Peter Scolari 'Bosom Buddies' Star Dead at 66

Peter Scolari, who famously co-starred alongside Tom Hanks in the sitcom "Bosom Buddies," is dead, following an extended cancer battle.

Peter's reps announced he died early Friday ... he'd been diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago, but it seems he kept that news private.

The ABC sitcom "Bosom Buddies" put Peter and Tom on the map when it came out in 1980, and they remained close friends throughout their lives. Peter went on to costar on "Newhart" and, most recently, played Lena Dunham's dad on "Girls." He won his first Emmy in 2016 for that role.

On their hit show, Hanks and Scolari played 2 single men who dressed like and pretended to be women so they could live together in an NYC apartment. Yeah, the plot doesn't exactly hold up to today's standards.

Peter also had roles in "Murphy Brown," "The West Wing," "ER," and "Ally McBeal." He also found success in several Broadway plays, including "Hairspray" and "Wicked."

He's survived by his wife and their 4 children.

Peter was 66.

RIP

Shar Jackson 'Celebrity Exorcism' in Haunted Mansion ... Way Scarier Than We Expected!!!

SPOOKY SHOW
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Shar Jackson's full up on chills, screams and terror for this Halloween after observing -- and surviving -- a real-life exorcism inside one of Hollywood's most infamous haunted homes.

The former "Moesha" star signed on for the experience, which was filmed for a special called, "Celebrity Exorcism." Shar was joined by "Full House" star Jodie Sweetin, ex-NBA star Metta World Peace ... and an actual exorcist.

The foursome went inside L.A.'s Rosenheim Mansion, where "American Horror Story" famously filmed. Shar told us on "TMZ Live," they actually had to get training before entering the home ... which has a dark history of murder, suicide and torture.

Yes, there's apparently a supernatural boot camp, which Shar says was intended to steady their nerves before the exorcism. It's pretty debatable whether the training did a damn thing, based on what Shar says here.

INTRODUCING THE EXORCIST
Tubi

We know this ... never count on a 6'7" NBA champ to protect you from spirits or demons. Check out Shar's account of what went down in the mansion. Sorry, Metta ... some ghost stories just gotta be told!!!

"Celebrity Exorcism" is available now on FOX's free streaming service, Tubi.

Ross Butler Sorry Kate, High IQ Helps My Acting ... Denies Dating Madelyn Cline

CAN'T SAY THE SAME
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The same thing that's hurt Kate Beckinsale's career is helping Ross Butler's take off in Hollywood, and that thing is ... brain power!!! Lots of it.

We got the "13 Reasons Why" and "Riverdale" star Thursday at LAX, and considering his collegiate history, he's the perfect person to address Kate's recent reveal about her high IQ.

ICYMI ... KB told Howard Stern her intelligence has hurt her career. She wasn't specific about why, but added that doctors have said she'd be much happier if she were less brilliant.

Well, Ross -- who studied biomolecular and chemical engineering -- says he's had a much different experience. Check out his explanation for why his smarts are making him a better actor. BTW, it's not like he's playing brilliant scientists on camera.

The heartthrob also opened up about another hot topic ... his dancing session with "Outer Banks" star Madelyn Cline! Y'know, the one that had everyone thinking she'd broken up with her costar Chase Stokes?

DANCIN' THE NIGHT AWAY
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Welp, Ross claims he doesn't know Chase and Madelyn's status, but he's sure about Madelyn and himself -- telling us she's "just a friend" who he'd just met. He's got an explanation/excuse for the dancing too. See if you buy it.

Jon Stewart Chappelle's Not a 'Hurtful' Guy ... He'll Work it Out with Netflix Employees

COMMUNICATION IS KEY
TMZ.com

Jon Stewart has a message for everyone pissed off at Dave Chappelle -- he's asking them to pay attention to what's in his friend's heart ... as much as what comes out of his mouth.

