Passages

updated 02/12/1996 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1996 01:00AM

Fresh from victory at the Golden Globe Awards, best actress in a TV comedy series winner Cybill Shepherd, 45, announced her engagement on Jan. 21 to musician Robert Martin, 46, her live-in beau. Shepherd, a twice-divorced mother of three, and Martin have not yet set a date....

The artist formerly known as Prince, 37, will wed one of his backup singer-dancers, Mayte (age unavailable), on Feb. 14 in Paris. It will be the first marriage for both.

R&B singer Aaron Hall, 31, was arrested on Jan. 23 and charged with the first-degree rape of a 26-year-old woman at a Manhattan hotel. Hall, who was released two days later on $100,000 bail, had a 1994 hit single, "I Miss You."...

Actor Billy Dee Williams, 58, was arrested on Jan. 30 after Los Angeles police received a call from Williams's live-in girlfriend, whose name was not released, claiming that she had been battered by the actor. Charged with cohabital abuse, Williams is free on $50,000 bail; no trial date has been set.

Singer and single mother Sheena East-on, 36, has adopted her second child, a girl, Skylar, who was born in mid-January in L.A. Easton adopted her son Jake in 1994.

The Great Muppet Caper: Thieves broke into a traveling exhibition of 36 original Jim Henson puppets at a garden show in Erfurt, Germany, on Jan. 28 and made off with Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie, valued at $126,000 for the two. There was no ransom note. Miss Piggy is now under police protection.

Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky, 55, died in his sleep at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., of a heart attack on Jan. 28. Born in Leningrad, he was sentenced by the Soviet government in 1964 to five years' hard labor for social "parasitism." He was expelled from his homeland in 1972 and settled in the U.S, where he won the National Book Award in 1986. Brodsky received the Nobel Prize for Literature the following year and in 1991 became the first foreign-born U.S. poet laureate....

Superman cocreator Jerry Siegel, 81, died of heart failure on Jan. 28 in L.A. Siegel, a writer, dreamed up the Man of Steel with artist Joe Shuster while the pair were still in high school in Cleveland. Superman comics debuted in 1938....

Author Harold Brodkey, 65, died of AIDS on Jan. 26 in his Manhattan home. Brodkey is best known for 1991's stream-of-consciousness novel The Runaway Soul, which took some 30 years to complete.

In the newsmen with new knees category: Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, 79, is recuperating at his Manhattan home after knee replacement surgery on Jan. 17. Cronkite, who injured his right knee playing tennis, is expected to be back on his feet by April....

And 20/20's Hugh Downs had surgery on Jan. 27 to replace both knee joints. Downs, 74, injured his knees 16 years ago in a race down 37 flights of stairs.

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