Bert Belasco -- famous from BET's "Let's Stay Together" -- died suddenly after suffering an aortic aneurysm that likely stemmed from high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
According to his death certificate ... Bert's immediate cause of death is listed as hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. That's medical speak for high blood pressure and hardening and narrowing of the arteries that restricts blood flow.
However, his family says the coroner told them it was an aortic aneurysm -- a bulge in the artery that carries blood from the heart through the chest and torso -- that killed him.
Bert's death certificate says he'll be cremated.
As you know ... Dr. Dre is currently in ICU after suffering an aneurysm a week ago. His was a brain aneurysm and he was much luckier than Bert, because half the people who suffer a brain aneurysm do not survive, and the mortality rate is even higher with cardiovascular aneurysms.
TMZ broke the story ... Bert's father, Bert Sr., told us his son's body was found back in November in a hotel room in Richmond, VA. He was there to start on a project for a new movie. Bert's GF couldn't get a hold of him and she eventually asked hotel staff to check on him.
There's also this ... Bert's alma mater, Southern Illinois University, plans to launch The Bert Belasco Scholarship and Award Fund and The Bert Belasco Theater Award, which will be awarded to an incoming African-American or minority student and a graduating student actor, respectively.
The school's also naming its under-renovation rehearsal/dance studio The Bert Belasco Studio in his honor.
The 10x Pro Bowler tells TMZ Sports Cleveland will not only beat Kansas City ... but they’ll advance to the Super Bowl this season.
Of course, Cleveland's no stranger to playing the underdog.
Vegas had them on the wrong side of a 5.5 point spread on Sunday ... before the team thoroughly whooped the Steelers, ending their season.
So sure, Thomas might be a little biased ... but he wholeheartedly believes the Browns will take down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs when they face-off this weekend.
“I think it’s gonna be a close game,” Joe says.
“The Chiefs have played a close game just about, well I think a one-score game every game the last half of the season, and I think with the Browns rushing attack and the way Baker Mayfield is playing with that killer mentality, I like the Browns in this one.”
FYI, the Chiefs -- a year after winning the Lombardi trophy -- finished the season with the NFL's best record, 14-2.
Bottom line ... Thomas is adamant the lovable loser Browns are long gone -- and this is a team to be reckoned with.
“This is the revival and the resuscitation of the Cleveland Browns franchise. For 17 years, to not go to the playoffs, for a lot longer than that not having won a playoff game and to be able to come back, get that monkey off your back, go to Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers, your hated rival, in a game that nobody gave you a chance in."
"I think it really is the turning of the tides for the Browns franchise and I think it’s a little bit of the turning of tides in the AFC North as well.”
The NFL is on notice.
Mark Cuban is sinking more than half a mil into a fantasy football trophies company called TrophySmack, and one of TMZ's former staffers is reaping the benefits!
Dax Holt was back with us for "TMZ Live" Monday to explain how he and his TrophySmack partner, Matt Walsh, managed to hook Cuban on the most recent episode of "Shark Tank."
He tells us the trophy market was coming up short in terms of creative trophies to satisfy the smack-talking demands of modern-day fantasy football fans ... so they stepped up.
Dax and Matt decided to go on "Shark Tank" in hopes of landing enough financial backing to expand beyond fantasy sports ... and ol' frosty tips (as he was known on "TMZ on TV") says they caught the perfect fish.
Cuban didn't make it easy on them -- putting all the pressure on the TrophySmack founders to make a VERY quick decision on his offer to invest. From Dax's perspective ... it wasn't too hard of a call to opt for Mark and his $600k investment.
As for the fact, they were backed into dissing Lori Greiner ... Dax says that's more on Cuban than them.
Either way, Dax and Matt might want to whip up a custom trophy for Cuban right away that says welcome aboard ... something like "TrophySmack's #1 Stakeholder."
Alabama players could be channeling their inner Liam Neeson when they take the field Monday ... 'cause the whole team got a private screening of the Hollywood badass' newest flick the night before the big game!!
TMZ Sports has learned ... Nick Saban and his #1-ranked Crimson Tide got in some team bonding before taking on Ohio State in the College Football Playoff national championship ... hitting up a Miami theater to catch a viewing of "The Marksman."
Now, the film isn't due in theaters until Jan. 15 -- but when you're playing for a title, you can pull some strings.
