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Web posted on:
Thursday, November 19, 1998 4:36:29 PM EST

Today's buzz stories:


The sound of music silenced?

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The voice that brought us "The Sound of Music" might never be heard singing anything in public again, according to Parade magazine. Actress Julie Andrews had surgery more than a year ago to remove non-cancerous throat nodules. Her voice hasn't been the same since, her husband director Blake Edwards, told the magazine for an item in this Sunday's issue.

"She was told she'd be OK in six weeks, the voice would actually be better," Edwards said. "It's over a year, and if you heard it, you'd weep. It's an absolute tragedy."

Andrews starred in the movie versions of "Mary Poppins" and "The Sound of Music," and in the original Broadway versions of "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot." "Victor/Victoria," one of seven films she made with Edwards, in October 1995 was turned into a Broadway musical that earned her a Tony Award nomination.

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Disney halts big-budget Robin Williams flick

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Disney has temporarily postponed the production of a Robin Williams movie because of its hefty budget. Williams was to begin shooting "Bicentennial Man" early next year with Christopher Columbus, who directed him in the hit "Mrs. Doubtfire." But Disney grew concerned when its budget hit the $100 million range, and put a halt to production. A Disney executive said the movie could still come about if the costs can be trimmed.

"Bicentennial Man" is based on an Isaac Asimov short story about a robot so intrigued by humans that it spends 200 years trying to become one. Williams was to play the robot.

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Bardot backs Woofie

PARIS (CNN) -- Former film actress Brigitte Bardot has gotten involved in a campaign to save a dog in Scotland. Woofie the collie was ordered to be destroyed in September after owner Terence Swankie of Peterhead, northeastern Scotland, admitted a breach of the Dangerous Dogs Act, accepting his pet was "dangerously out of control in a public place." A "save Woofie" campaign was launched and an appeal was lodged, which will be heard in Scotland's High Court on Friday. Bardot will attend the event.

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Opera star Jessye Norman denied chance to sue magazine

LONDON (CNN) -- An appeals court ruled Thursday against opera star Jessye Norman in her bid to sue a magazine for libel over a remark about her size that she called "vulgar and undignified." In a 1994 profile of Miss Norman, Classic CD magazine said that when she became trapped in some swinging doors on the way to a concert and was advised to turn sideways to free herself, she replied: "Honey, I ain't got no sideways."

The singer contended she never uttered the remark, which she said held her up to ridicule, mockery and contempt because it conformed to a "degrading racist stereotype of a person of African-American heritage." But Lord Justice Peter Gibson ruled that the remark could never convey the defamatory meanings she suggested.

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Will Smith a 'soldier' of love

(CNN) -- Will Smith tells USA Weekend he focuses "like a soldier" on his marriage with Jada Pinkett Smith. "You've got to work at it," says the actor, whose latest film "Enemy of the State" opens Friday. "When we're together, I'm her mate, I'm her security guard, I'm her cook. I'm everything. You have to focus on everything in your life with a type of military intensity."

Smith says his dad, an Air Force veteran, is a great influence in that regard. Smith also told the paper that his schooling helped him develop a well-rounded sense of humor. "I went to school with white people for nine years (Catholic), and then all black people for three years (public)," Smith says. "Comedically, that helped me, because I have a great understanding of what black people think is funny, and what white people think is funny."

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