Don Larsen World Series Legend Dead At 90

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7:00 AM PT -- MLB commish Rob Manfred released a statement on Larsen's death.

“Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game Five of the 1956 World Series at Yankee Stadium is one of the most memorable achievements in the history of our National Pastime."

"His unexpected performance on that Monday afternoon has remained unique for 63 years and counting. On a team of many stars, Don illustrated that anyone can make history – even perfection – on our sport’s biggest stage."

"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends and the fans he touched during his life in our great game.”

Don Larsen -- the only pitcher in MLB history to ever throw a perfect game in the World Series -- died Wednesday ... Major League Baseball announced.

Larsen's agent, Andrew Levy, told the Associated Press the ex-New York Yankee passed away due to esophageal cancer. He was 90 years old.

Larsen pitched for seven different teams during his 14-year MLB career from 1953-1967 ... but it was his performance in the 1956 World Series that he'll be forever remembered for.

The right-hander tossed a perfect game -- no hits and no walks allowed -- against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the Fall Classic. He was later named MVP of the series.

Larsen ended his baseball career with an 81-91 all-time record, and finished with a career 3.78 ERA and 849 strikeouts in 1548.0 innings pitched.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Don Larsen, who remained a welcome & familiar face at our annual Old-Timers’ Day celebrations," the NY Yankees announced in a statement.

"The Yankees organization extends its deepest condolences to Don’s family and friends during this difficult time. He will be missed."

Originally Published -- 1/1 8:57 PM PT

David Stern Dead at 77

David Stern -- Hall of Fame ex-NBA Commissioner -- has died 3 weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

The NBA says Stern passed away Wednesday afternoon with his wife, Dianne, and their family at his bedside.

As we reported ... Stern was in serious condition after undergoing emergency brain surgery to address the sudden hemorrhage he suffered at a Manhattan restaurant on December 12. Sadly, he was unable to make a recovery.

David took over as commissioner of the NBA in 1984 and ushered incredible growth in the league over his 30-year tenure. Of course, he was in charge during the heyday of Bird, Magic and Michael ... and helped the NBA become the global juggernaut it is today.

'Weeds,' 'OITNB' Creator Son Killed in Skiing Accident

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The son of the woman who created "Orange Is the New Black" and "Weeds" has died in a skiing accident ... TMZ has learned.

20-year-old Charlie Noxon had an accident on the slopes of Park City, Utah on New Year's Eve. Law enforcement says he fell, and it was apparent he needed immediate medical attention. A helicopter from the University of Utah's Medivac Unit was dispatched and took Charlie to a nearby hospital. He was later pronounced dead.

Aside from saying Noxon fell, there were no other details available concerning the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Charlie appeared in an episode of "Weeds" back in 2008. His mom, Jenji Kohan, and his dad, journalist Christopher Noxon, divorced in 2018 after 21 years of marriage.

Charlie was in Park City with his dad and 2 siblings when the accident occurred.

The Medical Examiner currently has the body and has not yet performed an autopsy.

Bride and Prejudice' Micah Downey Dead at 26

The American star of the Australian reality show, "Bride and Prejudice," is dead.

26-year-old Micah Downey died suddenly Saturday -- it appears he died in the U.S. The cause of death has not been revealed.

Micah was engaged to Milly Johnson. The premise of the show is following couples planning on tying the knot when their families disapprove.

As for Micah and Milly, she's pregnant with their second child but said back in November they had broken up. There were reports -- unconfirmed -- that the relationship fell apart because of his alleged drug addiction.

Milly posted, "It is so sad & unbelievably surreal that i am making this post ... I am struggling to put into words how sad & heartbreaking this is. I just hope he is at peace wherever he is & that he will always be watching over his babies."

She ended by writing, "A bad, bad dream ... I can't believe you're not here. Rest in Peace, Micah."

