'Deadliest Catch' Mahlon Reyes Died of Cocaine OD

Exclusive

Mahlon Reyes, a deckhand on one of the "Deadliest Catch" crab fishing boats, died from a drug overdose ... TMZ has learned.

Mahlon's cause of death is listed as acute cocaine intoxication ... according to Flathead County Sheriff and Coroner, Brian Heino. He also tells us the death has been ruled accidental.

TMZ broke the story ... Mahlon died in Whitefish, Montana back in July, after suffering a massive heart attack and going on life support. His wife told us his death came as a complete shock to the family because he had no known existing health conditions.

Mahlon's death came while he was rehabbing a torn Achilles, suffered while crabbing, and we were told he was working his butt off to make it back to Alaska for another crab season.

Known for working on 2 "Deadliest Catch" boats, the Seabrooke and Cape Caution, Mahlon was only 38.

Tanya Roberts UTI, Not COVID is Probable Cause of Death

Exclusive Details

Tanya Roberts' feared she had contracted COVID-19 before collapsing at home ... but doctors believe a serious infection -- not COVID -- is what killed the actress.

The late actress's partner, Lance O'Brien, tells TMZ ... Tanya said she felt short of breath, tired and had tightness in her stomach just days before her collapse on Christmas Eve. Lance says when Tanya collapsed he helped her up ... and realized she had virtually no strength. An ambulance arrived and took her to the hospital, giving her oxygen along the way and helping her to regain consciousness.

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Once Tanya was hospitalized, Lance says her condition quickly deteriorated -- which Lance himself recounted on camera Tuesday. BTW, we're told she was tested for COVID several times while in the hospital, but all of the tests came back negative.

So the question remains ... what could have taken her life so quickly? Lance tells us that doctors informed him it might be related to a UTI that spread to her kidneys and liver. We're told Tanya also had Hepatitis C, and doctors told Lance that was causing complications as well.

An autopsy has yet to be performed. Tanya was 65.

RIP

Tanya Roberts' Partner Describes Final Moment with Her ... Sheds Light on Death Mix-Up

MY LAST MOMENTS WITH HER
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Tanya Roberts' longtime partner says he was distraught and confused during his final moments with her ... which may explain why he prematurely told folks she had died.

Lance O'Brien told a photog Tuesday ... when he visited her Sunday at the hospital she was in bad shape -- unresponsive on a ventilator -- but he says when he told her he was there, she sat up and opened her eyes.

This led him to believe she was responding, but he says hospital staff told him it was just a reflex ... and she was "out" shortly afterward. Lance tells us he was beside himself, so he got in the elevator and left.

Lance says Tanya's rep Mike Pingel -- who's driving Lance in this video -- picked him up from the hospital and asked what happened ... and this might help explain her bizarre premature death announcement.

He tells us he responded, "I just said goodbye to Tanya," and that was it ... then he went home and fell asleep, only to wake up later to phone calls about her passing.

Lance seems to be suggesting Mike interpreted his statement as proof Tanya had died, though Pingel also says Lance told him ... "She died in my arms."

Either way, it makes sense in wake of a devastating, tragic moment that there could be a communication breakdown ... and Lance says the ordeal was made all the more difficult due to COVID.

Lance also tells us Tanya had her initial health scare on December 23 -- not Christmas Eve -- but he thought it was just a blood sugar issue and she would be fine.

We broke the story ... Tanya died Monday night at L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Despite the strange story involving her death, she'll be remembered for her long and successful career as a model and actress ... most recently for starring on "That '70s Show" as Midge.

Tanya was 65.

RIP

Ernie Serrano Mother Sues for Wrongful Death ... He Pleaded, 'I Can't Breathe Man'

Exclusive 12/15/20
HELD DOWN
Riverside Sheriff's Department

The family of the Southern California man who died after being arrested at a grocery store is following through with a lawsuit that describes the incident in eerily similar detail to George Floyd's death.

Ernie Serrano's mother, Maria Lowrie, has filed a wrongful death suit against the County of Riverside and its Sheriff's Dept -- along with the Stater Bros. Market where the incident occurred -- claiming they killed her son.

According to the legal docs -- obtained by TMZ -- Lowrie claims Serrano was shopping on December 15 when store security began to pester him and then physically confronted him.

