Murdoch's Big News

Wedding bells for media czar Rupert Murdoch and television executive Wendy Deng, who were getting hitched yesterday at a private ceremony in New York, says Variety.

Details of the nuptials were a heavily guarded secret, with no media invited. An announcement is expected this weekend by Murdoch's spokesman.

The engagement of Murdoch, 68, and Deng, a 31-year-old executive of his Hong Kong-based Star Television service, was reported last December by an Australian magazine.

Salinger Samaritan

Talk about Father's Day gifts. It turns out that the person who bid $156,000 for hermit author J.D. Salinger's old love letters to Joyce Maynard is Peter Norton, a philanthropist and the retired head of the company that makes Norton Utilities software. "I plan to return the letters to Mr. Salinger or do whatever else Mr. Salinger lets me know he wants done with them," said Norton, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif.

"I share the widely expressed opinion that the work should be bought by someone sympathetic to Mr. Salinger's desire for privacy."

But the threats to Salinger's privacy seem never to end. This time his daughter is planning to spill the beans.

What daughter dear Peggy Salinger will prattle about in a memoir to be published next year is a deep secret. But the book is tentatively titled "The Dream Catcher," a play on her father's landmark 1951 novel and junior high school favorite, "Catcher in the Rye."

Her attorney, Philip Cowan, said Thursday that it will be "an interesting book, and I'm looking forward to reading it myself."

End Notes

Poor baby. When actress Elisabeth Shue tore her Achilles tendon while working out at the gym a few weeks ago, the injury was not only painful, but ill-timed.

Shue was in the process of shooting Columbia Pictures' "The Hollow Man" for director Paul Verhoeven when the accident occurred.

Columbia has announced it will suspend filming until Shue recovers . . .

Judi Dench has temporarily left David Hare's production of "Amy's View" on Broadway due to husband Michael Williams's illness.

Dench missed Wednesday night's performance and flew home to London Thursday afternoon to be with her actor husband, who is understood to be suffering from an extremely severe pulmonary infection. She will not perform through the weekend . . . Congrats to the knee-slapper whodunit "Shear Madness," which is the longest-running play in the history of the Kennedy Center. Today the comedy will reach its 5,000th show.

CAPTION: The cast of "Shear Madness," happy that the Kennedy Center whodunit has hit the 5,000 mark.