Arts and Entertainment Pregnant actress Halle Berry with Olivier Martinez

The 47-year-old has given birth to a baby boy

Weight problem: Robert De Niro will be 50 on 17 August. He is one of the great screen actors of the age, established forever by Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and The Deer Hunter. So why hasn't he done anything that good for a decade or more?

FIFTY is an age at which boxers and baseball players are gone, barrels of blurred anecdote hanging round the gym. Yet it is also the age at which politicians and businessmen can reckon on the next decade bringing the greatest challenge. Actors must somehow carry so many ways of being 50 inside their failing skins. And actors may observe as they try to stay in work that at 50 Gary Cooper did High Noon, Olivier was about to be Archie Rice on stage, Dirk Bogarde played Death in Venice and Cary Grant was up for To Catch a Thief.

Obituary: Don Drysdale

Don Drysdale, baseball player and broadcaster, died Montreal 3 July, aged 56. 'Big D' Drysdale joined the Brooklyn Dodgers as a pitcher in 1956 and moved west with them to Los Angeles in 1958. Won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the National League in 1962, and pitched 58 consecutive scoreless innings in 1968, a record that stood for 20 years. Elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. Author of Once a Bum, Always a Dodger (1990).

Obituary: Roy Campanella

Roy Campanella, baseball player and instructor: born Philadelphia 19 November 1921; played for Brooklyn Dodgers 1948- 57; elected to Baseball Hall of Fame 1969; married (three sons, two daughters); died Los Angeles 26 June 1993.

An American myth finally bites the dust

WASHINGTON - Clouds of acrid cigar smoke will doubtless billow from Babe Ruth's grave, but the war on tobacco here in all its guises brooks no exception, even for the national pastime. Mighty baseball sluggers, their cheeks bulging with chewing tobacco, may still be an American image - but not for much longer, writes Rupert Cornwell.

Obituary: Johnny Mize

Baseball player, died Demorest, Georgia 2 June, aged 80. Nicknamed the 'Big Cat'. Played for St Louis Cardinals and New York Giants, and led National League in home runs four times in 1939-48.

Letter: Transported back in time by a photograph

Sir: In the caption to your photograph of a horse-drawn tram (2 June), you say there were '296 such trams in London towards the end of the last century'. I was born in 1900 and lived in Wood Green. To visit my grandparents in Highbury New Park, I took a tram to Manor House, where I changed to a horse-tram (on an incline a trace horse was attached).

VIDEO / A League of Their Own (PG; 20/20)

Last summer's feel-good movie, and it really does. Geena Davis is strappingly radiant as the milkmaid turned baseball star, Madonna is not embarrassing, and Jon Lovitz is hilarious.

Obituary: Helen C. St Aubin

Helen C. St Aubin, baseball player, died Santa Barbara 8 December, aged 69. A star of the All- American Girls Professional Baseball League during the 1940s, known for her powerful batting swing. She inspired the film A League of Their Own, starring Madonna and Geena Davis.

Me and my Kit: Pat Borders, World Series baseball player

IT takes me only about 40 seconds to strap on my shinguards and chest protector. I wear the face mask over my plastic batting helmet; the flap hangs down to protect your throat. The mask can block your vision, and I try to throw it off as much as I can.

FILM / In a league of his own: Ron Shelton, ex-pro baseball player and director of Bull Durham and the forthcoming White Men Can't Jump, talks about sport and the movies with Sheila Johnston

A BLUNT-featured, and blunt-speaking man, Ron Shelton has the bulk of a professional sportsman - he played baseball for the Baltimore Orioles - combined with an athlete's grace. Now, however, he is a writer and director, and one or two American critics have him compared to John Huston. Not for his artistic excellence - Shelton would be the first to admit that he's not in that league. But partly for his gruff manner ('I think I'm loud, raucous and drink a lot,' he admits, '. . . after seeing The Dead I went back and read the story over and over and over . . . and then I got a divorce. Talk about a movie working') and partly for the way this expresses itself in his robust, often humorous movies about male bonding, mating rites and romantic follies.

FILM / Batting their eyelashes

A League of Their Own (PG). . . .Penny Marshall (US)

Letter: Rod, line and carp

Sir: Andrew Brown's claim that 'It was not until the Second World War that people learnt that they could catch carp with a rod and line' is wide of the mark.

OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Baseball: Taiwanese silver lining

TAIWAN'S baseball players may not have won the Olympics (they lost 11-1 to Cuba in the final) but they struck gold all right.
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Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

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A descent into madness in America's heartlands

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