PASSAGES: Actor Nigel Hawthorne Dies
DIED: Actor Sir Nigel Hawthorne, 72, Oscar nominated for playing the title role in "The Madness of King George" and known internationally as Sir Humphrey on the British TV series "Yes, Mister," suffered a fatal heart attack Wednesday at his home north of London. His agent said Hawthorne had recently undergone chemotherapy treatments for cancer . . . UPGRADED: AIDS activist and author ("The Normal Heart") Larry Kramer, 66, is in fair condition after being moved from intensive care on Wednesday, five days after receiving a liver transplant. A spokeswoman at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center said Kramer was able to walk a bit, and doctors are said to be pleased with his progress . . . ENGAGED: Squeaky clean Irish crooner Daniel O'Donnell, 40, proposed to girlfriend Majella McLellan over dinner on Christmas Day. "This has been the greatest Christmas of my entire life," the singer was quoted as saying after breaking the news on a local radio station . . . CANCELED: NBC has axed its first-year sitcoms "Emeril" and "Inside Schwartz," the network announced. "Emeril," in which chef Emeril Lagasse was trying to become a sitcom star, will be replaced on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. by "Imagine That," with Hank Azaria, beginning Jan. 8. "Inside Schwartz" will have its final broadcast Jan. 3, then will be replaced by reruns of "Will & Grace" on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. . . . RENOVATED: Vice President Dick Cheney's 33-room mansion in Washington, complete with an indoor gym, seven fireplaces and art borrowed from some of the nation's most prestigious collections. The government-owned residence "doesn't have an institutional feel about it," his wife, Lynne Cheney, told Associated Press reporters who were given a tour of the place. "At the same time I think it has a lot of dignity." Granted, the Veep, 60, doesn't spend a lot of time there. Since Sept. 11, he has been in an undisclosed location to protect his safety. . . .WON: Atlantic City, after a heated competition to woo away the Miss America Pageant after 80 years in the New Jersey seaside resort, will retain the contest for at least one more year, the pageant's board of directors announced Thursday. Nevada, Florida, California and Connecticut had all reportedly put in their bids once organizers said they needed heavy local subsidies in order for the contest to remain where it was. . . .
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