Ken Forsse -- the creator of the talking Teddy Ruxpin toy bear -- is dead at 77.
Giving young children nightmares since 1985 -- Teddy Ruxpin was able to move his mouth and eyes while reciting bedtime stories that were stored on cassettes inserted into his back.
Teddy was Forsse's claim to fame -- even developing a TV show named "The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin."
During the 1980s Ruxpin became the "Official Spokesbear for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children."
By Sheriff's Death Report
3/26/2014 9:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's family did not get an advance courtesy call from law enforcement telling them they had determined the cause of Paul Walker's death ... and they're not happy.
Walker family sources tell TMZ, they feel totally betrayed by the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. ... the agency that conducted the probe.
The Sheriff's Dept. held a news conference Tuesday saying speed caused the crash -- not mechanical failure. The family found out through media reports.
The family says they've been waiting for months, and it's been very difficult preparing for the moment when they learned why Paul died. They say after such a long, emotional wait, they now feel shortchanged.
One family member learned of the results Tuesday on TV ... when the news ticker at the bottom of the screen unexpectedly rolled through. The family member says that was simply cold.
We reached out to the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. for comment -- so far, no word back.
Tiger That Attacked Roy Horn
Dead at 17
3/26/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mantecore -- the white tiger that mauled Roy Horn ... has died after an illness.
The 380-pound tiger severely injured Horn on a Las Vegas stage back in 2003, leaving him partially paralyzed. Siegfried & Roy claimed then and continues to maintain it was NOT an attack. Instead, they say, Roy was having a mini-stroke and Mantecore saved his life by dragging him offstage.
Roy says of the tiger, "We spent many hours together and he never failed to bring me great joy and wonderment. It was my great honor to be beside him at the end. He is now playing with his siblings in white tiger heaven."
Mantecore was 17. RIP.
Speed, Not Mechanical Failure, Caused Crash
3/25/2014 2:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker died as a result of speeding and not mechanical problems.
A source connected with the CHP -- which did the speed analysis -- tells TMZ ... Roger Rodas, the driver, was going between 80 and 93 MPH when he lost control going around a curve and crashed.
The Associated Press quotes a source from the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. -- the agency that conducted the mechanics analysis -- who says the crash was NOT the result of mechanical failure. Speed was the trigger for the fatal accident.
Investigators also noted the tires were 9 years old. Shortly after Paul died ... law enforcement sources told us they were the original tires on the car and they had hardened ... which means it lost traction on the road.
TMZ broke a story in December ... Porsche had issued a memo to its dealers 9 years ago warning them the 2004 Porsche Carrera GT could be dangerous to an untrained driver. The memo says the road surfaces need to be smooth, like a race track. The car is so sensitive, the memo says, "This vehicle cannot drive over a Foster beer can that is lying on its side."
Investigators say there was no evidence a second car was involved in the collision.
They also said an after-market exhaust system had been installed, which would have increased the engine's horsepower. According to investigators, the coroner's office determined neither Walker nor Rodas had alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash.
TMZ broke the story ... Walker and Roger Rodas died Nov. 30 from a combination of the impact and fire.
During the investigation, German Porsche mechanics flew to L.A. to examine the car .... analyzing the Carrera GT's brakes, engine, body and a tire that wasn't destroyed in the fire.
Gwar Frontman Dave Brockie
Sitting Upright in Chair
3/24/2014 6:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Dave Brockie -- lead singer of the crazy costumed "Beavis & Butthead" worshipped speed metal band Gwar -- is dead at age 50.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Brockie -- a.k.a. Oderus Urungus -- was found early Sunday morning dead, sitting upright in a chair at his Richmond, VA home.
We're told foul play is not suspected ... and one law enforcement sources told us, "There were no drugs found, as far as I know."
Another law enforcement source tells us it was not a suicide. No note was found. Brockie was found by his roommate.
The band shot to superstardom because their over-the-top horror show music videos were a staple on "Beavis and Butthead" back in the day.
NASCAR Legend Michael Waltrip
Pumped About Meeting Donna Summer
... Who Died 2 Years Ago
3/23/2014 1:58 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NASCAR legend Michael Waltrip had the thrill of a lifetime today -- HE MET DONNA SUMMER ... at least, he thinks he did ... despite the fact she died two years ago.
Waltrip was doing some pre-race work for FOX at the NASCAR Auto Club 400 race today when he THOUGHT he spotted the disco queen.
He even sang some, "Last Dance" on his way over to interview the icon ... who was really just a woman who kinda sorta looked like her.
Once he got there, it got more awkward when he attempted to talk to her -- "Hi Donna how are you? Enjoy the races today, I love your music. You’ve got a great body of work that you’ve put together!”
Moments later, he told team owner Richard Childress, “If you like Donna Summer, she’s right back there.”
Of course, Summer passed away in 2012 ... the woman at the track is just a NASCAR fan named Star Walker.
But Star says she was flattered by the mistake because she's a HUGE Summer fan -- and even went to Donna's induction to the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame!
Ya gotta watch the clip.
'Homeland' Star James Rebhorn
Dead From Skin Cancer
3/23/2014 11:36 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Homeland" star James Rebhorn died at his home in New Jersey Friday night ... after a long battle with skin cancer ... TMZ has learned.
Rebhorn's wife Rebecca tells us the actor was diagnosed with melanoma in 1992 ... and he's been getting treatments ever since.
We're told his condition drastically worsened recently and he began receiving hospice care at his New Jersey home.
