Passages

updated 11/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

William S. Paley, the visionary founder and chairman of CBS, died of a heart attack related to pneumonia at his home in Manhattan on Oct. 26 at the age of 89. The Chicago-born son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants bought several obscure radio stations in 1928 and built them into what eventually became known as the Tiffany network. Early on he signed such stars as Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Edgar Bergen and Red Skelton. He also recruited a stable of journalists who pioneered broadcast news, including Edward R. Murrow. With TV, Paley's talent roster grew to include Walter Cronkite, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan and Lassie. In 1947, immediately following his divorce from socialite Dorothy Hart Hearst, he wed the impossibly beautiful aristocrat Barbara Cushing Mortimer, called Babe. The Paleys held court in Manhattan and in the Bahamas—often in the company of Truman Capote, until, in 1975, he published the story "La Côte Basque, 1965," a veiled expose" of the Paleys' society world, which won Babe's scorn. When Babe was diagnosed with lung cancer, Paley used his wealth and influence to try to heal her. She died in 1978. For years Paley secretly supported silent-film star Louise Brooks, with whom he had had a relationship years before. "Our industry may never see his like again," said Walter Cronkite.

Rumba king Xavier Cugat, the flamboyant bandleader who popularized Latin rhythms in America and taught a generation to tango, mambo and cha-cha, died of heart failure on Oct. 27 in Barcelona. He was 90. The Spanish-born, Cuban-reared Cugat—"Cugie" to friends—came to fame in the '30s as a bandleader at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and the Cocoanut Grove in L.A. He made a string of movies, many with Esther Williams, such as Neptune's Daughter. In his personal life, Cugat did little to undermine the Latin-lover image he cultivated onstage. His five wives included Dolores Del Rio"s stand-in, Carmen Castillo; Abbe Lane, who sang with his band in the '50s; and the singer Charo (his last), who remembers him fondly. "Every day he'd create something," she says. "People that know him and love him are extremely sad. His soul will live forever."

Screen siren Sean Young, 30, who reupholstered the back of a limo (and Kevin Costner) in No Way Out, plans to marry actor Bob Lujan, 30, on Nov. 24 in Arizona. They met on the set of a miniseries five years ago. Young's next film, due in March, is A Kiss Before Dying with Matt Dillon....

And John Belushi's widow, Judith Jacklin Belushi, recently wed TV writer-producer Victor Pisano with no fanfare.

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