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Ralphie May Dead at 45 of Cardiac Arrest

10/6/2017 1:33 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

1:50 PM PT -- TMZ has learned Ralphie died at a private residence in Vegas Friday morning. We're told he had been battling pneumonia for 6 weeks and died of cardiac arrest. According to his rep, someone in the residence discovered his body. 

He had performed Thursday night at Harrah's in Vegas.Comedian Ralphie May died Friday at the age of 45 ... TMZ has learned.

Ralphie had been battling pneumonia over the last week, but kept performing his scheduled gigs in Las Vegas.

Ralphie's stand-up comedy career took off after he finished second on "Last Comic Standing" in 2003. Since then he's had several televised comedy specials -- mostly on Netflix and Comedy Central -- and he's continued touring, almost nonstop, around the country.

His manager, Judi Marmel, tells us, "As his manager and his friend, I will miss his laugh, his generosity to fellow comedians, his trademark orneriness, and his enormous love of life. He left us entirely too soon -- and we can only wonder where his comedy might have taken all of us. We send our love to his family, his fans, and all the comics who shared stages with him across the country." 

In 2015 he and his wife Lahna Turner, also a comedian, filed for divorce. Ralphie was devastated by the split and the ensuing custody battle over their 2 kids, April June May and August James May.

Hugh Hefner Death Certificate Reveals Cardiac Arrest, Blood Infection

10/3/2017 9:09 AM PDT
Breaking News

Hugh Hefner ultimately died of cardiac arrest, but his death certificate reveals he was also battling a few other ailments.

According to the doc, Hef was suffering from septicemia -- a severe inflammation of body tissues triggered by an infection in the blood. He'd also been dealing with E. coli ... and both are listed as contributing factors.

The main cause of death is listed as cardiac arrest.

As we reported, Hefner died last week at the Playboy Mansion ... surrounded by loved ones at 91.

Tom Petty Death Celebs, Musicians Pay Tribute ... To Fallen Rock Legend

10/2/2017 10:43 PM PDT

Tom Petty's tragic death has left Hollywood shocked, saddened but also thankful for his tunes and influence ... and plenty of stars are honoring the rock and roll legend, including fellow legend Paul McCartney.

Musicians and other celebs alike flocked to social media Monday to pay tribute and offer words of condolences after TMZ broke the story that Tom had gone into full cardiac arrest and was taken off life support.

As you might imagine, many fellow rockers spoke on his passing ... including John Mayer and Peter Frampton.

Other rockers chimed in with honorary posts as well, including Steven Van Zandt, Kid Rock, Paul Stanley and Adam Levine.

But reactions to Petty's death went beyond just music. People like Stephen King, Rob Lowe, Ed Helms, Rob Schneider and Lin-Manuel Miranda posted tributes to Petty ... as did many others. 

Tom Petty died Monday after his family issued a do not resuscitate order on him. He was 66.

RIP

'Goodfellas' Actor Chuck Low Morrie Kessler Dead at 89

10/3/2017 6:40 AM PDT

We lost another Goodfella -- Chuck Low, who famously played Morrie Kessler died at the age of 89.

Low was a close friend of Robert De Niro -- he was actually his landlord when he first got into acting ... eventually co-starring with him in "Goodfellas."

He reportedly died at a nursing home in New Jersey on Sept. 18 and, having served 30 years in the service ... got full military honors.

Low's most memorable role came as Morrie of Morrie's Wigs fame. His pal De Niro actually got to whack him. He went on to land roles in "The Sopranos," "Scent of a Woman" and "The Mission."

You'll recall Frank Vincent, who also starred in "Goodfellas" and 'Sopranos,' died the week before Low.  

Hugh Hefner Laid to Rest In Ultra Private Ceremony

9/30/2017 6:57 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Hugh Hefner went to his final resting place Saturday, but only a select few of his closest friends and family were on hand for the ceremony ... TMZ has learned.

Our Playboy sources tell us ... Hef's 4 children, his wife Crystal Harris and some key Playboy staffers attended the funeral at L.A.'s Westwood Village Memorial Park Saturday at noon. 

