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'Gilbert Grape' Star Darlene Cates Dead at 69

3/28/2017 5:58 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0328-darlene-cates-momma-gilbert-grape-GETTY-01Darlene Cates, who played the Gilbert's mom in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," has died.

We're told Darlene died Sunday morning in her sleep ... this according to family.

She was discovered by the screenwriter of the movie, Peter Hedges, after seeing her on "Sally Jessy Raphael." The show was titled, "Too Heavy to Leave Their House." Darlene talked about obesity and the pelvic infection that caused her to gain nearly 150 pounds.  

Hedges offered Darlene the role of Leo DiCaprio's morbidly obese mom in 'Gilbert Grape,' which became an instant classic.

RIP 

John Singleton Did You Know This About Tupac?

3/28/2017 7:29 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

John Singleton's always dropping knowledge ... his subject this time around -- Tupac.

The famed director was leaving The London NYC on Monday when we asked about Pac's many talents ... and we're not talking just rap skills. Remember, he co-starred in John's "Poetic Justice" back in '93 ... so he would know.

This clip is really interesting, especially considering Tupac's about to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Music only scratches the surface, according to John.

Zayn Malik Cousin Dies from Brain Tumor

3/28/2017 6:46 AM PDT

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Zayn Malik's young cousin has died after battling a brain tumor for years.

Arshiya Malik was only 5, but had been diagnosed with the tumor several years ago. Zayn took a touching photo with Arshiya and his then fiancée, Perrie Edward, back in 2014 ... the same year his family said, "Doctors have given up on Arshiya but she is still fighting brave like a soldier."

Zayn was "really close" to Arishiya, according to the Daily Mail. He hasn't commented yet about her passing.

The little girl's mother posted a pic, saying ... "An angel wrote in the book of life my baby's date of birth, then whispered as she closed the book.. 'Too beautiful for earth.'"

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Carrie Fisher Gary The Dog Gets A New Forever Home But Not With Billie

3/28/2017 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0327-carrie-fisher-gary-the-dog-tmz-getty-2Carrie Fisher's beloved French bulldog, Gary, was supposed to live with Billie Lourd after Carrie's passing, but it turns out that's NOT the case.

We've learned Carrie's assistant, Corby McCoin, took Gary almost immediately and is now the outright owner.

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Days after the actress died in December, Carrie's family said Billie would get the dog for several reasons ... not the least of which was that Gary was best friends with Billie's bulldog, Tina.  

As for why things changed, as everyone knows Gary was Carrie's constant companion, and Corby was a fixture in Carrie's life ... always around the dog. It ultimately made more sense for Gary to live with the person -- not the dog -- with whom he felt a connection.

We're told Corby's not cashing in by taking Gary ...  she just feels taking Gary is the right thing to do.

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Paul Walker Surfer Bros Beg City Council for 12 Foot Statue ... 'A Beacon of Headlights'

3/27/2017 11:51 AM PDT

Paul Walker could be standing tall in San Clemente thanks to some surfer bros who begged the City Council for a statue of their hero "in the midst of gnarly times."

Self-proclaimed freelance journalist Chad Kroeger made the pitch at last Tuesday's meeting, and his rationale for the 12 foot Paul statue is comedy gold ... and also, kinda touching. Chad's buddy gets up there too for some fond words on "unifying figure" Paul.

Dude, we can't even describe it ... you just have to watch this.

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Tupac Shakur Hall of Fame Induction Locks In Snoop Dogg

3/26/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0324_tupac_snoop_dogg_dr_dre_tmz_getty2Tupac Shakur's induction into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame next month will be a mini Death Row Records reunion because Snoop Dogg's leading the tribute, and we're told Dr. Dre's on the wish list too.

We're told Snoop jumped at the chance to lead a group of West Coast rappers in paying tribute to Pac. We're told Dr. Dre's been asked to join the ceremony as well.

Our sources say the plan is for the performance to feature a mix of at least 3 songs performed by Snoop -- and "California Love" is definitely on the setlist.

This year's ceremony takes place April 7 at the Barclays Center. 

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Auntie Fee 911 Call Alert Before Ambulance Rushed Her to Hospital

3/26/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Auntie Fee -- the viral video sensation also known as Chef Sista Girl -- was apparently alert before getting rushed to the hospital where she died after suffering a massive heart attack.

In the emergency call -- obtained by TMZ -- the dispatcher asks the 911 caller if Fee is the person he hears in the background before she screams "Oh my god!"

We broke the story ... Fee was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center last week after complaining of chest pains. She suffered the heart attack at the hospital and died a week later.

Auntie Fee -- real name Felicia O'Dell -- was 59.

Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds Public Memorial Draws Hundreds To Forest Lawn

3/25/2017 2:56 PM PDT

0325-debbie-carrie-public-memorial-primary-tmz-1Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds' public memorial just wrapped ... and included plenty of singing, dancing and memories.

The memorial was held at Forest Lawn Saturday inside a 1,200 seat theater, which was almost at capacity. Debbie's son, Todd, led the ceremony, which featured a video tribute, performances from Debbie's dance studio and closing words from Dan Aykroyd.

You'll remember, Fisher died in December days after suffering a massive heart attack on a flight into L.A. Her mother, Debbie passed away the following day after a stroke.

The two are buried together at Forest Lawn.

Chuck Berry 911 Call 'He's Barely Breathing'

3/23/2017 9:26 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chuck Berry was barely breathing when he was found unresponsive in his home Saturday and the 911 caller began immediate efforts to save his life ... but it was too late.

In the emergency call -- obtained by TMZ -- a man is heard telling dispatchers right away it's Berry who is down. He explains Berry's lifeless and barely breathing and the dispatcher gives CPR instructions.

The 90-year-old rock legend died shortly after the call. 

As we reported ... cops responded to a cardiac arrest call, but Chuck's cause of death will be listed as natural causes.


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Boston Drummer Sib Hashian Collapses, Dies on Rock Cruise Ship

3/23/2017 8:08 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0323-boston-band-member-sib-GETTY-01Sib Hashian -- the drummer for the rock group Boston -- died after collapsing onstage Wednesday night ... TMZ has learned.

Sib's son, Adam, tells us the drummer was on the Legends of Rock Cruise and was midset when he suddenly collapsed. A witness says CPR was performed and a defibrillator was used but to no avail.

The L.O.R. Cruise began on March 18 in Florida and had stops in several places including Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. We're told the cruise will continue and other musicians are performing tributes to Sib on the boat Thursday.

The drummer -- who donned an EPIC afro in the early days of his stellar career -- was famously part of Boston's self-titled album, which featured the mega-hit "More Than a Feeling."

Sib's daughter, Lauren, has a daughter with Dwayne Johnson.

He was 67.

#RIP

'Big Rig Bounty Hunters' Star Vince Jones Dead at 46

3/22/2017 9:41 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0322_Vince-Jones_big_rig-historyVince Jones -- who stars on History Channel's "Big Rig Bounty Hunters" -- died at his home in Delaware, OH on Wednesday  ... TMZ has learned.

Vince's mother, Cathy Smith, tells us ... Vince's wife woke up at 4 AM and heard him making strange noises, and he was barely breathing. She says the wife performed CPR and his 14-year-old son tried to help as well ... but they couldn't revive him.

The family believes it was a heart attack.

We're told Vince was diagnosed with sleep apnea last year and wasn't wearing his mask Tuesday night ... which they believe deprived him of oxygen and triggered the heart attack.

Vince's daughter just got married last Saturday, and we're told he was fine at the wedding.

Vince leaves behind his wife and 6 children. He was 46.

Chuck Barris 'Gong Show' and 'Dating Game' Creator Dead at 87

3/21/2017 11:11 PM PDT
Breaking News

0322_remembering_chuck_barris_launchGame show legend Chuck Barris -- creator and host of "The Gong Show" -- died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Palisades, NY ... according to his publicist.

In addition to starting 'Gong Show' in 1976 ... Barris had also created "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game" in the '60s. He claimed to have been a CIA assassin on the side, as chronicled in his autobiography, 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.'

The book became a movie in 2002, starring Sam Rockwell as Chuck, and was George Clooney's directorial debut.

And because TV and CIA work wasn't enough, Barris was also a songwriter! His biggest hit was 1962's "Palisades Park" ... sung by Freddy Cannon.

Chuck was 87.

He and Gene Gene the Dancing Machine (who died 2 years ago) are somewhere doing their thing again ... we hope.

#RIP

Michael Jordan Offers 'Heartfelt Condolences' to Jerry Krause's Family

3/21/2017 12:35 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0321-jordan-krause-tmz-getty-03Michael Jordan is mourning the death of his former Chicago Bulls General Manager, Jerry Krause ... offering his "heartfelt condolences" to Jerry's family and friends.

Jordan won all 6 of his NBA titles while playing under Krause -- and, while they butted heads at times, MJ is honoring his memory now.

Jordan issued a statement to TMZ Sports through his rep saying, "Jerry was a key figure in the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s and meant so much to the Bulls, the White Sox and the entire city of Chicago."

"My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Thelma, his family and friends."

Jerry was 77.

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