Christian K. Nelson, 98, who invented the Eskimo Pie (vanilla ice cream encased in a chocolate coating) in 1921, died on March 8 in Laguna Hills, Calif. Today the Eskimo Pie Corp. sells more than $60 million worth of Eskimo pies annually….
Academy Award winning cinematographer Nestor Almendros, 61, whose work was characterized by the use of natural lighting, died of lymphoma on March 4 in Manhattan. The Spanish-born Almendros picked up his Oscar for Days of Heaven (1978). His 40-plus other films include Kramer vs. Kramer and The Blue Lagoon….
Pioneering jazz guitarist Mary Osborne, 70, died of liver cancer on March 4 in Bakersfield, Calif….
Animator Arthur Babbitt, 84, who created the evil queen in Disney’s Snow White and Geppetto the wood-carver in Pinocchio, died of heart and kidney failure on March 4 in Los Angeles. After leaving the Walt Disney Studio in 1947, Babbitt worked on cartoons featuring the nearsighted Mr. Magoo and won numerous awards for animated commercials….
Emilia Sherman, a member of the Rockettes when Radio City Music Hall opened in 1932 and for more than 40 years a choreographer and drillmaster for the 36-member dance team, died after a long illness on Feb. 28, in Manhasset, N.Y. Sherman, who retired in 1973, never gave her age and requested that her family keep it a secret after her death.
Actress Kate Capshaw, 38, wife of movie mogul Steven Spielberg, 44, gave birth on March 10 to an 8 lb., 3 oz. son, Sawyer.
One mo’ time: Former President Ronald Reagan, 81, and wife Nancy, 68, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on March 8 (the actual anniversary was March 4) by renewing their marital vows. Their children and grandchildren attended the small, private ceremony. The ex-President said, “Coming home to her—even in sunny California—is like coming out of the cold into a warm, firelit room.”
Now that the William Kennedy Smith-Patricia Bowman scandal has blown over, Palm Beach fixture Roxanne Pulitzer, 41, is free to make the papers with the news of her engagement to Jean de la Moussaye, 31. The French race-car driver gave Pulitzer a $20,000 sapphire-and-emerald ring.
The forthright, always elegant Betty Furness, 76, the consumer affairs reporter on NBC’s Today for the past 16 years and the oldest working reporter on network TV, will leave the show—”This was their idea, not mine,” says Furness—following her March 16 appearance. Furness, who in 1990 successfully battled stomach cancer, is also departing her job at WNBC, the network’s New York City affiliate, where she has worked for 18 years. A minor movie star in the ’30s and the Westinghouse “girl” who opened refrigerator doors during commercial breaks on TV in the ’50s, Furness switched to the public sector when President Johnson made her his special assistant for consumer affairs in 1967. “I don’t know what’s next because, frankly, I don’t know what’s out there,” says Furness. “I do not intend to retire at this time.”