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Fidel Castro Dead at 90

11/25/2016 9:52 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

1125-fidel-castro-gettyFidel Castro, former leader of Cuba's communist revolution, has died at the age of 90.

Castro had turned over the reins to his younger brother Raul, who became President in 2008. He made very few public appearances after stepping down. He was reportedly battling Diverticulitis -- a swelling of the colon -- at the time of his death.

Castro had ruled the Caribbean island since the 1959 revolution. He was at the helm when Russia and the U.S. went to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, after Russians used the island to train nuclear weapons on the U.S. 

Castro lived to see re-established relations between America and Cuba.  President Obama made an official state visit to the island in Spring 2016, but never met face-to-face with Castro. He did meet Raul.

1125-sub-launch-celebs-in-cubaScores of celebs have visited Cuba in recent years, as travel restrictions eased, including Madonna, Rihanna, the Rolling Stones, Paris Hilton, Jay Z and Beyoncé.

Castro is survived by at least 9 children and an unconfirmed number of grandkids.

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Florence Henderson 'Brady Bunch' Mom Dies at 82

11/25/2016 1:59 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

1124-florence-henderson-tmzFlorence Henderson, who played the iconic TV role of Carol Brady, died on Thanksgiving Day. 

Florence suffered heart failure, according to her publicist, when she died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was surrounded by family members at the hospital. 

Her role as the "Brady Bunch" mom was one of the most beloved characters for generations of TV sitcom fans, but Florence was also a huge Broadway star even before her Brady fame.

She starred in musicals such as "Fanny," "Oklahoma" and "Wish You Were Here."

She played mama Brady from 1969 to 1974 -- the show's original run -- but, of course, played the role many times again in TV specials, TV movies, and feature films.

"The Brady Bunch " -- a show about a widow with 3 daughters who married a widower with 3 sons -- ran from 1969 to 1974.  It stood out partly because it was so perky and upbeat at a time of major strife ... the Vietnam war.

Florence seemed fine until a few days ago, when she was hospitalized at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in L.A. ... where she died.

RIP 

1124-florence-henderson-gettyShe played grandma Brady in "The Brady Bunch Movie" in 1995, while Shelly Long played the character Florence created.

Florence had 4 kids and 5 grandkids. She was 82.

Walt Disney Where There's a Will ... There's a Way to Spend $60k!

11/24/2016 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1123-walt-disney-doc-launch-tmzMouse House fans will be able to get their hands on a rare piece of memorabilia when Walt Disney's last will and testament -- or the first draft, anyway -- auctions off for an estimated $60k!

The will was drafted in August 1941 and includes this interesting breakdown: half of his personal Disney stock was split between his 2 kids, and the other half he dropped in an "employees bonus pool." The doc isn't his final will ... Disney drafted 2 more before he died in 1966.

Profiles in History is unloading several other collector's items for animation fans, and conservative final bid estimates range from $12k up to $80k:

- Original "Peanuts" comic strips signed by Charles Schultz ($12,000)
- Wicked Queen art from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" ($15,000)
- Grinch and Max production cels from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" ($12,000)
- Walt Disney Legal License for Use of Walt Disney Inc. ($80,000)

There's a ton more available, including animation cels, when online and live bidding begins Dec. 9.

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Muhammad Ali I AM THE GREATEST ... Tree Sculpture!

11/23/2016 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1122-muhammad-ali-wood-statue-launch-02Float like a butterfly, sting like a ... tree?

Check out this tree carving New Jersey artist James O'Neal made of Muhammad Ali ... a piece that took roughly 6 months from start to finish.

O'Neal says he was inspired by the outpouring of love for the boxing icon after he passed away -- and felt the walnut tree he recently cut down was the perfect canvas.

It's not the first fighter O'Neal has carved -- he also sculpted a Conor McGregor piece.

So, who's next? O'Neal says he wants to do a female fighter ... but not Ronda Rousey. He's all about Cyborg.

3 Doors Down Ex-Guitarist Arrest Made in Overdose Death

11/22/2016 5:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1122-matt-roberts-gettyCops have arrested a doctor in connection with the death of former 3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts.

