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People in the News

January 18, 1989

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Actor Kirk Douglas, a son of poor Russian immigrants who ate more than one meal in soup kitchens, told Skid Row’s homeless that luck as much as talent lifted him out of poverty.

″I know what it’s like to go without food,″ Douglas told the approximately 300 people receiving free lunch Tuesday at the Los Angeles Rescue Mission. ″You don’t forget those things.″

The 72-year-old actor, who has appeared in more than 70 films, recounted his early hard times in ″The Ragman’s Son,″ an autobiography published last year. In the book Douglas recounts one Thanksgiving when he had a quarter to his name and ate a turkey dinner at the Salvation Army.

He recalled Tuesday a New York City soup kitchen once turning him away because it ran out of food.

Later, he said, the breaks came that would lead to a successful screen career.

″A lot of it is luck. It isn’t all talent,″ he said.


DAKAR, Senegal (AP) - Former world boxing champion Muhammad Ali said Wednesday he is looking for an African country to live six months of the year, and that Senegal might be it.

Ali, in Dakar since Sunday, spoke to reporters after meetings with the ministers of tourism, finance and hydraulics.

He said he plans some investment projects in Senegal and is considering buying a hotel on the island of Goree, off Dakar, a main point of embarkation for the African slaves once sent to America.

Investment in a mineral water project is another possible project, said government officials who requested anonymity. Ali told Senegalese officials that he could use his name to attract investments to Senegal, the sources said.


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - The nationally syndicated ″Sally Jessy Raphael″ talk show may leave New Haven for a new haven.

WTNH-TV Station Manager Lew Freifield said Tuesday that discussions had been held about relocating the show closer to New York because of travel problems for Raphael, who lives in Westchester County, N.Y., and New York City.

The talk show, shown on more than 90 stations nationwide, has been taped at the downtown New Haven television station since June 1987.

Raphael’s weekly commute from New York to St. Louis was a major reason for the show’s relocation to New Haven from KSDK-TV in St. Louis.

The show’s executive producer, Burt Dubrow, would not say why the show is considering the move. But he denied it was because of the hour-plus commute Raphael must make, and he discounted reports of space, parking and audience problems at the ABC affiliate.

Dubrow said the show is merely ″exploring all kinds of options″ that might be available when its contract to lease space and production services from WTNH expires in June 1990.

Dubrow and Freifield would not rule out a move before 1990.


NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Jack Nicklaus may be a high-profile golfer but he’s a low-profile businessman.

Nicklaus, dubbed the Golden Bear when he dominated professional golf for more than two decades, since 1970 has been quietly amassing a business empire that now has annual revenues of about $400 million.

The company, called Golden Bear, has been receiving more of the 48-year-old golfer’s attention as chronic back pain keeps him off the professional golf circuit more and more frequently.

″It’s kind of a bittersweet competition for Jack between the business and golf,″ said Richard P. Bellinger, chief operating officer of the North Palm Beach-based business.

″I still don’t consider myself a businessman who grinds out the deals. I think of my involvement as being more creative,″ said Nicklaus, who won 89 pro golf titles from 1962 to 1988, including a stunning win in the 1986 Masters Tournament. He still competes in about 10 events a year.

Golden Bear has five divisions, all of which conduct golf-related business, from course design and instructional videos to developing residential communities around golf courses.


LONDON (AP) - The Prince and Princess of Wales will visit China and Hong Kong in November, Buckingham Palace announced Wednesday.

Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his wife, Diana, will visit China from Nov. 1-6 on the invitation of the Chinese government, said a palace spokeswoman, speaking anonymously in keeping with British custom. The couple will then sail two days to Hong Kong on the royal yacht Britannia for a two- day visit, the spokeswoman said.

Buckingham Palace also announced that Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will attend the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth’s conference in Nairobi, Kenya, on Feb. 21.


WILLCOX, Ariz. (AP) - Rex Allen, a silver-screen cowboy of the ’50s, will be honored with a museum of memorabilia and a theater in his hometown, organizers said.

Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Pat Buttrom, Montie Montana and George Gobel are among the celebrities scheduled to attend a Feb. 4 fund-raiser in Scottsdale for the $250,000 project, said Mary Leighton, coordinator for the Rex Allen Cowboy Museum Inc.

Allen, 68, was born in Willcox and now lives on a ranch near Sonoita.

Mrs. Leighton said the 2,800-square-foot museum should open by the end of the month. A theater next to the museum, closed since 1980, will show first- run movies and cowboy serials featuring Allen and others.

Republic Pictures released Allen’s first film, ″The Arizona Cowboy,″ in 1950. He had previously been a singer and radio announcer.

He starred in more than two dozen westerns as well as the mid-1950s TV series ″Frontier Doctor.″ He also narrated more than 150 Walt Disney films.

His records, including ″Streets of Laredo,″ ″Crying in the Chapel″ and ″Don’t Go Near the Indians,″ have sold more than 30 million copies.

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