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Showbuzz

Web posted on:
Wednesday, May 26, 1999 2:37:25 PM EST

Today's buzz stories:

Matthau

Walter Matthau treated for pneumonia

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Actor Walter Matthau has been admitted to a Los Angeles hospital with pneumonia, according to his son. But the 78-year-old star apparently is on the road to recovery -- "his usual self, joking around, doing better each day," says Charlie Matthau.

Matthau was admitted about 11 days ago, after seeing a doctor to complain that he was feeling ill and had developed a bad cough, says the younger Matthau.

Walter Matthau has been starring in movies and television since the the 1950s. Some of his most popular films are "The Odd Couple" (1968), "The Bad News Bears" (1976) and "California Suite" (1978).

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"Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace"

A phantom 'Phantom Menace' rematerializes

MENOMONIE, Wisconsin (CNN) -- Police in this small town say their five-day search for a missing copy of "Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace" has ended -- with two men described as being in their mid-20s surrendering it, and themselves, on Wednesday.

"We think we got all of it back, at least it sure looks like it," says Lt. Doug Briggs of the Menomonie Police Department. The print disappeared from a theater between the last showing Friday and midday Saturday. Another copy of the film was flown in Sunday, and the theater had resumed screening it -- but not before disappointing some fans Saturday when shows were canceled.

Authorities and officials with the film's distributor, 20th Century Fox, had expressed concerns that the missing copy -- said to be worth $60,000 -- might be destined for the black market. The two men, whose names were not released, may face criminal charges once an investigation is completed, Briggs says.

George Lucas' newest installment in his highly-successful "Star Wars" saga opened last week to tremendous hype and more than $100 million in ticket sales.

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Tomei

Tomei enters 'Lobby'; Louganis says yes to 'No'

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei is continuing her work on the New York stage. Following her appearance last season in the Broadway revival of "Wait Until Dark," Tomei has signed a deal to star in screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan's "The Lobby," which is seeking an off-Broadway debut in the fall.

With Tomei onboard, the play immediately vaults to the front of the queue for off-Broadway venues. Lonergan most recently wrote the Robert DeNiro-Billy Crystal film comedy "Analyze This" and the upcoming Universal release "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle."

Tomei most recently was on the big screen last year in "Slums of Beverly Hills." She won a best-supporting-actress Academy Award for her work in the 1992 "My Cousin Vinny."

Meanwhile, on the Chicago stage, actor and four-time Olympic diving gold medalist Greg Louganis is to star in a revival of the play "Just Say No." Louganis is scheduled to play Junior in Larry Kramer's 1988 farce.

Louganis, who revealed his homosexuality in 1994 and a year later acknowledged that he has AIDS, is to play a gay character who decides to move to the city to become a ballet dancer.

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Locke

Locke settles lawsuit with Warner Bros.

BURBANK, California (CNN) -- Actress-director Sondra Locke's attorney says she's settled her lawsuit with Warner Bros. Locke's suit had claimed that the film studio and former boyfriend Clint Eastwood schemed to offer her a three-film deal in exchange for her dropping a 1989 palimony suit against the actor.

Locke said she never got to direct any films under the deal. She said she proposed 30 projects and all were rejected.

"Today's settlement allows her to re-enter the business and to make a substantial contribution to her future life," says her attorney, Neil Papiano, who declined to disclose terms of the out-of-court settlement. The deal was reached as jury selection was beginning in the case on Monday.

Warner Bros. attorney Robert Schwartz declined to comment to the press beyond saying, "We're happy, too." Warner Bros., like CNN Interactive, is a Time Warner company.

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"The Jerry Springer Show"

Don't fight it: Distributor says Springer will go tame

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The television distributor of "The Jerry Springer Show" is aiming for tamer programs. Springer syndicate Studios USA -- owned by Barry Diller's USA Networks -- is now forbidding fights on the show, promising "no violence, physical confrontation or profanity."

"We will produce and distribute a program that we feel is responsible," Studios USA says in a statement issued Tuesday. Some observers speculate that the change is in reaction to recent school shootings and the resulting nationwide debate about media violence.

Springer's show has rocketed to the top of talk show ratings with a blend of sordid confessions by guests, usually followed by all-out brawls.

A Springer spokeswoman says the host has no comment on the distributor's order. In the past, Springer has always defended the show's nature and tone.

Studios USA says his new programs will have to meet the no-violence standard and reruns will either be acceptable within the new terms or edited to take out any fights.

"We will inform stations that we are not providing any Jerry Springer program if these standards cannot be met," the company says.

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