DEATHS

Esteemed diplomat Richard Holbrooke, 69, died on Dec. 13 in Washington, D.C., after undergoing two operations for a tear in his aorta. Holbrooke, who was President Obama's special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, worked for every Democratic President since LBJ and was chief architect of the Dayton peace accords, which ended the war in Bosnia.

• Acclaimed jazz saxophonist and flutist James Moody, 85, died of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 9 in San Diego. Wynton Marsalis called the Georgia native "a titan of our music," while Quincy Jones praised Moody as "a true national treasure."

SPLITS

Dexter stars Michael C. Hall, 39, and Jennifer Campbell, 31, are getting divorced. The couple married nearly two years ago and have no children. Campbell stood by Hall's side as he successfully battled Hodgkin's lymphoma last winter and spring. • Just two months after the last new Cathy comic strip ran, the strip's creator, Cathy Guisewite, filed for divorce from her husband, screenwriter Christopher Wilkinson, on Dec. 9. The couple, both 60, wed in 1997 and have no children.

RECOVERING

After placing first on Dancing with the Stars, Jennifer Grey, 50 (inset), underwent surgery on Dec. 6 in Marina Del Rey, Calif., to repair a ruptured disc in her back. The cha-cha-ing champ was injured during the DWTS finale but soldiered on to win the coveted mirror-ball trophy with her pro partner Derek Hough, 25. • Following surgery in Detroit on Dec. 2, Aretha Franklin, 68, "is doing better than doctors expected," according to her relatives, who also confirmed that the Queen of Soul is battling cancer but would not specify what type.

ROYAL DRAMA

Prince Charles, 62, and his wife, Camilla, 63, got the fright of their lives in London on Dec. 9, when their car was surrounded by students protesting tuition hikes at the country's universities. The mob splashed paint and hurled stones, breaking one of the royal Rolls' windows and reportedly poking the Duchess of Cornwall with a stick. The couple were unharmed.

ENGAGED

Elizabeth Edwards heard some happy news before she passed away on Dec. 7. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, her daughter Cate, 28, an attorney, got engaged to her longtime boyfriend Trevor Upham, a medical resident in Washington, D.C.

SUICIDE OF MADOFF'S SON

Adding yet another tragic postscript to the saga of reviled Ponzi scammer Bernie Madoff, his oldest son, Mark, 46, hanged himself with a dog leash in his New York apartment on Dec. 11, while his 2-year-old son slept nearby. Mark (far left in photo with his father and brother Andrew, 44) took his life on the second anniversary of the older Madoff's arrest for defrauding investors of some $65 billion. His family has been sued by trustees for the victims of the scheme.