Ventriloquist Paul Winchell, 82, the voice behind numerous animated characters including the sprightly Tigger in the Winnie the Pooh cartoons, died of natural causes June 24 in Moorpark, Calif. Winchell was also an accomplished inventor who acquired a patent for an artificial heart he built in 1963. The day after Winchell’s passing, John Fiedler, 80, the voice behind Winnie the Pooh’s friend Piglet, died of cancer in Englewood, N.J. Most recently Fiedler played the pink pig in this year’s Pooh’s Heffalump Movie.
Actress Angie Harmon (Law & Order), 32, and her husband, former NFL player Jason Sehorn, 34, had a girl, Avery Grace, June 22 in Dallas. She joins big sis Finley, 1…. Actress Rachel Griffiths (Six Feet Under), 36, and her husband, artist Andrew Taylor, welcomed their daughter June 23 in L.A. Their first child, son Banjo Patrick, is 1.
On June 22 in Van Nuys, Calif., Zack Sinclair, 35, was sentenced to three years in prison for stalking Mel Gibson, 49. Sinclair was arrested last year after he repeatedly showed up outside Gibson’s Malibu home asking the actor to pray with him. A judge recommended that Sinclair be housed in a psychiatric treatment facility.
Actress Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch), 29, and her husband, musician Mark Wilkerson, 28, are expecting their first child in January. The couple married in Italy in 2003.
Former American Idol finalist Corey Clark, 24, who claimed in May that he had had an affair with Paula Abdul while he was a contestant on the show in 2003, was cited on a misdemeanor battery charge June 25 in Sacramento, after an alleged skirmish with his record company exec Laura Kathleen Troy, 34, in a hotel room. Police say that dishes with food were thrown during breakfast as they quarreled about an incident that happened at Clark’s concert the night before. It “was a huge misunderstanding,” Clark said.
Billionaire John Walton, 58, the son of Wal-Mart founder Sam, died June 27 in a plane crash. Walton was piloting the ultralight aircraft when it went down shortly after takeoff from Jackson Hole, Wyo. Earlier this year Forbes magazine ranked John, a member of Wal-Mart’s company board, the 11th richest person in the world. … Historian Shelby Foote, 88, best known for his three-volume history The Civil War: A Narrative, died June 27 in Memphis of heart failure. In the 1950s Foote set out to write a short book about the Civil War, but his work turned into a 20-year project that later landed him a role as one of the star storytellers in Ken Burns’s Emmy-winning documentary The Civil War (1990).