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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of April 26 to May 2

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Deals
DreamWorks cofounder David Geffen may not have made his fortune as a landlord, but he’s already collected Rent. DreamWorks paid more than $1 million — outbidding all the major labels — for the recording rights to Rent, the Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical that begins its Broadway run April 29. The cast will record the double CD in May.

Recovered
From exhaustion, Johnny Depp, 32, who was taken from the Florida set of the Mob film Donnie Brasco to a nearby hospital April 16. ”It’s a difficult role,” says his spokeswoman, Nancy Seltzer. ”He’s in every frame of the movie, and he needed some rest.” Depp was back at work the next day.

Deaths
Nationally syndicated humor columnist Erma Bombeck, 69, of complications from a kidney transplant, April 22, at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco. As the author of 12 books and the twice-weekly column ”At Wit’s End,” Bombeck wrote about the comic drudgery of suburban life….

Handicapper Jimmy ”The Greek” Snyder, 76, of a heart attack, April 21, in Las Vegas. For 12 football seasons, the oddsmaker appeared on CBS’ The NFL Today, but his broadcasting career came to an abrupt end in 1988, when CBS fired him for making racially charged statements about black athletes during an interview….

Christopher Robin Milne, 75, the model for the short-panted hero in the Winnie the Pooh children’s books written by his father, A.A. Milne, died of undisclosed causes, April 20, in Great Britain. The younger Milne gave his father mixed reviews, depicting him as a cold man whose ”heart remained buttoned up all through his life.”…

Bassist Bernard Edwards, 43, a founding member of the pop group Chic, of unknown causes, April 18, at a Tokyo hotel. According to his spokesman, Edwards had been performing in a concert with Steve Winwood, Slash, and Simon LeBon, but ”during the show, he didn’t feel well. He went back to his hotel room to sleep and didn’t wake up.” Chic was responsible for such classic disco songs as ”Dance, Dance, Dance” and ”Le Freak.”…

TV and radio writer Robert Shaw, 79, of heart failure, March 30, in Los Angeles. Shaw’s most famous credits were for the Luke and Laura romance on General Hospital and the ”Who Shot J.R.?” episode on Dallas, which at the time drew more viewers than any other TV show in history.