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VH1 Star 'Real'

Dead at 33

After Cancer Battle

2/21/2015 7:21 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0221-ahmad-givens-facebook-02Ahmad Givens, a.k.a. Real, one of the stars of VH1's "Real Chance of Love" has died after a long battle with cancer ... according to his brother.

Real's brother Chance tells TMZ ... the reality star's condition worsened after he took a fall in January ... he was bedridden ever since.

We're told Real was having trouble with vision and speech Friday night during a family visit ... and they had a feeling the end was near.  He passed away hours later.

As we previously reported ... the reality star was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2013. Real underwent surgery and things were looking positive, but earlier this year the cancer returned and he began chemotherapy treatments.

Chance posted a tribute to his brother online saying, "I'll see you one day soon we shall dance again in God's kingdom forever and ever bro words can't describe my pain world pray for me!"

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Aziz Ansari

I'm Devastated Over 'Parks' Exec's Death

He Will Be Missed

2/21/2015 8:13 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0221-ansari-wittels-instagram-01Aziz Ansari says the loss of his friend Harris Wittels has left him devastated ... and the touching tribute he penned for the "Parks and Rec" exec who died this week is heart breaking.

Ansari posted a lengthy blog Friday night where he revealed the two had been working on a project together, and they were planning a move to NYC together in March.  Harris had just locked down an apartment on Monday.

Ansari says he had worked on two different movie scripts with Wittels,  but neither were greenlit.  But Ansari contined to support his friend, recommending that others hire him to write.

TMZ broke the story ... Wittels died at his home Thursday from an apparent drug overdose.

The "Parks and Rec" actor also included a few scenes from the movies Harris wrote ... and they're HILARIOUS. Aziz went on to describe Wittels' terrible eating habits, his arm wrestling skills and his writing expertise.

The whole thing is on Aziz's blog.  It's tear-jerking.

Bruce Jenner

Car Crash Victim's

Big Screen Brush with Elvis

2/20/2015 12:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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The woman who died in the Bruce Jenner car crash once appeared with Elvis in one of his big movies.

We found this video of "Double Trouble" released in 1967. Kim Howe is the woman with blonde hair piled up in a bun, dancing with Elvis as she holds a beer stein. 

Howe, who was in her early 20s at the time, is dressed as a fraulein in the bar.

We're told this was one of the highlights of Howe's life. It doesn't appear she was featured in other film or TV projects.

And something weirdly coincidental ... Elvis' longtime girlfriend was Linda Thompson, who was married to Bruce Jenner.

Howe was killed on PCH earlier this month when Jenner's SUV hit her Lexus, sending it into oncoming traffic where it smashed into a Hummer. She was 69 years old. 

'Parks and Rec' Exec

Harris Wittels Found Dead

Signs of Overdose

2/19/2015 5:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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Harris Wittels, one of the executive producers of "Parks and Recreation" died at his home Thursday from a possible drug overdose ... TMZ has learned.

According to law enforcement sources ... Wittels was pronounced dead around 1 PM. We're told the 30-year-old was found lying on his couch ... and there was drug paraphernalia in the house. There were no signs of trauma to his body. 

Wittels spoke openly about his battles with drug addiction. He'd gone to rehab twice. 

In addition to working on 'Parks & Rec' ... Wittels produced and wrote for "Eastbound and Down" and "The Sarah Silverman Program." He's also credited with making "Humblebrag," a thing on social media ... and even turned it into a coffee table book. 

'Parks & Rec' is in its final season, and the last episode is set to air next week.  

Wittels performed stand-up Wednesday night at The Meltdown -- an L.A.comedy theater. During his set he talked about being clean and sober ... and said he was in a good place.

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Ex-NBA Star Jerome Kersey

Cause of Death Revealed

2/19/2015 10:11 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0219-jerome-kersey-getty-01Portland Trailblazers legend Jerome Kersey died as a result of a blood clot that formed in his calf ... and broke off ... clogging his lungs ... TMZ Sports has learned.

The 52-year-old -- who spent 17 seasons in the NBA -- died Wednesday night in Oregon ... and now the pathologist who conducted the autopsy tells us the cause of death was a pulmonary embolism.  

Dr. Larry Lewman tells TMZ Sports ... "There was a blood clot in his left calf that broke loose and traveled to his lungs and clogged both his pulmonary arteries." 

Dr. Lewman adds, "We're still gathering information, but it appears he had a surgical procedure recently. Anyone who is post surgical, who isn't moving around a lot, is at risk." 

Several high-profile people have passed away from the same condition -- including Heavy D, Dennis Farina and reporter David Bloom.  

'Up In Smoke' Actress

June Fairchild Dies from Cancer

2/19/2015 8:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details

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
EXCLUSIVE

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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
EXCLUSIVE

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

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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.

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'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.

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Janis Joplin

Band Founder Sam Andrew Dead

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

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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.

R.I.P.

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Suge Knight

I Was Ambushed by Gunmen

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

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.

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Bruce Jenner

911 Calls

Lexus 'Destroyed'

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

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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.

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