Outré model-actress-singer Grace Jones, 43, wed Belgian student Atila Altaunbay, 21, on Feb. 24 in Rio de Janeiro. She has a son, Paulo, 16, from a previous relationship.
Soprano Dorothy Maynor, 85, a successful recital artist, died on Feb. 19 in West Chester, Pa., of pneumonia. Although reviewers gushed when Maynor made her formal debut in Manhattan in 1939, the fact that she was black kept the Metropolitan Opera and other major American companies from booking her. (Marian Anderson broke the Met’s color barrier in 1955.) Maynor founded the Harlem School of the Arts in 1963 and, in 1975, became the first black on the Met’s board of directors….
Composer Morton Gould, 82, died in his sleep on Feb. 21 in Orlando. His 1,000-plus works include symphonies, ballets and Broadway, TV and film scores. His trophy shelf boasted a 1966 Grammy, a 1994 Kennedy Center Honor and a 1995 Pulitzer Prize.
Thierry Roussel, 43, the father of Christina Onassis’s only child, Athina, 11, lost his four-year battle for control of his daughter’s estimated $1 billion inheritance. A Swiss court ruled two weeks ago that the estate will continue to be administered by the managers of the Onassis Foundation, which was established after the death of Athina’s granddad Aristotle Onassis. Athina, who inherited the fortune when her mother died in 1988, will come into control of her monies at 18. (Meanwhile, her father receives $1.42 million yearly from his ex-wife’s estate.)
On Feb. 22 a jury in Richmond, Texas, acquitted Minnesota Vikings quarterback Warren Moon, 39, of allegedly assaulting his wife, Felicia, 39, during a July 18 fight over credit card charges. Prosecutors, using a recently passed state law, had compelled an unwilling Felicia to testify against her husband.
Country comic and Grand Ole Opry icon Minnie Pearl, 83, was hospitalized on Feb. 26 in Nashville for complications due to a stroke.
Twelve months after describing himself as “the frog that was kissed by the princess,” New York’s Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, 58, is back on his lily pad, alone. He and millionaire gossip reporter Claudia Cohen, 45, who appears regularly on Live with Regis & Kathie Lee, have called it quits on their romance.
It was sweet indeed on Feb. 27 when Kurt Wait, 43, a health-care sales analyst from Redwood City, Calif., became the first man to win the top prize at the 37th Pillsbury Bake-Off held in Dallas. Wait’s recipe for a macadamia fudge torte took the $1 million prize.