- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Curtains for Harry?

Author J.K. Rowling says two characters will die in the last installment of her Harry Potter series — and she hinted that the boy-wizard himself might be one of them.

“I have never been tempted to kill him off before the final because I’ve always planned seven books, and I want to finish on seven books,” Associated Press quotes Miss Rowling as saying.

However, she declined to commit about Harry, saying she doesn’t want to receive hate mail.

“The last book is not finished, but I’m well into it now. I wrote the final chapter in something like 1990, so I’ve known exactly how the series is going to end,” she says.

Some characters might die, but the blockbuster movie franchise lives on. Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that the fifth installment will be released in American theaters, including Imax screens, on July 13, 2007.

In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” directed by David Yates, the teenage Harry continues to battle the evil Lord Voldemort (again played by Ralph Fiennes) and his followers. Daniel Radcliffe is returning as the title character, and Emma Watson and Rupert Grint reprise their roles as Hermione and Ron. Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton plays the malicious, frumpy Professor Dolores Umbridge, who tortures Harry.

Miss Rowling is the richest woman in Britain — wealthier even than the queen — with a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine last year at more than $1 billion. Whatever she writes next, she is sure of one thing: It won’t be as successful as Harry Potter.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to have anything like Harry again. You just get one like Harry,” she says.

Ramblin’ Rose

Axl Rose was arrested early yesterday after reportedly biting a security guard in the leg at his hotel, AP reports.

The Guns N’ Roses frontman was ordered held in jail by prosecutors on suspicion of attacking and threatening the guard, as well as causing damage to the Berns Hotel in Stockholm, where the reported scuffle took place, police spokeswoman Towe Hagg said. Mr. Rose was released from jail after he admitted to the charges and agreed to pay a fine of $5,500, Miss Hagg said. The 44-year-old rocker also was ordered to pay $1,360 in damages to the security guard, she added.

Guns N’ Roses was scheduled to perform in Oslo today, but it was unclear whether the concert would be canceled.

Miss Hagg said Mr. Rose was drunk during the confrontation and was not questioned by police until he had sobered up. It was unclear what caused the fight, but Swedish tabloids said the guard tried to intervene when Mr. Rose began arguing with a woman in the hotel lobby. Police officer Fredrik Nylen was quoted by the daily Aftonbladet Web site as saying Mr. Rose acted aggressively toward police and had to be handcuffed and restrained.

Guns N’ Roses played a concert in Stockholm’s Globe Arena on Monday night and had been partying at a well-known nightclub before the scuffle, Aftonbladet said.

In May, Mr. Rose and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger capped an evening out at a new club called the Plumm in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood with midnight fisticuffs. The scuffle reportedly started after Mr. Rose moved the drink of Mr. Hilfiger’s girlfriend. According to Mr. Rose, Mr. Hilfiger, 55, smacked him in the arm and told him to put the drink back.

Wyatt’ takes a bride

“Wyatt Earp” star Hugh O’Brian, 81, has married for the first time.

The weekend ceremony was held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif.

“This is my first, and most definitely, my last trip down the aisle,” Mr. O’Brian said of his marriage Sunday to teacher Virginia Barber, 54, his girlfriend of 18 years. It was the bride’s second marriage.

Some 300 guests — including look-alikes of John Wayne and Pope John Paul — witnessed the ceremony at the cemetery’s Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection, publicist Monique Moss said Monday. The Rev. Robert Schuller, pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, officiated, and the couple was serenaded by close friend Debbie Reynolds. Dubbed “A Wedding to Die For,” the ceremony concluded with a cocktail reception.

Mr. O’Brian may be best known to baby boomers as television’s tough Old West marshal on “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” which aired from 1955 to 1961.

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

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