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Photos: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry tour Australia

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking's wheelchair, thesis for sale

Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration and a global celebrity.

His unique status is reflected in an upcoming auction of some of the late physicist's possessions: It includes complex scientific papers, one of the world's most iconic wheelchairs and a script from "The Simpsons."

The online sale announced Monday by auctioneer Christie's features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, some of his many awards, and scientific papers such as "Spectrum of Wormholes" and "Fundamental Breakdown of Physics in Gravitational Collapse."

Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, said the papers "trace the development of his thought — this brilliant, electrifying intelligence."

"You can see each advance as he produced it and introduced it to the scientific community," Venning said.

Of course, Hawking's fame rests only partly on his scientific status as the cosmologist who put black holes on the map.

Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at 22 and given just a few years to live, he survived for decades, dying in March at 76.

The auction includes one of five existing copies of Hawking's 1965 Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis, "Properties of Expanding Universes," which carries an estimated price of 100,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds ($130,000 to $195,000).

Venning said the thesis, signed by Hawking in handwriting made shaky by his illness, is both a key document in the physicist's scientific evolution and a glimpse into his personal story.

"He was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) just as he arrived in Cambridge to begin his Ph.D. studies," Venning said. "He gave up his studies for a time because he was so despondent.

The thesis "was the fruit of him reapplying himself to his scientific work," Venning said, and Hawking "kept it beside him for the rest of his life."

The disease eventually left Hawking almost completely paralyzed. He communicated through a voice-generating computer and moved in a series of high-tech wheelchairs. One is included in the sale, with an estimated price of 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds ($13,000 to $19,500). Proceeds from its sale will go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Venning said the wheelchair became a symbol not just of disability but of Hawking's "puckish sense of humor." He once ran over Prince Charles' toes — and reportedly joked that he wished he had done the same to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — and appeared in a "Monty Python" skit running down fellow physicist Brian Cox.

Venning said Hawking "very much thought of himself as a scientist first and a popular communicator second," but accepted and even enjoyed his celebrity status. He appeared several times on animated comedy show "The Simpsons" and kept a figurine of himself from the show in his office.

The sale includes a script from one of Hawking's "Simpson's" appearances, a copy of his best-seller "A Brief History of Time" signed with a thumbprint and a personalized bomber jacket that he wore in a documentary.

Hawking's daughter Lucy said the sale gave "admirers of his work the chance to acquire a memento of our father's extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items."

Hawking's children hope to preserve his scientific archive for the nation. Christie's is handling negotiations to hand it over to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

The items — part of a science sale that includes papers by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein — will be on display in London for several days from Oct. 30. The auction is open for bids between Oct. 31 and Nov. 8.

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Follow Jill Lawless on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television characters to her name — Elaine Benes of "Seinfeld" and foul-mouthed Vice-President Selina Meyer — Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy.

On Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center, the 57-year-old actress received a stream of testimonials from celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey--touching on the multiple aspects of her career.

Fey paid tribute to Louis-Dreyfus at the award ceremony by tracking the similarities between their lives.

"We both started comedy in Chicago. We both moved on to 'Saturday Night Live.' We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall," referring to Louis-Dreyfus' husband and former SNL castmate sitting next to the honoree. Fey praised the "secret precision" of Louis-Dreyfus' comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.

"Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer," Fey said. "Julia's never been afraid to be unlikable--not on screen and not in person."

Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby, the winner in 2009, had his award rescinded earlier this year after he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

During last year's ceremony to honor David Letterman, Cosby's name was never mentioned. But this year, two of the performers felt comfortable making Cosby jokes. Late night host Stephen Colbert displayed a sign proclaiming, "167 days since the last Un-Twaining."

With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, "I think you'll be OK."

Later Keegan-Michael Key come onstage, dressed as Mark Twain himself and proceeded to roast many of the previous award recipients. When a picture of Cosby was briefly shown, Michael-Key quickly moved things along and said, "It's OK, he's not watching," then added that he doubted PBS was a popular channel "in the penitentiary."

