Hospital releases blues singer Taylor

Hospital releasesblues singer Taylor
CHICAGO -- Blues singer Koko Taylor, who underwent angioplasty this week, was released from the hospital Thursday.
Taylor, known as the "Queen of the Blues," fainted last Sunday during a private function at her South Side nightclub. Doctors discovered a blocked artery, and the 66-year-old singer underwent angioplasty Tuesday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Taylor, a diabetic, also suffers from hypertension and diverticulitis, an intestinal ailment. She has been nominated seven times for Grammy awards and won in 1984.
Harden to announceOscar nominees
LOS ANGELES -- Marcia Gay Harden, who won the supporting-actress Oscar last year, will help announce nominees for the upcoming Academy Awards.
Harden and Frank Pierson, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will unveil nominations Feb. 12 for the 74th awards show, the academy said Thursday.
Last year, Harden won an Oscar for "Pollock" as artist Lee Krasner, wife of abstract painter Jackson Pollock. The film's star and director, Ed Harris, was nominated for best actor.
This year's Oscars will be awarded March 24 at the ceremony's new home in Hollywood, the Kodak Theatre.
Oscar-winner Croweplans to be a presenter
Russell Crowe, likely to earn a third straight Oscar nomination as best actor, also will make his third appearance as a presenter at this year's Academy Awards. Last year, Crowe won the best-actor Oscar for "Gladiator." The year before, he was nominated for "The Insider." The 37-year-old actor probably will be nominated again for "A Beautiful Mind," in which he stars as Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash, who struggled with schizophrenia. The role earned Crowe a Golden Globe this month.
Douglas donates $2.5M to renovation
Stage work may have disappointed Kirk Douglas, but he hasn't forgotten theater's role in launching his movie career. The 85-year-old "Spartacus" star is donating $2.5 million to renovate a dilapidated Culver City cinema into a 500-seat theater for plays managed by the Center Theatre Group.
"The point of the theater is to give young talent a chance to develop," Douglas said. The drama group still needs to raise $5.5 million. If the money comes through, the 1947 Culver Theater building, which is a historical landmark, will be renamed the Kirk Douglas Theatre when the complex reopens in 2004.
Publishing conventionto feature big names
NEW YORK -- This year's BookExpo America could well resemble an affair of state.
Former Vice President Al Gore, Queen Noor of Jordan and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani are among those expected at the publishing industry's annual national convention, scheduled to be held in New York in early May.
The guests, of course, will have a product to promote. Al and Tipper Gore are co-authors of a book about families. Queen Noor is writing a memoir, and Giuliani has a book coming out about leadership.
"It's the first time the convention has been in New York in years, so publishers want to make a big splash," convention show manager Greg Topalian said Wednesday. "Also, because of Sept. 11, people know the show is going to be something special."
Others attending include actors Christopher Reeve and John Lithgow, playwright Tony Kushner, and novelists Pat Conroy, Jean Auel and Walter Mosley.
BookExpo America runs May 2-5. The convention, which had been held in Chicago over the past few years, had been booked into New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center well before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Today's birthdays
Comedian Joey Bishop is 84. Actor John Fiedler is 77. Comedian Shelley Berman is 76. Senate Banking Chairman Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., is 69. Football Hall-of-Famer Fran Tarkenton is 62. Actress Bridget Hanley is 61. Singer Dennis Edwards is 59. Football Hall-of-Famer Bob Griese is 57. Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) is 55. Singer Melanie is 55. Actress Morgan Fairchild is 52. Actor Nathan Lane is 46. Rock musician Lee Renaldo (Sonic Youth) is 46. Actor Thomas Calabro is 43. Actor-director Keith Gordon is 41. Actress Michele Greene is 40. Country singer Matraca Berg is 38.

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