We got Jon as he was leaving Capitol Hill, and asked for his take on the beef between Chappelle and Netflix employees who staged a walkout Wednesday. Jon thinks there's clearly been a miscommunication, and seemed confident both sides will squash the feud ... once they start talking.

The reason he's confident? Well, Jon -- who, ICYMI, is a close friend of Dave's -- says, "I know his intention is never hurtful. He's not that kinda person."

THE CONVERSATION ISN'T OVER
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TMZ broke the story ... Dave's team says he's ready and willing to sit down with Netflix employees who are protesting their company continuing to stream "The Closer," Dave's latest standup special. One of those employees, Ashlee Marie Preston, claimed Dave had rejected a meeting ... but Dave's camp says he's totally down for it.

Speaking of people with good intentions ... Jon was in D.C. to continue lobbying lawmakers to approve medical benefits for military veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits.

He's been fighting for this issue for a while now, and even made it the subject of a recent episode of his new Apple TV+ show.

Meghan McCain ABC Execs Privately Calling BS ... On Her Toxic 'View' Story

Meghan McCain is pissing off some of her old bosses with her scathing assessment of her tortured time on "The View" -- because they believe it's the exact opposite of how she's framing things.

Sources close to the production tell TMZ ... ABC honchos are furious about Meghan's new memoir, and the subsequent interviews she's recently done -- characterizing "The View" as a toxic work environment, full of coworkers/cohosts who despised her.

We're told there are many points of dissent -- for instance, ABC execs say the notion Meghan left on her own volition is wrong, and ditto for her claim everybody except her was oozing toxicity.

Our sources tell us Meghan was essentially forced out of her role after an internal investigation into the environment she describes -- which we're told was, in fact, real ... but mostly due to Meghan's behavior on and off camera, not her coworkers' -- other way around.

Our sources say new ABC chief, Kim Godwin, did a thorough investigation -- meeting with key stakeholders of the show, like talent and producers -- and in the end, we're told she found Meghan was the source of a lot of the in-fighting that ultimately played out on the show ... something Godwin had to address head-on in an emergency Zoom meeting.

Those on-camera blow-ups are well-documented, and even though a lot of the hosts are often seen bickering ... we're told many at ABC feel Meghan was, more often than not, the instigator of these arguments -- or she was the one who kept them going longer.

We should say, however, there are some execs at ABC who have confided in TMZ, telling us the environment was hostile and the bullying is what led to McCain's exit ... so clearly, not all honchos feel the same way.

As for her departure ... our sources didn't have details on the negotiations behind the exit, but we're told the bottom line is it wasn't simply her decision after hitting a breaking point. The network was ready to move on too.

Of course, we're told this was a long time coming ... as many at ABC apparently felt the old boss, James Goldston, didn't have the stones to give MM the boot earlier, because he allegedly feared a conservative backlash.

Now that Meghan's gone ... our sources say the mood on set is way better, and people at home can see it for themselves. The temperature in the room, we're told, has lowered. Not just that, but the ratings are steady ... with the show remaining #1 on daytime TV.

We've reached out to reps for ABC/"The View," as well as Meghan, for comment ... so far, no word back.

Mel Gibson 'John Wick' Casting Shocks Creator But Give Him a Chance!!!

Mel Gibson will star in the new "John Wick" TV series -- a controversial casting that left even the franchise's own creator in shock, but the guy's still willing to let it be ... for now.

Screenwriter Derek Kolstad -- who penned the initial "John Wick" movie, and contributed to the other 2 installments, tells TMZ ... like many others who heard the Gibson news this week, he too was surprised by the decision -- adding he had no idea it was coming.

Kolstad says that even though his creator status earns him an executive producer credit on the show -- which will be a prequel titled, "The Continental," the name of the hitman hotel in the flicks -- he hasn't been in on the creative process playing out behind the scenes, including casting.

Despite being in the dark, DK tells us he's willing to give the guy a shot, and will watch the series with naked eyes.

As for why Mel deserves a chance here ... well, Kolstad tells us he simply doesn't believe in canceling someone over previous mistakes -- of which, Gibson's had several.

