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Associated Press
This ink drawing by John Lennon was among pieces sold Wednesday.

Lennon sale beats estimates


Whimsical drawings, poems and short stories from two humorous books John Lennon produced in the 1960s fetched skyrocketing prices at auction Wednesday, including $209,000 for a nine-page parody of Sherlock Holmes.

The material was created for the two critically acclaimed books Lennon published during the height of Beatlemania. Sotheby’s said all of the 89 lots sold, with 83 percent selling above the pre-sale high estimate.

The collection belonged to Lennon’s British publisher, Tom Maschler, who held on to it for a half-century. Sotheby’s described it as the largest private collection of Lennon’s work to come to the market. Before becoming famous as a musician, Lennon, who was fatally shot in 1980, trained as an artist at the Liverpool School of Art.

Hill apologizes

Jonah Hill has apologized for using a gay slur with a paparazzo in an encounter caught on video.

A video posted Tuesday by TMZ shows a photographer pestering Hill, who eventually responded with muttered expletives and an anti-gay expression. On “The Howard Stern Show” on Tuesday, the 30-year-old actor acknowledged that he said “a disgusting word.”

Hill said the word “does not at all reflect how I feel about any group of people.” He said that he’s been a gay-rights activist “from the day I was born.”

Hill promoted a Human Rights Campaign effort opposing anti-gay laws in Russia ahead of this year’s Winter Olympics.

Broadway pair

Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick will be back together on Broadway in a revival of Terrence McNally’s “It’s Only a Play.”

The revival will play at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, and opening night is set for Oct. 9.

Happy birthday

Among celebrity birthdays today: Singer Don Reid is 69. Guitarist Fred Stone is 68. Singer Laurie Anderson is 67. Singer Gail Davies is 66. Drummer Nicko McBrain is 62. Saxophonist Kenny G is 58. Singer Richard Butler is 58. Actor Jeff Garlin is 51. Actor Ron Livingston is 47. Singer Brian McKnight is 45. Actor-singer Mark Wahlberg is 43. Actor Chad Allen is 40. Actress Liza Weil is 37. Bassist Pete Wentz is 35.