Nicolas (Wild at Heart) Cage, 27, and his girlfriend, actress Christina Fulton, 23, had an 8-lb., 2-oz. boy, Weston Coppola Cage, on Dec. 26.
Master motivator George Allen, 72 (below), who coached the Los Angeles Rams to their first winning season in eight years in 1966 and took the Washington Redskins to the Super Bowl in the 1972 season, died of natural causes on Dec. 31 at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Allen's 116 NFL career wins against 47 losses gave him the third-best winning percentage in NFL history. During his 50-year career, Allen also coached USFL teams and college teams, including Long Beach (Calif.) State, where he was head coach at the time of his death. "Wherever he went, he won," said former Rams defensive end Jack Youngblood.
Actor Kiel Martin, 46 (below), who played J.D. LaRue, the detective full of get-rich-quick schemes on TV's Hill Street Blues series (1981-87), died of lung cancer on Dec. 28 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was a regular on the daytime soap The Edge of Night before joining the Hill Street squad and later had a role on the Fox network's short-lived Second Chance series.
Alice Marble, 77, who dominated women's tennis in the late 1930s, died in Palm Springs, Calif., on Dec. 13 of respiratory failure. "She was the first woman to serve and volley well," says Martina Navratilova. Marble won the U.S. amateur singles title at Forest Hills for five years straight (1936-40) and was the Wimbledon singles champ in 1939 and 1940. She turned pro in 1940 but spent much of the next several years playing exhibition matches for World War II U.S. servicemen, a job that served as a cover for her career as an Army Intelligence spy. While spying in Switzerland, Marble was shot in the back but recovered. Her autobiography, Courting Danger, which recounts her intelligence exploits, will be published this summer by St. Martin's Press.
Nancy Cruzan, 33, who had been in a persistent vegetative state since a 1983 auto accident, died on Dec. 26 in a Mount Vernon, Mo., hospital, 12 days after doctors, at her parents' request, disconnected her feeding tubes. Cruzan's parents, claiming that their daughter would not have wanted to go on living in her condition, fought a four-year court battle to establish her right to die. "We all feel good that Nancy's free at last," her father, Joe Cruzan, said at his daughter's graveside. "We stopped a medical technology that was serving no use whatsoever."