- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2006

Staying put

A museum chronicling the short life of actor James Dean that had been slated for closure will stay open, at least for the time being.

David Loehr, owner of the James Dean Gallery in Gas City, Ind., says he has received an outpouring of support and money since he announced plans last month to close the facility for good.

“It just looked like it was going to be a long, cold winter, and I didn’t think I could make it through,” Mr. Loehr says of the museum, located near Mr. Dean’s hometown of Fairmount. “But we’re going to give it a shot.”

According to Associated Press, Mr. Loehr worried that keeping the six-room museum open would be too costly but said he was able to “generate a little bit of money” during a recent trip to Los Angeles. Combined with an increase in sales, he has been able to pay off the debt and put money aside for operating expenses.

Mr. Dean, who was born in Marion, Ind., in 1931, was killed in a car crash in Cholame, Calif., in 1955 at age 24. About one-third of the phone calls to the Marion-Grant County Convention and Visitors Bureau are from prospective tourists interested in the actor — an Oscar nominee who made just seven films in his brief career — officials said.

Rallying for relief

Bob Geldof, a passionate crusader against world poverty, vowed yesterday to do everything in his power to get leaders of the world’s richest nations to uphold their promises to alleviate suffering in Africa, Agence France-Presse reports.

If politicians fail to keep their promise made at last year’s G8 summit to give 0.7 percent of their nations’ gross domestic product to help the world’s poor, “I will be extremely active in trying to get these people thrown out of office,” Mr. Geldof said during a press conference.

Mr. Geldof was in Cannes at the music industry’s giant MIDEM trade fair to pick up its Personality of the Year award for 2006, which he will receive with Harvey Goldsmith and John Kennedy, fellow founders and trustees of the Band Aid relief effort. The award is being given in recognition of their work in bringing the music industry together to help alleviate poverty and famine in Africa.

The Irish rocker staged the first Live Aid concert in 1985 to raise funds to save the starving in Ethiopia. Last July, he organized Live 8 concerts in London and eight other cities worldwide — timed to coincide with the G8 summit hosted by Britain — to help raise awareness of the plight of Africans living in poverty.

Mizrahi warned

Flamboyant fashion designer and E! Network correspondent Isaac Mizrahi rubbed some people the wrong way with his antics on the red carpet at the Golden Globes — and officials with the Academy Awards say they won’t put up with similar behavior, AP reports.

Mr. Mizrahi groped Scarlett Johansson’s breast, looked down Teri Hatcher’s dress, asked Eva Longoria about her pubic hair and otherwise caught celebrities off-guard.

Yet E! Network President Ted Harbert said Mr. Mizrahi, who is openly homosexual, didn’t mean to offend anyone. Mr. Harbert said he wanted to hire someone who would shake up what he called the normally “boring” parade of celebrities before awards shows. Mr. Mizrahi already has been assigned to red carpet duty at the Oscars on March 5.

Academy spokesman John Pavlik said his organization would be “extraordinarily angry” if Mr. Mizrahi behaved similarly at the Oscars.

“I cannot predict what we would do afterward,” Mr. Pavlik was quoted as saying.

Code’ opens Cannes

Ron Howard’s production of “The Da Vinci Code,” based on the best-selling thriller by Dan Brown, will open the 59th Festival de Cannes on May 17, two days before the film is released worldwide, the festival’s organizers said Saturday.

The film, which will be screened out of competition at Cannes, stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Ian McKellen and Alfred Molina, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

“Da Vinci,” which uses the Louvre Museum in Paris as one of its main backdrops, is an esoteric whodunit linked to a sinister plot to conceal the true meaning of the Holy Grail. The book, which has sold more than 30 million copies in about 40 languages, has been denounced by the Roman Catholic Church and historians as pure fiction with little or no historical basis.

Mr. Howard, a director, producer and actor, won the 2002 best picture Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind.”

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

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