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Names in the News

October 30, 1985

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Chester G. Atkins, often ribbed about being confused with country music legend Chet Atkins, sent off a tongue-in-cheek letter to David Letterman after the talk show host featured the guitarist as a guest.

″No doubt you are by now feeling tremendous embarrassment over the mixup regarding the scheduled appearance of ‘Chet Atkins’ on your Oct. 16 show,″ the congressman wrote. ″My office has been deluged with confused and angry phone calls from constituents who tuned in expecting to see me, only to find an obscure musician.″

But Letterman turned the joke on the congressman when he read the letter on the air last week, accompanied by a chart purporting to total the cost to taxpayers of Atkins’ sense of humor.

The chart included such items as ″engraved letterhead, 50 cents; secretary’s time, $10; and projected time and money lost from similar desperate publicity bids by Congressman Atkins, $1 million.″

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LONDON (AP) - Shirley MacLaine has chosen British actor Charles Dance, star of ″The Jewel in the Crown,″ to be in a TV miniseries based on her memoirs.

The actress, who will play herself in the five-hour series, announced the choice at Heathrow Airport on her way to New York on Tuesday after a week’s casting in London.

Dance, who also stars with Meryl Streep in the film ″Plenty,″ is to portray the member of Parliament with whom Miss MacLaine says she had an affair. She declined to disclose the identity of the Labor lawmaker, called Gerry in her autobiography, ″Out on a Limb.″

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NEW YORK (AP) - Actress Helen Hayes, celebrating her 80th year in show business, says she is honored that Kaufman Astoria Studios named one of its buildings for her and her late husband, playwright Charles MacArthur.

″This is really a top occasion for me since I always wanted to be co- starred with Charles MacArthur,″ Miss Hayes, 85, said Monday at a ceremony naming the Helen Hayes-Charles MacArthur Building at the landmark studio.

MacArthur, who died in 1956, produced several of his plays at Astoria, in the borough of Queens, including ″Crime Without Passion,″ ″The Scoundrel″ and ″Once in a Blue Moon.″

Miss Hayes recalled filming a bit part with Fanny Brice in ″Sink the Rich,″ produced by her husband at the studio. She began her career at age 5 in a stage production of ″The Royal Family.″

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Rock star and teen-age heart throb Rick Springfield has become a father for the first time as his wife, Barbara, gave birth to a 71/2 -pound boy.

Liam Springfield was born Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, publicist Jeb Baird announced Tuesday. There was no statement from the entertainer, Baird said, adding, ″It’s a family kind of time for them.″

Within the next few weeks the couple plans to travel to Springfield’s native Australia to visit his family, Baird said.

Springfield, 36, won a Grammy in 1981 for ″Jessie’s Girl″ and also played Dr. Noah Drake on ABC’s ″General Hospital″ for 18 months.

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BOYS TOWN, Neb. (AP) - This small town outside Omaha will be buzzing with film crews and camaras next week when shooting begins on a television movie starring Art Carney.

Auditions for children’s parts for ″Miracle of the Heart: A Boys Town Story,″ were Tuesday, said Jackie Beavers of Columbia Pictures-Television.

Carney, the veteran comic actor who played Ed Norton on the old ″Honeymooners″ TV series, will portray a character named Father O’Halleran in the Boys Town movie, Beavers said.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Country singer Barbara Mandrell, her life saved a year ago by a seat belt, has taped a public service television commercial urging the public to buckle up.

Miss Mandrell taped the 30-second public service announcement Tuesday for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Safety Council and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. It will be aired beginning Nov. 24.

Miss Mandrell, 36, suffered a severe concussion, a broken leg, a broken ankle and an injured knee in a two-car accident in September 1984. The driver of the other car was killed.

″Experts say we’d have been killed without safety belts,″ Miss Mandrell says in the commercial, referring to herself and her two children, who suffered minor injuries. ″So please buckle up. You may never get another chance.″

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