UNDERGONE: Balladeer Luther Vandross, 52, described as barely conscious 13 days after suffering a stroke, has had a tracheotomy to fight off pneumonia, his business manager said in a statement Monday. Reuters reports that the procedure was done in such as way as not to affect the Grammy winner's vocal cords. He remains in intensive care at the Weill Cornell Medical Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
QUOTED: "It's really hard to kick butt when you can't see the butt you're kicking." -- Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, 30, to Reuters, on the ordeal of having to wear head-to-toe blue makeup for her role as Mystique in the new "X2: X-Men United."
OFFERED: The world's most expensive pair of shoes, with stiletto heels, went on sale behind a bullet-proof case in Harrods department store in London Monday for $1.6 million, reports the Daily Telegraph. Inspired by Judy Garland's ruby slippers in "The Wizard of Oz," and woven with platinum thread and set with 642 rubies, the Stuart Weitzman shoes were designed for an unnamed actress to wear to the Oscars. They are a size 3.5.
DIED: Elaine Steinbeck, 88, widow of author John Steinbeck ("Of Mice and men," "The Grapes of Wrath"), died Sunday of natural causes at New York Hospital, her late husband's literary agent has announced. Her husband, who received the 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature, died in 1968, and Elaine, a familiar figure in Manhattan social circles, continued to carry the torch. A former actress, Mrs. Steinbeck was generous to aspiring young writers, and even to older, accomplished ones -- though few were as accomplished as her John. She will be missed.