Bill Shoemaker, 59, the winningest jockey in thoroughbred-racing history, was in critical condition and paralyzed from the shoulders down after fracturing his neck in an automobile accident on April 8 near San Dimas, Calif. Police say an inebriated Shoe drove off a highway embankment.
John G. Tower, 65, the scrappy, pint-size, former Texas Senator whose nomination for Secretary of Defense was defeated by the Senate in 1989 after a bitter fight, died in a plane crash on April 5 near Brunswick, Ga…. Ruth Page, 92, one of the first choreographers to use American themes in her ballets, died of respiratory failure in Chicago.
Actor John Voldstad, 40, who played one of the two Darryls on Newhart (1982-90), has confirmed that he has officially separated from his wife, Kellye, 20, after nine months of marriage. “The separation has been working,” Voldstad says. “But I have been procrastinating over saying the big D word.”
Yet another former child star has landed in jail: Adam Rich, 22 (at right, in 1990), who played cuddly Nicholas Bradford on Eight Is Enough (1977-81), was arrested on suspicion of burglary on April 6 in West Hills, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb. Police say Rich was apprehended at 4 A.M. near a pharmacy that had been broken into. He was released on $5,000 bail. Rich was arrested in 1983 for smoking pot and has undergone substance-abuse treatment. Last November he pleaded guilty to drunk-driving charges and was sentenced to five years on probation.
Not-so-model husband Rod Stewart, 46, was ordered last week to pay $13,000 a month in child support to model and longtime girlfriend Kelly Emberg, 31 (at right, with Rod in happier times), for their daughter, Ruby, 3. The rock singer and Emberg lived together for six years, from 1984 to 1990. Emberg is still awaiting the outcome of her $25-million palimony suit against Stewart, who last December married New Zealand model Rachel Hunter, 21.
Melissa Rathbun-Nealy, 21, the first female U.S. soldier to be captured during the Persian Gulf war, has been deluged with offers—including an invitation to meet the President—since being released by her Iraqi captors on March 3. Finally she said yes to one, a proposal of marriage from Army Specialist Michael Coleman, 31. The two soldiers, both stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, were married March 29 in a small ceremony. It was her second marriage.
Joining other ’80s relics such as junk bonds and Morton Downey Jr., Jane Fonda’s first aerobics studio, Jane Fonda’s Workout, closed on April 3 in Beverly Hills. Her Workout company plans to concentrate on marketing aerobics videotapes and books. Fonda, 53, opened the exercise studio in 1979, partly to raise money for political causes (including the campaigns of ex-husband Tom Hayden), and occasionally taught classes there in the early ’80s.
Carlos Montalban, 87, best known as the demanding, white-hatted perfectionist El Exigente in Savarin coffee commercials, died of heart failure on March 28 in New York City. The mustachioed Montalban, older brother of actor Ricardo (Fantasy Island) Montalban, 70, was a dancer, producer, bullfight critic and actor before gaining fame in ’60s and ’70s TV ads as the coffee taster whose impeccable judgment determined which beans Savarin would buy, inspiring acute anxiety in coffee-bean pickers. His face can still be seen on Savarin coffee cans.