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'Up In Smoke' Actress June Fairchild Dies from Cancer

2/19/2015 8:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
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0219-june-fairchild-united-artist-01June Fairchild -- the actress best known for her iconic Ajax snorting scene in "Up In Smoke" -- has died at 68 ... and friends are hoping her former Cheech & Chong co-stars can help with her funeral costs. 

Fairchild had a big movie career in the '70s -- besides 'Smoke' ... she appeared in "Head" with The Monkees ... and "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" with Clint Eastwood.

She's also widely credited for naming the band "Three Dog Night" ... while dating lead singer Danny Hutton

June was put in hospice care over the weekend, and died Tuesday night after a long battle with liver cancer. 

Sources close to Fairchild tell us her last few years were difficult financially. She'd been homeless for several years. We're told her friends are reaching out to Tommy Chong to see if he can pitch in for her funeral and burial expenses.

Aunt Jemima 'Heirs' Cutoff From Pancake Billions You Need Batter Proof

2/19/2015 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF


Two guys claiming to be heirs to the real life Aunt Jemima couldn't pour it on thick enough to convince a judge -- their shot at $3 billion just got tossed out of court.  

According to docs obtained by TMZ ... D.W. Hunter and Larnell Evans, Jr. went to court armed with a pretty thin story to prove they're the great-grandsons of Anna Short Harrington -- who portrayed Aunt J. from 1935 until the '50s.

As TMZ first reported ... the men sued PepsiCo, Quaker Oats, and 2 other companies for royalties they feel Harrington had been screwed out of while her image was being used to hawk flapjacks.

Once they got to court ... Hunter told the judge his grandmother once gave him a photo of Harrington -- a photo he no longer has -- and claimed that proved his relation. Hunter and Evans also said they tried to locate Harrington's grave in Syracuse, NY. 

Not shockingly, the judge said that so-called evidence fell flatter than a ... well, you know.

Case dismissed. 

Bruce Jenner Video Captures Entire Crash Bruce Plowed into Both Cars

2/17/2015 2:35 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0217_bruce_jenner_crash_scene_splash-4A MTA bus caught the entire Bruce Jenner car crash on video and sources tell TMZ it squarely shows Bruce struck both cars, and the Lexus driver NEVER made contact with the Prius. 

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... they are in possession of the video. Sources familiar with the bus in question -- which was directly behind the Hummer -- tell TMZ there are cameras mounted on the front, back and sides, and the videos show the entire accident. 

Law enforcement will not tell us what's on the video, but sources familiar with the video in question tell us it's clear the Lexus never made contact with the Prius. Bruce hit the Lexus, which propelled it into oncoming traffic and then struck the Hummer. Bruce then continued on and hit the Prius.

021715_bruce_jenner_accident_recreation_launch_v4We obtained a re-creation of the accident, which was NOT based on the video but which sources tell us accurately reflects what is on the MTA video. The re-creation, however, does not show the braking of Bruce's or the other vehicles, which could be a factor. 

The MTA video is critical ... because Bruce -- and not the Lexus driver who died -- hit the Prius, it makes a more compelling case that he was following too close, which opens the door to a possible vehicular manslaughter prosecution.

Lesley Gore 'It's My Party' Singer Dead

2/16/2015 12:24 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news


Lesley Gore -- who exploded on the music scene with "It's My Party" -- has died.

Gore, who followed her 1963 hit with a string of huge songs, including "Judy's Turn to Cry," "You Don't Own Me," "Maybe I Know," "She's a Fool" and "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows," also composed songs for the movie "Fame" in 1980. Gore was nominated for an Academy Award for one of the songs, "Out Here on My Own."

Quincy Jones discovered Gore when she was a teen and guided her to spectacular success.  

Gore used one of her songs, "You Don't Own Me," as an anthem for reproductive rights during the 2012 Presidential election.

Gore was openly gay and leaves behind a partner, Lois Sasson

We're told she died in a NYC hospital following a battle with lung cancer.





