Celebrity news for the week of February 25, 2000

By Corey Takahashi
Updated February 25, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Singer David Bowie, 53, and his wife, ex-supermodel Iman, 44, announced Feb. 13 that they’re awaiting the birth of their first child in August. Bowie said they both plan to suspend their careers ”during the first couple of years of the baby’s life.” The couple has two children from previous marriages: Bowie’s son, Duncan, 28, and Iman’s daughter, Zulekha, 23.

Unbeaten by his quintuple bypass, David Letterman, 52, announced his return to the Late Show for its Feb. 21 broadcast, his first TV appearance since undergoing emergency heart surgery Jan. 14. One guest on the first post-op show is Regis Philbin, who’s been tapped along with Bill Cosby to guest-host in coming weeks. Letterman is expected to host two or three shows a week until he fully recovers.

Actor Christian Slater, 30, and ex-TV producer Ryan Haddon, 28, tied the knot Feb. 12, in Beverly Hills. It’s the first marriage for both. The couple’s 10-month-old son, Jaden Christopher, joined them on their Hawaiian honeymoon.

Singer Diana Ross, 55, and businessman hubby, Arne Naess, 61, reportedly finalized their divorce Feb. 11 in the Dominican Republic. The Norwegian shipping tycoon and the soul diva wed in 1986 and have two sons, Ross, 12, and Evan, 11. She also has three daughters from previous relationships…. Soul crooner Patti LaBelle, 55, announced her separation Feb. 9 from husband-manager L. Armstead Edwards. The couple married in 1969 and have five children, including two taken in after the death of her sister Jackie in the late ’80s.

Film critic Rex Reed, 61, Feb. 12, in Manhattan, after allegedly shoplifting $60 worth of CDs from a Tower Records store. According to a police spokesman, security guards stopped Reed as he attempted to leave the store with a coat pocket full of three unpaid-for discs (by Mel Torme, Carmen McRae, and Peggy Lee). The New York Observer columnist could face community service and up to 90 days in jail. ”I may have had a completely ‘senior moment,”’ says Reed, who plans to plead not guilty. ”They don’t have shopping carts there!”

Cartoonist Charles Schulz, 77, of complications from colon cancer, Feb. 12, in Santa Rosa, Calif…. Blues-rocker Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, 70, of multiple organ failure, Feb. 12, in Paris…. Director Roger Vadim, 72, of cancer, Feb. 11, in Paris…. Producer George Jackson, 42, of a stroke, Feb. 10, in Manhattan. The Harvard grad coproduced 1991’s New Jack City as well as the current UPN sitcom Malcolm & Eddie. He served as president and CEO of Motown Records from 1997 to ’99 before founding the Internet and media company Urban Box Office…. Comic actor Jim Varney, 50, of lung cancer, Feb. 10, in White House, Tenn.