Milestones Sep. 29, 1997

SENTENCED. MARTIN LAWRENCE, 32, strident star of the canceled sitcom Martin; to two years' probation, after pleading no contest to battery; in Los Angeles.

DIED. JIMMY WITHERSPOON, 74, smoky-voiced singer whose career both rode and propelled the post-World War II transition of jazz blues into rhythm and blues; in Los Angeles. His hits included Ain't Nobody's Business and No Rollin' Blues.

DIED. JUDITH MERRIL, 74, science-fiction dame of peerless anthologies and foreboding novels such as Shadow on the Hearth; of heart failure; in Toronto. One of the first female S-F writers, Merril voiced new--but still bleak--concerns, writing, for example, about a...

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