The Fix

Johnny Cash and John Ritter, RIP. Plus: Halle and Nicole are among "best dressed"; Britney and Mariah are not.

By Amy Reiter

Published September 12, 2003 2:44PM (EDT)

So September 12 turns out to be a sad day too. Today, news comes that Johnny Cash has died at 71, after years of weathering myriad health problems. "Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure," Cashs manager, Lou Robin, told the press.

Also dead: John Ritter, of "Threes Company" fame, of a "dissection of the aorta," due to a flaw in his heart of which he had been unaware. Ritter, who would have turned 55 next Wednesday, collapsed on Thursday night on the set of his show "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" and was rushed to the hospital, where doctors were unable to save him.

"It's just stunning, unbelievable," Ritters longtime assistant, Susan Wilcox, told reporters. "Everybody loved John Ritter. Everybody loved working with him ... Whatever set he was working on, he made it a very fun place."

In lighter news  Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, and Halle Berry top People magazines annual best dressed list, while Britney Spears, Lil' Kim and Mariah Carey are derided for making bad style choices. (Reuters)  Kelly and Ozzy Osbourne set to sing duet on forthcoming album. (Billboard)  Jennifer Lopez said to have consulted spiritual adviser about the postponement of her wedding to Ben Affleck. (N.Y. Post)  And David Letterman says hes poised to be a daddy at age 56. (N.Y. Post)

Best of the Rest
Page Six: Walter and Carol Matthaus whopping apartment at Trump World Tower goes on market for $4.3 million; Orlando Magic star Tracy McGrady estimates that 5 percent of the players in the NBA are gay, says hes not among them; Hugh Grant endorses butt-cleavage-showing jeans on women, telling Premiere magazine, "Men don't really mind them at all. And yes, before you ask, we like to see the panties. Seeing the panties is great"; Kerry Kennedy still said to be carrying on with married lover Bruce Colley.

Rush and Molloy: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck publicly canoodle in apparent attempt to persuade press that things are hunky-dory between them, despite wedding postponement; Nicole Kidman speaks fondly of New York; Bravo refuses to run ad from gay dating service during "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy," citing "Standards & Practices issues"; Naomi Campbell speaks of close friendship with Nelson Mandela: "He always wants to know how I'm doing," she says. "My personal life, my love life, my problems, I just tell him."

Boldface Names: Bebe Buell on life as a rock-and-roll "muse": "It's, `Honey, where's the peacock outfit? What about my leather pants?' You have to swat them clean with a brush."

Amy Reiter

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