Arlene Francis, the actress and TV personality who appeared as a panelist on the quiz show What’s My Line? from 1950 to 1975, died on May 31 in San Francisco. Francis, 93, also appeared in Arthur Miller’s 1948 film All My Sons and in Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three in 1961….
Singer John Hartford, 63, a three-time Grammy winner who wrote the ballad “Gentle on My Mind,” succumbed to cancer on June 4 in Nashville….
Left-fielder Gene Woodling, who played beside both Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio and helped the New York Yankees win five consecutive World Series from 1949 to 1953, died on June 2 of heart failure at age 78 in Barberton, Ohio.
Track star Marion Jones, 25, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, said June 5 that she has separated from her husband, shot-put champion C.J. Hunter, 32. She plans to seek a divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple, married since 1998, have no children.
Guitar great Eric Clapton, 56, and his girlfriend, graphic artist Melia McEnery, 25, will welcome their first child this month. Clapton, who said his current world tour will be his last, has a daughter Ruth, 16. His son Conor, 4, died 10 years ago in a fall from a Manhattan high-rise, inspiring the singer’s 1992 hit “Tears in Heaven.”…
Oscar-nominated actress Cate Blanchett, 32 (Elizabeth), is pregnant with her first child with her husband, screenwriter Andrew Upton.
Attorneys Robert Noel, 59, and Marjorie Knoller, 45, whose dog killed their neighbor Diane Whipple, 33, in San Francisco in January, pleaded not guilty on May 29 to criminal charges arising from the death. A trial date has not been set.
On May 30 a judge in Santa Monica ordered Matthew Hooker, 40, to stay 250 yards away from Nicole Kidman, 33, and her children, Isabella, 8, and Connor, 6. Lawyers for the actress charged Hooker sent her love notes and hassled her agent and managers….
Actor Vince Vaughn (Swingers), 31, and screenwriter Scott Rosenberg (Con Air), 37, reached a plea agreement on May 31 for their involvement in a barroom brawl in April while filming a movie in Wilmington, N.C. Actor Steve Buscemi, 43, was stabbed during the confrontation. Vaughn and Rosenberg received sentences that will erase the charges after six months if they stay out of Wilmington bars and undergo alcohol counseling….
Model Kim Porter, 30, asked a Manhattan court on June 1 to declare that Sean “Puffy” Combs, 31, is the legal father of her son, Christian, 3, and to award her more child support than he now pays. A spokeswoman for Combs said he was “insulted,” since he believed the matter had already been settled.
In other Sean Combs news, a New York City judge sentenced rapper Jamal “Shyne” Barrow to 10 years in prison on June 1 for shooting two people during a dispute between his mentor, Combs, and a heckler in a Times Square nightclub in December 1999 [People, April 2, 2001]. Barrow, 22, was convicted of assault and gun possession by the same jury that acquitted codefendants Combs and bodyguard Anthony “Wolf” Jones.