People And Places


April 11, 2003

Car thief gets much more than Penn's '87 Buick

Sean Penn's car -- with two guns inside -- was stolen earlier this week from a busy Berkeley, Calif., street while the actor was eating lunch at a nearby restaurant.

The black 1987 Buick Grand National had a loaded 9 mm Glock handgun and an unloaded .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver inside, police said.

Police Officer Mary Kusmiss said Penn had a concealed weapons permit to carry the guns. The car, stolen Tuesday afternoon, hadn't been recovered by early yesterday. Police will get copies of surveillance photos from the automated teller machine outside, Kusmiss said.

Penn, 42, lives in nearby Marin County with his wife, actress Robin Wright Penn, and their two children.

National pastime

The National Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey called Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon out. He canceled a planned 15th-anniversary celebration of their movie Bull Durham claiming their anti-war statements and criticism of President Bush "ultimately could put our troops in even more danger."

Robbins told Petroskey that he didn't realize baseball was "a Republican sport.

"To suggest that my criticism of the president put the troops in danger is absurd," he said, concluding, "Long live democracy, free speech and the '69 Mets -- all improbable, glorious miracles that I have always believed in."

Say it isn't so

Fox has decided that we don't already know more than we want to know about Michael Jackson's private life. On April 24, Rupert Murdoch's bastion of good taste in broadcast television will kick off the latest sweeps ratings race with Michael Jackson's Private Home Movies.

The two-hour special promises to take us into the heart of darkness even deeper than Martin Bashir dared go.

No mention of Bubbles the chimp.

Wear your flak jacket

Taye Diggs will do a guest spot on The West Wing in two episodes that will air during May sweeps.

Diggs will first appear in the episode "Commencement" and will play a secret service agent assigned to watch over first daughter Zoey (Elisabeth Moss) at her college graduation and subsequent trip to Europe. The last high-profile actor to play a West Wing body guard was Mark Harmon, whose character briefly flirted with press secretary C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney) before getting killed in a convenience store robbery last season.

This spring, Diggs appears in Basic and Malibu's Most Wanted.

Old friends

The two halves of The Odd Couple had an emotional reunion at the Newberry (S.C.) Opera House.

Tony Randall surprised his '70s sitcom co-star, Jack Klugman, after the second curtain call of On Golden Pond, in which Klugman stars.

The opera house's director, Deborah Smith, said Randall walked on stage Tuesday just as Klugman glanced to see whether he was getting flowers.

"The expression on his face was absolutely incredible," Smith said. "I don't think there was a dry eye either on stage or in the audience."

Klugman, 80, played unkempt sportswriter Oscar Madison, while Randall played fastidious Felix Unger in the TV series.

Today's birthdays

Brenda Starr creator Dale Messick is 97.

Fashion designer Oleg Cassini is 90.

Ethel Kennedy is 75.

Actor Joel Grey is 71.

Actress Louise Lasser is 64.

Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman is 62.

Movie director John Milius is 59.

Actor Bill Irwin is 53.

Country singer Jim Lauderdale is 46.

Songwriter Daryl Simmons is 46.

Actor Lucky Vanous is 42.

Country singer Steve Azar is 39.

Singer Lisa Stansfield is 37.

Rock musician Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) is 33.

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