10:26 AM PT -- Tanya's husband of 18 years, Lance O'Brien, says he was unable to visit her in the hospital because of COVID restrictions. However, hospital staff made an exception when they realized the actress likely wouldn't pull through.
Lance tells us, "As I held her in her last moments, she opened her eyes. I was able to see her beautiful eyes one last time. Tanya had the most beautiful eyes."
Tanya Roberts -- a one-time Bond girl and cult classic '80s star -- has died ... TMZ has learned.
Tanya's rep tells TMZ, she was on a walk with her dogs on Christmas Eve and when she returned home she collapsed. She was taken to the hospital and put on a ventilator but never got better. We're told it was NOT COVID-related. Tanya died Sunday.
In the days leading up to her collapse, we're told Tanya appeared perfectly healthy ... even doing video chats for her fans.
Tanya was a go-to model and actress in her heyday -- so much so, she even appeared as one of the Bond girls, Stacey Sutton, in "A View to a Kill," opposite Roger Moore.
She also starred in campy adventure fantasy flicks like "Sheena" and "The Beastmaster," plus a bunch of raunchy comedies, slashers movies and action/erotica B-films like "Sins of Desire," "Legal Tender," "Deep Down," "Inner Sanctum," "Night Eyes," "Almost Pregnant," "Favorite Deadly Sins" and "Tourist Trap," plus several others. All-in-all, she has 41 acting credits to her name dating back to '70s.
Speaking of that era, she might best remembered as Donna Pinciotti's mom, Midge, on "That '70s Show" -- who was always getting ogled by the boys in the neighborhood. Tanya was portrayed as a dumb blonde, who eventually left her TV family and the show entirely to deal with her hubby's real-life illness.
Tanya also had a year-long stint on the old "Charlie's Angels" show, in which she played Julie Rogers ... a side character who helped the Angels solve crimes. She also helped launch the TV series 'Mike Hammer' after starring as a secretary in the made-for-TV movie, but declined a part in the show that followed.
Of course, Tanya was also a successful model. She'd posed for Playboy, as well as for a ton of TV commercials. She did ads for Excedrin, Ultra Brite, Clairol and Cool Ray sunglasses.
She was married to Barry Roberts for several years before his death in 2006. They didn't have any children. Tanya is survived by her current husband, Lance, and her sister Barbara Chase.
She was 65.
Originally published -- 5:49 PM PT
Prince's death has been riddled in estate challenges for years, and now the IRS is getting into the act, claiming the folks managing the estate have grossly undervalued it.
Uncle Sam claims the estate is worth double what the money managers claim. The estate set the value at just over $80 million, but the IRS says it's worth more than $160 mil.
Obviously, the taxman wants his cut, and that's why the U.S. Tax Court is now in the picture. The IRS claims the estate shorted the taxes due by $32.4 mil ... that's double what the estate planned to pay.
There have been all sorts of figures thrown around by the various heirs -- some of whom have mounted challenges -- some estimates put the estate's value as high as $300 mil.
The IRS really wants its pound of flesh. It's also asking for a $6.4 million penalty for the undervaluation. The estate filed legal docs this summer claiming the IRS's numbers are way, way off.
TMZ broke the story ... Prince died in 2016 of a fentanyl OD. Death and taxes.
Ron Dominguez -- one of Disney's homegrown executives, quite literally -- has died.
Dominguez, also known as "Mr. Disneyland," passed away Friday ... this according to the Disneyland Alumni Club. A cause of death wasn't revealed, but the guy's rich history with the Mouse House was ... and his roots stem back to where the park actually broke ground.
An official "Disney Legend," RD's family was one of the original property owners of several acres of land and orange groves that Walt Disney and Co. snapped up back in the '50s to construct what is currently known as Disneyland and California Adventure in Anaheim, CA.
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Story goes ... Walt actually turned Dominguez's two-story family home into one of the original Disneyland administration buildings in a backlot on the park grounds, and not only that -- but Dominguez stuck around and started working for them as one of the first Cast Members.
