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U.S. Figure Skater John Coughlin Dead by Suicide at 33 ... Amid Suspension/Investigation

1/19/2019 6:39 PM PST

Former U.S. figure skating champion John Coughlin has killed himself in the midst of an internal investigation within his sport. 

Coughlin -- a two-time U.S. Pairs champion -- took his own life Friday in Kansas City, according to his sister, Angela Laune, who revealed the news on Facebook. Police have reportedly confirmed his death as well.

The Olympic skater had recently been temporarily barred from participating in any skating events in any capacity due to an investigation launched by SafeSport last month. SafeSport is an independent body that investigates allegations of misconduct, and has "exclusive jurisdiction over allegations of sexual misconduct but also looks into other forms of abuse," per USA Today.

The investigation quickly escalated, as he was suspended by U.S. Figure Skating following a recommendation from SafeSport. The details of what he'd been accused of remain unclear for now.

Coughlin was 33.

Ariana Grande Remembers Mac Miller on 27th Bday ... 'miss u'

1/19/2019 11:31 AM PST

Mac Miller would've turned 27 on Saturday, and one very important person in his life definitely didn't forget the occasion ... Ariana Grande

Mac's ex paid tribute to the late MC on social media just after the clock struck 12 on what would've been his next birthday. She tweeted at 12:13 AM ... "miss u."

She also posted what appears to be a personal photo of the two of them on her Instagram story, where it looks like they were hanging out in a studio and goofing around.

It's been 4 months since the tragic passing of Mac Miller -- and Ariana has been mourning his death ever since ... both in song and in her personal life. Just last month, she posted a photo of his hands on a keyboard ... but quickly took the post down.

We've been told Ariana is still grappling with his demise to this day ... and her latest tribute is clear evidence of that. 

TMZ broke the story ... Mac died of an accidental overdose in September after ingesting a fatal combination of fentanyl and cocaine. 

He might be gone, but he's certainly not forgotten. 

Ex-College Basketball Star Jermaine Marshall Dead at 28

1/18/2019 1:48 PM PST
Breaking News

Ex-Arizona State basketball star Jermaine Marshall -- who also had a brief stint in the NBA -- has died at 28 years old ... his French professional team announced Friday.

Marshall was reportedly found dead in his apartment. The cause of death has not been released.

The Pennsylvania native played 3 seasons with Penn State before transferring to ASU for his senior year. He played a huge role in the Sun Devils' NCAA tournament run in 2014, averaging 15 points.

ASU released a statement on Friday ... saying "He gave us so many big buckets en route to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Jermaine Marshall."

Marshall spent time with the Houston Rockets during the 2014-15 season ... and later moved to Europe to play professionally. He was most recently with the Hermine Nantes Basket in France.

#RIP

R. Lee Ermey 'Full Metal Jacket' Star Gets Military Funeral

1/18/2019 10:11 AM PST

R. Lee Ermey, the former Marine who rose to fame by playing the sadistic Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in "Full Metal Jacket," was laid to rest Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. 

A former Marine drill instructor turned successful actor, Ermey, had his cremated remains buried with full military honors. There was a casket team, firing party and bugler, plus a folding and presentation of the American flag.

Ermey's military honor comes 9 months after his death last April from pneumonia. He was 74.

The actor enlisted in the Marine Corp when he was 17 years old, and he served in Okinawa and in Vietnam. 

Ermey gained worldwide fame following his role in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" in 1987, delivering his famous line, "What is your major malfunction?!" Ermey said he used his experience as a drill instructor to bring his character to life.

Ermey appeared in dozens of films, though in his later years he said he had been blackballed from Hollywood because of his political views. 

Morgan Freeman Granddaughter's Killer Gets 20 Years

1/17/2019 1:42 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The man convicted of killing Morgan Freeman's step-granddaughter is going away for 20 years ... TMZ has learned.

E'Dena Hines' killer, Lamar Davenport, was sentenced Thursday in NYC ... according to Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

Davenport was convicted of manslaughter last May. As we reported, he killed Hines -- who was his girlfriend at the time -- in August 2015 outside of their NYC apartment. Witnesses said he repeatedly stabbed her as he screamed about religion.

Davenport was acquitted of second-degree murder after his lawyer argued he was messed up on PCP when he attacked E'Dena. However, a judge subsequently found him guilty of first-degree manslaughter.

After he's released from prison, Davenport will be placed under post-release supervision for 5 years.

E'Dena was 33.

