Actor wants to show pride in pink

San Francisco � Actor Ian McKellen says he wants to ride in a pink Cadillac for his stint as grand marshal in this weekend's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade.

McKellen, who starred in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" and "Gods and Monsters," and actress Sharon Gless will serve as celebrity grand marshals in Sunday's parade.

Gless, best known for the '80s TV police drama "Cagney & Lacey," has a regular role as the mother of a gay man on the Showtime cable television series "Queer as Folk."

McKellen, 63, says he's comfortable as an openly gay actor.

Menopause key time for LaBelle

Philadelphia � Forget about life beginning at 40; for soul diva Patti LaBelle, it didn't really get going until about halfway past 50.

"I think I've gotten better, stronger. More sexy � if that's possible!" the singer quipped while preparing for her current U.S. tour. The secret, said LaBelle, 58, was learning to handle something all women her age face, menopause.

Until she did, LaBelle said, it threatened to destroy her career, and it may have ended her marriage of 31 years to L. Armstead Edwards. The couple divorced two years ago.

"Part of the reason, I think now, that I divorced is maybe I just drove the poor guy crazy," she says.

Labelle tried Prempro, becoming so impressed with the estrogen replacement therapy, she's become a spokeswoman.

King reveals 'Diary's' authorship

New York � The mystery has been solved: Stephen King is not the author of "The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer," a best seller based on the fictional character from King's "Rose Red" TV miniseries.

"Now it can be told � the actual author of 'The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer' is suspense novelist Ridley Pearson," said King, who many assumed had written the book. He made the announcement in a message posted this week on his Web site.

"Ridley did a great job � I couldn't have done better myself."

Rimbauer is a tormented industrialist's wife who lived in Seattle at the turn of the 20th century. Her diaries were "edited" by another fictional character, Dr. Joyce Reardon, a specialist in paranormal studies.

Tony Award winner dies

New York � Dolores Gray, a Tony-winning actress and singer, died Wednesday of a heart attack at her Manhattan apartment. She was 78.

Gray began performing in Hollywood clubs when she was 14, and at 15 she was discovered by Rudy Vallee and given a guest spot on his national radio show.

She landed her first major theater success in 1947 as Annie in "Annie Get Your Gun" in London. In 1954, she won a Tony award for best musical actress in "Carnival in Flanders."

After signing a contract with MGM in 1955, Gray began to star in musical movies, including "Kismet" and "The Opposite Sex." She performed alongside Gene Kelly in "It's Always Fair Weather" and with Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall in "Designing Women."


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