Stephen M. Silverman
January 03, 2003 11:46 AM

ANNOUNCED: Former “Suddenly Susan” star Brooke Shields, 37, and her husband, writer Chris Henchy, are expecting their first child in May, the New York Post reports. “Getting pregnant was not easy,” Shields said. “Chris and I had been hoping for a while, just waiting and wondering and trying.” Shields says she and Henchy have decided not to learn the child’s sex before the birth, adding, “there is no preference for a boy or girl; we just want a healthy baby.”

SWIPED: Police in Orem, Utah — close to the home of Robert Redford and his Sundance resort — have recovered the star’s credit card after an unidentified man found it and demanded Redford memorabilia in exchange for returning it, the Associated Press reports. The man had been offered a nice meal and free ski-lift passes to Sundance, but he wanted signed Redford items. He got a visit from the cops instead. No charges were filed.

PAID: Judge Judy Sheindlin, 60, has renewed her syndication contract for her top-rated daytime TV show “Judge Judy,” for four years at the rate of $25 million a year — a figure that beats the salaries earned by such TV queens as Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric, reports the New York Post. Sheindlin, who has been a TV star since 1996, is now one of the highest-paid TV personalities ever.

DIED: TV and film actor Royce Applegate, 63, who appeared in such movies as “Splash” and “The Rookie,” died in a New Year’s Day blaze in Los Angeles that left two firefighters seriously burned, authorities tell Reuters. Applegate was found dead in the bedroom of his Hollywood Hills home after the blaze was put out and firefighters entered the house Wednesday morning, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

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