- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2009

Return engagement

Tom Hanks is rejoining the board that oversees the Academy Awards, Associated Press reports.

After a one-year hiatus, the two-time Oscar winner was elected Tuesday to a new three-year term on the board of governors representing the actors branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Mr. Hanks was among nine incumbents and four new members elected to the board.

But a rare runoff vote is needed after two directors tied for a seat on the board.

Filmmaker Edward Zwick, who directed “Blood Diamond” and “Glory,” and frequent Oscar ceremony producer and director Gil Cates tied for a seat representing the directors branch, AP notes.

Runoff ballots are being mailed this week and are due back July 29.

Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis says he believes it’s the first time a runoff election has been needed for the board.

Low-key affair

The famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile has proudly made appearances at funerals of past members of the Mayer family - but don’t expect to see it at the sendoff for the company namesake.

A representative for Oscar G. Mayer told TMZ.com that Mr. Mayer - retired chairman of the Wisconsin-based meat processing company that bears his name and a grandson of the original Oscar Mayer - requested the Wienermobile not make an appearance because “it would be too much of a spectacle.”

Mr. Mayer’s wishes were for a small private funeral, TMZ reports.

He died Monday at age 95.

Band manager wins

A federal court says a former manager of 1950s doo-wop group the Drifters could be entitled to millions of dollars from concert promoters who’ve infringed on the band’s trademark.

According to Associated Press, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled last week in favor of ex-manager Faye Treadwell. The Glendale, Calif., resident has fought a lengthy legal battle over the name of the group, which sang such classics as “Up on the Roof” and “Under the Boardwalk.”

The ruling allows Miss Treadwell to seek damages from New York City promoter Larry Marshak and his associates, who’ve promoted the group since 2001.

Mr. Marshak promoted concerts featuring new members of the Drifters, the Platters and the Coasters, which had their heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Mr. Marshak’s attorney hasn’t returned a telephone call seeking comment, AP said.

Show must go on

It was not such a lucky break.

Opera singer Joyce DiDonato was appearing on a London stage in a wheelchair after breaking her leg during an earlier performance.

However, Royal Opera House spokesman Christopher Millard says that Miss DiDonato, an American mezzo-soprano, was singing Tuesday night in “The Barber of Seville” from a spot visible to the audience but that another actor was acting out her role on the stage.

Miss DiDonato slipped during the opening night of Rossini’s opera on Saturday at the Royal Opera. She finished her performance as the heroine, Rosina, leaning on a crutch and was later taken to the hospital, where she was told she had broken her right leg.

Mr. Millard says she plans to continue performing and to act the role onstage again once her leg heals, Associated Press reports.

Potter actor charged

A teenage actor from the Harry Potter films was charged Tuesday with illegally growing 10 cannabis plants, British police told Agence France-Presse, shortly before the world premiere of the latest movie in the series, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”

Jamie Waylett, 19, who plays schoolboy bully Vincent Crabbe, will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in central London on July 16 “charged with producing a class B drug, namely 10 plants of cannabis,” police said.

Mr. Waylett appears as the overweight, greedy and dimwitted sidekick of villain Draco Malfoy in all of the films about the boy wizard.

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

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