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Charlotte Rae Died of Cardiac Arrest

8/13/2018 9:57 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Charlotte Rae died after going into cardiac arrest ... and she was also battling salivary gland cancer ... TMZ has learned.

According to the "Diff'rent Strokes" and 'Facts of Life' star's death certificate, Rae's immediate cause of death is listed as cardiopulmonary arrest, while metabolic acidosis -- an abnormal acid buildup -- and carcinoma of the right parotid gland were contributing factors.

In line with her announcement she had been diagnosed with bone cancer last year, the death certificate, obtained by TMZ, does not include any other significant conditions.

As we reported ... Rae passed away last Sunday in her L.A.-area home. She played the beloved character Mrs. Garrett on "Diff'rent Strokes" before starring in the spin-off, "The Facts of Life."

Charlotte was 92. RIP 

Margot Kidder Death Ruled Suicide By Drug Overdose

8/8/2018 4:05 PM PDT
Breaking News

"Superman" actress Margot Kidder died from an intentional drug and alcohol overdose ... according to the Coroner's Office.

The Park County Coroner says Kidder's overdose was self-inflicted. TMZ broke the story ... Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the '70s and '80s "Superman" movies, was found May 13 in her Livingston, MT home. The Coroner has not specified what drugs she took.

Her daughter, Maggie McGuane, told the AP the family wanted to be "open and honest" about the suicide to avoid any "cloud of shame." 

Margot had struggled for years, very publicly at times, with bipolar disorder. She was 69.

'Facts of Life' & 'Diff'rent Strokes' Charlotte Rae Dead at 92

8/5/2018 7:39 PM PDT
Breaking News

Charlotte Rae -- the actress who played the beloved Mrs. Garrett in "Diff'rent Strokes" and "The Facts of Life" -- has reportedly died.

According to EW, reps for the Emmy-nominated star confirmed she'd passed away Sunday in her L.A.-area home. While a cause of death wasn't made immediately clear, Rae announced last year she had been diagnosed with bone cancer that spring.

Rae starred as the Drummond family's kooky housekeeper, Edna Garrett, on 'DS' ... who proved to be so popular with viewers that she eventually got her own spinoff with 'Facts,' where she played the same character heading up at an all-girls boarding school. 

Both shows were wildly successful between the late '70s and mid-'80s -- but they were just a small slice of her long career. Rae also had starring and supporting roles in "The Love Boat," "101 Dalmatians: The Series," "Sesame Street," "Car 54, Where Are You?" "The Phil Silvers Show," "ER," and "Girl Meets World," among others. She has 93 acting credits to her name.

Charlotte was 92. RIP

WWE's Grandmaster Sexay Brian Christopher Lawler Dead at 46 After Suicide Hanging

7/29/2018 2:21 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Former WWE champ Brian Christopher Lawler -- aka Grandmaster Sexay -- has died after hanging himself in jail this weekend. 

Lawler's mother, Kay, tells TMZ Sports Brian passed away Sunday surrounded by family and friends after being placed on life support Saturday night following a suicide attempt in jail. He was surrounded by his father, Jerry Lawler, his brother, Kevin, and other family. 

We're told he died around 3:40 PM CDT. 

As we reported ... guards found Lawler had tried hanging himself in his jail cell outside Memphis. He was taken to a hospital where he remained in critical condition until late Sunday morning.

Lawler was arrested earlier this month for DUI after leading cops on a chase. As we first told you ... cops say he reeked of booze and had an open 12 ounce can in his center console, and they arrested him on the spot. Bail had been set at $40k. 

Brian had a successful run in the WWE himself, mostly known as the other half of popular tag team Too Cool and as Scotty 2 Hotty's longtime wrestling partner. They won a tag team championship together.

WWE released a statement on Brian's death, saying "WWE is saddened to learn that Brian Christopher Lawler, who is best known in WWE as Too Cool's Grandmaster Sexay, has passed away. Lawler, who is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler, competed during the height of the Attitude Era. WWE extends its condolences to Lawler's family, friends and fans."

He was 46. RIP

WWE Hall of Famer Nikolai Volkoff Dead at 70

7/29/2018 11:02 AM PDT

WWE Hall of Famer Nikolai Volkoff died this weekend.

