People: Michael Jackson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Strahan, Russell Crowe, Billie Joe Armstrong

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Panic over Michael Jackson's ability to go on with the show is evident in 250 pages of emails by Anschutz Entertainment Group promoters who were banking on his comeback, according to published messages in The Los Angeles Times.

"He is an emotionally paralyzed mess riddled with self loathing and doubt now that it is show time," AEG's Randy Phillips wrote to his bosses.

The Times reported that the confidential AEG emails offer a dark picture of the late pop idol, who died in 2009 during the rehearsal process for his 50-show concert run in London, The Times writes.

The emails will likely play a role in lawsuits set for trial next year. The shows' insurers are asking a judge to nullify a $17.5-million policy that they say AEG got with false claims about Jackson's health and readiness to perform. Jackson's heirs are pressing a wrongful-death suit that accuses AEG of pressuring him despite indications he was too weak to carry on.

Michael Clarke Duncan, 54, the Oscar-nominated gentle giant of "The Green Mile," died over the weekend of complications following a heart attack. At 6 feet, 5 inches, the Chicago native was a towering presence in films.

Last year, he answered questions put to him by Pittsburgh Urban Media contributor Kam Williams. On being cast mostly as "the heavy" because of his size, he said, "It's kind of difficult, because once people enjoy you as the heavy, they want to see you as that all the time. And if you become pigeonholed, then there are only certain limited roles you can play."

He said he had trimmed his weight to "a solid 275" from more than 300 pounds, hoping new opportunities would come his way. "What I have not done is play the lead in a romantic comedy. I have a comedic side, and I bet people would enjoy seeing me get the beautiful woman in the end. Something like that would definitely work."

"Master and Commander" and "Gladiator," sure, but when it comes to kayaking, might be "Les Miserables" for Russell Crowe.

The Oscar winner, on Long Island filming the biblical epic "Noah" for Darren Aronofsky. lost his way in Long Island Sound and was picked up by a U.S. Coast Guard boat and ferried to a harbor, officials told The Associated Press Sunday.

Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong was rushed to the hospital this weekend with an undisclosed illness, forcing the band to cancel a concert in Bologna, Italy.

The band is on the schedule of Thursday's MTV Video Music Awards, where they are supposed to debut a song from their latest album, due Sept. 25.

The unveiling of former NFL star Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa's co-host was so widely reported it was anticlimactic. He takes the seat that once belonged to Regis Philbin, originator of the "Live With ..." talk show.



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