Saturday, August 23, 2003

Ricki Lake, husband separate

Los Angeles -- Talk show host Ricki Lake and her husband of nine years have filed for a separation, according to court documents.

Lake and husband Rob Sussman have two boys, Milo, 6, and Owen, 2. Court documents show the couple filed for a legal separation Aug. 13.

The 34-year-old has been host of the syndicated "Ricki Lake" show since 1993. She and her husband lived in New York for eight years before moving earlier this year to Los Angeles.

An early Emmy for Azaria

Los Angeles -- Hank Azaria is already an Emmy Award winner, a month before the ceremony.

Azaria will receive the Emmy for voiceover performance on "The Simpsons," the animated Fox series for which he provides a number of voices, the TV academy announced.

The 39-year-old could add a second trophy: He's nominated as guest actor in a comedy for his appearance on last season's "Friends."

The awards, including Azaria's, were juried ones, meaning there were no nominees in the category.

Azaria and the other winners will receive their awards at the Creative Arts Emmy ceremony Sept. 13. The main ceremony will air Sept. 21 on Fox.

Crystal joins pen-wielding set

New York -- Billy Crystal is the latest celebrity to take on writing stories for children, agreeing to a two-book deal with HarperCollins.

"My granddaughter's birth has made me want to create things she will love," Crystal said in a statement Thursday. His first grandchild, Ella, was born recently.

Next spring, HarperCollins will release Crystal's "I Already Know I Love You," described as a "tribute to grandparents and grandchildren everywhere."

Celebrities who've published children's books in recent years include Katie Couric, Jamie Lee Curtis and Spike Lee. Madonna's "The English Roses" comes out next month.

Tennis star's papers on display

New York -- There were pictures under glass of a young Arthur Ashe surrounded by a dozen tennis trophies -- years before he would make history as the first black man to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon.

They sat next to a letter from Martin Luther King Jr., thanking him in 1968 for his support of the civil-rights movement.

Ashe's widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, remembered both sides of Ashe's life Wednesday -- one as a tennis star, the other as a human-rights activist -- as she donated 50 boxes of his private papers and correspondence to a black cultural center in Harlem.

"Good works and goodwill do leave a strong legacy," Moutoussamy-Ashe said at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Ashe died of AIDS-related pneumonia in February 1993, 10 months after revealing he had contracted the disease from a blood transfusion during heart surgery.