We're told Tide players are actually HUGE Neeson fans ... and even watched his 2020 movie "Honest Thief" together earlier this season.
This time around, the Tide got to check out Neeson's character fight off cartel assassins as he helps a young boy escape to safety in America. Sounds intense, right??
No word on if the boys indulged in some buttery popcorn and candy ... after all, they got a huge game ahead of them!!
Dr. Dre is still in intensive care, one week after he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a brain aneurysm, and doctors are still trying to figure out what happened.
Sources connected to Dre with direct knowledge tell TMZ ... Dre's where he's been since last Monday -- in ICU at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A. Our sources say doctors continue to do a battery of tests to get to the root problem. Doctors also want him in ICU in case, God forbid, he suffers another aneurysm ... if that happens, time would be of the essence.
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We don't know if Dre has gone into surgery, but that's usually the case to stop bleeding.
As for his current state ... the music legend is resting comfortably, and perhaps even more encouraging, our sources say docs have cautiously informed his family that a "bad outcome" doesn't appear to be on the horizon.
TMZ broke the story ... Dre suffered the aneurysm at his Pacific Palisades home Monday and was rushed by ambulance to Cedars.
If things stay that way, Dre is truly lucky -- brain aneurysms result in death around 50% of the time, and for those who survive ... about 2/3 suffer some sort of permanent neurological deficit.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... someone pried open a side door and entered his Toluca Lake home, triggering the security system.
We're told a caretaker discovered the break-in and it was clear -- someone rummaged through the house.
Cops took a burglary report and someone from Diddy's family will have to take a look around to see what, if anything, is missing.
As you know ... Kim, a model and actress, dated Diddy off and on for 13 years and they had 3 children together, including two daughters and a son.
Kim was found dead in the home back in November 2018 at the age of 47, after losing her battle with pneumonia. Diddy isn't there much, and that could be a reason for the break-in. TMZ broke the story ... Dr. Dre's house was hit hours after we reported Dre was in an ICU unit after suffering a brain aneurysm.
Tanya Roberts' longtime partner is planning a celebration of her life, but before that, he plans to honor her in an L.A. location near and dear to her heart.
Lance O'Brien tells TMZ ... the late model and actress is going to be cremated, and he's going to spread her ashes in the hills behind their home in Laurel Canyon, where she used to hike regularly with her dogs.
Lance says Tanya would go on a 4-mile hike with her 2 beloved pooches 5 times a week, and he adds ... they're very much missing their mom.
Tanya's partner tells us it's been an incredibly difficult week, but he's trying to work out plans with her family and friends for a memorial service, or some other way to pay tribute to her.
News of her death was bizarrely announced prematurely a day earlier though, the result of what seemed to be a major miscommunication between Lance and Tanya's rep after Lance visited her at the hospital Sunday night.
The way he described it ... she was unresponsive on a ventilator, but he thought she woke up when he arrived in her room.
Lance says the hospital staff told him it was just a reflex, and then her eyes closed and she was out. He left her room thinking she had died ... until the hospital called Monday morning to say she was still hanging on.
Listen up Pokémon fans, you've got a clear path to feel like Togekiss -- the happiest Pokémon ever -- 'cause a 1999 Pokémon first edition complete set's about to hit the auction block.
The folks over at Goldin Auctions will soon auction off this 103-Pokémon card set that's in mint condition and expected to fetch upwards of $750,000. The collection includes the highly sought-after Charizard card.
Each card is gemstone certified. Goldin says while the cards have rounded corners, the Professional Sports Authenticator has given it a Gem Mint 10 grading ... meaning they're virtually perfect cards.
The fact that the set expected to earn three-quarters of a mil is pretty impressive ... since nearly 30 billion Pokémon cards have been traded since the craze started.
Some of the other cards in the set include Alakazam, the cute Blastoise, Chansey, Mewtwo and Poliwrath. That might sound like gibberish to some of you, but trust us ... that's badass.
BTW, it also has 72 Devolution Spray cards! 😲
Logan Paul also recently bought a Charizard card for $150k ... in cash.
12:38 PM PT -- Daniel says he had nothing to do with this legal response to Corey's parent's lawsuit. Daniel, in an Instagram Story, said an insurance company filed the docs on his behalf and added he wasn't given the opportunity to review the response before it was filed in court.
