Walter Hudson, 46, once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s heaviest man, died of hear failure on Christmas Eve a his home in Hempstead, N.Y. At his death he registered at 1,125 lbs. and had been engaged to marry Sunday Cruz, 38, a Brooklyn mother of two he had met when she began writing him letters. “I didn’t see Walter as others in the outside world did,” said Cruz. “I saw him as a beautiful, kind and gentle human being.”…
Dorothy Vredenburgh Bush, 75, the secretary of the Democratic National Committee who called the roll at Democratic national conventions from 1944 until her retirement after the 1988 convention, died of lung cancer on Dec. 21 in Naples, Fla….
Early aviation financier Charles Levine, 94, who in 1927 became the first transatlantic air passenger, on a flight from Long Island, N.Y., to Germany, died in Washington D.C., on Dec. 6 after a brie illness….
Shoe designer David Evins, 85, whose extravagant creations adorned the feet of movie stars Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly and First Ladies from Mamie Eisenhower to Nancy Reagan, died on Dec. 2 in New York City of heart failure….
French cooking expert Simone Beck, 87, who collaborated with Julia Child on the classic two-volume culinary text Mastering the Art of French Cooking, died at her home in Placassier, France, on Dec. 20. “She was great fun,” says Child. “All her students adored her.”…
Jazz trumpeter Buck Clayton, 80, whose sinewy melodies and bracing riffs graced many recordings by Billie Holiday and Count Basie, died Dec. 8 of natural causes in Manhattan.
Sight and Sound: After going with Victoria’s Secret lingerie model Jill Goodacre, 26, for two years, jazz pianist-singer Harry Connick Jr., 24, announced from a concert stage in Aspen, Colo., over the Christmas holidays that the two will marry in about a year.
On Christmas Eve perky Entertainment Tonight cohost Mary Hart, 40, had her first child, a 6-lb. 3-oz. boy, as yet unnamed. Less than 48 hours later, on the show’s Dec. 26 broadcast, she showed him off to viewers, swaddled in an afghan made by fellow E.T. staffers, from her living room in Beverly Hills. Daddy is Hart’s husband, businessman Burt Sugarman, 52.
Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole, 68, underwent surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 18 to remove his prostate gland, which contained a “slow-growing cancer.” His doctors said afterward that early detection makes Dole’s chances for a complete recovery excellent.
Geraldine Barr, 33, younger sister of Roseanne Arnold (née Barr), 38, has filed a $70 million breach of contract lawsuit against the comedian, charging that it was she, and not Roseanne, who in large part created the “domestic goddess” character that Arnold parlayed into the hit sitcom Roseanne.