Maestro of the morbid Edward Gorey, whose inky illustrations and wickedly witty poetry and prose filled more than 100 books (including the classics The Gashly-crumb Tinies and The Doubtful Guest), died on April 15 in Hyannis, Mass., following a heart attack. He was 75. Gorey’s drawings were animated for the opening titles of the PBS Mystery! series….
Character actor Arnold H. Johnson, who had the role of George Hutton on TV’s Sanford and Son, died of kidney failure on April 10 in L.A. He was 78….
Adman Robert Gage, 78, who directed some of TV’s best-loved commercials (including the one for Life cereal featuring Mikey and those for Cracker Jack starring actor Jack Gilford), died on April 4 of a staph infection in New York City.
Mogul Rupert Murdoch, 69, whose many-ten-tacled media empire includes FOX and HarperCollins Publishers, will begin a course of radiation treatment for prostate cancer sometime in May.
Revered theater actor Earle Hyman, 73, who is also known for playing Bill Cosby’s father on the comedian’s ’80s TV series, collapsed onstage during a performance in Houston on April 14. After a series of tests, he left a local hospital four days later.
Married acting duo Felicity Huffman, 37, and William H. Macy, 50—she of TV’s Sports Night, he of the films Fargo and Magnolia—expect their first child in August.
Ex-morning person Joan Lunden, 49, and her steady sweetie of the past three years, Jeff Konigsberg, 39, who runs summer camps for kids, got engaged on April 8 and at press time were scheduled to marry on April 18. It was the first marriage for him, the second for Lunden, who divorced eight years ago.
In a complaint filed in L.A. on April 10, veteran television actor Robert Urich, 53, best known for his 1980s series Spenser: For Hire, seeks $1.47 million in damages from Castle Rock Television stemming from a breach of contract. Urich says the production company terminated his 1995 TV series Lazarus Man and refused to pay him because he had cancer. In a prepared statement, Castle Rock said it was “dismayed and saddened” to hear of the lawsuit and said it “worked very closely with [Urich] and only with great reluctance concluded that [it was] unable to continue to produce the series without its star.”
While admitting no responsibility for the accident that caused her to lose her left leg below the knee, Britain’s Scotland Yard agreed to pay $320,000 to model and amputee activist Heather Mills, the 32-year-old girlfriend of Paul McCartney, 57. In 1993 Mills was run down by a police motorcyclist, who ironically wound up suing Mills for stress and injuries. Mills says she sought damages only in response to his lawsuit, which has now been dropped.
Actress Ellen Dolan, 44, who plays Margo Hughes on the CBS daytime soap opera As the World Turns, gave birth to her first child, daughter Angela Emmett (8 lbs. 6 oz.), on April 15 in New York City. Daddy is businessman Doug Jeffrey, 50ish.