People in the news

By United Press International  |  Feb. 28, 2012 at 3:59 AM
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JAN BERENSTAIN: American children's book author Jan Berenstain has died after suffering a stroke, her son Mike said Monday. She was 88.

Berenstain wrote and illustrated the classic Berenstain Bears picture books with her husband Stan, who died in 2005 at age 82.

Mike Berenstain, who worked with his mother after his father died, told she suffered a stroke last Thursday and died the following day.

The first Berenstain Bears book, "The Big Honey Hunt," was published in 1962. More than 300 Berenstain books have been published since in more than 23 languages. There are more than 260 million copies in print, noted.

ELTON JOHN: The 20th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party raised $5.25 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS, organizers said Monday.

John and his husband David Furnish served as hosts of Sunday's gala at West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.

The list of stars who turned out for the dinner, cocktails and auction was headed by Academy Award-winning Best Actor Jean Dujardin.

The pop band Foster the People performed their hits "Pumped Up Kicks," "Helena Beat" and "Don't Stop (Color on the Walls)" at the event.

UMA THURMAN: Uma Thurman's publicist told Monday the 41-year-old U.S. actress is pregnant.

This will be her first child by her businessman fiance Arpad Busson, whom she began dating in 2007.

The "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill" star has a 13-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son with her ex-husband, actor Ethan Hawke.

JAMES SPADER: James Spader has decided to leave the U.S. sitcom "The Office" after one season, the show's producers said.

Spader joined the cast in Season 8, after the workplace comedy's original star Steve Carell left to focus on his film career.

"James always wanted this to be a one-year arc, and he now leaves us having created one of the most enigmatic and dynamic characters in television," executive producer Paul Lieberstein told Variety. "He's been a great friend to me and the show, helping us successfully transition into the post-Michael Scott years, and I'm grateful for that."

The entertainment industry trade newspaper said it is unclear how Spader's character, company Chief Executive Officer Robert California, will be written out of the series.

Spader is an Emmy Award-winning actor, who previously starred on "The Practice" and "Boston Legal."

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