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Teletubby Tinky Winky Actor Simon Shelton Dies at 52

1/23/2018 7:57 AM PST

One of the guys who played Tinky Winky -- the allegedly gay Teletubby -- has died.

Simon Shelton died last week, according to his son, who told the BBC his dad passed last Wednesday. Shelton's niece, Emily Atack, said her uncle was "taken so suddenly."

Simon scored the "Teletubbies" role as the purple Teletubby after the original actor was fired in 1997. He stayed in the purple suit through 2001.

Tinky Winky was accused of being gay by deceased televangelist Jerry Falwell, who once wrote ... "He is purple -- the gay pride color, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle -- the gay pride symbol."

Yes, that actually happened.

Shelton was 52. RIP

Louie Anderson I'm Prettier as a Woman On 'Baskets'

1/23/2018 9:16 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Step aside, Julia Roberts ... Louie Anderson is the new pretty woman and he LOVES it.

We got Louie at LAX and asked if he's at all concerned about how he looks playing a woman in "Baskets." The role earned him an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor, and Louie digs it ... telling us, he's absolutely way more attractive as a woman than as a man. 

Louie's Emmy win was pretty groundbreaking. It was the first time a male actor has ever won for playing a female character.

Ya come a long way, Louie!

Keegan-Michael Key Jordan Better Act Again We Still Have 'Key & Peele' Reunion!!!

1/23/2018 7:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Keegan-Michael Key was laughing, but we hope he was dead serious -- he wants Jordan Peele to return to acting for a "Key & Peele" reunion.

We got the funny man Monday at LAX where Keegan beamed with pride about Jordan, who just nabbed 2 Oscar nominations for "Get Out." We also asked Keegan about what Jordan said a couple days ago -- he's joining Sir Daniel Day-Lewis and quitting acting.

Not so fast ... says Keegan, who definitely looks like he's holding his breath for an iconic "Key & Peele" reunion which sadly ended after just 5 seasons.

#FingersCrossed

Bill Cosby Works Older Crowd In 1st Comedy Show Since Trial

1/22/2018 4:50 PM PST

Bill Cosby is back to doing stand-up (or sit-down) for the first time since his sexual assault trial last summer ... and his crowd and venue has certainly changed.

Cosby's performed a live comedy set Monday at the LaRose Jazz Club in Philly alongside the Tony Williams Jazz Quartet. Most of Cosby's material focused on the comedian's struggle with blindness ... he didn't touch his pending trial.

The disgraced comedian's retrial on sexual assault charges is set to begin in April, and a new jury selection begins at the end of March. He averted a decision this past June when a jury couldn't agree on a verdict ... ending in a mistrial.

Looks like Cosby's back to doing his thing -- just on a smaller scale. He also played the drums.

Dominic Monaghan Sues You Screwed Up My Yard And You Didn't Have a License to Do It!

1/22/2018 7:03 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Dominic Monaghan had some landscaping done at his place by a guy he thought was qualified to do the job -- but turned out to be far from it ... this according to a new lawsuit.

The "Lord of the Rings" and "Lost" star just filed suit against Bruce De Luis, who Monaghan says presented himself as a contractor last year and agreed to do some work on his L.A. property -- installing steps and a stone patio, as well as general landscaping. 

Monaghan claims he shelled out a total of $53,840 for the job, but eventually came to find a bunch of defects and a substandard end product. He says he got a new estimate from a licensed contractor for the repairs, which came out to about $21,000. 

When he went back to De Luis -- who Monaghan claims didn't have a contractor's license to begin with -- the actor says the guy told him to get lost ... refusing to reimburse him for the alleged sloppy work.

Monaghan's asking a judge to force De Luis to fork over his original expenses and other damages.

Connie Sawyer Oldest Working Actress Dies at 105

1/22/2018 2:55 PM PST
Breaking News

Hollywood's oldest working actress, Connie Sawyer, died at home after an incredibly long and prolific career.

Connie reportedly passed away at her Woodland Hills home. Unclear exactly how, but she was 105 ... so presumably it's related to her age. 

The longtime actress got her start in Tinseltown at the age of 18, and has over 140 acting credits to her name -- most of which were TV roles.

Sawyer's been on a number of hit shows over her six-decade career, including "The Jackie Gleason Show," "The Andy Griffith Show," "All in the Family," 'Mary Tyler Moore,' "Starsky & Hutch," "Seinfeld," ... and on and on.

She's also starred in movies like "Dumb and Dumber," "Pineapple Express," "When Harry Met Sally..." and "The Way West."

RIP

Gabrielle Carteris I'm Honored '90210' Fans Still See, Hear Andrea

1/22/2018 12:35 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Gabrielle Carteris' #MeToo speech at the SAG Awards was so moving, fans thought it echoed one given by her character on "Beverly Hills, 90210" ... and Gabrielle agrees.

