March 27, 2006 12:00 PM


Russell Yates Jr., ex-husband of Andrea Yates, the Texas woman sentenced to life in prison after drowning their five children, will marry Laura Arnold on March 18 in Clear Lake, Texas. Two days later Andrea, whose conviction was overturned in January 2005, is due to be retried for the 2001 murders….

On March 6 in northeast Philadelphia, former Apprentice season two contestant Raj Bhakta announced he is running for the state’s 13th District seat in the U.S. Congress. The Republican real estate developer, 30, known for his bow ties, was the ninth to be fired.


Designer Monique Lhuillier, who counts Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Alba as clients, and businessman husband Tom Bugbee welcomed their first child, son Jack Nicholas, on Jan. 17 in L.A.


After 38 years with 60 Minutes, Mike Wallace said March 14 he is retiring. “As I approach my 88th birthday, it’s become apparent to me that my eyes and ears, among other appurtenances, aren’t quite what they used to be,” said Wallace, who is expected to step down at the end of the current TV season.


English soccer star David Beckham, 30, and wife Victoria, 31, announced March 9 they settled their libel suit against British tabloid News of the World, which had claimed in a September 2004 article that the couple’s marriage was a sham in order to maintain financial interests…. On March 9 California authorities shut down Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch for not maintaining proper workmen’s compensation insurance. The singer was fined a total of $169,000 for that offense and for failing to pay 47 employees since December. Jackson, who has been living in Bahrain and traveling for the past nine months, was not at his ranch when authorities arrived…. John Ritter’s widow, Amy Yasbeck, and his four children reached a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit against Providence St. Joseph Medical Center and two doctors who treated the actor before his 2003 death from an aortic aneurysm, according to court papers released March 14. Terms weren’t revealed.


Sean Connery has undergone surgery in New York City to remove a kidney cyst. The actor, 75, is recuperating at his Bahamas home.


Peter Tomarken, 63, host of the ’80s TV game show Press Your Luck, died with his wife, Kathleen, 41, in a plane crash March 13 in Santa Monica. With Tomarken as pilot, the couple were flying on behalf of Angel Flight West, which offers free medical transport, says an agency spokeswoman. The accident may have been caused by engine trouble, said an FAA spokesman.


Maureen Stapleton, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of writer Emma Goldman in 1981’s Reds, died at 80 March 13 in Lenox, Mass., of chronic pulmonary disease. Nominated for Academy Awards three other times, she also won an Emmy and two Tonys. Eli Wallach, her costar in 1951’s The Rose Tattoo on Broadway, recalled his friend to PEOPLE: “Maureen was a rare and brilliant talent. She was full of fun and witty. She had a vocabulary that would make people blush. We talked to her two weeks ago. She loved Jeopardy! I said to her, ‘Why don’t you go on? You know all the answers.’ She said, ‘No, I wanna stay here,’ near her grandchildren. She was a treasure.”

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