News Article

Monitor

ENGAGEMENTS

Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland, 23, and Dallas Cowboy Roy Williams, 23, announced their betrothal May 12 in NYC. It will be the first marriage for both.

BIRTHS

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow, 31, and husband Chris Martin, 27, welcomed Apple Blythe Alison Martin May 14 in London. She is the couple's first child. We look forward to lots of ''the Apple doesn't fall far from the tree'' jokes.... It's twin boys for actress Geena Davis, 47, and husband Dr. Reza Jarrahy, 33. Born May 6 in L.A., Kian William and Kaiis Steven join 2-year-old sis Alizeh Keshvar.

SPLITS

After nearly eight years of marriage, actor Kiefer Sutherland, 37, filed for divorce from his estranged wife, Elizabeth Kelly Winn, May 10 in L.A. The couple have no children together.

MERGERS

On May 12, Vivendi sold its Universal Entertainment branch to NBC for $3.65 billion in cash and a 20 percent minority stake in the newly merged company, NBC Universal. Bob Wright, vice chairman of GE, has been named the new company's CEO and chairman.

REPLACEMENTS

''20/20'' correspondent Elizabeth Vargas, 41, will get a seat behind the big desk, becoming John Stossel's coanchor for the ABC newsmag when Barbara Walters, 72, steps down this fall.

CITIZENSHIP

Who knew the beach babe wasn't a U.S. citizen? Actress Pamela Anderson, 36, passed the naturalization test to officially become an American on May 12. She will retain Canadian citizenship.

RETURNS

On May 16, CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves announced that ''Everybody Loves Raymond'' will return for a ninth -- and final -- season. As with ''Friends,'' only 16 episodes will be produced instead of the usual 24. Series star Ray Romano, 46, will earn an estimated $2 million per show, making him the highest-paid actor currently working in television.

COURTS

Actor Sylvester Stallone, 57, sued MGM Pictures, United Artists Pictures, and Chartoff-Winkler Productions on May 13 in L.A. The actor alleges the studios blocked the development of a ''Rocky VI'' movie and are producing a reality program (''The Real Rocky'') that illegally invokes Stallone's identity by using the Rocky name and character. The companies did not return calls for comment.... Guns N' Roses rockers Slash (ne Saul Hudson), 38, and Duff (ne Michael McKagan), 39, filed a breach-of-contract suit against former bandmate Axl Rose, 42, April 29 in L.A. The pair alleges that Rose continues to claim control of the band's original assets despite formally withdrawing from the group on Dec. 30, 1995. Rose did not return calls for comment.

DEATHS

Actor Tommy Farrell, 82, known for his sidekick roles in Westerns such as ''Gunfighters of the Northwest'' (1954), of natural causes, May 9, in Woodland Hills, Calif.... Actress Anna Lee (left), 91 -- Lila Quartermaine to devotees of the ABC soap ''General Hospital'' for more than two decades -- of pneumonia, May 14, in Beverly Hills.... Syd Hoff, 91, who wrote and illustrated the children's book ''Danny and the Dinosaur'', of pneumonia, May 12, in Miami Beach.... Actress Dorothy Van Engle, 87, who starred in pioneer black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux's ''Harlem After Midnight'' (1934), of congestive heart failure, May 10, in Ocala, Fla.... R&B artist John Whitehead (''Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now''), 55, of a gunshot wound to the head, May 11, in Philadelphia. Local police are investigating the case.

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