Seinfeld, while on the red carpet before the ceremony, recalled first meeting Louis-Dreyfus during an informal audition. His iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on "Saturday Night Live."

"We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together," Seinfeld said. "As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one."

Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called "a very male show."

That confidence was evident very early for Louis-Dreyfus, who said she knew as a young child that she had a gift for comedy.

"The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn't come out!" Louis-Dreyfus said before the ceremony.

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of "Seinfeld" until he immigrated to the U.S as an adult.

"But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here," he said.

The co-writer of the movie "The Big Sick" particularly recalls her iconic, slightly convulsive "Elaine Benes dance" on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus' gift for physical comedy.

"There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them," he said. "But she was just fearless and ego-less."

At the end of the night, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life's ambition to be a respected dramatic actress_stopping in mid-speech to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."

A native of the Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms school, alma mater of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a high school party.

Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford's testimony_framing it around her performance a high school presentation of the play "Serendipity."

"I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it," she said, to a round of laughter and applause. "But I can't remember who drove me there or who drove me home."

Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live." Her best-known role is her nine-year run as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld." More recently, her work as Vice President Selina Meyer on "Veep" earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.

Production on the upcoming seventh and final season of "Veep" was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer. That season is currently in production.

PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.

Geoffrey Rush says he was 'distraught' over paper's articles

Geoffrey Rush told the judge hearing his defamation case on Monday he felt distraught and as though his head was filled with lead on seeing a newspaper's publication of allegations he had behaved inappropriately toward a female co-star.

The actor is suing the publishers of Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper and its journalist Jonathon Moran over the articles published last year. He denies all the allegations, but the journalists are pleading truth in their defense.

Documents presented in court by the defense say the allegations concern Rush's behavior toward his co-star Eryn Jean Norvill during a Sydney Theatre Company production of "King Lear" in 2015 and 2016.

The documents allege Rush made lewd gestures in her direction, simulated fondling and groping her breasts, and regularly made comments or jokes about her involving sexual innuendo.

He was also accused of touching her lower back under her shirt when they were backstage, and tracing his hand down her torso and across the side of her breast during a scene in which he was carrying her.

Rush entered Sydney's Federal Court alongside his wife Jane Menelaus for the start of the judge-only hearing.

Later, he testified he was devastated when he saw the Telegraph's first article last November — beside a headline of "King Leer" — while his wife and adult son were home.

"I could see how distressed they were which created a great deal of hurt for me," Rush told the court.

"I felt as though someone had poured lead into my head. I went into a kind of 'This can't be happening'."

The actor said when the paper ran its second article he felt "distraught by the way the story was running off the rails and didn't seem to reflect anything I experienced."

"My blood ran cold and I went to jelly as I thought this is the beginning of a box set, this story is going to continue and it's wilder than you think, dear reader," Rush said.

Rush's lawyer Bruce McClintock told the hearing his client was "a national living treasure."

"As well as giving pleasure to millions, his reputation was stellar, it could not have been higher. No scandal attached to his name," McClintock said.

That changed once the newspaper chose to publish, the lawyer said in his opening remarks, saying the cumulative effect of the two Telegraph articles, and an advertising poster highlighting them, was to "smash and destroy my client's reputation."

He accused Moran of including "straight-out, bald-faced" lies in his reporting. Defense barrister Tom Blackburn later said this was nothing more than a submission.

"It's not based on any evidence because no evidence has been heard," Blackburn said.

The Telegraph intends to use Norvill's sworn statement in its defense and Norvill is expected to testify.

The defense claims Rush knew he did not have Norvill's consent and knew that on the occasions the behavior occurred in front of an audience, she could do nothing to prevent it.

Rush also told the court the articles didn't relate to the "very strenuous but very cheerful" experience he had working on the play, and that as far as he was concerned, he and Norvill had enjoyed a "very sparky, congenial rapport."

