Singer Robin Thicke, 33, and his wife, Precious actress Paula Patton, 34, welcomed their first child, a boy they named Julian, on April 6 in Los Angeles. The former high school sweethearts were married in 2005. In December Thicke told essence.com he was looking forward to “teaching him how to respect a woman.”
A plane crash in western Russia on April 10 killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski, 60, his wife, Maria, 66, and 95 other people, including many of the country’s military and political leaders. Although the doomed jet’s crew was advised to land elsewhere, the plane came down in heavy fog and plunged into a forest just short of the runway, killing everyone on board. The interim president is Bronislaw Komorowski, the speaker of parliament. • Meinhardt Raabe (inset), 94, who played the Munchkin coroner in The Wizard of Oz, died of a heart attack April 9 in Orange Park, Fla. In the 1939 film, Raabe, one of the nine Munchkins (out of a total of 124) who had speaking parts, proclaimed that the Wicked Witch of the East was “really most sincerely dead,” after Dorothy’s farmhouse landed on her.
The Learjet crash that killed four people and seriously injured Travis Barker, 34, and the late DJ AM nineteen months ago was caused by underinflated tires, federal safety investigators said on April 6. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that a design flaw in the Learjet 60 and the pilot’s decision to abort takeoff in Columbia, S.C., were also factors in the disaster. • Mark Kerrigan, 45, was indicted on an upgraded charge of manslaughter on April 8 in Woburn, Mass. The brother of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was also charged with assault and battery on an elderly person, stemming from the January confrontation with his father, Daniel, 70, that resulted in his death. After pleading not guilty to both charges, Kerrigan was released on bail.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova, 53, revealed on April 7 that she is being treated for a noninvasive form of breast cancer. The winner of 59 Grand Slam titles said she underwent a lumpectomy in March and will start six weeks of radiation therapy next month. The Prague-born superstar said she decided to go public to encourage women to get regular mammograms. For four years, she said, “I let it slide. Another year, and I could have been in big trouble.”
After months of speculation about his next move, Conan O’Brien, 47, announced on April 12 that he will be hosting a late-night talk show on cable network TBS. The red-haired comic said, “In three months I’ve gone from network television to Twitter to performing live in theaters, and now I’m headed to basic cable. My plan is working perfectly.” The new hour-long show will air Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m., starting in November, and bump Lopez Tonight to midnight. “I can’t think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as my lead-in,” George Lopez said. “It’s the beginning of a new era in late-night comedy.”