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Melanie Griffith cancels Life Ball gala

Melanie Griffith has cancelled plans to turn up in the Austrian capital Vienna to support the Life Ball aids charity - but has told fans not to be disappointed as she's sending her husband Antonio Banderas instead.

Griffith is an American actress. She is an Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner for her performance in the 1988 film "Working Girl". She is the daughter of actress Tippi Hedren, and is married to Banderas.

She had agreed to turn up at a gala event on 18 May in the cities Burgtheater to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Life Ball charity.

The event will include performances by the Vienna Philharmonic, as well as opera stars Michael Schade, Mojca Erdmann, Bernarda Fink and Florian Boesch. Also performing will be the jazz and soul greats Al Jarreau and Randy Crawford.

But Melanie Griffith was expected to be the star guest on the 18 May event - with the Life Ball itself taking place a day later on the 19 May.

Organisers said it had been a big shock when they heard the news that she would have to cancel at short notice because she was starting rehearsals for a new production and didn't have time to attend the concert.

But then came the news that her husband, Antonio Banderas, was coming instead.
Banderas is a Spanish film actor, film director, film producer and singer. He has appeared in many high-profile Hollywood films such as "The Mask of Zorro", "Shrek" and "Interview with the Vampire."

Griffith said: "I am really extremely sorry that I can't be there. I hope that I will get the invitation at some stage in the coming years and then I will certainly take up the offer." Instead, however, she said her husband would attend and in between the performances and would read a short piece to the audience.

She added: "I am sure you will love him as much as I do."

"Life Ball" organiser and founder Gery Keszler said: "We also wanted to see Melanie in Vienna but I hope that we can still do so in the future. It's just as big an honour for us to have her husband Antonio at the concert. It shows that the fight against HIV/AIDS is important to the both of them."

Vienna Times

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