Rush, 67, won the best actor Oscar in 1996 for his portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in "Shine" and was nominated for roles in "Shakespeare In Love," ''Quills" and "The Kings Speech." He's also famed for his portrayal of Captain Barbossa in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

He received his nation's highest civilian honor in 2014, the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the arts.

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and fiddler Johnny Gimble are the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The three artists were inducted Sunday at the Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, in a ceremony featuring performances from Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Connie Smith and Dierks Bentley.

It was a night devoted mostly to musicianship in the form of Skaggs, who started his career as a child prodigy on mandolin, and Gimble, who played Western swing fiddle on numerous iconic country records. West was recognized as a trailblazing female singer who helped many others succeed in Nashville.

Fellow Hall of Famer Brenda Lee invited several women on stage to help induct West, including Trisha Yearwood and Emmylou Harris.

"We've waited a long time for this to happen," Lee said.

West was the first woman to receive a Grammy for best female country performance in 1965 for her song "Here Comes My Baby." The McMinnville, Tennessee-born singer was best known for hits like "Country Sunshine," which became a popular advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, and her duets with Kenny Rogers, including "Every Time Two Fools Collide."

West and Rogers won two CMA Awards for duo of the year in the 1970s. She was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was on her way to a performance there when she was injured in a car wreck in 1991. She later died of her injuries at the age of 58.

The Cordell, Kentucky-born Skaggs first played Bill Monroe's famed and priceless Gibson F-5 mandolin when Skaggs was just 6 years old. He wowed audiences as a child on a syndicated television show hosted by bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

Along with Keith Whitley, he learned under the tutelage of bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley. He became a country music star in the 1980s, with several No. 1 hits that mixed his bluegrass influences with Telecasters and steel guitars, including "Heartbroke" ''Highway 40 Blues" and "Country Boy."

He was named entertainer of the year at the CMA Awards in 1985. By the '90s he rededicated himself to bluegrass through his band, Kentucky Thunder, and has earned more than a dozen Grammy Awards.

Skaggs said that he learned about bluegrass from the originators of the genre, artists like Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs and Stanley.

"I am thankful to be a carrier of that original seed," Skaggs said.

In a rare moment, Skaggs was reunited with Monroe's mandolin, an instrument more than 90 years old that is normally kept under glass at the museum. Skaggs kissed the mandolin and played "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."

Gimble, of Tyler, Texas, was a celebrated sideman who played with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the 1950s before coming to Nashville to become an in-demand studio musician. He was a consider a superpicker by Chet Akins, played in Willie Nelson's touring band and played on records for George Strait, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty and many more. He was named instrumentalist of the year five times at the CMA Awards and was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994. He died in 2015 at the age of 88.

His widow, Barbara Gimble, said it was "a shock and a surprise that they remembered Johnny."

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Online:

http://countrymusichalloffame.org/

Murakami enjoys writing because he doesn't know the ending

Haruki Murakami says he enjoys writing novels because he doesn't know how they'll end.

The Japanese author behind global best-sellers like his latest, "Killing Commendatore" hosted a special radio show on Sunday. He said he starts writing without deciding how the story should end. Ideas pop up as he writes, and he goes with the flow while the stories take shape.

"It's no fun writing a story if I already know how it's going to end," Murakami said. "Because the very person who is writing doesn't know what happens, I think readers would also share the anticipation and enjoy the thrill while reading."

"Murakami Radio" is a pre-recorded 55-minute show broadcast only in Japan — his second this year on Tokyo FM after his first in August was a big hit.

Music serves as important motifs in his stories. An avid listener and collector of music, he has also written books on the topic.

During Sunday's show, Murakami played a selection of cover versions from jazz and pop. He opened the show paying tribute to Aretha Franklin, playing her version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way," which he only played partially in his earlier show, a week before the American singer died.

Murakami said he is a "cover maniac" as he likes to listen to the tunes covered in different styles and interpretations.

