Tin Pan Alley lyricist Sammy Cahn, 79, died Jan. 15 in Los Angeles of heart failure. Collaborating with such composers as Jule Styne and Jimmy Van Heusen, he wrote for both Broadway and Hollywood; his classics include “Love and Marriage” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” A trio of songs Cahn penned for Frank Sinatra—”All the Way,” “High Hopes” and “Call Me Irresponsible”—also won Oscars….
Reginald Lewis, 50, who ran America’s largest black-owned business, died Jan. 19 in Manhattan of brain cancer. In 1987 he led a $985 million leveraged buyout of food giant Beatrice Co.’s international operations, which in 1991 posted sales of $1.5 billion. Lewis discouraged others from viewing him as a symbol of black success. “To dwell on race, to see that as something that becomes part of my persona, is a mistake,” he once said….
Mike Templeton, 34, who in 1991 became the second person to receive an experimental heart pump, died Jan. 18 in Houston of complications from a stroke. Despite his robust recovery from the pump-implant surgery, Templeton was forced by a pact between the pump’s maker and the FDA to remain hospitalized while waiting (in vain) for a suitable donor heart. Following a PEOPLE story last Sept. 14, he was given 16-hour passes, which he used to visit his family.
Detroit-based soul singer Anita Baker, 34, and her husband, businessman Walter Bridgforth Jr., will be giving the best that they’ve got to 8-lb., 5-oz. Walter Baker Bridgforth, born Jan. 19.
On medical hiatus: opera star and noted trencherman Luciano Pavarotti, 57, under doctor’s orders to lose some of the 300 or so pounds he is carrying. The Italian tenor, who has scrubbed all performances and a directorial stint, hopes to return in April….
On unemployment: Soap queen Susan Seaforth Hayes, 49, for almost a quarter century the vixenish Julie Williams on NBC’s Days of Oar Lives, will be written out of the soap on Jan. 28.
David Letterman, 45, will gain the 11:30 p.m. time slot he has coveted, when he leaves NBC after 13 years to launch a late-night show for CBS in August. His pay, estimated at $14 million per year, will outstrip Jay Leno’s $3 million per and Arsenio Hall’s $12 million per.
Janice Pennington hostess of The Price Is Right for two decades, filed suit Jan. 5 against CBS for head, neck and back injuries sustained on the show last April. During a commercial break a prop door toppled and struck heron the head.(Last year she was awarded $1.3 million for a 1988 accident in which a camera knocked her offstage, breaking her collarbone.)…
Larry Lane Bateman, 51, a drama teacher at New Hampshire’s Phillips Exeter Academy until police discovered his cache of child porn—some of it said to feature former students—was sentenced Jan. 13 to five years, without parole, for possession and distribution of child pornography.