Husky-voiced, craggily handsome character actor Robert Lansing, 66, who played Brig. Gen. Frank Savage in the ABC series Twelve O’Clock High its first season (1964-65), died of cancer on Oct. 23 at a hospice in The Bronx, N.Y. Lansing’s career began on Broadway in 1951 with Stalag 17. His films ranged from military dramas (1963’s A Gathering of Eagles) to sci fi (1959’s The 4D Man), and his TV guest shots spanned The Twilight Zone, Murder, She Wrote and Law & Order….
Dr. Rollo May, 85, a founder of the humanistic psychology movement in the 1960s, died of congestive heart failure on Oct. 22 at his home in Tiburon, Calif. May is best known for his 1969 book, Love and Will, which explored the possibility of renewal in a society full of discord….
Mildred Natwick, 89, a versatile stage, TV and screen actress who was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1967’s Barefoot in the Park, opposite Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, died Oct. 25 at her home in Manhattan. Born in Baltimore, Natwick appeared in some 40 Broadway productions, receiving Tony nominations for 1957’s Waltz of the Toreadors and 1971’s 70, Girls, 70 (in which she made her singing debut at 62). She won an Emmy for the 1973-74 NBC series The Snoop Sisters, in which she and Helen Hayes played mystery writers solving real crimes….
William Leonard, 78, the former head of CBS News who helped oversee the creation of 60 Minutes 26 years ago, died of a stroke on Oct. 23 in a hospital in Laurel, Md. In 1979 Leonard also created Sunday Morning, and in 1981 chose Dan Rather to succeed Walter Cronkite as anchor of the CBS Evening News. Leonard is survived by his second wife, Norma Kaphan Wallace, an ex-wife of 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace, his stepson, ABC News correspondent Chris Wallace, and five sons from his first marriage.
After an 11-month trial, three black South Africans, Vusumzi Ntamo, 23, Mongezi Manqina, 22, and Mzikhona Nofemela, 19, were found guilty of fatally stabbing Amy Biehl, 26, a white American student, in August 1993. Biehl, a Fulbright scholar, was educating voters for last April’s first all-race election when a mob attacked her in a black township….
Voluptuous actress-model Anna Nicole Smith, 26, filed a $5 million lawsuit against New York magazine on Oct. 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming she was duped into posing for an unflattering cover photo to go with an Aug. 22 article titled “White Trash Nation.” The former Playboy model, who was pictured squatting in a halter top and cutoff jeans and scarfing a bagful of snack food between her legs, says the photo damaged her reputation. Kurt Andersen, editor of New York, replied, “We have no idea how this [photo] forms the basis for litigation, and we expect the courts will quickly agree.”
After 24 years of marriage, singer-composer Neil Diamond, 53, and his wife, Marcia, 48, have formally separated. The couple have two sons, Jesse, 24, and Micah, 16. Diamond, best known for hits like “Solitary Man,” “Song Sung Blue” and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” also has two daughters, Marjorie, 29, and Elyn, 26, from his first marriage.