Home on the Range
Kevin Costner foots the buffalo bill in a tribute to Lakota heritage
Some movie stars indulge in fleets of shiny sports cars. Kevin Costner opted for a herd of gigantic bronze bison. Flush from his Academy Award triumph for 1990’s Dances with Wolves, Costner commissioned a massive sculpture, for about $2 million, depicting a Lakota buffalo hunt. He had hoped to display the 17-piece work (including one 17-ft,-tall Lakota horseman helping drive a herd of 14 9-ft.-high bison) on a planned $100 million resort to be built on the actor’s 842-acre Deadwood, S.Dak., property. With plans for Dunbar resort (named for his Dances character, Lt. John Dunbar) now delayed, the buffalo have been roaming outside a Lander, Wyo., foundry for the past few years.
Under contract to the artist, Peggy Detrners, to put the sculpture on public display by 2003, Costner, 47, is now mapping out a multimillion-dollar venture on his Dead-wood land, which includes an interpretive trail, visitor center and viewing terraces. “It’s all Kevin’s personal money,” says Jim Fisher, the project’s manager. “He’s very fond of this area.”
Just 45 minutes north of Mount Rushmore, the work will “stand as a separate tourist attraction,” notes Jim Wilson, a historic-preservation officer for Deadwood, who says the tiny town (pop. 1,380) welcomes Costner’s contribution to the area’s cultural fabric. “It’s not Mount Rushmore,” says Detmers, “but it will be very impressive.”
Kelly Ripa Goes Book Clubbing
Just three weeks after Oprah discontinued her enormously popular book club, Live with Regis and Kelly cohost Kelly Ripa, 31, has launched her own monthly reading group. So has Kelly got clout? Sure seems that way: Her first pick, a murder mystery titled If Looks Could Kill by Cosmopolitan editor Kate White, shot from around No. 7,000 to No. 1 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list. But where Oprah‘s choices were “serious, message-oriented” books, says Live executive producer Michael Gelman, Ripa’s promise to be “fun, quick reads.” Still, she presumably prefers the club name Reading with Ripa to her cohost Regis Philbin’s suggestion: Kelly’s Beach Trash.
Rosie and Kelli Are Having a Baby
In what has been a year of momentous announcements (she’s retiring from daytime television in May) and headline-making declarations (she’s gay), Rosie O’Donnell, 40, can finally celebrate some plain old happy news. The talk show host’s partner of four years, former marketing exec Kelli Carpenter, 34, is several weeks pregnant, confirms a friend of O’Donnell’s, who says the couple visited a sperm bank not long ago. (No word on the identity of the donor.) “To me,” O’Donnell has said, “biologically born or adopted is no different. You get the child you’re supposed to have.”
Already a parent to three adopted children—Parker, 6, Chelsea, 4, and Blake, 2—O’Donnell has always dreamed of “having lots of kids,” she told PEOPLE in 2000. What’s the magic number? “I would love five or six,” said the comic, who herself has four siblings. “Nothing would be better for me.”
Nor could the timing be more opportune for soon-to-be full-time parents O’Donnell and Carpenter. “They love each other very much,” says a pal. “They’re thrilled.”
Phyllis Diller’s (Very) Last Laugh
After nearly half a century on stage, Phyllis Diller will end her stand-up career with a final punch line on May 5 at Las Vegas’s Suncoast Hotel & Casino. “I’m simply shifting my focus to writing and painting,” says Diller, 84. Her last joke? Diller plans to say that her dream is to reach 100, “and if I make it, I know exactly how I’m going to play it. I’m going to be a sweet little old lady with a cane full of gin. How else would you stay sweet at that age?” Please tip your waiters! Thank you—and good night!
Madonna‘s Boy Ploy
A diva’s work is never done. With her own West End debut, Up for Grabs, delayed until May 13 for technical reasons, Madonna turned her attention to Boy George’s London musical Taboo. Madonna‘s publishers, Warner/Chappell, issued a letter striking a legal pose against the former Culture Club front man, 40, for parodying her 1990 hit “Vogue” in a number from the show, based on his turbulent life. Cited for “copyright infringement,” the offending lyric—”Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, that Madonna dyes her hair”—was cut from the production.
“It was only a matter of time before her famous lack of humor sprang forth,” said George philosophically.
Rallying Against Alzheimer‘s
Frasier star David Hyde Pierce, 43, put all joking aside on Capitol Hill April 30 when he lobbied the Senate Health Appropriations Subcommittee to devote $1 billion annually to finance Alzheimer’s research. His motivation? “I watched my grandmother take care of my grandfather when he had Alzheimer’s, and my mom and my brother take care of my dad when he was starting to get dementia,” Pierce said of the degenerative neurological disease that afflicts about 4 million Americans. “It’s not like one person gets the illness; the entire family is taken out.”
Magical Mystery Detour
Hold that gavel! The April 30 auction of a draft of the Beatles’ 1968 classic “Hey Jude” has been blocked by a London court after an appeal by Sir Paul McCartney, 59. The manuscript—expected to fetch more than $100,000—was offered by Florrent Tessier, a Frenchman who says he paid less than $15 for it at a London flea market in the early ’70s. McCartney claims the lyrics were stolen by intruders or an employee. (Break-ins were once so common at the singer’s home on London’s Cavendish Avenue, says Beatles historian Bill Harry, that they inspired the song “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.”) Paul’s words, which were meant to comfort John Lennon’s son Julian during the collapse of John’s marriage to Cynthia Lennon, will remain at Christie’s auction house until rightful provenance is decided.
Singer-songwriter Jewel was thrown off a horse April 24 at the 1,800-acre cattle ranch in central Texas owned by her boyfriend, seven-time world rodeo champion Ty Murray, 32. Although she suffered a broken collarbone and rib, Jewel, 27, whose latest video is called, ironically, “Break Me,” intends to begin a European concert series May 10 and an American tour June 14. She spoke about the accident with Scoop.
How are you feeling?
It hurts like a son of a gun, my arm is black and blue and swollen, and I can’t do anything to get comfortable.
What happened, exactly ?
We were having a branding here at the ranch. I saddled up a colt. I rode him about 15 seconds, which is a long time. I couldn’t believe how long he bucked. So I landed on my shoulder and broke my collarbone and rib.
Who called for help?
There happened to be a doctor there who handles all the bull riders. They gave me a painkiller, and they tied my shoulders back with a bedsheet, and then we went back down to the branding and watched for about four hours.
So the colt just had an attitude?
He was being pretty spiteful. But what are you going to do?
Will you ride him again?
Oh yeah. Ty got on him bareback the other day.
And now you’re healing?
I’d way rather tour. Sitting in bed watching TV isn’t very good for you.
What are you watching?
A good ESPN special about a jockey, Willie Shoemaker. He married a 9-ft. model. My goodness. What do girls think? It’s like the ugly guitar players getting chicks. Golly!
Will you marry Ty?
We’re both pretty happy. I’ll probably only get married when I want to have kids.
And will you let your children ride horses?
Oh yeah. It teaches you a lot. To communicate with a horse is a really beautiful thing.
ON THE BLOCK
Looking to impress? Land’s End, the Long Island manor rumored to have inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s depiction of Daisy Buchanan’s mansion in The Great Gatsby, will be auctioned on June 6. The author was a frequent visitor to the 13-acre estate when it belonged to editor Herbert Bayard Swope, who reportedly bought the land in 1928, three years after the novel’s release. Other guests included Irving Berlin and Groucho Marx. Overlooking Long Island Sound, the property features more than 20 rooms, a seven-car garage and a glass-enclosed pool house.