OFFBEAT: Brooke Shields shares odd Wayne Newton story on 'Today' show

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-01-02T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Brooke Shields shares odd Wayne Newton story on 'Today' showBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

While filling in for hosting duties opposite Matt Lauer on NBC's 'Today' show on New Year's Eve morning, actress Brooke Shields had an odd, yet interesting tale to share about one of her most memorable New Year's Eve celebrations.

In 1982, when she was 16, she said the singer Wayne Newton invited her, along with her mother, Teri Shields (who died in October 2013 at age 79), to spend New Year's Eve as his special guests to see his live stage show at the casino where he was headlining in Atlantic City.

"He sent his private plane for us, and then my mom got hammered and couldn't get on the plane to go with me," said 48-year-old Shields.

"So I called my my friend Lisa and said: 'Get up, pack a bag, you're going on Wayne Newton's plane with me to Atlantic City. I remember we stole all of the Tic-Tacs and Wrigley's gum from the candy dishes on his plane. And there was just the two of us on his 747."

She continued on to reveal Newton, who was 40 at the time, also sent her an Arabian horse as a gift.

"It was an Arabian horse that was also pregnant, and so then the question was, do I keep the foal [baby horse] or give back the foal?" she explained.

"Well, I had to give back the baby horse. He was very much a gentleman. And I remember my friend Lisa and I did have a very good time and we did drink champagne."

The last time we had Mr. Entertainment Newton performing in our Region or Chicagoland, it was in December 2008 when he brought his Christmas show to The Venue at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond.

Big Apple bite

Dolton claim-to-fame funnylady Jane Lynch spent her New Year's Eve on the live countdown NBC broadcast in New York City's Times Square. She did co-hosting duties with Carson Daly to welcome 2014.

Reader wonderment

Tuesday's column answering a reader question about Meredith Vieira's retirement from hosting the game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and her replacement host Cedric the Entertainer, prompted lots of feedback. Much of what readers' sentiment to me about Vieira's successor seems summed up by what reader Phyllis Kimbel wrote in: "My question for this new year is concerning the 'Millionaire' show. Why does ABC allow such an idiot on TV as Cedric? He is so disgusting, loud and obnoxious, that I refuse to watch the show. I would think that they [ABC executives] might watch the show and get him off the air. I would love to be able to watch the show again, because I am housebound and TV is all I can do. That was my favorite show, but I had to turn to 'Let's Make a Deal' for my entertainment. I would like for ABC to know how I feel about that crazy dude whose only entertainment talent is playing air guitar. This is perfect for such an airhead!!!"

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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