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Get the latest Hollywood scoop from CNN's Dennis Michael!
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Web posted on:
Wednesday, November 04, 1998 4:50:34 PM EST

Today's buzz stories:


Lucas to film Star Wars prequels Down Under

SYDNEY (CNN) -- George Lucas announced on Wednesday the second and third installments of the "prequel series" to Star Wars will be filmed in Australia. The first prequel, "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace," was filmed in Britain last year, and is currently in post-production in California. It's due to be released in May 1999.

Lucas said shooting on the next two Star Wars films was scheduled to begin in Sydney in the year 2000. He also told reporters that he was beginning to understand the impression his first three "Star Wars" movies have made on millions of viewers, claiming his 5-year-old son is a "Star Wars" fanatic and wants all the toys. "I'm beginning to see what most people have been going through," Lucas says.

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McLachlan wins judge's ruling in copyright lawsuit

VANCOUVER (CNN) -- A judge on Tuesday ruled in favor of Sarah McLachlan in an early round of a lawsuit filed by one of her former bandmates. Darryl Neudorf claims he co-authored four songs from the 1988 "Touch" album, which was not originally a big seller but helped McLachlan land a U.S. recording contract. Neudorf wanted two members of McLachlan's former band October Game to testify, but the judge ruled against it, saying it was only "marginally relevant" to Neudorf's claim. McLachlan, 30, played with the band in the 1980s while a teen-ager in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has since become a music star with albums such as "Surfacing." and through organizing the Lilith Fair, an all-female music tour.

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"Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood"

Bob Trow of 'Mister Rogers' fame dead at 72

PITTSBURGH (CNN) -- Bob Trow, a regular performer for some 30 years on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," died Monday of a heart attack at his home in New Alexandria. He was 72. Trow portrayed Robert Troll, Bob Dog and himself on "Mister Rogers," and taped his final appearances just last week. The episodes will air in February as part of a lesson on noisy and quiet.

"He was an enormous talent, and for him to have been able to offer that to children through the neighborhood all through these years was a great gift," said Fred Rogers, whose children's show is produced at Pittsburgh public TV station WQED. "One of the last things he said to me was, 'Thank you for having me, Fred,'" Rogers recalled.

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Sad Songs: Bernie Taupin files for separation from wife

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Bernie Taupin, who has penned the lyrics to many of Elton John's top hits, filed for a legal separation from his wife on Tuesday, citing "irreconcilable differences." In papers submitted to Los Angeles County Superior Court, he asked that wife Stephanie return clothing, jewelry and other gifts he gave her. The two married August 21, 1993 and have no children.

Taupin and John created such songs as "Daniel," "Your Song," and "Sacrifice." Taupin also updated the lyrics to "Candle in the Wind," which John performed at Princess Diana's funeral. That version became the best-selling single of all time.

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Traveling vest keeps Night Ranger guitarist smiling

MILL VALLEY, California (CNN) -- Night Ranger guitarist Jeff Watson says one of his vests -- stolen from his dressing room during a summer concert in Wyoming -- is the focus of an ongoing gag. Someone has been sending the musician Polaroid photos of his yellow checkered vest, accompanied by letters written from the vest's point of view at various tourist sites.

The most recent postcard was from Big Ben in London. "Oy, matey," it read. "I've just made it over the 'pond,' and enjoying it very much. Next stop, the Continent. Always yours, the Vest."

Watson has also received letters and postcards from the Space Needle in Seattle, a Titanic exhibit in Boston and Conan O'Brien's "Late Night" show in New York. "My vest is having a more successful tour than I did," said Watson, whose group is best known for the '80s hit "Sister Christian." Watson thinks the practical joke is likely the work of a fan club member.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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