Melanie Griffith, Walter Cronkite, and more celebrities making news the week of February 9, 1996

By Casey Davidson
Updated February 09, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

As Melanie Griffith‘s second divorce settlement from Don Johnson becomes public (she gets a Porsche, Planet Hollywood stock, the two horses, and a David Hockney painting; he gets the property in Beverly Hills and Aspen, a 1949 pickup truck, and the jet), the actress, 38, says she’s expecting her third child, this one courtesy of Latin lover Antonio Banderas, 35, who’s seeking a divorce from his wife, Ana Leza, after nine years and no children.

From surgery, CBS’ anchor emeritus, Walter Cronkite, 79. Cronkite had his right knee replaced Jan. 17, after injuries stemming from athletic overuse. ”It’s going smoothly,” says a CBS spokeswoman. ”He began working in his home within a week of surgery.”… Not to be outdone, ABC’s 20/20 coanchor Hugh Downs, 74, had both knees replaced Jan. 27. Downs injured his right knee in a 1948 auto accident and the left one when he was tossed from a horse in 1970. Ever the journalist, Downs had his operation filmed for an upcoming, as yet unscheduled 20/20 segment.

Two original Muppet puppets, Ernie and Bert, reportedly valued at $136,000, were abducted from an Erfurt, Germany, exhibit Jan. 28. The thieves also damaged Miss Piggy in a failed pig-napping. ”The crime is under investigation,” says a Henson spokeswoman. ”Muppets are very popular in Germany.”

Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky, 55, Jan. 28, of a heart ailment at his home in Brooklyn. A U.S. poet laureate, Brodsky was exiled from his native Soviet Union in 1972. Yet his work was rarely political and dealt instead with the sadness and irony of everyday life. In public appearances, Brodsky captivated audiences with his lyrical reading style…. Novelist Harold Brodkey, 65, Jan. 26, in Manhattan, of AIDS. In 1958, with the publication of First Love and Other Sorrows, he was hailed as a promising talent. But his follow-up, The Runaway Soul, took more than 30 years to deliver. In 1993, Brodkey announced he had AIDS in The New Yorker; he chronicled his illness until his death.