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Monitor

Charlie Sheen’s divorce and Snoop Doggy Dog’s mistrial made news the week of March 8, 1996

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DEPARTURES
It’s musical chairs at Hollywood’s tenpercentaries. Participating in the latest agency shuffle were Sylvester Stallone, who left ICM (where he’d been less than four months) for the William Morris Agency; Winona Ryder, who chose not to renew with CAA in favor of her manager, Carol Bodie; and Annabella Sciorra, who also exited CAA, opting for William Morris.

DEALS
Five months after Time Warner unloaded its stake in Interscope Records, MCA has agreed to pay $200 million for 50 percent of the lightning-rod label. Interscope-distributed Death Row Records produces gangsta rappers Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Tupac Shakur, all of whom have come under politicians’ fire for their violent, vulgar lyrics. The deal, which gives MCA the option to buy the remaining 50 percent within five years, allows it to refuse to distribute any release it deems objectionable.

SPLITS
Hard to believe, but Hot Shots thespian and Heidi Fleiss john Charlie Sheen, 30, filed for divorce Feb. 23 from Elite model Donna Peele, 25, a mere 5 1/2 months after walking down the aisle…. Actress Halle Berry (Losing Isaiah), 27, and Atlanta Braves All-Star outfielder David Justice, 29, announced on Feb. 23 that they’re calling it quits after three years of marriage. Justice cited the stress of a bicoastal relationship.

MISTRIAL
Murder’s no longer the case. A Los Angeles judge declared a mistrial Feb. 21 in the voluntary-manslaughter trial of Calvin Broadus, a.k.a. Snoop Doggy Dogg, 24, and the gangsta rapper’s ex-bodyguard McKinley Lee, 25. One day earlier, the pair had been found innocent of murder and conspiracy to commit assault. All of the charges date back to a 1993 drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. The DA’s office has not yet said whether it will retry the manslaughter case.

BIRTHS
The times, they are a-changin’. Jack Nicholson, 58, one of Hollywood’s legendary lotharios, is a grandfather. Nicholson’s daughter Jennifer, 32 (by former wife Sandra Knight), gave birth to a boy Feb. 20. The father’s name was not revealed.

DEATHS
Actor and activist Dr. Haing S. Ngor, 55, was shot and killed outside his home in the Chinatown section of L.A. Feb. 25. At press time, police had not determined the motive, though there was speculation that the slaying was a politically motivated response to Ngor’s efforts to bring to justice those responsible for the atrocities committed under the Khmer Rouge regime. Ngor, a Cambodian-born physician, was renowned for his performance as news assistant Dith Pran in 1984’s The Killing Fields, for which he won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of a survivor of the bloody massacres mirrored his own struggles; in 1980, political turbulence forced him to flee to the U.S., where he had hoped to resume his practice. Instead, he found fame as an actor (he appeared in 1993’s Heaven & Earth) and penned an autobiography, Haing Ngor: A Cambodian Odyssey (1988). ”Life wouldn’t let up on Ngor,” Killing Fields director Roland Joffe said. ”Haing was brave and passionate and knew far too well the heart-numbing loneliness of the survivor. Yet he never gave up trying to help his beloved Cambodia recover.”… Composer Morton Gould, 82, Feb. 21 in Orlando, Fla. A prodigious and diverse talent, Gould wrote musicals (Billion Dollar Baby, Arms and the Girl), ballets (Fall River Legend), and symphonic and orchestral works (the Pulitzer Prize-winning Stringmusic)…. Character actor Roger Bowen, 63, of a heart attack, Feb. 16 in Florida. Bowen, who played the bungling Lt. Col. Henry Blake in Robert Altman’s 1970 movie M*A*S*H, was the author of 11 novels and a founder of the famed comedy troupe Second City in Chicago. His death came one day after that of his TV counterpart, McLean Stevenson, 66, who suffered a heart attack in L.A. Stevenson, who played the same Army surgeon on the M*A*S*H TV series from 1972 to 1975, turned the character into a hilarious send-up of military protocol on one of the most beloved and highly rated shows of all time. He followed his Emmy-nominated stint with several less-stellar series, including The McLean Stevenson Show and Hello, Larry, and hosted The Tonight Show more than 50 times…. Travel writer Eleanor Clark, 82, of emphysema and pneumonia, Feb. 16 in Boston. Clark, the widow of poet-novelist Robert Penn Warren, won a 1964 National Book Award for The Oysters of Locmariaquer…. Former child TV star Tommy Rettig, 54, presumably of natural causes (pending a coroner’s report), found Feb. 15 at home in Marina del Rey, Calif. Before Lassie frolicked with Timmy, the famous canine starred opposite Rettig, who from 1954 to 1958 played Jeff Miller, a farm boy smitten with the trusty pup. Rettig, who was arrested several times on drug charges in the 1970s, later founded a computer software company.

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