Country singer and Gone Country host John Rich, 34, got hitched to his girlfriend of five years, Joan Bush, 38, in Nashville Dec. 6. The groom, one half of the duo Big & Rich, and bride, who runs a Houston modeling agency, wed before about two dozen family members.
Anne Heche, 39, and her boyfriend of nearly two years, her former Men in Trees costar James Tupper, 43, are awaiting Baby No. 1. This will be the second child for Heche, who has son Homer, 6, with ex-husband Coley Laffoon.
The Tonight Show host Jay Leno (inset), 58, will go from late-night to prime time next year, NBC revealed Dec. 9. The comic, who replaced Johnny Carson in 1992, will helm a new talk show set to air weeknights at 10 p.m. ET once he has passed the Tonight Show baton to Conan O’Brien in May 2009.
Photographer and America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker, 36, and his wife, model Cristen Chin Barker, 33, had their second child, daughter Jasmine Ines Barker, in New York City Dec. 7. The newborn joins big brother Jack, 3. • It’s another boy for Ugly Betty actor Eric Mabius and his wife, interior designer Ivy Sherman, both 37, whose second child, Rylan Jaxson Mabius, was born in New York City Dec. 7. The couple also have son Maxfield Elliot, 2. • Newlywed TV stars Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone), 36, and Michele Hicks (The Shield), 35, became first-time parents in L.A. Dec. 3 with the arrival of son Buster. • Former Baywatch actress Gena Lee Nolin, 37, and her husband, former NHL player Cale Hulse, 35, welcomed their second child together, daughter Stella, in Scottsdale, Ariz., Dec. 3.
Hit-making English band Coldplay was sued in L.A. Dec. 4 by guitarist and recording artist Joe Satriani, 52, who alleges that the quartet plagiarized his 2004 tune “If I Could Fly” for the Grammy-nominated song “Viva La Vida.” A rep for the band did not respond to a request for comment.
American actor Paul Benedict, 70, who played the eccentric British neighbor Harry Bentley on the long-running sitcom The Jeffersons, was found dead at his home on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Dec. 1. Authorities are investigating the cause of death. Benedict had the hormonal disorder acromegaly, which partially caused his oversize jaw and distinctly angular features. • Folksinger and civil rights activist Odetta, 77, who inspired such musical icons as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin, died of heart disease in New York City Dec. 2.
Actor Mark Ruffalo’s younger brother Scott (right), 39, a Beverly Hills hairstylist, died Dec. 8, a week after being shot in the head at home. Shaha Mishaal Adham, 26, turned herself in to police and is being held without bail. Her friend Brian Scofield, 29, also “a person of interest,” is in custody. Authorities have not disclosed a motive.