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'Big Brother'

Ariana Grande Hides Grandpa's Death

From Brother Frankie

54 minutes ago BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Ariana Grande Grandpa Died"Big Brother" is now keeping a deep secret  -- something that could derail the show if revealed too soon -- and it involves the death of one of Ariana Grande's relatives.

Ariana's grandfather died Tuesday.  He's also the grandpa of Ariana's brother, Frankie Grande, who's a contestant on "Big Brother."

It seems just before he died the grandfather knew Frankie might bail from the show if he found out, so one of grandpa's last wishes was to keep his death a secret from Frankie.

Ariana was chronicling her grandpa's illness ... recently posting pictures with him in the hospital.  But Frankie never saw them per the rules of the show.

Ariana made her grandfather's wishes clear, tweeting, "asked grandps last week if he wanted us to pull frankie off bb & he said "no way! he's gotta play the game even tho i don't understand it"

It seems from the "Big Bro" live feeds ... Frankie is still in the dark over his grandpa's death.


Peaches Geldof

Cause of Death

Heroin Overdose

7/23/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0430-peaches-geldof-getty-01The coroner has made it official ... Peaches Geldof died from a heroin overdose.

The levels of heroin in Geldof's body were in a "fatal range," and puncture wounds were found on her elbows, wrists and thumbs.

According to police, the heroin found in her home the day of her death tested 61% pure. Typical street heroin is 30%.

Geldof's husband, musician Thomas Cohen, has said Geldof was trying to kick her drug habit and had been taking methadone for 2.5 years.

The 25-year-old Geldof was found dead in her home on April 7.


Richard Pryor Jr.

Fires off Legal Threat ...

I'll Sue if Stepmom Goes Forward with Biopic

7/22/2014 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Richard Pryor Movie Rights
Richard Pyror
was dying and mentally incapacitated when his wife duped him into signing over the rights to his name ... so claims Pryor's son, who's trying to shut down a movie about his dad.

Richard Pryor Jr. has fired off a cease and desist letter to Jennifer Lee Pryor, demanding she stop production of the Lee Daniels directed biopic immediately.

TMZ obtained a copy of the letter in which Richard Jr. accuses Jennifer of using "illegal, fraudulent" activity to get the rights. The document isn't more specific about the alleged fraud.

Richard Jr.'s lawyer tells us her client believes Pryor was in poor mental and physical health when he signed over the rights in 2005.  Pryor died in December of that year.

Jennifer has been battling Pryor's children over the film -- including who should play Pryor.

Richard Jr. is threatening legal action if the movie goes forward. We reached out to Jennifer for comment ... so far no word back.



Katie Cleary

Dead Husband's Will

Leaves Her Zilch

7/21/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

"Deal or No Deal" model Katie Cleary just got a big fat dose of karma -- according to some of her dead husband's friends -- because she'll inherit NOTHING if the will stands.

TMZ got a copy of Andrew Stern''s will and the document is clear -- Andrew's parents are the sole beneficiaries of his $408,000 life savings.

TMZ broke the story ... Andrew killed himself at a shooting range last month ... the result of severe depression.  Some of Andrew's friends say he was tormented by Katie and her gallivanting around the world with celebs like Leo DiCaprio.  She says they had already split up and he was ok with it.

Andrew signed the will in 2007 ... 3 years before he married Katie.

Sources close to Katie tell us ... she believes Andrew drafted a new will after they were married, leaving her a big chunk of his assets. We're told she hasn't found the will yet but she's sure it exists.

Andrew filed for divorce 2 months before he committed suicide but it wasn't final so she was his wife at the time of death.


Legendary Actor

James Garner

Dead at 86

7/19/2014 11:23 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0719-james-garner-getty-01Legendary actor James Garner -- star of "The Rockford Files" and "The Notebook" -- has died ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us an ambulance was dispatched to the actor's home in Los Angeles around 8PM Saturday evening ... and he was found dead when they arrived on scene.

James died of natural causes.

