By Stephen M. Silverman
April 21, 2003 12:09 PM

DIED: Julliard-trained jazz and soul singer Nina Simone, 70, died Monday at her home in the south of France, her manager, Clifton Henderson, tells Reuters. He said she had been ill for some time, though did not elaborate. Among her biggest hits was a 1959 recording of George and Ira Gershwin’s “I Love You Porgy.” A North Carolina native, she had called France home on and off for the past eight years, said Henderson.

SPLIT: “Cape Fear” actress Juliette Lewis, 29, has filed for divorce from her husband of nearly four years, professional skateboarder Steve Berra, reports the Associated Press. “The divorce is mutual and amicable,” said Nancy Iannios, a publicist for Lewis. It was the actress’s first marriage.

DIED: Character actor Graham Jarvis, 79, best known as neighbor Charlie Haggers in the 1970s TV series “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” died Wednesday of multiple myeloma, says AP. In a five-decade career, he also recently appeared in “Six Feet Under” and “The Drew Carey Show.” He also had a recurring role as Charles Jackson on “7th Heaven.” Film appearances included roles in “Alice’s Restaurant,” “Silkwood” and “Mr. Mom.”

REVEALED: After 13 years of marriage, best-selling “Jurassic Park” author Michael Crichton, 60, has agreed to pay his fourth wife, Anne Marie, $31 million as part of their divorce settlement, according to court papers, which also show that she will receive the couple’s 19-room house in New York and fine-art collection. The author will retain the rights to his books and films, as well as their home in Hawaii. The couple will share custody of their daughter, Taylor, 15.

IMPROVED: “No respect” comedian Rodney Dangerfield, 81, was moved from the UCLA Medical Center’s intensive care unit to a private room Friday as part of his continued recovery from brain surgery last week. His publicist, Kevin Sasaki, tells AP that the move indicates the funnyman was “out of the woods.” Dangerfield had the procedure to improve his blood flow for an upcoming heart valve replacement, tentatively planned for late May.