Multiplatinum country singer Garth Brooks, 38, and college-sweetheart wife Sandy recently announced plans to end their 14-year marriage. The couple — who gave no reason for the breakup — have three children, Taylor Mayne Pearl, 8, August Anna, 6, and Allie Colleen, 4. Brooks was unavailable for comment…. Songwriter/’50s teen idol Paul Anka, 59, and wife of 37 years, Anne, 58, filed for separation Sept. 28. The two say the split is amicable and intend to spend Thanksgiving together with their five daughters.
The West Wing’s Martin Sheen, 60, has crossed the line — literally. On Oct. 7, the actor was arrested and charged with trespassing during an antimilitarization protest at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. According to witnesses, Sheen was arrested along with 22 fellow protesters after stepping over a line that Air Force authorities had ordered them not to pass. Sheen could face up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine for the alleged violation; a trial date has not been set. Sheen’s publicist didn’t return calls.
Look out, Oprah. Twin TV moppets Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, 14, of Full House fame, are lending their names and savvy to Illinois-based H&S Media to produce a lifestyle magazine for tween girls. The bimonthly, titled Mary-KateandAshley, will cover ”fashion, music, movies, sports, even yoga and boys,” says Mary-Kate. Not necessarily in that order.
Actor David Dukes, 55, Oct. 9, after collapsing from an apparent heart attack, in Lakewood, Wash. An Emmy nominee (for 1991’s The Josephine Baker Story) and Hollywood veteran (including 1998’s Gods and Monsters), he was in the area filming Stephen King’s Red Rose, a miniseries set to air on ABC in 2002. Dukes had finished the majority of his scenes. At press time, the production company had not decided how it would work around his absence…. Cars singer/bassist Ben Orr, 53, of pancreatic cancer Oct. 3, in Atlanta. The foppish musician founded the influential new-wave band with Ric Ocasek in 1976 and went on to sing some of the group’s biggest hits, including ”Just What I Needed” and ”Drive.” He had been appearing with the ensemble Big People, which featured alumni from .38 Special, Damn Yankees, and the Ted Nugent and Billy Joel bands…. Mary Francis, 76, wife and literary partner of Welsh mystery writer Dick Francis (Blood Sport), 79, after a heart attack Sept. 30 at the couple’s home in the Cayman Islands. Last year, Mrs. Francis became the center of publishing-industry intrigue when an unauthorized biographer alleged that she, not her husband, penned most of his best-selling works. Mr. Francis denies his wife wrote his books but concedes she did roughly half the work as an editor and researcher. ”She never sought publicity,” says Mr. Francis, adding, ”I don’t know what I would’ve done without her, really.”