Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Penn to read Dylan

New York -- Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn will read the audiobook version of Bob Dylan's "Chronicles: Volume One," to be published Oct. 12 by Simon & Schuster Audio.

The book and audiobook comprise the first in a series of the singer-songwriter's personal histories, with the first volume consisting of first-person narratives focusing on significant periods in Dylan's life and career, the publisher said last week.

The audiobook version runs for six hours on four cassettes or five CDs.

This is the first audiobook that Penn has narrated.

He won an Oscar this year for his role in "Mystic River." His other movies include "I Am Sam," "Sweet and Lowdown" and "Dead Man Walking."

Too big for one person

Amherst, N.Y. -- Sarah Ferguson is happy to travel the country waving the Weight Watchers flag, but says the government needs to do its part to combat obesity.

Ferguson led more than 700 Weight Watchers faithful in a rousing "super meeting" Monday as part of an eight-city tour for the weight-loss group. Afterward, she said membership to such support-based systems should be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Great Britain's health care system, she said, is considering such a proposal.

"Yes, I can speak for Weight Watchers. Yes, I can travel around inspiring people, but let's get the country to be a bit more supportive and realizing it's a killer," said the former member of Britain's royal family, who has lobbied on Capitol Hill on weight-related health issues.

Oscars conduct bleacher lottery

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- Fans of Oscar can enter a random drawing for bleacher seats to watch the red carpet arrivals at next year's Academy Awards.

Applications for tickets for the 300 bleacher seats outside the Kodak Theatre are available at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Web site,, until noon Monday. Those successful in the random drawing will be notified after Oct. 1, the Academy said.

This marks the third year that applications will be required for bleacher seats. This year's application process will be conducted only online.

The 77th Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 27.