Republicans in love: The floor of Congress was the site of a bended-knee proposal from one House member to another on Aug. 4 when Rep. Bill Paxon, 39, of Buffalo, popped the question to Rep. Susan Molinari, 35, of Staten Island. A no-nonsense New Yorker at heart, Molinari said, “Yes, but get up,” and accepted a two-carat-plus diamond ring.
Tom Harden, 53, a state senator in California and the ex-husband of Jane Fonda, married Canadian actress Barbara Williams, late-30ish, on Aug. 7 on Vancouver Island, Canada. Williams most recently starred with Robert Urich in Spenser: Ceremony, a Lifetime Television movie.
Emmy award-winning actor Bernard Barrow, 65, who portrayed patriarch Johnny Ryan on the soap opera Ryan’s Hope during the show’s entire run (1975-88) and had appeared for the past four years as garbage collector Louie Slavinsky on ABC’s Loving, died of lung cancer in New York City on Aug. 4. Ironically, Barrow’s Loving character was successfully fighting a bout with prostate cancer….
Leading field biologists Theodore Parker, 40, an ornithologist, and Alwyn Gentry, 48, a botanist, died Aug. 3 when a small plane in which they were passengers crashed in Ecuador, where they had been surveying the coastline.
Just when President Bill Clinton, 47, thought it was safe to put his copy of the family tree back in a drawer, a second possible half-sibling has surfaced. A Tucson resident, Sharon Pettijohn, 52, née Sharron Lee Blythe, apparently has the same father, former traveling salesman William Jefferson Blythe, as Clinton. Pettijohn’s mother, Wannetta Ellen Alexander, who also lives in Tucson, wed Blythe in 1941, and they divorced in 1944. (Blythe, possibly committing bigamy, married Bill Clinton’s mom, Virginia Kelley, in 1943.) Henry Ritzenthaler, 55, of Paradise, Calif., went public last June with the claim that he too was a son of WJB’s.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle, 46, has a new job, as the head of a newly formed financial services company in Indianapolis called Circle Investors.
Gayle Rosten, 36, the daughter of beleaguered Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), was charged with possession of a controlled substance after police found her carrying a gram of suspected cocaine when she was slopped for a traffic violation in Chicago on Aug. 1.
Actress Christine Lahti 43, and her husband, film director Thomas Schlamme, welcomed twins on Aug. 3 in Los Angeles. A daughter, Emma (6 lbs. 14 oz.), was born almost two hours before her brother, Joe (7 lbs. 7 oz.). They join brother Wilson, 5….
Actor-director Sean Penn, 33, and longtime companion Robin Wright, 27, had a second child, son Hopper Jack (7 lbs. 5 oz.), on Aug. 6 in L.A. The couple already have a daughter, Dylan, 2. (Penn’s rep could not say whether the new baby is named after Penn’s pal and mentor Dennis Hopper.)