Former basketball coach Jim Valvano, 47, the charismatic leader of the 1983 underdog champs of college basketball, North Carolina State’s Wolfpack, died in Durham, N.C., on April 28 of cancer. Valvano, who resigned from North Carolina State in 1990 amid criticism of his handling of players, some of whom had violated NCAA rules by selling their complimentary tickets and sneakers, went on to work as a commentator for ESPN and ABC. Last June, Valvano was found to have a rare form of bone cancer and, despite a debilitating course of chemotherapy, continued, with the help of 24 Advils a day, working on TV and making public appearances. “For some reason, people look to me for hope,” he said. “I’m feeling half dead, and they’re coming up to me in the hospital for hope. I don’t know if I can handle that, but it’s the only conceivable good that can come out of this.”…
Maxican comedy star Cantinflas, 81, who gained fame in the U.S. as Passepartout, Phileas Fogg’s valet in the film Around the World in 80 Days (1956), died of lung cancer April 20 in Mexico City. Born Mario Moreno, Cantinflas took his stage name from a contraction of a heckler’s call: “En la cantina tu inflas!” (“In the barroom you talk big!”)
ABC news analyst Jeff Greenfield, 50, wed freelance TV news producer Karen Gannett, 30ish, on April 24 in New York City. The two were married by federal judge Kimba Wood, who in February stepped out of the running for Attorney General after it was learned that her nanny had been an undocumented alien.
Comedian-musician Tommy Smothers, 56, and wife Marcy, 31, welcomed their first child, a son named Bolyn Thomas (7 lbs. 4 ozs.) on April 20 in Santa Rosa, Calif. The baby was named, inversely, after his dad, whose full name is Thomas Bolyn Smothers III. Smothers also has a 27-year-old son, Tom Jr., from an earlier marriage.
Practical prankster Allen Funt, 78, creator and longtime host of TV’s Candid Camera, was in stable condition at a Los Angeles hospital after suffering a stroke on April 22.
The divorce between five-time Wimbledon champ Bjorn Borg, 36, and his second wife, Italian rock singer Loredana Berte, 42, was finalized on April 22 in Sweden. The mailer is still pending in Italy, where the couple married three years ago. Borg’s recent courtside companion has been Kari Bernhardt, a Texan….
Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars, 38, filed for divorce on April 23 in L.A. from wife EmiCanyn, 38, formerly a backup singer for Crüe.
You can’t touch this: A civil court jury in California’s Alameda County ruled on April 21 that rapper Hammer, 31, and his brother and manager, Louis Burrell, 33, were responsible for allowing on-the-job sexual harassment of a female computer technician who worked for them in 1990. The woman, 23, was awarded $165,913 in lost wages, medical expenses and damages. The jury, however, found that Hammer and his brother could not be held responsible for the alleged rape of the woman by other Hammer employees, which she charged had taken place in an L.A. hotel room after a release party for a Hammer album.