Louie Anderson Dead at 68 After Blood Cancer Battle

Iconic comedian Louie Anderson has died, after a battle with blood cancer ... TMZ has learned.

As we previously reported, Anderson had been battling this aggressive cancer. And, while it's not clear when he was diagnosed, the "Coming to America" star was recently being treated for Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in a Vegas hospital.

Unfortunately, he lost that battle Friday morning ... according to his publicist.

Throughout his career of over 30 years, the 3-time Emmy Award winner became known as one of America's most beloved comics ... He was named “One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time” by Comedy Central.

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THE LAST TIME WE SAW HIM
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Louie made his network debut as a stand-up comedian on "The Tonight Show" back in 1984. And since then, he has become a household name, acting in lots of TV shows and movies ... like "Baskets" and "Coming to America" to name a few.

Louie also made a name for himself, by touring and doing his own specials and sitcoms. He was shown to turn the ups and downs of his childhood into laughter.

Just last year, Anderson made headlines when he opened up about his weight loss journey and losing 30 to 40 pounds during the pandemic ... which, he says was a result of intermittent fasting.

Louie continued to tour worldwide before being hospitalized ... doing what he does best, making others laugh. His legacy will surely live on.

He was 68.

RIP

Meat Loaf Dead at 74 From COVID

Meat Loaf -- the singer with some monstrous hits -- has died at the age of 74.

The singer's manager, Michael Greene, confirmed Meat Loaf died Thursday night. Sources with knowledge tell TMZ ... he was supposed to attend a business dinner earlier this week for a show he's working on -- "I'd Do Anything for Love" -- but the dinner was canceled because he became seriously ill with COVID. Sources tell us that condition quickly became critical.

Our sources say Meat Loaf has been outspoken about COVID, railing with folks in Australia recently about vaccine mandates. We do not know if he was vaccinated.

Greene added that Meat Loaf's wife and 2 daughters were by his side when he passed away.

Meat Loaf was one of the greatest rock singers of all time. His 1977 "Bat Out of Hell" album sold an astounding 65 million copies. That album produced several hits, including "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," which charted at #11 on Billboard.

Meat Loaf followed up with a sequel years later -- "Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell" - which produced a number 1 hit, "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)." He won a Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.

Meat Loaf also appeared in a ton of movies and TV shows, including "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," "Spice World: The Movie" and "Fight Club" He also performed in the musical "Hair," both on and off-Broadway.

His real name was Marvin Lee Aday. As for how he acquired the name of a delicious meal ... his football coach named him Meat Loaf because of his weight. His first band was called Meat Loaf Soul.

Now get this ... his first album was a duet with a singer named Stoney and it was released on Motown.

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Meat Loaf appeared on "TMZ Live" back in 2014, promoting his new show in Vegas.

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LAST TIME WE SAW HIM
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We last got Meat Loaf in NYC back in 2019, where he told us why his stage name should appeal to vegetarians and vegans alike.

BTW ... Meat Loaf was a vegetarian from 1981 to 1992. In 2019, he tried becoming a vegan. He once said, "There have been vegetarians who wouldn't speak to me because of my name." In fact, he was a big fan of singer k.d. lang and wanted to meet her but he says she refused because of his name. He says he stopped being a fan after that!!

Sofia Vergara I Swear I'm 'Cocaine Godmother' ... But Still Look Just Like Me

Sofia Vergara really stands out on the set of her new Netflix show ... because she looks exactly like Sofia Vergara, and nothing like the infamous cocaine godmother she's playing.

Ya gotta see these shots of Sofia filming scenes for "Griselda," a Netflix limited series about Colombian drug queenpin Griselda Blanco ... it might as well be a scene for "Modern Family" because Sofia pretty much looks like she always does.

It's pretty funny -- the photo agency that snapped the pics on the Los Angeles set claims Sofia is "unrecognizable in costume" as Griselda. Ummm ... say what??? Look for yourself, this ain't fooling anyone.

She's reportedly wearing facial prosthetics for the role, and there is a slight difference in the nose and cheeks -- but c'mon ... that's Sofia.

For reference, here is what the real Griselda looked like back in the day -- she was assassinated in 2012 in Colombia.

Gotta say this for Sofia ... even wardrobe, makeup and prosthetics can't cover up her stunning looks!!!

Kendall Jenner Here's What You Do When You're Snow Bored ... Pose in a Super-Sexy Bikini!!!

Kendall Jenner has figured out a way to make frigid weather fun ... or at least fun to look at.

The reality star stopped ski traffic for sure -- and definitely snowboard traffic -- posting photos of her posing in a skimpy black bikini and black shades. Her caption ... “Wim Hof said ice baths” ... a reference to the extreme athlete and Dutch motivational speaker.