As we reported ... Hefner's crypt is directly to the left of Marilyn Monroe's -- he bought the burial spot for $75k in 1992. He'll have plenty of good company  ... the cemetery is filled with celebs, many with Playboy ties.

One of the people buried in the cemetery -- around 100 feet from Hef's crypt -- is Dorothy Stratten, a Playboy Playmate who was murdered in 1980 by her estranged husband when she was just 20 years old. Her boyfriend at the time of her death, famed director Peter Bogdanovich, railed against Hefner, blaming him and the "Playboy sex factory" for her demise.

'Let's Make a Deal' Host Monty Hall Dead at 96

9/30/2017 3:23 PM PDT
Breaking News

Television icon Monty Hall -- the co-creator and host of "Let's Make a Deal" -- died from heart failure at his home in Beverly Hills ... TMZ has learned.

Hall's daughter Joanna Gleason tells us ... he passed away Saturday morning surrounded by friends and family. We're told his health had been declining the past few years. Gleason says her dad was most proud of his show because it gave him the platform to help people.

The legendary game show host began his TV career in the 1950s by working on several children's shows. He moved on to host network game shows, and struck it big with 'Deal' in 1963 ... which ran for 13 years and returned for a short run in the '90s. It was rebooted in 2009 with Wayne Brady as host.

Hall also appeared as himself on popular shows like "The Hollywood Squares" and "Password All-Stars" ... and produced several more.

Monty was inducted into the American TV Game Show Hall of Fame in 2007, and will forever be associated with the catchphrase ... "What's behind Door No. 1?"

He was 96.

RIP

Hugh Hefner Playboy Mansion Staff Reuniting To 'Memba the Boss

9/29/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

You can tell Hugh Hefner was seriously beloved because even his former employees are rallying to celebrate his life. 

Our Playboy Mansion sources tell us ... staff members, new and old, started planning the reunion almost immediately after Hef died Wednesday. We're told 2 former butlers created a Facebook group that night to put the band back together -- employees, Playmates and Hef's children are all invited.

We're told the employees -- many of whom were featured in "The Girls Next Door" -- wanted to get together out of respect for Hef and the close-knit environment he created at the Mansion. Although many of them were laid off 2 years ago, we're told they still treat each other like family.

The staff event will be off-site from the Mansion, and is separate from the final tribute party to Hefner. 

Hugh Hefner Death One Last Playboy Mansion Party in His Honor

9/28/2017 11:45 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Hugh Hefner's not going out without one more legendary Playboy party ... TMZ has learned planning is underway for a celebration of his life at the Mansion.

Sources close to Daren Metropoulos -- the Pabst heir who bought the mansion last year -- tell us he's going to sign off on a party for Hef sometime soon. We're told the get-together will be more of a tribute to the Playboy founder's life ... and less of the standard Playboy blowout bash.

Daren needs to OK all parties since he made the purchase.

We broke the story ... Daren bought the Playboy Mansion last year for a cool $100 mil, on the condition that Hef could live there for the rest of his life. Sources say he plans on combining an adjacent estate he owns with the Mansion and restoring both to their OG condition. 

As for the birds, monkeys and other animals that call the mansion home ... we're told they'll all stay on the property when Daren moves in.

Daren released a statement Thursday on the passing of Hef, saying ... "Hugh Hefner was a visionary in business, a giant in media and an iconic figure of pop culture whose legacy will leave a lasting impact." 

Hugh Hefner's Crypt The Guy Next Door To Marilyn Monroe

9/28/2017 6:52 AM PDT

Hugh Hefner's so-called "better place" is waiting ... and it's right next to the woman who helped him launch Playboy.

Hef bought the crypt to the left of Marilyn Monroe's in L.A.'s Westwood Village Memorial Park. He dropped $75k on the burial spot way back in 1992 -- and once said, "Spending an eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up."

Marilyn, the cover girl for Hef's first issue of Playboy, has been there since her death in 1962.

Fun-ish fact: Marilyn's ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio, used to own the crypt above hers -- but sold it when they got divorced in 1954.

