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Pam Anderson

Sam Simon's $800K Gift Enrages Family

She's Banned from Private Funeral

3/14/2015 1:16 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0314-pam-anderson-sam-simonPamela Anderson got a lavish gift from Sam Simon just weeks before he died, and ironically the show of affection is the very thing that has made her persona non grata at his private funeral.

Pam and Sam have been tight for years.  We're told a couple of weeks before the co-creator of "The Simpsons" succumbed to Colon Cancer, he gave her a ring worth around $800,000.

Sources who were close to Sam tell us his family was infuriated and felt Pam took advantage of a weak man and should never have accepted the gift.  

We're told they have specifically decided to exclude her from Tuesday's private service. 

We tried reaching Pam for comment.  So far no word back.

Sam Simon

Beloved Dog Coping with Death

3/12/2015 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0311_sam_and_culumbo_twitterSam Simon's cherished 3-year-old dog is heartsick over his owner's death, but there's already a new owner who is doing everything he can to ease the blow.

Tyson Kilmer, one of Sam's close friends who is also a dog trainer, tells us shortly after Sam was diagnosed, he called with a request -- love and cherish his Italian mastiff after he died.

Tyson gladly obliged, especially because of his history with Columbo. He trained the pooch for aggression issues when he was a pup. 

Tyson had a plan he put into motion months before Sam died. Columbo spent time at Tyson's home so the permanent move wouldn't be too jarring.  

We're told Columbo is adjusting well, but misses his dad. Kilmer took one of Sam's favorite hooded sweatshirts and laid it on Columbo's bed ... which the dog snuggles up with at night.

Good news ... Columbo has a girlfriend ... a pit bull named Kasha Fierce.

The biggest adjustment for Columbo ... moving from Pacific Palisades to Sherman Oaks ... woof.

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'Simpsons' Co-Creator

Dies After Long Battle With Cancer

3/9/2015 11:41 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0309-sam-simon-getty-01Sam Simon, the co-creator of "The Simpsons" has died ... TMZ has learned.

Simon passed away Sunday at his L.A. home, following a long, difficult battle with colon cancer. Simon was diagnosed in 2012 and was very public that his disease was terminal.

We're told Simon was surrounded by his family when he died, and his dog. The dog was very special in Sam's life ... he was a big animal rights advocate.

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The Sam Simon Foundation tells us, "For those of us who knew him, his voice will forever echo in our minds; his sense of humor will continue to make us laugh; and his compassion and generosity will continue to impact our lives."

Adding, "Sam, you will be missed by many, but there is a particular sadness among our clinic staff. We have been together for so long, and your absence will forever leave a void in our lives."

Hank Azaria, who voices multiple characters on the show, just tweeted, "Rest in peace and thank you for The Simpsons, Sam Simon."

Sam previously announced he would be leaving his nearly $100 million fortune to his various charities.

Simon was 59.

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Matt Groening

Bart Simpson Smokes Blunts

... Here's the Proof

2/14/2015 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Matt Groening Drawing Bart SimpsonMatt Groening can draw Bart Simpson doing anything -- and he can do it in his sleep -- so if you say "make it interesting" when he's doing a custom sketch for you ... buckle up!

"The Simpsons" co-creator was doodling for a few fans at JFK this week, and one guy got way more than he expected. If you've ever wondered what a strung out, crack alley version of Bart looks like ... wonder no more.

Check out the vid to see the sketch, start to finish. Based on the fan's response ... we'd say Matt earned his 'hood pass.

'Simpsons' Exec Producer

Homer's Coma Theory is Cool ...

But TOTALLY FALSE!

2/13/2015 12:18 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

Homer Simpson ComaHomer Simpson has NOT been stuck in a coma since the '90s ... despite a fan theory that has thrown "The Simpsons" fans for a loop -- so says the show's executive producer.

The idea -- first posted on Reddit -- theorizes Homer's been in a coma since a 1993 episode where he was hospitalized. The fan theory is that he never woke up, and everything that's happened ever since was a dream ... but Al Jean tells us NOT TRUE.

Al explains, "It would mean back in 1993 we would presume the show was going on for years and years more and right before we left, threw this hidden monkey wrench in for all our successors," adding, "I’m afraid it goes with the 'Dead Bart' episode in the intriguing but false file.”

Doh.

'Simpsons' Creator Matt Groening

Smithers Was Black By Mistake

... DOH!

11/17/2014 3:17 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
The Simpsons Mr Smithers BlackThe creator of "The Simpsons" says Smithers was color incorrect when he first appeared on the show ... black.

Waylon Smithers' black hue was simply a mistake, but producers didn't have the money to turn him to his intended yellow ... so says Matt Groening.

Groening gives an interesting explanation for the error, which was short-lived. It was corrected for Smithers' second appearance in the town of Springfield ... whatever state it's in.

Groening also tells us why all the other characters are yellow ... and it's not what you'd expect.

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'The Simpsons'

Accused of Mob Hit ...

Yous Guys Stole My Identity

10/21/2014 3:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1021-frank-sivero-wb-fox-01"The Simpsons" pulled off a major heist when the mafioso character Louie rolled into Springfield -- and now a "Goodfellas" star wants a cut of the action.

Frank Sivero played Frankie Carbone in the classic 1990 film ... and says "The Simpsons" created a Carbone copy of that character when Louie first appeared in an episode entitled "Bart the Murderer" on Oct. 10, 1991.

