PASSAGES: LeBlanc to Get Young Friend
EXPECTED: Emmy-nominated “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc, 36, and his wife, former model Melissa, are expecting a baby in mid-March, publicist Joe Libonati tells the Associated Press. The couple married in May. Melissa (former surname: McKnight) has two children from a previous marriage. This will be LeBlanc’s first child.
CAST: Former “Xena: Warrior Princess” star Lucy Lawless, 35, will play Tarzan’s aunt, Kathleen Clayton, in a regular role on the first season of the WB’s “Tarzan,” starring Travis Fimmel, reports New York’s Daily News. “Lucy has a tremendous sense of humor, warmth and grace,” Jordan Levin, entertainment president of the network (which, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner), tells the paper.
DIED: Adolf Hitler’s filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, the last of Germany’s famous Nazi-era figures, died in her sleep Monday night in Berlin, only weeks after turning 101, reports Reuters. Among Riefenstahl’s works was her “Triumph of the Will,” a documentary highlighting the meticulously choreographed, eerie grandeur of the Nazi Party’s 1934 Nuremberg Rally. … Singer-actress Gisele MacKenzie, 76, a vivacious brunette who became one of early TV’s biggest stars through her appearances on the CBS Saturday night music show “Your Hit Parade,” died Friday in Burbank, Calif., of colon cancer. A Canadian by birth, MacKenzie became a familiar face in the U.S. thanks in large part to comedian Jack Benny who, appreciating her perfect pitch, used her to help him tune up his famous violin.
RECOGNIZED: Salma Hayek, John Singleton, Phil Roman, “Sesame Street” and “Door to Door,” as well as the Sundance Institute’s Native American Initiatives Program are among those to be honored by the Producers Guild of America at its 2nd Annual Celebration of Diversity, to be held Oct. 1 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The event, presented in association with Daily Variety and sponsored in part by the Oneida Indian Nation, recognizes those whose work has broadened the entertainment industry’s cultural horizons.
FILED: The Recording Industry Association of America filed 261 lawsuits Monday against those who swap files of copyrighted music on the Internet, charging them with copyright infringement, reports The New York Times, which labels the move the first broad legal action aimed at members of the general public engaged in piracy. Thousands more lawsuits are expected to follow soon, the paper adds.