Plus Demi Moore, Don Simpson, and more celebrities making news the week of Feb. 2, 1996
Friendships forged at CAA are paying off for former agent Ron Meyer, now in charge of Universal Pictures. The studio signed mogulette Demi Moore, Meyer’s former client, and her production company, Moving Pictures, to a three-year deal to develop feature-film and TV projects. No financial details were available, but a movie set to star Moore, based on the suspense novel Requiem for a Glass Heart, is already in the works.
Ex marks the top: Joining the likes of ex-HBO head Michael Fuchs and ex-Sony Corp. chief Michael Schulhof is Hollywood’s newest executive casualty, Viacom president and CEO Frank Biondi, 51. Biondi was fired from his post on Jan. 17 by volatile chairman Sumner Redstone, 72, who will take the reins of Viacom’s empire — which includes the Blockbuster Video chain, Paramount Pictures, MTV, and Simon & Schuster — himself. Speculation is that lower-than-expected revenues at Blockbuster and a string of box office disappointments from Paramount may have driven the chairman to his decision. ”We live in a world where there is an awesome and growing concentration of power,” said Redstone in a prepared statement. ”[A] hands-on management style is the most effective way to capitalize [on Viacom’s assets].”
The King can finally rest in peace. Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, 28, filed for divorce from her husband of 19 months, so-called King of Pop Michael Jackson, 37.
A 7-pound 11-ounce girl, Sarah Rose, to Picket Fences star Marlee Matlin, 30, and her police-officer husband, Kevin Grandalski, Jan. 19, in Los Angeles. It’s their first child.
Movie producer Don Simpson, 52, on Jan. 19 in Los Angeles, reportedly of natural causes, although an autopsy is under way (see page 14)…. Baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, 68, on Jan. 20 at his home in Darien, Conn., of complications after surgery for a knee infection. In the 1950s, Mulligan, along with the late trumpeter Chet Baker, pioneered cool jazz, a quieter sound that stood in contrast to the frantic bebop dominating the era. Mulligan recently had a resurgence of popularity with a series of new recordings.