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ENGAGED

The Station Agent actor Peter Dinklage, 35, and theater director Erica Schmidt, 28, plan to wed. No date has been set.

WEDDINGS

Proving yet again that hot chicks dig rock stars, blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, 29, wed former Miss USA Shanna Moakler, 29, Oct. 30. It is her first marriage, his second.

EXPECTING

Eric Clapton, 59, and wife Melia, 28, will greet their third child in January, to join siblings Julie Rose, 3, and Ella Mae, 1. Clapton has one child from a previous relationship.

BIRTHS

Mighty Aphrodite's Mira Sorvino, 37, and her husband, actor Chris Backus, 23, welcomed a daughter, their first, Nov. 3. The couple has not released the child's name.... CSN&Y musician Stephen Stills, 59, and wife Kristen, 38, welcomed Oliver Ragland Stills, Oct. 25, in L.A. The couple has another son, Henry, 8. Stills has five more children from other relationships.

PREMIERE

Aerosmith frontman/Polar Express elf Steven Tyler always wanted to voice ''cartoons and stuff — not being far from one myself.''

COURTS

Only in Hollywood, kids... Actor Jim Belushi, 50, filed suit Nov. 2 in L.A. against his next-door neighbor Julie Newmar, 71, for civil harassment and defamation. Belushi is accusing the former Catwoman of verbally assaulting him and his family and ''peering over the fence,'' among other things, in an effort to ''force Belushi out of his neighborhood.'' He is seeking $1 million in damages. Reps for Newmar state: ''Are you kidding? The only one Catwoman stalks is Batman, Adam West.''... On Nov. 2, film producer Martin Ransohoff sued Paramount Pictures for breach of oral contract, claiming that departing studio head Sherry Lansing agreed to finance his movie The Last Ride in 2003, then pushed husband William Friedkin to be the director, even though he was unavailable, tying up production indefinitely. Reps for Paramount say that Ransohoff, who is seeking $2 million, had one meeting with Friedkin (who passed on the film) and that the suit ''is completely without merit.''... Actor Burt Reynolds, 68, filed suit Nov. 8 against ex-girlfriend Pamela Seals, claiming that Seals was threatening to make ''false allegations of physical and verbal abuse" unless Reynolds paid her ''what would amount to millions of dollars." The Smokey and the Bandit star is seeking a permanent injunction, a temporary restraining order, and unspecified damages. Seals' lawyer responds, ''My client is not trying to blackmail Mr. Reynolds; she just wants what he promised her after being together for 16 years,'' and claims to be filing a countersuit.

AILING

Actress Patty Duke, 57, had single-bypass heart surgery Nov. 3 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and was released Nov. 9. A hospital spokesperson said, ''She is on the road to a full and complete recovery.''... LL Cool J (né James Todd Smith), 36, canceled the last 12 dates of his tour Oct. 29, due to an abdominal ailment. Reps for the rapper, who is currently filming Last Holiday, say, ''He has to keep his physical exertion to a minimum.''

DEATHS

Oscar-nominated cinematographer Charles F. Wheeler (Tora! Tora! Tora!), 88, of complications from Alzheimer's and a stroke, Oct. 28, in Orange, Calif.... Jazz pianist Joe Bushkin, 87, who cowrote ''Oh! Look at Me Now,'' Frank Sinatra's first hit, of complications from pneumonia, Nov. 3, in Santa Barbara.... Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Pete Jolly (né Peter Ceragioli Jr.), 72, heard on the soundtracks of more than 200 films and TV shows, of complications from bone-marrow cancer and an irregular heartbeat, Nov. 6, in Pasadena.... James H. Binger, 88, chairman of Broadway's Jujamcyn Theatres, of colon cancer, Nov. 3, in Minneapolis.... Playwright Gibson Kente (How Long?), 72, of complications from AIDS, Nov. 7, in Soweto, South Africa.

Originally posted Nov 12, 2004 Published in issue #793 Nov 19, 2004 Order article reprints
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