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November 11, 1995

BURBANK, Calif. (AP) _ Jay Leno took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’.

And now he says he owes his success, in part, to how he handled getting ``beat up″ when he started as host of NBC’s ``Tonight Show″ in 1992.

``Everybody, from the truck driver on the street to stars, would say: `I watched you when you got beat up and you didn’t complain about it. You just tried to do a better show.′

``That attitude seems to be what’s gotten us this far,″ Leno, 45, said as he prepared to take ``Tonight″ on the road to Las Vegas next week with guests including Robin Williams and Mel Gibson.

``Tonight″ has bested David Letterman’s ``Late Show″ on CBS in recent ratings, and won this year’s Emmy for outstanding variety series.


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (AP) _ Imagine having your very own library before even starting kindergarten.

Dolly Parton is offering the newborns of Sevier County _ her own birthplace _ a book a month for the next five years until kindergarten.

The Dollywood Foundation expects to register more than 4,000 children as the program’s first participants, and distribute more than a quarter of a million books over five years at a cost of more than $1 million.

The foundation also will buy and distribute 150,000 books for current pre-schoolers in the county.

``I’m just a big kid myself,″ Parton said in announcing the ``Imagination Library″ program Thursday.


CLINTON, Okla. (AP) _ If the ad for Garth Brooks’ latest release is any indication, the album will go over big, real BIG.

Stan Herd, an artist from Lawrence, Kan., is using 50 acres of a farmer’s wheat field as his canvas to create a billboard touting ``Fresh Horses,″ the country music singer’s first release in two years. It’s due out later this month.

``Each letter seems like roughly the size of a football field,″ farmer Kirk Meacham said. ``It really makes a dramatic impression when you are in the air and look down at it. It really grabs you.″

The word ``Horses″ alone is about 2,700 feet long, he said.

The farm, roughly 80 miles west of Oklahoma City, sits beneath the flight path for planes heading west to Los Angeles.


LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Steven Spielberg is ready to set the dinosaurs loose again.

The filmmaker will direct ``The Lost World,″ a sequel to his 1993 megahit ``Jurassic Park,″ Universal Pictures announced.

``There is no other filmmaker who can provide the level of creative brilliance and unprecedented vision necessary to bring `The Lost World’ to screen,″ studio President Casey Silver said.

Filming is expected to start in the second half of 1996 for a 1997 release. No stars have been chosen.

``Jurassic Park″ is the top-grossing movie of all time, taking in more than $913 million since its release.


NEW YORK (AP) _ New York’s lieutenant governor has raised the white flag in her romance with a multi-millionaire investment banker. Now the question is, will she take his name?

Betsy McCaughey and Wilbur Ross Jr. have announced plans to get married on Dec. 7 in Manhattan.

``This will be the merger of two families and we will have five wonderful daughters between us,″ said McCaughey, 47, who has three girls of her own.

``I’m ecstatic,″ said Ross, 56, senior managing director at the investment bank Rothschild Inc. and rumored to be worth $50 million. ``It’s a wonderful feeling.″

The couple wanted to tie the knot last month, but she called off the nuptials because his divorce from his wife of 34 years was taking too long.

The divorce finally went through on Oct. 20 _ McCaughey’s 47th birthday.

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