Katie Finneran, 40, may play a frustrated mom on I Hate My Teenage Daughter, but she is ecstatic that she and husband Darren Goldstein, 37, are expecting their second boy this coming summer. Finneran says that it is "simply thrilling" that son Ty, 11 months, is going to be a big brother.
Robert De Niro, 68, is a dad-for the sixth time. The Academy Award-winning actor and wife Grace Hightower, 58, welcomed daughter Helen Grace, who was born via a surrogate. Helen joins their son Elliot, 13, as well as De Niro's children Drena, 44, Raphael, 35, and twins Julian and Aaron, 16, from previous relationships. Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner, 47, and his wife, Huma Abedin, 36, welcomed their first child, son Jordan Zane, on Dec. 21. Weiner, who was forced to resign from office in June after tweeting lewd photos of himself to several women, texted that his son is a "sparkling wonder."
Sinead O'Connor, 45, announced on Dec. 26 that she had ended her marriage to Barry Herridge after just 16 days. Writing on her website, the "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer said that "we made a mistake rushing into getting married," blamed the break on "certain people in his life" and wants Herridge "to be free and happy and loved."
Just before the U.S. entered World War II, illustrator Joe Simon cocreated Captain America (inset), the nation's perfect supersoldier. Simon, who died Dec. 14 in New York City at age 98, also had a hand in dozens of other comic-book characters, but none had the staying power of the shield-wielding patriotic avenger. Kim Jong-il, the mercurial leader of North Korea who ruled that communist country for 17 years and turned it into a nuclear state, died of an apparent heart attack on Dec. 17 at age 69. Called "Dear Leader" within his impoverished and secretive nation, Kim is now succeeded by his son Kim Jong-un, who has been dubbed the "Great Successor." Vaclav Havel, an absurdist playwright who ridiculed the rulers of his native Czechoslovakia but went on to lead that nation's Velvet Revolution against communist rule, died on Dec. 18 at age 75. Havel became president of Czechoslovakia in 1989 and four years later took the oath as the first President of the newly created Czech Republic.
Singer Etta James, 73, has been hospitalized in Riverside, Calif., where she is being treated for dementia and end-stage leukemia. Her son Donto, 43, said that James, who is famous for such songs as "At Last," wanted people to know that "she is still fighting."
15-YEAR-OLD CONQUERS TOP PEAKS
At age 10, Jordan Romero scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, which-at 19,341 feet-is the tallest peak in Africa. He then set out to climb the tallest mountain on each of the other six continents. Romero finished his quest on Dec. 24 at the 16,067-ft. summit of Antarctica's Mount Vinson Massif, becoming the youngest person to reach the top of all seven mountains. The Big Bear, Calif., adventurer bested British youth George Atkinson, 16, who accomplished the same feat just this past May. From Antarctica, Romero posted a Facebook message: "It's in the books," adding that he and his team still have "all their fingers and toes."