June 30, 1997 12:00 PM

UP FRONT

42 Struck by a rare and painful disease, former MTV veejay Karen Duffy grapples with mortality—and finds the man of her dreams

48 Unmasked, the latest Dynamic Duo, George Clooney and Chris O’Donnell, spread their capes at the Batman & Robin premiere party

50 A strangely rambling stint on David Letter-man’s Late Show has Farrah Fawcett fans wondering if the Playboy cover girl needs some R&R

52 First, the movies they made together flopped. Now the marriage of Geena Davis and director Renny Harlin isn’t working either

SPIRIT 55

Four decades after converting from Hinduism, an elfin and unassuming Sister Nirmala takes over from Mother Teresa as head of the Missionaries of Charity

CRIME 59

They seemed like the perfect couple until police accused Craig Rabinowitz of killing his wife, Stefanie, to collect $1.5 million in insurance

HAPPY 65

Eighteen years after almost graduating, Today coanchor Matt Lauer returns to Ohio University to give a speech—and receive his diploma

KIN 69

Equestrian Clea Newman, youngest child of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, shares her love of horses with the disabled

JOCKS 73

Life in the fast lane has paid off for stock car racer Jeff Gordon, whose winning ways and win-some style have landed him in the driver’s seat

COVER 80

On their way to sharing “I dos,” Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow abruptly pull the reins in on their red-hot romance

HOST 89

Sirio Maccioni oversees celebrity ciao time at his revamped New York City restaurant, Le Cirque 2000

SEQUEL 92

Fired 16 months ago, Snapple pitchwoman Wendy Kaufman returns to the job she loves

BIO 95

A random gunshot left Weslia Whitfield unable to walk. But the assault hasn’t stopped the singer from becoming a cabaret sensation

SWAT! 102

An itch for science led British entomologist Nigel Hill into a job that would leave most people scratching their heads

BODY 105

Fitness buff Johnny G’s fresh approach to stationary cycling has turned the local gym into spin city

TO THE TOP 109

Six-foot, five-inch Lisa Leslie is walking especially tall these days—as the hottest star in the new WNBA and a budding cover girl

REUNION 113

At 14, Hellmuth Szprycer persuaded Nazi fiend Josef Mengele to spare him and Harry Lowit. Now the death camp survivors meet again

TUBE 121

Returning to prime time on Pacific Palisades, Joan Collins is a bit older, a bit wiser and just as fabulous as when she played Dynasty’s Alexis

ARTS 126

Artist Gary Butzer’s murals find a home on the grange—on the sides of barns and silos throughout rural Minnesota

MAIL 6

STAR TRACKS 8

PICKS & PANS 15

THE INSIDER 41

PASSAGES 77

PUZZLER 118

CHATTER 130

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