• U.S.

Milestones: Jan. 13, 1986

3 minute read

BORN. To Christie Brinkley, 31, blond supermodel; and her husband Billy Joel, 36, master songwriter whose latest video is The Night Is Still Young: their first child, a daughter; in New York City. Name: Alexa Ray. Weight: 6 lbs. 8 oz.

BORN. To Danuta Walesa, 36, and her husband Lech Walesa, 42, leader of Poland’s outlawed independent union, Solidarity, and winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize for Peace, now working most of the time at his old job as an electrician at the Lenin Shipyard: their eighth child, fourth daughter; in Gdansk. Name: Brygida Katarzyna. Weight: 8 lbs. 8 oz.

MARRIED. Garrison Keillor, 43, wry raconteur of U.S. small-town foibles on radio’s A Prairie Home Companion and in his phenomenal best seller (1,064,000 copies) Lake Wobegon Days; and Ulla Skaerved, 42, Danish former exchange student in Keillor’s Minnesota high school class of 1960, whom he met again at a 25th reunion last summer; both for the second time; in Holte, Denmark.

DIED. Eric Milliard (“Ricky”) Nelson, 45, clean-cut rock singer and former teenage idol who grew up on TV’s longest-running family sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952-66) performing such early recordings as A Teenager’s Romance (1957), Poor Little Fool (1958) and others, which sold more than 35 million copies by the time he was 21; in a DC-3 crash that also killed his fiancée and five members of his band; near De Kalb, Texas. Nelson had difficulty shedding his adolescent image after the TV program’s demise, and his albums did poorly, though he continued to tour. His biggest single ever, 1972’s Garden Party, told of his fans’ hostility toward his later music.

DIED. Harry Hopman, 79, Australian tennis player and coach whose rigorous training regimen as nonplaying captain of his country’s Davis Cup teams from 1950 to 1969 produced 15 victories and a corps of top players, including Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and John Newcombe; of a heart attack; in Seminole, Fla.

DIED. Sam Spiegel, 84, independent Hollywood producer of the fast-talking, cigar-chomping mold, whose grand-scale, big-budget pictures of the 1950s and ’60s, notably The African Queen (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962), won 23 Academy Awards, including three for best picture; in St. Martin, West Indies. Spiegel was a perfectionist who relentlessly drove his writers, directors and actors, but he commanded, or inveigled, loyalty: many who angrily quit his far-flung film sets at night were persuaded by morning to stay on. Born in what is now Poland, he produced his first U.S. picture, Tales of Manhattan (1942), under the pseudonym S.P. Eagle; only with Waterfront did he begin to risk his real name and reputation.

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