Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Ozzy off ventilator

London -- Ozzy Osbourne is making progress after his quad bike accident and can now breathe on his own, hospital officials said Monday.

The former Black Sabbath lead singer was able to talk to his wife, Sharon, at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough, west of London, where he was taken after the Dec. 8 accident, the hospital said in a statement.

Osbourne, 55, has been in intensive care since the accident at his estate in Buckinghamshire, southern England.

He fractured his left collarbone, eight ribs and a neck vertebra and had emergency surgery shortly after admission to restore the flow to a damaged blood vessel.

Judge lauds Ryder's progress

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Winona Ryder was commended by a judge Monday for abiding by the rules of her probation in a shoplifting case.

Ryder's lawyer, Shepard Kopp, said outside court the judge planned to review the case later and consider reducing her felony convictions to misdemeanors.

"I want to compliment you on your behavior on probation," Superior Court Judge Elden Fox told the 32-year-old actress, who didn't speak during the hearing.

Ryder was convicted last year of stealing several thousand dollars worth of merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills in 2001.

She was placed on three years' probation a year ago and fined $2,700. She also was ordered to pay $6,355 in restitution to the store and $1,000 in restitution to the court. She has made those payments.

Vandross hopes for Grammys trip

New York -- Luther Vandross, who is recovering from a debilitating stroke, is so excited about his five Grammy nominations he wants to attend the Los Angeles ceremony on Feb. 8, his record label boss Clive Davis said.

The 52-year-old singer is recuperating at a rehabilitation center after suffering a life-threatening stroke in April. Earlier this month, he received five nominations for his album "Dance With My Father," released on J Records.

Davis said Monday that Vandross would like to attend.

"He would be eager to go if the doctors clear it," Davis said. "There is a possibility. I would not hold out hope one way or the other."

Vandross hasn't been seen in public since his stroke. His mother accepted two American Music Awards on his behalf in November.

Something completely different

New York -- John Cleese might try to follow in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood and Arnold Schwarzenegger by making a run for California public office, reports The New York Post.

Cleese's Monty Python co-star Michael Palin told London's Daily Telegraph that Cleese is "very involved with his local community" in Santa Barbara and is thinking of running for mayor.

As for his acting career, Palin said, "He doesn't really want to do comedy anymore. He has a very active and inquiring mind."

Cleese's appearances in the Harry Potter movies will "fund the rest of his life," Palin said.