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Wim is known for his ability to endure extremely code temperatures... and clearly, Kendall feels she can follow in his footsteps, with big boots that is.

Well ... maybe Kendall's inspired lots of others to do the same, because she got more than 9 million likes.

BTW ... she's a really good snowboarder as she proved hitting the slopes, before hitting up an Andy Warhol exhibit at a local art museum. She got a taste of Aspen too, dining at some local eateries.

Devin Booker was with Kendall in Aspen for a time, but apparently, he had already left. And Kendall's already left Aspen as well.

Mitch McConnell Black People Vote in Same Number as 'Americans'

TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL

Mitch McConnell made a shocking comment about voting ... essentially saying black people aren't Americans.

The Senate's Minority Leader was asked about concern that Black voters would be denied the right to vote because the John Lewis Voting Rights Amendment went down in flames.

His response ... "Well, the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."

McConnell made the comment Wednesday, and the next day tried to clarify, saying, "I have consistently pointed to the record-high turnout for all voters in the 2020 election, including African Americans."

The reality -- 19 states have passed a total of 34 laws that will almost certainly make it harder for people to vote ... especially in minority communities.

President Biden would not say if the results of the 2022 election would be legitimate, when asked at his news conference earlier this week.

Pete Davidson & Colin Jost We're the Captains Now!!! Team Up to Buy Old Staten Island Ferry

Just a couple o' Staten Island guys making good -- Pete Davidson and Colin Jost are now the proud owners of the very ferry they used to ride into Manhattan before they were famous, and they've got big plans for it.

Sources confirmed the 'SNL' stars scored the John F. Kennedy -- formerly part of the Staten Island Ferry fleet -- at an auction. The comedians teamed up with Manhattan real estate broker Paul Italia to get the old ship with a winning bid of $280k.

The JFK, which was built in 1965, might not look like much now ... but the trio plans to turn the space into a big show on the river. They're gonna make it a live entertainment joint with comedy, music and food ... according to the NY Post, which first reported their purchase.

What's really cool about this deal for Staten Island natives Colin and Pete is the JFK is literally their old stomping grounds. Pete rode it when he'd come in for standup gigs in Manhattan ... while Colin ferried on it to attend high school in the city.

The JFK just went out of service last summer due to mechanical issues, so don't expect to see Pete and Kim Kardashian doing the whole "King of the world" thing on its bow. It's still in floating condition, though ... so, it'll be docked somewhere when it opens as a club.

Kanye West I'm An Amazing Father ... Check Out My Minivan!!!

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Kanye West will give you a fist bump if you call him an "amazing father" ... as one fan found out while Yeezy was grabbing some ice cream.

The bizarre interaction went down Thursday in Calabasas, where Ye hit up an ice cream shop after a doctor's visit.

Kanye's licking his ice cream cone and answering a paparazzi's question about the death of fashion icon Andre Leon Talley ... when suddenly someone comes up and praises Kanye's father skills.

Ye perks up and gives the dude a fist bump, telling him he loves the praise and appreciates the recognition.

Kanye then gets behind the wheel of his whip ... which turns out to be a minivan!!!

Seems he's got plenty of room for North, Psalm, Saint and Chicago to ride in the back.

BTW ... Kanye just dropped a new song where he calls his kids spoiled, rapping about how they're being raised by nannies and TV cameras.

Bernie Sanders Mitten Maker Sees Big Sales Spike ... On Meme's Anniversary

Bernie Sanders is making money for some of his constituents, thanks to a meme from the Inauguration ... because folks are buying more of those famous mittens on the 1st anniversary.

Here's the deal ... Bernie became an instant meme when he wore a pair of mittens, gifted to him by an elementary school teacher in Vermont, when Joe Biden was sworn into office on a chilly day in Washington D.C.

People started buying tons of handmade mittens from Jen Ellis, the woman who sent that pair to Bernie back in 2016, and now we're told sales are spiking again.

Jen was overwhelmed by the initial demand ... she partnered with the Vermont Teddy Bear Company to manufacture and distribute the mittens infamously worn by Bernie ... and the company tells us they saw a 50% spike in mitten sales Thursday, which marked one year since the Inauguration.

VTBC says they attribute the uptick in mitten sales to the anniversary of Bernie's viral moment ... with folks mostly snapping up blue and gray mittens, even though there's no exact replica of Bernie's for sale.

The company says they've sold 12,000 pairs of mittens since partnering with Jen back in March 2021 ... and to keep up with the demand they hired 10 more workers.

