Grade Lantz, 88, who provided Woody Woodpecker's "henh-henh-henh-HENNNH-henh" cackle in some 200 cartoons, died of spinal cancer on March 17 in Burbank, Calif. Lantz suggested Woody to her husband, Walter, an animator, after a noisy woodpecker bothered them during their honeymoon. She became the high-spirited bird's voice in 1952, succeeding several other chirpers, including Mel Blanc. "Woody wasn't cute until I took over," Lantz said in 1981.
Today's big winner: TV personality Janice Pennington, 40ish, who has been pointing to prizes on CBS's The Price Is Right game show for 20 years, was awarded $1.3 million by a jury in Los Angeles on March 20. Pennington's negligence suit against the network stemmed from a June 1988 studio accident in which she broke her collarbone. The resulting injury, claimed Pennington, left her unable to wear swimsuits on the show because one shoulder is now lower than the other and she has a three-inch scar.
Princess Diana's father, Earl Spencer. 68, was admitted to a London hospital on March 21, suffering from mild pneumonia. Di and her sons, Princes William, 9, and Many, 7, visited.
Only 22 hours after meeting backstage at a U2 concert in East Rutherford, N.J., movie director Phil (Final Analysis) Joanou. 30, and record company executive Kate Hyman, 34, married. The two first met on March 18 and flew at 6 A.M. the next day to Las Vegas, where they were wed at the Graceland Chapel (complete with an Elvis impersonator). Then they Hew back to Manhattan in time for U2 to include a wedding video at the band's March 20 concert at Madison Square Garden. Joanou directed U2's Rattle and Hum documentary (1988) and the group's new "One" video.
Actress Amanda Pays, 32, and her husband, L.A. Law's Corbin Bernsen, 36, welcomed fraternal twins, Henry and Angus, on March 19 in L.A. (The couple already have another son, Oliver, 3.) Pays went into labor while watching an episode of L.A. Law in which—make of this what you will—Bernsen's character, Arnie Becker, injures his testicles.
Political cartoonist Bill Mauldin, 70, whose drawings run in 75 newspapers, was scheduled to hang up his pointed pen on March 30. Mauldin first gained fame in World War II, winning a Pulitzer Prize at age 23 for depicting military life as seen through the eyes of two weary foot soldiers, Willie and Joe. He won a second Pulitzer in 1959.