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Web posted on:
Wednesday, January 13, 1999 3:39:01 PM EST

Today's buzz stories:


Whoopi! Goldberg to host Oscars

BEVERLY HILLS, California (CNN) -- Whoopi Goldberg will host the 71st Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Tuesday. Goldberg will take over for fellow comic actor Billy Crystal, who has hosted the show six times. Crystal decided last week to pass on the 71st installment of the ceremony, according to the trade publications Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety. "Who would have thought that I would be hosting the last Oscar telecast of the century? It's a huge deal," Goldberg said.

Goldberg has emceed the show twice in the past five years. "The audience adores Whoopi and that affection, plus Whoopi's extraordinary talent makes her a terrific host for the show," Oscar producer Gil Cates said. Goldberg won a best supporting actress Oscar in 1991 for her role in "Ghost." She earned Emmy nominations for hosting the Oscars in 1994 and 1996. Crystal won an Emmy for his work in 1998. The Oscars will be handed out on March 21 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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Hoffman (left) leaves the Roybal Federal Building after the start of a trial where Hoffman filed suit against Los Angeles magazine for printing computer-generated images of the actor in a dress

Hoffman doesn't want his image used to sell dresses

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Actor Dustin Hoffman is suing Los Angeles magazine over a computer-generated photograph in a March 1997 fashion feature that showed him wearing a Ralph Lauren heels and a butter-colored silk dress designed by Richard Tyler -- with the prices listed. Hoffman, who won an Oscar for his cross-dressing role in the hit film "Tootsie," told U.S. District Judge Dickran Tevrizian he did not want his image used to sell dresses -- or anything else, for that matter. Images of celebrities cannot be used for commercial purposes without their permission.

"If I were to be asked to be a model selling clothes, it would be worth millions of dollars," Hoffman said in court on Tuesday. The two-time Oscar winner is seeking unspecified damages from the magazine and its parent, Capital Cities ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney Co. Lawyers for the magazine argued that the photo appeared in a news article, not an advertisement, and say they are protected under the free-speech provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

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Drew Carey suing over televised McDonald's meal

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Drew Carey is suing A&W Restaurants Inc., claiming they are refusing to pay him $600,000 in endorsement fees after he was shown eating at McDonald's on his TV show. In the lawsuit filed Friday, the star of "The Drew Carey Show" signed a contract last February to endorse A&W restaurants. The McDonald's episode ran in November. Not only is A&W refusing to pay him, it's also demanding Carey give back part of the $450,000 already spent on him, according to the lawsuit. Lawyers for A&W did not return calls seeking comment.

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Evel Knievel needs liver transplant

TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel was admitted to the hospital last week, and now needs a liver transplant. Knievel, 60, was admitted to Tampa General Hospital after suffering from dehydration and exhaustion, his doctor said. In a message posted on his Web site (, Knievel said he needed a new liver soon because he was suffering from Hepatitis C.

"We are awaiting a donor of a liver that will be a suitable match for my blood type, O positive, the most common type in this nation," Knievel said.

Knievel suffered dozens of broken bones during his daredevil career that peaked in the 1970s. In 1968, he crashed while trying to ride a motorcycle over the fountains at Caesar's Palace casino in Las Vegas and was in a coma for 30 days. In 1974, he tried to jump over the Snake River Canyon in Idaho in a rocket-powered vehicle. He landed by parachute at the bottom of the canyon.

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Reuters Limited contributed to this report.

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