PASSAGES: American Fashion Icon Blass Dies
DIED: Fashion designer Bill Blass, whose trademark for 40 years was casual American style for career women, died of cancer at his Connecticut home Wednesday, just days short of his 80th birthday, reports The New York Times. His client list ran from leading ladies (Candice Bergen, Barbra Streisand) to First Ladies (Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush). . . . WON: Shaquille O’Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers completed their sweep of the NBA finals Wednesday night, earning their third straight title by beating the New Jersey Nets, 113-107. O’Neal, 30, who scored 34 points, was named most valuable player of the finals for the third time. . . . WED: British singer Peter Gabriel, 51, married his companion of five years, Meah Flynn, age unreported, at Li Capanni, a hotel he owns near Sardinia’s Emerald Coast in Italy, his publicist told the Associated Press on Wednesday. “It was quite a low-key, private ceremony, with friends and family, a low-key, Peter-type wedding,” said the rep. . . . INJURED: Former “Let’s Make a Deal” host Monty Hall, 78, is recovering in L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after a freak accident in which he tripped and fractured a hip while putting his pants on after a medical examination, reports Variety columnist Army Archerd. Hall underwent surgery for the break and is said to be recuperating. . . . SIGNED: Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, 42, has cinched a deal to develop a syndicated talk show for the 2003-04 season, to be called “Fergie.” Her partner is Universal Television Enterprises (whose parent, Vivendi, also owns Universal Studios). “I enjoy being with people, so I’ll feel in my element with a daily talk show,” Fergie, Prince Andrew’s ex-wife and more recently a Weight Watchers spokesperson, said in a statement.