China’s supreme leader, Deng Xiaoping, who by official accounts was 93, died of respiratory and circulatory failure on Feb. 19 in Beijing. A lifelong Communist and onetime guerrilla leader, he succeeded Mao Tse-tung as government head after a two-year power struggle following Mao’s death in 1976. Deng is credited with opening China to foreign trade and private enterprise but is also believed to have ordered the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989….
Actress Marjorie Reynolds, 75, who played William Bendix’s super-tolerant wife Peg on the hit ’50s sitcom The Life of Riley, died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 1 in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Reynolds earlier costarred with Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby in 1942’s Holiday Inn.
Actor Gary Oldman, 38, and photographer Donya Fiorentino, 29, were married on Feb. 16 in L.A. It was the second marriage for Fiorentino and the third for Oldman….
Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler, 47, married actress Kitty Aldridge, 31, on Valentine’s Day in Barbados. It’s a second marriage for Aldridge and Knopfler’s third.
The Clackamas County, Ore., sheriff’s department is investigating a claim by former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding that she was abducted on the morning of Feb. 11 near her home outside Portland. Harding says a “bushy-haired” man forced her into her truck and made her drive down a country road, at one point slapping her and pressing a metal object against her head. Harding, 26, says she escaped by crashing the truck into a tree, jumping out and hiding in the bushes.
Actress Shannen Doherty, 25, and her on-again, off-again fiancé, director Rob Weiss (Amongst Friends), 28, are engaged again. It will be the first marriage for Weiss and the second for Doherty, who was wed briefly to actor Ashley Hamilton. No date has been set.
Actress Tracey Gold, 27, and her husband, TV production assistant Roby Marshall, 31, welcomed their first child, Sage, an 8-lb., 10-oz. boy, on Feb. 16 in L.A.
Actor and singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton, 58, whose “No No Song” (a 1975 hit for Ringo Starr) included the lyrics “No, no, no, I don’t smoke it no more,” was arrested on Feb. 12 in Hamilton, Mont., and charged with possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. Police said they found more than $3,000 worth of marijuana in his house.
Action film star Arnold Schwarzenegger, 49, and his wife, television journalist Maria Shriver, 41, are expecting their fourth child. Their other children are Katherine, 6, Christina, 5, and Patrick, 3.
A federal grand jury in New York City indicted Autumn Jackson, 22, and her associate Jose Medina, 51, on Feb. 13 for allegedly trying to extort $40 million from Bill Cosby by threatening to claim publicly that she is his out-of-wedlock daughter. Cosby admits having had a relationship with Jackson’s mother but has denied he is the young woman’s father. If convicted the pair could face four to 12 years in prison.