BIRTHS On Dec. 6, country singers Faith Hill, 34, and Tim McGraw, 34, welcomed their third child, Audrey Caroline…. On Dec. 3, Golden Globe nominee Cate Blanchett (Bandits), 32, and screenwriter hubby Andrew Upton, 35, greeted their first child, Dashiell John, in London.
WEDDINGS Actress Ashley Judd (Someone Like You), 33, said ”I do” to race-car driver Dario Franchitti, 28, Dec. 12, in Scotland—the first marriage for both…. Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away), 49, married actress Leslie Harter (The Sexperiment), 34, Dec. 4, in Venice. This is her first marriage, his second.
ENGAGED On Dec. 14, daddy-dissin’ singer LeAnn Rimes, 19, announced her engagement to dancer Dean Sheremet, 21. No date has been set for the wedding, the first for both.
SPLITS On Dec. 17, bug-eyed comic Tom Green (Freddy Got Fingered), 30, filed for divorce from his wife of five months, Drew Barrymore, 26, citing irreconcilable differences. Barrymore’s spokeswoman had no comment…. Bet he’ll slip on down to the oasis. Garth Brooks’ divorce was finalized Dec. 10. The country giant, 39, and his ex, Sandy, 36, had been married 15 years. They have three daughters…. Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (A.I.), 42, filed for divorce from his wife of six years, Oscar-winning actress Holly Hunter (The Piano), 43, Dec. 19, in L.A. He cites irreconcilable differences. Hunter had no comment.
COURTS On Dec. 19, ageless wonder Dick Clark, 72, sued National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences head Michael Greene, 52, for $10 million, claiming Greene unfairly prohibited musicians like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears from performing on the Grammys if they also performed on Clark’s American Music Awards. NARAS denies wrongdoing, calling the suit ”a last-minute publicity stunt.”… Smells like another lawsuit: On Dec. 12 in Seattle, Nirvana survivors Krist Novoselic, 36, and David Grohl, 32, countersued rocker-actress Courtney Love, 36, widow of band frontman Kurt Cobain. Love sued them in September, seeking to dissolve a legal partnership formed in ‘97 to handle Nirvana’s business affairs. Novoselic and Grohl claim the ”irrational” Love prevented the release of a 10th-anniversary boxed set due in December; they seek unspecified damages and Love’s removal from the partnership. Love had no comment…. On Dec. 6, a New York City judge sentenced rapper Jay-Z (né Shawn Carter), 31, to three years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to assault in a 1999 attack on record exec Lance ”Un” Rivera, 35, at Manhattan’s Kit Kat Club. Jay-Z’s lawyer had no comment.
DEALS Top o’ the morning. On Dec. 19, NBC said Today host Katie Couric, 44, signed a four-year contract—reportedly for $64 million…. On Dec. 17, Universal Studios parent Vivendi Universal announced it would acquire USA Networks in a $10.3 billion deal. Former studio head Barry Diller, 59, will be head of Vivendi Universal Entertainment.
DEATHS Emmy-winning sports and culture journalist Dick Schaap, 67, of complications from hip surgery, Dec. 21, in New York City…. French singer-composer Gilbert Bécaud (”What Now My Love?”), 74, of lung cancer, Dec. 18, in Paris…. Big Country lead singer Stuart Adamson (”In a Big Country”), 43, of asphyxiation, Dec. 16, near Honolulu. He’d been missing for weeks when he apparently hanged himself in a hotel room…. Singer Rufus Thomas (”Walking the Dog,” ”Do the Funky Chicken”), 84, of heart failure, Dec. 15, in Memphis…. Producer John Guedel, 88, who created TV’s You Bet Your Life and helped launch The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet on radio in 1944, of heart failure, Dec. 15, in L.A…. German author W.G. Sebald, 57, in a car crash, Dec. 14, near Norwich, England. EW recently rated his Austerlitz, a Welshman’s exploration of his family’s Nazi-ravaged past, among 2001’s best novels. He was traveling with his daughter Anna, who was in stable condition in a local hospital at press time…. B-movie staple Pauline Moore (1931’s Frankenstein, 1939’s Charlie Chan in Reno), 87, of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Dec. 7, in Sequim, Wash…. Ad exec Don Tennant, 79, who created Tony the Tiger and other commercial mascots, of congestive heart failure, Dec. 8, in L.A…. Animator Faith Hubley, 77, who with her late husband, John, created Oscar-winning shorts like The Hole, of cancer, Dec. 7, in New Haven, Conn…. Publishing impresario William Jovanovich, 81, of a heart attack, Dec. 4, in Point Loma, Calif. A champion of George Orwell and Alice Walker, he helped piece together Charles Lindbergh’s posthumous 1978 autobiography…. Actor John Stearns, 85, who starred with wife Mary Kay, 76, in the ’40s TV hit Mary Kay and Johnny, of complications from a fall, Dec. 1, in Newport Beach, Calif…. Author-illustrator Seymour Reit, 83, who helped create Casper the Friendly Ghost and penned more than 80 children’s books, of complications from surgery, Nov. 21, in New York City.