Game, set, match. Tennis ace Pete Sampras, 29, wed actress Bridgette Wilson (Love Stinks, The $treet), 27, Sept. 30 in Beverly Hills, Calif. It’s the first marriage for both.
Grizzled Southern newlywed Billy Bob Thornton, 45, was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital the weekend of Sept. 22 and released the next week, his publicist confirmed. Thornton, she says, was treated for an unspecified ”viral infection”; she would not comment on tabloid reports that the stay was brought on by a heart attack or a diet in which the Armageddon star ate only orange-colored foods.
It must have made his day. On Sept. 29 a San Jose jury found that Clint Eastwood, 70, does not owe unspecified damages to Diane zum Brunnen, 51, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. Zum Brunnen filed suit after a January 1996 visit to Eastwood’s Carmel resort, Mission Ranch, charging that it lacked proper wheelchair access, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. The spaghetti Western star conceded the getaway lacked ramps but claimed the problems were remedied once zum Brunnen filed suit … An L.A. bankruptcy judge ruled in favor of bodacious pinup Anna Nicole Smith, 32, Sept. 27, concluding that she is owed $449,754,134 from the estate of J. Howard Marshall, her late billionaire husband, pending the resolution of a probate trial in Texas. Smith has been wrangling with one of Marshall’s two sons, E. Pierce Marshall, 61. ”We think this is absurd and unwarranted,” contends Marshall’s lawyer, Joe Eisenberg. Smith and the late oil tycoon met when she was working as a stripper in Texas and were married for 13 months before he died in 1995 … This will make him jump out of his skin: British pop star Robbie Williams, 26, was found guilty of copyright infringement Oct. 2, in England. A High Court ruled the song ”Jesus in a Camper Van,” off his 1998 multiplatinum U.K. album I’ve Been Expecting You and 1999 gold U.S. album The Ego Has Landed, borrows too heavily from a Woody Guthrie song, ”I Am the Way,” whose copyright is owned by the plaintiff, U.S.-based Ludlow Music. Williams and fellow defendants — cowriter Guy Chambers and record and publishing companies EMI and BMG — will have to pay damages to be determined at a later date. Williams’ rep had no comment … Cheers actors John Ratzenberger (a.k.a. Cliff), 53, and George Wendt (a.k.a. Norm), 51, scored a victory in their long-running battle against a pair of life-size talking robots — displayed at airport bars — that the actors say resemble them. On Oct. 2, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court that reinstated their lawsuit against Host International Inc. and Paramount. The actors claim that robots created by Host (and licensed by Paramount, owners of the Cheers copyright) commercially exploited them without permission, and the stars have been seeking unspecified damages since 1993. Go have a beer, you guys! … A New York state parole board denied parole for Mark David Chapman, 45, Oct. 3. Currently serving a sentence of 20 years to life, Chapman in 1981 pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the 1980 killing of former Beatle John Lennon outside of the musician’s Manhattan apartment. In its decision, written to Chapman, the board noted ”your most vicious and violent act was apparently fueled by your need to be acknowledged. During your parole hearing, this panel noted your continued interest in maintaining your notoriety.” In an interview with the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle before the hearing, Chapman said he deserved to die but that Lennon ”would probably want to see me released.” Chapman is next eligible for parole in 2002.
Actor Richard Mulligan, 67, Sept. 26, of cancer, in Hollywood. The gravelly-voiced actor was best known for two Emmy Award-winning roles on long-running sitcoms. On Soap he played Burt, the rattled and addled stepfather of Billy Crystal’s gay character, and on Empty Nest he was Harry, a good-natured, widowed pediatrician. Mulligan also turned in memorable performances in such big-screen fare as Little Big Man and S.O.B. He got started in show business as a playwright … Screenwriter-turned-mystery author Robert Campbell, 73, of cancer, Sept. 21, in Monterey, Calif. In addition to scripting 1957’s Oscar nominated Man of a Thousand Faces, he wrote the 1975 book The Spy Who Sat and Waited, and popularized the phrase ”La-La Land” in his L.A.-based detective novels … Veteran character actress Ann Doran, 89, Sept. 19 in Carmichael, Calif., after a series of strokes. During her eight-decade career she appeared in more than 500 movies, most memorably as James Dean’s mother in Rebel Without a Cause.
— with additional reporting by Ethan Alter