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BMX Legend Scot Breithaupt

Found Dead In Tent

7/6/2015 10:11 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0706-scot-breithaupt-facebookBMX Hall of Famer Scot Breithaupt -- known as the "Godfather of BMX" -- was found dead in a tent in Indio, CA this weekend ... cops confirm. 

The 57-year-old was a god in the BMX world  ... and helped establish bicycle motocross as an international sport.  He also served as a BMX commentator for ESPN back in the day. 

According to law enforcement, Breithaupt's body was found in a tent in a vacant lot. Officials are investigating the death but say it does not appear Scot was murdered. 

Story developing ... 

Burt's Bees Co-Founder

Dead at 80

7/6/2015 7:14 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0706-burt-shavitz-getty-01Burt Shavitz -- the co-founder of the natural cosmetics company Burt's Bees, which bore his name and likeness -- died Sunday in Maine. He was 80. 

A spokeswoman for the company said Shavtiz died of respiratory complication, surrounded by family and friends. The company's website says Shavitz "has left for greener fields and wilder woods."

Shavitz and Roxanne Quimby founded the company in 1984. They made $20,000 in their first year and the company was eventually bought by Clorox in 2007 ... for $925 million.

Shavitz left the company in the '90s after he claims he was forced out for having an affair with an employee. He says he received 37 acres of land in Maine and an undisclosed sum of money as part of his exit deal.

Darryl Hamilton's Death

Girlfriend's Ex Called 911

... Sounds Like a Violent Situation

6/23/2015 2:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

90s Major Leaguer Darryl Hamilton was killed by his girlfriend in what police are calling a murder-suicide -- and right before the shooting ... she begged her ex-husband to call cops.

The 911 call was placed by Monica Jordan's ex Sunday around 4:45 PM outside Houston. He tells the operator Monica sounded distraught, and wanted him to get over to her house immediately. 

Monica was living with Hamilton, who retired after the 2001 season ... and had played for the Mets, Giants, and several other teams. 

The ex husband said he didn't think there were any weapons in the house. He was wrong. When police arrived they found Hamilton's body with multiple gunshot wounds -- and Monica's body with one self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The couple's 14-month old child was safe in the home.

Homeless Man

Featured in YouTube $100 Challenge

Dies from Alcoholism

6/23/2015 2:23 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

062315_homeless_guy_primary_v2The $100 homeless man who became famous for his generosity has died ... TMZ has learned.

We're told Kenni Thomas Nickel -- featured in a YouTube video that generated 40 million views -- was found dead in an L.A. alleyway. The L.A. County Coroner's Office tells us Nickel died from chronic alcohol abuse. He passed away last month. 

You'll recall, a stranger gave Nickel $100 and then followed him around with a hidden camera to see how Nickel spent it. To everyone's surprise, Nickel used the cash to dish out food and other necessities to homeless people. 

Nickel was 56.

R.I.P.

Dick Van Patten

'Eight Is Enough' Star Dies at 86

6/23/2015 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0623-dick-van-patton-getty-01Dick Van Patten, best known for playing the dad on the classic TV show "Eight Is Enough," died Tuesday morning in Santa Monica.

Van Patten's rep released a statement Tuesday, saying, "I am sorry to report this sad news. His family will not be doing any press at this time."

He reportedly died of complications from diabetes.

Van Patten started acting when he was just 7 -- often appearing on Broadway. Besides his huge TV role ... Dick also had memorable roles in the Mel Brooks movies "Spaceballs" and "Robin Hood Men in Tights."

He was 86.

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'Titanic' Composer

James Horner

Dead in Plane Crash

6/22/2015 5:39 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0622-james-horner-GETTY-01update_graphic_red_barHorner's assistant Sylvia Wells confirmed his death on Facebook, writing, "A great tragedy has struck my family today, and I will not be around for a while. I would like some privacy and time to heal. We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved."

Celine Dion tweeted about his death, writing, "Rene and I are deeply saddened by the tragic death of James Horner. He will always remain a great composer in our hearts. James played an important part in my career. We will miss him. We offer his family and friends our deepest sympathy."

update_grey_gray_barA plane owned by James Horner -- the Academy Award-winning composer of "My Heart Will Go On" -- crashed Monday morning, killing the pilot.  

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... the 2-seater S312 Tucano MK1 -- a single-engine turboprop -- went down at 9:30 AM west of Santa Barbara. We're told the pilot was alone in the aircraft when it crashed, but authorities have not identified the body.

0621_TUCANO_MK1_Adrian-PingstoneThe crash sparked a brush fire, and there was almost nothing left of the plane. 

Horner composed soundtracks for Hollywood's top directors – Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Ron Howard, Mel Gibson -- and won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for "Titanic" ... which included Celine Dion's massive hit.

61-year-old Horner is a known recreational pilot ... much like Harrison Ford.

Lamar Odom's Friend

Died From Flesh-Eating Disease

Caused by Drug Use

6/18/2015 6:06 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0617-jamie-lamar-odom-tmz-instagramJamie Sangouthai --  Lamar Odom's best friend -- did not die from an OD, but it was drug related ... a flesh-eating disease caused by dirty needles. 

The exact terms are necrotizing fasciitis -- bacterial skin infection -- and chronic intravenous narcotism -- IV drug abuse ... according to the L.A. County Coroner. 

The Coroner says Sangouthai went to the hospital for the infected arm, but the disease spreads quickly and often becomes life-threatening.

