The Rev. Billy Graham celebrated his 95th birthday Thursday with well-wishers who serenaded him and praised him for his spiritual leadership. A crowd of roughly 900 attended the two-hour party for the North Carolina-born evangelist at an Asheville, N.C., hotel.
Graham’s son acknowledged beforehand that it wouldn’t be a long party. “We’re going to have a short evening,” the Rev. Franklin Graham said. “Daddy’s 95.”
The elder Graham was flanked by real estate mogul Donald Trump and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Fox News host Greta Van Susteren directed the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” twice to Graham. Among those on stage singing to Graham were country singer Ricky Scaggs and “Today” host Kathie Lee Gifford.
West pleads not guilty to charges
Kanye West pleaded not guilty Thursday through his attorney to charges of battery and attempted grand theft in connection with a physical altercation at Los Angeles Airport with a paparazzo.
Attorney Blair Berk made the brief appearance at the airport courthouse on West’s behalf on the two misdemeanor charges related to the July 19 incident. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Jan. 23.
Photographer Danny Ramos has sued the rapper for damages, but sources familiar with the case said it could be resolved with a civil settlement. West’s representatives have insisted he did nothing more than try to prevent the photographer from taking a picture.
Bond character resurrected for video
The head of the Secret Intelligence Service, where James Bond works, has returned from the dead.
Played by Judi Dench, M was killed off in the most recent Bond adventure, “Skyfall.” But Dench resurrected the character in a video released Thursday as part of the Weinstein Co.’s appeal to the Motion Picture Association of America to change the rating of Dench’s latest starring vehicle, “Philomena.”
The MPAA has given the film an R rating for language, but the Weinstein Co. wants it changed to PG-13. Company co-founder Harvey Weinstein appeared on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday to discuss his fight with the ratings organization.
Weinstein introduced the Dench video, which shows the actress in M’s office, saying, “Just when you thought I was dead.” She then appears to send an agent on a mission, asking, “Are you familiar with MPAA?”
The birthday bunch
CBS newsman Morley Safer is 82. Singer-actress Bonnie Bramlett is 69. Singer Bonnie Raitt is 64. Actress Alfre Woodard is 61. Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones is 59. Actress Parker Posey is 45. Actress Gretchen Mol is 40. TV personality Jack Osbourne is 28.