Blues legend Willie Dixon, 76, who virtually created the rhythmic, lusty stomp of the Chicago blues, thereby laying the foundation for rock and roll, died of heart failure on Jan. 29 in Burbank, Calif. Though his own recording career never took off, Dixon had enormous influence on post—World War II music as both a producer at Chess Records, where he worked with such rock progenitors as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, and, more importantly, as a composer. His classic tunes include “Hoochie Coochie Man,” a 1954 hit for Muddy Waters that was subsequently covered by Jimi Hendrix, and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Little Red Rooster,” also recorded by the Rolling Stones.
Actress Ann Jillian, 42, had a baby boy on Feb. 3 in Los Angeles. It was the first child—no name revealed yet—for Jillian, who underwent a double mastectomy in 1985, and her husband-manager, Andy Murcia, 50. He has an adult daughter from an earlier marriage….
Rock redux: Musician-producer Todd Rundgren, 43, and his companion, singer Michele Gray, had their first child on Feb. 2 in San Francisco. They named their new 5 lb. 4 oz. son—dig it!—Rebop. It is Rundgren’s third child, Michele’s first.
Marriage revealed: Yasser Arafat, 62, longtime head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, has wed Suha Tawil, 28, who is a Palestinian Christian and has served as one of his economic advisers. It’s the first marriage for both.
British royal in-law Charles Althorp, 27, who is Princess Diana’s younger brother and works these days as a reporter with England’s Granada Television, and his wife, former model Victoria Lockwood, also 27, are expecting their second child in August.
Playwright Edward Albee, 63, was given a citation by police in Key Biscayne, Fla., after they found him nude in a public park and charged him with “exposure of sexual organs.” Albee, best known for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, faces a fine of up to $1,1000 or a year in prison.
Actor Peter Falk, 64, TV’s Columbo, has met his latest match in none other than his daughter, Catherine, 21, who says he has reneged on a promise to pay her tuition to Syracuse University (the alma mater of both Falk and first wife Alyce Mayo). Catherine has retained famed familial-strife attorney Marvin Mitchelson to make her pop cough up the dough. Falk and Mayo want their daughter to go to school in Los Angeles so all three may attend family counseling.
Popular entertainer Peter Allen, 47, was to begin treatment for throat cancer in the U.S. this week. After his voice gave him trouble, Allen cut short a concert tour of his native Australia late last month and returned here.