Murakami, 69, began writing while running a jazz bar in Tokyo after graduating from university. His first novel, "Hear the Wind Sing," came out in 1979, and the 1987 romantic novel "Norwegian Wood" was his first best-seller, establishing him as a young literary star. Recent best-sellers include "1Q84" and "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage."

A perennial contender for the Nobel literature prize, Murakami got a break from the attention this year when there was no award given in the category due to a committee scandal.

Murakami appeared earlier this month at a talk event hosted by the New Yorker magazine in New York, marking the U.S. debut of his latest novel. Murakami told the New Yorker in August that his original inspiration for the latest novel came from the 18th century ghost story. He said he also wants to write something of an homage to "The Great Gatsby."

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Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Parson resigning from CBS board for health reasons

CBS Corp. says that Richard Parsons, its interim chairman, has resigned from its board because of illness.

The media company named Strauss Zelnick, another media industry leader, as his replacement.

CBS named Parsons interim chairman in September as it tried to reshape itself following the ouster of its longtime chief Les Moonves.

Parsons said in a statement Sunday that he was already dealing with multiple myeloma when he joined the board, but "unanticipated complications have created additional new challenges" and that his doctors have advised he cut back on his commitments to ensure recovery.

His successor, Zelnick, currently serves as CEO and chairman of interactive entertainment company Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

Selma Blair reveals she has multiple sclerosis, wants to ‘give hope’ to others

Actress Selma Blair has gone public with her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

>> Read more trending news 

In a social media post on Saturday, Blair, 46, said she decided to go public with her diagnosis after a costume designer on her Netflix series showed amazing kindness in helping her into a costume.

“She carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my top over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself,” Blair said on Instagram.

Blair said that kindness prompted her to tell others about how’s she’s handling the disease, which she was diagnosed with in August.

>> Trending: ‘Golden Girls’- inspired cereal flying off store shelves, already hard to find

“I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I don’t know exactly what I will do, but I will do my best,” she said.

Blair, who has starred in such movies as “Cruel Intentions,” Legally Blonde” and “Hellboy,” said MS has not gotten her down.

>> Trending: Actress Jennifer Garner, daughter rescued from shipping channel while kayaking in Sweden

“I am in the thick of it, but I hope to give hope to others. And even to myself.”

She said she was overwhelmed when she was first diagnosed with MS and that she wanted to sleep all the time, but Blair said she’s more adjusted now. 

“I have MS and I am OK. But if you see me, dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges,” she said.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that is unpredictable and often disabling, according to the National MS Society.

There is no known cause or cure, but researchers believe it is triggered by environmental factors in people genetically predisposed to the disease.

>> Trending: Nicole Kidman saves giant tarantula from drowning, as frightened children scream in background

More women than men suffer from the illness, and most are diagnosed between 20 and 50 years old.

The Latest: Louis-Dreyfus references Kavanaugh at award

The Latest on Julia Louis-Dreyfus receiving the 21st annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor for an iconic career in comedy (all times local):

11 p.m.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted her Mark Twain award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life's ambition to be a respected dramatic actress. In midspeech, she stopped to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."

A native of Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms School. It's also the alma mater of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of groping her in high school.

Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford's testimony, as she recalled a high school performance of the play "Serendipity."

Said Louis-Dreyfus: "I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it. But I can't remember who drove me there or who drove me home."

___

10:45 p.m.

Jerry Seinfeld paid tribute to former co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus by recalling how hard it was to pull off their relationship on the iconic sitcom "Seinfeld".

Their characters, Jerry Seinfeld and Elaine Benes, were former lovers who remained close friends after they broke up, and Seinfeld said the complicated dynamic was "way, way beyond any acting ability that I possessed."

But the real Seinfeld, on stage on Sunday, said they were able to portray their characters' relationship believably because "I just really, really liked Julia. I enjoyed spending time with her."

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is honoring Louis-Dreyfus in Washington with the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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9:20 p.m.

Tina Fey paid tribute to Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the Mark Twain award ceremony by tracking the similarities between their lives.

