Celebrity news for the week of October 2, 1998

EXPECTING Larry King, 64, and his seventh wife, singer Shawn Southwick King, 38, are expecting a baby this spring. The May-December couple married last September in an L.A. hospital where King was being treated for heart trouble. The child will be her second and his fourth.

LAWSUITS Actor Al Lewis, 88, filed suit against the New York State Board of Elections, Sept. 21, in Albany, N.Y. Costar of the ’60s series The Munsters and currently the Green Party candidate for governor, Lewis wants the state to show cause for refusing to grant his request to be listed on the November ballot as ”Grandpa” Al Lewis, a reference to his TV character. ”We consider the word grandpa a title, and titles aren’t allowed,” says a board of elections spokesman.

HARASSED Hootie & the Blowfish, allegedly by overzealous passenger Amit Singh, 19, during an American Airlines flight from New York to L.A. Sept. 17. According to the Denver police, Singh entered the first-class section to ask the band for autographs, then refused to return to his seat and became so disruptive that the pilot had to make an unscheduled stop in Denver, where he was taken to a medical facility. ”The guy obviously had some serious problems,” says Blowfish manager Rusty Harmon. ”He threatened the crew and the pilots. That’s when they decided to land the plane.” To date, no charges have been filed. Singh could not be reached for comment.

AILING Actor and celebrity photographer Roddy McDowall, 70, reportedly with an undisclosed form of cancer. A spokesman for McDowall declines to comment.

DEATHS Writer Gerold Frank, 91, of heart failure, Sept. 17, in Philadelphia. Author or ghostwriter of biographies such as Lilian Roth’s I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1954), Judy (1975), about Judy Garland, and Zsa Zsa Gabor: My Story (1976), Frank also wrote The Boston Strangler (1966), which was made into the 1968 film starring Tony Curtis…. CBS News correspondent Marya McLaughlin, 68, of respiratory failure following a bout with meningitis, Sept. 14, in Falls Church, Va. McLaughlin was among the first women to have a major on-air role in network news. From the mid-1960s to 1988, McLaughlin was a reporter for CBS Evening News and Face the Nation, among other programs.