Saturday, March 1, 2003

Rowling lends voice to 'Simpsons'

Los Angeles -- J.K. Rowling, author of the "Harry Potter" books, will make an animated guest appearance on "The Simpsons."

Rowling has lent her voice to the animated comedy show for an episode set for broadcast next season, the Fox network said Wednesday.

Another guest in the episode will be Ian McKellen ("The Lord of the Rings" films), who also plays himself, publicist Antonia Coffman said.

The Simpson family crosses paths with Rowling and McKellen when they travel to London.

Coffman said the episode would likely air in November or December.

Letterman's diagnosis: shingles

New York -- The eye infection that has kept David Letterman from hosting his "Late Show" this week was caused by shingles, his doctor said.

The condition is a viral infection of the nerve roots that typically results in pain and rash. It's caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox.

Except for when he missed time after a heart bypass operation, this is the first time Letterman, 53, has called in sick in 20 years, a representative for the CBS show said.

Bruce Willis filled in as emergency guest host Wednesday night, and John McEnroe sat behind Letterman's desk Thursday. Regis Philbin was scheduled to fill in Friday, and next week reruns will air.

Channing set to wed again

New York -- Carol Channing is getting married again -- to her childhood sweetheart from 70 years ago.

The 82-year-old singer-actress said Harry Kullijian, with whom she grew up in San Francisco, tracked her down after reading about himself in her memoirs. Kullijian had been trying to reach her for 60 years, she said, and a mutual friend gave him her phone number.

"Since our spouses have both passed away, we were able to get together again, renew our love, and would like to announce our engagement," Channing said Thursday. "There are no immediate plans for a wedding date, but this is the happiest moment of my life."

Kullijian, 82, is a co-owner of the Mervyn's department store chain.

Channing, who starred on Broadway in "Hello, Dolly!" and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," has been married three times before. Her first two marriages ended in divorce; her third husband, to whom she was married for 42 years, died in 1999.

Bridget Fonda in car accident

Malibu, Calif. -- Actress Bridget Fonda was hospitalized for minor injuries after crashing her car on a rain-drenched section of the Pacific Coast Highway, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

The 39-year-old "Single White Female" star was alone in the car when it tumbled over an embankment Thursday, sheriff's deputy Michael Gurrola said.

She was taken to St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica. Her publicist said Fonda was "fine and doing well."

Fonda is part of an acting dynasty that includes father Peter Fonda, aunt Jane Fonda and the late Henry Fonda, who was her grandfather.