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Showbuzz

Web posted on:
Wednesday, May 12, 1999 5:05:57 PM EST

Today's buzz stories:


Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn

Shocking Mia: Farrow on Allen and Previn's child

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Six years ago, actress Mia Farrow and film director Woody Allen split up. Farrow had discovered that Allen was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. Farrow was shocked.

Allen and Previn married. Now they have a daughter. Farrow's shocked again.

"I don't know how the courts permitted this," Farrow told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before a lecture Monday, "especially in light of a judge not allowing Mr. Allen to see his own children."

"I'm frightened for that infant," she added. "I guess if you have enough celebrity, you can snow anybody."

Allen, 63, and Previn, 28, got married in 1997, and publicly welcomed their daughter in April of this year. They haven't said whether the child is adopted, but Previn has not looked pregnant in recent photos.

Farrow says she's had no contact with either her estranged adopted daughter or her former lover. All told, Farrow has 10 adopted children among a total 14 kids.

"In the beginning, I tried to reach out to her," Farrow said of Previn, "but I decided it would be best for me and the rest of the children to just close ranks and protect ourselves. I'll probably never see her again."

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The Grateful Dead

Downloading the Dead: Live tracks on MP3

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Joining Tom Petty, Alanis Morissette and Public Enemy, the surviving members of legendary rock band the Grateful Dead have hopped onto the MP3 bandwagon, with some limits.

The attorney for surviving members of The Dead says the musicians will let their fans use MP3, the popular format for delivering and downloading music over the Internet, to distribute the band's live music.

In a statement, Grateful Dead attorney Eric Doney says, "This MP3 policy continues the band's long tradition of allowing free access to and trading of live recordings of their music and ensures that fans are not left with outmoded technology."

The decision applies only to the band's live tracks. The Dead embraced the limited use of MP3 after a dispute with a Web site that offered free Dead live tracks but made money off banner ads. So band members bassist Phil Lesh (bass), Mickey Hart (drummer) and Bob Weir (guitar), decided that anyone posting the band's MP3 files won't be allowed to do it for profit.

Some record labels and artists have been hesitant to embrace MP3, fearing that it encourages piracy and can eat into potential profits.

"The strict guidelines protect the Grateful Dead against the very real threat of pirated intellectual property posed by the trading and possible sale of MP3 files via the Internet," says Doney.

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Taylor

New lease on Liz: Taylor wants a comeback

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- After years of being known mostly for charity work, health problems and perfumes, Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor is looking to make a show-business comeback.

"I'm feeling better today than I have for years. Charity work and creating perfumes have been keeping me busy, but the positive reactions I've received from my recent public activities make me want to get back to work," the actress says in a statement.

Taylor, 67, won Oscars in 1960 for "Butterfield 8" and in 1966 for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." She's been bedeviled by health problems, including a broken back last year and lengthy recuperation from hip surgeries. She made her last film appearance in 1994 in "The Flintstones."

She's devoted herself to fundraising for AIDS research and to the marketing of her fragrances, White Diamonds and Passion.

But now, she's hired a new management firm, a new attorney, a new business adviser, and a new publicist.

"We met with her recently," says new manager Marion Rosenberg, "and she said that she wants to work, is very prepared and happy to do character work because, after all, 'Virginia Woolf' was a character role."

Taylor is to go to the Cannes Film Festival, to again host a fundraiser organized by the American Foundation for AIDS Research and Miramax Films.

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Springsteen

'Whitewashed windows and vacant stores' and no Springsteen statue

FREEHOLD, New Jersey (CNN) -- Bruce Springsteen may be good enough to merit a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he's looking too pricey for his New Jersey hometown.

Officials in Freehold have killed plans to erect a statue of The Boss because of its rising cost. The town estimated the statue to cost about $150,000, but the price is closer to $200,000, according to Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer.

Mayor Michael Wilson, who proposed the tribute, says the public isn't all that wild about the idea of a statue honoring the town's most famous son.

Springsteen, who called Freehold a town of "whitewashed windows and vacant stores" in his single "My Hometown," is touring with the E Street Band. No comment from his publicist or manager.

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Morning shows: Packing problems

NEW YORK (CNN) -- It may not be what George Bernard Shaw had in mind, but his saying seems ever so apt: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Just ask NBC's "Today" show and ABC's "Good Morning America."

Hosts from both shows have hit the road to drum up viewership in time for sweeps.

For a second year, NBC's "Where in the world is Matt Lauer?" promotion sends the anchorman on a weeklong mystery tour.

Lauer endured an uncomfortable night near Mount Everest, only to find himself blocked by the Indian government from travelling to a second mystery location Tuesday. The delay forced Lauer to miss his second destination in time for Tuesday's show, and he was rerouted to his planned third destination.

"It's all part of the game," Jeff Zucker, "Today" executive producer, tells the Associated Press. "In order to score big, you've got to take big chances."

Bad weather forced "Good Morning America" hosts Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer, plus crew, to ride a bus for 10 hours from Austin to New Orleans in time for Tuesday's show. Gibson and Sawyer are on a bus tour of the South, but had planned to cheat and take a plane from Austin to Lafayette, Louisiana, and bus it to New Orleans. Nature not only made them hit the road, but struck again in New Orleans, where downpours forced the company to relocate its broadcast site.

And the Neville Brothers had to cancel a performance because their equipment was drenched, says the show's executive producer.

"We were all calm," says Shelley Ross. "A zen came over our production. In a funny way, I think we had a better show. It had energy and spontaneity."

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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