RIP

YouTube Star Brittani Boren Leach 3-Month-Old Baby Dies

YouTuber Brittani Boren Leach and her husband, Jeff Leach, lost their 3-month-old son, Crew. After laying down for a nap on Christmas day, he stopped breathing.

Brittani says she laid Crew down for a nap, went to check on him after a while, and he was not breathing.

Crew was rushed to the hospital and Brittani posted, "We are living a nightmare, and I'm dying inside. Please pray for my baby."

The baby boy was beyond hope, and Brittani and her husband had to make the excruciating decision to withdraw life support. Brittani said, "Crew's tiny earthly body is still with us, although I know he's already dancing and playing in Heaven. We have some hard decisions to make over the next 12 hours, that no parent should ever have to make."

The inevitable came, and Brittani said she would be donating Crew's organs so other babies could be saved.

RIP

Celeb Deaths in 2019 Murder, Strokes and Seizures

There were a lot of shocking and sad celebrity deaths in 2019 ... including a tragic murder, fatal strokes and seizures, and another star taking their own life.

The rap world lost Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed in his own neighborhood, and Juice WRLD, who died after suffering a seizure in an airport.

Cameron Boyce also left this Earth too soon, suffering an epileptic seizure and dying in his sleep when he was only 20 years old.

Keith Flint died by suicide, hanging himself to death.

There was also a ton of health-related deaths -- both expected and unexpected. Hollywood lost legends like Luke Perry and John Singleton to strokes, and heart issues claimed the lives of John Witherspoon, Rip Taylor and Sid Haig ... while Beth Chapman and Katherine Helmond also passed.

Take a look back at who we've lost in Tinseltown and beyond this year.

RIP

'My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' Twins Made Suicide Pact After Cancer Diagnosis ... Says Family Member

Channel 4

7:11 AM PT -- 12/30 -- According to a report, the brothers created a suicide pact after Joe was diagnosed with cancer. The brother's cousin, Phoebe Charleen Smith, told the Telegraph, "Joey had cancer, and Billy told him "I'd never be able to live without you."

She continued, "Joey told the family he got the all-clear after chemo two months ago, but we don't know if that's true now."

Twin brothers who starred in TLC's "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" are dead after an apparent joint suicide.

The 32-year-old siblings, Bill and Joe Smith, were found hanging in a tree in Sevenoaks, England ... this according to law enforcement.

"Celebrity Big Brother" winner Paddy Doherty confirmed the news on Facebook, calling it a "terrible, terrible tragedy," adding, "I'm very sorry for their troubles from the bottom of my heart. May God look after them, may God have mercy on them, they are two angels, harmless, they were unbelievable."

THE TWINS IN THEIR PRIME
Channel 4 / Firecracker Films

Bill and Joe starred in the 3rd season of the hit show. When they started they were 24 years old and working as gardeners.

"My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" followed the lives of and traditions of Irish traveler families for 3 seasons from 2011 to 2015.

Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths, but cops seem confident they were suicides.

Originally Published -- 7:07 AM PT 12/29

Ice Cube Mr. Jones CGI in 'Last Friday'??? 'Nah, Never'

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TOO LITTLE TOO LATE
TMZ.com

Ice Cube's gone back to the drawing board with the fourth installment of "Friday" ... and he's clearly pissed.

The N.W.A. rapper revealed there's been some major beef between him and the film's production studio New Line Cinema ... for dragging its feet on green-lighting "Last Friday." The rub and possible deal-breaker ... John Witherspoon -- who plays Mr. Jones, Ice Cube's father in the film -- has died.

So, when we got Cube Friday at LAX, we asked if he'd ever considered using CGI in the film -- since Carrie Fisher's fam was okay with a Princess Leia CGI in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" -- and he could not have been clearer.

"Last Friday" is the fourth and final installment of the 'Friday' franchise that kicked off in 1995. It's been about 18 years since the last 'Friday' film, and Cube says, "It's all on New Line, man." He's especially pissed cause, if New Line Cinema didn't take its sweet time, they easily would've been able to put Witherspoon in the flick.

