April 18, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

EXITS After 17 years at CAA, the last 18 months as cochairman, Jack Rapke, 46, announced April 7 that he’s leaving the talent agency. Among his clients were directors Ron Howard, Ridley Scott, and Joel Schumacher, and his departure may well trigger a huge scramble among other agencies for the high-profile names. Rapke reportedly may form a production company with director Robert Zemeckis.

SENTENCED Maybe Eric Clapton should change his nickname from Slowhand to Leadfoot. On April 2, the 52-year-old guitarist pleaded guilty in Surrey, England, to driving 101 mph in a 70 mph zone two months earlier. Magistrates fined Clapton 300 pounds (about $489) and banned him from driving for 14 days. He has no comment.

AILING Beach Boy Carl Wilson, 50, is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for tumors in his brain and a lung. His doctors say they’ve identified the cancer at an early stage and expect a ”speedy recovery.” In a statement, Wilson said he ”looks forward to touring with the Beach Boys…this May.”

LAWSUITS Things have been busy on the Home Alone front. On April 3, a New York State Supreme Court judge gave custody of Macaulay Culkin, 16, and four of his six siblings to his mother, Patricia Brentrup, 41, ending a 22-month battle between Brentrup and Macaulay’s father, Christopher ”Kit” Culkin, 52. The ruling came two days after Kit had conceded custody to Brentrup. Brentrup thus gains control of the acting careers of her children, including Macaulay, reportedly worth $17 million. Then, on April 7, an arrest warrant was issued for Kit after he failed to appear in a New York criminal court to answer assault charges stemming from a March 4 fight with a news photographer. Kit Culkin’s lawyer has no comment.

DEATHS Godzilla creator Tomoyuki Tanaka, 86, of a stroke, April 2, in Tokyo. He produced more than 220 films — including six with Oscar-winning director Akira Kurosawa — but his lasting achievement was to capsulize postwar Japan’s nuclear anxieties. In 1954’s Godzilla, the gigantic beastie was rudely awakened by U.S. atomic testing. The dino starred in 21 sequels and is the subject of an upcoming big-budget feature from TriStar.

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