PEOPLE

Tom Hanks helps out his Oakland alma mater

You can blink at greatness next time you sit under the lights at Oakland’s Skyline High School. Alumnus Tom Hanks donated $125,000 to help restore the 38-year-old auditorium where he once emoted on-stage. Assistant principal Kermit Collins said that the 1974 graduate’s donation will help upgrade the lighting system.

The Oscar winner, whom we remember most fondly as television’s second famous Buffy, has also sent in his RSVP for the 2002 grand opening. Naturally, there are strings attached to his donation he asked that the theater be named for Rawley Farnsworth, the retired Skyline drama teacher whom the actor thanked during his acceptance speech for a 1993 Oscar. Donors can get an advance ticket and their name carved in a seat for a mere $100, but 10 times that amount gets two tickets, two seats and a thank-you letter from Hanks. What kind of math are they teaching in high schools nowadays? (And, for the curious and irrelevant, arguably the first Buffy was the young tyke from “Family Affair”).

THE FACE FUZZ! HIT THE FACE-FUZZ FEATURE!: Producer, videotape thyself. “Cops,” not much known for walking the delicate line of irony, now has a kegful thanks to a producer arrested for drunken driving. According to Atlanta police, officers stopped 64-year-old Murray Jordan for an illegal left turn. After one policeman got a whiff of his breath, he asked Jordan to sing the alphabet recital, which he failed three times. He also couldn’t hold his leg up for more than a second and couldn’t walk heel-to-toe.

The Tarzana resident admitted he had four glasses of wine with dinner, which translated to .136 percent blood-alcohol level. Georgia makes its legal limit 0.08. The gold-plated irony is that Jordan, who works for Langley Productions, was in town to meet with police about filming an episode. “At this point, we’re still planning to meet with him,” said police spokesman John Quigley as though official acquaintance hasn’t already been made.

Jordan was freed on $1,000 bail Tuesday. A call to Langley Productions was not returned. Incidentally, the producer has visited the city in the past, and complimented Mayor Bill Campbell on the safe streets. Now that’s 24K irony.

THIS DEADWEIGHT’S PICKIN’ UP MOSS, HERE: Blimey, bloke, yer slowin’ us down. And Mick Jagger must be traveling at a banana-slug pace if Keith Richards thinks so, who usually travels in another time warp. According to Wall of Sound, Richards made an articulate noise when the Rolling Stones frontman scrapped touring plans in favor of films instead. “He gets restless when he’s not on the road, but Mick has told the rest of the band he’s too busy with film stuff,” an anonymous source close to the band told British tabloid The Sun. “Jagger seems more interested in the film business now, and we are all worried that it might be it as far as touring is concerned Mick said he might tour next year, but it’s all up in the air.”

The 57-year-old has taken a liking with the success of his production company, Jagged Films. Its first film is an adaptation of the Robert Harris thriller “Enigma,” about the battle by British scientists to break German secret codes during World War II. Jagger is expected to take the movie, starring “Titanic” actress Kate Winslet, to the Cannes Film Festival in May. He’s also reportedly working with director Martin Scorsese on a script about a pop-music star and an expose of the music industry.

MARRIAGE IS HARD: Now that the rice has been tossed, let the whining begin. With marriages falling splat on the asphalt left and right, you’d think a newlywed would pick up some hints that a lot of hard work follows a wedding. Apparently, Mrs. Brad Pitt, otherwise known as Jennifer Aniston, is figuring that out right now.

“There’s been a real intense overhaul about family, work, everything,” Aniston tells Vanity Fair in its May issue. “Marriage brings up all the things I pushed to the back burner the fears, the mistrust, the doubts, the insecurities.” Fortunately, Aniston wants to milk her psycho-baggage by hosting what else an Internet chat session for young girls called Jen XX on www.Voxxy.com. She says she can, like, totally relate. “I feel, half the time, like I’m one of those teen-age girls,” she says. “Feeling stupid, feeling good enough, feeling adequate, asking, What am I doing?’ it doesn’t go away.” Always good to be a role model and warp another generation.

WE PREFER THE TERM SPOKESRODENT: Nearly 60 years old, spry Mighty Mouse still has some wrongs to right, and he’ll join the fight over cheese. In the “Ahh, the power of Cheese” television commercial debuting Monday, the shoe-sized superhero “caves to the crave” for cheese before saving the day. Print ads follow later this month. The caped rodent retired in 1971 when Terrytowns shut down. And just because it’s sticking in your head right now, here goes: “Mister Trouble never hangs around/when he hears this mighty sound./ Here I come to save the day!’/That means that Mighty Mouse is on his way./When there is a wrong to right/Mighty Mouse will join the fight./On the sea or in the land, he’s got the situation well in hand.” Really, our pleasure.

Today’s People Column was compiled by Vera H-C Chan from staff and wire reports. Comments? Write to us c/o the Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099. Or call 925-943-8262, fax 925-943-8362, or e-mail spin@cctimes.com.

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