Garner was one of the first actors to amass success in both television and film ... and he starred in a long list of classic films -- as well as a co-starring role in the '94 big screen version of "Maverick" starring Mel Gibson. Garner was the original Bret Maverick from 1957-1960 ... as well as the same character in a short lived '80s remake.

Garner, who was 86 years old, also played the older version of Ryan Gosling's character in "The Notebook."


'The Patriot' Star

Skye McCole Bartusiak

Dead at 21

7/19/2014 5:39 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

0719-skye-getty-01update_graphic_red_bar1:00 PM PST: Skye reportedly had been suffering from seizures and on Saturday morning her boyfriend came home and found her sitting up in bed in her parents converted garage.  The family believes she had a seizure and choked to death.
update-grey-gray-barSkye McCole Bartusiak -- who played Mel Gibson's daughter in the 2000 hit movie, "The Patriot" -- is dead.

We do not know the cause of death. We're told Skye died at her home in Texas Saturday.

Skye was only 7 when she starred opposite Mel in the historical war film.

Skye starred in only one other movie in recent years -- "Sick Boy." Other than that she had roles in various short films.

Sources say Skye struggled after doing "The Patriot" ... trying to establish a foot print in Hollywood, but it was largely a frustrating and unsuccessful experience.

We’re told police found her dead in the garage apartment behind her home around 9AM Saturday. Right now, no foul play is suspected and it’s being treated as a natural causes death -- pending autopsy results.

Law enforcement sources tells us ... there are no "obvious signs" she took her own life ... however, our sources say toxicology reports could change their operating theory.


Casey Kasem Body


7/18/2014 12:05 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Casey Kasem Body MissingCasey Kasem has been dead for more than a month .... yet he's not been buried and now we've learned his body is missing.

Fingers now point in the direction of Casey's widow, Jean.  Family sources say Jean took the body from a funeral home the day before a judge ordered her to keep it there so an autopsy could be performed. 

The autopsy is crucial to an ongoing criminal investigation targeting Jean.  The Santa Monica PD is looking into elder abuse allegations ... that Jean took Casey on a wild, week-long multi-state car ride which caused him to develop bed sores that got infected and contributed to his death.

Jean and Casey's children have been at war for years.

As for where the body is ... no one but Jean seems to know, and no one can find her either.  It's interesting ... Jean listed Jerusalem as her address on Casey's death certificate. 

Casey's daughter Kerri believes Jean is out of the country. 

We reached out to Jean's people.  So far no word back.


Elaine Stritch

'30 Rock' & B'way Star Dies At 89

7/17/2014 10:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0717-elaine-stritch-getty-01Broadway actress Elaine Stritch -- who also starred in movies and TV shows including "30 Rock" -- has died at her home in Birmingham, Michigan.  She was 89 years old.

Stritch had a 70-year career in show business. Her one-woman show, "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" earned her a Tony award in 2001 -- but most recently she played Alec Baldwin's mother on "30 Rock." She won an Emmy for that role.

Some of her biggest Broadway productions include Noel Coward's "Sail Away" -- and Stephen Sondheim's "Company." Elaine was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1995.

She had been battling diabetes, but her cause of death has not been disclosed yet.


Tommy Ramone

Dead at 62

7/12/2014 7:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

The last surviving original member of legendary punk rock group "The Ramones" is dead.

Tommy Ramone -- the group's drummer on the first 3 albums -- died Friday at his home in Queens, New York. He'd been in a hospice following bile duct cancer treatments ... according to Variety.

Tommy stopped drumming for the band in '84 -- he was replaced by Marky Ramone -- but still worked with the Ramones throughout the years. Tommy is credited for writing most of "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" and "Blitzkrieg Bop."

Lead singer Joey Ramone died in 2001 of lymphoma, a drug overdose killed guitar player Dee Dee Ramone in 2002 ... and Johnny Ramone passed away in 2004 from prostate cancer.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.


