Connery, Dench top listof British film legends
LONDON -- Sean Connery and Judi Dench top a survey of British film legends by Sky television to mark the 77th Academy Awards, to be presented tonight in Hollywood, Calif. More than 2,000 people were interviewed for the survey by the satellite broadcaster. The results were released Friday. The list of actors: Connery, Anthony Hopkins, Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Cary Grant, John Mills, Richard Attenborough and Peter Sellers. The list of actresses: Dench, Julie Walters, Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Mirren, Julie Andrews, Maggie Smith, Thora Hird, Vanessa Redgrave, Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson.
Manilow opens to a crowd
LAS VEGAS -- Barry Manilow has opened his new Las Vegas Hilton show to the public, crooning favorites such as "Mandy," "Copacabana" and "It's a Miracle." Elton John and Steve Wynn were among those in the full-house audience of 1,700 last week as Manilow belted out familiar tunes and a new offering, called "Here's to Las Vegas." "Manilow: Music and Passion" is booked for 24 weeks. Including breaks, it is due to run into 2006. The 58-year-old entertainer has a desert home a short distance away in Palm Springs, Calif.
Odds favor country girlfor next 'American Idol'
LOS ANGELES -- Carrie Underwood is no "American Idol" underdog. In fact, the 21-year-old Oklahoma native with the voice made for country is the competition's favorite, according to odds supplied by online oddsmakers BetWWTS.com. The set of odds, established in the immediate aftermath of the first set of "American Idol" eliminations Wednesday night, have Underwood as an 11/4 favorite. Mario Vazquez, a 27-year-old New Yorker who wowed the judges with a Michael Jackson cover, was the second pick with 7/2 odds. Anwar Robinson and Vonzell Solomon, both gifted with much early exposure, were a joint third choice at 6/1. The good people at BetWWTS.com are much less enthusiastic about Joseph Murena and Janay Castine, both long shots at 50/1. Things also don't look particularly good for Celena Rae, installed at 35/1. Lest you doubt the oddsmakers' credibility, the odds at the start of the Final 12 last "American Idol" season had Fantasia Barrino as the top choice and Diana DeGarmo as a popular second option. BetWWTS.com also tapped Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken as early favorites. The next round of "American Idol" performances begins Monday with four more eliminations next Wednesday.
Newhart on 'Housewives'
NEW YORK -- Comedy legend Bob Newhart will make his way to Wisteria Lane later this season. The five-time Emmy nominee is set to make an appearance on ABC's "Desperate Housewives" in April. He films his guest spot next week. Newhart will play Morty, the estranged boyfriend of Susan Mayer's (Teri Hatcher) mother, Sophie (previously announced guest star Lesley Ann Warren). Susan invites Morty to visit in hopes that he and Sophie will reconcile and her mother won't move in with her. Newhart's most recent Emmy nomination came last year for a guest-starring arc on NBC's "ER." He also earned three acting nominations for his 1980s series "Newhart" and a writing nod in the early '60s for his eponymous sketch-comedy show. (Oddly enough, he never was nominated for "The Bob Newhart Show" in the 1970s.) More recently, he's appeared in the feature films "Elf" and "Legally Blonde 2" and the TNT movie "The Librarian: Quest for the Spear."
Hawk to be 'CSI' corpse
LOS ANGELES -- Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk is set to turn up on CBS' Monday night drama "CSI: Miami." Unfortunately, Hawk is going to turn up as a corpse. In the episode, set to air March 21, Hawk will play Jake Sullivan, a skater and video game tester who the CSI crew believes may have been murdered. This leads the team deep into the world of video game production, which is apparently much scarier than previously thought. One of the most recognizable figures in the history of extreme sports, Hawk has gone from skater to brand name. Although he has returned from competitive skating, after winning 10 career gold medals at ESPN's X-Games, Hawk continues to do exhibitions and demonstrations. His video game series is one of the most popular in the business and his list of television guest starring appearances includes "The Simpsons," "LAX" and "Complete Savages." The Tony Hawk Foundation donates more than $400,000 a year to setting up skateparks in low income neighborhoods around the country. For the season, "CSI: Miami" is averaging 19.06 million viewers per week.
Actress Joanne Woodward is 75. Actress Elizabeth Taylor is 73. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is 71. Actress Barbara Babcock is 68. Actor Howard Hesseman is 65. Actress Debra Monk is 56. Rock singer-musician Neal Schon (Journey) is 51. Rock musician Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) is 48. Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) is 45. Basketball Hall-of-Famer James Worthy is 44. Actor Adam Baldwin is 43. Actor Grant Show is 43. Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) is 40. Actor Donal Logue is 39. R & amp;B singer Chilli (TLC) is 34. Rock musician Jeremy Dean (Nine Days) is 33. R & amp;B singer Roderick Clark is 32. Chelsea Clinton is 25. R & amp;B singer Bobby Wilson (Mista) is 25. Singer Josh Groban is 24.