His onetime ring partner, The Iron Sheik -- with whom he won WrestleMania I's World Tag Team Championship in '85 -- confirmed in a tweet Sunday that Volkoff had passed away. 

Volkoff, who's real name was Josip Nikolai Peruzović, wrestled in the WWWF from 1968 to 1971 where he won a tag team title in 1970. After that, he went on to wrestle singles ... and later returned to the WWWF between '74 and '80 and then again for a second time in '84.

Volkoff had a successful run teaming up with Sheik in multiple wrestling events between '84 and '87 as well as other wrestlers in the years after. He went back and forth between foreign heel and hero through the '90s and eventually scaled back wrestling through the 2000s ... although he did make appearances in WWE. 

Although he was Croatian, Volkoff was portrayed as a Russian ... and would often rile up the crowd by singing the Russian National Anthem.

WWE released a statement on Volkoff's passing, saying in part ... "As one of the greatest villains sports-entertainment had ever seen, Volkoff’s infamous rendition of the Soviet National Anthem before his matches made him an instant icon in the eyes of the WWE Universe as a Superstar they truly loved to hate ... WWE extends its condolences to Peruzović’s family, friends and fans."

Volkoff was inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame in 2005. He was 70 years old.

RIP

Lil Pump & Smokepurpp Bring Out XXXTentacion's Mom Play 'SAD!' at Lit Up Fest

7/29/2018 2:00 PM PDT

XXXTentacion's memory was alive and well this weekend in Florida after 2 of his contemporaries brought his mother onstage to pay tribute to the slain MC. 

Lil Pump and Smokepurpp were performing Saturday night in Miami for the Lit Up Music Festival, when at one point they brought out a surprise guest ... X's mom, Cleopatra Bernard. She came out flashing an 'X' sign with her arms and received a huge round of applause. 

The rappers played X's hit song, "SAD!," over the loudspeakers and let the track run mostly uninterrupted. It was an emotional moment for sure as Cleo maintained her 'X' stance.

As we've reported ... a third suspect, Robert Allen, was arrested last week in connection to X's killing in June. A grand jury indicted him for first degree murder and armed robbery. 

Two other men -- Dedrick Williams and Michael Boatwright -- have been arrested as well on suspicion of murder. A fourth man who cops have ID'd as a trigger man, Trayvon Newsome, is still at large. 

Jockey Victor Espinoza Injured After Horse Dies on Him During Training at Del Mar

7/22/2018 1:58 PM PDT
Exclusive Video

Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza was sent to the hospital this weekend after a horse he was riding died on the track ... and the scene looked brutal.

Victor was hospitalized with multiple injuries Sunday in Del Mar, California after his horse, Bobby Abu Dhabi, went into cardiac arrest while training ahead of multiple scheduled races. The horse's owner, Brian Trump, confirmed the horse had died.

Based on video of the immediate aftermath of the fall -- obtained by TMZ Sports -- it appears Victor was lying motionless for a while before getting help.

As for his status now, he's said to be experiencing shoulder soreness and numbness -- although, he was reportedly conscious and moving. Safe to say, he's out of Sunday's competition. 

Bobby Abu Dhabi had a great run, usually with Victor on his back. He recently took third at Belmont, and placed high (including a couple first place wins) in a number of other races as well.

RIP

Ex-NHL Goalie Ray Emery Dead at 35 ... From Apparent Drowning

7/15/2018 2:25 PM PDT

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery died this weekend from an apparent drowning. 

Emery was reportedly swimming Sunday at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club in Ontario, where police say his body was discovered after an early morning swim near the docks. They say he failed to emerge after diving in with a friend ... and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

The NHL Alumni Association tweeted about Emery's death shortly after the news broke, offering condolences to his friends and family. 

Emery played in the NHL from 2003 to 2015, serving as a goaltender for the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks. He brought the Senators to the Stanley Cup finals in '07 and eventually won the title with the Blackhawks in 2013. 

He was arrested last year for allegedly attacking his ex-girlfriend with a weapon in 2016. The alleged victim, BET host Keshia Chante, claimed he'd abused her several times that year. 

Emery was 35. 