THEY KILLED HIM
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Serrano's mom says the security contacted the sheriff's office and falsely accused him of assault with a deadly weapon -- she claims he was unarmed. The store claims he had reached for the security guard's weapon.

According to the suit ... when deputies showed up they immediately were hostile toward Serrano and "escalated a very minor situation, into a fatal situation."

Lowrie claims her son was not aggressive toward the officers, but they responded with unreasonable brute force -- including beating him and using a Taser.

According to the suit ... the deputies were not satisfied with tasing and beating Serrano with a baton, so they took him down and pummeled him with their fists. Lowrie claims they continued to torture him for nearly 7 minutes, including slamming him on his stomach on a checkout stand and cutting off his air supply.

Lowrie says while her son was pinned down, he screamed out "I can't breathe man" and pleaded for help. Instead, a spit mask was placed on him, which allegedly restricted his breathing even more ... and Serrano's mom claims he was spitting blood into it as he begged them to take it off.

According to the suit ... after 6 minutes and 40 seconds of being pinned down forcefully, a deputy realized he wasn't breathing and had lost consciousness. Lowrie believes he was likely already dead by the time of this discovery.

Serrano's mom's accusing the deputies of ignoring all of the factors that can lead to death by asphyxia, denying him proper medical care, and assault and battery leading to his death. She wants the Stater Bros. held accountable for negligence as well.

We reached out to the Riverside County Sheriffs Office and got no comment. No word back yet from Stater Bros.

Tanya Roberts Dead at 65 ... After Bizarre Premature Death Pronouncement

Tanya Roberts died Monday night at L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Hospital following a bizarre turn of events that included her domestic partner incorrectly telling her rep she had died the day before.

Her partner, Lance O'Brien, tells TMZ ... he got a call from one of Tanya's doctor's Monday night, just after 9 PM, telling him Tanya had passed.

As you've probably heard by now, Lance told her publicist on Sunday Tanya was dead. He tried explaining his mistake Monday, telling us he had visited her in the hospital Sunday, and she suddenly opened her eyes but then shut them and he saw her fade away.

He says he thought she was dead and left, without speaking to medical staff. He got a phone call Monday from Cedars, informing him Tanya was still alive. Tanya's rep, who picked Lance up from the hospital, says he told him, "She died in my arms."

Tanya will be remembered for much more than her bizarre final hours -- she will truly be remembered for her long and successful career as a model and actress.

With all her success, the show that made her an icon is "That '70s Show." Tanya played Donna Pinciotti's mom, Midge, whom all the boys in the neighborhood couldn't stop ogling.

In her heyday, Tanya was a go-to model, appearing as Bond girl Stacey Sutton opposite Roger Moore in "A View to a Kill." She also posed for Playboy and did ads for Clairol, Cool Ray sunglasses, Excedrin and Ultra Brite.

On the big screen, Tanya starred in a slew of slashers, raunchy comedies and action/erotica B-films like "Legal Tender," "Sins of Desire," "Inner Sanctum," "Deep Down," "Almost Pregnant," "Night Eyes," "Tourist Trap" and "Favorite Deadly Sins," among others.

Tanya had 41 acting credits to her name, including starring roles in campy adventure fantasy flicks like "The Beastmaster" and "Sheena."

She had a year-long stint on the old "Charlie's Angels" show, helping the Angels solve crimes as one of the three angels themselves -- namely, portraying Julie Rogers, after replacing actress Shelley Hack.

Tanya was married to Barry Roberts for several years, but they didn't have any children before his death in 2006.

She's survived by Lance and her sister, Barbara Chase.

Tanya was 65.

RIP

Tim Tebow Drops New Children's Book Honoring Beloved Dog Who Died

Breaking News

Tim Tebow is releasing a brand new children's book based on his late beloved dog, Bronco -- and it's really sweet.

Bronco passed away back in Nov. 2019 after spending 9 years with Tim. The two were inseparable and Tebow often referred to Bronco as his "son."

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So, to keep his memory alive ... Tim authored a children's book called "Bronco and Friends: A Party to Remember" which features Bronco as the main character.

"Bronco was such an amazing dog and I wanted to honor him," Tim explained Tuesday morning on "GMA."

