High court to hear Fogerty case
Singer-songwriter John Fogerty won a Supreme Court hearing on Monday in his effort to be reimbursed for the lawyer fees he spent defending himself against a copyright lawsuit. The court will use Fogerty's case to decide whether winning defendants in copyright lawsuits may collect attorney fees from the losing plaintiffs if the lawsuits are not found to have been frivolous or filed in bad faith. Fogerty, former lead singer for Creedence Clearwater Revival, wrote the song Run Through the Jungle in 1970. He assigned the publishing rights to predecessors of Fantasy Inc. In 1985, Fogerty published a song entitled The Old Man Down the Road. Fantasy sued, alleging that the 1985 song was merely Run Through the Jungle with new words. After a 1988 trial, a San Francisco jury found that Fogerty had not infringed on the Jungle copyright. Fogerty sought to have Fantasy pay his attorney fees, but a federal trial judge turned down the request. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the denial of lawyer fees last February. A Supreme Court decision is expected in 1994.
Jay North puts Dennis behind
Jay North, who played the happy-go-lucky kid Dennis Mitchell in the TV series Dennis the Menace, says he has found peace after decades of dealing with the pain of a troubled childhood. North, 41, is working with A Minor Consideration, a group that counsels young performers and ex-child stars in dealing with the Hollywood system of use and rejection. And today, he plans to move from his home in North Hollywood to Lake Butler in North Florida, about 15 miles south of Lake City, where his wife of three months lives. "I'm finally starting a new life and burying Dennis Mitchell," North said in Sunday's Daily News of Los Angeles. North blames an aunt for the painful childhood he endured while starring on the 1959-63 series. He claims the aunt, who is now dead, was a taskmaster who slapped and emotionally abused him on the set. North avoids watching reruns of the show and has no intention of seeing the new Dennis the Menace feature film that opens Friday.
WFLA's Mark Williams honored
WFLA-AM 970 talk show host Mark Williams was recently awarded Recognition of Professional Excellence by the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts (NARTSH) at a convention in Chicago. Williams, who anchors the 7-10 p.m. time slot, moved to the station from WDCQ-AM in Fort Myers in January. The award honored Williams for his efforts on and off the air, especially involving listeners in political causes such as animal rights, gun control and defeating legislative pay raises. Williams shared the NARTSH spotlight with Lifetime Achievement Award winner Paul Harvey, Talk Show Host of the Year Larry King and Freedom of Speech Award recipient Salman Rushdie, who appeared by satellite TV hook-up.
Ruth Eckerd's Holly Duncan resigns
Holly Duncan has resigned her key fund-raising position as director of campaigns at Ruth Eckerd Hall and will take on a senior developmental position at The Florida Aquarium in Tampa in mid-July. There is no word on a successor.
ON THE TUBE
WEDU, Vision honored
WEDU and Vision Cable have been awarded for excellence in television. WEDU took home two "Newsmaker" awards from the Florida Teaching Profession/National Education Association for two of its 1992 programs, School Accountability in Florida, and Education on Trial: Bringing the Issues Home. Vision received 14 nominations and six awards from the CableACE awards.
L.A. Times draws studio's ire
The Hollywood Reporter is calling it "High Noon On Monday," an ultimatum by Columbia Studios that it may sever relations with the Los Angeles Times. Columbia executives are furious over a June 6 article by freelance writer Jeffrey Wells quoting unidentified viewers as saying they were disappointed in Last Action Hero after a screening in Pasadena. "Columbia Pictures will be out of business with the entire Los Angeles Times editorial staff as of noon on Monday, June 21," Columbia senior vice president Mark Gill wrote, "unless you guarantee that your paper will never again run a story written or reported by Jeff Wells about (or even mentioning) this studio, its executives or its movies." A Hollywood source said Columbia had repeatedly complained about Wells' reporting. The studio is particularly sensitive about the high-stakes movie, which opened to mixed reviews and a less-than-stellar first weekend at the box office (see related story, this page).
Friends of Helen Hayes gather
A few of the friends and admirers of Helen Hayes _ a crowd of some 1,500, in fact _ gathered late last week in a darkened Broadway theater to say farewell to Helen Hayes, the diminutive actor whose big-hearted portrayals of regal women helped make her one of the century's best-loved stars. "What a wonderful sight, a full house _ my mother would have loved it," said James MacArthur, Miss Hayes' son, as he took the stage of the Shubert Theater. MacArthur served as host of a 90-minute tribute that featured vivid remembrances of Miss Hayes, who died of heart failure at age 92 in March. In attendance were New York Mayor David Dinkins, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Julie Harris, Tony Randall, Lynn Redgrave and Jason Robards.