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Monitor

Celebrity news for the week of April 4, 2008

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EXPECTING
Dancing With the Stars‘ cheeriest contestant has a bigger reason to smile. Tony winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray), 35, and her husband, King of the Hill writer Judah Miller, 34, will soon be parents. A surrogate is carrying the baby for Winokur, who survived cervical cancer in 2001.

ENGAGED
In other Dancing news, country singer Sara Evans, 37, a Stars season 3 alum, announced plans to wed her radio-host boyfriend, Jay Barker, 35.

COURTS
It’s not all fun and (video)games: Gibson Guitar sued MTV Networks, Harmonix, and Electronic Arts — makers of Rock Band and Guitar Hero — for patent infringement on March 21 in Nashville. Gibson says the videogames’ guitar-shaped controllers are too similar to one of its inventions, an accessory that lets you plug in a real electric guitar and play along with your favorite artist. In a statement, Harmonix called the suit ”completely without merit.”… On March 20, the California Department of Public Health fined L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center $25,000 for accidentally giving 1,000 times the prescribed amount of the blood thinner heparin to three infants — including the newborn twins of Dennis Quaid, 54 — last November. The actor, whose children have since recovered from the potentially fatal overdose, filed a $50,000 negligence suit against Baxter Healthcare Corp., the drug’s maker, in December…. Alleged Tyra Banks stalker Brady Green, 37, was arrested and charged with stalking, harassment, and criminal trespass on March 18 in New York City after he turned up at the studio where Banks, 34, tapes her daytime talk show. Green, who pleaded not guilty on all counts, could not be reached for comment…. On March 19 in Chicago, an audience member slapped Oprah Winfrey, 54, with a personal-injury suit. Orit Greenberg wants $50,000, claiming she was hurt in a stampede for seats at a 2006 taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

DEATHS
Ivan Dixon, 76 — whose roles in films (Nothing but a Man) and on TV (Hogan’s Heroes) helped open Hollywood’s doors for African-American actors — of complications from kidney failure, March 16, in Charlotte, N.C. In a statement, costar Sidney Poitier (A Raisin in the Sun, Porgy and Bess) said: ”As a fellow actor, one had to be on one’s toes, otherwise he was quite likely to walk away with the scene.”… Saxophonist Jason Rae, 31, husband of singer Corinne Bailey Rae, 29, of an apparent drug overdose, March 22, in Leeds, England.


LEGACY Paul Scofield (1922-2008)
He was best known for his Oscar-winning turn as Sir Thomas More in 1966’s Man for All Seasons. But Scofield, who died March 19 of leukemia in Sussex, England, spent much of his career on stage: His King Lear, with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1962, remains the stuff of legend; he was the original conniving composer Salieri in Amadeus (1979); for playing More in Seasons, he took home a 1962 Tony. And though he won fame as a ”Sir,” Scofield turned down a knighthood in the ’60s: ”If you want a title,” he said, ”what’s wrong with Mr.?”