High-fashion designer Mollie Parnis, 90ish, whose genteel dresses were worn by First Ladies from Mamie Eisenhower through Rosalyn Carter, died of heart failure on July 18 in New York City. Parnis went into business with her husband at the height of the Depression, turning out feminine, comfortable clothing that withstood the trends of time….
Flamboyant pro wrestler George “Gorgeous George” Arena, 84, whose flowing blond hair and long robes helped popularize paid grappling after World War II, died after a lengthy illness on July 16 in Boca Raton, Fla. Arena was one of several wrestlers who fought under the nom de ring of Gorgeous George; the best known was George Raymond Wagner, who died in 1963. After retiring in 1970, Arena became a part-time patio furniture salesman….
Pro Football Hall of Famer Buck Buchanan, 51, a star defensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1963 to 1975, died of lung cancer on July 16 in Kansas City. After retiring, he worked briefly as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns before becoming a Kansas City businessman and civic leader.
New York City Ballet chief and former star dancer Peter Martins, 45, was arrested on July 19 and charged with beating his wife, ballerina Darci Kistler, 28, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where the troupe had been performing. Kistler subsequently withdrew the charges.
Actress-singer Nell Carter, 43, was listed in stable condition at a Los Angeles hospital after surgery July 14 to remove a brain aneurysm. A full recovery is expected….
Troubadour John Phillip- 56, of the Mamas and the Papas, underwent a liver transplant on July 4 at the UCLA Medical Center. He had cirrhosis of the liver, the result of his well-publicized years of drug and alcohol abuse. His surgeon says Phillips “should recover very nicely.”
Soap dish Jacklyn Zeman, who plays hooker turned much married nurse Bobbie Spencer Brock Meyer Jones on ABC’s General Hospital, must have felt right at home in L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when she gave birth on July 15 to daughter Lacey Rose (7lbs., 7 oz.). That makes two girls for Zeman and husband Glenn Gorden, a real estate developer….
Actress-writer Carrie Fisher, 35, will have plenty of new material now that she has given birth to her first baby, daughter Billie Catherine Lourd (7 lbs., 6 oz.), on July 17 in L.A. The father is Fisher’s steady beau, talent agent Bryan Lourd.
At last, good marital news from the House of Windsor: Lady Helen Windsor, 28, wed art dealer Tim Taylor, 29, in a traditional ceremony at Windsor Castle on July 18. Lady Helen, a gallery director who earned the nickname Melons after being photographed topless while sunbathing in 1983, is 21st in line to the throne. Wedding guests included Prince Charles and wife Diana, who arrived, and left, separately, although Charles was seen kissing his bride of 11 years on the cheek….
Film critic Roger Ebert, 50, starred in a romance of his own on July 18 when he married lawyer Chaz Hammel-Smith, late 30s, in Chicago. It’s his first marriage, her second. Guests included Ebert’s TV sidekick, Gene Siskel, and Eppie Lederer—columnist Ann Landers—who may yet be called upon to mediate the couple’s first official argument over the little things. “There was an icecream bar with 32 different toppings,” Ebert marveled. Wrong, said the bride: “There were 40.”