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Die-hard fans keep ‘Dead’ actor on job

From week to week, fans simply never know which characters will survive the relentless zombie attacks on AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead.”

That unpredictability keeps viewers on the edge of their seats and the shows’ stars in a constant state of alertness.

“You see series and they last a long time and sometimes the writing gets lazy or the acting gets lazy. Because we’re in a zombie apocalypse and anyone can go at any time, it sort of keeps us fresh and on our toes,” Norman Reedus told the Associated Press on Friday.

Fans lined up around the block to watch a panel discussion with Reedus and his co-stars at Paleyfest, the annual Southern California TV celebration. Many in the crowd showed their support for Reedus’ crossbow-wielding character, Daryl Dixon, with their “If Daryl dies we riot!” T-shirts.

The 44-year-old actor says his vocal fan base is responsible for his character’s impressive longevity in a series that seems to have no qualms in axing its most popular characters.

“Hell yes. Oh my god, yes,” he said. “(They’re) keeping me on the show.”

“The Walking Dead” focuses on a rag-tag band of surviving refugees, including unruly brothers Daryl and Merle Dixon, who were not part of the series’ comic book origins.

“I want to be Daryl Dixon in my next life,” co-star Laurie Holden joked. “He’s sexy and he’s got the rugged thing going on.”

‘Modern Family’ stars stuck in elevator

Three stars from the ABC comedy “Modern Family” got stuck in a Kansas City, Mo., elevator for about an hour Friday night, delaying their appearance at a charity benefit.

Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet were in town for a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City. Stonestreet grew up in Kansas City, Kan.

The Kansas City Star reports the three actors were trapped in an elevator with about a dozen other people at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, where they were headlining the fundraiser.

Crews from the Kansas City Fire Department freed the group at about 10 p.m., an hour after they were scheduled to appear.

The birthday bunch

Singer Bobby Womack is 69. Bassist Chris Squire (Yes) is 65. Actress Kay Lenz is 60. Percussionist Emilio Estefan (The Miami Sound Machine) is 60. Actress Catherine O’Hara is 59. Actor Mykelti Williamson (“Forrest Gump”) is 56. Actress Patricia Heaton is 55. Actor Steven Weber (“Wings”) is 52. Bassist Jason Newsted (Metallica) is 50. Actress Stacy Edwards is 48. Singer Evan Dando (The Lemonheads) is 46. Drummer Fergal Lawler (The Cranberries) is 42. Country singer Jason Sellers is 42. Actress Margo Harshman (“The Big Bang Theory”) is 27.


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N. Korea, setting stage for talks, halts nuclear, ICBM tests

UPDATED: 10:03 p.m.

North Korea said Saturday it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site ahead of a new round of negotiations with South Korea and the United States. There was no clear indication in the North’s announcement if it would be willing to deal away its arsenal.