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Faces & Names: Brand to be Rosie's first guest

(File / McClatchy Newspapers)

Brand to be Rosie's first guest

Rosie O'Donnell gets her wish: Russell Brand will be the first guest on her new talk show.

The Oprah Winfrey Network announced Thursday that the comedian and actor will appear on the Oct. 10 premiere of "The Rosie Show."

O'Donnell has said she's fascinated with Brand and called him a genius. She previously said she would love to have him as her first guest.

The show will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network, which promises Brand will be "one of many notable celebrities" during the show's first two weeks.

O'Donnell will tape in Chicago's Harpo Studios, former home of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" until it ended in May after 25 years.

Brand was featured in the movies "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," "Get Him to the Greek" and "Arthur."

Steel Magnolia's Jones enters rehab

Joshua Scott Jones, the male half of country duo Steel Magnolia, has entered treatment for alcohol and substance abuse.

Jones made the announcement Thursday afternoon on the duo's web site.

"God has been on my heart to announce and make public that I have entered a rehabilitation and treatment facility to address issues related to alcohol and substance abuse," Jones wrote in the statement to his fans.

Jones' girlfriend and singing partner, Meghan Linsey, announced Sept. 23 that the duo would cancel a handful of shows because the 31-year-old was unable to perform, but didn't specify why. Linsey began playing Steel Magnolia's scheduled tour dates alone on Sunday.

Elton John starts 3-year run at Caesars Palace

Elton John is returning to Las Vegas for a three-year headlining gig at Caesars Palace.

The five-time Grammy winner was set to perform Wednesday night for the first of 16 shows scheduled through October, the first performances of a new show titled "The Million Dollar Piano."

The remainder of the shows during the three-year run have not yet been announced.

John says it's named for the instrument he'll play during the show -- a piano that took manufacturer Yamaha four years to build.

"It's going to surprise a lot of people," John said of the instrument earlier this year as the show was announced.

"This isn't like the old days," John said of the new show. "It's going to be certainly different from anything you've seen from me before, as was 'The Red Piano,' " his previous show at Caesars.

His return comes more than two years after that five-year stint that ended in 2009.

Cravaack presents UPS check for College of St. Scholastica's Thanksgiving dinner

While in Duluth on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack stopped at the UPS customer service center on Port Terminal Road to assist the company in presenting a $5,000 check to the College of St. Scholastica for the college's Twin Ports Thanksgiving Buffet that feeds over 4,000 people each year.

The buffet, which is organized by the College of St. Scholastica, is in its 22nd year. Last year, 4,200 Thanksgiving meals were served. UPS drivers delivered 1,200 meals to homebound Northlanders.

This year marks the sixth year that UPS has supported the Twin Ports Thanksgiving Buffet.

Lautner a hit at 'Abduction' premiere

Taylor Lautner kept his shirt on but still whipped his U.K. fans into a frenzy at the European premiere of his latest film, "Abduction."

The heartthrob from the "Twilight Saga" series was greeted with a very noisy welcome -- mostly shrieking teenage girls -- as he stepped onto the red carpet Monday night at the British Film Institute's IMAX theater in London.

Despite the heavy rain, the 19-year-old Lautner made sure to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans.

After all, it's thanks to them that he was in London at all. They set up a Facebook campaign to ensure he'd promote the film in the U.K. -- an effort that resulted in 79,000 people "liking" the page on the social-networking site.

There was nothing for Lautner to do but hop on a plane to Britain.

Lautner broke into the big time as werewolf Jacob Black in the "Twilight" vampire film series, a role that required him to be shirtless even in the coldest temperatures. His finely toned abs created a legion of "Team Jacob" fans who wanted him to get the girl -- Bella Swan played by Kristen Stewart -- instead of her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (actor Robert Pattinson).

Lautner told the Associated Press that he's still surprised by the reaction he gets from fans.

"It's absolutely unreal and it continues to blow my mind every time I see it," he said.

Sheen's television legal dispute ends

Charlie Sheen, Warner Bros. Television and "Two and a Half Men" co-creator Chuck Lorre have officially made peace and settled their legal differences.

Sheen has been at odds with the studio and Lorre since early this year after Warner Bros. shut down production of the CBS sitcom to force Sheen to seek treatment for substance abuse issues. Warner Bros. later fired the actor after he publicly criticized the studio and Lorre.

Although none of the parties would comment on the deal, last week the Los Angeles Times reported that Sheen would receive $25 million to settle the matter. The amount was from profits Sheen was due to receive for work he had done on the show, a person familiar with the matter said.