And, if you're wondering ... yes, the story has a religious theme (it's classified by Amazon as Children's Christian Family Fiction).

The story features Bronco -- who wears glasses because of a vision disability -- teaming up with other animals (including a flightless bird and an allergic goat) and they make their way to a special party.

Amazon describes the book this way ... "This sweet story of animals with different challenges and abilities is core to Tim Tebow's message to fans and friends of any age who have special needs."

Tim has been heavily involved in the special needs community for years -- helping kids and families around the world.

"I wanted to write a children's book for all the young boys and girls out there to encourage them and their worth -- and that they're unique, they're special, they're wonderful."

Tim added, "I wanted to encourage young kids, because those young children's books -- they really have huge impacts on our lives and I was really hoping that this would have a big impact as well."

Alex Trebek Selflessly Asks Viewers to Help COVID Victims ... Days Before His Death

Breaking News
A HERO'S MESSAGE
Jeopardy!

Alex Trebek was in pain in his last days of life, riddled with cancer, yet he opened his heart to "Jeopardy!" viewers, asking them to open their hearts and wallets to help COVID victims.

This is Alex's last week of shows, taped 10 days before his death. He says, "You'll recall that about a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives." He is, of course, referring to his Thanksgiving message.

You can hear he has trouble speaking ... his voice is very raspy.

He goes on ... "But today, I'd like you to go one step further. I'd like you to open up your hands and open up your hearts to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19.  People who are suffering through no fault of their own."

Alex ends with this ... "This is the season of giving. I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones," adding, "We're trying to build a gentler, kinder society and if we all pitch in -- just a little bit -- we're gonna get there."

Alex died on November 8. A great man to the end.

RIP

L.A. Dodgers Vin Scully's Wife Dies at 76 ... Team Pays Tribute

Breaking News

Vin Scully's wife, Sandi, has passed away, the L.A. Dodgers announced Monday. She was 76.

Sandi had long battled ALS and died at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from complications related to her condition.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of Sandi Scully, the loving wife of Vin and a dear member of the Dodger family."

"Sandi was Vin's biggest fan and was always there in loving support of him at Dodger Stadium until she began her battle with ALS. She was truly Vin's and the Scully family's rock, and she will be dearly missed."

Vin and Sandi met in 1973 while she was working as an executive assistant for the owner of the L.A. Rams football team. Sandi has credited the team's general counsel, Ed Hookstratten, for hooking them up.

“Unbeknownst to me, he told Vin about this young blonde he ought to check out,” Sandi told The NY Times ... "And Vin told him, ‘I’m not in the business of checking out young blondes.'"

But, one thing led to another and they began dating soon after.

Both Vin and Sandi were previously married -- his first wife passed away in 1972. Sandi's first marriage ended in divorce. But, they raised their children together and later added a daughter of their own.

Sandi was known for her charitable work -- she served as the chairwoman for SHARE Inc., which helps abused and developmentally disabled kids.

Vin adored Sandi -- and famously recorded a rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" for her -- which he played on the Dodger Stadium PA system back in 2016.

Sandi is survived by 93-year-old Vin, 5 children (Vin's oldest son, Michael, passed away in 1994), 21 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

RIP

'South Park Guy' Cosplayer Jarod Nandin Dies from COVID-19

Gamer Jarod Nandin -- known by fans as "South Park Guy" for re-creating the show's infamous World of Warcraft character -- has died after contracting the coronavirus.

Nandin died Sunday ... according to the WoW outlet, Wowhead. Jarod revealed his condition in mid-December, and on Dec. 22 he shared a photo of himself from the hospital saying he tested positive, but didn't seem overly concerned.

He wrote ... "I’m really sorry to worry you guys. I’m in the hospital getting treatment. Things look good. Im just looking at Covid with a sh*t eating grin on my face and saying: "How do you Kill that which...has no Life?"

Nandin, who famously went by NWBZPWNR in the role-playing game's community, used this sense of humor to make a big splash at BlizzCon 2013.

Jarod arrived at the event cosplaying as the slobby 'Warcraft' gamer on the Season 10 episode of "South Park" titled, "Make Love, Not Warcraft."

