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People: Jun. 14, 1999

3 minute read
David Spitz

Adventures in Fatherhood

Maybe something was lost in the translation, but a crowd of concertgoers in Modena, Italy, heard Luciano Pavarotti say that MICHAEL JACKSON couldn’t make it to the charity concert because Jackson’s son “may be dying.” It was shocking news, especially to the two-year-old’s mother Deborah Rowe Jackson. “To hear that your child is dying and to find it on the news–and it not be true–is terrifying,” she told Los Angeles’ KNBC-TV before leaving to join her son and husband in New York City. She said PRINCE had a virus infection, which caused his third febrile seizure this year, a condition not uncommon among young children. At last report Prince was resting in a New York City hotel and, according to his doctor’s statement, “showing slow and significant improvement.”


It’s a prequel. It’s set a long time ago. It features monster-like creatures. Not Star Wars–it’s The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. “Fred and Barney are students at Bronto Crane Academy,” says MARK ADDY (the chubby guy in The Full Monty), who, with the help of two dialect coaches, is playing Fred. “They live in a trailer that’s just a pigsty.” The movie will answer several burning Flintstone questions: How did blue-collar Fred win heiress Wilma Slaghoople (KRISTEN JOHNSON)? How did Barney Rubble (STEPHEN BALDWIN) meet Betty O’Shale (JANE KRAKOWSKI)? And where did Dino come from? Alas, the etymology of “Yabba-dabba doo” will remain untold.

Champ of Chomp

First Jordan, then Gretzky, now (maybe) Nakajima. HIROFUMI NAKAJIMA of Kofu, Japan, the undisputed world hot dog-eating champion, may not return to Coney Island July 4 to try to win the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest for a third time. The 131-lb. “Black Hole of Kofu” first won the competition in 1997, when he defeated 360-lb. Ed (“The Animal”) Krachie of New York City by downing 24 1/2 dogs (plus buns). “At first they booed me, probably because I am a skinny little man,” says Nakajima, who soon became a crowd favorite. A Nathan’s spokesman attributed the champ’s reluctance to compete to a dispute between Nakajima and TV Tokyo, his onetime sponsor. Nathan’s has called for Jesse Jackson to intervene, but the thorny conflict rages. Nakajima would not discuss the dispute or how it affects his plans, except to say, “If or when I go, I’d like to enjoy the event without any ill feeling.”


If we needed further proof that it’s no fun being a former child star, COREY FELDMAN has provided it for us. In the latest issue of North Jersey’s Steppin’ Out magazine, Feldman, now 27, shares his unique perspective on fame:


Corey-ality: “I have enough controversy in my life… Marilyn Manson isn’t even important enough for me to be talking about.”

Reality: Manson’s latest album, Mechanical Animals, sold more than 1 million; Corey’s Still Searching for Soul sold fewer than 2,500.


Corey-ality: “Trust me, Ben Affleck won’t be around in 10 years… I’ve been around for 25! You would think people would be in awe.”

Reality: Does Meatballs 4 count as being around?


Corey-ality: “Look at Gwyneth Paltrow…She did 20 movies in four years because her parents are in the business! She’s not a great actress!”

Reality: Corey’s a tad bitter. (“How can you not be bitter when…it should be you up there winning the Academy Award?”)

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