Daniel said he had to respond because he could not "let this misunderstanding continue" without saying "they do not reflect my personal beliefs or feelings about what happened that night."
"Ink Master" star Daniel Silva has responded to Corey La Barrie's wrongful death lawsuit ... claiming Corey's death was partly his own doing.
Daniel filed legal docs responding to claims from the YouTuber's parents -- Simon La Barrie and Lissa Burton. The docs say the car crash that led to Corey's death was due to his own negligence, and he assumed the risk of death when he jumped into Daniel's car that fateful night back in May.
TMZ broke the story ... Corey's parents believe Daniel and his company, Daniel Silva Tattoos, were negligent in the moments leading up to Corey's death on his 25th birthday. Daniel wrecked a black McLaren sports car after leaving a party with Corey.
Corey's parents say excessive speed caused the crash ... and Daniel was the one with his foot on the pedal.
The parents also claim Daniel was under the influence ... something a source close to Daniel disputes.
Daniel pled no contest to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. He was sentenced to 4 years in state prison, but that sentence was suspended. Instead, he got 365 days in county jail. He also got 5 years probation and 250 hours of community service.
Originally published -- 12:20 AM PT
Casey Anthony is the owner of a new private investigation company but she's not legally allowed to privately investigate.
Here's the deal ... Anthony just opened her own P.I. company in West Palm Beach --- Case Research & Consulting Services, LLC -- but state officials tell us she hasn't even filed for a P.I. license in Florida, so she can't legally do any investigating herself.
It's possible Casey's intention was to hire legit private eyes to work for her ... but if she wants to put in her own work as a P.I., she's got to navigate some hoops and hurdles.
Casey's gotta get a Class C license to work as a private eye in Florida, a lengthy process requiring 2 years of training, a background check and a state exam.
As you know, it's been nearly a decade since Casey was acquitted in the death of her daughter, Caylee ... and state officials tell us they would need to review her criminal history to determine if she's even eligible for the Class C license.
For now, Casey's gotta be hands-off and essentially act as the figurehead at her company ... because unlicensed P.I. work could lead to fines or criminal penalties.
President Trump's call for unity after the failed coup hasn't found its way to the suburbs just yet ... this Ohio homeowner missed the memo, and he's got a new way to irk neighbors.
Check out these yard signs sitting outside a home in a Cleveland suburb ... we're told the signage went up Thursday in response to the deadly siege on the Capitol.
The brainchild behind the signs is taking applications for new friends, with some very specific criteria ... and he could use spelling lessons after trying to call out what he sees as hypocrisy from folks who are disgusted by what went down in D.C.
We're told folks in the neighborhood are pissed over the yard signs ... these are just the latest examples of what's been displayed in this yard during Trump's presidency. You can see some of his prior greatest hits.
Trump's since condemned the attack on the Capitol, saying he's outraged by the "violence, lawlessness and mayhem" and calling for "healing and reconciliation" ... but some supporters don't seem to be getting on board yet.
TMZ Sports spoke with the former Pittsburgh DB this week ... and when he was explaining Smith-Schuster's "nameless, gray faces" comments, Taylor said JuJu wasn't exactly wrong!
"Well, first of all, there is no rivalry," Taylor said of the Browns vs. Steelers. "You know, the only rivalry when it comes down to Pittsburgh is the Baltimore Ravens. That's the only rivalry we look at."
"We never looked at Cleveland, we never looked at Cincinnati as no rivalry. That's just how it was."
Don't get it twisted, Taylor still has a ton of respect for Cleveland -- he praised Baker Mayfield for his progress -- but he says there's definitely a big brother little brother relationship between the Steelers and Browns.
"It's not in a disrespectful way," Taylor tells us. "It's just if you're a Pittsburgh Steeler, that's how you look at other teams."
If you missed it, Smith-Schuster spoke with reporters on Thursday and said he doesn't look at the Browns any differently this season compared to years' past when they were awful.
"The Browns is the Browns," JuJu said.
Kickoff for the playoff game is 5:15 p.m. PT in Pittsburgh. Getcha popcorn ready!
The Pats are rumored to be poking around the idea of possibly re-acquiring Garoppolo from San Francisco this offseason ... after the QB has had an up-and-down 4 seasons in the Bay Area.