'Octopussy' Villain Louis Jourdan Dead at 93

2/15/2015 3:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0215-louis-jourdan-octopussy-MGM-01Louis Jourdan -- who played Afghan prince Kamal Khan in "Octopussy" -- has died at the age of 93.

Jourdan reportedly died at his home in Beverly Hills Saturday ... but details surrounding how he passed weren't immediately available.

The French actor also famously played the role of Gaston in "Gigi" ... and his character Khan in the James Bond flick will go down in history as one of 007's best adversaries.

In 2010, Jourdan was awarded the Legion d'Honneur in L.A. ... with his buddies Sidney Poitier and Kirk Douglas in attendance.


Janis Joplin Band Founder Sam Andrew Dead

2/13/2015 1:51 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF


The man who created the band that shot Janis Joplin to superstardom has died.

Sam Andrew founded the group Big Brother and the Holding Company and recruited Janis in 1966.

In 1968 they released several monster hits including, "Piece of My Heart," and "Summertime," on which Sam played lead guitar. The songs became anthems in the '60s.

Janis quit the group at the end of 1968 and brought Sam along. They recorded one album together, "I Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama!"  

Janis died in 1970 and Sam returned to Big Brother and toured until the 1990s. 

Sam was 73. He died in his wife's arms after suffering a heart attack several weeks back.




Suge Knight I Was Ambushed by Gunmen

2/11/2015 12:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0131-suge-knight-tmz-03Suge Knight now has a video of the entire parking lot altercation that resulted in a man's death -- and sources connected to Suge tell us it shows someone holding a gun and pointing it ominously at Suge, and that person is Cle "Bone" Sloan

Our Suge sources believe the video clearly shows the fight leading up to the fatal hit and run was an ambush. We're told you see a gun in Bone's hand ... and it looks like another person is also there holding a gun.

In the video ... after Suge runs over Bone and Terry Carter, someone walks over and takes the gun from Bone's hand and walks away with it.

And get this -- our Suge sources say based on the video and information ... they now believe Carter was part of the ambush. You'll recall, Carter drove with Suge to the meeting and set it up.

We're told the video was shot by surveillance cameras in the Tam's hamburger joint parking lot. We'd been told by the owner of Tam's that the cameras were inoperative, but apparently that was not the case.

What's strange is ... law enforcement sources tell us cops believe the video will help their case against Suge. Obviously, Suge's side sees it much differently. 

update_graphic_red_bar2:40 PM PT -- Suge had another case to deal with Wednesday -- he and Katt Williams allegedly robbed a photog's camera in Beverly Hills last year. A preliminary hearing was held in L.A. County court, but neither defendant could appear.

Katt is out of town on tour ... and Suge is still being held without bail in the murder case. Their attorneys, Shawn Holley (Katt) and David Kenner (Suge) appeared in court. The preliminary hearing was moved to Feb. 19 ... when Suge and Katt will have to be present.


Bruce Jenner 911 Calls Lexus 'Destroyed'

2/11/2015 1:13 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF


The people who called 911 immediately after Bruce Jenner's horrific car accident instantly recognized the magnitude of the accident, telling the dispatcher the Lexus was "destroyed."

As we reported, the driver of the Lexus was killed instantly after Bruce's SUV plowed into her car, sending it into oncoming traffic where it was struck by a Hummer.

The callers -- bystanders who happened to witness the crash -- are both fairly calm.

Cops are looking for witnesses to determine exactly what happened immediately before the crash.

Bruce Jenner Not Under Influence of Rx Drugs, Alcohol During Fatal Crash

2/11/2015 10:46 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF



12:15 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell us that Bruce had a blood alcohol level of 0.00 at the time of the accident. 


Bruce Jenner had nothing in his system that impacted his ability to drive at the time he struck a Lexus on Pacific Coast Highway ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. has determined based on field sobriety tests, blood tests and observations that Bruce had nothing in his system that impaired his driving abilities.  

As one law enforcement source put it, "He was balanced out. He wasn't under the influence. We know that."

