Loved that Bob: Robert Cummings, 82, the eternally boyish, swinging bachelor of the 1950s sitcom The Bob Cummings Show (above, with co-star Ann B. Davis, in 1957), died of kidney failure on Dec. 2 in Woodland Hills, Calif. He began as a stage actor in 1931 and landed supporting roles in more than 100 movies, but he was best known for his starring TV role (1955-59) as the photographer who dated all the studio models. Nearly as outgoing in real life, Cummings, a devotee of health food and astrology, was married five times. “He was filled with the joy of life,” says pal Art Linkletter. “He wouldn’t make a move—go to the bathroom or make a bank deposit—without consulting his horoscope. When traveling, he carried a 30-pound suitcase filled with vitamins.”…
Character actor David White, 74, remembered for his sputtering appearances as Darrin Stephens’s bewildered ad agency boss on TV’s Bewitched, died Nov. 27 of a heart attack in North Hollywood, Calif….
Actress Tamara De Treaux, 31, who was inside the E.T. suit in all but the close-up shots (for which a robot was used) in the 1982 film E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, died of respiratory and heart problems in Hollywood on Nov. 28. De Treaux, who was 31 inches tall, also appeared in Ghoulies and Rockula.
Postcard from the nursery: Big, big star Meryl Streep, 41, and her husband, sculptor Donald Gummer, 44 (below), have announced that she is pregnant with their fourth child, due next summer. The couple already have a son, Henry, 11, and two daughters, Willa, 7, and Grade, 4. Little Willa co-starred with Mommy in 1986’s Heartburn.
Uncommon composer Aaron Copland, 90 (below), who wrote “Fanfare for the Common Man” and hundreds of other musical pieces, died on Dec. 2 in North Tarrytown, N.Y., of respiratory failure. Considered the dean of American music, Copland once said that he wanted to establish a “naturally American strain of so-called serious music.” A Brooklyn native, he wrote for the concert hall (1944’s Appalachian Spring won a Pulitzer Prize), the dance stage (1942’s Rodeo) and films (his score for 1948’s The Heiress won an Oscar). In the early 1950s, Copland adopted Schocnberg’s 12-tone technique and was criticized for writing austere, hard-to-understand compositions. “His music touched the heart of the American people,” says Vivian Perlis, coauthor of Copland’s autobiography.
Editor and social critic Norman Cousins, 75, who ran the Saturday Review for more than 30 years, died Nov. 30 in Los Angeles after suffering a heart attack. Cousins left the Review in 1977 and, a year later, overcame a severe form of arthritis; his book about his recovery, Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient, which maintained that a patient’s attitude and sense of humor could directly affect his healing, became a controversial best-seller. “Dinner at Norman’s was not a routine social event,” says Donald Lamm, a book publisher and an old friend of Cousins’s. “He would group guests in squares and toss out a question like, ‘What hope is there for mankind in this nuclear age?’ ”
Effi Barry, 46, the wife of disgraced Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry Jr., 54, has left her husband of 12 years. Taking their son, Christopher, 10, she moved out of the mayoral mansion and into an apartment. During her husband’s 10-week trial last summer on drug charges, Mrs. Barry accompanied the Mayor to court and heard daily testimony from ex-mistresses about his infidelity and cocaine use. The lame-duck Mayor, who is appealing the six-month jail sentence he received after being found guilty of cocaine possession, will leave the mansion himself when his term expires next month.
Brawny Burt Lancaster, 77 (above), whose more than 70 films include From Here to Eternity and Field of Dreams, suffered a stroke on Dec. 1. A spokesman says the actor, who is listed in serious condition at Los Alamitos Medical Center in Los Alamitos, Calif., has some weakness on his right side and is having difficulty speaking. Lancaster married TV production coordinator Susan Scherer, 48, three months ago.
Toe-tapper Russell Markert, 91 (at left), the founder and longtime choreographer of Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes, died in Waterbury, Conn., on Dec. 1. Markert, who spent nearly 50 years directing the eye-high kicks of the 39-member precision dance corps, once said, “[The Rockettes] got to be almost like the American flag, a real symbol. It must have been the kicks.”