A Jackal by any other name… Universal has agreed to stop using the title The Day of the Jackal for its upcoming Richard Gere-Bruce Willis thriller. Frederick Forsyth, who wrote the 1971 novel, and Fred Zinnemann, who directed the 1973 film adaptation, both objected to the title’s use for the new film, which is not a remake of the original. For the time being, it’s being called Untitled Jackal Project.
Police nabbed William Drayton, 37 — Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav — for possession of marijuana, Dec. 6. Officers said Drayton was bicycling in the Bronx when they stopped him because of a suspicious bulge in his pocket — which, they said, was a brick of marijuana. He was released and given a January court date.
What’s love got to do with it? Presumably a lot, since Angela Bassett, 38, is engaged to actor Courtney B. Vance, 36, who stars in The Preacher’s Wife.
NBC West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer, 51, voluntarily checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Dec. 5, for an addiction to alcohol.
Oscar-nominated actor Howard Rollins, 46, Dec. 8, in New York City. Rollins, whose cause of death was not disclosed, had denied for six years that he had AIDS. He was one of Hollywood’s premier black actors in the early ’80s, starring in such films as Ragtime (1981), for which he was nominated as Best Supporting Actor, and A Soldier’s Story (1984). He also starred in TV’s In the Heat of the Night from 1988 to 1992. Rollins was written out of the show in 1993, after repeated arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. ”My wife and I are deeply saddened by Howard’s death,” said Heat costar Carroll O’Connor. ”He was a friend who we loved dearly.”… Former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle, 70, of brain cancer, Dec. 6, in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. From 1960 to 1989, Rozelle shepherded pro football into the modern era by establishing lucrative broadcast deals that turned it into a TV institution…. Country singer Faron Young, 64, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Dec. 10, in Nashville. Young had a string of hits from the ’50s to the ’70s, including 1961’s ”Hello Walls.”