- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Surgery for Liz

Elizabeth Taylor says she’s headed to the hospital for a heart procedure.

The 77-year-old actress told her followers on Twitter that she is to undergo a “very new” procedure to improve heart function that “involves repairing my leaky valve using a clip device” rather than open-heart surgery.”

“Any prayers you happen to have lying around I would dearly appreciate,” Miss Taylor wrote Tuesday, adding that she plans to inform her 155,944 Twitter followers when the procedure is complete. She did not say when or where she is having treatment.

A representative for Miss Taylor did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment, Associated Press reported.

Game on for Bowie

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and MTV Games on Tuesday revealed that its Lego Rock Band for Nintendo DS will feature the likeness of pop star David Bowie as a Lego minifigure.

Fans can play along as the Thin White Duke sings one of his biggest hits, “Let’s Dance,” which will be included in the play list.

All versions of the game — which was developed by TT Games in partnership with Harmonix for the Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii - are scheduled to hit store shelves in time for this year’s holiday season.

Authors awarded

A critical work on black intellectuals and an anthology of the late Chicano poet Jose Antonio Burciaga are among this year’s winners of American Book Awards, Associated Press reports.

The awards, now in their 30th year, are given for outstanding work of multicultural literature and are sponsored by the Before Columbus Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization.

Recipients announced Tuesday include Houston A. Baker’s “Betrayal: How Black Intellectuals Have Abandoned the Ideals of the Civil Rights Era,” “The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: Selected Works of Jose Antonio Burciaga” and Claire Hope Cummings‘ “Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds.”

Careless whispers

Singer George Michael is denying reports that his relationship with long-term companion Kenny Goss is over — branding reports that the pair secretly split at Christmas after 13 years together “a complete fabrication,” London’s Daily Mail said.

The newspaper claimed that Mr. Goss, an art gallery owner, called off the relationship after growing tired of Mr. Michael’s promiscuous behavior and heavy drug use.

However, a spokesperson for Mr. Michael told the Daily Mail Online, “There is no truth in the matter at all. Kenny has been away in Dallas, where he owns a gallery, but is scheduled to return home this Friday. They are planning a lovely weekend together,” the spokesperson said.

According to the Daily Mail, the pair were last seen in public in London in February.

Mr. Michael, 46, has insisted in the past that he had an open relationship with Mr. Goss, 50. However, the ‘80s pop star and former member of the group Wham! has often been caught out for erratic, drug-induced antics during the course of their relationship, which began in 1996.

The singer was famously arrested for lewd behavior in 1998 after an incident in a public restroom in Beverly Hills and later was sentenced to community service. In February 2006, he was arrested for possession of a class C drug and was caught in the bushes with a van driver on Hampstead Heath five months later. That same year, he also was found unconscious in a car.

In May 2007, he was caught driving while under the influence of drugs and banned from the road for two years. This past August — just two months after finally regaining his license - he again was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Mr. Michael insisted at the time that he was “stone cold sober.”

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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