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Bushwick Bill Spent Final Days in the Rockies ... At Holistic Facility

6/12/2019 12:20 AM PDT

Geto Boys rapper Bushwick Bill turned to alternative medicine in his final days, and he went to the Mile High State to find some peace of mind before his death ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the hip-hop pioneer tell us Bill passed away Sunday night in Colorado. Our sources say Houston was relayed to the media to protect the family's desire for privacy. We're told BB had checked into a Houston hospital in late May -- but when doctors said he could catch a blood infection due to his deteriorating immune system ... he opted to head for the clean air of the Rockies.

We're told Bill decided to try holistic treatments at the Colorado facility where he checked in late last week. It was exactly the kinda setting he wanted -- in nature surrounded by majestic mountains.

As we reported, he died Sunday with his kids by his side after a hard-fought battle.

BB was able to tie up some last-minute business as well -- we're told he was able to finish his final album, "Check Morals/Turpitude Balance" and also put the final stepping stones in place to launch a Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

We're told a public memorial service is being planned for the end of the month.

Bushwick Bill Geto Boys Rapper Dead at 52

6/9/2019 8:51 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

8:45 PM PT -- Bill's reps confirm he died Sunday evening surrounded by family at 9:35 PM in Houston. His publicist says plans are underway for a public memorial.

His son, Javon, tells TMZ ... Bill's final words were, "I will love you forever."

Bushwick Bill, real name Richard Shaw, was 52.


10:05 AM PT -- Bill's daughter says her father is "fighting for his life" and needs prayers and support. She also hinted at some friction between Bill and unnamed industry people. She said on IG, "Certain people have been so quick to write him off as dead so they can capitalize off it."

She stressed, "There is no Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill."

8:55 AM PT -- Bill's publicist tells TMZ he is "still alive and fighting cancer" in a hospital. She says she spoke to hospital staff to confirm, and says some of Bill's family members are by his hospital bedside right now. Others are on their way.

As for why so many of Bill's friends, including Scarface, are posting that he's passed -- the publicist says someone got incorrect information which is spreading like wildfire.

The rumors were likely stirred by Bill's absence from a Saturday night Dallas gig. He was scheduled to make a special performance, but was unable to make it because he was hospitalized.

His publicist tells us event organizers were notified ahead of the show that Bill was not well enough to make it.

Bushwick Bill, one third of iconic rap group the Geto Boys, is in bad shape ... but still battling with pancreatic cancer.

TMZ broke the story ... Bill was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February. Just last month, he told us he was undergoing intensive chemotherapy, and had hoped to get back on the road.

Bushwick Bill, Scarface and Willie D became the Geto Boys in Houston back in 1988 and signed with J. Prince's Rap-A-Lot Records. The group was instantly controversial for its graphic lyrics which made radio airplay almost impossible. Their 1991 album "Can't Be Stopped" still went platinum, though, on the strength of classics like, "Mind Playing Tricks On Me."

Just a few weeks ago, the rap trio was trying to put together a reunion, but it fell apart at the last minute.

As we first reported, Bill had a falling out with tour organizers ... feeling like they were exploiting his cancer diagnosis to sell tickets. He was especially bent out of shape with the mini-tour's title, "The Beginning of a Long Goodbye: The Final Farewell."

Promoters pulled the plug on the tour on the eve of its launch. However, Bill told us he wanted to do a 20-city solo tour called "Phuck Cancer" ... and planned to donate a portion of proceeds to pancreatic cancer patients in each city.

Houston hip-hop icon Bun B paid tribute on Twitter, saying Bushwick "will always be a legend."

Originally Published -- 8:25 AM PT

'Godfather' Actor Carmine Caridi Dead at 85

5/29/2019 5:23 PM PDT

5:15 PM PT -- We just got Chazz Palminteri in NYC, and he told us he's glad he got the chance to work with Carmine ... calling him a really great man. 

Chazz also feels Carmine should be reinstated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

9:53 AM PT -- Carmine's manager tells us, "From Broadway, to film and television, Carmine spent over six decades entertaining audiences, and nothing made him happier. His talent, wit, warmth, and charm will be missed. Carmine passed peacefully, surrounded by friends and family."

"Perhaps Carmine's biggest regret was his involvement in a scandal that left him expelled from The Motion Picture Academy. While exonerated by police and the FBI, Carmine was always deeply saddened by what had transpired."

