“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts is planning to take a medical leave around the end of August for her bone marrow transplant. But during her absence from the ABC morning show, she’ll be getting a little help from her friends, she said Thursday.
Roberts listed Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric among her “wonderful, wonderful friends at ABC News” who will be subbing for her. Others mentioned: talk-show host Kelly Ripa and panelists from the ABC talk show “The View.”
Roberts announced last month that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease once known as preleukemia.
Brand sentenced for phone-tossing
Actor and comedian Russell Brand must perform 20 hours of community service and pay a $500 court fee to resolve a misdemeanor charge over a confrontation with a photographer in New Orleans, where he was filming a movie in March.
Brand wasn’t in a New Orleans courtroom Thursday when his attorney, Robert Glass, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf to a charge of simple criminal damage to property. The charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
Brand turned himself in to police three days after his encounter with a man trying to take his picture. Police said Brand grabbed the man’s phone and threw it at a building, breaking a window.
A deal with the district attorney’s office calls for the case to be dismissed if the actor completes the service requirement by Aug. 31.
Wallenda to walk at Knievel fest
A grandson of famous tightrope walker Karl Wallenda is performing in Butte this weekend during the 11th Evel Knievel Days.
Rick Wallenda told the Montana Standard he has always been a fan of the famous motorcycle daredevil from Butte and agreed to perform even before organizers said how much the event would pay. Wallenda, 57, plans to walk on a 250-foot-long wire cable about 50 feet off the ground.
Tightrope walking has been passed down generation to generation in Wallenda’s family, starting with his grandfather. His mother, Carla, continues to do a high-wire act at age 76 and his second-cousin, Nik, made history earlier this summer with a tightrope walk over Niagara Falls.
The birthday bunch
TV producer Norman Lear is 90. Actor Jerry Van Dyke is 81. 70. Singer Bobbie Gentry is 68. Actress-director Betty Thomas is 64. Olympic gold medal figure skater Peggy Fleming is 64. Singer Maureen McGovern is 63. Comedian-actress-writer Carol Leifer is 56. Comedian Bill Engvall is 55. Comedian Maya Rudolph is 40. Actor Blair Redford is 29.