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Names in the News

September 5, 1985

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ When John Ritter opens in a British comedy at the Music center’s Ahmanson Theater, it will be his second appearance there. This time, he’s a star. Last time, he was an usher.

Ritter, 36, who played Jack Tripper in ABC’s long-running ″Three’s Company,″ will co-star with James Coco in Royce Ryton’s slapstick comedy ″The Unvarnished Truth,″ which was a hit on the London stage.

The youngest son of the late country music star Tex Ritter worked as an usher in 1968 while a student at the University of Southern California.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Country singer Willie Nelson says the FarmAid concert to benefit financially strapped farmers may have been his idea, but someone else is going to have to figure out how to distribute the proceeds.

Nelson, 52, met Wednesday with Gov. James R. Thompson and farm leaders from around the country to discuss the problem.

FarmAid - featuring such talent as the Beach Boys, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings and Bob Dylan - is scheduled Sept. 22. All 78,000 tickets have been sold.

Since FarmAid was his idea, Nelson has said he would have to make sure the money goes ″where it has to.″ He has suggested financing low-interest farm loans but added, ″People have to figure it out who are smarter than me.″


TORONTO (AP) - Soprano Cristen Gregory, in full wig and bustled gown, claimed a record high high-C, belting it out from a wind-swept observation pod 1,200 feet up the world’s tallest free-standing structure.

Gregory performed the feat Wednesday as part of a publicity stunt to promote the Toronto Operetta Theater’s production of ″The Count of Luxembourg,″ in which she will appear.

After a few drinks and a round of songs at a party at the restaurant in the 1,821-foot CN Tower, the soprano and a group of observers went by elevator and then steps to the pod at 1,214 feet, an area closed to the public.

The area has only a single strand of guard wire around its edge but Gregory, her heavy ruby-colored gown flapping wildly in the wind, strode to the edge, struck a pose and repeatedly hit high notes for photographers and TV.

Artistic director Guillermo Silva-Marin insisted the height of the tower ensured its claim to a record. He said it would be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records.


OTTAWA (AP) - Prime Minister Brian Mulroney said the birth of his fourth child on the first anniversary of the sweeping Conservative election victory was more exciting than the political victory.

″Nothing beats this,″ Mulroney, 46, said Wednesday after the birth of the 7-pound, 14-ounce boy. The child has not been named.

″There is no substitute for family life, it’s what makes our society and what makes our country.″

Mulroney and his wife, Mila, 32, have two other sons and a daughter.


PEKING (AP) - Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez, the first Spanish head of government to visit China, was greeted by Premier Zhao Ziyang, a 19-gun salute, an army honor guard and 300 dancing youngsters.

Peking’s main thoroughfare, Changan Avenue, was decorated with bunting and the Spanish flag flew alongside the Chinese banner at Tiananmen Square.

Gonzalez arrived for his seven-day official visit on Wednesday, accompanied by his wife, Foreign Minister Francisco Fernandez Ordonez and Culture Minister Javier Solana.

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