- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bidens miss ‘Button’

He’s a heartbeat away from the presidency, but that apparently didn’t help Joe Biden get a movie ticket Saturday night.

According to Delawareonline.com, employees at the Regal Brandywine Cinemas in Wilmington, Del. say the vice-president-elect and his wife, Jill, tried to attend the 7:45 showing of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” but left after they were told the movie was sold out.

There’s been no confirmation from the Biden camp, but theater employees say they are sure it was him, the Web site says.

Inshirah Muhamut, an associate manager, said she closed her box-office line when she saw what appeared to be a Secret Service agent coming her way. The man asked her about tickets for the movie, which stars Brad Pitt, then left. A few minutes later, she said, the Bidens came into the lobby.

Mrs. Biden walked up to speak with Miss Muhamut while Mr. Biden stood nearby.

“She was asking me about other shows, but they really wanted to see ‘Benjamin Button,’” Miss Muhamut said. “He was maybe five feet away, looking at her. He was standing with his other Secret Service men.”

Remarkably, none of the other moviegoers appeared to notice. Employees said nobody mobbed Mr. Biden or called his name or asked for an autograph.

“It didn’t seem many people recognized him,” said employee Becky Gingrich, 21. “Honestly, I think people were just too wrapped up in themselves to notice.”

Royals acquire staff

Prince William and Prince Harry said Tuesday they have been granted their own royal “household” by their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, Associated Press reports.

The word doesn’t mean a dwelling; it refers to staff who support royal family members in their public duties and private lives. The household the two princes will share will have three main staff members, supported by a “small” team. Sir David Manning, the former British ambassador to Washington, will work as a part-time adviser to the princes.

Previously, William’s and Harry’s affairs were handled by the office of their father, Prince Charles, at Clarence House in central London.

Prince William, 26, is training as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force. This month, Prince Harry, 24, is to begin 2 1/2 years of training to fly British army helicopters.

Actors won’t face charges

An attorney for actors Josh Brolin and Jeffrey Wright says prosecutors have agreed to drop all charges from an incident at a Louisiana bar last year, AP reports.

Mr. Brolin, Mr. Wright and five crew members of the Oliver Stone film “W” were arrested on misdemeanor charges at the Stray Cat Club on July 12. Mr. Brolin — who played President Bush in Mr. Stone’s film, and Mr. Wright (whose latest film is “Cadillac Records”) were charged with interfering with police officers after a disturbance involving a crew member broke out.

Trying times for Swayze

Patrick Swayze says his yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer put him “through hell” while he pushed ahead on his new TV series.

“I’ve never been one to run from a challenge,” Mr. Swayze, 56, tells Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview airing at 10 tonight on ABC.

Yet the actor owns up to his fear: “Yeah, I’m scared. Yeah, I’m angry. Yeah, I’m [asking], ‘Why me?’”

Mr. Swayze’s A&E; police drama, “The Beast,” which premieres next week, required grueling 12-hour workdays, with chemotherapy sessions on the weekends. He rejected painkilling drugs that would have taken the edge off his performance. In five months, he missed just 1 1/2 days at work.

“You can bet that I’m going through hell,” Mr. Swayze says, “and I’ve only seen the beginning of it.”

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

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