Monitor: Robert B. Parker dies
Plus Michael C. Hall, Mark Wahlberg, and more stars making news the week of Jan 22, 2010
Mark Wahlberg, 38, and his wife, model Rhea Durham, 31, recently welcomed their fourth child, daughter Grace, the actor confirmed Jan. 15 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Monica Bellucci, 45, and actor husband Vincent Cassel, 43, are reportedly expecting their second child this spring…. Claudia Schiffer, 39, and her husband, Stardust director Matthew Vaughn, 38, will welcome their third child in May…. Actor Sean Patrick Thomas, 39, and wife Aonika Laurent, 39, are expecting their second child in June.
Easy Rider‘s Dennis Hopper, 73, who’s currently battling prostate cancer, filed for divorce Jan. 14 from his wife of 13 years, Victoria Duffy, according to papers submitted in L.A. The couple has a 6-year-old daughter…. ER star Noah Wyle, 38, and wife Tracy separated last October after 11 years of marriage, the actor’s rep announced Jan. 15.
Yéle Haiti, the organization started by Wyclef Jean, 37, has come under fire after the Smoking Gun posted tax documents showing that the charity paid around $400,000 to companies owned by board members, including $100,000 for a benefit showgiven by Jean himself. ”Did I ever use any of Yéle’s money for personal benefits? Absolutely not,” the Haitian-born singer said at an emotional Jan. 18 press conference. Yéle has raised more than $2 million since the Haitian quake and, according to H. Art Taylor, president of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, may simply need better financial management. He notes, ”With so much money coming in and with this enormous challenge, do they have an organization in place to be able to deliver?”
Michael C. Hall, 38, revealed Jan. 13 that he’s battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but that the cancer is in remission. Hall attended the Golden Globes on Jan. 17, where he won a best-actor prize for Showtime’s Dexter. His illness is not expected to affect filming. Producer John Goldwyn tells EW, ”He’s just been incredible.”
Jeff Conaway, 59, known for playing Grease‘s Kenickie, had surgery at an L.A.-area hospital on Jan. 19 after breaking his hip in a fall.
Erich Segal, 72, who wrote the best-selling novel Love Story and the screenplay for the 1970 film, died Jan. 17 of a heart attack in London.
Diane Lane, 45
Ernest Borgnine, 93
Alicia Keys, 29
Etta James, 72
Ellen DeGeneres, 52
— With additional reporting by Stewart Allen and Dave Karger
Robert B. Parker (1932-2010)
Robert B. Parker, who evoked the streets of Boston in his bristling, crisply witty crime novels, died Jan. 18 at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77. According to his agent, Helen Brann, he passed away at his desk, a fitting tribute to a man who published more than 60 novels in his lifetime. Parker’s most beloved character was the wisecracking Boston PI and gourmand Spenser — ”Spenser with an S, like the English poet,” he liked to say — who first appeared in 1974’s The Godwulf Manuscript and became the basis for ABC’s Spenser: For Hire, starring Robert Urich. Parker wrote other books, including Westerns and a young-adult series, and his Jesse Stone novels were made into six TV movies starring Tom Selleck (a seventh is currently in the works). Still, he clearly had a soft spot for Spenser, though he never divulged his character’s first name. ”I don’t know what it is myself!” he once insisted.
— Tina Jordan
Tribute: Teddy Pendergrass
Soul legend Teddy Pendergrass, 59, died on Jan. 13 in a Bryn Mawr, Pa., hospital following a battle with colon cancer. The Philadelphia singer scored hits in the early ’70s with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, including ”If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” and achieved success as a solo artist with a string of million-selling albums, featuring hits like 1978’s ”Close the Door.” A 1982 car accident left Pendergrass partially paralyzed, but the singer made an emotional return to the stage at the 1985 Live Aid concert and continued to record. ”We lost a wonderful person,” his friend Patti LaBelle tells EW. ”There’ll never be another Teddy.”
— Clark Collis