Miley Cyrus Crushes It at Chris Cornell Tribute Show ... With 'Say Hello 2 Heaven'

1/17/2019 8:00 AM PST

On a night filled with musical acts that brought chills, Miley Cyrus stole the show at Chris Cornell's tribute concert ... with a rousing rendition of his famous Temple of the Dog song.

The 'I Am the Highway' tribute concert, organized by Cornell's wife Vicky, went down at The Forum in L.A. Wednesday night, and featured an incredible lineup with 42 songs over 5 hours.

Check it out, though ... Miley REALLY brought it on the vocals for "Say Hello 2 Heaven."

Another standout from the evening was Chris's teenage daughter, Toni, taking the stage with Ziggy Marley to cover his dad Bob's "Redemption Song" ... after an intro by Brad Pitt. As far as her voice goes, it's clear the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Along with all the other famous bands and musicians who took the stage -- like the Foo Fighters, Josh Homme, Ryan Adams, Chris Stapleton and Metallica -- the show was highlighted by performances by Chris's old bands ... Temple of the Dog, Audioslave and for the first time since his death, Soundgarden.

The tribute show brought in a slew of celebs, as well ... like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Courteney Cox, Adam Sandler and many more.

We broke the story ... Cornell was found dead in his hotel room in May 2017 after a show in Detroit. 

The Cranberries Ode to Dolores ... w/ Final Album 'In the End'

1/15/2019 8:06 AM PST

Dolores O'Riordan is being honored by her bandmates exactly 1 year after her sudden death.

The Cranberries announced Tuesday they'll be releasing a final album featuring Dolores. The album's titled "In the End" and it's already catching plenty of buzz following the release of the album's first single, "All Over Now."

The album's a collection of songs Dolores worked on before she died last January in London from an accidental drowning. Dolores and bandmate Noel Hogan reportedly started working on the songs in May 2017 and demoed 11 songs later that winter.

But, Dolores died before the band could play the songs for its record label. And, after months of mourning, Rolling Stone reports the band got the O'Riordan family's support to move forward with the last album.

"The worry was that we would destroy the legacy of the band by making an album that wasn't up to standard," Hogan told Rolling Stone. "Once we had gone through all the demos that Dolores and I had worked on and decided that we had such a strong album we knew it would be the right thing and the best way that we could honor Dolores."

The album's available for preorder now and is slated for an April 26 release.

'Hello, Dolly' Star Carol Channing Dead at 97

1/15/2019 5:51 AM PST

Carol Channing, one of the most iconic actresses who owned Broadway when she starred in "Hello, Dolly!" ... has died.

The actress passed at her home in Rancho Mirage, CA near Palm Springs early Tuesday AM.

Channing was not only a huge hit on B-Way, she was a movie star to boot. Her movie credits include "Thoroughly Modern Millie," for which she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

BTW ... she was the first featured solo artist to sing at a Super Bowl ... Super Bowl IV back in '70.

She's a member of the Grammy Hall of Fame and snagged a Tony Lifetime Achievement Award. Channing was also extremely active with the AIDS and Actors' Fund.

There is a hilarious story that went around back in the day about Carol ... she was in a stall in a women's restroom on Broadway when an actress walked in and heard Carol, in her distinctive voice, mutter, "Corn? I don't remember eating corn." Her publicist, Harlan Boll, tells TMZ it never happened, but "Carol loved the story. She laughed her ass off!"

Channing was hilarious, with a super distinctive voice that made her a favorite for TV talk shows.

Back in 2007, Channing worked with the LAPD to locate her legendary "Diamond Dress" after it was stolen by a pedestrian outside of her hotel in Hollywood. 

Channing never bashed the thief publicly, instead she had compassion for the suspect -- telling TMZ at the time "he must be awfully hungry to do such a thing."

Cops eventually located the dress and returned it to Carol, who later donated it to the Smithsonian where it was exhibited along with her 1964 Tony Award for "Hello Dolly."

Her rep says "It is so very hard to see the final curtain lower on a woman who has been a daily part of my life for more than a third of it. We supported each other, cried with each other, argued with each other, but always ended up laughing with each other."

Carol was 97.

RIP

'Bachelor' Contestant Enlarged Heart, Overactive Thyroid ... Led to Sudden Death

1/14/2019 12:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

"The Bachelor" contestant Cristy Caserta died as a result of an enlarged heart and an overactive thyroid ... TMZ has learned.

