04/04/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT
Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, 76, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 18 in U.S. bankruptcy court in Los Angeles. A Gabor spokesman said the actress "needed a breathing spell to reorganize her financial affairs." Last December, Gabor, who already had a long list of creditors, was ordered by a judge to pay Elke Sommer $1.25 million for unflattering remarks made about the actress in a German magazine. Gabor is appealing the judgment.
Actor Dudley Moore, 58, was arrested on March 21 at his L.A. home after an unidentified girlfriend claimed she had been battered by him. Police say they arrived to find the woman with "minor but visible trauma to her neck." Moore was booked on charges of domestic abuse and released on $50,000 bail.
Joey Buttafuoco, 38, was released from New York's Nassau County Correctional Facility on March 23 after serving four months and nine days for statutory rape. The auto-body repairman was convicted in 1993. His lover, Amy Fisher, then 16, was charged with the attempted murder of his wife, Mary Jo, 38. Fisher is now serving 5-to-15 years in a New York State correctional facility....
On March 19, an Arkansas judge sentenced Damien Wayne Echols 19, to death by lethal injection, and Charles Jason Baldwin, 16, to life imprisonment without parole following their convictions for the bloody 1993 killings of three 8-year-old West Memphis, Ark., boys: Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore. In a separate trial, Jessie Lloyd Misskelley Jr., 18, was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder for his complicity in the killings. He is now serving a life sentence plus 40 years.
Talk show host Geraldo Rivera, 50, and his fourth wife, TV producer C.C. Dyer, 37, are expecting their second child in October. The couple already has a 16-month-old daughter, Isabella. Rivera also has a son, Gabriel, 14, from his third marriage, to actress Sheri Raymond.
A March 21 autopsy report has indicated that health columnist Dr. Stuart Berger, 40, author of the popular 1985 book Dr. Berger's Immune Power Diet, died from a heart attack brought on by cocaine and obesity on Feb. 23 in his Manhattan apartment. The 6'7" Berger, who in the early 1980s lost 210 pounds on his own diet, had ballooned back to 365 at the time of his death....
Walter Lantz, 94, the creator of the Woody Woodpecker cartoon character, died of heart disease on March 22 at an L.A. hospital. Lantz was already a successful self-employed animator in 1941 when he and his wife, Grace, got the idea for the animated bird from a woodpecker that disrupted their California honeymoon.
National Basketball Association great Magic Johnson, 34, who retired from the pro game in 1991 after contracting HIV, is returning to be head coach of the L.A. Lakers. Johnson replaces Randy Pfund, whose losing record over two seasons—caused, in part, by Magic's departure—may end with the Lakers failing to make the play-off's for the first time since 1976.