Soichiro Honda, 84, the Japanese mechanic who founded Honda Motors Co. and helped revolutionize the auto industry by convincing baby boomers to switch from their gas guzzlers to his smaller Honda Civics, died of liver failure on Aug. 5 in Tokyo. Honda, known as the Japanese Henry Ford, saw his business take off in 1972 when he began selling his gas-saving Civics in America. Honda Motors, which sold 716,495 automobiles stateside last year, is expected to overtake Chrysler this year as the nation's third largest passenger car company behind General Motors and Ford....
Gridiron veteran Paul Brown, 82, who founded both the Cleveland Browns (fans suggested the name) and the Cincinnati Bengals, died of pneumonia on Aug. 5 in Cincinnati. Brown helped found the Browns in 1946 and coached the team to three NFL championships before being fired in 1962. Six years later he started the Bengals, coaching the team until 1975 and continuing as vice-president and general manager until his death.
Hedy Lamarr, 77, a silver-screen siren of the 1930s and 1940s, was arrested for shoplifting on Aug. 1 in Casselberry, Fla. Lamarr, who lives in a condo near Orlando, was charged with taking $21.48 worth of sundries from a local drugstore and ordered to appear in court on Aug. 20. Lamarr last made news in 1966 when she was accused of shoplifting an $86 pair of slippers from a Los Angeles department store; she was Later acquitted....
Seventies funkmeister Rick James, 39, was arrested Aug. 2 in Los Angeles and charged with the sex torture of a 24-year-old woman....
Ex—pro football player Mark Gastineau, 34, was arraigned on July 11 in Phoenix after police arrested him for allegedly picking up a package of amphetamines at the Phoenix airport. Due in court Oct. 15, he faces up to four years in jail.
The baby who caused Meredith Vieira, 37, to forfeit her job as a 60 Minutes correspondent last June arrived on Aug. 2 in Manhattan. Vieira and her husband, TV news producer Richard Cohen, named their new 8 lb. 9 oz. son Gabriel Anthony Cohen. Vieira, now on maternity leave from CBS, left 60 Minutes after producer Don Hewitt refused to accommodate her request to extend her half-time deal, in effect since the birth of her first son, Ben, now 2.
Magnum Pacified: Tom Selleck, 46, has settled his $20 million libel lawsuit against the Globe, which ran a story in its July 2 issue about a homosexual-rights group that had labeled various celebrities, including Selleck, "Absolutely Queer." Although financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed, the tabloid issued an apology, saying it had never intended to imply that Selleck was gay.
INXS drummer Jon Ferriss, 30, plans to wed actress Leslie Bega, 24, a Head of the Class graduate. The two met seven months ago at—where else?—a party in Los Angeles. The wedding is scheduled for Valentine's Day in Ferriss's hometown of Sydney, Australia. No word yet on who'll play at their wedding gig.
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