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December 22, 1987

HONOLULU (AP) _ Bob Hope and a bevy of female entertainers are winging through the Pacific on the comedian’s 31st USO tour to entertain U.S. military personnel overseas at Christmas time.

″We’re headed for the Persian Gulf. I made a mistake. I thought they said the ’Persian Golf,‴ Hope joked during a stopover at Hickam Air Force Base here Monday. ″But I imagine there’s quite a few holes there.″

Joining Hope aboard a U.S. Air Force C-141 Starlifter for the one-week tour were country singer Lee Greenwood, actresses Connie Stevens, Barbara Eden, Miss USA Michele Royer and eight Superbowl cheerleaders.

″I’m very excited about it. I always wanted to go out with Bob Hope,″ Miss Eden said.

The troupe, whose first stop is Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines, plans to do three shows aboard U.S. ships, including a Christmas Day performance aboard the USS Okinawa in the Persian Gulf.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Actor Richard Kiley says the realistic family portrayal in the NBC miniseries ″A Year in the Life″ attracted him to the role of patriarch Joe Gardner, even though he’s been turning down TV series for years.

″The family was very important to me,″ Kiley, who has six children, says in next week’s edition of TV Guide.

″Not the cosmetic or cartoon versions we see on sitcoms, but the true, gorgeous entity,″ Kiley said. ″Granny, mom, dad, big and little kids - the whole stream of the journey through life - holding on to each other, bouncing off each other.″

The ″Year in the Life″ miniseries was liked by viewers as well, leading to a television series this season starring the 65-year-old actor.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. James Blanchard has been divorced from his wife Paula, officially ending the couple’s 21-year marriage.

Ingham County Circuit Judge James Giddings approved an arrangement Monday giving the couple joint custody of their 17-year-old son, Jay, and requiring them to split the governor’s $92,664-a-year salary.

The couple filed for a no-fault divorce June 16, citing a ″breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed.″

Blanchard, 45, said the couple looks forward to spending time together ″as a family during the holidays.″

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LONDON (AP) - The British Broadcasting Corp. has apologized to Queen Elizabeth II for leaking advance information about her Christmas Day message, and says the reporter involved will be reassigned from Buckingham Palace.

The embargo was broken for the first time in 35 years of broadcasting the monarch’s pre-recorded annual message, following a press preview for a few of the reporters who regularly cover the royal family.

″This occurred when Michael Cole, the BBC’s court correspondent, spoke to other journalists on what he had presumed was a private basis,″ the BBC said Monday.

At a private luncheon with other journalists last Friday, Cole revealed that the queen had spoken out against violence in Northern Ireland.

Six newspapers next day printed stories saying the queen condemned the outlawed Irish Republican Army, which is waging a guerrilla war to drive the British out of Northern Ireland.

Cole, who has worked for the BBC for 20 years, said after the announcement, ″Life goes on. No one has been killed or injured. The sun will come up in the morning and I am looking forward to spending Christmas with my wife and daughter.″

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Singer Vic Damone could undergo surgery this week to relieve pain from a kidney stone deemed ″unsmashable,″ a spokesman said.

Damone, 59, checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center late last week for treatment and was in fair condition, hospital spokesman Ron Wise said Monday.

The singer was successfully treated for one of the stones, said Jeffrey Lane, a spokesman with the Rogers and Cowan public relations firm.

″One of the stones was smashed,″ Lane said. ″Another stone was unsmashable. It’s very painful.″

Wise said Damone, who is married to actress Diahann Carroll, might undergo surgery on the remaining stone this week.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actress Joan Collins and her ex-husband Peter Holm are still ″miles apart″ in negotiations to settle their property disputes, their lawyers said.

William Glucksman, who represents Miss Collins, said no progress was made during a brief meeting with Holm’s attorney and a judge Monday, but there remains a chance the case could be settled before the Jan. 22 trial date.

Glucksman said the key issues are division of ownership of a $300,000 house in the south of France, other property Miss Collins claims was misappropriated by Holm and Holm’s continued demands for spousal support.

″We’re miles apart,″ said Holm’s attorney, Frank Steinschriber.

Miss Collins, 54, star of TV’s ″Dynasty,″ and Holm, 40, a former Swedish pop musician, were married in 1984 and split 13 months later.

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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. James R. Thompson is feeling ″pretty chipper″ after having six benign skin lesions surgically removed in a 40-minute procedure, a spokesman says.

Press secretary David Fields said the 50-year-old governor was back working at his desk an hour after the operation Monday at Bethany Hospital and is ″feeling fine, doing everything he normally does.″

Thompson has had the lesions on his nose, face and back for years, an inherited condition that posed no immediate danger to his health, Fields said.

″It was just a good time of the year to have them removed,″ Fields said. ″He’s got a light schedule around the holiday.″

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