9:10 AM PT -- A rep for Carmine tells us he had actually been at Cedars-Sinai since April 25 when he took a nasty fall. He had been getting treatment for back injuries, but after nearly a month in the hospital he came down with pneumonia.

We're told he was diagnosed last Thursday, and although doctors felt he was stable enough for release on Friday ... his health started going south on Saturday.

Although some of Carmine's friends have posted he was in a coma, the rep said he was responsive up until the day before his death. 

Carmine Caridi has died from complications suffered during hospitalization for a bad fall ... TMZ has learned.

The 'Godfather' actor -- who played Carmine Rosato in the first sequel -- was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai hospital in L.A., and his health started slipping over the weekend. We're told he died on Wednesday. Carmine's friend, actor and director Chazz Palminteri, confirmed the passing to TMZ.

It's unclear what caused Carmine's health crisis.

Carmine is a veteran TV actor, who's starred in big shows like "Starsky and Hutch," "Taxi," "Fame" and "Simon & Simon." He also, notably, played Det. Vince Gotelli in "NYPD Blue."

Interestingly, he returned in "The Godfather Part III," but in a different role -- he played Albert Volpe that time around.  

In total, Carmine has more than 100 acting credits over six decades in showbiz. 

He's also known as one of the few people who've been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for sharing movie screeners in '04 -- which became the butt of Jimmy Kimmel's joke during the 2018 Oscars ... when he compared Carmine to Harvey Weinstein.

Carmine took exception with Kimmel's crack, telling us he shouldn't have been put in the same category as Weinstein ... even if it was all in good fun.

Carmine was 85.


Originally Published -- 8:03 AM PT

Niki Lauda Stars Attend F1 Legend's Memorial Lewis Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger

5/29/2019 8:21 AM PDT
Breaking News

Racing fans from all over the world packed St. Stephen's Cathedral in Austria on Wednesday to bid farewell to F1 legend Niki Lauda ... including Lewis Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger

The mourners braved heavy rains to get inside the church, where Lauda's coffin was flanked by flower wreaths. His trademark red crash helmet was placed on top.  

The 70-year-old passed away last week -- nine months after undergoing surgery for a lung transplant. 

Lewis Hamilton has taken Lauda's death particularly hard ... the two were very close. In fact, Lauda was involved when Lewis signed with McClaren ahead of the 2013 racing season. 

Niki's widow, Birgit, and his son, Mathias Lauda -- who's also a pro racecar driver -- also attended the memorial service. 

Other notable names at the service include Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and former drivers Alain Prost, Sir Jackie Stewart and Nico Rosberg.

Niki won the F1 drivers' championship in 1975 and '77 with Ferrari and again in '84 with McLaren ... but he's most famous for crashing and catching fire in 1976 at the German Grand Prix.

Lauda was badly burned in the crash, but he made a miraculous recovery an returned to racing only 6 weeks later.

Lauda's incredible comeback after dodging death instantly made him the stuff of a legend ... and his 1976 rivalry with British driver James Hunt was the plot line of the movie "Rush."


Red Sox Bill Buckner Dead at 69

5/27/2019 11:29 AM PDT
Breaking News

Bill Buckner -- who drew the ire of Red Sox fans for decades due to a major World Series error -- has died after battling dementia ... according to his family.

Buckner passed away early Monday morning surrounded by family and friends following a tough battle with Lewy Body Dementia, per a statement his family released. They went on to write, "Bill fought with courage and grit as he did all things in life."

They ended their remarks by saying, "Our hearts are broken but we are at peace knowing he is in the arms of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 

He's perhaps most famous for a game-deciding blunder during the 1986 World Series, when he was playing first base for Boston and failed to field a slow chopper down the line.

With the game tied at the bottom of the 10th and a runner on second, Mets player Mookie Wilson tapped a ball on the ground toward first, which seemed like an easy enough play to make -- only Buckner didn't. It hopped between his legs and rolled into right field.

The Mets scored and won the game, and then went on to win Game 7 ... dashing the hopes of the Red Sox who were hunting for their first World Series win at the time since 1918. The mistake went down in baseball history, and made him hated among Sox fans for years to come. 