The guy started working as a ticket taker and eventually became familiar with every attraction. He worked his way up the company's ranks over the years, until he became the head of park operations in 1970. It wasn't long until he became the VP of Disneyland altogether, and later in the '90s ... the Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Attractions in the West Coast, before retiring from Disney in '94. Talk about a Cinderella story, huh?!?
Dominguez is credited as being integral in negotiations for getting Disney California Adventure built -- the park opposite of Disneyland, which is seen as more so for grownups -- and was a juggernaut in the Orange County/SoCal business world. He was inducted as a Legend in 2000, and even has his own window on Main Street (nearby where his OG home stayed intact). Safe to say ... Disneyland wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Ron and his family.
He's survived by his wife, Betty, to whom he was married for decades. The Disneyland Alumni Club says a small family gathering is expected due to COVID restrictions.
Ron was 85.
The pandemic no doubt made the year 2020 one of the saddest and most terrifying years ever on this planet. Losing legends like Kobe Bryant and Alex Trebek made it much worse.
The NBA superstar and TV host are just some of the many shocking celebrity deaths in 2020. Kobe’s death back in January got the year off on a terrible note. The helicopter crash that claimed Kobe’s life also claimed his daughter, Gianna’s, life and those of 7 others.
Trebek succumbed after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He fought valiantly until the end. “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman never let on to the world he was suffering with colon cancer. He was only 43 when his shocking death was announced.
Actress Naya Rivera and rapper Pop Smoke were also taken way too soon. She was 33 and he was a rising star at just 20.
The list of legends gone sadly went on … Regis Philbin, Jerry Stiller, Little Richard, Carl Reiner and Kirk Douglas.
What a year.
Dawn Wells, who became a megastar by playing the sexy Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island" has died.
Her rep says Dawn died from COVID Wednesday.
Wells was one of 2 surviving members of the cast ... Tina Louise, who played Ginger on the show, is now the sole surviving cast member.
The show only ran 3 years -- from 1964-1967, but it became a cultural phenomenon. The premise -- Gilligan, the skipper et al hopped on a boat for a 3-hour tour -- A THREE HOUR TOUR -- and it became shipwrecked on a deserted island. The show was all about the hijinks of survival and the interaction with the hilarious characters, including Professor Roy and a very rich couple, Lovey and Thurston Howell III.
After 'Gilligan's' Dawn appeared in various TV shows, including "The Wild Wild West" and "Bonanza." In all, she appeared in more than 60 series ... and also appeared on Broadway and in movies.
Dawn's show biz career actually began with beauty pageants ... she was crowned Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant.
She established an institute for up-and-coming filmmakers in Idaho ... it's called the Spud Film Institute.
There was actually a big debate among fans of 'Gilligan's' during the run of the show -- namely, who's sexier -- the wholesome Mary Ann or the sultry movie star, Ginger.
Dawn was married once in the '60s to Larry Rosen. They divorced after 5 years.
Dawn was 82.
Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quiñones, the famous breakdancer and star of the 1984 movie, "Breakin'," has died.
Shabba-Doo's family announced his sudden passing in L.A. Wednesday, only a day after he had posted an image of himself in bed, saying he was feeling sluggish but had tested negative for COVID-19.
So far, no cause of death has been announced. Law enforcement sources tell us it appears a roommate found Shabba unconscious Wednesday night, and there were no signs of foul play.
His sister said goodbye in a heartfelt social media post, saying ... "My Heart is Broken apart we look alike and DANCE ALIKE MY HEART WILL NEVER BE THE SAME IT HURTS!"
Shabba-Doo rose to fame back in the '80s, becoming one of the most well-known and legendary breakdancers on the West Coast. He instantly became a heartthrob and sex symbol after starring in "Breakin'" and "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo."