According to the autopsy report, obtained by TMZ, Caserta's cause of death was cardiomegaly and hyperthyroidism. As we reported ... Caserta was only 38 when she died suddenly back in October after suffering an apparent seizure.

She was attending a class at a school in Sunrise, FL when she just fell forward at the desk where she was sitting. Caserta went into cardiac arrest and was shortly thereafter pronounced dead.

Caserta appeared on season 15 of "The Bachelor" ... when Brad Womack appeared for the second time at a shot of finding love. She didn't make it past the first week.

Steve Buscemi Wife of 30 Years Dies ... Funeral Held at Family Home

1/12/2019 7:18 AM PST

Steve Buscemi's wife died earlier this week and a moving funeral was held at their NYC home ... TMZ has learned.

We're told Jo Andres died either last Monday or over last weekend. On Monday, friends and family began arriving at their Brooklyn home. It appears the funeral service -- at the home -- was held last Tuesday and the burial was Wednesday.

We're told there were around 20 people at the service, including Steve's co-star from "The Big Lebowski" John Turturro and Aida Turturro from "The Sopranos." Steve's brother Michael and Steve's son Lucian were also there.

FDNY blocked off the street Wednesday as the wicker casket was removed from the home. As you know, Buscemi was a volunteer FDNY firefighter on 911.  

The company that showed up to do the prep work for the funeral specializes in home funerals and "natural burials" ... where the body is not embalmed and typically the final resting place is in a "natural setting." Everything is biodegradable and one of the purposes is to preserve the environment.

Steve and Jo were married for 30 years. They had a son, Lucian, who's 29.

We do not know the cause of death.

Jo was 65.

RIP

Verne Troyer Left Behind Car, Cash & Memorabilia

1/10/2019 7:06 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Verne Troyer had a sizeable collection of celebrity memorabilia and just under $80,000 in cash when he died ... TMZ has learned.

The final appraisal on Verne's estate came in at $139,283.16 ... according to docs, obtained by TMZ. His attorney submitted the estimated value this week to the probate in L.A. County.

The docs show Verne had $21,000 worth of autographed memorabilia. There's no detail about the merchandise. He also had $78,283 in the bank.

We also know Verne was riding in style before he died in April 2018. The docs say he had a 2015 Audi S4 with only 3,490 miles on it -- guess he wasn't making a lot of road trips. The whip's valued at $38k. He also had a couple thousand bucks in furniture and personal belongings.

TMZ broke the story ... Verne died after spending a week in the hospital getting treatment for severe alcohol abuse.

'Mean' Gene Okerlund Wrestling Legends Pay Tribute ... Celebration of Life

1/9/2019 4:41 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Why are so many people smiling at "Mean" Gene Okerlund's memorial event in Florida on Wednesday??? BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT MEAN GENE WOULDA WANTED!!

Tons of wrestling stars from years past -- from Diamond Dallas Page to one of the Nasty Boys -- gathered in Sarasota, FL to honor the late wrestling announcer. 

Gene's wife Jeanne -- along with their children -- was at the event where friends and family members told stories about the greatest WWE voice of all time. 

Among the guests ... The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell), Brian Knobbs (of the Nasty Boys), Greg Gagne, Dave Hero and former WWE ref Mike White. 

WWE execs Kevin Dunn and Kerwin Silfies were also in attendance. 

We spoke with DDP who tells us everyone had a great time honoring the late, great "Mean" Gene -- who's widely regarded as one of the nicest guys in the history of the biz. 

Okerlund passed away on January 2. He was 76. 

Eric Church's Brother Death Caused by Alcohol Abuse

1/9/2019 8:25 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Brandon Church -- the late brother of country star Eric Church -- died as a result of chronic alcoholism ... TMZ has learned.

According to the autopsy report obtained by TMZ ... Brandon had a clinical history of alcohol withdrawal-induced seizure disorder -- meaning he had a history of binge drinking and trying to quit ... which would trigger a seizure.

As we reported ... Brandon suffered 2 seizures when he died last June in Granite Falls, North Carolina. The second seizure -- suffered while he was on his way to the hospital -- appears to have sent him into cardiac arrest.

According to the autopsy, the alcohol abuse also caused a thickening of his heart, coronary artery disease and liver damage. The family has set up a Scholarship Memorial Fund, which has already raised more than $45k. The family asks that donations to the fund be sent in lieu of flowers.

Brandon, who had written a handful of songs over the years with his famous brother, was 36.

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