Passages

updated 08/31/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/31/1998 01:00AM

Wed

Actor French Stewart, 34, who plays an endearingly oddball alien on NBC's 3rd Rock from the Sun, placed a wedding band on the third finger from the thumb of his longtime girlfriend, student Katherine LaNasa, 31, when the couple married secretly on May 19 in Las Vegas....

Veronica's Closet actress Kathy Najimy, 41, and actor Dan Finnerty, 28, tied the knot on Aug. 8 at a ceremony in Los Angeles officiated by feminist Gloria Steinem, attended by are-they-or-aren't-they-a-couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston (they say no), and serenaded by Melissa Etheridge, who warbled "Ave Maria." The newlyweds already have a daughter—Samia, 21 months.

Recuperating
Sophia Loren, 63, entered Manhattan's New York Hospital on Aug. 13 suffering from exhaustion and has since been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. Earlier that day, the actress, according to a spokesperson, fell ill after accompanying a friend to the office of a plastic surgeon.

Born

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, 34, and wife Skylar, 27, are parents of their first child, son Myles, born on Aug. 5 in New York City....

Husband-and-wife country music stars Faith Hill, 30, and Tim McGraw, 31, have a second young'un. Maggie Elizabeth McGraw (6 lbs., 9 ozs.) was born on Aug. 12 in Nashville. Her sister Gracie is 16 months.

Deaths
Restaurateur Robert M. Luby, 88, founder of Luby's Cafeterias, died on Aug. 13 in Colorado Springs....

Senior hepcat Benny Waters, 96, saxophonist, clarinetist and vocalist, died on Aug. 11 in Columbia, Md. Though blind since the early '90s, the Apollo Theatre veteran had maintained a 100-gigs-a-year pace until June....

Novelist, memoirist and playwright Julian Green, who was the first American ever elected to the prestigious Académie Franchise, died Aug. 13 in Paris at 97. Although little read in the U.S., Green was revered by the French and wrote a vast oeuvre in that language. His last major work—a trilogy composed of The Distant Lands, The Stars of the South and Dixie—recreated the antebellum South of his family lore.

In Court

A Federal appellate court in New Orleans ordered actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, 80ish, to pay $57,500 for breach of contract in a case lodged by the now-defunct Hollywood Fantasy Corp., a wish-fulfillment outfit for film fans. Seven years ago, the firm hired Gabor to take part in a getaway for two clients who shelled out $7,500 each to play opposite the Hungarian legend in a videotaped "movie" and to dine with her. Gabor, a no-show, claimed she was forced to cancel after a more "significant" work opportunity came along—a 14-second cameo in 1991's Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear....

On Aug. 18, a Santa Monica jury found director James Orr, 45, erstwhile suitor of Farrah Fawcett, 51, guilty of one count of "dating battery" stemming from a January incident in which Orr hit the actress and shoved her head against the ground. Although Orr won an acquittal on another battery charge from a previous brawl, he still faces up to a year in prison and a $6,000 fine at his Oct. 6 sentencing.

Expecting
Actor Ray Liotta, 43, who recently portrayed Frank Sinatra in HBO's Rat Pack, and his wife, former model Michelle Grace, 37, are expecting a baby girl in December. It will be the first child for the couple, who married in February 1997.

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