NEW YORK – Many celebrities with relatives or other ties to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast have voiced their empathy for those devastated by Hurricane Katrina; some have been directly affected.
Fats Domino (search) was photographed being brought to safety by boat after the hurricane hit, his daughter, Karen Domino White, said Thursday. The 77-year-old R&B legend had been reported missing by his longtime agent, Al Embry, and his niece, Checquoline Davis.
White said late Thursday she saw a photo of her father that had been taken by the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The photo showed Domino, whose real name is Antoine Domino, in jeans and a blue-striped shirt being helped off a boat by rescuers.
"We're very relieved," White said by phone from New Jersey.
Blues legend B.B. King (search), a native of Mississippi, also said he had loved ones in the area.
"I have some friends and family down in New Orleans, and also on the Gulf coast of Mississippi," King told The Associated Press. "I've tried to call them several times but I can't get through to them so I don't know where they are."
Morgan Freeman (search), whose Mississippi Delta home received only rain and high winds, helped organize an online auction for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
"We call on anybody who has even the thought (of giving) to get beyond the thought and help these people," the Oscar-winning actor said.
Master P (search), also a New Orleans native, told AP that his uncle, father-in-law and sister-in-law, among others, were unaccounted for. His father was missing until recently.
"We just got caravans of family members (evacuated)," Master P told the AP Thursday. "It's just devastating."
The rapper-producer, who also said his houses and those of family members were under water, said he had created a foundation called Team Rescue and had helicopters searching for his missing family members.
Harry Connick Jr., who grew up in New Orleans, told NBC's "Today" show the city's residents are "freakishly strong" and would rebuild. He compared the rejuvenating spirit of New Yorkers after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to those in the hurricane-ravaged city.
Connick developed his music in jazz bands and at clubs in the French Quarter. His father, Harry Connick Sr., served as the city's district attorney for 29 years before retiring in 2003.
"It is hard to sit in silence, to watch one's youth wash away," the jazz musician said in a statement on his Web site.
Patricia Clarkson said her mother, New Orleans councilwoman Jackie Clarkson, had stayed at the side of Mayor Ray Nagin while Katrina ravaged the city.
"She's all right, otherwise I wouldn't be here," Clarkson said at the Venice Film Festival in Italy, where she was promoting her new movie.
Rapper Juvenile, who left New Orleans before the hurricane hit, lost his home, but counted himself lucky.
"I am obviously devastated by my personal loss but thank God that I was able to get my family out to safety while many families were not so fortunate," Juvenile said in a statement. "I have lost some friends and to their families I send my deepest condolences."
Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner said he was anxiously watching news reports on television, hoping to see if his house in New Orleans had escaped destruction.
"We are, you know, examining our silver lining and being very lucky that we're out of harm's way," said Pirner, who was visiting his hometown of Minneapolis when the hurricane struck. "Our place in Minneapolis might be filling up with New Orleans transplants."
Ellen DeGeneres, a Louisiana native, said her 82-year-old aunt's home in Pass Christian, Miss., had been destroyed.
"She has nothing," DeGeneres told AP Radio. "She grabbed four pictures out of her house. She's lost her entire life."
Britney Spears, who was raised in Kentwood, La., posted a message on her Web site saying her family was safe and that her "thoughts and prayers go out to everyone" on the Gulf Coast.