PEOPLE

KRON’s Shaw is stepping down

The actress accepted a proposal from 29-year-old surgeon Reza Jarrahy. “They are very, very happy and excited to be engaged,” Davis’ publicist, Paul Bloch, said Monday. No wedding date has been set.

This just in: Popular local television veteran Suzanne Shaw is retiring from her role as an evening news anchor at KRON-TV Channel 4. People correspondent Chuck Barney reports that Shaw, who will continue to work on special projects for the station, is scheduled to sign off with a farewell newscast and tribute on Wednesday on “Newscenter 4 at 6.”

“I have been as lucky as a local TV anchor can be,” Shaw said. “Not many people get to build their television careers in the Bay Area and stay here for 24 years. But now my kids need me a lot more than the audience does. So, I’ve found the perfect solution in going part-time.”

Shaw began her career in 1975 as a reporter at KSBW/KSBY-TV in Salinas and San Luis Obispo. She also worked at KTVU-Channel 2 and KGO-Channel 7 before joining KRON in 1989.

CALISTA FLOCKHART DROVE HIM TO IT: As a nation mourns the irony of the self-destructive tendencies of Robert Downey Jr., which keep him from his rightful place in front of the camera, and the self-sustaining tendencies of Adam Sandler and Keanu Reeves, which allow them to batter box office revenue records, “Ally McBeal” watchers wait and wonder whether Downey’s Saturday drug arrest will affect his recurring role.

The answer is no one knows yet. The actor, whose eight already-filmed episodes are slated to run through Jan. 15, had been signed on to do two more shows. Downey’s on-screen chemistry with star Calista Flockhart has helped the show’s ratings jump 8 percent over last season, and TV critics were enthusiastic about his work. Now those two additional appearances are in jeopardy. Downey, 35, was not scheduled to work Monday but is part of the episode currently in production, Fox officials said. The show’s executive producer, David E. Kelley, declined comment to The Associated Press on Downey and the arrest.

People willing to comment, however, included the owner of Jack Duke Bail Bonds of Indio, who posted bail. Duke told the Los Angeles Times Monday that Downey told him: “He was very tired, that he’d been working 16, 18 hours a day on the television show, and that he was under a lot of pressure.” Marty Herskovitz, the Los Angeles County deputy district attorney involved with Downey’s previous drug case, said he was “surprised” by Downey’s arrest, because reports had indicated he was doing well. He said Downey could face a maximum of six years, eight months in prison if he is convicted of the potential charges stemming from the arrest.

Even the grand marshal of Sunday’s 69th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade had an opinion: “I hope that this time he’ll find a higher power greater than himself, and he’ll be humble to the point that he can turn his life over to that higher power and he can clean up this time,” said Dennis Hopper, who has sought treatment for admitted narcotics abuse. “It’s really, really important because the industry needs him, the world needs him, he’s a great, great talent and a very sensitive man, and I’m sorry for this terrible addiction.”

At least the Fox series’ stud parade will continue with Taye Diggs, who starred opposite Angela Basset in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” So far Diggs, whose six episodes air beginning Feb. 12, doesn’t know his role. “I’m hoping they’ll let me be a little wild and crazy as opposed to sit around and look cute,’ ” he said in the Dec. 4 issue of People magazine. “I’ll be someone’s love interest, I’ll be singing and I’m a lawyer, but that’s all I know.”

LET EVERY VOTE COUNT: Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris might be a stickler for deadlines, but she can’t stop the vote on whether she’s a hottie or not.

At a Web site named www.amihotornot.com, people are making judgment calls on regular Joes and Janes who submit their photographs and are asked to be rated on a scale of one (so not hot that they’d clear out of a chatroom) to 10 (hot enough to melt down a firewall). Although the site, created by Mountain View residents Jim Young and James Hong has been up for less than two months, it’s getting more than three million page views per weekday and even more on weekends.

Of the more than 90,000 photos submitted so far and someone is still counting someone plastered up ol’ “lavender eyelids” herself. At press time, some 841 votes gave her an average rating of 4.1. To jump straight to Harris, enter www.amihotornot.com/r/?eid=S8OLG&key=SQNAF. To see the latest rating, though, you’ll have to vote. Ah, the democracy of it all.

Today’s People Column was compiled by Vera H-C Chan from staff and wire reports. Comments? Write to us c/o the Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099. Or call 925-943-8262, fax 925-943-8362, or e-mail spin@cctimes.com.

Milestones

Son born: To Scott and Mary Weiland. “It was the most glorious moment in my life. He is healthy, wealthy and wiser than me,” said the Stone Temple Pilots singer. Noah Mercer Weiland was born Nov. 19 in a Los Angeles-area hospital, his New York City publicist Ken Weinstein said Monday.

Birthdays: Recording executive Berry Gordy Jr. (71), actress Hope Lange (69), former Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., (64), movie director Michael Ritchie (62), singer-songwriter Bruce Channel (60), singer Randy Newman (57), movie director Joe Dante (54), CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer (54), “Late Show” orchestra leader Paul Shaffer (51), actor Ed Harris (50), actress S. Epatha Merkerson (48), country singer Kristine Arnold of Sweethearts of the Rodeo (44), actor Judd Nelson (41), rock musician Matt Cameron of Soundgarden (38), comedian Jon Stewart (38), R&B singer Dawn Robinson (32).

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