Roberts died from a prescription drug overdose and West Bend, Wisc. Police believe the source of the drugs was an Alabama physician -- Dr. Richard Snellgrove. He's now been indicted for illegal drug distribution.

Snellgrove reportedly prescribed 5 different controlled substances in the names of different individuals, but prosecutors allege the intended recipient for all the meds was Roberts.

TMZ broke the story ... Roberts died in August at the age of 38.

Bobby Brown My Daughter's Life Was Priceless ... Nick Gordon Ordered to Pay $36 Mil

11/17/2016 12:32 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

Bobby Brown says his daughter, Bobbi Kristina, had unlimited earning potential before her bf helped take her life ... and a judge put a very high dollar amount on those prospects.

Nick Gordon was ordered to fork over $36 million to Bobbi's estate Thursday after he was earlier found liable for her death. 

Here's a partial list:

-- Conversion (stealing funds/assets) at $1.5 mil with punitive damages of $250k

-- Assault and battery/medical damages at $1.3 mil, plus $4.2 mil because Gordon was under the influence of drugs and alcohol

-- Pain and suffering at $13 mil

-- Loss of life at $15 mil, including her net worth and future potential income

The final tally came after tearful testimony from BK's family. The estate had originally sought $40 million in its wrongful death suit against Gordon. The obvious issue now will be when and if the estate gets a dime out of him.

Gordon was a no-show in court, just as he'd been throughout the case


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LeBron James DONATE, YOUNG MAN, DONATE Gives $2.5 to Muhammad Ali Exhibit

11/17/2016 7:13 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Breaking News

1117-lebron-ali-tmz-getty-01Talk about GREAT -- LeBron James is donating $2.5 MILLION to help fund a Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian in D.C. 

The exhibit -- titled, "Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change" -- will showcase how the boxing legend used his role as a world famous athlete to make real change to society. 

LeBron isn't the only NBA superstar to donate to the Ali project -- Michael Jordan kicked in $5 MILLION and Magic Johnson and his family added another $1 mil. 

So, what compelled Bron to donate? 

"Muhammad Ali is such a cornerstone of me as an athlete because of what he represented not only in the ring as a champion but more outside the ring — what he stood for, what he spoke for, his demeanor," LeBron told USA TODAY Sports.

"I think of him every day. Without his passion and goals and morals, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here today talking to you about it."

'8 Mile' Director Generous Will Covers His Kid And Many, Many More

11/13/2016 12:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1110_curtis-hanson_youtube"8 Mile" director Curtis Hanson had a solid will in place before his September death that not only took care of his longtime companion and son, but also his extended fam and his movie biz.

Curtis and partner Rebecca Yeldham never tied the knot but have a 12-year-old son together, and the Oscar winner left most of his estate to them, including a home in Laguna Beach. He set up a trust for Rebecca, the kid and several other family members.

It's not clear how much is in it, but the docs say he had nearly $5 million outside the trust. 

Rebecca's asking to be named executor of the will, except for anything related to his production companies. Curtis specified his producing partner Carol Fenelon should handle those decisions. 

Hanson -- who also directed "L.A. Confidential" and "The River Wild" -- died September 20, 2016 of an apparent heart attack.

'Hogan's Heroes' Star Bob Crane Murderer to Be Revealed on Live TV

11/11/2016 1:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1110_bob_crane_crime_scene_getty-fox-news-10_2The man who viciously murdered Bob Crane, the star of the iconic TV show "Hogan's Heroes," may be exposed on TV after a 38 year unsolved mystery.

Crane was bludgeoned to death with a camera tripod in his Scottsdale apartment back in 1978. He and his good friend, John Carpenter, were deep into kinky sex ... secretly filming various sexual configurations involving numerous women.

Carpenter's rent-a-car was seized by cops just days after Crane's murder, and they found blood inside. Carpenter was tried for murder, but there was a problem. DNA was not perfected then, and the jury found him not guilty because there wasn't conclusive proof it was Crane's blood.