Anthony Bourdain Daughter Gets Most of Fortune

7/5/2018 3:17 PM PDT
Breaking News

Anthony Bourdain left a sizable estate behind and most of it is going straight to his 11-year-old daughter, Ariane.

A copy of Bourdain's will was filed in a New York court Thursday and the celebrity chef/TV host left behind about $1.2 million in known assets at the time of his death. That includes $425k in cash, $250k in personal property, $35k in brokerage accounts, and about $500k in royalties and residuals ... according to the NY Daily News.

Bourdain's will also reportedly indicates an outstanding $1 million mortgage, but doesn't specify the location of that property.

Ariane gets the bulk of his assets, and his estranged wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, is the executor of the will.

Tina Turner Firstborn Son Dead ... Commits Suicide

7/3/2018 2:33 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tina Turner's oldest son has committed suicide ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Craig Raymond Turner died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his home in Studio City, CA. Authorities arrived at his place just after noon Tuesday and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Craig was born when Tina was 18 ... before she married Ike Turner. Once Tina and Ike wed, Ike adopted Craig. His biological father was a saxophonist named Raymond Hill, who performed with Ike's band.

The sad news of his death comes as Tina is making a rare trip outside her new home country of Switzerland to attend Paris Fashion Week events. 

Craig was in the real estate business in the San Fernando Valley. He was 59.

RIP

Joe Jackson Family Luncheon After Private Funeral

7/3/2018 10:14 AM PDT

The Jackson family was reunited again following the funeral for their late patriarch, Joe Jackson, which included his kids, grandchildren ... and his wife, Katherine.

A ton of the immediate and extended Jackson troupe were in attendance for a luncheon Monday after Joe's private service at Forest Lawn in Glendale, CA. It's the same cemetery where Michael Jackson was entombed.

Of the famous Jacksons who showed face ... Janet Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Rebbie Jackson, Michael's youngest son Blanket, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, his lifelong partner Katherine ... with whom he had a strained relationship in the last years of his life.

Stevie Wonder also made an appearance.

RIP

Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul To Be Buried in Kiss Casket ... Just Like Brother Darrell

6/28/2018 11:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul is going to be laid to rest in his forever hardware, identical to that of his late bandmate and brother ... courtesy of none other than Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.

Sources close to Vinnie's family tell TMZ that the recently deceased musician and Pantera co-founder will be buried in a custom KISS casket provided by Simmons and co.

We're told the casket was offered as a gift at Vinnie's family's request. His brother, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was buried in the original prototype in 2004 after his untimely death. As we reported ... Vinnie died in his sleep this past week, but the cause of death is unknown for now. He was 54.

Vinnie will also be buried in some of his clothes -- including his hat, shoes and flannel ... among other items. We're told Vinnie will be put into the ground Saturday at the same cemetery in Arlington, TX, where Darrell and his mom lie.

A family source tells us a public memorial concert honoring Vinnie is going down Sunday at the Bomb Factory in Dallas at 3:33 CST. The time is said to be a tribute to Darrell -- known as "Dime Time." The event is free, wristbands will be given out at noon.

'Seinfeld' & 'Spider-Man' Actor Stanley Anderson Dead at 78

6/28/2018 9:26 AM PDT

The guy who sentenced the 'Seinfeld' squad to a year behind bars in the series finale -- and who helped turned Willem Dafoe into the Green Goblin -- has died.

Actor Stanley Anderson passed away Sunday just six weeks after being diagnosed with brain cancer, according to a family statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Anderson is perhaps best known at Judge Arthur Vandelay, who presided over Jerry Seinfeld and co.'s criminal trial in season 9's final episode, where the gang was thrown in jail for violating the "Good Samaritan Law" in a fake town in Massachusetts.

He also played General Slocum in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" -- who told Norman Osborn he was gonna cut his funding if he didn't try his ability enhancing serum on a human subject ... thus forcing Norm to try it on himself and become Spidey's arch nemesis.

Anderson has starred in a number of other movies and shows over the years, including parts in "RoboCop 3," "Armageddon," "Runaway Jury," "NYPD Blue," "The Drew Carey Show," "Law & Order," and many, many others. His acting career dates back to the '50s.

He tended to play men of authority -- doctors, judges, psychiatrists ... the President. Makes sense too ... he had quite the on-camera presence.

Stanley was 78. RIP

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