- - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Inquiry into Wood’s death finds no new evidence

No new evidence has been uncovered that would point to foul play in the death of Natalie Wood, authorities said Tuesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s chief of detectives William McSweeney told the Los Angeles Times that several weeks of interviews and other investigative work have not uncovered any evidence the death was a homicide. It was ruled an accident when it occurred.

Cold cases like Wood’s are never really closed, and detectives are still looking at some aspects of the case, Mr. McSweeney said. The investigation was reopened in November, when detectives said several sources came forward with new information.

Wood died sometime after the evening of Nov. 28, 1981, when the 43-year-old actress was boating off Catalina Island with her husband, Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken. The evening before the drowning, Wood had dinner at a restaurant on the island with Mr. Wagner and Mr. Walken, who was Wood’s co-star in the film “Brainstorm.”

Authorities said they returned to the yacht and had drinks and that Mr. Wagner and Mr. Walken got into an argument.

Mr. Walken went to bed, according to Mr. Wagner, who, after staying up with boat captain Dennis Davern, went looking for his wife and couldn’t find her on board. He then noticed that a dinghy that had been attached to the boat was gone, and so was his wife.

Lifeguard captain Roger Smith told the Times in November that the actress could have been saved if officials had been called sooner to search for her. Mr. Smith said he was alerted that Woods was missing at 5:11 a.m. the next day.

Based on the condition of her body when she was pulled from the water, Mr. Smith said he thinks she survived for some time in the water and was washed out to sea.

After 50 years, Shatner heads back to Broadway

William Shatner is boldly going back to where he once appeared - Broadway.

The actor, singer and writer best known as James T. Kirk on “Star Trek” will star in a one-man show called “Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It.” Previews begin Feb. 14, and it is running at the Music Box Theatre until March 4.

Producers said Tuesday, “The two-hour show will take audiences on a voyage through Shatner’s life and career, from Shakespearean stage actor to internationally known icon and raconteur.”

Mr. Shatner was last on Broadway in “A Shot in the Dark” in 1961. The former “T.J. Hooker” star won an Emmy for his work on “Boston Legal.”

His other Broadway credits include “Tamburlaine the Great” in 1956 and “The World of Suzie Wong” two years later.

Prince William, duchess gather gifts from well-wishers

The new Duchess of Cambridge was showered with gifts - from head to toe - on her first overseas visit as a member of the royal family.

Palace records show Canadian officials and well-wishers gave the former Kate Middleton hats, tartan and peacock fascinators (hair ornaments) and three pairs of shoes during her visit to the country with Prince William last year.

The couple’s office, Clarence House, has published lists of all the gifts the pair received on trips in 2011.

William’s haul included shirts, cuff links, a pilot’s helmet from a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force and a Canadian Ranger patrol knife.

Governor General David Johnson - the representative in Canada of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II - gave the couple a quilt, while Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper presented them with a woolen blanket, a framed photograph, souvenir edition Canadian magazines, two jackets, a bottle of whiskey and a Canadian flag.

A gift from Canada’s health minister was arguably more practical: two mosquito traps.

The royal couple, who married in April at Westminster Abbey in London, visited Canada and the U.S. between June 20 and July 10.

The American leg of the tour took in California, where they received an iPad from Gov. Jerry Brown and four coasters from the sheriff-coroner of Santa Barbara.

During a solo visit to Australia and New Zealand in March, William was given items including a papier-mache model of a cassowary - a large flightless bird - and a jar of the savory spread Vegemite.

Aretha Franklin to perform at Essence Music Festival

Newly engaged queen of soul Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Stephanie Mills and Charlie Wilson are among entertainers set to perform at this summer’s Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

The event, set for July 6 through 8, is billed as one of the largest gatherings of black artists in the country. Performances will be held at the Superdome, while seminars with speakers, artists and authors will take place at the city’s convention center.

This will be the 18th annual Essence Music Festival and the third time Miss Franklin has performed at the event. The festival began as a one-time event celebrating the 25th anniversary of Essence magazine.

Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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