Horse breeder John Endicott, 36, filed for divorce from E!’s Melissa Rivers, 34, the daughter of comedian Joan Rivers, on May 24 in L.A. The couple, who wed in a lavish ceremony at New York City’s Plaza Hotel in 1998, have a son, Edgar Cooper, 1.
Rachel Griffiths, the Golden Globe-winning star of HBO’s Six Feet Under, 33, and fellow Aussie Andrew Taylor, a painter, announced that they will wed later this year.
Malcolm in the Middle‘s Jane Kaczmarek, 46, and her husband, The West Wing star Bradley Whitford, 42, are anticipating the birth of their third child in November. The tot will join Frances, 4, and George, 2.
Comedian and garden writer Cassandra Danz, 55, best known for her regular appearances as Mrs. Greenthumbs on Live with Regis & Kathie Lee (and later on Regis & Kelly), died of breast cancer on May 26 in Brooklyn….
Mildred Wirt Benson, 96, a longtime journalist and author who in 1930 created the wildly popular Nancy Drew mystery series, died of congestive heart and respiratory failure on May 28 in Toledo, Ohio….
Novelist Lois Gould, 70, who specialized in capturing women’s intimate lives, died of cancer on May 29 in New York City. Her 1970 bestseller Such Good Friends became a 1971 movie starring Dyan Cannon….
Movie mogul Lew Wasser-man, 89, a talent agent who built MCA Inc. (then the parent of Universal Studios) into an entertainment powerhouse during his fabled 60-year career, died of complications from a stroke on June 3 in Beverly Hills. Wasserman’s clients included Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Ronald Reagan and James Stewart.
Grammy winner Aretha Franklin, 60, filed a libel suit against The Star on March 26 in Albuquerque, alleging that the tabloid’s December 2000 article claiming that she suffers from a serious drinking problem has hurt her reputation. Barry B. Langberg, an attorney for Franklin, called the article “completely false in virtually every aspect.” A spokesman for The Star declined to comment.
On May 28 in Seminole County, Ha., basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving, 52, best known as Dr. J, filed suit against a security company and a property developer, alleging that they were partially responsible for the 2000 drowning death of his 19-year-old son Cory. Erving’s youngest child died after driving his car into a retention pond near Orlando (PEOPLE, July 24, 2000). Erving claims that U.S. Security Associates Inc., failed to properly monitor the grounds and that developer Taylor Woodrow Communities should have put fences around the pond. Neither company could be reached for comment.
Internet-music-swapping service Napster Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 3 in Wilmington, Del. German media giant Bertelsmann AG is in the process of buying what’s left of the company.