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December 28, 2004

Carlin enters rehab over wine, Vicodin


LOS ANGELES (AP) - George Carlin is entering a drug rehabilitation facility to shake his dependence on wine and a painkiller.

"I'm going into rehab because I use too much wine and Vicodin," the 67-year-old Carlin said in a statement released Monday by his publicist, Jeff Abraham. "No one told me I needed this. I recognized the problem and took the step myself."

The name and location of the facility weren't disclosed.

The stand-up comedian - and author of the best-selling book "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?" - said he's never been treated in a rehabilitation facility.

"I know it isn't easy, but I'm highly motivated, and will do whatever's needed," he said in the statement. "My levels of use are nowhere near the worst you hear about these days. I could easily have continued functioning at a good level for a while, but my use would have progressed.

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"I would have been in deeper trouble and I didn't want to tolerate that."




Bobby Vinton nixes plans for tribute


CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Roses are red, my love, violets are blue. Sugar is sweet, my love, but a $100,000 tribute is too much ado.

That's the message Bobby Vinton has for Canonsburg, the crooner's former hometown, in nixing plans for a statue and tribute to him.

A group led by borough Councilwoman Jean Popp, who graduated from Canonsburg High School with Vinton in 1952, had hoped to raise $100,000 - $70,000 for the statue and another $30,000 to publicize its dedication, including banquets, printed materials and souvenirs.

But the 69-year-old Vinton, a '60s pop idol perhaps best known for the love song "Roses Are Red," e-mailed borough manager Terry Hazlett saying he wouldn't support the effort.

"I feel that a tribute of this magnitude, with all that is going on the world, and to ask the community to raise $100,000, is inappropriate," Vinton wrote. He also noted that the honor is "premature" because he hasn't retired.

Popp says the effort can't go forward without Vinton's blessing. She said she's disappointed, but understood his position.

"The way he said it, that there are so many other different things that are more important ... I have a lot of respect for the man," Popp said.




Rossum's choice appears to pay off


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Golden Globe nominee Emmy Rossum picked the opera house over the classroom and hasn't looked back.

At 12, she had to choose between spending less time at New York's Metropolitan Opera, where she had been singing in the children's chorus, and severing ties at the upscale all-girl Spence School. Her decision appears to have paid off.

Rossum, 18, has been receiving rave reviews for her work in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera."

She portrays Christine, a young soprano at the Paris Opera who becomes caught up in the teaching and music of the mysterious phantom.

Her screen credits also include "Mystic River" and "The Day After Tomorrow."




Carradine: I inspired 'Kill Bill' character


CHICAGO (AP) - David Carradine says he inspired the title role in the "Kill Bill" movies, but the part was originally written for Warren Beatty.

Carradine explained during an interview with the Chicago Tribune earlier this year that Beatty initially landed the role but director Quentin Tarantino kept instructing him to act like Carradine.

"Then the part comes to me and it fits like a glove because it's actually written about me," Carradine said. "All I had to do was show up and learn the lines."

An excerpt of the interview, which was conducted while Carradine was promoting "Kill Bill: Vol. 2," was published Sunday.

Carradine starred in the '70s TV series "Kung Fu" and "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" in 1992.

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