Monitor

Monitor

Celebrity news for the weeks of April 25 and May 2, 2008

BIRTHS
Jodie Sweetin (a.k.a. Full House's Stephanie), 26, filled up her own house with the addition of daughter Zoie on April 12 in Long Beach, Calif. Dad is Sweetin's husband, set designer Cody Herpin.... Actress Cate Blanchett, 38, delivered Ignatius Martin, her son with screenwriter/husband Andrew Upton (Gone), in Sydney on April 13.... It's a girl for Law & Order alum Elisabeth Röhm, 35, and fiancé Ron Wooster. Daughter Easton arrived April 10 in L.A.

ENGAGED
Singer Ashlee Simpson, 23, and Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, 28, announced in a blog post that they're getting married. In an interview with MTV News, Wentz denied rumors that Simpson is pregnant. Said a rep for the couple in a statement: ''We are thrilled to confirm their engagement.... Beyond that there is nothing to add.''

RECONCILED
Sean Penn, 47, and Robin Wright Penn, 42, withdrew their petition to divorce on April 8 in Marin County, Calif. The couple, who've been married for 12 years, filed for the split in December 2007.

COURTS
Jessica Gibson, an ex-nanny to Rob Lowe (Brothers & Sisters), filed a $50,000 countersuit in Santa Barbara on April 14 alleging that Lowe, 44, sexually assaulted her while she worked in his home between 2005 and 2008. An attorney for the actor — who last week sued Gibson, 24, and two of his other former employees for defamation and breach of contract — said ''the allegations in the complaint are simply untrue.''... Mischa Barton, 22, was placed on three years' probation after pleading no contest to DUI on April 10 in L.A. She was arrested in December 2007 on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession, though the pot charges have been dropped.

AILING
Kenny Baker, 73, who played R2-D2 in all six Star Wars movies, was reportedly hospitalized April 9 in England for an undisclosed illness.

DEATH
Pioneering animator Ollie Johnston, 95, the last of Walt Disney's ''Nine Old Men'' who worked on films including Snow White, Pinocchio, and Fantasia, of natural causes, April 14, in Sequim, Wash. ''Ollie had such a huge heart, and it came through in all of his animation, which is why his work is some of the best ever done,'' said John Lasseter, head of Pixar/Disney animation, in a statement. — With additional reporting by Michael J. Powe

Legacy
STANLEY KAMEL (1943 -- 2008)
The character actor, who died April 8 in Hollywood of a heart attack, lent his talents to countless series: from bit parts on Mission: Impossible and Charlie's Angels to recurring roles on Melrose Place and Beverly Hills, 90210. More recently, he charmed audiences as wry therapist Dr. Kroger on USA's Monk. ''Stanley's...professionalism was only surpassed by his warmth, humor, and generosity of spirit,'' said Monk star Tony Shalhoub in a statement. ''I will miss him terribly.''

Originally posted Apr 18, 2008 Published in issue #988-989 Apr 25, 2008 Order article reprints