Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman says Mississippi is "starving" for the right leadership, so the actor is using his celebrity status to help his friend run for governor in 2011.
Freeman has written a fundraising letter and is one of the hosts for a cocktail party in Los Angeles next week for Bill Luckett, an attorney seeking the Democratic nomination. Term limits prevent Republican Gov. Haley Barbour from seeking a third term.
"Reform in Mississippi is hard because the base stock of this state is a mule-headed bunch of farmers," Freeman told the Associated Press. "Those farmers have ruled the roost for so long because this is an agricultural state."
Freeman lives in Charleston, a small town in the Mississippi Delta where farming is the main economic engine. The area has been plagued by poverty, illiteracy and racial tensions.
Never miss a local story.
Underwood to host holiday special
The Fox network says Carrie Underwood will host a two-hour variety special tentatively titled "Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special," to air Dec. 7.
The network says Underwood will perform new music from her upcoming album, previous hits and holiday classics. Musical guests will include Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley and David Cook .
Underwood, 26, won season four of "American Idol" and is a four-time Grammy winner.
New single for Jackson
Janet Jackson is topping her latest greatest-hits collection with a new single.
The greatest-hits collection, called "Number Ones," includes 33 classic Jackson hits and her newest song, "Make Me." The two-disc album will be released Nov. 17.
"Number Ones" spans the pop star's career, from her 1986 debut, "Control," to last year's "Discipline."
Jackson, 43, is working on an autobiography and a studio album set for release next year.
A baby girl for Klum
German-born model Heidi Klum has given birth to a daughter, Lou Sulola Samuel — her fourth child.
Klum, who is married to Grammy-winning singer Seal , says on her Web site that the baby was born on Friday.
Klum already has two young sons with Seal, whom she married in 2005. The 36-year-old also has another daughter from a previous relationship.
Another year older
Today's birthdays: Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop , 93... actor Roger Moore , 82... fashion designer Ralph Lauren , 70... singer-musician Justin Hayward , 63... actor Harry Anderson , 57... singer Karyn White , 44 ... actor Jon Seda , 39... country singer Natalie Maines , 35... singer Usher , 31.