Following is a summary of current people news briefs.
Mackenzie Philips charged with heroin possession
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former "One Day at Time" television star Mackenzie Phillips was charged on Wednesday with cocaine and heroin possession after being arrested last week while going through airport security. Prosecutors in Los Angeles also charged Philips, 48, with unauthorized possession of a hypodermic needle or syringe. She is out on $10,000 bail awaiting a first court hearing in October.
Letterman says McCain jokes "not entirely fair"
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - David Letterman is feeling a bit remorseful about poking fun at the advanced age of Republican presidential contender John McCain, telling Rolling Stone magazine that his McCain jokes are "not entirely fair." Along with his late-night TV rivals, the 61-year-old comedian has had little difficulty dredging up old-fogey jokes about the Arizona senator, who turned 72 last week and would be the oldest man ever elected U.S. president.
Lily Allen thanks police over friend's "kidnap"
LONDON (Reuters) - Lily Allen has thanked London police for rescuing a close friend of hers who she said had been kidnapped for ransom. The friend, named only as "Charlie," and another man were allegedly abducted at gunpoint from a sports store in west London and bundled into the back of a car at the start of the month.
Oprah throws party for U.S. Olympic medalists
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Talk show host Oprah Winfrey threw a rousing welcome home party for more than 150 U.S. Olympic medal winners on Wednesday that was a salute to the athletes and a pep rally for efforts to bring the 2016 summer games to America. Winfrey, whose program is seen 140 countries and boasts a weekly U.S. audience of 46 million, filled an open-air concert venue on Chicago's Lake Michigan waterfront with more than 4,000 people who jumped, shouted and cheered in swirling red, white and blue confetti as the medalists walked through the aisles and took the stage.
Ledger voted top summer movie villain
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Heath Ledger's chilling portrayal of the Joker in Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight" easily surpassed rivals to be named the summer's best movie villain in a poll released on Wednesday. Australian actor Ledger, 28, who died of an accidental drug overdose six months before the July release of "The Dark Knight," won 95 percent of votes in a poll by AOL's Moviefone.com Web site.
"Guitar Man" Jerry Reed dies at age 71
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Singer and actor Jerry Reed, known as "The Guitar Man" of country music, has died at the age of 71, ending a career that took him from writing hit songs like "When You're Hot, You're Hot" to major acting roles in Hollywood. Reed died on Monday from complications from emphysema. He had been cared for recently in a hospice, Country Music Television in Nashville reported.