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'Star Wars' creator opens new headquarters in Calif.



Published: Mon, June 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



'Star Wars' creator opensnew headquarters in Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO -- "Star Wars" creator George Lucas opened the doors to his sprawling new Lucasfilm Ltd. complex in style, with 2,000 guests entertained by Chris Isaak, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs and the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart.

The bash celebrated the move of the company to the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio, a former military base and national park in San Francisco. Guests Saturday included California's two U.S. senators and four San Francisco mayors.

"I see it as an opportunity to save the park," Lucas said. "I love the park. I did not want to see it turned into a shopping mall."

The classically designed 23-acre complex contains a few reminders of the "Star Wars" franchise: A stone fountain of Jedi master Yoda sits at the front door, and there's a Stormtrooper suit in the hallways.

Most of the buildings are filled with framed artwork from the serial adventure films and science fiction of Lucas' youth, like the 1958 B classic "The Blob" with Steve McQueen.

Lucas says he'll likely keep away from the center and instead focus on smaller film projects and developing a final "Indiana Jones" film.

"In terms of being a corporate executive, I'm pretty much tired," he said. "I'm going to focus on making movies."

Actor Clooney honored for art-house cinema work

LOS ANGELES -- Hollywood celebrated George Clooney with a career retrospective, shifting the spotlight from his swaggering superstar persona to his longtime support of emerging filmmakers and art-house cinema.

Among those cheering him at the Los Angeles Film Festival Saturday night were "Ocean's Eleven" co-star Don Cheadle, Oscar nominees Virginia Madsen and Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Emmy winner Allison Janney.

Clooney arrived at Saturday's event with actor Sam Rockwell.

"I've got to tell you something," Clooney joked to AP Television News. "He's one of the worst dates I've ever had."

While Clooney is best known for his work on TV's "ER" and in such big-budget films as "Batman & amp; Robin" and "The Perfect Storm," Saturday's event honored the 44-year-old actor's role in the world of independent cinema.

Behind the scenes, Clooney served as a producer of the Oscar-nominated "Far From Heaven" and he directed "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" as well as the upcoming McCarthy-era drama, "Goodnight, and Good Luck."

Clooney said his career has "always been a battle" between art and commerce.

"You try to do a little bit to make it that you can afford to do the things you are most passionate about," he said. "It's a trade-off. If you do it well, if you're lucky, you sort of bounce back and forth and you're about to sort of constantly go back and touch the things that are important to you."

Vanna White to receive star on Walk of Fame

LOS ANGELES -- There's a new venue for Vanna White's letter turning.

The "Wheel of Fortune" game show star will be unveiling the letters V-A-N-N-A W-H-I-T-E on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year.

She's among the dozens of celebrities who will be enshrined in 2006 with concrete stars along the celebrity sidewalk.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce released on Friday the eclectic list of Walk of Fame recipients, including White, Annette Bening, Matthew Broderick, Holly Hunter, William Hurt, Nathan Lane, Steve Martin, Charlize Theron, Ray Romano, Isaac Hayes and Motley Crue.

"Each name on this list will bring much happiness to our residents and tourists from around the world," Walk of Fame chairman and Hollywood honorary mayor Johnny Grant said.

Today's birthdays

Business executive Ross Perot is 75. The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, retired Army General John Shalikashvili, is 69. Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is 67. Singer-musician Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys) is 63. Actress Julia Duffy is 54. Actress Isabelle Adjani is 50. Country singer Lorrie Morgan is 46. Actor Brian Drillinger is 45. Actor Yancey Arias is 34. Actor Tobey Maguire is 30. Gospel singer Leigh Nash is 29. Actress Madylin Sweeten is 14.




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