Engaged He must be one tough dude. Though no date is set, Xena: Warrior Princess star Lucy Lawless, 29, and Robert Tapert, 42, an executive producer on Xena and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, have announced plans to wed. It's Tapert's first marriage and the second for Lawless, who has a 9-year-old daughter, Daisy, from a previous marriage that ended in 1995.
Weddings Actress Angela Bassett (Contact), 39, and actor Courtney B. Vance (The Preacher's Wife), 37, were married Oct. 12 in L.A. It's the first marriage for both.
Lawsuits Radio-head Howard Stern, 43, filed a $1.5 million breach-of-contract suit against production company Ministry of Film, Oct. 8, in L.A. According to court papers, Stern claims company execs promised to pair him with Melanie Griffith in a romantic comedy titled Jane, though they knew there was inadequate financing for the film. ''Howard was never pay or play,'' says Ministry chief Alan Mruvka. ''[He] knew all along that financing was an issue. It's a totally meritless lawsuit.''
Recovering Comedian Dana Carvey, 42, was released from Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae, Calif., Sept. 27, after undergoing angioplasty to open a clogged artery two days earlier. According to Carvey's spokeswoman, the comic's condition is ''wonderful.''
Deaths Author Harold Robbins, 81, of respiratory heart failure, Oct. 14, in Palm Springs, Calif. Robbins' 25 books, including such pulp classics as The Betsy, Dreams Die First, and The Carpetbaggers, have sold more than 600 million copies worldwide. Nearly all were made into features or TV movies ... Studio executive Robert H. O'Brien, 93, of a stroke, Oct. 6, in Seattle. O'Brien was president of MGM from 1963 to '69, when the studio produced such hits as Doctor Zhivago and 2001: A Space Odyssey ... Actor-producer John Ashley, 62, of a heart attack, Oct. 3, in New York City. In the '60s, Ashley appeared in TV shows and films including The Beverly Hillbillies and Hud. He went on to produce such shows as The A-Team and Walker, Texas Ranger. At the time of his death, Ashley was a line producer on the upcoming feature Scarred City ... Screenwriter Millard Lampell, 78, of lung cancer, Oct. 3, in Ashburn, Va. Lampell survived the blacklist in the '50s and went on to write a number of TV movies, including Rich Man, Poor Man. In 1966, he won an Emmy for the TV drama Eagle in a Cage.