Monday, September 23, 2002

'Star Trek' actor pens book

Los Angeles � Former "Star Trek" actor Leonard Nimoy is exploring a new universe.

A shutterbug since his teens, Nimoy has produced his first book of photographs, titled: "Shekhina: Photographs by Leonard Nimoy."

It contains black-and-white images on the theme of Shekhina, which Jewish mystics consider to be the feminine aspect of God.

"I have imagined her as ubiquitous, watchful, and often in motion," Nimoy says in the book's introduction. "This work is my quest for insight, the exploration of my own spirituality, and, as such, has been a deeply moving and expanding process."

Some photographs are being displayed at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles beginning Wednesday.

Griffin sells hotel site of scandal

Palm Springs, Calif. � Merv Griffin has sold the 14-acre resort hotel that gained notoriety in 2000 when actor Robert Downey Jr. was arrested there for drug possession.

The television producer sold Merv Griffin's Resort Hotel & Givenchy Spa to a Scottsdale, Ariz., company for an undisclosed amount.

Palm Desert Holdings and Epix Hotels and Resorts will reopen the hotel under a new name this winter.

Griffin said selling the hotel will reduce his many responsibilities.

Griffin bought the Palm Springs hotel in 1998, bringing to it Hollywood flair. He hosted an annual holiday event, in which celebrities such as Cher and Suzanne Somers decorated Christmas trees and auctioned them for charity.

Liz Taylor sells ring

New York � An emerald and diamond Bulgari ring that Richard Burton gave Elizabeth Taylor went on display Saturday at Christie's auction house.

The ring is among items from Taylor's jewelry collection that go on the block Thursday to benefit The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

The foundation has raised $8 million since Taylor founded it in 1991.

On Sept. 30, Christie's will also display � but not sell � 30 pieces from the actress's private jewelry collection to launch her new book, "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry."

RCA remixes the King's work

Los Angeles � RCA vice president David Bendeth spent a year uncovering hidden tones in original Elvis Presley recordings to produce a richer "less distant" sound.

He was awe-struck.

"Imagine mixing the King!" said Bendeth, whose work, "Elvis 30

No. 1 Hits," will be released Tuesday.

"Everyone said, 'Can you make this better?"' Bendeth recalled. "People were hesitant to touch them."

The tapes, some recorded over 45 years ago, included "Heartbreak Hotel," "Jailhouse Rock," "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and "Can't Help Falling in Love."

"I tried to think what Elvis wanted. I had to imagine he was in the room with me," Bendeth said.