The Baltimore Sun

Tyler Perry donates food, time to needy in Atlanta

Director-playwright-actor Tyler Perry, who grew up the son of a carpenter in New Orleans and was homeless for a time, has donated food to feed 1,000 families for two weeks in Atlanta, where he lives now.

He spent part of yesterday morning unloading and packaging food at Hosea Feed the Hungry and the Homeless care center, where organizers say a tanking economy has brought more people seeking help.

"I've been out on the street, I know what it's about," said Perry, 39, who stood side by side with volunteers. He said he felt pulled to visit the center after hearing about it on the news.

Making beautiful music

World-renowned conductor Lorin Maazel and his wife plan to start an annual music festival on their 550-acre property in Rappahannock County, Northern Virginia, his communications firm said Monday.

The Castleton Festival is scheduled for July 4-19, the week after Maazel's final concerts as the New York Philharmonic's music director, a position he has held for seven seasons.

The festival will focus on four fully staged Benjamin Britten chamber operas: a new production of The Turn of the Screw and revivals of Albert Herring, The Rape of Lucretia and The Beggar's Opera.

'Fringe' draws a crowd

There's some good news for Fox in the TV ratings from Nielsen Media Research for Sept. 15-21: Its new scripted drama, Fringe, drew 13.3 million viewers.

Topping the list is Sunday Night Football (NBC) with 22.2 million viewers. The rest of the top 10 (in millions): House (Fox), 14.8; 60 Minutes (CBS), 14.6; Sunday Night Pre-Kickoff Show (NBC), 14; Emmy Awards Show (ABC), 12.3; America's Got Talent, Wednesday (NBC), 12.2; Football Night in America (NBC), 10.9; CSI (CBS), 10.2; America's Got Talent, Thursday (NBC), 10.

The next big thing?

First-day sales in North America topped a half-million for Christopher Paolini's Brisingr, the third of his million-selling Inheritance fantasy cycle, unveiled last weekend with a midnight opening.

According to publisher Random House Children's Books, Brisingr sold 550,000 copies in the first 24 hours, four times higher than Eldest, the second of Paolini's planned four-book series. It fell far below the 8.3 million copies in the United States for the launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

'Hari,' yes; 'Harry,' no

An Indian court has rejected a claim by Warner Bros., producers of the Harry Potter movies, that Hari Puttar - A Comedy of Terrors is too much like the wizard series.

In its ruling Monday, the court said that people who have watched the Harry Potter movies and read the books would know the difference between them and the Indian Punjabi film.

In the Indian film, 10-year-old Hari Puttar must guard his scientist father's top security computer chip from bumbling burglars in Britain while his parents are away.

Dunne returns to court

Celebrity crime writer Dominick Dunne was greeted by O.J. Simpson as he returned to a Las Vegas courtroom yesterday to cover the former football star's armed robbery-kidnapping trial.

"Mr. Dunne, nice to see you back," Simpson said as Dunne and his son, Griffin Dunne, arrived in the courthouse hallway just before testimony resumed.

The Vanity Fair magazine writer, 82, has spent decades covering society and celebrity trials, including Simpson's 1995 acquittal in the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman.


Actress Sheila MacRae, 84

Actor Gordon Clapp, 60

Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, 56.

Actress Nia Vardalos, 46

Country musician Marty Mitchell, 39

Actress Megan Ward, 39

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