Back in May, Cube revealed he wanted to release the film on April 26, 2020 ... but that's clearly not happening now ... if ever.

Don Imus Dead at 79

Don Imus -- the legendary yet controversial radio personality -- has died ... according to a family spokesperson.

Imus died Friday at a hospital in College Station, Texas, after being admitted on Christmas Eve. A cause of death is unknown at this time.

The cowboy hat-wearing shock jock's death comes less than 2 years after he retired. His final day on the "Imus in the Morning" radio program was March 29, 2018. Don made the announcement of his retirement via Twitter in January 2018, saying ... "Turn out the lights...the party's over."

Imus hosted his radio show for almost 50 years, and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

His radio career began in the late '60s, and he started his morning show in 1971 at WNBC in New York City. Over the years, he became popular for pushing boundaries on the air ... but was also known for making comments considered racist, misogynistic and xenophobic.

Because of that, Don faced many lawsuits and accusations of defamatory speech, and had a well-known rivalry with fellow "shock jock" Howard Stern.

In 2007, Imus made headlines for his offensive remarks about the Rutgers Women's Basketball team, who he referred to as "nappy-headed 'hos" and "jigaboos."

He was fired by CBS shortly afterward, but made a return to radio and TV later that year.

Denny's Robbery DoorDash Driver Killed ... FBI Hunt for Suspects

The Surveillance Footage
Prince William County Police

A DoorDash delivery driver was shot and killed in an early morning armed robbery at a Denny's ... and a manhunt is on for the suspects.

The 2 men entered the restaurant in Manassas, Virginia around 2:20 AM the day after Christmas while brandishing guns and were reportedly robbing the place when Yusuf Ozgur, a DoorDash employee, arrived to pick up an order.

Ozgur was tragically killed when he encountered the suspects as they were running out ... according to police.

Surveillance footage shows the men running into the Denny's with dark clothes, masks and gloves on before holding the place up. Prince William County police describe them as in their late teens to early 20s.

Lee Mendelson 'Peanuts' Producer Dead at 86

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Lee Mendelson -- the man behind over 50 Charlie Brown TV specials -- died on Christmas Day after a long battle with cancer ... according to his family.

The esteemed "Peanuts" producer reportedly passed away at his home in Hillsborough, CA. His son, Jason, says ... "It wasn’t great for us, but to have him pass on Christmas really ties into his history and legacy."

Along with producing the holiday television classic, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in 1965, Lee also wrote the lyrics to “Christmas Time Is Here” ... the song famously featured in the special. The special brought Mendelson the first of his 12 Emmy Awards.

Mendelson earned his 12th Emmy in 2015 for “It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown.” He's also won 4 Peabody Awards and was nominated for an Oscar and 2 Grammys.

Lee's relationship with "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz began in the '60s on the heels of Mendelson's acclaimed documentary about Willie Mays. Schultz saw it and agreed to work with Lee on another documentary ... but ended up producing the 'Charlie Brown Christmas' special instead.

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The success of that led to 1966’s “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and 1973’s “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” among many others.

Mendelson teamed with "Garfield" creator Jim Davis in the '80s to produce the first animated short featuring the grumpy cat ... and went on to help launch the "Garfield and Friends" series in the early '90s.

Lee produced several documentaries and network specials outside of children's programming, as well. He's survived by his wife, Ploenta, 4 children, a stepson and 8 grandchildren.

Mendelson was 86.

RIP

George Michael Sister Dies on His 3-Year Death Anniversary

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It's eerie for sure ... George Michael's sister died on Christmas Day ... exactly 3 years after the singer himself died.

Melanie Panayiotou was found dead in her London home by her sister, Yioda. The cause of death was not revealed, but cops say it's not being treated as suspicious. Police would not elaborate.

Backgrid

55-year-old Melanie was close to her famous brother, who died on Xmas Day 2016, at age 53. He was also found dead in his home. The cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, myocarditis and a fatty liver.

