Actress Nancy Marchand, 71, who played the patrician Margaret Pynchon on TV's Lou Grant from 1977 to '82 and who now does a regular turn as an autocratic Mob matriarch on cable's The Sopranos, has been battling lung cancer, according to the New York Post. However, producers of the acclaimed HBO show, while admitting she has an illness, would not disclose its exact nature.
Hip-hop highness Lauryn Hill, 24, spent six hours at a Newark, N.J., courthouse on Oct. 1 as she and her retinue of lawyers tried to hammer out a solution to a royalties lawsuit. A group of musicians called New-Ark Entertainment started the action by filing a complaint last year that alleges the Grammy-winning diva owes them millions for work they performed on her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. According to assertions in New-Ark's lawsuit, Hill improperly took sole production and songwriting credit for the record's 14 cuts. Hill's attorneys had no comment.
Princess Cristina, 34, the younger daughter of Spain's King Juan Carlos, gave birth to a son, also named Juan (9 lbs. 3 oz.), on Sept. 29 in Barcelona. The lad's dad, Iñaki Urdangarin, 32, a professional handball player, as well as the maternal grandmother, Queen Sofia, attended in the delivery room.
Former Senate lawyer Donald G. Sanders, 69, whose smart questioning uncovered the smoking gun of the Watergate scandal—the existence of a recording system in the White House—died of cancer on Sept. 26 in Columbia, Mo. Discovery of the tapes helped implicate President Nixon in a cover-up of the break-in at Democratic election headquarters....
Sea boss Ted Arison, who founded Carnival Cruise Lines in 1972 and amassed a net worth of $5.6 billion, died on Oct. 1 in Tel Aviv at 75. The cause of death was cardiac arrest, according to a spokesman.
Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, 38, now a consultant on NBC's new series The West Wing, and her husband, Todd Purdum, 39, the Los Angeles bureau chief of The New York Times, are expecting their first child in March. The couple married in May 1997.
On Sept. 30 in Maine a grand jury indicted the driver who hit Stephen King, 52, with his van in June, seriously injuring the author. Bryan E. Smith, 42, faces charges of aggravated assault and driving to endanger. He will be arraigned some time in the next two months and could face up to 10½ years in prison on both charges.
In an effort to win a lawsuit initiated by the son of the late Dr. Sam Sheppard, Ohio state prosecutors in Cleveland exhumed the body of Marilyn Sheppard on Oct. 5, along with the fetus she was carrying when she was murdered 45 years ago. The state hopes to get a "clean DNA profile" for its defense at a trial against the couple's son Sam Reese Sheppard, 52, who claims his father was wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 10 years. Sam Jr., who could collect $2 million if he wins, is suing to have the older Sheppard declared innocent—technically a stronger legal exoneration than the not-guilty verdict he won at his second criminal trial in 1966. He died in 1970.