WEDDINGS Almost Famous star Kate Hudson, 21, and Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson, 34, tied the knot on New Year’s Eve in Aspen, Colo. The bride was given away by Kurt Russell, longtime companion of Hudson’s mother, Goldie Hawn. It’s the first marriage for Hudson, the second for Robinson.
KNIGHTED Make that Sir Boy Wonder. On Dec. 28, the British Embassy announced that Queen Elizabeth II will bestow on Steven Spielberg the lengthily titled Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. ”Obviously, he was both honored and humbled,” says a spokesman for the director. Sir Christopher Meyer, Her Majesty’s ambassador to the U.S., will do the honors on Jan. 29 in Washington, D.C.
ARRESTED Shannen Doherty, 29, on suspicion of driving under the influence, Dec. 28, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Officers spotted Doherty’s black Ford pickup truck weaving down the road around 3 a.m. They allege she failed a field sobriety test and refused a Breathalyzer test, then submitted to a blood test at Ventura County Jail. Results won’t be known for several weeks. The Charmed star was released pending a Jan. 26 arraignment.
DEATHS Actor Ray Walston, 86, on Jan. 1, in L.A., of natural causes. Best known to Gen Y as Mr. Hand, Jeff Spicoli’s teacher/nemesis in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Walston played Uncle Martin in the ’60s TV show My Favorite Martian and boasted a host of memorable TV and movie roles, including one in Billy Wilder’s classic The Apartment. In 1956, Walston won a Tony for his Devil-ish Damn Yankees performance; in later years, he scored a pair of Emmys as a prickly judge on Picket Fences…. Screenwriter Julius Epstein, 91, of undisclosed causes, Dec. 30, in L.A. Epstein — most famous for penning the Oscar-winning script of Casablanca (1943) along with his twin brother, Philip — contributed to dozens of screenplays, including Reuben, Reuben (1983)…. Actor Leo Gordon, 78, of an undisclosed illness, Dec. 26, at his L.A. home. A villain in such flicks as Hondo (1953) and Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), Gordon also wrote scripts for TV shows (Bonanza) and movies (Attack of the Giant Leeches)…. Nick Massi, 73, the original bass vocalist for the Four Seasons, who sang on hits like ”Sherry” and ”Rag Doll,” Dec. 24, of liver cancer, in East Orange, N.J…. Music exec Rudi Gassner, 58, on Dec. 23, of a heart attack, at his vacation home in Samerberg, Germany. Gassner had been set to succeed CEO Strauss Zelnick of BMG Entertainment on Jan. 2, and was also slated to replace chairman Michael Dornemann later this year…. Cue-card king Barney McNulty, 77, after a heart attack, Dec. 18, in Studio City, Calif. A CBS usher in 1949, McNulty inked up a script of The Ed Wynn Show when the host feared a prescription drug would cloud his memory. McNulty founded a freelance cue-card empire, boarding for Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, and Bob Hope.
— Rob Brunner and Troy Patterson