Portugal honors U2 for humanitarian work
LISBON, Portugal -- Members of the Irish rock band U2 received Portugal's Order of Liberty, one of the country's highest honors, at a formal ceremony held before their concert Sunday in the Portuguese capital. President Jorge Sampaio presented the medals to Bono, shown above, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen in recognition of their work for humanitarian causes over the past 25 years, including heightening awareness on the debt issues facing developing countries. U2 played at a Live Aid concert for Ethiopian famine relief two decades ago, and last month took part in the Live 8 concerts aimed at pressuring leaders of the world's richest nations to increase aid to Africa. The award ceremony was held at the presidential palace in Lisbon. Sunday was the final European date on the band's Vertigo tour.
New pope helps actorwho plays John Paul II
LOS ANGELES -- The actor who plays Pope John Paul II in a new cable movie needed help from the new pope to obtain a visa to the United States for a publicity visit. Piotr Adamcyzk plays the late pope in the Hallmark Channel movie "A Man Who Became Pope," which airs tonight. The 33-year-old actor was having trouble leaving Italy for New York when Pope Benedict XVI intervened. The new pope had recently screened the movie for Roman Catholic cardinals, bishops, priests and other church officials. They were so impressed with Adamcyzk's portrayal that when they heard of the actor's trouble getting a visa, they stepped in to make his U.S. publicity trip possible. Adamcyzk was living in Poland when Karol Wojtyla was elected pope in 1978. During the pope's first visit to Warsaw, the 6-year-old future actor stood on a crowded street to catch a glimpse of John Paul II. The pope walked over to Adamcyzk, placed his hands on the child's head and blessed him. Years later, Adamcyzk met with John Paul II before starring in the movie. "I felt like that 6-year-old boy all over again," Adamcyzk said.
'Brothers' star to be dad
Those gasps you heard at the Los Angeles premiere of Heath Ledger's new film? They were because his girlfriend, Michelle Williams, former bad girl on "Dawson's Creek," is in a family way. As the couple walked down the red carpet for the premiere of "The Brothers Grimm," Williams clearly had a baby on board. The truly observant also noticed the actress, 24, was sporting a diamond ring on her left hand. The couple met last summer on the set of the soon-to-be-released gay cowboy film "Brokeback Mountain."
LOS ANGELES -- Lyle Murphy, who went by the nickname "Spud," a prolific Hollywood composer and arranger best known for developing a composing system widely used by professional musicians, died Aug. 5,colleagues said. He was 96.
LOS ANGELES -- Alexander Golitzen, an art director and production designer who shared Academy Awards for his work on 1943's "Phantom of the Opera," 1960's "Spartacus" and 1962's "To Kill a Mockingbird" during a career that spanned decades, died July 26 of congestive heart failure. He was 97.
Actress Rose Marie is 82. Political activist Phyllis Schlafly is 81. Rhythm-and-blues singer Bill Pinckney (The Drifters) is 80. Actress Lori Nelson is 72. Singer-producer Bobby Byrd is 71. Civil rights activist Vernon Jordan is 70. Actor Jim Dale is 70. Actress Pat Priest is 69. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is 67. Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee is 61. Songwriter Jimmy Webb is 59. Britain's Princess Anne is 55. Actress Tess Harper is 55. Actress Debra Messing is 37. Actor Anthony Anderson is 35. Actor Ben Affleck is 33. Actress Natasha Henstridge is 31.