By Stephen M. Silverman
April 14, 2003 12:07 PM

CAST: Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs will play blues legend Robert Johnson in the HBO biopic “Love in Vain,” say trade reports. Production will begin this September in Mississippi. Johnson, who died at the age of 27, is responsible for such 1930s classics as “Crossroads,” “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” and “Love in Vain.” Despite his scant output — only 29 songs in his brief lifetime — Johnson remains a huge influence on blues musicians.

FOUND: Sean Penn’s car, stolen as he had lunch near the University of California campus at Berkeley last week, was recovered but his two registered guns inside were missing, police tell Reuters. The “I Am Sam” star, 42, who lives just north of San Francisco, was driving a black 1987 Buick Grand National, a collector’s favorite.

DIED: Singer Little Eva, 59, responsible for the ’60s hit “The Loco-Motion,” succumbed to cervical cancer Thursday in a North Carolina hospital, her manager tells Reuters. Boyd was working as a babysitter for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin when they asked her to record a song they had written called “The Loco-Motion” in 1962. Cape said Boyd continued to work until October 2001, when she became too weak from her illness to perform. She is survived by two daughters, a son, 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

WON: Canadian Mike Weir, 32, won golf’s Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, marking his first major championship. The winning green jacket was slipped on him by last year’s winner, Tiger Woods. “It was an incredible day,” Weir told reporters after his victory. Besides this being Weir’s first big win, he is also the first Canadian to win the Masters, as well as the first left-handed player.