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Web posted on: Monday, October 12, 1998 5:28:12 PM

Today's buzz stories:


John Denver memorials held on anniversary of death

ASPEN, Colorado (CNN) -- The anniversary of John Denver's death is being remembered with concerts and a candlelight vigil. The singer-songwriter known for hits like "Rocky Mountain High" and "Country Road" died on October 12, 1997 when his plane crashed into the ocean near Pacific Grove, California.

A candlelight vigil at Pacific Grove is scheduled for Monday night. Meanwhile, several former bandmates sold out "A Musical Tribute to John Denver" Sunday, which benefitted a charity for the disabled. Another Sunday event benefitted the Hunger Project, Planet 2000 and other groups Denver supported.

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"Life is Beautiful"

'Life Is Beautiful' wins in Vancouver

VANCOUVER (CNN) -- The Vancouver International Film Festival has named the Italian tragicomedy "Life is Beautiful" winner of its top prize. The film by Italian director Roberto Benigni won the Air Canada People's Choice Award, for most popular movie at the fest, Saturday night.

In the film, Benigni plays Guido, a Jewish father sent with his family to a concentration camp who convinces his son everything is just a game in order to protect him. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes earlier this year, and took home almost every prize at the Donatello Awards, Italy's version of the Academy Awards.

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Joseph Cates was responsible for casting Art Carney (pictured above) and Ed Norton in TV's "The Honeymooners"

Joseph Cates dead at 74

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Joseph Cates, who had a distinguished career in TV and on Broadway and was the father of actress Phoebe Cates, died this weekend after a battle with leukemia. He was 74. Cates is best known for having the foresight to cast Art Carney to play sewer worker Ed Norton in "The Honeymooners." He also helped design the "Honeymooners" set, and helped create the legendary game show "The $64,000 Question."

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Ann-Margret 'fascinated' with life of Harriman

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Ann-Margret is amazed at the life of Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman. "I was just fascinated that she could get so much done in her life -- and so many men!" the actress said in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

Ann-Margret portrays Harriman in the Lifetime channel's movie "Life of the Party: The Biography of Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman." Harriman was the U.S. ambassador to France when she died last year. Her colorful life included marriages to Winston Churchill's son and statesman Averell Harriman, as well as relationships with the likes of Edward R. Murrow, Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli, Frank Sinatra and Aly Khan.

"She became indispensable to all of her men," Ann-Margret says. "She zeroed in on certain men, rich and powerful and handsome men, and really, truly loved them."

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Claire Danes apologizes for Manila criticism

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Claire Danes is sorry. In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, the actress apologizes to the Philippine capital of Manila for criticizing conditions there. After filming the movie "Brokedown Palace," Danes came back to the United States and reportedly said Manila "smelled of cockroaches" and the locals were "people, with, like, no arms..." Manila city council members responded by banning her films.

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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