Fact is, Gibson was never canceled -- despite the anti-Semitic moments and alleged domestic violence, he's been acting and directing for years now ... even after the scandals.

Still, the Twitter mob is pissed he's been tapped to carry the flag for a mega-franchise like "John Wick" ... especially in 2021, where folks are getting called out for lesser transgressions than Gibson's old messiness.

Perhaps in the interest of his brainchild continuing to expand, Kolstad, at least, is rooting for ol' Mel at this point.

'The Masked Singer' Double Bubble, Double Trouble?!? Two Celebs Inside Costume

Get ready for some history to be made on "The Masked Singer" ... because there's going to be two celebs in the same costume, and we're told they have quite a history between them.

For the first time on the FOX competition show, there will be a double-faced costume with two people inside the same mask ... and they're set to debut on 'Masked Singer' as the beachball.

Production sources tell TMZ ... the two celebs hiding out underneath the beachball haven't always seen eye to eye, so it sounds like there could be some drama on tap.

And, get this ... our sources say the celebs making up the first-ever wild card duet have combined for a pretty up-and-down past few years ... which could make things super interesting.

BACKSTAGE AT "THE MASKED SINGER"
Fox

The big question, aside from their true identity, will there be another public blowup between them?!?

Stay tuned ...

Sara Gilbert Legal Separation from Linda Perry Signed, Sealed & Delivered

Sara Gilbert and Linda Perry's split is finally official -- because a court has signed off on everything ... including what happens with their kid.

According to legal docs, obtained by TMZ, the former couple's legal separation became official last week, and it looks like a pretty clean break ... with the couple agreeing on a 50/50 split on custody.

As you know, Sara and Linda have a 6-year-old son together, Rhodes, and they will have joint physical and legal custody ... so, both will continue to weigh in on various decisions, such as school and medical issues.

Day-to-day decisions over the boy's well-being will be the responsibility of the parent he's with at any given time. Neither of them will pay child support to the other -- they're both very successful, after all.

When it comes to how they're going to be splitting up their property and other assets ... there's a separate agreement, but those details aren't public.

Sara and Linda got hitched in 2014, with SG giving birth to Rhodes in 2015. She's got 2 other children from previous relationships. Sara created and co-hosted "The Talk" for years, and has since gone on to star in the "Roseanne" spinoff, "The Conners."

Linda is the lead singer of the '90s rock band, 4 Non Blondes -- and also founded 2 record labels.

'Fresh Prince' Reboot Actor Playing Uncle Phil ... Involved in Fatal Freeway Accident

Adrian Holmes -- the guy playing Uncle Phil in the new 'Fresh Prince' reboot -- was involved in a car accident that resulted in fatal injuries for a man who was laying in the middle of the freeway.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... Holmes was traveling southbound Monday on the 110 freeway just north of Sunset Boulevard in downtown L.A. -- when, at around 7:35 PM, we're told he struck an unidentified man who was lying down in his lane.

Our sources say Holmes was unable to avoid hitting the man ... and neither could the person driving right behind him -- who also made contact with the individual ... whose body was pushed into the adjacent lane ... and was hit by a 3rd car. For those outside L.A., the 110 is a very busy freeway.

The John Doe suffered fatal injuries, and cops are investigating what may have led to him being out there in the first place.

For now, our sources say ... drugs and alcohol are not believed to have been a factor for all the drivers involved -- unclear if that applies to the victim, though.

Like we said, Holmes is playing the Fresh Prince's famed uncle from the original sitcom -- only this time, there's no Will ... because the reimagined version of 'FP' is a drama, with all new actors.

The new series -- which got picked up for 2 seasons by Peacock -- is based on a viral short film trailer that Will liked so much, he signed on as an executive producer.

Jay Caspian Kang Stop Putting Asians In One Group ... Let's Get Back To Diversity

RETHINKING IDENTITIES
TMZ.com

Jay Caspian Kang sees a big problem with lumping every Asian American into one big group ... he says the practice leaves a huge number of folks behind.