Our sources say the blood tests would show anything in his system, including hormonal drugs, but they are confident after their analysis drugs and alcohol played no part in the accident

Jerry Tarkanian Legendary NCAA Hoops Coach Dies at 84

2/11/2015 8:51 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news


Jerry Tarkanian -- one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time -- has passed away at a Las Vegas hospital after battling a respiratory ailment ... this according to his son. 

The 84-year-old -- aka "Tark the Shark" -- was first hospitalized Monday ... but his health took a serious turn for the worse and he ultimately passed away Wednesday morning. 

Jerry's son Danny tweeted the news moments ago, "Coach Tark, my father, the greatest man I have ever known, passed today, to take his place in heaven. I will miss him every day of my life."

Tarkanian led UNLV to the NCAA national championship in 1990 ... and helped them reach the Final Four the following year.

Tark coached his teams to a 729-201 record in 31 years at the D1 level.

Suge Knight Feud Over 'Compton' Movie Led to Fatal Confrontation

2/10/2015 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Suge Knight Straight Outta ComptonDr. Dre never asked Suge Knight for permission to include his likeness in the movie "Straight Outta Compton" ... and that sparked the fight which ended with the alleged murder in a parking lot.

Sources connected to Suge tell TMZ ... he got word he was included in the film, and wanted to talk to Dre about how he was being portrayed. As we've reported ... Suge's friend Terry Carter helped set up the meeting.

As for what Suge was so worried about -- a new trailer for the movie was just released, and there is a character whupping someone's ass in a studio ... who looks just like Suge.

TMZ broke the story ... Suge and Dre's sit-down never happened because Suge got into a fight with actor Cle "Bone" Sloan ... and eventually backed up over him and Carter. 

Suge has been charged with Carter's murder, the attempted murder of Sloan, and hit and run.


Bruce Jenner 'Black Boxes' Could Hold Key to Fatal Crash

2/10/2015 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF


Bruce Jenner's fate could be determined in part by a metal box embedded in the twisted metal that was left on Pacific Coast Highway ... TMZ has learned.

We've learned the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. is in possession of all 4 vehicles and the trailer that was attached to Bruce's Escalade. We're told Bruce's Escalade has a sophisticated "Black Box" that contains critical data ... including speed and braking info. The other 3 vehicles have similar data.

We're told the boxes gauge what the driver was doing for the 5 seconds before impact. In one-second intervals, the boxes show speed, braking, the position of the accelerator, etc.  

We're told accident reconstruction experts can use the data from all 4 vehicles and determine the speed and distance between each of them. That could help determine with some precision if Jenner was following too closely behind the Lexus.

Many of the "Black Boxes" are activated by the airbag, but we're told even if the airbag does not deploy the information is still available. 

As we reported, once the investigation is complete the Sheriff's Dept. will send the file over to the L.A. County D.A. for review -- which is SOP when someone dies in a car crash. If Bruce was following too closely, prosecutors could charge him with vehicular manslaughter, however we're told such prosecutions -- when the offense is following too closely -- are "very rare."


Bruce Jenner Lawyers Up D.A. Will Review Fatal Crash

2/9/2015 2:19 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0209-bruce-jenner-attorney-Coleman-Rayner-04Bruce Jenner has lawyered up in the wake of Saturday's fatal car crash, in an investigation that will make its way to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office ... TMZ has learned.

Bruce was leaving the West Hollywood law offices of Blair Berk, a top criminal defense lawyer who has repped an untold number of celebs.

We've learned once the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. finishes its investigation, they will send the case to the L.A. County D.A. for review. A law enforcement source says it's SOP to refer such a case to prosecutors when a driver breaks the law and someone dies.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... they now believe Bruce was not texting and driving. But cops think Bruce was following too closely which is a traffic violation, and such a violation that results in the death of another motorist could theoretically be grounds for misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

We found a Northern California case in which a driver who was following too closely was prosecuted for vehicular manslaughter, so it is possible. An official from a L.A. prosecutor's office tells TMZ ... it's "very rare" to charge a driver with vehicular manslaughter when the traffic offense is following too closely. 

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