Saxophonist Charlie Barnet, 77, among the first white jazzmen to racially integrate his band, died of pneumonia in San Diego on Sept. 4. Barnet, once called “the playboy of the western jazz world,” played an immensely popular brand of suing rooted in the Duke Ellington style and known for its vitality and vigor. He scored his biggest hits in the late ’30s and ’40s with “Cherokee,” “Redskin,” “Rhumba” and “Skyliner.” “He was one of the good guys,” says Lena Home, who sang with Barnet’s band in 1940. “He loved booze, broads [Barnet was married 11 times], great music and people—no matter what color they were.”…
Thomas Tryon, 65, who successfully switched from acting to writing popular novels, died of cancer on Sept. 4 in Los Angeles. As an actor, the handsome, lantern-jawed Tryon starred in 14 films, including The Cardinal (1963). He switched to writing with The Other (1971), a supernatural thriller that sold 3.5 million copies. His six other books included such bestsellers as Harvest Home, All That Glitters and Crowned Heads….
AIDS activist Belinda Ann Mason, 33, the only member of President George Bush’s National Commission on AIDS to have disease, died of it on Sept. 9 in a hospital in Nashville. A journalist, Mason contracted AIDS from blood transfusions she received while having a baby by cesarean section. “One way to gel people caring about AIDS,” she once said, “is to get them to recognize themselves in you.”
The newest pair of bare feet to be swung through the Playboy Mansion corridors belong to Cooper Bradford Hefner, the infant son of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and wife Kimberley Conrad. Born on Sept. 3 in Los Angeles, Cooper weighed in at 8 lbs., 1 oz., and immediately slipped into something more comfortable. Hefner, 65, and Conrad, 27, already have a son, Marston. When will Hefner tell his boys about sex? “We’re going to treat sex as a natural part of being alive all through their lives,” says the Bunny Master….
Actress Elizabeth Perkins, 30, most recently seen as a cancer patient in The Doctor, had a happier real-life reason to appear at an L. A. hospital on Sept. 1: the birth of her first child, daughter Hannah Jo Phillips, who weighed in at 7 lbs., 2 ozs. The baby’s father is English director Maurice Phillips.
Retired Justice Thurgood Marshall, 83, who stepped down from the Supreme Court in June, is resting comfortably at home after having a pacemaker implanted at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland on Sept. 6.
Former heavy weight-boxing champ Mike Tyson, 25, was indicted on Sept. 9 by an Indianapolis grand jury on one charge of rape, two counts of criminal deviate conduct and one count of confinement, all for an incident involving Tyson and an 18-year-old contestant in the Miss Black America pageant in July. He also faces two civil suits related to charges that he fondled contestants at the pageant as well as a former Miss Black America. Tyson is expected to go to trial on the rape charge early next year. “We remain confident of his innocence and look forward to his ultimate vindication,” said Vincent Fuller, Tyson’s lawyer. Tyson is scheduled to try to regain his title from Evander Holyfield on Nov. 8 in Las Vegas.