In addition to his work on the big screen, Shabba Doo also choreographed and appeared in Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" music video
Shabba-Doo was born in Chicago before making it big out West. He was a member of Toni Basil's iconic street dance crew The Lockers. Toni also posted about his sudden death.
Shabba was married twice. His first marriage was to Gwendolyn Powell, and after they divorced in 1982 he married Lela Rochon. who he divorced 5 years later.
He's survived by his daughter and son.
Shabba-Doo was 65.
WWE Star Shad Gaspard's widow claims the Venice Beach lifeguards on duty the day her husband died left him to fend for himself ... and she wants L.A. and California to pay for her loss.
Siliana Gaspard filed a wrongful death suit ... alleging the lifeguards weren't up to snuff in protecting Shad from drowning, which she says happened on the government's watch.
In her docs, obtained by TMZ, Siliana claims there wasn't sufficient signage on Venice Beach the day Shad died to warn him of the dangers of strong currents with the potential to take him under.
Not only that, but she claims the lifeguard towers that day were significantly understaffed and the lifeguards negligently opted to only save their 10-year-old son ... and left Shad "in the water to die."
You'll recall ... Shad had apparently instructed lifeguards to focus on saving his son, but had gone under the surface when they returned for him.
He was missing for a few days before his body washed up onshore -- but he was, deservedly, hailed for his heroism and sacrifice to save his child.
It's interesting ... after the tragedy, Siliana praised the lifeguards and divers who attempted to save and locate Shad, saying ... "We’d like to once again thank the lifeguards, coastguard, divers, fire and police departments for their efforts."
Based on the lawsuit, it seems she's had a change of heart.
Siliana's suing L.A. County, the city and the state of California for unspecified damages and burial costs too.
A Russian sumo wrestler who used to be known as the "world's heaviest boy" has reportedly died at a very young age ... this after years of concern about his extreme weight.
Dzhambulat Khatokhov recently passed away, per Betal Gubzhev -- president of Sumo and Mass Wrestling Federation in Kabardino-Balkaria ... that's where Khatokhov had lived and grew up wrestling. A cause of death is unknown, but word is he'd lately had kidney problems.
The guy was a worldwide phenomenon for a couple reasons -- for one, he competed on the mat, but also other strength challenges (like arm wrestling) and proved to be successful at a young age. Second ... he was absolutely enormous size-wise, especially for his age.
At birth, reports say he only weighed in at around 6 lbs -- but by his first birthday ... he already clocked in at over 28 pounds and continued growing heavier and heavier. By the time he was nine, they say he weighed well over 300 pounds.
Khatokhov became the subject of much speculation, and the focus of several documentaries over the course of his life. Different experts examined him, and most expressed worry his life expectancy would be drastically shorter than normal kids his age.
You might think there was some sort of genetic defect he was dealing with that was causing his excessive weight gain and growth, but according to his mom there was nothing doctors could find to explain it.
She reportedly said this is just how God made her boy, and she, apparently, believed he was fully healthy.
Khatokhov was just 21.
'Deadliest Catch' star Nick McGlashan appears to have died from some sort of drug overdose ... according to police investigating his death.
Law enforcement sources tell us Nashville PD got a call to a Holiday Inn outside Nashville Sunday afternoon. We're told Nick had been discovered unresponsive in his room by a friend. We're told the evidence at the scene "indicated the possibility of drug involvement."
Authorities still need to wait for the results from a toxicology test before making a final ruling on Nick's cause of death.
McGlashan was a prominent figure on the show ... making appearances from 2013-2020. He started fishing at a young age, just 13, and made his way up to captaining boats like the Cape Caution and Summer Bay -- but he battled addiction with drugs and alcohol along the way.
Nick was only 33.
Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro -- famous for his wicked knuckleball that allowed him to pitch as an older guy -- has died.
The Atlanta Braves made the announcement Sunday, saying Niekro passed away Saturday in his sleep at his home in the ATL suburb of Flowery Branch. They say he'd been battling cancer for a while.
