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Quentin Tarantino's physical altercation made news the week of Nov. 7

ENGAGED Former Melrose Place bad girl Laura Leighton, 29, to former Melrose good guy Doug Savant, 34. It will be Leighton’s first marriage, Savant’s second. The couple hasn’t set a date.

AILING Original man in black Johnny Cash, 65, from Parkinson’s disease. The effects of the degenerative brain disorder have caused the three-time Hall of Famer (Songwriters, Country Music, and Rock and Roll) to postpone his current book tour for Cash: The Autobiography, as well as upcoming concerts.

LAWSUITS historical novelist Barbara Chase-Riboud, 58, filed suit against Dreamworks for copyright infringement, among other complaints, Oct. 18, in L.A. in the suit, chase-riboud claims that dreamworks stole ”scenes, characters, and plot devices” from her 1989 novel Echo of Lions, about a rebellion on a slave ship, for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film Amistad. ”There’s absolutely no merit to this claim,” says Bert Fields, attorney for DreamWorks. ”You can’t own a piece of American history.”

FIGHTS Did he just go medieval? At L.A.’s Ago restaurant Oct. 22, director Quentin Tarantino physically attacked Natural Born Killers producer Don Murphy. Tarantino was apparently angry over remarks made about him in Killer Instinct, a book written by Murphy’s producing partner Jane Hamsher. ”If he didn’t like my comments, the courts were the proper forum for him,” said Murphy. Though Tarantino was detained by police, he wasn’t arrested, and Murphy did not press charges.

DEATHS Documentary producer George Vicas, 71, of pancreatic cancer, Oct. 25, in Arlington, Va. In a 40-year career, Vicas made documentaries for CBS, NBC, and PBS. In 1969, he won an Emmy for his NBC News special Arthur Rubinstein … Actor and writer Adam Kennedy, 75, from a heart attack, Oct. 16, in Kent, Conn. Kennedy was known for roles on Gunsmoke and The Californians as well as the daytime soap The Doctors. His novels include The Domino Principle … Actor, TV director, and producer Hy Averback, 76, after open-heart surgery, Oct. 14, in L.A. Averback had roles in the films How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and The Benny Goodman Story, among others. He also directed and produced such sitcoms as The Flying Nun and M*A*S*H.

Anna Holmes and Tricia Laine