Passages

updated 01/09/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/09/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

Rossano Brazzi, 78, the Italian actor who is best known as the French planter Émile De Becque in the 1958 classic film South Pacific, died of an undisclosed virus that affected his nervous system on Dec. 24 in a hospital in Rome. Brazzi, who often appeared onscreen as the handsome heartbreaker and aristocrat, acted in more than 200 movies, most of them in the U.S., including Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) and Summertime (1955)....

Orval Faubus, 84, a former Democratic governor of Arkansas who defied a federal order to desegregate Little Rock's public schools in 1957, died on Dec. 14 after a long fight with prostate and bone cancer, at his home in Conway, Ark. Faubus had dispatched the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, but the attempt was thwarted when President Eisenhower sent in federal troops to make sure Faubus would not interfere....

It was revealed on Dec. 13 that Madame Alix Grès, 89, a grande dame of haute couture who dressed the likes of Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy, had died on Nov. 24, 1993, at a retirement home in the South of France. Grès' daughter Anne said she had delayed reporting the death "out of love" for her mother. A retrospective of Madame Grès' elegant draped gowns was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in September....

Barbara Webb, 68, the retired schoolteacher who said she contracted HIV while a patient of Florida dentist David Acer, died of AIDS-related illness Dec. 17 in Stuart, Fla. Acer also died of complications of AIDS, in 1990, after being blamed for infecting five other patients, including Kimberly Bergalis, who died in 1991....

Playwright John Osborne, 65, whose explosive 1956 drama Look Back in Anger brought a dose of hard-edged reality to British theater, died of heart failure on Dec. 24 in Shropshire, England. Osborne, known as the Angry Young Man of British theater, wrote such plays as The Entertainer (1957), Inadmissible Evidence (1964) and Dejavu (1992). He also won an Academy Award in 1963 for his screenplay for Tom Jones and a Tony in 1964 for the Broadway play Luther....

António Carlos Jobim, 67, the Brazilian composer and songwriter whose hits "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Desafinado" helped launch the bossa nova craze of the 1960s and inspired many American jazz artists, died of heart failure on Dec. 8 in a hospital in Manhattan.

Liza Minnelli, 48, who suffers from degenerative arthritis, is recuperating in L.A. from hip replacement surgery performed on Dec. 17 in Century City, Calif. Her recovery is going so smoothly that she is planning a concert tour in March....

Elizabeth Dole, 58, president of the American Red Cross and the wife of incoming Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, 71, underwent surgery Dec. 20 at a Boston hospital to clear a blockage in a neck artery, discovered during a recent examination. Dole is expected to return to work in a few weeks.

After performing her final show for the Ice Capades at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on Dec. 18, Dorothy Hamill announced she would retire from professional figure skating. Hamill, 38, who won a gold medal in figure skating in the 1976 Olympics, and her husband Kenneth Forsythe, 54, have made a deal to sell the Ice Capades, which they bought in 1993, to International Family Entertainment Inc....

Czechoslovakian-born tennis star Ivan Lendl, 34, announced his retirement Dec. 20, in Banksville, N.Y. Lendl, who held the No. 1 spot for a record 270 weeks, says he's leaving the tour because of a chronic back problem. He plans to spend his free time golfing and doing family time with wife Samantha, 26, arid their four daughters.

Actor Billy Baldwin, 31, popped the question to longtime girlfriend singer Chynna Phillips, 26, on Dec. 17 in New York City. No word on a wedding date.

Actor James McDaniel, 36, who plays Lt. Arthur Fancy on ABC's hit drama NYPD Blue, pled no contest to charges of reckless driving related to alcohol on Dec. 23, in Santa Monica municipal court. Last October, McDaniel was on his way home from a party when he was stopped by police. The actor was sentenced to pay a $694 fine and attend a drunk-driver offender program for 90 days....

"Super Freak" singer Rick James, 46, now serving a five year, four month sentence in Folsom State Prison in Sacramento for assaulting music executive Mary Sauger, 36, in a Hollywood hotel room in 1992, was ordered to pay $225,000 in punitive damages on Dec. 13 in L.A. superior court. Sauger had been awarded a total of $1.8 million in compensatory damages on Dec. 9.

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, 61, and sports marketing consultant Heather MacLachlan, 36, were married Dec. 10 in New York City. The marriage is the second for Mitchell, who is retiring from the Senate after nearly 15 years, and the first for MacLachlan.

TV newswoman Deborah Norville, 36, and her husband, businessman Karl Wellner, 40, celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary Dec. 12 by welcoming second son Kyle Maximilian (7 lbs. 2 ozs.) in New York City. Son Karl is 3....

Country music star Wynonna, 30, and boat salesman Arch Kelley III, 42, greeted their first child, Elijah (8 lbs. 15 ozs.), Dec. 23 in Nashville....

Revlon chairman Ronald Perelman, 51, one of the richest people in the world, and Patricia Duff, 40, a Democratic political activist, welcomed Caleigh Sophia (5 lbs. 14 ozs.) Dec. 13 in Manhattan. The child is Duff's first and the sixth for Perelman....

Alina Shriver, 29, and her husband Anthony Kennedy Shriver, 29, Maria's brother and the founder of Best Buddies, an advocacy group for people with mental retardation, greeted Francesca Maria (6 lbs. 12 ozs.) on Dec. 12 in Miami. The baby joins Eunice, 11 months, and Teddy, 6, Alina's son by a previous marriage....

Actress Polly Draper, 37, best known as Ellyn on TV's thirtysomething (1987-91), and husband Michael Wolff, 42, onetime bandleader for The Arsenio Hall Show, welcomed their first child, Nathaniel Marvin (7 lbs.), on Dec. 17 at a hospital in L.A.

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