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Sir Christopher Lee

'Lord of the Rings' Star

Dead at 93

6/11/2015 5:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Sir Christopher Lee -- who starred in some of the most famous and fantastic film franchises of all-time -- died in London. He was 93.

Lee had been hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure, says The Guardian

Lee played Saruman in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Hobbit" films. He also appeared in two of the "Star Wars" prequels and played Count Dracula in a couple of flicks.

He married his wife Birgit in 1961 and the couple had one daughter together. 

He died Sunday. 


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'Queen of Versailles' Family

Victoria Was Cyberbullied

Right Before Death

6/10/2015 9:24 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

0610-victoria-siegel-facebookVictoria Siegel was the victim of vicious cyberbullying ... which her family believes pushed her over the edge and ultimately might have led to her death.  

The Siegel family says the ex-girlfriend of Victoria's boyfriend (who we're told she met in rehab) had been sending "hateful text messages" to Victoria. They say the texts were coming from the BF's phone, and our sources say it was also happening on social media.

The family says Victoria got one of the bullying texts the morning of her death, and adds ... "While we cannot be sure, [the messages] may have affected her emotional state at a time when she was emotionally vulnerable."

We're told the family does not believe Victoria intended to kill herself ... because they were taking a family cruise this week, and Victoria rushed to get her passport in time for the trip. Instead, they're leaning toward an accidental overdose ... possibly triggered by the bullying. 

It's unclear if the family has reached out to the ex-girlfriend. The Orange County Sheriff's Office tells us the girl is not part of their investigation into Victoria's death.  

Vincent Bugliosi

Manson Family Prosecutor

Dead at 80

6/9/2015 3:48 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Vincent Bugliosi  -- the man who put the most dangerous criminals in modern times away for life -- has died.

Bugliosi was an L.A. County prosecutor in 1969 when he prosecuted Charles Manson and his notorious "family."

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Manson is responsible for the brutal 1969 murder of Sharon Tate, who was pregnant, and six others. The bloody scene triggered panic in L.A., with thousands of people arming themselves in fear they would be next. A husband and wife -- unrelated to Tate -- were randomly slaughtered the next night.

Manson was trying to trigger a race war, which he called "Helter Skelter." That name ended up the title of Bugliosi's book chronicling the killings and the trial, which became a huge seller.

Bugliosi won convictions against all five defendants, including Manson, and they received the death penalty. The California Supreme Court overturned the death penalty years later and the sentences were reduced to life without parole.

Bugliosi was battling cancer.  

RIP.

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'Queen of Versailles' Family

Victoria Was Probably On Drugs

When She Died

6/8/2015 6:55 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0608-victoria-siegle-facebook-01David and Jackie Siegel's daughter was struggling with addiction, and probably on drugs at the time of her death ... according to the the family's attorney.

The "Queen of Versailles" couple finally addressed their daughter Victoria Siegel's passing with a statement through their attorney, Michael Marder ... who said the 18-year-old had a "history of seizures and was prescribed medication for this condition."

He says, "It is likely that Victoria ingested one or more drugs prior to her death" -- but adds they have not determined if the drugs were prescription or something else.

He added that Victoria had voluntarily checked into rehab to deal with her addiction. As TMZ first reported, Victoria ended a rehab stint just about 2 weeks ago.

Marder says an autopsy did not determine cause of death, and the family is awaiting toxicology results.

Mary Ellen Trainor

'Lethal Weapon'

Actress Dies at 62

6/8/2015 3:21 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0608-mary-ellen-trainor-GETTY-01Mary Ellen Trainor, best known for her role as the psychologist in the “Lethal Weapon” films, died from pancreatic cancer at her home in Montecito, Calif. last month. She was 62.

Trainor was married to director Robert Zemeckis for 20 years and appeared in several of his films … including “Romancing the Stone” and “Forrest Gump.” They divorced in 2000.

Her other notable roles were as Mrs. Walsh in “The Goonies,” as well as small roles in “Scrooged,” “Die Hard," "Back to the Future Part II"  and "Ghostbusters II." She also had a recurring role on the TV show "Roswell."

'Queen of Versailles'

Daughter Returned From

Rehab Two Weeks Before She Died

6/8/2015 9:28 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0608-victoria-siegel-wftv_COM-01Victoria Siegel had a problem with prescription drugs and had just recently returned home from rehab before her death. 

Sources close to the family tell TMZ ... Siegel struggled with Xanax and the family tried to get her help by sending her to rehab on multiple occasions. We're told her most recent stint ended about two weeks ago. 

We're told the family is "shocked" by her death because she'd been doing so well since coming home from rehab. She even attended a premiere party for her parents' recent appearance on "Celebrity Wife Swap" ... and everything seemed fine with her.

It's unclear if Victoria's addiction issues contributed to her death. Neither the family nor investigators have released a cause of death.

'Queen of Versailles'

Daughter Found Dead

in Family Mansion

6/8/2015 6:32 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0608-victoria-siegle-facebook-01The 18-year-old daughter of David and Jackie Siegel -- who were featured in the 2012 documentary "Queen of Versailles" -- was found dead Saturday in their Florida home.

Victoria Siegel -- the oldest of 8 children the Siegels have together -- was found unresponsive in the family's Windermere mansion just after 2:00 PM. She was pronounced dead at Health Central Hospital.  

So far, investigators have no ruling on the cause of death.

Jackie Siegel said the family would release more information about Victoria's death ... but for now she had "no comment."

