Celebrity news for the week of April 2, 1999
A match made…on MTV. Real World San Francisco alum Rachel Campos, 27, currently a cohost contender for The View, is set to wed Real World Boston alum Sean Duffy, 27, a law student. No date has been set. It will be the first marriage for both.
On March 11, in Roanoke, Va., the former manager and a former associate of Muhammad Ali, 57, filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., seeking to block the studio’s upcoming Ali biopic set to star Will Smith. In court papers, the plaintiffs, Jabir Herbert Muhammad and Jason Marcus Hirschfield, allege they control the rights to the boxer’s life story through an agreement made with Ali in 1988. The duo is also asking $50 million in damages. In a statement, Sony rejects the charges ”categorically” and Ali’s wife, Lonnie, calls the suit ”a calculated attack on Muhammad personally.”…Ragdoll Productions Ltd. and the Itsy Bitsy Entertainment Co., makers and marketers of the Teletubbies, filed a copyright- and trademark-infringement suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., March 22, in New York City. The suit alleges that the chain’s new Bubbly Chubbies dolls are ”obvious, studied knockoffs” of the Teletubbies. Wal-Mart declines to return calls.
Guess who? Rapper ODB, a.k.a. Russell Jones, 30, was apprehended by police March 22 in Brooklyn, for allegedly driving without a license. A subsequent search allegedly revealed three bags of crack cocaine. Jones was arraigned the next day on misdemeanor drug-possession charges and was released after posting bail. If found guilty, he faces up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Jones has been arrested, though not convicted, four times in the last 12 months.
Trumpet legend Al Hirt, 76, is in fair condition at a suburban New Orleans hospital after a liver infection. According to his spokesperson, Hirt is ”improving.”
Composer Ernest Gold, 77, of complications from a stroke, March 17, in Santa Monica. Gold’s best-known work was the score for 1960’s Exodus, for which he won an Oscar and a Grammy…. Kirk Alyn, 88, the silver screen’s original Man of Steel, of natural causes, March 14, near Houston. Alyn donned the big red S in two multipart serials, 1948’s Superman and 1950’s Atom Man vs. Superman. In 1978 he played Lois Lane’s father in Superman…. Former NBC chairman Walter Scott, 84, of natural causes, March 12, in Carmel, Calif. Scott’s career at NBC spanned 36 years and is perhaps most notable for his 1965 decision to broadcast the entire NBC schedule in color…. TV personality Ray Forrest, 83, of natural causes, March 11, near Paterson, N.J. In addition to being the on-air announcer for the first live television commercial, in 1941 (for Adam Hats), he produced and hosted the acclaimed educational program Children’s Theatre for WNBC-TV from 1949 to 1961.