Jen says she gets tons of fan mail now ... people send her art, books and mittens they've made ... but Jen tells us she's still focused on teaching her 2nd-grade students and doesn't want the mittens side hustle to become her full-time gig.

It's interesting ... Jen says she also sent mittens to Biden and Kamala Harris in February, but she doesn't know if they got them. There haven't been any viral photos of Joe and Kamala in mittens, so who knows. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Charles Barkley Goes On Epic Lakers Rant ... They're Wussies And They Suck!!!

Charles Barkley is so tired of the Lakers, he went on an epic rant on Thursday saying the team flat-out sucks and is a bunch of "cowards" and "wussies."

The "Inside the NBA" host held nothing back on the set of the insanely popular TNT hoops show ... railroading L.A. for its recent losses and the team's responses to them.

"The Lakers are such wussies," Barkley said, "and I only say wussies because I can't say the word I want to say."

"The way they have tried to throw Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook under the bus is really pissing me off."

Ernie Johnson, the show's host, interrupted Charles ... reminding him that they had a scheduled guest about to come on, but CB wasn't about to let some interview stop him from going in on the Lakeshow.

Check out the clip ... Barkley responded to Johnson by saying, "The Lakers still suck when we get back from this interview."

Barkley went on to express his disgust for the Lakers' front office ... accusing it of "running and hiding" after putting together a crappy roster.

"I'm not going to sit at like all these clowns on other networks that got they heads up the Lakers booties," Barkley said.

"The people up top who put that trash together are running and hiding like cowards. You put all them old geezers out there. The best guy, other than LeBron, for the last month has been who? Stanley Johnson."

"It's ridiculous, man," an exasperated Barkley continued.

Charles ultimately said he doesn't care who wins or loses ... joking that he can't wait for the season to be over so he can golf and fish.

If the Lakers -- who play in Orlando against the Magic tonight -- don't get their act together soon ... they might get a head start on Charles and the crew on all that.

'Tiger King' Jeff Lowe Moving Zoo to Mexico ... After Ban in USA

Jeff Lowe's sticking to the old adage of the show must go on, but this time it's gonna be in Spanish -- he's taking the zoo 'Tiger King' made famous out of the country to skirt a U.S. government ban.

Jeff tells TMZ ... he just signed a deal to build a zoo down in Mexico, on a 35-acre property between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. He says the new spot will be built among a lush jungle with natural water features, and he already has all the necessary permits for construction and possession of animals.

The plan is to open the zoo in the next 12 to 16 months ... and Jeff says it will mostly showcase big cats, as well as lemurs, sloths, giraffes and a pair of elephants.

Jeff says he's still working on a name for the zoo ... but naturally, it will be related to the 'Tiger King' brand.

Despite how things played out with Joe Exotic, Jeff's not shying away from partnerships. He says he's working on the Mexico project with an old friend who already owns a small zoo in Playa del Carmen.

We're told the plan is to move his large animals into Jeff's new zoo.

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The move to Mexico comes on the heels of the feds banning Jeff and his wife Lauren from ever exhibiting animals again in the States -- a judge ruled they'd violated the Endangered Species Act by delivering, carrying and exhibiting animals without a license. However, the DOJ dropped all of the civil charges against the Lowes.

Jeff and Lauren are going the ex-pat route, as they're looking to buy a house and put down roots in Mexico.

Dwayne Haskins' Wife Domestic Violence Case Dismissed

Dwayne Haskins' wife is off the hook in her domestic violence case ... TMZ Sports has learned the felony charge against her was dropped this month.

Court records show Kalabrya Gondrezick-Haskins' case was dismissed on Jan. 10. We reached out to the Clark County District Attorney's Office multiple times for comment, but never heard word back.

As we previously reported, Kalabrya had been accused of causing "substantial" injuries to Dwayne during an altercation in Las Vegas back in July.

In a police report, cops said they were called to The Cosmopolitan to investigate claims that Kalabrya had attacked the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback in their hotel room.

In the docs, cops noted Dwayne had a busted lip that needed stitches, as well as a missing tooth -- and they eventually arrested Kalabrya.

IN CUSTODY

In police video we obtained, you can see she wasn't pleased about being taken into custody ... asking officers inside of the hotel, "Are you serious?! So, I'm under arrest?!"

Kalabrya -- who said in the docs she and Dwayne had been married since March 2021 -- was later charged with felony domestic violence battery.

We reached out to Kalabrya's attorney for comment on the disposition of the case, but so far, no word back yet.

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The couple, meanwhile, has seemed to have moved on from the incident well -- Kalabrya has been spotted at Dwayne's games recently in Pittsburgh ... while Dwayne posted a mushy love note to her in December for her birthday.

Ben in 'Crossroads' 'Memba Him?!

