Rugged character actor Woody Strode, 80, who appeared in such John Ford films as Sergeant Rutledge (1960) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), died in his sleep on Dec. 31 in Glendora, Calif. He had been suffering from lung cancer. Strode began making movies in the early ’50s after a career in pro wrestling. His other major films include The Ten Commandments (1956) and The Professionals (1966)….
Actress Julie Haydon, 84, who created the role of emotionally fragile Laura in the original 1945 Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, died on Dec. 24 of abdominal cancer in La Crosse, Wis. Haydon was married to critic George Jean Nathan from 1955 until his death in ’58….
Yugoslav-born actress Sylva Koscina, 61, best known for a supporting role in Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits (1965), died after a long illness complicated by heart problems, on Dec. 26 at a hospital in Rome….
Blues singer and guitarist Ted Hawkins, 58, whose plaintive but gutsy style earned him critical acclaim for works such as the 1982 album Watch Your Step, died of a stroke on Jan. 1 in L.A. Hawkins, who got his start performing on the streets of Los Angeles, had a loyal following in Europe. But it wasn’t until the release last year of The Next Hundred Years, his third album and major-label debut (Geffen Records), that he began to get widespread U.S. recognition.
Rap singer Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, 23, pleaded guilty in Superior Court in Atlanta on Dec. 29 to arson. She admitted starting a fire last June that destroyed the $1 million mansion belonging to her boyfriend, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre Rison, 27. Lopes, a member of the rap group TLC, was sentenced to several months in a halfway house and five years’ probation. She was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, undergo treatment for alcohol abuse and receive battered-woman counseling (Rison admitted in court to hitting Lopes). Rison has said he has forgiven Lopes for the blaze and plans to marry her….
Fitness guru Susan Powter, 36, filed for personal bankruptcy on Jan. 3 in federal court in L.A. Powter says the bankruptcy stems from her legal wrangles with business partners Gerald and Richard Frankel. In October, Powter and the Frankels sued—and countersued—each other in a dispute over their contract. Those suits are pending.
Citing irreconcilable differences, Susan Jarreau, 40, second wife of jazz singer Al Jarreau, 54, filed for divorce on Dec. 22 in L.A. superior court. The Jarreaus, married for 17 years, have one son, Ryan, 11.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle, 47, was scheduled to undergo an appendectomy last week at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. Quayle was treated last month for blood clots in his lungs.
Rocker Eric Clapton, 49, and actress Joanna Lumley, 48, who plays the drug-and-drink-addled Patsy on TV’s Absolutely Fabulous (airing on Comedy Central), were among 1,080 Britons recognized on Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s honors list.