People and Entertainment

PEOPLE AND ENTERTAINMENT

December 29, 2008|By From Sun news services

Arizona sheriff stars in 'Punk'd' and 'Cops' cross

In Arizona, seeing Joe Arpaio on TV is nothing new. But the self-described "America's toughest sheriff" now has a national platform to pursue lawbreakers that stretches beyond the 5 o'clock news.

The Maricopa County sheriff's office, which oversees the state's most populous county, has a starring role in Smile ... You're Under Arrest, a new reality show that debuted Saturday on Fox Reality Channel.

A cross between Punk'd and Cops, the program sets up elaborate sting operations to snare people wanted on outstanding warrants. Actors and undercover deputies play along in faux scenarios where scofflaws are enticed to have a good time; the drama comes when cast members reveal the prank and waiting deputies slap on handcuffs.

Arpaio, who has been accused of being publicity-hungry more than once, says the show is not about fame-seeking, adding that the producers approached him.

"This is just another outside-the-box effort to join forces with the private industry/Hollywood to use certain techniques," Arpaio said. "It's entertainment. But on the other hand, we're able to accomplish a mission and also arrest people out on warrants."

Recent passings

* Ann Savage, who earned a cult following as a femme fatale in such 1940s pulp-fiction movies as Detour, died Thursday at 87.

The actress died in her sleep at a nursing home in Los Angelos from complications after a series of strokes, said her manager, Kent Adamson.

Her credits included more than 30 crime tales, Westerns and other movies in the 1940s and '50s.

Her Hollywood career has largely been over since the mid-1950s, but she had a resurgence in the past year with a starring role in Canadian cult filmmaker Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg, a combination of documentary, drama and personal memoir about his native city in Manitoba.

* Dale Wasserman, author of the book for the Tony-winning musical Man of La Mancha, as well as the stage adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, died Dec. 21 of congestive heart failure at his home in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, his wife, Martha, said Saturday. He was 94.

Man of La Mancha, the tale of the intrepid, ever-idealistic Don Quixote, was one of Broadway's biggest hits in the 1960s. The show, which starred Richard Kiley and Joan Diener, opened in 1965 and won the Tony for best musical. It ran for more than 2,300 performances.

Its best-known song, The Impossible Dream, written by composer Mitch Leigh and lyricist Joe Darion, became a popular hit, particularly in a version by Jack Jones. The show has had several Broadway revivals since the '60s, with the latest in 2002 starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey's novel about a renegade mental hospital inmate, opened on Broadway in 1963. The production, which starred Kirk Douglas and Joan Tetzel, ran for a little over two months but later became a fixture in community theaters. It was revived on Broadway in 2001 with Gary Sinise and Amy Morton in the lead roles.

today's birthdays

Actress Mary Tyler Moore, 71

Actor Jon Voight, 70

Singer Marianne Faithfull, 62

Actor Ted Danson, 61

Actress Patricia Clarkson, 49

Actor Jude Law, 36

Actor Mekhi Phifer, 34

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