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PEOPLE AND PLACES

American wins Fringe Festival's comedy award

American Demetri Martin yesterday won the 23rd Perrier Comedy award, one of Britain's most prestigious comedy performance awards.

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Martin, 30, who dropped out of law school to pursue comedy, took the prize for the best comedy of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his routine about his obsessive youth, "If I."

The New Yorker beat Australian favorite Adam Hills, fellow American Reginald D. Hunter, New Zealand duo Flight of the Conchords, and Briton Howard Read.

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Ray Bradbury's wish

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury celebrated his 83rd birthday with this wish: One night, 100 years from now, a youngster will stay up late reading The Martian Chronicles with a flashlight under his blanket - on the Red Planet.

"That's the dream I have and that's the reason I'm here," the author of the 1950 classic said during a birthday party in Pasadena, Calif., organized Saturday by The Planetary Society.

The space exploration advocacy group presented Bradbury with a mammoth birthday card printed with messages from 4,000 well-wishers. Actress Angie Dickinson gave him a kiss. Director Peter Hyams, whose movie version of Bradbury's short story "A Sound of Thunder" is due in April, called him a "national treasure." Sci-fi author Kim Stanley Robinson asked for an autograph.

Love and Brando

Attempting to quiet an international media buzz, Courtney Love's mother said the rock star widow is not Marlon Brando's granddaughter. Linda Carroll, 59, became the focus of attention last week when a story surfaced in a London newspaper that Brando was Love's grandfather by virtue of a brief liaison with Carroll's mother, novelist Paula Fox.

The source of the information was said to be Carroll's memoir about her childhood, to be published in 2005 by Doubleday.

"First of all, it's crazy, it's not true," she told the Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times. "Second of all, my book doesn't say that."

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Carroll, a marriage and family therapist, said the memoir focuses strictly on her own life.

Elizabeth Smart movie

A two-hour telemovie about Elizabeth Smart's nine-month kidnapping ordeal is expected to air in November, according to her father. CBS will tell the story from the viewpoint of her parents, Ed and Lois Smart, who also have signed a book deal about the kidnapping. Filming is to begin in two weeks in Halifax, Nova Scotia, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The Smart parents have signed a deal with Doubleday Books to tell their story in Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope. That book is scheduled for release Oct. 28, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Today's birthdays

Actor Van Johnson is 87.

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Actor-producer Mel Ferrer is 86.

Game show host Monty Hall is 82.

Actor Sean Connery is 73.

Talk show/game show host Regis Philbin is 72.

Actor Tom Skerritt is 70.

Movie director John Badham is 64.

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Filmmaker Marshall Brickman is 62.

Rhythm-and-blues singer Walter Williams (the O'Jays) is 61.

Actress Anne Archer is 56.

Rock singer-actor Gene Simmons is 54.

Rock singer Elvis Costello is 49.

Movie director Tim Burton is 45.

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Actress Ally Walker is 42.

Rock musician Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) is 41.

Actress Joanne Whalley is 39.

Actor Blair Underwood is 39.

Rap DJ Terminator X (Public Enemy) is 37.

Country singer Jo Dee Messina is 33.

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Actor Kel Mitchell is 25.


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