Plus: Tony Danza's class act, Blaine's new trick, and more

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 22, 2005 09:00 AM
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EXITED: There was a stunning tribal sacrifice on Thursday night’s edition of CBS’s Survivor: Palau, with 39-year-old Las Vegas showgirl Janu Tornell putting down her torch just before the vote – claiming she had already gotten all she could have out of the island experience. Another factor was that Janu sensed that her tribe was going to vote out Stephenie LaGrossa, 25-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep from Philadelphia – who also had been the last standing Ulong member before joining the Koror fold. Janu admitted that Stephenie deserved to stay on. After the surprise announcement, Janu explained, “No one will ever be able to take away this most unforgettable experience. No one.”

VISITED: Tony Danza, who turned 54 Thursday, spent his Wednesday surprising Beth Murawsky, 22, a student at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University by walking into one of her classes while she was doing an oral presentation (in Italian) about him as the Italian-American she admires most. Murawsky had contacted Danza’s TV producers for photos and bio info. What she didn’t know was that the producers contacted her professor and arranged for Danza to show up. “There was so much going on,” she told the Grand Haven Tribune. “I was a little nervous because, what if I got my facts wrong?” Earlier this week, Sting surprised university students during a music class in Chicago.

PLANNED: For his next stunt, illusionist David Blaine, 32, says he’ll perform an “easy and fun” high-wire act in Manhattan on Halloween. “Basically, it’s something that’s been done in the circuses, based on the old high-wire acts,” he tells the Associated Press. “It’s like family entertainment, this one.” Beyond that, what the trick is remains a mystery, though he does concede, “It’s my easiest one.” Stay tuned.

INJURED: Comedian Phyllis Diller, 87, hurt her head and neck after falling out of bed at her Brentwood mansion. “She has a big bruise on her forehead,” says manager Milt Suchin. “I think she blacked out. … She just awoke and a housekeeper came in and found her on the floor.” Diller, whose new memoir is titled Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse, was hospitalized after the accident early Monday, Suchin said. She is undergoing diagnostic tests, including tests on her pacemaker that was inserted in 1999.

DIED: Actress Ruth Hussey, 93, whose most famous role was probably as James Stewart’s fiance in 1940’s The Philadelphia Story (until his character starts falling for the charms of Katharine Hepburn), died Tuesday near Los Angeles, from complications from an appendectomy, says her son. She costarred with Spencer Tracy in movies, and did a lot of TV. Her final movie performance was as Bob Hope’s wife in 1960’s The Facts of Life.