Real Estate Here’s an ordeal PrimeTime Live anchor Sam Donaldson, 61, probably won’t report. On the March 19 installment of This Week With David Brinkley, the ABC newsman responded to a Wall Street Journal story on farm subsidies that revealed that Donaldson received $97,000 in wool and mohair subsidies for his Hondo, N.M., ranch. ”I operate that ranch within the system that exists,” he said on the program. DEALS The Royal Family has officially gone Hollywood. Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, 35, will coproduce a Twentieth Century Fox movie about Queen Victoria, the well-traveled British monarch who ruled Britannia from 1837 to 1901.
LAWSUITS Platinum recording artist Brandy, 16, is being sued by her former management company, Teaspoon Productions. The $65 million suit against the singer, her family, and her label, Atlantic Records, claims breach of contract. Teaspoon says it discovered Brandy, signed her to an exclusive management deal, and negotiated a record contract for her. According to the suit, Teaspoon was terminated after securing the record deal. An Atlantic spokeswoman has no comment on the suit.
SENTENCED After pleabargaining for a misdemeanor weapons charge, Interview With the Vampire’s Christian Slater, 25, was sentenced to three days of community service during a hearing held March 17 in New York City. The actor, arrested Dec. 23 after his registered pistol was detected at New York’s JFK airport, will work with homeless children.
DEATHS Former Today news anchor Frank Blair, 79, of natural causes on March 14 at his home in Hilton Head, S.C. ”When you talk about the tradition of Today, you’re talking about people like Frank Blair,” says current Today news anchor Matt Lauer, 36. ”When I was growing up, he gave me a reason to watch every morning. Now he’s left me with something to shoot for every day.” Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Albert Hackett, 95, of pneumonia on March 16 in New York < City. Hackett won a 1956 Pulitzer for The Diary of Anne Frank, which he cowrote with his first wife and collaborator, Frances Goodrich. In addition to their play, Hackett and Goodrich were a prolific screenwriting team with more than 30 movies to their credit, including It's a Wonderful Life. Playwright Sidney Kingsley, 88, of a stroke on March 20 at his Oakland, N.J., home. Kingsley's hospital and police dramas, such as the 1933 Pulitzer Prize-winning Men in White, have influenced TV and movie writers to this day. -Casey Davidson and Jessica Shaw