Jerzy Kosinski, 57, a Polish Holocaust survivor whose dark, graphically brutal novels often mirrored his own terrifying youth spent fleeing the Nazis, died on May 3 in New York City, an apparent suicide. His 11 books included The Painted Bird (1965) and Being There (1971), which later became a hit movie with Peter Sellers. In 1981 Kosinski himself played a Bolshevik villain in the film Reds. Said to be depressed over a debilitating heart condition, he suffocated himself by placing a plastic bag over his head while lying in the bathtub. “I’m not a suicide freak, but I want to be free,” Kosinski told PEOPLE in a prophetic 1979 interview. “If I ever have an accident or a terminal disease that would affect my mind or body, I will end it.”…
Wilfrid Hyde-White, 87, the veteran British actor who specialized in playing perfect, and perfectly amusing, gentlemen, died of heart failure on May 6 in Woodland Hills, Calif. Hyde-White is best remembered by American audiences for playing Colonel Pickering in the movie version of My Fair Lady (1964) and for the shortlived TV series The Associates (1979)….
George Speri Sperti, 91, the inventor of such comforting essentials as Preparation H hemorrhoid ointment and Aspercreme arthritis-relief cream, died on April 30 in Cincinnati of an abdominal aneurysm….
Richard Thorpe, 95, a director at MGM during the studio’s golden years of the ’30s and ’40s, died of natural causes in Palm Springs, Calif., on April 1. The prolific Thorpe, who made 150 mostly undistinguished movies during his 45-year career, directed Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (1957) and Fun in Acapulco (1963).
Now that Dallas has cantered off into the sunset, so has the real-life marriage of Charlene Tilton, 32, who has separated from her second husband, musician Domenick Allen, 37. Tilton, who played J.R.’s nubile niece Lucy Ewing for seven seasons on Dallas, married Allen six years ago. They had no children together.
As paparazzi hovered in helicopters overhead, Sharon Gless, 47, star of CBS’s The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, married her producer, Barney Rosenzweig, 53, in a Malibu beachside ceremony on May 4. Gless and Rosenzweig fell in love two years ago after working together on Cagney & Lacey (1982-88). Gless’s wedding dress was based on Katharine Hepburn’s in The Philadelphia Story (1940). It was Gless’s first trip to the altar, Rosenzweig’s third….
Silky-smooth balladeer Andy Williams, 60, married ex—hotel concierge Debbie Haas, 36, on May 3 in a small ceremony at Williams’s Manhattan apartment. It is the second marriage for both.
Two is mo’ better than one: Actor Denzel Washington, 36, and his wife, singer-pianist Pauletta, had twins, Malcolm and Olivia, on April 10 in Los Angeles. Little Malcolm was named in honor of Malcolm X, the Black Muslim leader whom Washington will be playing in his next movie….
Hyperkinetic Robin Williams, 38, and wife Marsha, 34, expect their second child in early December.