PASSAGES: Ebert Faces Cancer Surgery
ILL: Chicago-based move critic Roger Ebert, 59, is due to undergo surgery on Friday to remove a cancerous growth on his thyroid gland, reports the Associated Press. "I am told this type of tumor is slow-growing and not aggressive, and that my prognosis is excellent for a quick and complete recovery," Ebert, who underwent a similar procedure in 1987, said in a statement . . . SUED: Rocker Tommy Lee, 39, has been sued for wrongful death and negligence by the parents of Daniel Karven-Veres, a 4-year-old boy who drowned last June in a swimming pool at the home of the former Motley Crue drummer, reports Reuters. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last Friday, alleges that there was no lifeguard, adult or professional designated to ensure the safety of children at the pool, and seeks unspecified general and special damages. Reps for Lee could not be reached for comment . . . EXPECTING: Singer-actress BRANDY, 23, and her husband, songwriter ROBERT SMITH, are due to welcome their first child in July, reports Launch.com. She will also release her third album, "Full Moon," on March 5. Also expecting a visit from the stork, PEOPLE reports in its latest issue, are SYLVESTER STALLONE, 55, and his wife, former model JENNIFER FLAVIN, 33. This will be their third daughter, and she is due in May . . . DIED: British actor John Thaw, 60, who won fame at home and abroad for his portrayal of crotchety Oxford sleuth Inspector Morse, died on Thursday at his home in England. He had been suffering with cancer of the esophagus, he announced last June . . . OFFERED: Paul McCartney's manuscript of the Beatles hit "Hey Jude" (their best-selling single) will go up for auction at Christie's London in April, when it is expected to fetch $114,000, reports Reuters. According to McCartney's spokesman, Geoff Baker, the single sheet with 19 lines of script was found by a Beatles fan on a market stall in 1971, just three years after it was recorded.