Louie, who is Fat Tony's henchman on "The Simpsons" ... is hardly a regular. According to Sivero's lawsuit against FOX, the character appeared in 15 more episodes between his debut and April 27, 2014.

In the suit, obtained by TMZ, Sivero says he lived in the same apartment complex as some of the 'Simpsons' writers back in '89 ... and they knew all about the character he "created and developed" for 'Goodfellas.'

To the naked eye ... Louie does look like a dead ringer for Frankie.

Sivero is suing for $100 million ... or a whopping $6,250,000 per episode. We've reached out to FOX for comment, but no word back yet.

'Blackfish' Car

RACE ON AT TALLADEGA

Thanks to 'Simpsons' Creator

4/1/2014 11:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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Former NASCAR driver Leilani Munter WILL be taking her "Blackfish" car to Talladega, TMZ has learned -- all thanks to an incredibly generous donation from "Simpsons" co-creator Sam Simon.

As we reported, Leilani had desperately been trying to raise money to pay for the $115,000 fee to enter the car for a big race at an ARCA event at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3rd. As of our last story, she had raised only $7,500.

But that all changed last week -- Leilani appeared on Simon's radio show to talk about her car and orca-related activism ... and Simon was so moved, Leilani tells us, he donated the balance of her entrance fee immediately after the show ... $107,500.

We're told Simon visited Taiji in February (the place where "The Cove" was shot) and has become an outspoken advocate for the humane treatment of orcas. Leilani tells us, she plans to win the race on behalf of orcas around the world suffering in captivity.

Sam -- who has terminal colon cancer -- has vowed to give away his fortune before he dies ... specifically toward animal rights and feeding the hungry.

As if giving the world "The Simpsons" wasn't enough.

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Kelsey Grammer

Brian Griffin's Gone But ...

Sideshow Bob WILL Be Back

11/30/2013 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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It's always darkest before the dawn -- "Family Guy" might have taken away our beloved Brian Griffin ... but Kelsey Grammer tells TMZ, Sideshow Bob WILL be making a triumphant return to "The Simpsons."

KG was out in L.A. this week when we got to chatting about Brian's death ... and conspiracy theories about the dog's return ... and Kelsey says Sideshow Bob ALWAYS comes back. "They've already killed him 20 times. He comes back a lot."

So will he be coming back for sure ... Kelsey says yes ... BUT WHEN??? Watch the clip.

'Simpsons' Star Marcia Wallace

Breast Cancer DID Contribute to Death

11/22/2013 4:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
1122_marcia_wallace_death_certificate_Article_fox_getty"Simpsons" star Marcia Wallace's family denied breast cancer had anything to do with the actress' death ... but according to her death certificate, the disease played a significant role.

TMZ obtained a copy of Wallace's death certificate ... which lists pneumonia, sepsis (inflammation due to infection), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as the primary causes of death.

The report also says breast cancer was a "significant condition" contributing to her death ... despite the fact Marcia's son initially downplayed reports mentioning cancer

According to the doc ... Wallace's body was cremated just days after her death.

'The Simpsons'

Mrs. Krabappel to Be Written Off Show

... But Not for A While

10/29/2013 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Exclusive Details
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Mrs. Krabappel WILL be written off "The Simpsons" in the wake of the death of the actress who voiced the character ... but it's not going to happen for a while, TMZ has learned.

TMZ spoke with "Simpsons" E.P. Al Jean who tells us ... no one could possibly fill Marcia Wallace's shoes as the voice of Ned Flanders' 2nd wife -- so they're not even going to try.

Al says producers do plan to write Edna off the show -- but there's no rush, because the series is produced so far in advance, Marcia had a year's worth of episodes recorded when she passed away.

TMZ broke the story ... Edna is NOT the mystery character that producers had planned to kill off the show this coming season.  Al wouldn't say how Edna will leave Springfield. 

As for Marcia, we're told the legendary comedy actress will be laid to rest in the next few days in a private ceremony.

R.I.P.

'Simpsons' Star Marcia Wallace

Dead at 70

10/26/2013 2:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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1:45 PT -- Marcia's son Mikey tells us the actress passed away due to pneumonia complications ... and that reports saying breast cancer played a role are completely false.

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Marcia Wallace -- who voiced Edna Krabappel on "The Simpsons" -- died last night in Los Angeles ... TMZ has learned.

Marcia's caregiver tells us ... the actress passed away at home with her family by her side.  We're told she had been sick for the past few months ... but the caregiver couldn't go into specifics.

Wallace has been on TV since the 70's -- and spent 3 decades on various game show panels like "Hollywood Squares", "The $25,000 Pyramid" and "Match Game" ... as well as receptionist Carol Kester on "The Bob Newhart Show."

The actress was also a huge activist for breast cancer ... after being diagnosed with the disease in 1985.

She was 70. 

'Simpsons' Exec

Edna's NOT the Mystery Death

10/26/2013 9:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE
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The big death being teased on "The Simpsons" this coming season is NOT Edna Krabappel -- the character voiced by Marcia Wallace -- the show's executive producer tells TMZ.

E.P. Al Jean tells us ... they never planned that Edna would be the character to bite it.  In fact, he says they had been writing a storyline based on her newly-wedded life with Ned Flanders.

We're told Marcia had been unable to do "Simpsons" voice over work for the past few weeks due to her declining health ... but producers were still hoping for the best.

Al tells us the Edna character will more than likely be retired this season -- but it's too early to say how she'll go away.

Al adds, "Marcia was such a sweet and talented woman ... she will be missed."

As we previously reported -- Marcia died last night at her home in Los Angeles.

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