In addition to the documentary about their financial struggles to build a 90,000 square foot mansion, the family was featured recently on "Wife Swap." 

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'The Voice'

Ex-Contestant Dies

Suicide By Hanging

6/7/2015 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0607-anthony-riley-the-voice-GETTY-01update_graphic_red_barA rep for the medical examiner's office tells TMZ ... Riley hung himself.update_grey_gray_barAnthony Riley -- an insanely talented singer who competed on "The Voice" in 2015 -- was found dead Friday ... and friends say it appears Riley took his own life. 

Riley -- a Philadelphia street performer -- was a smash hit from the moment he first appeared on "The Voice" -- with all 4 judges slamming on their buttons within seconds of his performance of James Brown's "I Feel Good."

He later left the show in January to deal with substance abuse issues. 

A close friend of Riley's told Philly.com his body was discovered in the basement of the apartment where he had been saying ... and all signs pointed to suicide. 

He was 28. 

"The Voice" host Carson Daly posted a message about Riley ... saying, "Praying for the family and friends of Anthony Riley today. It's a heartbreaking loss. He was incredibly talented and loved to sing. God Bless him."

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All Blacks Captain

Rugby Superstar Killed In Car Crash

6/5/2015 6:54 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0605-jerry-collins-getty-01Rugby superstar Jerry Collins -- a former captain for the New Zealand All Blacks -- was killed in a car crash in France early Friday morning. 

The 34-year-old -- who captained the greatest rugby team on the planet 3 times during his career -- was in a vehicle with his wife and 3-month-old daughter when they collided with a bus. 

According to reports, Collins' wife also died. Their daughter is in critical condition. 

Collins' wife was driving the car at the time of the accident -- and lost control, eventually colliding with a tour bus. The bus driver reportedly jumped into action and freed Collins' daughter from the wreck. 

0605-accidentjerry-collins-APCollins' manager says the family is "distraught at the death of a much-loved son, brother and friend, and his partner Alana, whom I got to know recently."

Story developing ... 

Caitlyn Jenner

Car Crash Victim's Stepkids

You Can't Judge Our Relationship

6/3/2015 2:43 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Caitlyn Jenner is out of line when she says the stepchildren of the woman who was killed in that PCH car crash had no right to sue because they were not financially dependent on her ... so claim the stepkids.

The stepchildren of Kim Howe just filed legal docs, claiming they did rely on her financially, but it's all kind of sketchy. They don't describe the extent of the dependence nor do they specifically describe the relationship.

In the docs, all they say is "not only did they have a very real relationship with Ms. Howe during the 40 years that she was their stepmother, but that they relied upon her, at least to some extent, for some of the necessities of life."

The lawyer for the stepson says in legal docs, "Stepchildren can be just as much children to their parents."

The father of the 2 kids died in 2003. A very close friend of Kim's tells TMZ he spoke with the stepdaughter shortly after Kim died back in February and the woman said she hadn't seen Kim since 2003. The friend also says Kim never spoke about her stepkids to him.

Jenner has asked a judge to toss the lawsuit because there's no evidence of financial dependence. If she's successful, she can't be sued for wrongful death because the stepkids are Howe's only living relatives. 

Jenni Rivera's Kids

Kids Moving On …

Time to Cash In On Mom’s Estate

6/2/2015 11:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0601_jenny_rivera_house_launchJenni Rivera's family is ready to unload one of her prized possessions -- the massive estate she designed 3 years before her death ... and they're hoping to get $4.5 mil for it.

Jenni’s dream home sits on 4 acres of hilltop land overlooking Encino, CA. The estate has 7 bedrooms and 10 baths including marble floors and a double wrought iron staircase.

The legendary Mexican singer originally bought the property in 2009 for $3.3 mil, but sunk another $500k worth of personal upgrades into the place. Right now Jenni’s kids are living there, but we're told they're ready to bolt if the right buyer comes along. 

Check out the gallery -- if you're into private hiking trails, and pools with a waterfalls ... this is your kinda pad. Of course, you also need a few mil in the bank.

Vice President's Son Beau Biden

Dies of Brain Cancer at 46

5/31/2015 4:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0531_beau_biden_gettyBeau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, died Saturday night of brain cancer.  He was 46. 

The younger Biden has suffered repeated tragedy in his life.  When he was 3, his mother and sister were killed in a car crash and he was badly injured.  His dad was sworn into the United States Senate at his bedside.

In 1987 Beau suffered a life-threatening aneurysm.  In 2010 he had a stroke.  He was diagnosed with brain cancer 2 years ago.

Beau had been an accomplished politician -- twice serving as Attorney General of Delaware -- and there was talk he'd become governor.

He was married with 2 kids.

R.I.P.

Dad from 'Friday'

Dies from Stroke Complications

5/28/2015 4:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0528-reynaldo-rey-tmz-01Reynaldo Rey, longtime comedian and character actor, died early Thursday morning in Los Angeles ... TMZ has learned.

Rey was famous for his movie roles in "Friday," "White Men Can't Jump," and "Harlem Nights." He also appeared in tons of TV shows going back to the 80s ... such as "The Bernie Mac Show," "The Wayans Bros.," "227," and "Sanford."

His manager tells us Rey passed away in a hospital. He suffered a stroke last year ... and started suffering complications in January. He'd checked into the hospital for treatment.

We're told his wife was at his side when he died.

Reynaldo was 75 years old ... and funny as hell as Red's dad in "Friday." R.I.P.

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