Illinois born actor Anson Mount (full name Anson Adams Mount IV) had only been working in the entertainment biz for a few years when he landed the role of the hunky boy behind the wheel, Ben -- who takes the BFFs on a road trip and falls in love with Lucy along the way -- in the 2002 teen love story "Crossroads."

The open-road movie is packed with stars including Zoe Saldana and Taryn Manning as the ride-or-die friends Kit and Mimi ... and of course the pop sisters Jamie Lynn Spears and Britney Spears as the young and current versions of the mother-seeking, Lucy.

Guess what he looks like now!

Dak Prescott Fined $25,000 ... After Praising Fans For Throwing Trash At Refs

Dak Prescott's foot-in-mouth moment following the Cowboys' loss on Sunday just cost him serious cash ... 'cause the NFL announced Thursday it's fining the Dallas QB $25K after he praised fans for throwing trash at refs.

Following a controversial end to the Cowboys vs. 49ers game at AT&T Stadium ... fans hurled garbage at officials as they exited the field of play.

One bottle actually hit Cowboys star pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence ... and when Dak was informed that the debris-throwing was actually aimed at umps, he commended the acts.

"S***," Prescott said. "Credit to them, then."

Dak was immediately panned for the comments -- and the criticism grew so loud, he eventually apologized.

"I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday," the 28-year-old said. "I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair."

He continued, "The safety of everyone who attends a game or participates on the field of a sporting event is a very serious matter."

"That was a mistake on my behalf, and I am sorry."

Prescott will now have roughly eight months to stew on it all -- he and the Cowboys' season is over following the weekend loss.

'Joe Millionaire' Mama's Boy Alert ... Steven Was Spoon-Fed Until 11!!!

MOMMA'S BOY
Fox

One of the 'Joe Millionaire' guys is taking mama's boy to a whole new level -- openly admitting he was literally spoon-fed for YEARS after he could do it himself.

You gotta see Steven McBee in this exclusive preview we got from tonight's episode of "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer" -- it's Steven hanging out with Annie, who grilled him about spoon-feeding rumors.

Brace yourself ... Steven confirms it's absolutely true!!!

He says that his mom spoiled him before school, because he was too tired to do it himself. Annie didn't completely let him off the hook, either. She drilled down even more about the odd fact -- but they both ended up laughing about how weird it was.

On the new episode, airing tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on FOX, Steven cops to being embarrassed about this page of his history -- but he's not the only one in the hot seat this episode.

The ladies are invited to a movie night, and they provide all the drama as emotions run high.

Major League Baseball Using Robot Umps ... For 2022 Triple-A Season

The days of Angel Hernandez makin' you pull out your hair may soon be over ... 'cause Major League Baseball is instituting robot umpires for the 2022 Triple-A season -- moving one big step closer to an eventually automated strike zone in The Show.

MLB let the cat out of the bag on the plans this week ... posting a notice on its website seeking seasonal employees to operate the automated ball-strike system at the highest level of MILB.

According to the Associated Press, 14 teams will be looking to fill openings at their respective ballparks.

The development comes just two years after the Independent Atlantic League became the first American pro baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes.

It's something that many players and fans have been calling for forever ... and it would eliminate the inconsistent strike zones.

After taking a year off because of the pandemic, robots were used in Low-A ball (Southeast League) at a majority of ballparks in 2021.

The Major League Baseball Umpires Association did agree in 2020 to assist and cooperate with MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, if he decided to ultimately institute change at the major league level.

As for will we see them next season on opening day -- MLB did say the robot umps will be used at some spring training ballparks ... and didn't rule out the possibility of them being used at non-MLB venues.

That is, if we even have a next season!!!

Adele Tearfully Cancels Vegas Shows... COVID Wrecked My Team!!!

WRECKED BY COVID
@adele / Twitter

Adele says she's tried everything possible, but the show will NOT go on, as they say -- COVID has forced her to cancel her upcoming Vegas residency.

Adele apologized to fans Thursday for having to cancel at the last minute. She says she tried hard to make sure her show was ready in time, but she says it's been nearly impossible with delivery delays, and half of her team being down due to COVID-19.

Adele was set to have her opening show this weekend as a part of her “Weekends with Adele” residency. She planned to do 24 shows starting this month and running through April.

But, now fans who traveled to Sin City will have to find something else to do, because they won't be hearing from the Grammy-award winning singer ... not this weekend, anyway.

Adele obviously appeared very remorseful, and distraught about the decision -- she says she intends to reschedule, and she's "gonna get [the show] to where it's supposed to be."

No word yet on when those new dates will be, but ya gotta feel for Adele when you see how upset she is about the delay.

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