Buckner was eventually honored at Fenway Park in 2008, after the Sox had won the WS four years prior. He threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and it was clear the old wounds between himself and the city had healed.

He played with the Dodgers, Cubs and Sox over the course of his 22 season baseball career.

Bill was 69.


Biggie's 47th Bday Lil' Kim & Lil' Cease Reunite Notorious Snitching Beef Ends

5/22/2019 9:04 AM PDT

Lil' Kim and Lil' Cease still have a crush on each other after all these years of bad blood -- and they finally got together to bury the hatchet for the one and only Notorious B.I.G.

The former Junior M.A.F.I.A. members reunited Tuesday night in NYC, where a huge party was thrown at TAO Downtown in honor of what would've been Biggie's 47th birthday. This appears to be the first time the two have interacted publicly since their falling out in 2005.

In case you're unfamiliar, Cease testified against Kim during her federal perjury trial -- which helped prosecutors' case against her when she was found to have lied to a grand jury about a shooting she'd witnessed. Kim spent a year in prison for it.

She denounced Cease and other JM members after she got out, calling their testimony a betrayal and a breaking of street code. Cease defended himself, insisting he wasn't a snitch since he'd been subpoenaed and had no choice but to tell the truth on the stand.

That all seems to be water under a bridge between LK and LC -- both of whom were incredibly close to Biggie when he was alive and have recorded a number of songs together ... including their '96 hit, "Crush on You."

Kim and Cease were seen hanging out together with a bunch of their famous pals, like Busta Rhymes, Cedric the Entertainer, Jadakiss and other hip-hop heads too.

With music provided by DJ Reach, DJ Stacks and DJ Shortkutz ... the shindig looked like a classic family throwdown.

Comedy Store Co-Founder Sammy Shore Dead at 92

5/18/2019 12:25 PM PDT
Breaking News

Sammy Shore -- the Comedy Store co-founder and the father of actor Pauly Shore -- has died, according to his longtime club.

The veteran comedian passed away peacefully at his Las Vegas home surrounded by friends and family, per a Facebook post from the Comedy Store itself. The company says he died of natural causes. 

Sammy was doing comedy as recently as his 90th birthday!!! Where else would he rather celebrate than his own place of business?

Sammy co-founded the Comedy Store with his wife, Mitzi, and his writing partner Rudy Deluca in 1972, establishing the place in the heart of Hollywood on the Sunset Strip. The club went on to host some of the biggest names in comedy and continues to be a cornerstone of stand-up. 

Just to give you a sense of who's performed at the Comedy Store -- Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Richard PryorDave Chappelle, Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Kaufman, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Robin Williams, George Wallace, David Letterman and many, many more famous comics. 

Sammy's former spouse, Mitzi, died last year after battling a neurological disorder for years. She and Sammy had four children, Pauly, Scott, Sandy and Peter

Pauly wrote a touching tribute to his father on Twitter, saying in part ... "Dad, you lived an amazing life and I'm so proud to say that you are my father. When you're in heaven I'll be killing the crowds night after night and carrying on your legacy. Love you Dad. Rest in peace."

Sammy was 92. RIP 

Nipsey Hussle First Look at His Last Music Video ... w/ DJ Khaled, John Legend

5/16/2019 1:00 AM PDT

Nipsey Hussle's final day on a music video set was an uplifting, almost spiritual experience alongside DJ Khaled and John Legend ... as you can see here.

TMZ obtained this behind-the-scenes footage showing Nip, John and Khaled recording the vid ... just a few days before Nipsey would be gunned down outside his Marathon Clothing store in South L.A. The video setting was atop a parking structure the crew rented out in nearby Inglewood.

The song is for the Khaled track, "Higher," which will be on his upcoming album, "Father of Asahd."

John referenced the project in his tribute tweet to Nipsey on the day he died, saying he'd just filmed with him and calling the collab "beautiful."

He was right ... the song sounds like a straight banger, and also looks like it'll have pretty interesting visuals -- John at a grand piano, right next to classic cars with hydraulic suspensions firing. Not to mention Nipsey in a dope head-to-toe blue suit. 

"Higher" drops Friday, and is presumably one of the last collabs Nip recorded before his death.

Khaled says 100% of the proceeds from the song and music vid are going to Nipsey’s children, Emani and Kross Asghedom … and he says Nip’s family gave him their blessing.

Seeing him in action here really reminds you ... gone way too soon.

