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Kline takes note of life and death



Published: Sun, November 11, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Kline takes noteof life and death

LOS ANGELES -- In a new film, "Life as a House," Kevin Kline's character bravely faces impending death, spending his final months building his dream home and patching things up with his estranged family.

But in real life, Kline says, "I live in mortal fear every day. I think we all do. You know, our culture is built around denial of death. It's something that's there, like taxes. It's going to happen to all of us, and we tend not to think of it. Unlike other religions and other cultures that dwell on it."

Kline has said he lost 25 pounds to play the part.

His secrets to losing weight for the role?

"Ate less. Exercised more," the 54-year-old actor told reporters recently. "I had a wonderful nutritionist-trainer who had also worked with Tom Hanks on 'Philadelphia' and 'Cast Away.' And he knew just what I could eat to still be nourished and healthy and knew how to train me three or four times a week to burn up what few calories I ingested."

Ratzenberger rantsabout TV, radio content

LOS ANGELES -- "Monsters, Inc." is more John Ratzenberger's speed than what he sees on television and hears on the radio.

"The language, the content, and when children are listening to this stuff, whether it's from TV or the radio, why shouldn't they get the impression that this is OK; that this is normal," said Ratzenberger. "Well, it's not normal."

Ratzenberger is the voice of Yeti in the G-rated "Monsters, Inc.," which had the biggest debut ever for an animated film, grossing $62.5 million in its first three days and out-earning the $57.4 million recorded by 1999's "Toy Story 2."

The 54-year-old actor, who played Cliff Clavin on the 1982-93 NBC sitcom "Cheers," said he hopes the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will lead to better TV programming.

"What should happen is that we'll start honoring the people who actually hold this country together. When you look at what happened Sept. 11, those firemen that ran into that building didn't think for a second about whether they should do that or not."

He added, "I think that we'll probably see less shows about whining Yuppies."

Has Maher's mouthdoomed his show?

NEW YORK -- Bill Maher said he expects that his late-night talk show won't be around much longer.

The opinionated host of ABC's "Politically Incorrect" said his criticism of the U.S. military after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has hurt his relationship with the network.

"Could we keep working together? Yeah, but there'd still be that tension and that conflict," Maher told Talk magazine for its December/January issue.

"They're not going to change and I'm not going to change. ... After this whole thing I'm not expecting to be here after my contract runs out in 2002 -- if we make it that long."

On his Sept. 17 show, Maher said: "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building -- say what you want about that, it's not cowardly."

Maher's words prompted Sears and FedEx to pull their ads from the show, and several local affiliates dropped "Politically Incorrect" from their schedules. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the remarks should remind Americans to watch what they say.

The 45-year-old host later apologized "to anyone who took it wrong," and said his comments were aimed at political leaders.

Today's birthdays

Former Sen. William Proxmire, D-Wis., is 86. Author Kurt Vonnegut is 79. Comedian Jonathan Winters is 76. Jazz singer-musician Mose Allison is 74. Jazz-country musician Hank Garland is 71. Country singer Narvel Felts is 63. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is 61. Singer Jesse Colin Young is 57. Rock singer-musician Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge) is 56. Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller is 50. Pop singer-musician Paul Cowsill (The Cowsills) is 49. Rock singer-musician Andy Partridge (XTC) is 48. Singer Marshall Crenshaw is 47. Rock singer Dave Alvin is 46. Rock musician Ian Marsh (Human League; Heaven 17) is 45. Actor Stanley Tucci is 41. Actress Demi Moore is 39. Actress Calista Flockhart is 37. Actor Philip McKeon is 37. Rock musician Scott Mercado is 37. Actor David DeLuise is 30. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is 27.




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