Author Maas, Actress Freeman Die
DIED: "Serpico" and "The Valachi Papers" author PETER MAAS, 72, best known for chronicling the Mafia in a dozen best-selling novels and nonfiction books as well as in magazine articles, died in New York Thursday. Cause of death was not revealed. Veteran character actress KATHLEEN FREEMAN, 82, died of lung cancer in New York Thursday, after having given her final performance in Broadway's "The Full Monty" only last Saturday. A movie and TV staple, Freeman was in show biz since the age of two. She was the speech teacher in "Singin' in the Rain" and a perfect comic foil to Jerry Lewis in several movies, while her TV credits include nearly every sitcom of note, from "The Donna Reed Show" to "Murphy Brown" . . . BORN: Former "Hercules" star Kevin Sorbo, 42, and his wife, Sam, welcomed a 7-pound, 8-ounce boy on Wednesday at a hospital near their Las Vegas home, said his publicist. This is the couple's first child . . . ENGAGED: Country star WYNONNA JUDD, 37, is marrying her road manager, D.R. Roach, age undisclosed, she has announced. "I know that we can make it through anything because we have been co-workers and friends for the last 10 years," said Judd. No wedding date reported. Also altar-bound: California Republican Rep. MARY BONO, 39, who took her late husband Sonny Bono's seat in Congress after his death in 1998, will marry Wyoming businessman Glenn Baxley, age undisclosed, probably in November, said her spokeswoman . . . AWARDED: In England, Harry Potter creator J.K. ROWLING, 36, has been given the Walpole Medal of Excellence for promoting British quality. "She is the best-known author in the country," said Walpole chairman Rupert Hambro. And in Nashville, country singer TRAVIS TRITT, 38, received the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall of Fame Award, which honors an entertainer for distinguished service to the nation, veterans and the armed forces.
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