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NAMES IN THE NEWS

Twitty leaves wives out of will

Country music superstar Conway Twitty, who wrote that love is only make believe, left his wives out of his will, court papers showed Tuesday. The bulk of Twitty's estate, believed to be about $10-million, was left to his four grown children, the papers said. There was no provision for his widow, Dee Twitty, or his ex-wife, Mickey Jenkins, in the will filed Monday in the Sumner County Chancery Court in Tennessee. Twitty, who was born Harold Lloyd Jenkins and died June 5 at the age of 59, left $50,000 to his mother, Velma Dunaway, and the rest to his four children.

Crichton novel rereleased, to his ire

Michael Crichton denounced a publisher Monday for reissuing in hardcover a 25-year-old novel he wrote under a pseudonym, saying Dutton was making a "despicable" attempt to trick readers into thinking the book was new. "They can make whatever kind of smarmy, self-justified explanations they want, but it's very clear," said the author of Jurassic Park from his Los Angeles office. "They're exploiting the audience." Dutton dug up A Case of Need, a long out-of-print medical mystery it had published in paperback and to which it still controlled the rights. The writer's agent, Lynn Nesbit, called the publication "outrageous."

Lewis auction halted

A judge ordered the Internal Revenue Service not to start auctioning Jerry Lee Lewis' belongings until the rock 'n' roll pioneer's wife has a chance to argue that they belong to her. The IRS took pianos, furniture, clothes, rock 'n' roll memorabilia and other items May 6. Tax collectors want to sell the haul to help pay off part of a $3.7-million tax debt the government says Lewis owes. An auction was scheduled Monday, but U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla ruled late last week that most of the items could not be sold until Lewis' wife, Kerrie, has time to argue before a federal magistrate that she owns them. A hearing wasn't immediately scheduled. Mrs. Lewis, 30, said she has been a fan of her husband since her childhood and that she collected many of the items before they were married in 1984. "Those were my things that I have collected since I was 10 years old," she said.

Th-th-that's not all, folks

Noel Blanc has found a stash of animation production cels and other memorabilia belonging to his father, the late Mel Blanc, who put words in the mouth, snout and bill of such characters as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Daffy Duck. There are more than 250 transparencies used in cartoon production, including cels of Bugs Bunny from the 1956 animated short Half Fare Hare, Yosemite Sam from the 1956 Rabbitson Crusoe and Daffy Duck from the 1956 Deduce You Say. The cels and other memorabilia will be available during an auction July 10 at Superior Galleries in Beverly Hills.

HOT TICKET

Just one word of advice: Amber

Jurassic Park isn't just striking pay dirt at the box office, it's turning amber sales into a gold mine, too. The movie's premise, that ancient DNA sucked from fossilized insects trapped in amber can be used to resurrect dinosaurs, has prompted mammoth demand for the tawny substance, gem sellers say. "(Last weekend's) sales that we tracked really changed," said Esther Swann, buyer for the Nature Co., a 104-store national chain based in Berkeley, Calif. "It was just like a vacuum." The science fiction scenario was based in part on the real life work of University of California scientist George O. Poinar of Berkeley, an entomologist who began studying chunks of amber more than 20 years ago. "When we began doing this work, we didn't anticipate the book and the movie coming out and kind of whipping up the public into a frenzy over dinosaurs and amber," Poinar said.

ON SCREEN

"Indecent' marks a milestone

Indecent Proposal, a film starring Demi Moore and Robert Redford, topped the $100-million mark Sunday, 75 days after release, Paramount Pictures said. Indecent Proposal is the first Paramount film this year to hit the $100-million mark.

OF NOTE

San Francisco names music director

The San Francisco Symphony board of governors has appointed Michael Tilson Thomas music director of the San Francisco Symphony effective September 1995, it was announced Tuesday by symphony president Nancy Bechtle. Tilson Thomas, currently principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, will succeed Herbert Blomstedt, who will become music director laureate at the close of the 1994-95 season.

ON THE TUBE

Bay area psychologist on TV

Ruth A. Peters, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in private practice in Clearwater, will be featured in a Good Morning America segment between 7 and 9 a.m. Thursday as part of a series on child and adolescent issues. Peters will focus on "How Music Affects Kids' Behavior." Peters has been a contributing editor to Child magazine and a consultant in child psychology to Sylvan Learning Systems and is the author of Who's In Charge? A Positive Parenting Approach to Disciplining Children.

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