The author joined us on "TMZ Live" Tuesday and told us about some of the topics he explores in his new book, "The Loneliest Americans," and why there are inherent problems in putting too many people in the same bucket.

Jay says the Asian American community is extremely diverse, but that same diversity becomes diluted when they're taken as a whole ... and the ones who get left behind or forgotten are those with the fewest resources.

The solution, Jay says, is getting back to celebrating diversity ... and understanding just how different people can be within larger groups, like the Asian American or LGBTQ+ communities.

It's an interesting conversation ... and Jay tells us why it's a better idea to look at people for who they are individually because everyone doesn't think the same way just because of how they look, or where they're from.

Katie Couric I Was Devastated and Disgusted by Matt Lauer

LEFT IN THE DARK
NBC

Katie Couric says she never saw the dark side of her former "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer, but she concedes there was gossip surrounding the now-infamous revelations.

Couric was pushing her memoir on "Today" Tuesday and went in hard on Lauer, saying she was devastated and disgusted when the news broke over allegations he was abusive toward women on the staff.

It's almost a mirror of Season 2 of "The Morning Show." Couric says Lauer was a great colleague and she never saw the other side of him. When Savannah Guthrie pressed, Couric acknowledged there were rumors floating around, but she felt it was none of her business.

She went on to say she has no relationship with Lauer and their friendship has fully deteriorated.

10/1/21
YOU RUINED MY CAREER!
TMZ.com

More intriguing ... Couric addressed allegations she derailed Ashleigh Banfield's career -- something we talked to Banfield about on "TMZ Live." Couric's answer was guarded ... she flatly denied the allegation, but then took a shot at Banfield, saying it was hard to be generous when someone was gunning for your job.

'TIGER KING' ZOOKEEPER Erik Cowie Died From Alcohol Use

Erik Cowie -- one of the zookeepers who appeared on "Tiger King" -- died from drinking too much booze ... TMZ has learned.

According to the NYC Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Erik's official cause of death was acute and chronic alcohol use.

The medical examiner also tells us they are classifying the manner of death as natural.

TMZ broke the story ... Erik was found dead last month. He was face down in the bedroom of an apartment in New York City, where he was visiting a friend -- and a large bottle of vodka was found at the scene.

Erik's had documented issues with alcohol use ... earlier this year, he was busted for DUI in Oklahoma following a car accident. He pled guilty but didn't show up to court for his sentencing, and an arrest warrant was issued.

Cowie was famous for making several appearances in the hit Netflix show as one of Joe Exotic's longtime animal caretakers, and was often cited as the head keeper of Exotic's big cats.

In fact, Erik says before he showed up on Joe's radar he was "at the end of (his) rope" and admitted to a one-time drinking problem.

'AMERICA'S GOT TALENT: EXTREME' Stuntman Suffers Horrific Injuries In Car Stunt Gone Wrong

Jonathan Goodwin's terrifying car stunt gone wrong left him riddled with injuries over much of his body ... and it sounds excruciating.

According to the police report, obtained by TMZ, the professional daredevil suffered multiple broken bones in both of his legs, plus cuts all over his face and burns.

It sounds like Jonathan got super lucky ... the responding officer says he was able to observe the stuntman after the incident and he was conscious and alert. Police say EMTs determined Jonathan had good vital signs.

Still, the injuries were bad enough that he needed to be airlifted to a nearby hospital, where he underwent surgery.

STUNT GONE HORRIBLY WRONG
TMZ.com

We broke the story ... the incident was captured on video, and the footage shows the moment Jonathan is sandwiched between 2 cars, causing a massive fireball to explode.

Jonathan was supposed to fall under the cars before they smashed together, but the timing wasn't quite right ... and instead, he got crunched.

After the impact, the police report notes Jonathan fell another 40 feet and missed the airbag that was supposed to catch him. So, this was a double whammy.

