About Town: Hitched, Hatched, Hired

9:44 PM PST 01/11/2011 by THR staff

Inside the industry’s celebrations and news.

GAIMAN WEDDING: Coraline and Doctor Who writer Neil Gaiman married musician and artist Amanda Palmer on Jan. 2 at the Berkeley, Calif., home of authors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. The pair surprised their guests — who included author Daniel Handler (pen name: Lemony Snicket) and wife, graphic artist Lisa Brown; composer Lance Horne; and Gaiman’s children, Michael and Holly — with the impromptu ceremony. The bride’s gown was the same dress she’d worn during her days as a human statue during the 1990s (“She’d just had it dry-cleaned,” Gaiman tells THR). Close friend and musician Jason Webley, who was ordained on the Internet and read E.E. Cummings’ poem “i thank you God for most this amazing” to end the ceremony, married the longtime couple, who plan to honeymoon in Tanzania.

WEDDINGS

Musician Carlos Santana wed drummer Cindy Blackman on Dec. 19 at the Ritz-Carlton on Maui. George Lopez and musicians Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter -— who also performed at the reception — were among the 180 attendees. The couple stayed in Hawaii for their honeymoon.

American Idol alum Kellie Pickler married longtime boyfriend Kyle Jacobs on a private island in the Caribbean on New Year’s Day. The couple had been dating since 2008.

ENGAGEMENTS

TV writer Lamar Sally (Rodney) popped the question to his girlfriend of more than a year, The View co-host Sherri Shepherd, on Dec. 26. It will be the second marriage for Shepherd, who is planning an August wedding in Chicago.

BIRTHS

Producer and MXN talent manager Mason Novick and wife Katie had their first child, son Dexter James, on Dec. 3 in Los Angeles.

Writer-musician Ahmet Zappa and his wife, designer and stylist Shana Muldoon, had their first child, daughter Halo Violetta, at 3:56 a.m. Dec. 28 in Los Angeles. “My wife is a rockstar,” he tweeted. “I am in awe.”

CONGRATS

Relativity Media, LLC  promoted COO Andrew Marcus to president of corporate development and strategy Jan. 7.

David Haslingden will become president and COO of Fox Networks Group after Tony Vinciquerra announced Jan. 6 that he is stepping down. Hernan Lopez was promoted to president and CEO of Fox International Channels, Haslingden’s former post. Additionally, Randy Freer and Eric Shanks will serve as co-presidents and COOs of Fox Sports Media Group.

Billy Mann was appointed president of creative at BMG North America on Jan. 5. He had been at EMI.

Brooke Chaffin was tapped as senior vp women and family at Disney Interactive Media Group on Jan. 5. Additionally, Robin Agranoff was promoted to vp programming at Disney Channels on Jan. 5.

Jennifer DeGuzman left her post as vp of communications at Bravo to join AOL’s team Jan. 10.

Consumer trend expert Melissa Lavigne-Delville joined NBC Universal as vp strategic insights for women Jan. 6.

Warner Music Group announced the appointment of Cameron Strang as CEO of Warner/Chappell Music on Jan. 4. He will take on the role of chairman July 1.

Margaret Low Smith will be senior vp news at NPR after Ellen Weiss stepped down Jan. 6.

Joshua Mintz was tapped as senior executive vp at Telemundo Entertainment on Jan. 6. Additionally, Marty Sokoler and Diana Fernandez were hired as vp sales at KVEA-TV Los Angeles and WSNS-TV Chicago, respectively.

Comedy Central’s Daily Show staff members Steve Bodow, Jennifer Flanz and Jim Margolis were promoted to co-executive producers Jan. 4, replacing departing executive producer Josh Lieb. Additionally, Tim Carvell became head writer and Pam DePace supervising producer.

Liz Janneman was elevated to executive vp ad sales at Ovation on Jan. 4.

Longtime producer Jonas Larsen was hired as Comedy Central’s vp specials on Jan. 5.

Tom Goldstone was promoted to executive producer of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS on Jan. 5.

Paramount Home Entertainment appointed Scott Guthrie executive vp sales and account management Jan. 5.

The MPAA named Paul Brigner senior vp and chief technology policy officer Jan. 5.

COURTS

Former Baywatch star David Charvet filed a lawsuit Jan. 5 against his agent, Tom Chasin, seeking repayment plus interest on a $100,000 loan to Chasin in June 2010.

DEATHS

Per Oscarsson, who starred in two of the Stieg Larsson Millennium movies, and wife Kia Ostling died in a house fire at their home in Sweden on Dec. 31.He was 83.

Jill Haworth died in New York on Jan. 4. The British actress, who starred in Cabaret on Broadway and the films Exodus and The Cardinal, was 65.

Former WMA agent Jerry Martin died in his sleep Dec. 16 at his home in Santa Monica. Martin, whose former clients included Ava Gardner and Mae West, was 80.

Stage actress Margot Stevenson, who appeared in Stage Door, You Can’t Take It With You and Little Women, among other plays, died Jan. 2 at her home in New York. She was 98.

BIRTHDAYS

Jan. 12: Screenwriter Margaret Nagle, John Lasseter

Jan. 13: Director John McNaughton, Shonda Rhimes

Jan. 14: The Collective co-founder Jeff Golenberg, Steven Soderbergh

Jan. 15: Theater director Jerry Mitchell

Jan. 16: John Carpenter

Jan. 17: Zooey Deschanel

 

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