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With a handful of hits to his credit, singer Wayne Newton has spent more than five decades as one of Las Vegas's most popular entertainers.
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Newton sued the news network for libel, claiming the reports were false and had damaged his reputation and his business. In 1986, Newton won a $19 million settlement (which later reduced to over $5 million) in the case. A federal appeals court, however, overturned the ruling in 1990, and Newton tried to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court rejected Newton's appeal the following year.
In 1992, Newton experienced another legal challenge. He ended up declaring bankruptcy,
claiming to have $20 million in debt. Later in the decade, Newton also engaged in a legal battle with singer Tony Orlando over a theater in Branson, Missouri, that the pair once shared.
For the part, Newton has often been asked to play himself, the quintessential cabaret performer, on television and in films. Sometimes, however, he has been able to take on a different role. On the big screen, Newton played an evangelist in the 1989 James Bond film License to Kill starring Timothy Dalton. He also appeared in comic Andrew Dice Clay's The Adventures of Ford Fairlane the following year. Also that year, Newton's first major hit, "Danke Schoen," enjoyed some renewed popularity. Actor Matthew Broderick lip-synched the song during a scene in the hit comedy Ferris Bueller.
More recently, Newton has tackled the world of reality television. He launched his own reality competition, The Entertainer, in 2005, to find the next great Las Vegas act. Two years later, Newton showed off his moves on Dancing with the Stars, competing against the likes of actress Jane Seymour and singer Marie Osmond. He experienced some heart problems around the time he appeared on the show and curtail his activities for health reasons for a time.
Newton lives in Las Vegas with his second wife Kathleen and their daughter Lauren. He has a daughter named Erin from his first marriage to Elaine Okamura.
Set on more than 50 acres, Newton's lavish home, Casa de Shenandoah, is expected to be open to the public beginning in 2012. There visitors can view his collection of mementos and tour the grounds. Newton has been raising Arabian horses there for decades.
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