"We both started comedy in Chicago. We both moved on the 'Saturday Night Live.' We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall," referring to Louis-Dreyfus' husband and former SNL castmate sitting next to the honoree.

Fey praised the "secret precision" of Louis-Dreyfus' comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.

Said Fey: "Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer."

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is honoring Louis-Dreyfus in Washington with the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

___

9 p.m.

Late night host Stephen Colbert kicked off the Kennedy Center ceremonies to honor Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Colbert says on stage: "I sincerely believe that she is the funniest person on television. And I say that as someone who is on television right now."

Colbert also referenced the center's decision to rescind the 2009 Mark Twain award from Bill Cosby, who was convicted of sexual assault earlier this year. A Pennsylvania judge sentenced Cosby to serve three to 10 years in prison. He is seeking a new trial.

Colbert displayed a sign declaring "167 day's since the last Un-Twaining."

With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, "I think you'll be OK."

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8:40 p.m.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus says knew from an early age that she had a gift for comedy.

Louis-Dreyfus says: "The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn't come out!"

Louis-Dreyfus shared her memory as she walked the red carpet on her way into the Kennedy Center Concert Hall to receive the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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8:25 p.m.

Comedian and director Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of TV's "Seinfeld" until he immigrated to the U.S as an adult.

Nanjaini says: "But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here."

The co-writer of the movie "The Big Sick" particularly recalls her iconic, slightly convulsive "Elaine Benes dance" on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus' gift for physical comedy.

Nanjaini says: "There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them. But she was just fearless and ego-less."

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is honoring Louis-Dreyfus with the 21st Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

___

8:05 p.m.

Jerry Seinfeld vividly remembers the first time he saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus in action.

His iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on "Saturday Night Live."

Seinfeld says: "We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together. As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one."

Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called "a very male show."

He made his comments as he walked on the red carpet, as he headed into the ceremony to honoring Louis-Dreyfus as the 21st recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

___

7:25 p.m.

Celebrities have begun to arrive at Washington's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to help honor Julia Louis-Dreyfus with the Mark Twain award for lifetime achievement in comedy. Among the early arrivals are television and film star Lisa Kudrow and Keegan-Michael Key of Comedy Central's "Key & Peele."

Those scheduled to speak at the ceremony include Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and previous Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey.

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1:05 p.m.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the best-known comedic actresses of her generation, and now she's being recognized with the Mark Twain Award for lifetime achievement in comedy.

She's set to receive the 21st annual Twain prize Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center, with testimonials from Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey.

The 57-year-old Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live." Her best-known role is her nine-year run as Elaine Benes on "Seinfeld." More recently, her work as Vice President Selina Meyer on "Veep" earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.

Production on the upcoming seventh season of "Veep" was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer.

PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.

Lauren Alaina Loses Stepdad From Cancer

We can’t even imagine what Lauren Alaina is going through. Her stepdad, Sam Ramker has been battling Stage 4 Caner for a while now and he lost that battle on early Sunday morning (10/21). Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. Even though there is nothing anyone can do to make this better. Lauren Alaina took to Instagram to share the last few moments of her stepfather’s life. She said “My stepdad, Sam, went to heaven at one o’clock this morning. He was the purest example of how to love and live life fully. His last few hours were some of the most amazing moments I know I will ever have the privilege of witnessing. He opened his eyes last night. They shined the brightest I’ve ever seen anyone’s eyes shine, and he said, “Jesus.” We said, “What do you see Sam?” He said, “It’s so beautiful.” Mom asked him who he saw and he told her a bunch of people, including his mama. He later said, “I love you all. I found it.” My mom asked him what he found and he said, “Heaven. I’ve got to go.” An hour later he went to be with the Lord. I want this story to be an example of how real God is. We are only here for a short amount of time, and we have to live like there is no tomorrow. I want us to all be a little more like Sam. He was strong. He was the most compassionate person in the world. He would go without to help a stranger. He was a great dad. Now he is with the best Father in the universe. Thank you to everyone who has supported our family in this time. We appreciate the love, donations, and prayers that we have received.”

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