Nipsey Russell dies at age 80

NEW YORK - Nipsey Russell, who played the Tin Man alongside Diana Ross and Michael Jackson in "The Wiz" as part of a decades-long career in stage, television and film, has died. He was 80.

The actor, who had been suffering from cancer, died Sunday afternoon at Lenox Hill Hospital, said his longtime manager Joseph Rapp.

Born in Atlanta, Russell launched his television career as Officer Anderson in the 1961 television series "Car 54, Where are You?" He also appeared in the 1994 film version.

Actor Hopkins to play Hemingway

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Anthony Hopkins will star as Ernest Hemingway in "Papa," to be directed by Roger Donaldson.

Donaldson said the film will be based on Hemingway's encounter with Denne Bart Petitclerc, America's youngest war correspondent in the Korean War, who was inspired by how Hemingway reported on the Spanish Civil War.

'Spamalot' star returns to show

NEW YORK - Hank Azaria, Broadway's original Knight of Ni - not to mention its Tim the Enchanter, the French Taunter and a very gay Sir Lancelot - returns Dec. 2 to "Monty Python's Spamalot."

Azaria left the hit Broadway musical in June to begin filming another season of his Showtime television series, "Huff."

"Spamalot," based on the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," has a book by Eric Idle and a score by Idle and John Du Prez. The show will begin a North American tour next March in Boston.

Romano unsure of performing standup full time

OXFORD, Miss. - Ray Romano says he doesn't know if he will perform full time as a standup comedian now that his CBS comedy, "Everybody Loves Raymond," has wrapped up its nine-year run.

Romano, 47, is committed to doing a sequel to the animated film "Ice Age," where the actor voiced the wooly mammoth character Manfred.

- From wire reports