Plus Peter Jennings, Brian Connolly, and more celebrities making news the week of Feb. 21, 1997
ENGAGED A newsworthy couple: ABC anchorman Peter Jennings, 58, and 20/20 producer Kayce Freed, in her mid-30s, plan to wed, probably by the end of February. This will be Jennings’ fourth trip down the aisle and Freed’s first….Gary Oldman, 38, is engaged to photographer Donya Fiorentino, 29. It’ll be Fiorentino’s second marriage, Oldman’s third. The actor and Uma Thurman divorced in 1992.
LAWSUITS Jack Klugman, 74, is discovering not all odd couples are funny. Klugman’s former live-in lover, Barbara Neugass, 55, sued the actor for breach of contract, Feb. 10, in L.A. Neugass contends that Klugman failed to ”provide for [her] financial support and needs in the same style and manner that was established” during their time together (around 1974-92). A spokesperson for Klugman has no comment…. It was a busy week for Melissa Etheridge, 35. First, the Grammy winner filed for breach of contract against ex-tour manager Ulrich Peretz, Feb. 5, in L.A. According to court papers, Etheridge is seeking at least $500,000 because Peretz, fired in February 1996, is intending to reveal ”personal, private, and confidential information” (in an undisclosed manner). Peretz could not be reached. Then on Feb. 10, Etheridge and her partner, music-video director Julie Cypher, 31, welcomed an 8-pound 10-ounce daughter, Bailey Jean Cypher, in L.A. It’s the first child for the couple, who’ve never disclosed her paternity.
DEATHS Glam-rocker Brian Connolly, 52, of undisclosed causes, Feb. 10, in Slough, England. Connolly was frontman for the British band Sweet, best known in the U.S. for the top 5 hits ”Little Willy” (1973) and ”Ballroom Blitz” (1975). ”He was the image of the ’70s,” says Sweet guitarist Andy Scott…. Impresario Michael Braun, 60, Jan. 27, of heart failure, in New York City. Throughout a long and varied career in showbiz, Braun did everything from working as an executive assistant (for directors Stanley Kubrick and Roman Polanski) to producing movies (1975’s The Secret Life of Plants) to writing books (1964’s Love Me Do!, a behind-the-scenes account of the Beatles’ first British tour). Legend has it that the Fab Four’s 1966 hit ”Paperback Writer” was a tribute to Braun. At the time of his death, Braun was serving as coproducer of Titanic, a Broadway musical that opens April 23.