Sangouthai -- who appeared with Lamar and Khloe Kardashian on their reality show -- died Sunday at a hospital in Los Angeles. He was 37 years old.

Andrew Getty, J. Paul's Grandson

Ulcers and Meth Caused Death

6/16/2015 2:57 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0616-andrew-getty-01

Andrew Getty, the grandson of J. Paul Getty, was under the influence of meth ... and his habit was so bad he did an 8 ball a day ... this according to the Coroner's report.

TMZ broke the story, Getty was found dead in March in the bathroom of his L.A. home.  

According to the L.A. County Coroner, Getty's ex-girlfriend, Lanessa DeJong, was present when paramedics arrived and appeared to be under the influence of drugs. She told authorities Andrew had a meth problem and did an 8 ball a day.

The official cause of death is a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, but meth was a contributing factor. The autopsy showed toxic levels of the drug. 

Getty also had a pharmacy of Rx drugs at his home, including Concerta, Adderall, Norco, as well as Dainabol and Trenabol Acetate (both anabolic steroids).

And according to the Coroner's report, investigators found an interesting clue on Getty's cellphone. There were 2 texts from a person named Robby, who wrote, "Lemme know if you need something.  Imma grabbing the good stuff in a minute." The second text reads, "It's a good batch, my man."

As we reported, authorities found a significant amount of blood around the body and in the toilet ... consistent with a gastrointestinal hemorrhage. 

Kirk Kerkorian

Billionaire Casino Mogul Dies at 98

6/16/2015 8:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0616-kirk-kerkorian-GETTY-01Business tycoon Kirk Kerkorian -- the billionaire behind Las Vegas casinos, Hollywood's MGM Studio, and Chrysler ... has died at the age of 98. 

Kerkorian died in Los Angeles on Monday after a brief illness.

He's most famous for making Vegas what it is today -- as the founder of MGM Resorts his company went on to purchase more than half of the rooms on the Strip by swallowing up competitors like Mirage Resorts and Mandalay Resorts.

A major notch in his belt -- he's responsible for luring Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand to perform in Vegas.

Kerkorian bought and sold MGM Studios multiple times. He made major bank off his purchase of the James Bond franchise, and merging United Artists with MGM.

He's also famous for his 2001 divorce from his wife of one month, Lisa Bonder. She wanted $320,000 a month in alimony and child support. He eventually paid her $10 million plus $100k/month in child support ... even though he turned out to not be the father! 

Kerkorian's latest net worth was $4.2 billion. He has 2 grown daughters, and he reportedly married his longtime on/off GF Una Davis last year. 

Lamar Odom

Best Friend Jamie Dies of Apparent Heroin OD

6/14/2015 5:31 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0614_lamar_odom_jamie-sangouthai_tmz_instagramLamar Odom's best friend, Jamie Sangouthai -- the man Khloe and others claimed fueled Lamar's disastrous crack binge 2 years ago -- has died, and we're told authorities believe it was a heroin OD.  

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ, Jamie died Sunday in a hospital in downtown L.A.  He was taken to the hospital after someone called 911.

Jamie was featured on Khloe and Lamar's reality show and they highlighted Jamie's problems on the program.

You may recall a crazy video of an obviously high Lamar and Jamie rapping about Khloe.

Khloe just tweeted, "When does it stop? RIP Jamie Sangouthai."

Jamie was 37 years old. 

MC Supreme

Killed in PCH Accident ...

Same Spot as Jenner Crash

6/15/2015 6:25 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

crash-on-pch-splash-02'90s rapper MC Supreme was killed on the exact same stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway ... where Caitlyn Jenner had her fatal accident.

Supreme ... who's biggest hit was "Black in America" ... was sitting in a parked car on the shoulder of the highway early Saturday, overlooking the ocean in Malibu -- when an alleged drunk driver slammed into his car.

The rapper -- real name Dewayne Coleman -- was pronounced dead on the scene, while a female passenger in his car was taken to the hospital.

The tragedy comes 4 months after Jenner's crash. There's nothing particularly dangerous about that section of the road (nothing like Dead Man's Curve on Sunset) -- other than drivers getting distracted by the ocean views. 

Roddy Piper

Best Memory of Dusty Rhodes?!

... Donkey Smugglin'!

6/12/2015 7:03 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Dusty Rhodes was a "national treasure" ... the human embodiment of 24-karat gold ... so says his former ring-mate Rowdy Roddy Piper who's honoring his friend with a HILARIOUS memory. 

Piper was clearly emotional about the death of the wrestling legend when we saw him out in L.A. Thursday -- so we asked him to share a memory of Rhodes that would make him smile.

What we got was AWESOME -- a tale of smuggling a donkey (or a zebra) to the 12th floor of an apartment in Minnesota.

"He was in a league of his own," Piper says. 

R.I.P. 

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All Blacks

Emotional War Dance

To Honor Teammate Killed In Crash

6/12/2015 6:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

In a powerfully emotional tribute to their former teammate, several former members of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team performed the team's "haka" war dance at the spot where Jerry Collins was killed. 

As we previously reported, Collins -- a former All Blacks captain -- and the mother of his child died in a terrible car wreck in France on Friday. 

After the crash, several of Jerry's former teammates went to the spot of the accident -- and performed the traditional Maori war dance that the All Blacks do as a team before every rugby match. 

One of the players involved, Neemia Tialata, posted the video to social media and wrote, "Saying goodbye 2 the brother and his partner the way we were all brought together #AllBlackFamily."

R.I.P.

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