Rebhorn has been acting for 5 decades ... he was awesome as Claire Danes' perpetually worried Dad in "Homeland."
He also appeared in "Meet the Parents," "Scent of a Woman," and "Independence Day." He was also the lawyer who put Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine behind bars in the "Seinfeld" series finale.
His wife Rebecca says James insisted on working despite his condition ... right through his theater performance in January.
He was 65.
Uncle June Bug
On Death Bed
3/21/2014 1:59 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Snoop Dogg is mourning today the impending death of his beloved Uncle June Bug ... who at the time of this post is taking his last breaths.
Sources tell us ... Snoop is at the hospital with June Bug and Daz Dillinger ... and they are trying to comfort him as he succumbs to colon cancer.
We're told doctors have informed the family ... barring a miracle, the 70-year-old June Bug will die before day's end.
June Bug was known to accompany Snoop on tour and was often seen dancing on stage during concerts. June Bug was also the uncle of rapper Daz Dillinger.
rip uncle junebug . greatest to ever do it !!! heaven wouldn’t be the same without u !— Snoop Dogg (@SnoopDogg) March 21, 2014
Asked Mom to Care for Meadow
The Day He Died
3/21/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Just hours before he died in a fiery car crash, Paul Walker told his mother he was too busy to properly care for his teenage daughter ... and asked her to become the girl's legal guardian ... TMZ has learned.
Sources close to the Walker family tell us ... Paul approached his mother, Cheryl, on November 30th and asked her to retire from her nursing job to take care of Meadow full-time.
Turns out Walker had been overwhelmed with his work schedule and couldn't juggle that with his parental responsibilities. So in August -- 3 months before he died -- Meadow moved in with Cheryl, who was working full time.
Paul hired a series of nannies to care for Meadow when Cheryl was on the job, but none of them worked out.
So finally ... on the morning of his death, Paul called Cheryl and said he had given up on the nanny search and wanted her to be a full-time, stay-at-home grandma. Cheryl agreed, and Paul then called other family members to inform them of his decision.
As we previously reported ... Meadow's biological mom has a serious drinking problem and Paul never considered her an option. Meadow had been living with her mom until 2011, when she moved in with Paul.
Cheryl has now filed formal papers to make her Meadow's legal guardian.
Westboro Baptist Church Founder Dead
3/20/2014 9:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's Mom
My Granddaughter's Mom's an Alcoholic
I Want Guardianship
3/19/2014 5:15 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's mother just filed court documents asking for guardianship of Paul's 15-year-old daughter ... because the real mom has a serious drinking problem.
Cheryl Walker claims in her docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Meadow and her mom, Rebecca Soteros, are already living with her but Rebecca can't care for her daughter because of her alcoholism.
As we previously reported ... Rebecca has 2 DUIs -- one in 2003 and another last year. We're told Meadow moved from Hawaii -- where Rebecca lived -- to live with Paul 3 years before he died because of her mom's problems with alcohol.
Cheryl says she's more than qualified -- she's raised 4 kids, she's a registered nurse and is a loving person.
Paul had said in his will he wanted his mom to be Meadow's guardian ... so this is clearly in line with what he wanted.
One other note ... the legal docs say Paul's estate is worth $16 MILLION ... a lot less than previously filed legal docs estimating his worth at around $25 mil.
Oscar Pistorius Murder Case
Man Gets Death Threats
Over Lego Recreations
3/19/2014 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The Lego-artist who's been posting Lego recreations of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial tells TMZ Sports he's been getting DEATH THREATS from people upset with his work.
We spoke to Armando Tejada ... who says he initially decided to document the Pistorius case because, "I've been fascinated by the trial" ... plus, he had a Legos set from the 2012 Olympics, which came with a tiny Pistorius figure.
The images are NOT graphic -- they mostly chronicle Pistorius interacting with the judge and his lawyer in the South Africa courthouse where his trial is being held.
"I don't plan on posting any graphic depictions of the murder or any scene that shows the victim Reeva Steenkamp out of respect," Tejada tells us.
Still, Tejada -- who lives in Chicago -- says some people are so mad they've threatened his life.
"I've received death threats," Tejada says ... "I understand why people would be upset about it. There's a very thin line and I'm sure I've crossed it."
We're told one of threats involved shooting Tejada with a gun.
Tejada says he has not gone to police -- since the people behind the threats are based in South Africa ... and he doesn't believe he's in any real danger.
Devastated By L'Wren Scott's Suicide
Photo Tells the Story
3/18/2014 6:18 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The look on Mick Jagger's face pretty much tells the story as he hastily left a restaurant in Perth, Australia Monday.
The pic was shot a little more than a hour before the news broke in NYC that his longtime girlfriend, L'Wren Scott had committed suicide, but it appears Jagger had already been informed. He left the restaurant 50 minutes after arriving.
Mick immediately made plans to return the the U.S. Wednesday night's Perth concert has been cancelled.
Mick's daughter, Georgia May Jagger, also happened to be in Australia on a modeling shoot and she was photographed leaving on an international flight.
There have been reports Mick split up with L'Wren before she took her life ... but the singer's rep says it's absolutely untrue.
Jagger posted the following note to his Facebook page this morning:
I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way.
We spent many wonderful years together and had made a great life for ourselves.
She had great presence and her talent was much admired, not least by me.
I have been touched by the tributes that people have paid to her, and also the personal messages of support that I have received.
I will never forget her, Mick