PASSAGES: Firestone Romance Goes Flat

12/09/2003 5:04PM

SPLIT: Proving the skeptics right, Firestone tire heir and "The Bachelor" star Andrew Firestone, 28, tells TV's "Extra" that he and fiancee Jennifer Schefft are no longer a couple. "This is a decision we made together through long and thoughtful discussion," he says. "It is totally amicable and, though we care for each other deeply, we have come to realize that our future goals are different." Added Schefft: "Our love for each other was genuine, but we confronted the same challenges as any other couple trying to make a relationship work day-to-day."

VOICED: "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow is poised to go the Julie Kavner-Marge Simpson route and will lend her voice to an untitled animated pilot being considered by FOX, says the Hollywood Reporter. Kudrow, 40, is said to be contributing to a project being created by Jonathan Katz and Tom Snyder ("Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist"), playing the mother of a family whose life is disrupted when their uncle moves in with them.


QUOTED: "Truth be told, the President's a couple of quarts low on musical talent." -- Former President George Bush on his son, George W. Bush, to PEOPLE at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., Sunday


OUTRAGED: Actor and longtime conservationist Robert Redford, 66, criticized the Bush administration's energy legislation, calling it one of the worst bills he has seen. "It's one of the greatest disgraces in my time," Redford said Sunday at a press conference. "It's a bad bill, it's a horrible bill. ... I think the American people are being really ill served right now, and I think nowhere is it more disgraceful than in how the environment is being treated." Redford said the legislation places too much dependence on fossil fuels and not enough stress on alternative energy sources and conservation measures.

BUSTED: Funk music pioneer George Clinton, 63, was arrested Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla., and charged with drug possession after allegedly telling an officer he had cocaine in his pocket, reports the Associated Press. Clinton, who was released on bail during the weekend, was charged with one felony count of cocaine possession and a misdemeanor count of possession of a smoking pipe, the Tallahassee Democrat reports in its Tuesday editions. No comment from the Clinton camp.

DIED: Cuban pianist Ruben Gonzalez, 84, who began in the 1940s at Havana's Tropicana cabaret and was introduced to worldwide audiences in old age as part of the Buena Vista Social Club, has died in Havana, say reports. No cause has been given. His death follows the passing earlier this year of another key member of the Social Club, Compay Segundo. ... "Christmas in July" and "Sing, You Sinners" star Ellen Drew, 89, who went from working in a Hollywood Boulevard ice cream parlor to appearing in scores of movies opposite such leading men as Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Dick Powell and Joel McCrea, has died of liver trouble. Married and divorced several times, she is survived by a son and several grandchildren.

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