TLC's T-Boz My Fam's Suing the Cops Who Killed My Cousin

9/28/2017 7:12 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

T-Boz says her family is taking legal action against the police department for the shooting death of her mentally ill cousin ... and she's behind them, 100%.

We got the TLC singer Wednesday night at Avalon Hollywood, and asked if she'd heard back from cops in Peoria, Illinois about her cousin Eddie Russell Jr.'s death last week. He was gunned down by officers in what they call a standoff that turned life-threatening.

T-Boz says she and her fam haven't heard a peep, but plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the cops. As we reported, officers fired 17-20 rounds at Eddie, who was on the run after allegedly attempting to rob a bank.

She explained where she believes cops bungled the case -- and strongly feels Eddie's punishment didn't fit his crime.

Hugh Hefner DEAD AT 91

9/27/2017 8:25 PM PDT
Breaking News

Hugh Hefner -- who founded Playboy and turned it into a globally iconic brand -- is dead at 91.

Playboy says Hugh died peacefully at home Wednesday, surrounded by loved ones.

Hefner's health had been in serious decline over the last year and he's not been seen in public for some time. His passing comes just over a year after his brother, Keith, died battling cancer.

Playboy magazine catapulted Hef into a cultural phenomenon ... paving way for the iconic Playboy Mansion that quickly became known for its legendary parties.

As TMZ reported ... Hefner parted ways with the pad in August 2016 ... selling to Pabst Blue Ribbon heir Daren Metropoulos for $100 million. But the sale had one condition -- Hefner could live in the mansion without the new owner's meddling until Hefner died.

Hefner married 3 times -- first to high school sweetheart Mildred Williams in 1949 ... then former Playmate of the Year Kimberly Conrad in 1989 ... and finally Crystal Hefner in 2012. She's 31.

His third marriage came 4 years after breaking up with longtime GF Holly Madison. He's survived by 4 children -- Christie and David from his first marriage and Marston and Cooper from his second marriage.

Hefner founded Playboy in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe gracing the first cover. The magazine landed huge celebrities for years to come -- including Cindy Crawford, Kim Basinger, Pamela Anderson, Madonna, Sharon Stone, Naomi Campbell, Carmen Electra, Drew Barrymore and Kim Kardashian.

The magazine stopped publishing nude photos in 2016 but went back to them in February of this year after Hugh's son, Cooper, was named chief creative officer.

The mag also had a strong pull with some amazing writers -- including Gabriel García Márquez, Margaret Atwood and Haruki Murakami.

Drake Buries Longtime Friend, Fif ... After Being Gunned Down

9/24/2017 4:39 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Drake helped lay his longtime friend, Anthony "Fif" Soares, to rest this weekend ... this after the guy was brutally gunned down in Toronto.

Drake attended Fif's funeral service Saturday at the Ogden Funeral Home chapel in Scarborough, Ontario ... and later traveled to the Duffin Meadows Cemetery where he served as one of the pallbearers for the casket.

Eyewitnesses tell us Drake did not speak at the procession, and mostly kept to himself. You can tell from the video he's in deep mourning over Soares' death ... who was just killed a couple weeks ago.

As we reported ... Soares was gunned down in his apartment lobby by 2 unidentified men. Police released surveillance video of the murder ... and it graphically shows him being shot.

Police are still investigating the crime ... they had no suspects as of last week.

'Clerks' Star Lisa Spoonauer Died of Painkiller Overdose ... Battled Cancer, Lung Disease

9/22/2017 7:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"Clerks" star Lisa Spoonauer died from an accidental overdose of a powerful painkiller ... TMZ has learned.

According to the Ocean County Medical Examiner in NJ, Lisa died of acute and chronic intravenous use of hydromorphone ... the generic brand of the narcotic, Dilaudid. She was also battling cancer, anemia, lung disease and immune deficiency ... all of which contributed to her death.

Lisa, who played Caitlin Bree in the cult classic film ... was only 44 when she died in May. At the time, her family said she'd been fighting undisclosed illnesses for years.

Her death prompted "Clerks" writer/director Kevin Smith to post an emotional tribute.

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