People in the news

By United Press International
Actress Kristin Chenoweth arrives at the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Barbra Streisand in Los Angeles on February 11, 2011. UPI/Jim Ruymen
Actress Kristin Chenoweth arrives at the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honoring Barbra Streisand in Los Angeles on February 11, 2011. UPI/Jim Ruymen | License Photo

The latest news on today's hottest celebrities ...

MARIA COLE: Maria Cole, wife of late music icon Nat "King" Cole and mother of singer Natalie Cole, died in Florida after a bout with cancer, her children said. She was 90.


Natalie, Timolin and Casey Cole said their jazz musician mother died Tuesday. At the time of her death she lived in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

"Our mom was in a class all by herself. She epitomized, class, elegance, and truly defined what it is to be a real lady. We are so blessed and privileged to have inherited the legacy that she leaves behind along with our father. She died how she lived -- with great strength, courage and dignity, surrounded by her loving family," her daughters said in a joint statement.

Born Maria Hawkins in Boston in 1922, she was educated at Palmer Memorial Institute in North Carolina and went on to perform with jazz greats Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington.


She and Cole were married in 1948 by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. at Harlem's famous Abyssinian Baptist Church. The couple spent the 1950s traveling throughout Europe performing and recording songs for Capitol Records.

After her husband died of cancer in 1965, she produced plays, sang on the "Ed Sullivan Show" and created the Cole Cancer Foundation, her children noted.

She worked for the National Kidney Foundation, the Urban League and the Cardiac Research Foundation, Sloane Kettering Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Nat King Cole Memorial Fellowship at Tanglewood Music Center and Nat King Cole Generation Hope Inc., founded by her daughters, Timolin and Casey.

A private funeral service for Cole will be held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif., her family said.

KRISTIN CHENOWETH: Kristin Chenoweth was injured Wednesday by a piece of falling lighting equipment on the New York set of the TV show "The Good Wife," TMZ reported.

The actress fell to the ground and hit her head after wind blew the equipment and caused it to collapse.

Paramedics called to the scene placed Chenoweth in a neck brace and moved her onto a stretcher before transporting her to a New York hospital, TMZ said.


Chenoweth recently joined the cast of the legal drama, which is gearing up for its fourth season on CBS.

VERA WANG: Vera Wang's publicist says the New York fashion designer has separated from Arthur Becker, her husband of 23 years.

"They remain devoted parents to their two daughters," Wang's company president, Mario Grauso, said in a statement to Women's Wear Daily.

No reason was given for the split. said Becker has his own business ventures, but is also involved in Wang's fashion empire.

A friend of the designer told Women's Wear Daily the couple "will not let this impact the running of the company. They have worked too hard to build it up."

IAIN GLEN: British actor Iain Glen is to guest star on the science-fiction series "Haven" next season, Syfy said Wednesday.

Glen is best known for his work on TV's "Game of Thrones" and "Downton Abbey."

On the Oct. 26 installment of "Haven," he will portray a "refined yet bitter man who has been trapped inside his house for more than 27 years," a synopsis said.

Based on Stephen King's novella "The Colorado Kid," "Haven" follows former FBI agent Audrey Parker, who becomes a police officer in the small town of Haven, Maine, and soon discovers its many secrets. The show stars Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour.


Season 3 of the show is to begin Sept. 21.

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