Passages

updated 08/14/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/14/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Hearings began last I week in Los Angeles municipal court to determine whether 22-year-old Tori Spelling's former personal assistant, Karen Tublitz, 36, and Tublitz's attorney, Frances Jones, 33, will stand trial on charges of trying to extort money from the Beverly Hills, 90210 actress. In April, Tublitz and Jones were arrested for allegedly threatening to spill Spelling's personal secrets if she did not pay them $30,000.

Actor Ethan Hawke, 24, star of 1989's Dead Poets Society (and this year's Before Sunrise) is one live prose writer: He just sold his first novel, The Hottest State, for $400,000 to Little, Brown and Company. The book, about thwarted first love, will hit stores in the fall of 1996.

Composer Miklos Rozsa, 88, who won Oscars for scoring Spellbound, A Double Life and Ben-Hur, died in L.A. on July 27, three weeks after suffering a stroke. Rozsa wrote in a grand, sweeping style for nearly 100 films over the course of 50 years....

Sylvia Weinberger, 89, the Colonel Sanders of chopped liver, died on July 23 in Fort Lauderdale. From a luncheonette she and her husband ran in The Bronx. Weinberger began selling her Mrs. Weinberg's Chopped Liver (she said her full last name was too long to fit on her first labels) in the 1950s, eventually developing the product into a $2 million-a-year business....

1950's bandleader Les Elgart, 76, who cowrote the 1954 instrumental "Bandstand Boogie," which became the theme song for Dick Clark's long-running American Bandstand, died on July 29 in Dallas of a heart attack.

ABC newsman Sam Donaldson, 61, had a melanoma removed from a lymph node on the right side of his groin on Aug. 1 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Donaldson is "beginning to recover well," says his doctor....

Director Louis Malle (Vanya on 42nd Street), 62, is also battling cancer of the lymph nodes, according to a spokesman for his wife, Murphy Brown's Candice Bergen. Doctors in L.A. found that Malle is suffering from immune deficiency as a result of the cancer, and he is now undergoing treatment.

French actress Sophie Marceau, 28, Brave-heart's Isabelle, Princess of Wales, and her boyfriend of 10 years, Polish director Andrzej Zulawski, 52, welcomed their first child, Vincent, on July 27 near Paris....

Stanley Burrell, 32, better known as rapper M.C. Hammer, and his wife, Stephanie, 28, greeted Stanley Kirk Jr. (8 lbs., 6 ozs.) on July 21 in San Jose, Calif. They also have Akiba, 7, and Sarah, 2.

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, 33, and actress Victoria Rowell, 36 (The Young and the Restless and Diagnosis Murder), are expecting their first child four months from now. Rowell also has a daughter, Maya, 6, from a previous marriage, and Marsalis's children are Wynton Jr., 6. and Simeon, 4, from a past relationship.

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