Fats is back

Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Fats Domino, who was missing for days after Hurricane Katrina, returned to his Big Easy home on Saturday to load some of his muddied gold records into the trunk of a car.

Sporting a white captain’s hat, gold chain and black galoshes, the 77-year-old musician says he had a laugh at the tributes worried fans — assuming he’d died in the storm — had spray-painted on his home.

“There was a big ‘Rest in Peace’ on my balcony. I’m still here, thank God. I’m alive and kicking,” Reuters news agency quotes Mr. Domino as saying.

Outside the bright yellow headquarters of Fats Domino Publishing, Charles Brimmer, Mr. Domino’s son-in-law, helped the musician load mementos from his legendary career into the car. However, only three of his 21 gold records have been found.

“Well, somebody got the rest of them,” Mr. Domino said.

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

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