Farrah Fawcett, 51, has renewed acquaintance with a college sweetheart. Greg Lott, 52, the proprietor of a flooring company, dated the actress during the ’60s when both attended the University of Texas. Lott, who had filed for divorce from his wife on Oct. 7, squired Fawcett to various clubs in Austin while she was in Texas visiting her folks during the holidays.
Actress Betty Lou Gerson, who provided the voice of the flamboyant villainess Cruella De Vil in “Walt Disney’s animated 1961 film One Hundred and One Dalmatians, died of a stroke in L.A. on Jan. 12. She was 84. In addition to extensive radio work and TV appearances, she narrated Disney’s Cinderella and had a cameo in Mary Poppins….
Sociologist William H. Whyte, who bemoaned the button-down conformity of postwar America in his 1956 bestseller The Organization Man, died on Jan. 12 in New York City of undisclosed causes. He was 81….
Set decorator Don Roberts, 64, whose designs for TV’s The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time and Married…with Children are nearly as familiar to avid viewers as their own homes, died on Jan. 10 of a brain tumor in Woodland Hills, Calif. The chairs that Roberts found for All in the Family are now in the Smithsonian….
Pharmacist Ted Hustead, 96, whose 60-odd-year policy of handing out free ice water made his Wall Drug Store in Wall, S.Dak. (pop. 800), a top tourist attraction, died on Jan. 12 in Philip, S.Dak. Some 2 million thirsty travelers stopped by each year.
Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, 84, who had received last rites in December as he battled infectious pneumonia, left Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla. (near his residence), on Jan. 18 after a 99-day stay for complications following lung-cancer surgery. Days before his release, reported the New York Post, the Yankee Clipper “was out of bed and walking around and very, very impatient about getting home.”…
After six months of treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Jordan’s King Hussein, 63, returned to his country Jan. 19, fully recovered from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said officials of his government.
Will & Grace star Debra Messing, 30, and her boyfriend of seven years, actor Daniel Zelman, 31, announced plans to tie the knot, though no date has been set.
Actor Drew Carey, 40, filed a lawsuit Jan. 8 in L.A. against A & W. Carey claims the fast food outfit owes him $600,000 for advertising its products. A & W maintains that Carey nullified the contract by endorsing a rival product: to wit, a McDonald’s hamburger he ate on his TV show last November.
On Jan. 13, a Manhattan judge sentenced the man who’d threatened shock jock Howard Stern to 2½ years in prison. Michael Lance Carvin, 44, sent four letters to Stern, 45, last spring from Las Vegas promising—”100 percent guaranteed”—to kill him.
A Beverly Hills house that was owned but not occupied by novelist Jackie Collins, 59, caught fire on Jan. 17, but firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from destroying the place entirely. No one was injured, but there were $100,000 in damages.