Big Love star Ginnifer Goodwin, 32, accepted a marriage proposal in December from her boyfriend, actor Joey Kern, 34. The couple have been dating for two years and plan to tie the knot next fall. • Calling it “the happiest Christmas weekend in memory,” Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, 84, announced in a Twitter message Dec. 26 that he has become engaged to his girlfriend Crystal Harris, a former Playmate of the Month who is some 60 years younger than Hefner. The publishing icon divorced Kimberly Conrad last year.
On Dec. 14 Rip Torn, 79, appeared in court to face charges stemming from an incident last January during which he broke into a Connecticut bank while drunk and armed, thinking it was his own home. The Men in Black star pleaded guilty to criminal trespass, reckless endangerment and the illegal carrying of a firearm. He was given a 2 ½-year suspended sentence and three years of probation. He is also subject to random drug and alcohol testing.
Thirty Rock star Tracy Morgan, 42, underwent a successful kidney transplant in New York City on Dec. 10 and will miss at least two episodes of the NBC sitcom. Morgan, a diabetic, is doing well and taking “much needed time” to recuperate from the surgery, says his rep.
Bristol Palin, 20 (inset), has purchased a five-bedroom brown stucco house for $172,000 in Maricopa, Ariz., but there is no word as to whether the former Dancing with the Stars contestant plans to live there full-time. The Palin family, which makes its home in Wasilla, Alaska, had no comment about the purchase of the house.
BABY ON BOARD
Actress Jennifer Connelly, who just turned 40, and her husband, English actor Paul Bettany, 39, who stars in The Tourist, will welcome their second child next year. The new arrival will join big brothers Stellan, 7, and Kai, 13, Connelly’s son from her relationship with photographer David Dugan. The actors, who met while filming A Beautiful Mind, wed in Scotland in 2003. • Former Friends star David Schwimmer, 44, and his wife, British photographer Zoe Buckman, 25, are expecting their first baby next year. The couple got hitched in a small, intimate ceremony in June, and now, says the actor’s rep, they “couldn’t be more thrilled.”
DEATH OF A FILM GIANT
Blake Edwards, 88, who helmed over 40 movies ranging from slapstick comedies to gut-wrenching dramas, died of complications from pneumonia on Dec. 15 in Santa Monica. His filmography included the Pink Panther series, the classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the smash hit 10. He also directed his wife, Julie Andrews, in the gender-bending Victor/Victoria. Andrews called her husband “the most unique man I have ever known.”