Photojournalist Sam Shaw, 87, the man responsible for the most renowned picture of Marilyn Monroe, died on April 5 in West-wood, N.J. In 1955 the producers of The Seven Year Itch hired Shaw to shoot a poster for the film. Before hundreds of onlookers, he photographed Monroe standing on a subway grate as her white pleated chiffon skirt billowed up from the rush of air raised by an oncoming train. (Actually a huge electric fan created the effect.)…
Author Helen A. Mayer, who in 1939 wrote a children’s story about an undersize elephant with oversize ears that Disney turned into the film Dumbo in 1941, died of Parkinson’s disease in Manhattan on April 3. She was 91….
Songwriter Jesse Stone, 97, the grandson of slaves who in 1954 wrote “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” one of the seminal hits of rock music, died on April 1 in Altamonte Springs, Fla….
Country crooner BoxCar Willie, 67, who was born Lecil Martin but adopted a hobo persona in the ’70s to sing about life riding the rails in America, died of leukemia on April 12 in Branson, Mo.
Actor Christian Slater, 29, and his girlfriend, Ryan Haddon, 28, a television producer, are proud first-time parents of a son, Jaden Christopher Slater (7 lbs. 8 ozs.), born on April 6 in New York City….
Playwright-director David Mamet, 51, and his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, 33, an actress who starred in Mamet’s 1998 film, The Spanish Prisoner, welcomed a baby boy, Noah (8 lbs. 3 ozs.) on Feb. 1 in Boston.
Actress Jodie Foster, 36, who is in Malaysia shooting Anna, an adaptation of The King and I, suffered minor damage to her ankle after slipping on some stairs during a break in filming and was treated at a local hospital on April 9. Foster’s accident is not expected to delay production on the film.
On the Mend
On April 10 in Derbyshire, England, Prince William, 16, had outpatient surgery on his left index finger. He fractured it playing rugby last Christmas, but it hadn’t been healing properly. He will wear a cast for a week.
On April 10, Macedonian border guards stole $33,000 from Cat Stevens, 51, when he tried to cross into Albania. The “Wild “World “singer, now known as Yusuf Islam since he converted to the Muslim faith and subsequently retired from the music biz in 1977, had intended to distribute the money to Kosovar refugees. Said Islam: “We’re absolutely furious. Obviously everybody knows why we’re here, to help those…who are going through this problem of ethnic cleansing, and they’ve robbed us.”
Jockey Julie Krone, who during an 18-year career became the only woman to win the Triple Crown, announced on April 8 that she is retiring. After winning more than 3,000 races and purses totaling some $80 million, Krone explained her decision by saying, “I’m on top, I’m 35 years old, and I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Lucy Lawless, 31, star of Xena: Warrior Princess, and her husband, Rob Ta-pert, 43, executive producer of the syndicated action series, announced on April 12 that they are expecting a baby in October. Lawless has a 10-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.