'Harry Potter' Actor

Dies Hiking in Death Valley

7/11/2014 8:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Dave Legeno Dead
2:10 P.M. PDT
--  Inyo County officials tell us ... an autopsy was performed and the cause of death is heat stroke.
One of the villains from the "Harry Potter" movies -- British actor Dave Legeno -- died while hiking in Death Valley ... TMZ has learned.

Legeno's body was found by a pair of hikers on Sunday in an area so remote ... a CHP helicopter had to be called in to remove it.

50-year-old Legeno played the werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the 'Potter' movies. He was also in "Snatch."

The Inyo County Sheriff's Department (in CA) tells TMZ it appears Legeno died of heat related issues ... and may have been dead for 3-4 days before his body was discovered. Summer temps in Death Valley are known to go over 120 degrees. 

We're told the coroner still has Legeno's body while his family makes plans.

He has a daughter in her 20s.

Dave was also a pretty successful MMA fighter in the UK ... with a professional record of 4-3.


'Glee' Star Becca Tobin

Boyfriend Found Dead in Philly Hotel

7/10/2014 9:44 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Becca Tobin Boyfriend Matt Bendik Dead
1:56 P.M. PDT --
The coroner's office tells us ... an autopsy did NOT reveal the cause of death.
'Glee' star Becca Tobin's boyfriend Matt Bendik was found dead Thursday in a Philadelphia hotel ... TMZ has learned … and the circumstances surrounding his death are mysterious.

Sources close to the couple tell us Bendik -- a 35-year-old nightclub owner -- was in Philly on a business trip.  We're told Tobin was not in Philly when he died.

A hotel maid found Bendik's body Thursday at around 1 PM.  Law enforcement sources say the housekeeper found the body on the bed, face down.  

Police are calling it a "sudden death" and they do not believe foul play was involved.  They also say there's no evidence of suicide.  And no weapons were found.  

We're told no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found in the room.  We know the detective's incident report makes no mention of medications in the room.  And the report makes no mention of alcohol.

Bendik was last seen by a manager at a club in Philly, just before midnight Wednesday.

Bendik ran several major clubs around the country, but especially in Los Angeles … where he was the Director of Operations at DBA Nightclub. He also was a co-owner of AV Nightclub.

We're told Bendik was not known as a partier, and friends are shocked and devastated by his sudden death.

Calls to Tobin's reps have not been returned.

One eerie twist -- Sunday will mark one year since the death of Cory Monteith … who died in a Vancouver hotel room from a drug overdose.

DBA posted a tribute to Matt outside of the club.

Shortly before Matt went out Wednesday night, he posted a pic of Becca -- calling her out as his #WCW (woman crush Wednesday).





Original Voice Actor

Richard Jones Dies at 87

7/8/2014 10:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Pinocchio Dies
The first man who brought Pinocchio to life on the big screen has died -- Richard Percy Jones passed away at home in Northridge, CA.

Jones died Monday night ... apparently of natural causes.

As a kid, he was chosen by Walt Disney to provide the voice of the boy puppet for the 1940 animated flick, "Pinocchio." Jones was also a skilled rodeo rider -- appearing in a bunch of B-movies and TV shows. He also had bit roles in the "Our Gang" films.

Jones retired from acting in the 1960s... to go into real estate and banking. He's survived by his wife and 4 kids.


Hi-Five Singer Russell Neal

Charged with Murder

7/4/2014 7:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Photos

Hi-Five singer Russell Neal's wife was killed after being stabbed multiple times and he's now been charged with murder.

Cops say Catherine Martinez died from blunt force trauma and stab wounds.

The victim was a hot, 24-year-old fitness model.  She was also an aspiring boxer who went by the name Brasilia.

The 40-year-old singer went to the police station Wednesday and told cops his wife was dead in their apartment and he needed a lawyer.

The couple has 2 kids.  Law enforcement sources say there were no witnesses to the murder so it appears the children were not in the apartment when their mom was killed.

Neal is currently in custody on $100K bond.


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