The public fight involving Sheen, Warner Bros. and Lorre was one of the ugliest in recent memory. Sheen went on television and radio shows and even launched a national tour, all with the goal of criticizing his old bosses and declaring himself a winner.

A more contrite Sheen has appeared in recent weeks. He made an appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," where he joked that he would have fired himself too. He also was a presenter on Fox's Emmy Awards telecast Sept. 18 and wished "Two and a Half Men" good luck without him.

Duking it out with the Hazzard crew

Brett Quist of Superior was one of several dozen visitors at the Fond-du-Luth Casino on Sunday to win an autographed caricature drawing of himself with Catherine Bach and Ben Jones, better known as Daisy Duke and Cooter of Dukes of Hazzard fame.

"I used to watch that show when I was a kid," said a nostalgic Quist.

Behind Quist in line was Pat App, a resident of Santa Barbara, Calif., who was visiting relatives in the Northland. App not only got a signed caricature, but also asked the stars to autograph his jean jacket, which bears the names of at least 100 other celebrities, including Johnny Cash, Jesse Jackson, Oliver North, a few astronauts and Paul Tibbets, the pilot who dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima from the Enola Gay in the final days of World War II.

App fondly recalls the show as part of a more innocent age.

"There wasn't the same kind of violence and sexuality like you see nowadays," he said. "It was more clean fun. No one really got killed, and everyone had a good time."

Marsalis says he and Clapton share roots

Although Wynton Marsalis comes from the worlds of jazz and classical music, and Eric Clapton is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Marsalis says their recent collaboration wasn't that unusual because they both have something that unifies them -- their love of the blues.

"Eric Clapton, he's from England, but he's a part of the blues tradition because that's what he studied, and that's what he wanted to learn how to play," the New Orleans native said in a recent interview.

"I don't have to go outside of myself, I don't have to play any different kind of way. ... The music all comes from the same source, Afro-American music, blues, shuffles, basic beats and things that were put in place between the Civil War and the turn of the century."

Clapton and Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performed together in April for the center's annual gala benefit. A CD from that night, "Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues," was released earlier this month.

Marsalis said there are no firm plans to work together in the near future, but he knows it will happen.

"It was too much fun playing to not play again," he said.

Michelle the Riveter, yours for $16.99

You've seen the picture before, but is that the right face?

No, that's Northland's NewsCenter anchor Michelle Lee striking the famous Rosie the Riveter pose.

Rosie would probably forgive the copying, since Lee posed for the photo as part of a fundraising project for the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior. The Bong Center worked with Kernz & Kompany to produce a calendar of local personalities recreating famous World War II era images.

Other images include Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen, UMD Chancellor Lynn Black and Bong Center Chairman Terry Lundberg at the 1945 Yalta Conference. You'll have to buy the calendar to see who poses as Stalin.

Other local celebs featured in the calendar are Duluth Mayor Don Ness, Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, State Sen. Roger Reinert, retired Brig. Gen. Ray Klosowski, Cathy Kates from B105, George Goldfarb of Maurices, Nancy Aronson Norr of Minnesota Power, Ryan Kern of the Duluth Airshow, Tim Sauter of Sauter Insurance, Dr. Christopher Delp of St. Luke's hospital, local Duluth boxer Al Sands, A.J. Carpenter of Kernz & Kompany, and Dani Hogan, RN, of Essentia.

Calendars are available for pre-order at for $16.99 per copy.

Malkovich delighted by mobster role

John Malkovich says his latest acting role, an aging Siberian mobster trying to raise his grandson to be an honorable crook, proved to be a "delightful" experience.

The movie, "Siberian Education," is set in Trans-Dniester, now a separatist republic between Moldova and Ukraine, though filming of the U.S.-Italian production took place in Lithuania and wrapped up this week.

Malkovich plays Kuzja, an old recidivist exiled to Trans-Dniester along with numerous other ex-convicts by Soviet authorities in the waning years of the Soviet Union. Kuzja tries to teach his grandson Kolyma -- the film's main protagonist, played by Lithuanian actor Arnas Fedaravicius -- the arcane rules of "criminal morals."

"It is an interesting story about the way of life that most of audience would not know about," Malkovich said Friday before leaving Lithuania. "Things are so much global and Americanized. It's interesting to think of that kind of (criminal) culture that the film addresses is kind of becoming extinct."

"I found this experience delightful," he added.

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