Rock welcomes time delay
NEW YORK -- First-time Oscar host Chris Rock, a comedian known for his frequent use of expletives, says the five-second decency delay on the ABC show's Feb. 27 telecast will be a welcome "safety net." "I've been on TV and been funny not cursing," Rock says in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" newsmagazine, to air Sunday night. "As far as content is concerned, I will talk about the movies. I'm not really worried about it. I'm sure ABC is more worried about it than me." Gil Cates, the producer of the Oscar show, has expressed confidence in Rock, who suggested in a recent Entertainment Weekly magazine interview that no straight black men watch the telecast. "[A time delay is] a safety net. You know, you're a trapeze artist ... you welcome the net," Rock says. Rock also says that when he arrives on Oscar night, he may be traveling "small," without an entourage. The 39-year-old actor-comedian says that "with a posse, you're not letting the real world in. And if you don't let the real world in, you're not going to be funny."
Gibson's hot: Ask her
NEW YORK -- Eighties pop music sensation Debbie "Shake Your Love" Gibson says she's still hotter than longtime rival Tiffany. And skeptics need only eyeball the March issue of Playboy to see why. "Tiffany's Playboy pictorial a few years ago was very raw, while mine is more theatrical and stylized glitz and glamour," Gibson, 34, told the Miami Herald while partying at New York hot spot Marquee to celebrate the revelation of what was under those oversized blazers and high-tops. Gibson, who has since carved out a Broadway career as Deborah, says her favorite Playboy pictures are the ones where she is holding a microphone stand pretending to be "rock 'n' roll Barbie" and a cabaret takeoff in which she covers her "bits and bobs" with the trademark black bowler hat of her "Electric Youth." To no surprise, Gibson is timing her pictorial with the release of her new pop-rock single, aptly titled "Naked."
Broadway plans benefitto mark Sondheim's 75th
NEW YORK -- Broadway will celebrate composer Stephen Sondheim's 75th birthday with a gala benefit concert featuring a parade of theater stars. Among the performers expected to appear at the New Amsterdam Theatre on March 21, the day before Sondheim's 75th birthday, are Bernadette Peters, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Patti LuPone, Barbara Cook, Mandy Patinkin, Chita Rivera, Harvey Fierstein, Whoopi Goldberg, Audra McDonald, David Hyde Pierce, Dame Edna Everage and more. The evening is called "Children and Art," the title of a song from Sondheim's "Sunday in the Park With George." The show will benefit Young Playwrights Inc., an organization the composer helped found in 1981. Also appearing will be original cast members of several Sondheim shows including "Company," "Follies" and "Merrily We Roll Along," as well as a 35-piece orchestra, a 100-voice choir and the Young People's Chorus of New York.
MALIBU, Calif. -- Daniel O'Herlihy, an Oscar-nominated character actor whose 50-year career extended from the Irish stage to television and Hollywood movies including "Fail-Safe" and "RoboCop," has died. He was 85. O'Herlihy was nominated for a best actor Academy Award in 1954 for his starring role in "The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe." Marlon Brando won for "On the Waterfront" that year.
VOORHEES, N.J. -- Actor Brian Kelly, who starred as Porter Ricks in the popular 1960s' NBC television series "Flipper," has died. He was 73. Kelly died of pneumonia. After a number of guest appearances on "The Beverly Hillbillies," "The Rifleman" and other shows, he was cast as the father of two boys in "Flipper," which also starred a porpoise as the title character.
Singer Smokey Robinson is 65. Singer Bobby Rogers (Smokey Robinson & amp; the Miracles) is 65. Actress Carlin Glynn is 65. Singer Lou Christie is 62. Actor Michael Nader is 60. Rock musician Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) is 57. Actor Jeff Daniels is 50. Rock singer-musician Dave Wakeling is 49. Talk show host Lorianne Crook is 48. Britain's Prince Andrew is 45. Tennis Hall-of-Famer Hana Mandlikova is 43. Singer Seal is 42. Country musician Ralph McCauley (Wild Horses) is 41. Actress Justine Bateman is 39. Actor Benicio Del Toro is 38. Rock musician Daniel Adair (3 Doors Down) is 30. Pop singer-actress Haylie Duff is 20.