Passages

UPDATED 04/06/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/06/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

Actor Robert De Niro's wife, Grace High-tower, 44, gave birth to a son on March 18. He's their first child, although De Niro has four others from prior relationships....

Writer-producer and former teen heartthrob Shaun Cassidy, 39, and his wife, actress Susan Diol, 35, welcomed their first child, daughter Juliet Jones, on March 19 in Los Angeles. She weighed in at 8 lbs. 2 ozs. Cassidy has two children from a previous marriage.

Entrepreneur Jheri Redding, the hair-care bigwig who made millions peddling premium-priced shampoos and other beauty-parlor products, died of undisclosed causes on March 15 in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 91.

The final check is in the mail: Philanthropist Brooke Astor, who turns 96 this week and is known as the Fairy Godmother of New York City thanks to her largesse, has dispersed her family foundation's last penny. She plans to close the foundation, funded by 19th-century millionaire John Jacob Astor's fur trade and real estate fortune, after 38 years. In that time it gave away $193,317,406, mostly to Big Apple causes.

On March 18 a South Carolina judge ordered legendary Godfather of Soul James Brown, 64, to complete a 90-day drug treatment program. Brown had pleaded no contest to the charge that, in January outside his Beech Island, S.C., residence, he fired a rifle while under the influence.

Basketball star Latrell Sprewell, 27, the Golden State Warriors guard who was suspended for attacking his coach last year, was charged with reckless driving after colliding with another car March 18 on a freeway in Martinez, Calif. Sprewell was allegedly driving his 1997 Mercedes at 90 mph when he caused a Toyota Corolla to flip over, inflicting minor injuries on its two occupants. He could face 30 days in jail.

A jury in Springfield, Mo., rejected a sexual harassment and discrimination suit against singer Tony Orlando, who turns 54 this week, on March 20 for lack of evidence. Sisters Sonya and Aleta Buckelew, who sang backup for the "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" entertainer in 1993 and '94 (and are not to be confused with the earlier backup pair known as Dawn), sought $50,000 each for pain and suffering they said Orlando caused by verbally abusing them.

U.S. Customs officials arrested basketball Goliath Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 50, for possession of 6 grams of marijuana on March 15. Nabbed at an airport in Toronto, the retired Los Angeles Laker center paid a $500 fine and was released. In another matter involving the 7'2" Hall of Famer, an L.A. judge on March 19 dismissed misdemeanor battery and false imprisonment charges against him stemming from a 1997 traffic dispute.

West Virginia lawmakers on March 6 passed a resolution renaming a stretch of a Morgantown, W.Va., street Don Knotts Boulevard in honor of the native son who went on to play Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show in the '60s. Knotts was born there 73 years ago.

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