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- January 13, 1997
- Vol. 47
- No. 1
A Thousand Oaks, Calif., judge sentenced actor Sasha Mitchell, 29, former costar of ABC's Step by Step, to 180 days in jail for violating terms of the probation he received in 1995 for kicking and slapping his then-pregnant wife, Jeanette. Mitchell moved from Los Angeles to Franklin County, Tenn., last summer, skipping court-ordered domestic-violence counseling and probation meetings in California.
Dave Thomas, 64, founder of Wendy's and TV pitchman for the fast-food chain, underwent quadruple-bypass heart surgery on Dec. 20 at an undisclosed Florida hospital to clear clogged arteries. A Wendy's spokesman said doctors expect Thomas to make a full recovery....
Songbird Whitney Houston, 33, who was expecting a second child with her husband, R&B singer Bobby Brown, 27, in July, suffered a miscarriage on Dec. 19. Meanwhile, after a four-month investigation, Brown has been slapped with two drunk-driving related charges by Hollywood, Fla., police. The charges follow an August incident in which Brown jumped the curb in Houston's Porsche and ran into some hedges and a sign. Brown could face up to nine months in jail and a $1,000 fine on each offense.
Former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, 27, and her husband and manager, Jerry Solomon, 42, welcomed their first child, a 7-lb. 10-oz. boy, Matthew, on Dec. 17 in Boston....
News anchor Dina Ruiz, 31, more than made husband Clint Eastwood's day when she gave birth to the couple's first child, an 8-lb. 4-oz. girl named Morgan, on Dec. 12 in Los Angeles. This is the 66-year-old actor-director's fifth child and Ruiz's first....
Sister Act costar Kathy Najimy, 35, and Stomp dancer Dan Finnerty, 26, announced the birth of their first child, daughter Samia Najimy Finnerty, on Dec. 12 in L.A.
Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, 41, and his girlfriend of seven months, film student Camille Donatacci, 28, are engaged to marry next fall. It will be the third marriage for Grammer, who has two daughters, and the first for Donatacci....
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, 70, and NBC-TV correspondent Andrea Mitchell, 50, became engaged to marry on Christmas Day. This will be the second marriage for both. The couple, who have been dating for 12 years, have not set a date.
Actress Debra Winger and actor Arliss Howard, both 41, were married over the Thanksgiving holiday in L.A. The couple, who met in 1993 while filming the movie Wilder Napalm, are expecting a baby in June. Winger has a 9-year-old son, Noah, by her ex-husband, actor Timothy Hutton.
Ken Wahl, 39, former star of TV's Wiseguy, was arrested on Dec. 28 in Beverly Hills after he allegedly threatened a hotel bartender with a hunting knife. Police say the bar-keep had refused to continue serving Wahl after the actor apparently became inebriated. Wahl was booked on suspicion of making terrorist threats and released on $150,000 bail.
To Sir with love: England's Queen Elizabeth II is slated to bestow a knighthood on former Beatle Paul McCartney, 54, this year for his considerable contributions to music. Among the 1,034 others commended by the Queen for New Year's honors are musical composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, 48, who will receive a life peerage and will qualify to sit in the House of Lords, and former Dynasty vixen Joan Collins, 63, who will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
On Dec. 16, a Torranee, Calif., judge sentenced freelance photographer Charles Rathbun, 39, to life in prison without possibility of parole for the November 1995 murder of model Linda Sobek, 27 (PEOPLE, Dec. 11, 1995). Rathbun was convicted last November of sexually assaulting and strangling the former Los Angeles Raiders cheerleader after hiring her to pose for magazine photos.
Action film star Jean-Claude Van Damme, 36, filed for divorce from his fourth wife, former model Darcy LaPier, 31, on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles superior court. The couple, married nearly three years and separated since Nov. 1, have a 15-month-old son, Nicholas Francois.
Retired ad executive Neil Reagan, 88, the only sibling of former President Ronald Reagan, died of heart failure Dec. 11 in a San Diego hospital. Reagan was a radio announcer and program director before entering advertising and directed his kid brother in the television series Death Valley Days....
Lyricist Irving Caesar, 101, who cowrote such standards as "Tea for Two" (with Vincent Youmans) and "Swanee" (with George Gershwin), died of undisclosed causes on Dec. 17 at a New York City hospital....
Social critic Vance Packard, 82, whose 1957 bestseller The Hidden Persuaders accused Madison Avenue of manipulating consumers through subtle, barely perceived messages meant to appeal to the subconscious, died on Dec. 12 in Vineyard Haven, Mass., following a heart attack he suffered the previous week. Packard also explored American consumerism, class structure and social alienation in such works as The Status Seekers (1959) and A Nation of Strangers (1972)....
Prince Charles's longtime friend and mentor, South African-born Sir Laurens van der Post, writer, explorer, philosopher and war hero, died on Dec. 15 at his home in London, two days after his 90th birthday. Author of some 25 books, van der Post was imprisoned by the Japanese in Java during World War II, and his experiences were made into the 1983 film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, starring David Bowie....
Actor Lew Ayres, 88, who originated the Dr. Kildare character on film in 1938, died Dec. 30 in Beverly Hills. Though Hollywood shunned him for being a conscientious objector during World War II, Ayres's service as a medic and chaplain's assistant in the war restored his reputation, and he was nominated for an Oscar for 1948's Johnny Belinda.
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