The Braves heaped praise on Phil ... "Knucksie was woven into the Braves fabric, first in Milwaukee and then in Atlanta. Phil baffled batters on the field and later was always the first to join in our community activities." They add that he was a longtime presence in their clubhouse and community for years to come after finally retiring from baseball in 1987.
Niekro was one of the rare knuckleball pitchers who could seemingly wield an uncontrollable and unpredictable pitch ... a rare skill that helped him stay on the mound well into his 40s, which isn't all that common in baseball (for pitchers, anyway). And, yes, his stuff was nasty.
He had a cumulative ERA of 3.35 over the course of his 23-year career, with a total of 3,342 strikeouts and a win record of 318. Phil got his start in the big leagues with the Braves in '64 and played for them until 1983, at which he began to bounce around a few different teams.
The man played for the Yankees, the Indians, the Blue Jays ... and finally, circled back to his first love and ended his career in Atlanta. During his final outing on September 27, he received a massive standing ovation from the crowd as he bid them and baseball adieu.
September 27, 1987: #Braves legend Phil Niekro made the final appearance of his 24-year big league career. The results weren't what he wanted, but listen to the ovation from a huge crowd at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. pic.twitter.com/DTCjz3pLBp— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) December 27, 2020 @grantmcauley
Phil was a five-time gold glove winner and a five-time all-star, plus the recipient of tons of other accolades ... including the MLB ERA leader at one point, the National League strikeout leader and more. PN was inducted into the MLB HOF in 1997 as fifth ballot candidate.
He's survived by his wife, Nancy, his three sons and grandchildren. He was 81.
Mountain guitarist and co-founder Leslie West has died.
The band dropped the sad news ... "With a heavy heart, we are saddened to hear about the passing of #Dean Artist and part of the Dean family, Leslie West. [He was] legendary and one of a kind. Rest In Peace."
Leslie went into cardiac arrest at his Florida home and died Monday.
Leslie was born in '45 in Hackensack, NJ. His first professional band was the Vagrants, which he started ... it was a reasonably successful soul band in the '60s.
In '69, Leslie co-founded Mountain. The group's big break was performing at Woodstock their first year as a band, and it instantly cemented their status.
He's best known for his vocals on the song "Mississippi Queen."
Here's how Leslie described "Mississippi Queen" ... "[it] had just everything you need to make it a winner. You’ve got the cowbell, the riff is pretty damn good, and it sounds incredible. It feels like it wants to jump out of your car radio. To me, it sounds like a big, thick milkshake. It’s rich and chocolatey. Who doesn’t love that?”
Leslie had his health struggles. His leg was amputated in 2011 ... the result of complications from diabetes.
West is survived by his wife, Jenni. He was 75.
5:31 PM PT -- John's brother, Douglas Fletcher, tells TMZ ... John died Wednesday morning and it was unexpected. We're told John was healthy, athletic and regularly went to the gym.
The family also says John was awake Wednesday morning and talking to people, but all of a sudden he just stopped breathing. We're told his loved ones are all in shock.
John "Ecstasy" Fletcher, who co-founded the legendary hip-hop group Whodini and was known for rocking a Zorro hat like no other, has died.
John's death was announced Wednesday by Questlove, who remembers Fletcher as a "legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip-hop."
John was living in the Atlanta area, and his passing has come as a huge shock to close friends. So far, no cause of death has been announced by the family.
Together with Jalil Hutchins, John formed Whodini in Brooklyn way back in 1982 before DJ Grandmaster Dee joined in 1986 to form an iconic trio.
Whodini churned out a bunch of albums and hits, including "Freaks Come Out at Night," "Friends" and "The Haunted House of Rock."
The group earned the Hip Hop Icon Award at the 3rd Annual Black Music Honors in 2018 ... and Ice Cube's "Friday" movies often referenced Whodini songs like 'Friends' and 'Freaks.'
