DEALS Filmmaker and DreamWorks mogul Steven Spielberg, 47, announced on Nov. 9 in L.A. that he will direct Universal’s The Lost World, the sequel to 1993’s Jurassic Park, his $900 million-plus megahit. ”When you do a project like Jurassic, it’s something that becomes part of you,” says a spokesman for Spielberg, adding that the director is ”very anxious to get back to work” after a two-year hiatus from filmmaking. Shooting is scheduled to begin next summer for a 1997 summer release…. Trial-of-the-century prosecutor Marcia Clark, 42, will receive $4.2 million from Viking-Penguin for her autobiography-cum-memoir of the O.J. Simpson trial. The deal was inked on Nov. 9 in New York, and the book is expected next fall. ”Marcia Clark is an incredible woman who took on quite a task, and she has an incredible story to tell,” says her agent. ”The case will be around for many, many years — for our lifetime and beyond.”… With a little help from friends like Sony execs Michael Schulhof and Thomas Mottola, Michael Jackson merged his music catalogs, including ATV, with Sony Music Publishing’s catalogs on Nov. 7, creating the third-largest company of its kind. Jackson’s ATV holdings include 251 Beatles tunes, R&B classics ”Long Tall Sally” and ”Lucille,” and many other songs — but none of his own. Jackson reportedly entered the deal because he needs the money in the wake of his much-publicized settlement to quell allegations of child molestation, which he has steadfastly denied. The King of Pop’s royal sum for the merger is said to be close to $100 million.
EXIT Cartoonist Bill Watterson, 38, announced on Nov. 9 that after 10 years of producing daily comic strips, he’ll stop drawing the award-winning Calvin and Hobbes at the end of this year. ”I believe I’ve done what I can do within the constraints of daily deadlines and small panels,” Watterson wrote in a letter sent to the editors of the nearly 2,400 newspapers that publish his ‘toons.
ARRESTED William Drayton, a.k.a. Public Enemy rapper Flavor Flav, 36, for the fourth time in two years, on Nov. 7 in the Bronx. After making a routine search of a livery taxi, the police allegedly found Flav carrying a gun and three vials of crack. He was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and a controlled substance and held at Rikers Island jail. Bail was set at $15,000. A spokesman for Flav and Public Enemy had no comment.
SPLIT Helen Reddy, 53, filed for divorce from her husband of 12 years, Milton Robert Ruth, 43, a musician in her band, on Nov. 13 in L.A. The singer of ”I Am Woman” and ”Delta Dawn” cited irreconcilable differences.
BIRTHS A 6-pound-13-ounce boy, Joseph Marlon, to actress Marilu Henner, 43, and her husband, director Robert Lieberman, 48, on Nov. 12 in L.A. Henner spent the previous evening on stage for Comic Relief VII, where, according to her spokeswoman, ”during the finale, Robin Williams kept listening to her stomach to see if anything was happening. Kiddingly, he said, ‘A baby has been born!”’ A few hours later, Henner went into labor. The couple also has an 18-month-old son, Nicky…. A 9-pound-5-ounce boy, James Arthur, to actor James Caan, 55, and his wife, Linda, 39, on Nov. 6 in L.A. Caan has three children from previous marriages…. An 8-pound-2-ounce girl, Tara Chong Stone, to Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone, 49, and his companion, actress Chong Son Chong, 36, on Nov. 3 in L.A. Stone has two sons from a previous marriage.
AILING The Red Hot Chili Peppers postponed their world trek after drummer Chad Smith, 30, broke his wrist playing baseball on Nov. 8 in L.A. The band will resume playing next year. ”It wouldn’t be the same to tour without him,” says a band spokesman.
DEATHS Comedian Slappy White, 74, of a heart attack, on Nov. 7, at home in Brigantine, N.J. White yukked it up with Dean Martin on the Vegas circuit in the 1960s. In the ’70s he landed the role of Melvin on NBC’s hit sitcom Sanford and Son, starring the late Redd Foxx. White is credited with helping to bring black humor to the masses by breaking out of the so-called chitlin circuit. ”We were there all the time performing,” says White’s good friend Nipsey Russell. ”It’s just that it took whites time to find out about us.”… Actress Aneta Corsaut, 62, who played Helen Crump, Andy’s girlfriend, on The Andy Griffith Show, of cancer, on Nov. 6 in Studio City, Calif. Corsaut also costarred in 1958’s The Blob with Steve McQueen and cowrote The Mystery Reader’s Quiz Book.
—Casey Davidson and Jessica Shaw