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Film institute honors ‘wild and crazy guy’

From Wire Reports

The American Film Institute has picked comedian-actor-musician-writer-banjo player Steve Martin as the recipient of the 43rd AFI Life Achievement Award.

“Steve Martin is an American original,” Howard Stringer, chairman of the American Film Institute’s board of trustees, said in a statement Friday. “From a wild and crazy stand-up comic to one who stands tall among the great figures in this American art form, he is a multi-layered creative force bound by neither convention nor caution. His work is defined by him alone, for he is the author – and a national treasure whose work has stuck with us like an arrow in the head.”

Beginning his career as writer on the classic late 1960s CBS comedy variety series “The Smothers Brothers Show,” Martin went on to became one of hottest stand-up comedians in the U.S. in the 1970s.

Martin’s first starring movie role in Carl Reiner’s 1979 comedy “The Jerk,” which he also co-wrote, was a blockbuster hit. And over the years he’s starred in such popular comedies as “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid,” “All of Me,” “Roxanne,” “Father of the Bride” and 2003’s “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

He’ll receive the AFI Life Achievement Award at a gala tribute in Los Angeles on June 4.

Swift to advise ‘Voice’ contestants

Taylor Swift has plenty of her own hits, and now she’ll be advising young singers on “The Voice” how to do it themselves.

The NBC competition show said Friday that the “Shake It Off” singer is serving as a mentor to competitors later this month. She’ll make her first appearance Oct. 27, giving her some prime-time exposure on the day that her new album is scheduled to be released.

On three shows, Swift will advise contestants on vocal technique, stage presence and picking the right songs to fit their strengths.

Dental tech alleges Sheen attack

A dental technician who says Charlie Sheen punched her in the chest during an office visit is suing the actor for assault and battery.

Margarita Palestino filed the lawsuit Friday in Los Angeles seeking unspecified damages from the “Anger Management” star. Her lawsuit accuses Sheen of attacking her during a dental appointment Sept. 25, including punching her in the chest and grabbing her bra.

Los Angeles police said Thursday that they have an active investigation into the incident, but could not release further details.

The birthday bunch

Author Roy Blount Jr. is 73. Author Anne Rice is 73. Actress Lori Saunders is 73. Actress Susan Sarandon is 68. Actor Armand Assante is 65. Actor Christoph Waltz is 58. Music producer Russell Simmons is 57. Singer Jon Secada is 53. Actor Liev Schreiber is 47. Actress Alicia Silverstone is 38. NBA All-Star Derrick Rose is 26.

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