Celebs to help obese man

LIVERMORE, Calif. - A morbidly obese Northern California man whose tearful, videotaped plea for help became a YouTube sensation may be getting the support he wanted.

The Contra Costa Times reports that the "Dr. Phil" show and former contestants from "The Biggest Loser" have reached out to 23-year-old Robert Gibbs of Livermore since he posted his three-minute video last week.

Gibbs mentioned both programs in his clip, which has been viewed more than a million times and inspired more than four dozen recorded responses from viewers offering diet tips and encouragement.

He estimates his weight to be between 600 and 700 pounds. On the video, which he made the day before his birthday last Friday, Gibbs says he fears he won't live long enough to see his nephew and niece grow up or to have a family of his own.

Country Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An emotional Garth Brooks said his addition to the Country Music Hall of Fame at 50 is probably a little premature when you look at the long list of his influences who haven't yet been inducted.

The "Friends in Low Places" singer transformed country music, but on Tuesday he was more interested in talking about the singers who transformed him. Brooks spoke during a news conference to announce he will be inducted later this year with singer Connie Smith and keyboard player Hargus "Pig" Robbins.

"You're excited," Brooks said. "You feel very honored. But at the same time there's this kind of guilt or, I don't know what it is, a kind of embarrassment, so you feel uneasy because I wouldn't be standing here today talking to you if it wasn't for Randy Travis. I wouldn't be standing here talking to you today if it wasn't for Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Steve Wariner, these guys. ... I think eventually they will get in, but it probably should've been before Garth Brooks came in. That's the whole feeling for the day."

The announcement was made at a news conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Brooks, Smith and Robbins will be officially inducted at a ceremony later this year.

Novak's 'Artist' protest

LOS ANGELES - Kim Novak is clarifying why she used the word "rape" to describe how she felt about "The Artist."

The 79-year-old "Vertigo" actress, who will be honored next month at the TCM Classic Film Festival, said during a phone interview Monday that hearing the score from the Alfred Hitchcock film used in the recent Oscar-winning homage to the silent-film era reminded her of the same feelings she experienced when she was raped as a child.

"It was very painful," said Novak. "When I said it was like a rape, that was how it felt to me. I had experienced in my youth being raped, and so I identified with a real act that had been done to me. I didn't use that word lightly. I had been raped as a child. It was a rape I never told about, so when I experienced this one, I felt the need to express it."

Novak said in a statement released in January by her manager that she "wanted to report a rape" and that the filmmakers of "The Artist" had no reason "to depend on Bernard Herrmann's score from 'Vertigo' to provide more drama."

Novak's comments drew criticism from rape crisis groups, who noted that plagiarism was not the same as a sexual assault. Other actors have similarly been chastised for misusing the word "rape." Johnny Depp and "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart both issued apologies after they compared having their photos taken to being raped in respective interviews.

'Growing Pains' stars react

NEW YORK - Tracey Gold and Alan Thicke, who played Kirk Cameron's sister and father on the 1980s sitcom "Growing Pains," have joined the chorus of performers taking exception to their castmate's anti-gay comments.

Gold, a long-married mom of four, tweeted "I am a strong supporter of the #LGBT Community, and I believe in equal rights for all." Thicke, after first tweeting Sunday that, "I'll address kirk's comments as soon as I recover from rush limbaugh's," wrote Monday afternoon that he was "getting (Cameron) some new books. The Old Testament simply can't be expected to explain everything."

Cameron, 41 - a born-again Christian who has starred in faith-based movies and co-founded the Bellflower, Calif.-based evangelical ministry The Way of the Master in 2002 - told CNN's Piers Morgan on Friday that being gay is "detrimental," "unnatural" and "ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization." He said if one of his children were to come out as gay, "I'm going to say, 'There are all sorts of issues we need to wrestle through in our life. Just because you feel one way doesn't mean we should act on everything we feel.'"

Heaton apologizes for tweets

LOS ANGELES - Rush Limbaugh is losing advertisers for his radio show one after the other in the wake of his controversial comments about a Georgetown law student, and now he's lost a prominent advocate on Twitter: Patricia Heaton.

The star of "The Middle" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" temporarily deleted her Twitter account after siding with Limbaugh's criticisms of Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke last week via a series of barbed tweets. She returned on Monday to apologize to Fluke.

On Feb. 29, the actress wrote, "Hey G-Town Gal: Plz let us also pay for your Starbucks, movie theater tickets and your favorite hot wings combo deal at KFC! Anything else?"

The controversy began after Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she advocated for expanded access to birth control.

Limbaugh publicly apologized, and so did Heaton, who offered her regrets before making her account inaccessible.

"Mea culpa Sandra! Wasn't being respectful 2 u re my tweets as I hope people wd b w/me. Don't like you being dissed -so sorry," she wrote.

She reiterated that apology again on Monday, telling readers, "I apologized to Ms Fluke last week. I may not agree with her views but I didn't treat her with respect and I'm sorry. I was wrong. Mea Culpa."

Disney composer dies

LONDON - How do you sum up the work of songwriter Robert B. Sherman? Try one word: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

The tongue-twisting term, sung by magical nanny Mary Poppins, is like much of Sherman's work - both complex and instantly memorable, for child and adult alike. Once heard, it was never forgotten.

Sherman, who died in London at age 86, was half of a sibling partnership that composed scores for films including "The Jungle Book," ''The Aristocats," ''Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." He and his brother Richard also wrote the most-played tune on Earth, "It's a Small World (After All)."