Carteris -- who's become Prez of SAG-AFTRA in 2016 -- tells TMZ she's "honored" people made the connection to her '90210' role of Andrea Zuckerman. Gabrielle made a powerful statement Sunday night about harassment and abuse in show biz.

She says Andrea was always a character who spoke the truth, and thanked her '90210' fans for making the comparison -- "You're the best!" for remembering her commencement speech at West Beverly High.

Check out the speeches for yourself ... it's pretty spot on. 

Judge Judy and CBS Sued by 2 Women Who Launched Court Show

1/22/2018 11:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Judge Judy is in the middle of a lawsuit, but this time she's not presiding ... she's the defendant.

The Estate of Sandi Spreckman along with Kaye Switzer are suing Judy and CBS, claiming they helped develop her insanely popular court show back in 1995 and they were cut out of all the profits ... especially when Judy sold the show's library to CBS for a reported $95 million.

Switzer and Spreckman were actually staffers on "The People's Court" during Wapner's run and got in touch with Judy and brought her to Larry Little, the producer who got the show up and running. The 2 women were dismissed early on.

They are gunning for $4.75 million, minimum.

We reached out to Judy's rep. So far, no comment.

Suzanne Somers I'll Say It, I'm Happy with Trump ... 'Now My Career is Over!!!'

1/22/2018 9:51 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Suzanne Somers is saying it loud and proud ... she's a huge fan of President Trump, and she also believes she's committing career suicide by saying that.

We got Suzanne leaving WeHo hot spot Madeo over the weekend and asked about the government shutdown. She says politicians need to get their crap together, but she praises the Prez ... particularly for the economy.

For the record, Trump's GDP stats in his first year mirror almost exactly Obama's in his second term.

Suzanne -- whose last big TV gig was on the '90s sitcom "Step by Step" -- can't help but laugh after acknowledging her Hollywood fate. 

SAG Awards 2018 1st Ever Host, Lots O' Color & Franco ... Go Behind the Scenes

1/21/2018 7:04 PM PST

The 24th annual SAG Awards was a mixed bag -- with the Time's Up movement as a backdrop ... there were some things (and people) we didn't expect to see. 

For starters ... Kristen Bell served as the award show's first-ever host -- and she kicked off an all-female ensemble of presenters for the night ... most of whom spoke out in support of Time's Up.

James Franco was also in attendance, despite recently being accused of sexual misconduct. Aziz Ansari, on the other hand, skipped the show amid his own allegations.

Morgan Freeman called out a would-be talker during his Lifetime Achievement award speech ... and women appeared to abandon the wardrobe blackout they adopted at the Globes.

Like we said ... tons of surprises. Go behind the scenes to check out the rest. 

The Notorious B.I.G. Looking Down On His Murder Scene

1/22/2018 12:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The marketing team behind "Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G" found a brilliant spot to promote the series ... right above Biggie's actual murder scene.

B.I.G. was gunned down March 9, 1997 as he left L.A.'s Petersen Automotive Museum -- on the corner of South Fairfax & Wilshire. Now, a huge billboard right above that intersection shows his face with the tagline "20 Years. Still Unsolved."  

The true crime scripted series also covers Tupac's murder, which happened 6 months before Biggie's. There is no billboard up at the Vegas intersection where 'Pac was killed. Not yet, anyway.

The show premieres February 27.

#HonkforBiggie.

'The Dark Tower' Young Star Will Make Big Bucks IF He's in Sequels

1/22/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Tom Taylor -- the young actor who plays Jake in "The Dark Tower" -- got a nice payday for his work in the film, but the big bucks are (hopefully) yet to come ... TMZ has learned.

According to the 16-year-old's contract ... Tom banked $125k for his role in the movie alongside Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey -- which is nice -- but will make double if he makes it into a sequel ... and $500k if there's a third installment. He'll also haul in $30k per episode if he lands the Jake role in a TV adaptation of Stephen King's story.

Here's the problem -- the movie massively disappointed critics after its summer release and reportedly barely broke even at the box office, taking in $111 million worldwide.

Since then, talk of a sequel's been muted, and even King has expressed concern about a TV project ... saying it would probably need to be a complete reboot.

Guess that's just show business, kid.

Yung Berg Wanted Man Again!! ... For Missing Court Date

1/22/2018 12:25 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Yung Berg apparently loves to learn the hard way -- not showing up to court is asking for trouble.

The 'Love & Hip Hop' star is a wanted man in Miami after missing ANOTHER court date following a weed bust. TMZ broke the story ... cops were called following an altercation in his hotel room back in October and they found 2 blunts on him. Normally, not a big deal but Berg had a 9-year-old warrant, so they arrested his ass.

He was later released, but was supposed to appear in court for his arraignment in the weed case on January 11 but -- you know how Berg's favorite game goes -- he never showed.

It's called Google Calendar, Berg.

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