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Truth is, for ‘Today’ hosts, time’s surely on their sides

The Spokesman-Review

THE “TODAY” SHOW team is one of the best – or, at least, most successful – in the morning-show television business.

But an end may be in store for the NBC morning team of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer as contract negotiations are coming for Couric in May.

“I have, when it’s operating on all four cylinders, one of the best jobs in television,” Couric told The New Yorker magazine. “At the same time, everybody needs recharging.”

Couric, 48, has been approached by CBS News about its evening news anchor job. But NBC isn’t going to just roll over. Universal executive Jeff Zucker, Couric’s former producer, said last month that he hoped Couric was at the network “for many, many years to come.”

As for Lauer, the 47-year-old broadcaster told the magazine that after he turns 50, he could see himself in semiretirement like his pal Bryant Gumbel.

“I don’t want to work five days a week,” Lauer said.

But love, as the poet says, is a sickness of the heart

Lauren Bacall, the veteran actress, and widow of Humphrey Bogart, told Time magazine that Tom Cruise‘s behavior regarding his engagement to Katie Holmes was “shocking.” “It’s inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially,” Bacall said. “I think it’s kind of a sickness.”

Maybe what Cruise needs is a tour of ‘Twin Peaks’

A longtime practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, film director David Lynch has formed a foundation that will encourage schools to use the technique in the classroom. “It’s knowledge in terms of the self, and it works wonders in the kids,” the director of such films as “Twin Peaks: Firewalk With Me,” “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive” said.

Love between ex-friends goes into the toilet

California attorney Michael Baroni had planned on putting various keepsakes from his teenage romance with “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston up for eBay auction. Included were a makeshift birthday card supposedly written on a piece of toilet paper. But, Baroni told The Associated Press, “I have voluntarily canceled the eBay auction upon receiving word from one of Jennifer’s representatives that she didn’t want me conducting the auction. I have nothing but fond memories of Jennifer as a friend and only wish her well.”

Even now, the Dark Side of the Force loses out

Trekkers of the world, break out your piggie banks. A light saber used by Mark Hamill in the original “Star Wars” sold for $200,600 Friday in an auction of movie props and costumes. Meanwhile, a saber used by David Prowse, who played Darth Vader (voice by James Earl Jones) fetched just $118,000. The sabers were among 75 “Star Wars” items put up for auction by Gary Kurtz, producer of the first two movies.

He no longer flies Solo, though

Speaking of “Star Wars” (see above), avid pilot Harrison Ford, dashing space pilot Han Solo of the first three “Star Wars” films, will continue to chair a program that introduces children to flying. As EAA Young Eagles Executive Director Steve Buss said, “Harrison Ford is a great ambassador of the program because he shows that he believes in it and, as a pilot volunteer, he lives it.”

The birthday bunch

Actor Peter O’Toole is 73. Keyboardist Garth Hudson of The Band is 68. Director Wes Craven is 66. Actress Joanna Cassidy is 60. Actress Kathryn Harrold is 55. Actor Butch Patrick (“The Munsters”) is 52. Singer Mojo Nixon is 48. Actress Victoria Jackson is 46. Actress Apollonia is 46. Actress Mary-Louise Parker is 41. Drummer John Stanier of Helmet is 37. Director-actor Kevin Smith is 35. Actor Edward Furlong is 28. Actress Hallie Eisenberg is 13.

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