Names & Faces: Katie Holmes, Sean Penn & Robin Wright Penn, Patrick Swayze, More

Katie Holmes will tell the story of a guardsman.
Katie Holmes will tell the story of a guardsman. (Astrid Stawiarz - Getty Images)
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Memorial Day Salute

Star alert! Although producers of PBS's annual "National Memorial Day Concert" usually reel in plenty of famous people -- Laurence Fishburne, singer Denyce Graves and returning co-hosts Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise are scheduled to perform on the Capitol's West Lawn tomorrow night -- mega-celeb Katie Holmes will join this year's show.

Holmes, along with Sinise and Dianne Wiest, will reenact scenes from the real-life story of José Pequeño, a New Hampshire National Guard staff sergeant who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in Iraq. Pequeño's mother, Nellie Bagley, and his sister Elizabeth have been his caretakers ever since.

"It's important to tell these stories and honor the sacrifice and service of these men and women and their families," Holmes told USA Today. The actress also divulged that she'll have two special fans in the audience: husband Tom Cruise and their 3-year-old daughter, Suri.

The concert will air live on PBS tomorrow from 8 to 9 p.m.

The Penns: Reconciled?

Are they? Aren't they? (Do they even know?) In the flip-floppingest Hollywood divorce proceedings in recent memory, Sean Penn has once again called off a legal split with Robin Wright Penn, his wife of 13 years.

According to court documents obtained by the New York Daily News, Oscar winner Penn withdrew Tuesday an application for legal separation that he had filed weeks ago in Marin County, Calif. It was the second such filing since the couple started divorce proceedings in December 2007. That time, they got back together a few months later; this April, Penn filed again, citing good old-fashioned irreconcilable differences.

Has the pair really patched things up? Penn, 48, told the Daily News his April filing "was an arrogant mistake." A rep for Wright Penn, 43 -- currently in France, working as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival -- had no comment.

Swayze to Share His Story

Want to read all about Patrick Swayze, straight from the source? You can this fall, when Atria Books publishes his memoir.

The 56-year-old film and TV star, who has been battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year, is writing the book with longtime wife Lisa Niemi, United Press International reports. The tome will cover Swayze's childhood, career, 34-year marriage and ongoing illness. (We can only hope there's some good "Dirty Dancing" gossip in there.)

"With everything I've been fortunate enough to do in my life . . . I'm told that my story has been inspirational to people," Swayze said in a statement to E! Online. "I will write from my heart about these experiences and, aside from the sheer pleasure of doing it, if people happen to garner inspiration from it, or incentive, or find a new way to love, it would be wonderful."

End Notes

Spotted: Pierce Brosnan and wife Keely at Studio Theatre on Wednesday night. The actor (gray blazer, black shirt, no tie) saw "Rock 'n' Roll," then caught up with star Lisa Harrow, who appeared with Brosnan in the 1982 miniseries "Nancy Astor."

Quoted: "Of course I use aeroplanes. Even the most dogmatic and dictatorial advocates of environmental reform would be hard pressed to suggest that Ecuador (and, yes, Washington) are practical places to reach by wagon train or boat." -- an excerpt from Trudie Styler's Friday comment piece in the Guardian newspaper. Styler, founder of the Rainforest Foundation and wife of musician Sting, wrote to rebut a Guardian article that took her to task for using private jets while urging world leaders to save the environment.

-- Marissa Newhall, from staff, wire and Web reports


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