Celebrity news for the week of April 16, 1999

By Will Lee
Updated April 16, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

BIRTHS First he kisses Ally, now this? On Easter Sunday, Ally McBeal star Gil Bellows, 31, and his wife, actress Rya Kihlstedt (Deep Impact), 29, welcomed their first child, 7-pound 7-ounce Ava Emanuelle.

ENGAGED Prickly auteur Vincent Gallo (Buffalo 66), 36, to writer Bethany Ritz. Though no date has been set, Gallo says they will wed ”very soon.” This will be the first marriage for both.

SPLITS Surprise, surprise. Actress Carmen Electra, 26, has filed for divorce from her husband of less than five months, NBA star Dennis Rodman, 37, April 6, in L.A., citing ”irreconcilable differences.”

LAWSUITS Three daughters of late country legend Tammy Wynette have filed a $50 million wrongful death suit against Wynette’s fifth husband, George Richardson, and her doctor, Wallis Marsh, April 5, in Nashville. Tina Jones, 33, Jackie Daly, 36, and Georgette Smith, 28, allege in court papers that Marsh contributed to Wynette’s death last April 6 — from a blood clot in her lungs — by improperly prescribing medications and failing to care for her appropriately. The sisters also allege that Richardson didn’t curtail her narcotics use. Richardson’s lawyer was not available for comment. Lawyers for Marsh have not yet received the suit and have no comment.

RECOVERING Model Fabio, 38, after a freak run-in with a bird, March 30, at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va. Fabio was taking the inaugural ride on the Apollo’s Chariot roller coaster when he was hit in the face by the bird. He received two stitches. The bird is presumed dead…. Actress Julie Harris, 73, following surgery April 3 to drain fluid from a head injury suffered when she took a fall backstage in Stamford, Conn. Harris, on tour in The Gin Game, will miss several performances at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center.

DEATHS Off Broadway grande dame Lucille Lortel, 98, of natural causes, April 4, in New York. Lortel produced or coproduced more than 500 plays, including Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot (1961) and Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods (1987). She also founded the White Barn Theatre in Westport, Conn., and the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Manhattan…. Composer Lionel Bart, 68, of cancer, April 3, in London. Bart is best known for writing the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Oliver!, for which he won a ’63 Tony award…. Soul man Jesse Stone, 97, of natural causes, April 1, in Altamonte Springs, Fla. A composer and arranger in the ’40s and ’50s, Stone wrote such hits as ”Shake, Rattle, and Roll” and ”Money Honey.”… Comedian and TV producer Gary Morton, 74, of lung cancer, March 30, in Palm Springs. Morton was married to Lucille Ball from 1961 to 1989, during which time he was executive producer of several shows, including Here’s Lucy. Morton also produced features, including 1983’s All the Right Moves.

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