John, who provided the vocals with Jalil, was known for his trademark hat which helped him become one of rap's first sex symbols.
Whodini, managed by Russell Simmons during their 80s heyday, was one of the earliest acts to combine rap with rock, and they were the first to perform live with b-boy dancers. Their sound heavily influenced the launch of the New Jack Swing sound.
John's death is sending shockwaves through the music industry, with many artists posting pictures of him and sharing memories.
Cube thanked him for "showing us how to do it" and Jermaine Dupri says, "Ex you know I love you thank you for every word, every conversation, every good time."
Chuck D's also paying homage ... recalling the time John mentored him in the summer of 1987 and was always there to reassure him advice and tips.
Ecstasy was 56.
Stella Tennant, famous for her modeling work with designers including Karl Lagerfeld and Versace, is dead.
The British model's family says she died Tuesday, and they're remembering her as "a wonderful woman and an inspiration to us all."
The family has not disclosed the cause of death.
Stella forged a name for herself in the early 1990s, walking the runways for Karl and Versace, and gracing the covers of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.
She first appeared in British Vogue back in 1993 when she was 22, going on to work with other big designers including Burberry, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier.
She also had royal blood ... she's the granddaughter of Deborah Mitford and Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire.
Stella was 50.
We got Clifton -- who played Pinky in "Next Friday" and "Friday After Next" -- at LAX and talked about the chances of another sequel happening following Pops' death in 2019 and Deebo's sudden passing earlier this month.
Clifton says there's no question about it ... it's gotta happen. In fact, he essentially says it would be the perfect way to pay tribute to the iconic characters both men created, and generations of fans grew to love.
He's even got some ideas for Ice Cube on how to pull it off.
Now, a few years ago Cube said a 4th flick was in the works ... and he was reportedly writing the script -- but things stalled, and it's been on hold since then.
Either way, it sure seems like Clifton's mind's in overdrive cause his ideas are so spot on ... Cube might want to think about giving him producer's credit.
Our photog also asked Clifton if anyone can replace Witherspoon and Lister's characters. That's where Clifton draws the line.
The world can now see Chadwick Boseman's last performance before he died ... and the role is sure to strike a high note, especially if you're into jazz.
The late actor starred in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," which premieres Friday on Netflix. Chadwick plays a trumpeter named Levee in an early 20th-century jazz band.
The movie's based on August Wilson's 1982 play of the same name ... and Denzel Washington is one of the producers.
As you know ... Chadwick died back in August following a 4-year battle with colon cancer. He was only 43 years old.
The deeply emotional response to Chadwick's sudden and recent death is fueling speculation he might receive a posthumous Oscar for his performance in 'Black Bottom.'
Peter Finch and Heath Ledger are the only posthumous Oscar winners in acting categories ... so Chadwick's name would be in some pretty exclusive company.
Touching tribute from Darren Waller on Thursday night ... the superstar tight end honored his former teammate, Lorenzo Taliaferro, with a TD celebration after the 28-year-old's shocking death.
Waller -- who played with Taliaferro in Baltimore to begin his career -- scored on a beautiful 35-yard, go route early in the 2nd quarter of the Raiders' loss to the Chargers ... and he immediately got up and looked for cameras in the end zone.
DW then threw up a 3 and a 4 -- Taliaferro's old jersey number -- and then he gave a bow.
In the pregame, Waller also wrote a note to Taliaferro on his cleats ... putting in pen, "R.I.P. Zobot #34."
"To be real, I didn't even feel like playing tonight honestly," Waller said after the game. "I had no juice today. I thank God and the people that support me for speaking life into me today, and telling me to go out and play and represent him and to have him on my mind while I was playing."
"I feel like him and his presence and what his time on the earth meant to me is what motivating me to play football with a sense of urgency."
Waller -- who finished Thursday night with a staggering 150 yards on 9 catches -- was teammates with the ex-Raven from 2015 to 2017.