TLC’s Tionne ”T-Boz” Watkins, 30, and rap artist hubby Mack 10, 29, welcomed 5-pound 2-ounce daughter Chase Rolison Oct. 20 in L.A. This is the couple’s first child together; he has two children, Bria, 7, and DJ, 3, from a previous relationship.
After nine years of marriage, country crooner Clint Black, 38, and actress wife Lisa Hartman Black (Knots Landing), 44, are expecting their first child in early May.
Zack de la Rocha, lead singer of lefty L.A. rock band Rage Against the Machine, announced Oct. 18 he was leaving the nine-year-old Grammy-winning group. Internal band politics have ”undermined our artistic and political ideal,” he said in a statement about his departure. The remaining three members plan to rage on without their frontman, vowing to ”keep it loud, keep it funky, and most definitely rock on….”
Fresh from their August breakup, Ellen DeGeneres, 42, and Anne Heche, 31, seem to be seeking solace in the company of others. DeGeneres has been popping up around L.A. with Alexandra Hedison, an actress who’s appeared on CBS’ Nash Bridges. Heche, meanwhile, is reportedly getting cozy with Coley Laffoon, a cameraman who worked on Heche’s documentary film of DeGeneres’ 2000 comedy tour. Reps for DeGeneres and Heche had no comment.
Singer and Oscar-winning actress Liza Minnelli was readmitted Oct. 19 to a Fort Lauderdale hospital where she is being treated for viral encephalitis. ”She’s making great progress. I spoke to her this morning and she’s in great spirits,” says her rep. The hospital expects to release her within a few days…. Gap-toothed actress and model Lauren Hutton remains in serious but stable condition at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas’ trauma unit after being airlifted from the scene of a motorcycle accident Oct. 21. She is being treated for multiple leg fractures, cuts, and bruises, according to a hospital spokesman. Hutton was cruising alongside stars like Dennis Hopper and Jeremy Irons on a 100-mile ride celebrating the planned Guggenheim motorcycle exhibit on the Las Vegas Strip when her bike ran off the road. ”She’s awake and alert and doing much better,” says her rep.
Twenty-eight TV writers filed a $200 million federal civil rights lawsuit against the major television networks, production studios, and talent agencies, citing age discrimination, Oct. 23 in L.A. The named plaintiffs represent the 7,000 members of the Writers Guild of America who are 40 years or older. ”We’re seeking to re-create writing-job opportunities for older writers. Over the past 15 years age discrimination has become a custom, so that today it’s almost mandatory that executives follow these rules,” says the writers’ lawyer. A rep for named defendant DreamWorks says ”we don’t comment on legal matters.” ABC, NBC, and CBS denied ever practicing discrimination against older writers, while Fox won’t comment until served formal documentation.
A Hendersonville, Tenn., mother called the police Oct. 7 about her 17-year-old son after she discovered ”Operation Death Strike,” his plot to assassinate the members of ‘N Sync at their Oct. 21 No Strings Attached concert in Atlanta. ”I think he got a little jealous about all the attention they were getting, so he took pen to paper,” says Sheriff Bob Barker. ”He’s completely embarrassed.” The youth — who was not identified — will not be charged with any crime; authorities believe he had no real intention of carrying out his plans.
Gospel-music legend Bob MacKenzie, 62, Oct. 20 of heart failure, in his Brentwood, Tenn., home. MacKenzie, who was to be inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame Oct. 30, produced the Imperials and the Oak Ridge Boys…. Julie London, 74, on Oct. 18 in an Encino, Calif., hospital. London, who played Dixie McCall on NBC’s 1970s hospital/firehouse drama Emergency — which was produced by her first husband, Dragnet’s Jack Webb — had suffered a stroke five years ago from which she never fully recovered. The sultry singer became a sensation in the 1950s when her hit single ”Cry Me a River” sold 3 million copies. She also appeared in films, including Task Force (1949) and The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)…. Broadway actress Gwen Verdon, 75, of natural causes, Oct. 18, in Woodstock, Vt…. Screen siren Jean Peters, 73, of leukemia, Oct. 13, in La Jolla, Calif. Peters, who costarred with Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata!, retired in 1955 and married billionaire recluse Howard Hughes two years later. Peters virtually disappeared from the public eye until her 1971 divorce from Hughes, after which she returned to acting and guest-starred on such TV shows as Murder, She Wrote.
— with additional reporting by Ethan Alter and Dara Resnik