Passing – Leonard Skinner (Our photo), a high-school gym teacher who became a rock ‘n’ roll footnote by inspiring a group of pupils to name their band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Monday in Jacksonville, Fla., after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the Florida Times-Union reported. He was 77. Skinner earned the disdain of long-haired students at Robert E. Lee High School during the 1960s by sending them to the principal’s office, where they were handed suspension notices. One of them — he later believed it was guitarist Gary Rossington — returned with his father who protested that his son needed to have long hair so that he could support the family with his earnings from a band that he played with.
With less than 24 hours to go before “American Idol” announces who will be on the judges panel for the show’s ninth season, judge Randy Jackson has made a formal agreement to return to the show.
Michael Douglas walks the red carpet at the New York City premiere of his latest film, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” The Academy Award-winning actor recently announced he’s being treated for throat cancer. He posed for photos Monday night with co-stars including Shia LaBeouf (SHY’-uh luh-BUF’), Carey Mulligan and director Oliver Stone. He didn’t give interviews.
Japanese officials delayed Paris Hilton at Narita Airport while they decide whether she will be admitted to the country after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge in Las Vegas. Hilton was scheduled to appear at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday to promote her fashion line, but that appearance was apparently canceled.