Celebrity news

December 10, 2004

Britain pays honor to actor John Hurt

LONDON (AP) - John Hurt was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire - and chatted with Queen Elizabeth II about the life of an actor.

"The queen insinuated that it was an interesting profession and that I'd been at it for some time. She said how fascinating it was," he told reporters after Thursday's ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Hurt, 64, said his CBE, given for services to drama, was "like a very high compliment. I'm very grateful and delighted."

Hurt, who trained at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts, has appeared in more than 60 films including "The Elephant Man," "Midnight Express" and "A Man for All Seasons."


He said his favorite role was as Quentin Crisp in the 1975 TV drama, "The Naked Civil Servant."

"That did it for me. It was a fantastic script," he said.

Singer Littrell signs Christian record deal

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) - Backstreet Boys member Brian Littrell has signed a deal with Christian label Provident Music Group's Reunion Records.

"This has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little boy, singing in church in Kentucky," Littrell said Wednesday.

Littrell, 29, said that singing with the Backstreet Boys was a "12-year steppingstone" to making his decision, and he hoped fans will realize through his music "that standing up for what you believe in is what's important."

He will release the single "In Christ Alone" on an upcoming WOW Christian Music compilation album next year. That will be followed with the debut of his solo album on the Franklin-based label.

Littrell also plans to tour with the Backstreet Boys, who are scheduled to end a three-year hiatus with a new project in March.

Their manager, Johnny Wright, said the group wasn't breaking up - just taking the opportunity to do solo projects.

Nick Carter is the only member to release a solo album, 2002's "Now or Never."

Latest 'Godzilla' also the most expensive

TOKYO (AP) - It won't be immediately clear whether "Godzilla: Final Wars," which opened in Japan last week, has broken any box office records. But the giant radioactive reptile's 28th film already has set the bar higher in one way - its cost.

Toho Co. executive producer Shogo Tomiyama said the studio shelled out $19.3 million, small by Hollywood standards, but twice that of any of Toho's past Godzilla movies.

"We wanted to make the best Godzilla movie ever," Tomiyama explained Wednesday at a news conference.

Marking Godzilla's 50th anniversary, "Final Wars" has the movie monster traveling around the world to fight old foes.

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