Fifties fashion model Dovima, described by photographer Richard Avedon as “the most unconventional beauty of her time,” died on May 3 of cancer at age 63, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She was born Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba in Queens, N.Y. (her modeling name, Dovima, came from combining the first two letters of her first three names) and was discovered in 1949 by a Vogue editor who spotted her in a Manhattan office building. Soon a highly paid Ford model, Dovima, along with Suzy Parker and Dorean Leigh, came to embody the regal look of an era. ‘To follow the path of her eyebrows as she reinvented herself from season to season is a lesson in the history of fashion images,” says Avedon, who took the famous 1955 shot, left, of Dovima posed amidst elephants in Paris. Dovima quit modeling at 35, saying, “I didn’t want to wait until the camera turned cruel.” She married three times, was divorced twice, and her third husband, a bartender, died in 1985. After moving to Florida in 1974, she sold cosmetics and was the hostess at a pizzeria.
Singer Sergio Franchi, 57, a Sunday night staple on TVs The Ed Sullivan Show, died May 1 at his Stonington. Conn., home of a brain tumor. The Italian-born tenor, right, originally hoped to make it as an opera singer, but his voice was better suited to singing popular ballads. He made 25 albums, performed regularly on Las Vegas stages in the 1960s and ’70s and had leading roles on Broadway in the musicals Do I Hear a Waltz? and Nine.
Guns N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose, 28, married his longtime girlfriend, Erin Everly, 24, in a middle-of-the-night ceremony in Las Vegas on April 28. Erin is the daughter of Don Everly, one of the Everly Brothers, and was the inspiration for Rose’s hit, “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” For the ceremony, Rose hid his legendary tattoos with a long-sleeved shirt (no tie, though). “They were really well-mannered and very courteous,” says Cupid Wedding Chapel manager Charles Biondillo, 32….
And Blank Woman Lindsay Wagner, 40, married for the fourth time, to film producer Lawrence (Maria’s Lovers) Mortorff, 41, at the home of a friend in Los Angeles on May 6. Wagner has two sons and Mortorff has three daughters from previous marriages. “It’s almost like The Brady Bunch,” says a wedding guest.
David Rappaport, 38, the 3’11” actor who made two guest appearances as combative attorney Hamilton Schuyler on NBC’s L.A. Law, committed suicide by shooting himself on May 1 in Los Angeles. “David created a sense of fun on the set,” says L.A. Law’s Jimmy Smits. “I was very fond of him, and all the crew really loved him.” A London native, Rappaport was a schoolteacher before he became a full-time actor in 1978. Whether appearing in movies (Time Bandits) or his own TV series (1986’s The Wizard), he always tried to avoid typical “dwarf roles. “There are a lot of small people who make a good living playing woks and Wombles,” he once said. “I didn’t want to do that.” At the time of his death, Rappaport had been depressed for several months and had failed in an earlier suicide attempt in March. He leaves a son, Joe, 13, and his fiancée. Eliza Lende.