Just last month, Melanie commented on George's film, "Last Christmas." She said, "Yog [her nickname for George] adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film. I am sure he will be enjoying seeing Emilia [Clarke]'s amazing light bulb smile, something they share, across the celestial miles." And then she added ... "And, most importantly, we all, together with our dear departed Yog (my 'very proud to be gay' brother -- contrary to what you may have read recently!) wish a very merry, merry, Christmas ..."

Dog the Bounty Hunter Beth's Memory Lives On For Christmas ... With Decorations, Recipes

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TMZ.com

Dog The Bounty Hunter is honoring his late wife's memory this Christmas ... with mementos from their holidays of yore.

Our Dog sources tell TMZ ... he used all of Beth's old Christmas decorations to get his home in the holiday spirit, and just couldn't bear to put up any new decor after her passing.

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As you can see, Dog's got a huge Christmas tree in his living room ... and we're told it's full of Beth's favorite ornaments.

He'll be spending Christmas at his home in Colorado, where he'll be surrounded by close friends and family, including his son, Garry, and daughter, Bonnie Jo.

As you can imagine, it will be an emotional time for the Chapmans -- it's their first Xmas without Beth.

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The holiday spread will have some of Beth's touches too ... we're told the family will be chowing down on Beth's old recipes for their Christmas dinner, as she used to cook for everyone.

On the menu -- deviled eggs with jalapenos, sweet potatoes with tons of brown sugar and corn syrup and homemade apple cider to wash it all down.

Get those tissues out.

'Junior' Johnson NASCAR Legend Dead at 88

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Robert Glenn "Junior" Johnson -- one of NASCAR's first superstars -- has died, the racing organization announced on Friday. He was 88.

Johnson won the Daytona 500 in 1960 ... and had 50 career wins and 148 top-10 finishes. He was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers in 1998.

"From his early days running moonshine through the end of his life, Junior wholly embodied the NASCAR spirit," Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement.

"He was an inaugural NASCAR Hall of Famer, a nod to an extraordinary career as both a driver and team owner."

"Between his on-track accomplishments and his introduction of Winston to the sport, few have contributed to the success of NASCAR as Junior has."

Johnson was a successful team owner ... and his drivers accounted for 6 Winston Cup Championships and 139 race wins.

"The entire NASCAR family is saddened by the loss of a true giant of our sport, and we offer our deepest condolences to Junior’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

The "Wilkes County Wildman" retired from the sport in 1966 ... and was the most successful driver to never win a championship.

#RIP

Model Mama Cax Dead at 30 ... Rihanna, Others Pay Tribute

Model Mama Cax has died at the age of 30 after surviving cancer and a brief stay in the hospital.

A rep for Cax -- born Cacsmy Brutus -- posted the sad news on her Instagram Friday, saying, "It is with deep regret and immense sadness that we announce the passing of Cacsmy Brutus (Mama Cax). Mama Cax spent the past week in the hospital, and unfortunately, on Monday, December 16, 2019, she left this world."

They continue, "To say Cax was a fighter would be an understatement. As a cancer survivor, she had grown accustomed to taking on life's several challenges head on and successfully. It is with that same grit (fervor) that she fought her last days on Earth."

'The Walking Dead' Stuntman John Bernecker Estate Awarded $8.6M ... In Wrongful Death Suit

The family of "The Walking Dead" stuntman John Bernecker scored millions in a wrongful death lawsuit but it was significantly short of what they wanted.

A jury on Thursday awarded the estate $8.6 million after 2 days of deliberations ... this according to a report. AMC Networks was found NOT to be negligent, but the show and its production company, Stalwart Films, were found liable. Stalwart was found 40% responsible and the show is 25% responsible.

The jury ruled the victim -- Bernecker -- was 6% liable for his own negligence. There were others found liable as well, but it appears none will have to pay out of pocket. Insurance will cover the judgment.