He even shaved his head to re-create the guy's baldness and clearly ... he nailed the entire look.

After that ... Jarod affectionately became known as "South Park Guy" in the gaming community, and today many are tweeting their condolences and tributes to him.

Jarod was 40.

RIP

Bond Girl & 'That '70s Show' Star Tanya Roberts Dead at 65

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.

RIP

Originally published -- 5:49 PM PT

Prince IRS Claims Estate Grossly Undervalued ... Demands Millions More in Taxes

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.

Coronavirus Teacher Whose Student Hugging Video Went Viral ... Dead at 35 from COVID

Zelene Blancas, the teacher who touched the hearts of millions after posting a video of her students hugging each other, has died of COVID.

Zelene taught Spanish at the Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary School in El Paso and was on a path to becoming a bilingual special ed teacher.

11/30/2018
CHOOSING KINDNESS
@blancas_DSSE / Twitter

She gained national -- even worldwide -- attention back in 2018, after posting a video of students leaving for a weekend break. As they left, they hugged one and another in a showing of caring and love that produced 23 million views.

Zelene tested positive for coronavirus in late October and ended up in the hospital shortly after her diagnosis. She spent nearly 2 months in ICU and when things became financially desperate last month, her brother set up a GoFundMe account on her behalf.

She died Monday from COVID complications.

Her death affected much of El Paso. In addition to teaching, Zelene taught evening literacy classes to parents. During the pandemic, she delivered food and other items to the homes of some of her students.

Zelene was 35.

RIP

Selena Quintanilla-Perez Bro Says Family Ready for Grammys ... We'll Accept Her Award!!!

Exclusive

Selena's brother says her posthumous lifetime achievement award is bittersweet ... but the family's ready and willing to accept it on her behalf at next month's Grammys.

A.B. Quintanilla tells TMZ ... he's hopeful Selena's parents can join the rest of the family in accepting the award in-person at the Grammys, but if it's still not safe for mom and dad due to the pandemic, he'd love to be there with their sister, Suzette.

HER LEGACY LIVES ON
TMZ.com

A.B. also realizes the whole Grammys ceremony might have to go virtual. No problem ... the mega-producer behind some of Selena y Los Dinos' biggest songs has grand plans to turn his sister's award into a family affair. He says they've got their popcorn ready.

He also says it feels like Selena's still here whenever she wins an award or sets new records ... even though it's been a quarter-century since she was murdered.

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The Grammy Awards are going down Jan. 31, and A.B. revealed what the family plans to do with Selena's shiny new hardware.

'Mr. Disneyland' Ron Dominguez Dead at 85 ... OG Disney Dweller, Parks Exec

Breaking News

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.

RIP

Country Star Tyler Rich Finds a Dead Body ... On New Year's Eve Run

Country star Tyler Rich ended 2020 with an horrific shock ... he found a dead body.

Tyler was jogging at a park in Massachusetts when he came upon the body of a man. The body was in a heavily wooded area and at first Rich thought it was a young, homeless man who was asleep.

Tyler kept running but became concerned and circled back to make sure the guy was ok. He explained what happened next ... "I realize he isn't breathing, and as I get around to the front of him, all I see is a lifeless face covered in blood. Everywhere.  Looked like maybe shot, or blunt force. At this moment, I freak out and sprint up the steep hill to try and find anyone with a phone to call police."

He said that he then stumbled upon a couple walking on the main path and used their phone to call authorities. After they arrived, Rich gave his statement to law enforcement officers and the FBI.

Tyler says cops came and they found a gun in the guy's hand, under his body, concluding "it potentially could have been a suicide ... Not that there is any type of thing that could help me cope with finding him like this."

Although Tyler says it was a small comfort to know the body wasn't discarded by someone else, he's still extremely shaken ... “I’m doing what I can to process this, the image, the reality. It’s been a rough 24 hours ... Something I’ll never unsee or forget ... He looked like a young, normal kid. Someone with a family probably wondering where he was.”

Tyler and his wife were in Massachusetts visiting relatives for the holiday.

Cops are not disclosing any more information about the death.

As for Tyler ... "Whoever you are and were, RIP friend."

Celebrity Deaths in 2020 Kobe, Trebek ... Legendary Figures Gone

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.

RIP

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