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PASSAGES: Demme Was on Cocaine

02/04/2002 10:00AM

REVEALED: Coroner officials in L.A. said Saturday that "Blow" director Ted Demme, 38, had cocaine in his system when he collapsed and died from a heart attack on a basketball court on Jan. 13, reports the Associated Press. The stimulant may have been a factor in his death, they said. "We've ruled it an accidental death," said Lt. Erick Arbuthnot . . . BUSTED: Four-time Olympic gold medal gymnast Olga Korbut, 46, was arrested for allegedly shoplifting $19 worth of groceries (including cheese, figs and chocolate syrup) from a Georgia supermarket. The athlete's manager told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "She's embarrassed. But she thinks it's ridiculous." Korbut was released from jail after forking over a $600 bond in cash . . . DIED: German actress HILDEGARDE KNEF, 76, best known to American audiences for 1952's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," succumbed to a lung infection Friday, reported the Associated Press. She also starred in Cole Porter's 1954 Broadway musical "Silk Stockings." The musical world also lost SHELDON ALLMAN, 77, whom The New York Times described as the singing voice of TV's Mr. Ed (the talking horse) and the composer of the theme songs to "George of the Jungle" and other shows . . . DENIED: The Motion Picture Assn. of America (MPAA) on Thursday prohibited New Line Cinema from using the title "Austin Powers in Goldmember" for the third installment of the spy spoof starring Mike Myers, reports Variety. (New Line, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.) MGM, which owns the 1964 James Bond film "Goldfinger," had petitioned against the use of "Goldmember" as a title. No new name for the Myers film has been announced as yet, and ads for it that ran during the Super Bowl merely identified it as an "Austin Powers" film opening July 26 . . . SENTENCED: A Florida judge on Thursday sent "Apt Pupil" actor Brad Renfro, 19, to jail after he turned himself in for a probation violation, reports the Associated Press. Renfro is currently on probation for trying to steal a yacht in August 2000. His latest violation concerned a Jan. 14 incident near his hometown of Knoxvile, Tenn., in which he was charged with driving without a license and public intoxication. In 1998, Renfro, then 16, was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana but copped a plea and avoided jail time.

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