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Showbuzz

Today's buzz stories:

April 2, 1999
Web posted at: 2:54 p.m. EST (1954 GMT)

On the set of "Baywatch"

Will 'Baywatch' team say Aloha to Hawaii?

HONOLOLU (CNN) -- The spectacular beaches and verdant mountains of Hawaii may yet become the new locale for the television series "Baywatch." After up-and-down negotiations between show producers, local unions, and state officials, Gov. Ben Cayetano planned an official announcement Friday about "Baywatch"'s next home.

TV news reports in Hawaii suggested a deal to move the syndicated show to Hawaii had been finalized and that a contract with the local Teamsters union had been worked out.

"Baywatch" producers reportedly wanted Hawaii's movie and television industry drivers to accept an 11 percent wage cut. Teamsters Local 399 director Leo Reed said Thursday there will be no wage cut. But he indicated there would be some concecessions, including fewer drivers than usually required, and no vacation pay.

Other unions representing actors, directors and stage hands have already agreed to make concessions.

"Baywatch," which features actor David Hasselhoff, has been filmed in Los Angeles for the past nine years. If plans to shoot the series in Hawaii fall through, Australia may become the new location for the show.

Hawaiian officials have courted "Baywatch" producers with an incentive package including free airfare, hotel rooms and cars, other perks such as tax incentives and free location access, and $1.7 million in improvements for the Hawaii Film Studio and the Haleiwa Recreation Center.

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Robbins

Actor Tim Robbins on political protest and parenthood

NEW YORK CITY (CNN) -- Actor Tim Robbins' upcoming movie "Arlington Road," about a home-grown anti-government terrorist, is sure to jump-start a few political discussions, and that's just the way Robbins likes it. In an interview for the April 2-4 issue of USA Weekend magazine, Robbins said he grew up in a politically active family, and feels a duty to raise a stink.

The fictional story in "Arlington Road" echoes the Oklahoma City bombing and raises questions about dometic terrorism. Robbins admitted that for people affected by the Oklahoma City bombing, "It'll be hard to watch. But anything that poses a question is helpful."

He adds that people prefer to think convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh acted alone, because "we sleep better that way ... But the truth is, there are people like him, armed to the teeth, waiting to overthrow the government."

Before making "Arlington," Robbins took off 18 months to be a stay-at-home dad, caring for his three children with actress Susan Sarandon. "Staying home was really great. I got to know my kids better. It was the little things -- being there after school, cooking them meals," he said.

Robbins and Sarandon live in New York City's Greenwich Village with their children, ages 6, 9 and 13.

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Ali

Ali's personal boxing ring finds a good home

DOWAGIAC, Michigan (CNN) -- Boxing great Muhammad Ali may have found a way to promote both boxing and school work, with the recent donation of his personal ring to the Dowagiac Boxing Club.

The club's goal is to keep teen-agers off the streets, and owner Larry Seurynck said having Ali's personal boxing ring will be a "vehicle to reach people."

The club opened last month, and although boxing is the main attraction, there will also be a study area in the 4,200-square-foot gym, with plans to bring in tutors and a counselor.

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Denver

John Denver home sale: Rocky Mountain high

ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) -- The mountain home of the late singer John Denver has sold for $3.68 million. Real estate agent Carol Dopkin would not identify the buyers, but said the 7-acre estate would be used as a family retreat and vacation home.

In the picturesque ski town of Aspen, where many celebrities own homes, some residents had suggested the mansion be turned into a museum to honor the singer and activist who died in 1997 when the homemade plane he was flying crashed. Denver was best known for songs like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Sunshine on My Shoulders."

The home has five bedrooms, a wall of stained glass, a steam room in the master suite, and a total of 6,800 square feet of living space.

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Movie star answers call of the wild

BUDAPEST (CNN) -- On location in Hungary's wooded Buekk Mountains, movie star Lujzi escaped from the bright lights of her glamorous profession to the dark reaches of the forest, according to the state news agency MTI. And men armed with dart guns were sent out to bring her back to her celebrity life.

An Austrian crew hired Lujzi, a brown bear, to make a nature documentary in the northeastern mountain range. Lujzi had previously starred in several other nature films.

"The bear is loose somewhere on the Buekk Plateau," Jozsef Duska, director of the Buekk National Park, told MTI Friday. The mountains are some 75 miles northeast of the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

Lujzi normally lives with 20 other bears, all retired "actors," in wooded area in Veresegyhaz, abut 25 miles northeast of Budapest.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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