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'Idol' tryout lands in jail



Published: Sat, January 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



'Idol' tryout lands in jail

MOBILE, Ala. -- One of the contestants on the new season of "American Idol" was in jail when his bizarre performance aired Tuesday night. Leroy Wells' audition for the Fox television talent competition was taped last summer in New Orleans. He bounced onstage while talking about sandblasting paint for a living at a shipyard near his home near Mobile. "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson told Wells: "Dog, you ain't right for this, man, but listen, we love you." A stunned Simon Cowell called the performance "ridiculous." Wells, 22, of Grand Bay, was arrested Jan. 5 on charges of assault and firing a weapon. Jail records show he's also awaiting trial on drug charges and has pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in 2004 and disorderly conduct in June 2003.

Swank suffered throughfoot pain during 'Baby'

NEW YORK -- While training for the boxing drama "Million Dollar Baby," Hilary Swank was nearly TKO'd -- by a foot infection. Swank, nominated for a best-actress Oscar for her performance in the Clint Eastwood-directed film, says a blister on her foot nearly led to her downfall. After popping the blister, Swank continued her rigorous workouts. But soon she was in intense pain and knew something was wrong. "I couldn't believe the pain," the 30-year-old actress says in an interview to air Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes" newsmagazine. "It was unbelievable and I looked down, there were streaks going to my foot. "So, I went to the doctor's that second and he looked at me and he said, 'This is really serious. And if you would have waited two more hours, you would have been in the hospital for three weeks -- and if it gets to your heart, that's it.'" Swank says she was diagnosed with a bacterial infection but never told Eastwood, also her co-star in the movie, because it wouldn't have been in character. Instead, she took several days of medicated rest and then returned to the ring. "I didn't tell Clint," she says. "The producers don't know ... because in the end, that's what happens to boxers: They get blisters, they get infected. They have injuries, and they keep pushing through it." Swank won an Oscar in 2000 for "Boys Don't Cry."

Singer Gibson bares all

NEW YORK -- Apparently, Debbie Gibson is trying to revive her electric youth. The '80s pop phenom, whose hits included "Foolish Beat" and "Into Your Eyes," bares it all in the March issue of Playboy, which hits stands Feb. 11, reports E!Online. The layout features a "well-defined, yet very sexy, feminine look" for Gibson and marks a departure from her squeaky-queen teen idol image of yore. Gibson, now 34 and known as Deborah, has turned down offers to pose nude in the past. "I was born in the wrong era," she told USA Today in 2001. "I'm not comfortable with showing everyone everything. I never say never though. I've said I'd never get a tattoo and I got one." It seems the "Out of the Blue" singer has upped her comfort levels in recent years -- and Playboy readers will no doubt be looking forward to checking out that tattoo she mentioned. Coinciding with her body-baring shoot, the singer will release her new, aptly named single, "Naked." She is also at work on a cover of Hall & amp; Oates' "Rich Girl," which will be on her upcoming album. Her last album, "M.Y.O.B.," was released in 2001.

Character actor is 100

LOS ANGELES -- Many movie and television viewers won't recognize his name, but they'd be hard-pressed to miss the face of character actor Charles Lane, who celebrated his 100th birthday Wednesday at his home in the Brentwood area. During a 60-year career, Lane appeared in about 800 feature films and TV shows. He played rent collector Charlie Lane in "It's a Wonderful Life" in 1946, Constable Locke in "The Music Man" in 1962, and numerous TV shows including "I Love Lucy," "Bewitched," "Gomer Pyle," "The Andy Griffith Show, "Mister Ed" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Notable death

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ray Peterson, whose 1960 hit "Tell Laura I Love Her" exemplified the teen tragedy song popular in early rock 'n' roll, has died. He was 65. Peterson, who was known as "The Golden Voice of Rock 'n' Roll," died this week at his home in Smyrna, a Nashville suburb, officials at Woodfin Memorial Chapel said. He had been suffering from cancer. Peterson's version of "The Wonder of You" reached the top 30 in 1959, and Elvis Presley later hit the pop charts with a cover version. But Peterson's signature hit was "Tell Laura I Love Her," which reached No. 7 on the Billboard chart.

Today's birthdays

Actor-singer John Raitt is 88. Actor John Forsythe is 87. Actor Noel Harrison is 71. Author Germaine Greer is 66. Actress Katharine Ross is 65. Actor Tom Selleck is 60. Actor Marc Singer is 57. Actress Ann Jillian is 55. Rock musician Tommy Ramone (Ramones) is 53. Rock musician Louie Perez (Los Lobos) is 52. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 51. Actress Diane Delano is 48. Country singer Irlene Mandrell is 48. Actress Judy Norton Taylor ("The Waltons") is 47. Rock musician Johnny Spampinato (NRBQ) is 46. Olympic gold-medal diver Greg Louganis is 45. Rock musician David Baynton-Power (James) is 44. Rock musician Eddie Jackson (Queensryche) is 44. Actor Nicholas Turturro is 43. Rock singer-musician Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) is 41. Actor-director Edward Burns is 37. Actress Heather Graham is 35. Actor Sharif Atkins is 30. Actress Sara Gilbert is 30. Actor Andrew Keegan is 26. Blues musician Jonny Lang is 24.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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