And, because of Garoppolo's familiarity with NE (Bill Belichick drafted him in 2014) ... some think it'd be a great move for the Pats!!
But, when we spoke with Wiggins this week ... he told us he'd search elsewhere for a franchise signal-caller -- explaining Garoppolo is just injured too damn much.
"Nah, man, we don't want Garoppolo, man," Wiggins says. "He can't get on the field -- he's always hurt. When you look at him, the problem with him is he can't stay healthy. He's always hurt."
"I don't want a quarterback that's only going to play 6, 7, 8, 9 games for the year. So, nah, Jimmy G can stay on the left coast."
Wiggins does have a point -- Garoppolo has played in 6 or fewer games for the 49ers in three of his four seasons in the red and gold while battling various injuries.
So, who would Jermaine prefer? The tight end says he sure wouldn't mind if the Pats made a run at trading for Deshaun Watson (even if he thinks it's a pipe dream).
There's more, we also spoke with Wiggins about Belichick's decision to let TB12 walk this past offseason ... and, yup, you guessed it -- Jermaine believes that was a BIG mistake.
An Indigenous man who's being prosecuted for a Mount Rushmore protest believes he's been grossly over-charged ... but the white insurrectionists at the Capitol won't get the same treatment.
Nick Tilsen tells TMZ ... what we all witnessed in Washington D.C. was the "epitome of white supremacy and white privilege in society." He adds that he doesn't expect many of the culprits will be slapped with the same legal consequences he's faced since last summer.
If you don't know ... Nick's the President of NDN Collective, which protested President Trump's July 3 visit to Mt. Rushmore after calling for the national monument to be closed and the land returned to the Lakota people.
Nick was one of 20 Land Defenders arrested and facing criminal charges ... but his are steep. Nick's accused of taking a shield from a National Guard soldier and threatening to use it against the Guard.
He's been charged with second-degree robbery, grand theft in the alternative and 2 counts of simple assault against law enforcement. He could get 16 years in prison if convicted.
In contrast, one notable Capitol rioter -- who's been identified as Aaron Mostofsky, the son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge -- was photographed inside the building Wednesday holding a Capitol Police shield ... seemingly with no qualms about it.
Aaron was later interviewed and claimed he found the shield on the ground. As of now, there's no record of him even getting arrested ... much less charged.
Nick wants to point out ... he's not in favor of people of any race, orientation or religion being met with over-prosecution for expressing their right to protest. In fact, he supports the opposite.
However, Tilsen believes the big difference between what went down on Jan. 6 and his Rushmore incident is one was a riot and one was an organized movement for change. Plus, he thinks most rioters are getting off easy because of their skin color.
"I don't know who's gonna get in there with him because I'm saying, he intimidating. He's a big guy, you already know he got big arms and stuff like that. He's got good range."
Marshall -- a 6x Pro Bowler -- last played ball with the New Orleans Saints in 2018 ... and took up boxing last year.
Obviously, Marshall's a helluva athlete ... but we've recently seen that being strong, or jumping high doesn't always translate to being able to throw hands (sorry, Nate).
But, The Real Deal says Marshall's the real deal in the ring.
"Brandon, ya know, he looks good balance-wise. We weren't really sparring but he got good balance and hey, he look like he could be a good fighter."
Holyfield even compared the 6'4", 230 lb. former football player to arguably the greatest knockout artist of this generation -- The Bronze Bomber.
"[Brandon] pretty much got the same reach as the heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder," Evander says.
"He got that reach just like that but he got trunks. He got them big arms. You know he hit somebody with one of them, you know what, he ain't got to hit 'em right. Maybe if he miss, they still may fall."
Thousands are dying, hospitals are at capacity and Los Angeles is on lockdown ... but that didn't matter to Kaash Paige, who celebrated her bday with dozens of her maskless friends.
Paige rented out a mansion in Encino Thursday night to ring in her 20th -- with plenty of celebs in tow ... including Lil Mosey, 24kGoldn and members of the Sway and Hype House.
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The videos we obtained make it clear ... there's absolutely no social distancing and almost everyone is without a mask as they belt out "Happy Birthday."
L.A. County recorded more than 40,000 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. The hospitals are full. There's no place to store bodies, and hundreds of thousands of people are out of work.
We reached out to a rep for Kaash Paige ... so far, no word back.