Saturday, March 8, 2003

Nolte back in control

Los Angeles -- Nick Nolte says he's been vigilant about remaining sober since his arrest last year for driving under the influence of drugs.

He said the legal troubles and media attention -- much of it focused on a mugshot that showed him looking disheveled -- prompted him to be open about his recovery.

"There's no hiding there. I've always said I had a substance problem ever since. It's something you deal with, and you take care of it, and you can keep it under control," the 62-year-old actor said Wednesday.

Looking trim, tan and healthy, Nolte made the remarks during interviews to promote his upcoming drama "The Good Thief," about a heroin-addicted gambler trying to organize a heist. The film opens in limited release April 2.

Parks snubs NAACP

Detroit -- Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will not attend Saturday's NAACP Image Awards because the event's host, Cedric the Entertainer, made jokes about her in the film "Barbershop" that she considered offensive.

In a letter dated Thursday, the co-founder of the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, Elaine Steele, said that they appreciated the invitation from the NAACP.

However, she said the jokes made by Cedric the Entertainer in the film "Barbershop" represented "a sensitive area to us."

Parks, 90, made history in December 1955 when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus. In "Barbershop," Cedric's character says other blacks refused to give up their seats to whites, but that Parks got the credit because she was connected to the NAACP.

Pacino returns to Broadway

New York -- Al Pacino, who appeared off-Broadway last fall, will appear on Broadway this spring.

The actor will play King Herod in Oscar Wilde's "Salome," opening April 30 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Marisa Tomei will portray the title character, best known for her dance of the seven veils. Also in the cast are Dianne Wiest and David Strathairn. The director is Estelle Parsons. Preview performances begin April 12, and the production closes June 7.

Connery loyal to homeland

London -- Hoping to silence critics who say his life as a tax exile in the Bahamas undermines his support for Scottish independence, Sean Connery said he had paid about $5.9 million in taxes to the British government since 1997.

The former James Bond talked about the payment in an interview published Thursday in Scotland's Herald newspaper.

"I'm an easy target because of my political opinions, but I defy anyone in Scotland to find one detail where I knowingly ever did anything that was to the detriment of Scotland," he said. "It gets up my nose."

Connery said between 1997 and 2003, he paid $5,911,000 in British taxes. Before 1997, he added, he paid $4.4 million in British taxes on his earnings from three films.