Janet Jackson Withdraws From Lena Horne Biopic

News   Janet Jackson Withdraws From Lena Horne Biopic
Janet Jackson, who recently flashed the world during a Super Bowl halftime performance gone awry, has withdrawn from the television movie based on the life of Lena Horne.

Variety reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have also left the project, which was to be filmed for ABC-TV. Horne and her daughter Gail Lumet Buckley were said to be incensed by Jackson's recent Super Bowl performance and refused to return Horne's contract until Jackson was removed from the project. Although ABC executives refused the demand, Jackson eventually withdrew from the project herself. The telefilm, which is now in limbo, was to be based on "Lena," the autobiography written by Horne with contributions by Time Magazine's Richard Shickel.

Lena Horne made her Broadway debut in the 1934 play Dance With Your Gods. She also starred in the original musical revue Lew Leslie's Blackbirds of 1939 and the musical Jamaica; she was nominated for a Tony Award for her work in the latter. In 1981 she returned to Broadway with Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, winning a Special Tony Award for her performance. Horne's many screen credits include "Panama Hattie," "Cabin in the Sky," "Stormy Weather," "Broadway Rhythm," "Till the Clouds Roll By" and "The Wiz."

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