Composer Jule Styne, 88, who wrote more than 1,500 songs, died in New York City on Sept. 20 of heart failure, six weeks after heart surgery. A piano prodigy who made his debut with the Chicago Symphony when he was 8, Styne composed the scores to the musicals Gypsy and Funny Girl and was responsible for such classics as “People” and “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”…
Actor Jack Dodson, 63, best known for his role as county clerk Howard Sprague on The Andy Griffith Show and May-berry R.F.D., died on Sept. 16 in Encino, Calif., of heart failure….
Puckish Italian fashion designer Franco Moschino, 44, whose irreverent designs poked fun at his own industry, died of an intestinal tumor at a lakeside villa in Annone, Italy, on Sept. 18. Moschino, whose empire grossed more than $200 million annually, created such outrageously audacious outfits as a ball gown made of plastic garbage bags.
Model Christie Brinkley, 40, announced her engagement to Los Angeles developer Rick Taubman, 45. Brinkley and soon-to-be ex-husband singer Billy Joel have Alexa, 8. A wedding date has not been set.
The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of onetime diplomat and New York governor W. Averell Harriman, who died in 1986, filed suit in Manhattan federal court on Sept. 15 against his third wife and widow, U.S. Ambassador to France Pamela Harriman, 74, charging her with squandering $30 million of their trust-fund money on risky investments. Harriman’s children by his first marriage, Mary Fisk, 77, and Kathleen Mortimer, 76, and their families claim the funds are now worth only $3 million. Also named in the suit are former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford and Paul Warnke, former assistant secretary of defense, trustees of the trusts established by Harriman….
The Los Angeles and Santa Barbara district attorneys’ offices announced on Sept. 21 that they will not file child-molestation charges against Michael Jackson, 36, in the case of a boy, now 14, who claimed that Jackson sexually abused him over several months in 1993. Under California law the child, who has said he would not take the stand, could not be compelled to testify. A civil suit against the pop superstar was settled in January for an undisclosed sum….
On Sept. 19 a U.S. district judge ordered alleged Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, 28, to enter a residential drug-treatment program after she violated the terms of her bail by using depressants and amphetamines. Fleiss, who is awaiting trial on state charges of procuring women to engage in prostitution and possessing cocaine for sale as well as on federal charges of tax evasion, had been arrested on Sept. 15….
Rodney Peairs, 32, the Baton Rouge mechanic who gunned down Japanese exchange student Yoshihiro Hattori, 16, outside his home two years ago, assuming the boy was a criminal, was ordered by a judge to pay $653,000 in damages to Hattori’s parents. Last year, Peairs was acquitted of manslaughter for shooting Hattori, who had mistakenly gone to Peairs’s house in search of a Halloween party.
Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy, 62, became a grandfather for the second time in the past three months: His daughter Kara Kennedy Allen, 34, a media director, and her husband, Michael, an architect, 37, welcomed their first child, Grace (6 lbs. 11 ozs.), on Sept. 19 in Washington.