THE FRANTIC CALL

No wonder the 911 caller said Jonathan was close to death.

Kourtney & Travis Cameras Rolling for Engagement ... Hulu Show to Benefit

The Kardashian's new project with Hulu has already scored a massive family life event thanks to Kourtney and Travis' engagement, cameras were rolling for the special moment and celebration that followed with loved ones ... TMZ has learned.

Barker popped the question at The Rosewood Miramar Beach Hotel in Montecito Sunday, and while it was mostly roses that surrounded the couple, cameras caught the moment too. We're told immediately following the proposal, there was a dinner to celebrate which was filmed for the upcoming family show as well.

Kourtney's sisters, Kris Jenner, Corey Gamble and Travis' kids, Landon and Alabama, all attended the dinner at The Rosewood, which was prepared by chef Massimo Falsini.

As expected, everyone ate well while the cameras rolled ... on the menu were different choices of pasta, lobster, cod, and filet. Not to mention, the table was filled with dozens more roses.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER
TMZ.com

TMZ broke the story, Travis got down on one knee after nearly a year of his and Kourtney's relationship. The two had been friends for a decade, but were never romantic before getting together at the beginning of 2021.

Obviously, it's still early for wedding details, but there's a good chance Hulu cams will also roll on the big day.

Drake Kids in Wheelchairs Looked Up to You!!! Org Calls 'Degrassi' Role Pivotal

Drake might wanna reconsider the hatred he reportedly had for his 'Degrassi' character being in a wheelchair -- because lots of kids in wheelchairs actually felt validated thanks to his portrayal.

Madeline Robinson, executive director of Wheelchair 4 Kids, tells TMZ ... she hopes the rapper knows his role as Jimmy Brooks on 'Degrassi' really helped a lot of young people.

She says he actually made them kind of cool and, though he might not have known it, he instilled confidence and made their lives a little better. Robinson says Drake's character brought much-needed representation.

She explains ... kids in wheelchairs are often left out of things like getting invited to birthday parties or movies. She asked, "When was the last time you went to a mall and saw a kid in a wheelchair hanging out with other kids?" Sadly, she says it's rare.

ICYMI ... a writer of the Canadian teen drama show recently claimed Drake threatened to quit and took legal action against the show to get a rewrite, removing Jimmy's character from the wheelchair.

The writer claimed Drake made the demand because he worried it made him look soft. Jimmy was left paralyzed after a shooting, but ultimately underwent stem cell surgery ... allowing his character to stand with crutches in the season 7 finale.

It should be noted ... the show's writer also added that Drake relented and agreed that his character being in a wheelchair was a powerful moment on TV.

Robinson, whose org strives to give physically disabled kids a better quality of life, agrees ... saying, "It is great when we see our kids being represented." Ditto.

'Judge Judy' Bailiff Down For Another Court Show ... Already Drawing Interest

Petri Hawkins-Byrd, the bailiff from "Judge Judy," wants to work on another courtroom TV show now that Judy Sheindlin is moving on without him ... and he's getting some bites.

A rep for Petri tells TMZ ... he's not actively pursuing a spot on another show, but he'd consider any offers that come in, and some producers are showing interest.

We're told Petri's manager is having ongoing conversations with TV producers who are working on a new court TV show idea/concept ... and another big-name producer made Petri's camp an offer for a new project, with room for negotiation.

Petri's 25-year run working with Judy came to a sudden end -- a shock to him -- when she dropped the promo for her new show, "Judy Justice," and he wasn't in it.

We're told Petri called Judy and asked what was up, and she told him he was too expensive.

Petri's rep says he's not going to let it ruin his life ... he's confident God has a plan for him and something new is coming his way.

Sounds like there's no bad blood between Petri and Judy, despite how things ended ... we're told Petri knows he wouldn't be where he is without her.

In addition to drawing interest for potential new shows, Petri recently starred in an episode of "The Bold and the Beautiful" ... and we're told he's down to film for the soap again or even land a recurring role.

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