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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 6, 2000


Julia Roberts makes most-influential list

Julia Roberts has become the first actor to make the Hollywood Reporter's annual list of the entertainment industry's most influential women.

Roberts ranks No. 3 on the trade publication's Power 50, published Tuesday. Paramount Pictures executive Sherry Lansing tops the list a second straight year. Roberts, whose $20-million price per movie makes her one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, has appeared in more than 30 films. "Julia Roberts is really the only actress in Hollywood who has the ability to have any project she's interested in made," said Christy Grosz, managing editor of special issues.

Pianist targets Chuck Berry's fortune

A pianist who says he co-wrote some of rock 'n' roller Chuck Berry's greatest hits is suing for millions in royalties from such songs as No Particular Place to Go, Roll Over Beethoven and Sweet Little Sixteen.

Johnnie Johnson, in a federal lawsuit filed in St. Louis last week, said Berry took advantage of Johnson's alcoholism. Johnson, 76, said he had a hand in about 50 of Berry's songs. He said Berry even wrote the classic Johnny B. Goode as a tribute to him. Berry, 74, owes Johnson "millions of dollars in royalties, license fees and other payments," according to the lawsuit.

Berry's lawyer, Martin Green, said there was no chance of a settlement. "I can tell you that Chuck's first reaction was shock and surprise," Green said.

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