Plus: Oprah's new show, Rick James funeral plans, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
August 10, 2004 09:00 AM

CAST: In her first TV acting appearance in two decades, Janet Jackson will play herself on an episode of Will & Grace set to tape Tuesday and air Sept. 23, NBC announced. Series regular Sean Hayes (Jack) will play one of her backup dancers. In related news, the National Football League, which was stung by Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at this year’s Super Bowl, announced Monday that it has assumed complete control of all entertainment related to its games. MTV had produced the halftime show at which Jackson’s breast was bared.

PLANNED: Funeral services have been announced for ’80s “Super Freak” funk legend Rick James, who was found dead Friday at age 56. A public viewing will be held Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Forest Lawn Memorial Park-Hollywood Hills. A memorial service will follow there at 11 a.m. Thursday. “Rick wanted everyone who loved him to be with him at the end and to celebrate his life,” said Sujata Murthy, his record label’s spokeswoman. Meanwhile, a statement on James’s Web site says that plans are still moving forward for a movie based on the singer’s autobiography, Memoirs of a Super Freak.

GROOMED: Designer Nate Berkus, seen on Oprah last season, is about to get his own daytime show thanks to Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, according to trade reports. Trading Spaces host Paige Davis could also be part of the new program, according to the publication Broadcasting & Cable.

HOSPITALIZED: Former Eagles bassist Randy Meisner, 58, who co-wrote and sang on the rock group’s classic “Take It to the Limit,” has been hospitalized for chest pains at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., his manager said. “He’s resting comfortably. He’s not experiencing any pain,” White said Sunday. “He’s doing well.” … Kinks founding member Dave Davies, 57, will require at least another month in a British hospital to recover from a stroke he suffered June 30. “He is paralyzed on the right-hand side of his body, but he retains some feeling and he can still hold a guitar plectrum,” said his spokesman. Doctors expect that he will recover.

DIED: Legendary “grandfather of film music” David Raksin, 92, best known for the haunting movie song Laura, died of heart failure Monday at his home in Van Nuys, Calif., says the Hollywood Reporter. Raksin, who was mentored by Arnold Schoenberg, Leopold Stokowski and George Gershwin, began his professional career in the 1930s and served as arranger for Charlie Chaplin on the classic Modern Times.

REVEALED: Last month’s death of Eric Douglas, 46, the youngest son of Kirk Douglas, was caused by “acute intoxication” from an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription pills, authorities say. A spokesman for the Douglas family declined to comment Monday on the medical examiner’s findings.

HONORED: Donald Duck, 70, received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday. Said Disney chief Michael Eisner at the ceremony, which took place outside the Disney-owned El Capitan Theater (across from Grauman’s Chinese): “Mickey isn’t even jealous. And all of our characters, particularly Daisy (Duck), want to thank you very much.”