John Wayne’s heirs sue Duke University

Wayne Family Portrait1969: John Wayne at home with his family: Ethan, Marissa, Aissa and his third wife, Pilar. Photo by John Dominis | Time & Life Pictures|Getty Images

He was known as that rare breed in Hollywood, a gentleman. So it’s hard to imagine how the Duke would have reacted to a lawsuit brought by John Wayne Enterprises against the unwittingly eponymous university in Durham.

Maybe, as his son Ethan asserts, Duke’s dream was to distill fine spirits, which Ethan is trying to do with Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Continue reading


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Recognize any relatives? Even foreign publications are fascinated by the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg. The Guardian published a series of photos from the 50th reunion of Civil War veterans. Is that great-great grandpa?

No bold names: Soledad O’Brien, the former CNN host who made her stamp with documentaries that examined race in America, has hopped aboard the Al Jazeera America express. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she will be joining CNN’s Ali Velshi and NBC’s Michael Viquerira in the observation car when the cable news channel starts broadcasting.  No word yet on when, but we have word on where.

Don’t tickle me, Elmo: Three sex-abuse suits filed by men against the longtime voice of Sesame Street’s Elmo have been tossed by a judge, the Baltimore Sun reported. The New York statute of limitations in reared its ugly head. One plaintiff remains, a 24-year-old who filed in Pennsylvania. Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who left Sesame Street in November, denies the allegations.

“Young fella, if you’re looking for trouble, I’ll accommodate ya”: The man was certainly big enough — in girth, in talent and, it turns out, in insults. Orson Welles had more than a few choice words for fellow performers, according to tapes of conversations found in a garage that will be published this month. Laurence Olivier’s  “stupid.”  Richard Burton “ruined his great gifts.” Spencer Tracy’s “a hateful man.” But John Wayne, Welles said, had “some of the best manners of almost any actor I’ve ever met in Hollywood.” Just a citizen giving the duke his due. h/t The Guardian

The sun’s July 4th: NASA’s High Resolution Coronal Imager captured five minutes of solar activity, to which astronomers have assigned a most difficult scientific name: sparkles. The BBC reports that the images help explain what’s going on inside the hot spots of the corona. Watch the sparklers on YouTube. Happy Independence Day!