In the Wings
Marking her Broadway debut, All My Children's Susan Lucci, 52, takes on the role of Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun on Dec. 23. The soap siren will play the singing sharpshooter for three weeks or so while the show's regular lead, Bernadette Peters, takes a breather.

Expecting

Actor Steve Zahn (Happy, Texas), 32, and his wife, actress Robyn Peterman (Sour Grapes), 34, are expecting their first child next spring....

After a secret wedding last summer, followed by a public one on Sept. 26, singer-actress Vanessa L. Williams, 36, and Los Angeles Lakers forward Rick Fox, 30, are expecting. Williams has three kids from a previous marriage; Fox, a son from a prior relationship....

Oscar-nominated second-banana Joan Cusack (Working Girl, In & Out), 37, is due to have her second baby come May. She and husband Dick Burke, 35, a Chicago-based attorney, have a 2-year-old son, Dylan.

Deaths

Civil-rights leader Daisy Bates, whose home was a refuge of comfort and encouragement for the nine black students who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957, died on Nov. 4 in the Arkansas capital. She was 84....

Actor Ian Bannen, who played the Irish con man in the 1998 film Waking Ned Devine, died in a car wreck in his native Scotland on Nov. 3. He was 71....

Legal-eagle-turned-scribe George V. Higgins, 59, whose 20-some novels included 1972's The Friends of Eddie Coyle, died on Nov. 6 at his home in Milton, Mass., apparently of natural causes....

Late-blooming Kansas author Jessie Lee Brown Foveaux, who sold the rights to her memoir Any Given Day, an account of her life as a menial worker on the prairie raising eight young'uns, for $1 million in 1997, died on Oct. 23 in Duluth, Minn., while vacationing. She was 100.

Uncoupled
HBO Sports commentator Jim Lampley, 50, and peripatetic news anchor Bree Walker, 46, are in "a trial separation," according to Lampley. The couple married almost 10 years ago and have an 8-year-old son, Aaron. Walker also has an 11-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

Back Home
All in the Family man Carroll O'Connor, 75, who entered a Santa Monica hospital Oct. 6 for surgery to correct scar tissue from an earlier gall bladder operation, left Nov. 8 and is now recuperating.

Legal Matters
On Nov. 5 in Miami, a judge ordered basketball star Dennis Rodman, 38, and actress Carmen Electra, 27, to stay away from each other and have no contact whatsoever, following the couple's arrest on misdemeanor battery charges at a hotel. After a nine-month courtship, Rodman and Electra, who was injured slightly in the scuffle, married on the spur of the moment in Las Vegas a year ago and got divorced last month.

Wed

In a hush-hush late-September ceremony in Roxbury, Conn., Hollywood stalwart Richard Widmark, 84, married Susan Blanchard, 71, the third wife of Henry Fonda, who died in 1982. Widmark's wife of more than half a century, Jean, died of complications from Alzheimer's in 1997....

Michael Fishman, 18, who played son D.J. on TV's Roseanne, married Jennifer Briner, 20, a day-care-center worker, on Oct. 22 in Las Vegas.