1110_bob_crane_blood_SUB_fox10Enter Phoenix Fox 10 anchor John Hook. More than a year ago, Hook started working with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and convinced prosecutors to release enough blood so state-of-the-art DNA tests could be conducted.

The DNA results are in. Hook is mum, but he will reveal the results Monday on the 9 PM news.

If the blood is a match with the blood found in Carpenter's car, it's close to a slam dunk he was the killer, but he can't be prosecuted for 2 reasons ... double jeopardy, and he's dead.

Jose Fernandez Bar Won't Be Punished For Serving Star Before Boat Crash

11/5/2016 12:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1104-jose-fernandez-GETTY-01The bar where Jose Fernandez and his 2 friends were last seen partying and drinking before the fatal boat crash will NOT be investigated for possibly over serving the group ... officials tell TMZ Sports.

In many states, bars can be held criminally liable if they over serve a patron who is obviously intoxicated -- if that patron gets in a car crash or something like it as a result of being drunk. 

But not in Florida. 

In fact, when we reached out to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to find out if they would be investigating American Social in Miami, here's what we were told:

"[American Social] does not have any pending complaints and is not under investigation by DBPR’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco."

The rep added, "There are no Florida laws pertaining to the over service of alcoholic beverages, thus an investigation has not been initiated as a result of the findings in this incident."

Officials have said Fernandez and the other 2 victims reeked of booze when they were pulled from the crash scene -- and a receipt for alcohol from American Social was discovered in one of the victim's pockets. It's still unclear who was driving the boat at the time of the incident.

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Jose Fernandez Marlins Jersey Will Stay Retired ... Despite Cocaine, Booze Evidence

11/2/2016 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1101-jose-fernandez-getty-03New evidence showing Jose Fernandez had cocaine and booze in his system at the time of his fatal boat crash will not sway the Miami Marlins from retiring his jersey number ... team officials tell TMZ Sports.

In the days after Jose's death, team owner Jeffrey Loria said no other Marlins player would wear #16 again -- but that was before the case became a homicide investigation.

Officials have said Fernandez was coked up and drunk at the time his boat crashed, killing himself and two other people. Officials have not said who was driving the boat -- but said it was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. 

A lawyer for Jose's family has said officials have spoken with a "highly reliable" witness who claims Jose was NOT driving. The attorney claims the witness was on the phone with Jose before the crash and he heard the pitcher giving directions to someone else on the boat.

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Katie May's Death Estate Warns Chiropractor ... Pay Us 7 Figures or Else

10/31/2016 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1027-katie-may-INSTAGRAM-01Former Playboy model Katie May's estate is giving the chiropractor who caused her death 2 options -- fund her daughter's education or brace for a wrongful death lawsuit.  

Katie's estate says it's contacted the L.A. chiropractor who adjusted Katie's neck, accidentally tearing a major artery which the coroner says caused her death. The estate's powerhouse lawyer, Ronald Richards, tells us the coroner's finding -- first reported by TMZ, makes it clear the chiro needs to compensate Katie's heir ... her 7-year-old daughter.

Richards says he told the chiropractor he wants a settlement to avoid a lengthy, messy trial. He told us the estate is seeking something in the low 7 figures, and intends to use it to set up a college fund for Katie's little girl.

He agrees with the coroner's finding that the death was accidental, but adds ... when licensed professionals are negligent and cause death "there are some consequences." 

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Jose Fernandez Cocaine & Booze In System During Fatal Crash

10/29/2016 11:37 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

1029-main-jose-fernandez-getty-01Jose Fernandez had cocaine and alcohol in his blood last month when he was involved in a boat crash that killed his two friends, along with the famed pitcher.

Jose's BAC was .147, approaching twice the legal limit, according to the Miami-Dade Coroner's Office. Cocaine was detected in his system as well.

Fernandez's friends both had small amounts of alcohol in their system ... one also had cocaine.

0926_Jose-Fernandez_wreckage_apTMZ broke the story ... Fernandez and friends partied at a local bar less than two hours before the fatal crash. The spot -- American Social Bar & Kitchen -- has a dock for boaters to pull up, get out and get served. 

It's still unclear who was driving the boat at the time of the crash. 

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