- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Tour de Crow

Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and rock star Sheryl Crow are engaged. According to Associated Press, Mr. Armstrong proposed to Miss Crow last week while they were in Sun Valley, Idaho.

No wedding date has been set, although spring nuptials could be a possibility, Mr. Armstrong’s spokesman Mark Higgins says.

Mr. Armstrong retired in July after winning his seventh straight Tour.

The marriage will be the second for Mr. Armstrong, who has three children with ex-wife Kristin. It will be the first for Miss Crow.

Lending a hand

Pop superstar Michael Jackson, who has been in seclusion since his acquittal on sex abuse charges, has written a song that he will record to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina, Reuters news agency reported yesterday.

Mr. Jackson will record the single, “From the Bottom of My Heart,” within two weeks, and he plans to enlist other entertainers for the project, spokeswoman Raymone Bain told Reuters.

“It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf region of my country,” Mr. Jackson, 47, said in a written statement. “My heart and prayers go out to every individual who has had to endure the pain and suffering caused by this tragedy.”

The singer, who left his Neverland Valley Ranch in California for an extended stay in Bahrain after his acquittal on child molestation charges in June, will record the song on a label owned by Bahrain’s crown prince, Miss Bain said. Proceeds from record sales will go to hurricane victims.

According to Miss Bain, Mr. Jackson hopes to repeat the success he had with “We Are the World,” a 1985 charity single written by the Gloved One along with Lionel Richie. “World” featured dozens of the era’s top recording stars and raised more than $60 million for Africa.

Frodo’s fortune

Having two movies opening within a week of each other usually spells saturation for actors, but Elijah Wood has a persona to dispel — that of “Lord of the Rings” hobbit Frodo Baggins.

The roles he plays in “Green St. Hooligans” (a London soccer hooligan) and “Everything is Illuminated” (a Jewish American searching for family roots in Ukraine) are markedly different, and Mr. Wood, 24, is anxious for audiences to see him as something other than a ring-bearing, pointy-eared Tolkien character.

“It’s actually kind of awesome to have two very different films and two very different characters come out in close proximity. I’m more excited than fearful,” Mr. Wood tells Reuters news agency.

Rock’s new princess

Frances Bean Cobain is 13 and entering seventh grade, and she hates it when her mom looks disheveled in public.

So says the daughter of Courtney Love and the late Kurt Cobain in the forthcoming issue of Teen Vogue magazine.

“I’m a different person,” Frances says in her first public interview. “I don’t want to be titled as Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain’s daughter. I want to be thought of as Frances Cobain.”

While she talks mostly about fashion, Frances also shared impressions about her wild mother’s music and antsy public image.

“I prefer when she’s more ‘classy starlet,‘“she says of Miss Love. “I don’t really like her hard-metal stuff, or when she doesn’t brush her hair.”

Hang loose

Lose the guide wires, director John Woo says.

For his latest project, “The War of the Red Cliff,” a period piece set in dynastic China, Mr. Woo (“Face/Off”) won’t be zinging his actors around the screen on cables as in kung fu productions such as Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

“It would be a joke to film it like some sort of kung fu epic,” Mr. Woo is quoted as saying in an interview with Web site Sina.com.

Munich’ eyewitness

How’s this for an offer of help from the horse’s mouth?

The Palestinian mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack, in which 11 Israeli athletes were murdered, said director Steven Spielberg should have consulted him about a new film on the episode to ensure getting the story right.

According to Reuters, Mohammad Daoud echoed veterans of Israel’s Mossad spy service in questioning the sources used for “Munich,” a thriller chronicling the massacre and the Israeli revenge assassinations that followed.

“I know nothing about this film. If someone really wanted to tell the truth about what happened he should talk to the people involved, people who know the truth,” Mr. Daoud said from an undisclosed location in the Middle East.

“Were I contacted, I would tell the truth,” he added.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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