ACTOR CHARLES GRODIN DIES AT 86
UNDATED (AP) – Charles Grodin has died. The often droll and somewhat offbeat actor who was in a wide range of films was 86. His son Nicholas says Grodin died at his home in Wilton, Connecticut of bone marrow cancer. Grodin had many movie roles, including “The Heartbreak Kid.” He starred with Robert De Niro in the comic thriller “Midnight Run” – and was the often-exasperated dad in “Beethoven,” the movie series about a lovable but troublesome St. Bernard. During his career, Grodin was also on Broadway, won an Emmy, wrote books – and made many TV talk show appearances, both as a host and as a guest.
ACCUSER TESTIFIES AT DANNY MASTERSON RAPE HEARING
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A woman says Danny Masterson was once part of a circle of mutual friends – but ended up a rapist. The woman, identified as Jen B., is the first to testify at a preliminary hearing to see if the “That 70s Show” actor star should stand trial. Two other rape accusers will testify at the hearing, which continues today in Los Angeles. In her testimony, Jen B. says while at Masterson’s home, she asked for a vodka drink – and he gave her something that left her struggling to stay awake. She says that Masterson raped her while she was out of it – and she couldn’t stop him. The woman was cross-examined by defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau, who pressed her on what he called inconsistencies in her account.
T.I., TINY HARRIS INVESTIGATED IN SEX ABUSE SCANDAL
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Back in February, VH1 stopped production of a reality TV show starring rapper T.I. and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris – because of allegations that the couple engaged in sexual abuse with other women. Now those claims are the subject of a police investigation in Los Angeles. An LAPD officer says the probe focuses on claims made by a woman in Los Angeles – and one in Las Vegas. Police aren’t providing details about the allegations. Their attorney says T.I. and Tiny “steadfastly deny and repudiate” the accusations against them.
TV RATINGS – “MOM”
NEW YORK (AP) – You can say the CBS comedy “Mom” went out on top – at least as far as its own ratings are concerned. Nielsen reports the sitcom drew 6.2. million viewers for its series finale last week. That’s the biggest audience of its final season on the air. “Mom” starred Allison Janney and Anna Farris and ran for eight seasons. Farris, who played Janney’s daughter, didn’t return for season eight – and wasn’t in the finale.
CHARLES BARKLEY DONATES $$ TO SCHOOLWORKERS IN ALA. HOMETOWN
LEEDS, Ala. (AP) – Charles Barkley has put his money where his mouth is. And considering how much he talks, that’s a large chunk of generosity. The former NBA star has given $1,000 apiece to the more than 200 employees of a city school system in his native Alabama. Barkley graduated from Leeds High School in 1981. And it isn’t his only show of financial support for his hometown. The Leeds City Schools page on Facebook says over the past 30 years, Barkley has given more than $3 million in scholarships to Leeds grads. The system says it’s “humbled” and gratified by Barkley’s financial help.