Pilot John Testrake, 68, remembered for keeping cool while held at gunpoint during the 17-day hijacking of TWA Flight 847 by Islamic terrorists in 1985, died of cancer Feb. 6 in St. Joseph, Mo. The jet was hijacked to Beirut while en route from Athens to Rome. One passenger was killed by the assailants during the siege, which ended through American-Syrian negotiations. Testrake retired in 1987. He pursued a political career but lost a 1992 bid for a seat in the Missouri legislature….
Actor Guy Madison, 74, best known for his starring role in TV’s The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1951-58), died of emphysema Feb. 6 in Palm Springs, Calif. A ranch hand before trying Hollywood in 1942, Madison made some 85 films; he was last seen in a 1988 TV remake of Red River.
On Jan. 30 race car driver and car designer Carroll Shelby, 73, received a kidney transplant in L.A. from his son Michael, 49, a Texas oilman. In 1990, Shelby underwent a successful heart transplant, prompting him to launch the Shelby Heart Fund to help pay for such operations for poor children. Father and son have returned home, and doctors say the elder Shelby’s prognosis is excellent.
Conni Marie Brazelton, 40, who plays Nurse Oligario on NBC’s ER, and her husband, Michael George, 40, a screenwriter, welcomed their first child, a daughter, Michael Samarie (6 lbs. 14 ozs.), on Feb. 1 in L.A.
Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, 56, whose former wife, Camilla, is Prince Charles’s mistress, married Rosemary Pitman, 55, on Feb. 7. Parker Bowles’s 20-year marriage ended last year. Pitman, who is a friend of Camilla’s and has known her new husband for more than 30 years, is also divorced.
Citing “irreconcilable differences,” Elizabeth Taylor, 63, filed for divorce from her seventh husband, construction worker Larry Fortensky, 44, on Feb. 5, in L.A. superior court. The couple, who met at the Betty Ford Clinic, wed in 1991. They separated Aug. 31….
After two years of marriage, actress Teri Garr, 46, and John O’Neil, 44, a contractor, filed for divorce Feb. 6 in L.A. They have a daughter, Molly, 2.
After an 18-year relationship, singer Judy Collins, 56, and industrial designer Louis Nelson, 59, have thrown caution to the wind and are planning an April 16 wedding. It is the second marriage for Collins and the third for Nelson. Collins’s only son, Clark, committed suicide in 1992 at the age of 33.
On Jan. 26, Jane Bronstein, 54, a professional bridge player from Manhattan, filed suit against Late Show host David Letterman, 48, in Stamford, Conn., superior court for unspecified damages, claiming he violated her right to privacy when he videotaped her voraciously devouring a peach—with juice dribbling down her chin at last year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament and then played the tape, repeatedly, on his show.