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Web posted on:
Thursday, December 03, 1998 5:11:48 PM EST

Today's buzz stories:

Spielberg and Hanks

Spielberg, Hanks not through with WWII

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Tom Hanks is ready to produce another mini-series for HBO, and this time he's bringing a friend: filmmaker Steven Spielberg. The blockbuster pair, who teamed up this past summer with the gut-wrenching "Saving Private Ryan," will co-produce the 13-hour HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," about a U.S. Army unit in World War II, the network said Tuesday. No air date has been set.

The miniseries is based on Stephen Ambrose's nonfiction book about an Army rifle company that parachuted into France on D-Day. Ambrose also served as an adviser to "Saving Private Ryan." The miniseries may also include material from Ambrose's book, "Citizen Soldiers," which follows soldiers through the end of the war. Hanks produced the miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" for HBO this spring. It won an Emmy for best miniseries.

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Buffett homecoming benefits hurricane victims

MOBILE, Alabama (CNN) -- Jimmy Buffett is back home. The singer returned to Mobile, the city where he grew up, to perform a sold-out concert at the Mobile Civic Center to benefit victims of Hurricane Mitch in Central America and Hurricane Georges in the United States.

Before the concert, Buffett rode his bike through downtown Mobile, checking out the old haunts where he launched his career. Buffett was actually born in nearby Pascagoula, Mississippi, but later moved to Mobile. He rose to fame with songs like "Margaritaville" and "Cheeseburger in Paradise," while boasting a carefree attitude and sunscreen lifestyle.

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Jazz great Burrowes dead at 72

LONDON (CNN) -- American jazz trumpeter and composer Roy Burrowes died of lung cancer in a London hospital on Wednesday. He was 72, his widow said. Burrowes, who played with such greats as Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and Sonny Rollins, was born in Jamaica but gained U.S. citizenship in the 1950s and spent much of the last 50 years in New York. He was a member of Ellington's legendary band for more than two years in the 1960s and made 12 recordings with them. He also played for first lady of jazz Ella Fitzgerald and soul singer Aretha Franklin. Along with his widow, Burrowes leaves behind a daughter.

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'ER' star Kellie Martin engaged

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- It's been an eventful fall for actress Kellie Martin. She made her debut on "ER" this season, and now she's engaged to a Columbia University law student. Martin, 23, who has been in numerous television series -- most notably "Life Goes On" -- became engaged to J. Keith Christian, 24, on November 27, her publicist, Becca Kovacik, said Tuesday. A wedding date has not been set.

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The von Trapp family's story of escape from Austria was immoralized in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music"

Von Trapps honored as 'the most famous ambassadors of Austria'

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Members of the von Trapp family, the Austrian clan that inspired "The Sound of Music," were honored by the Austrian state of Salzburg on Wednesday. Dr. Arno Gasteiger, vice governor of Salzburg, presented six children of family patriarch Baron Georg von Trapp with the state's highest civilian honor, the Golden Decoration of Honor, at a New York hotel before attending a performance of the musical.

"The von Trapp family has been the most famous ambassadors of Austria in America," said Gasteiger, who praised the family for collecting tons of food and clothing for Austria after World War II. The von Trapps fled Salzburg in 1938 because the Nazis wanted the baron to join their navy. They eventually reached the United States, where their story inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that opened on Broadway in 1959 and was revived this year. The 1965 film version starred Julie Andrews.

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Reuters Limited contributed to this report.

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