'Real Housewives of Miami' Elsa Patton Dead at 84

5/12/2019 11:54 AM PDT

Elsa Patton -- the mother of 'Real Housewives of Miami' star Marysol Patton -- has died. 

Patton passed away over Mother's Day weekend surrounded by loved ones after battling a "long illness," according to a statement put out by her family. It's unclear what illness she was afflicted with -- her family didn't elaborate beyond that. 

They did, however, go on to thank the countless fans and friends who've asked about her condition as of late. The Patton family says private funeral services will take place in Miami.

"Mama" Elsa was a recurring star on the hit Bravo series when it ran from 2011 to 2013, having constant laugh out loud moments that made her a beloved character. Her one-liners and hilarious zingers were popular enough to get Elsa her own web series spinoff, "Havana Elsa" ... which covered her endeavors to start her own coffee chain. 

Elsa is survived by her two children, Marysol and Thomas Anthony Jones, her daughter-in-law and her grandson. Elsa's husband, Donald, died in 2018. 

She was 84.


Boxing Legend Harold Lederman Dead at 79 ... After Cancer Battle

5/11/2019 5:39 PM PDT

Legendary boxing judge and HBO's longtime unofficial scorer Harold Lederman has died after battling with cancer. 

Lederman passed away Saturday at a hospice care center in New York ... according to his daughter, Julie, and confirmed by HBO. Boxing promoter and former HBO exec Lou DiBella says Harold had fighting cancer for a while -- it's unclear which type.

A fixture of professional boxing, Lederman got his start judging matches back in 1967, but stopped in 1999 -- when he judged his final bout alongside his daughter. He covered more than 100 world title fights, including some legendary ones like Muhammad Ali-Ken Norton, Evander Holyfield-Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Marvin Hagler-Mustafa Hamsho and lots and lots of others.

When he became part of the HBO family in '86, he quickly became known for breaking down his unofficial score cards ... offering viewers an insight into how a judge picks apart a bout.

HBO Sports' executive VP, Peter Nelson, issued a statement on Harold's passing, saying ... "Harold Lederman had a lifelong love affair with the sport of boxing. Over the past 50 years he was universally respected and celebrated by the many people who make the sport what it is. Harold was happiest when seated ringside, studying the action and scoring the fight."

Harold was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016 after storied career.  He's survived by his wife, and his two daughters. 

He was 79. RIP

Peter Mayhew Chewbacca Actor Dies at 74

5/2/2019 3:59 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

Chewbacca's howling in heaven today ... Peter Mayhew -- the man behind the mask of the iconic 'Star Wars' character -- has died ... according to his family.

We're told the actor died from a heart condition Tuesday at his home in North Texas, and was surrounded by friends and family. Peter played Chewie in all three films of the original 'Star Wars' trilogy, and did it all over again decades later in 'The Revenge of the Sith' and in 2015's 'The Force Awakens.'

His family says Peter fought his way back from being in a wheelchair to star in 'The Force Awakens' before retiring. However, he served as a consultant to Joonas Suotamo -- the Finnish basketball player who took over the role in 'The Last Jedi.'

Mayhew's survived by his wife and 3 children. His family is asking fans to donate to the Peter Mayhew Foundation -- which benefits families around the world in crisis situations -- in lieu of sending flowers or gifts.

They add ... there will be a memorial service for family in June, but in December ... they're planning to hold a service fans can attend in Los Angeles.

Peter was 74.


Nipsey Hussle Memorial Basketball Court ... Gets Ribbon Cutting

4/14/2019 2:16 PM PDT

Nipsey Hussle will live on in the Crenshaw District with a public basketball court that now bares his image across 78 feet of pavement ... which is getting a ribbon cutting Sunday.

A court outside the Crete Academy charter school -- which is just blocks away from where Nipsey was killed -- is holding an event that'll unveil the gorgeous mural done by artist Gustavo Zermeno, which was put into motion by Venice Basketball League's CEO, Nick Ansom.

Ansom told the media that the court was done as a way to pay Nipsey back for all his work in the community. Nipsey was a big sports fan, especially of hoops. 

After the ribbon cutting at 3 PM, there's gonna be some games ran on the new court. There will be a high school showcase at 4 PM, and then an All-Star game at 5 PM. There's no telling who might show, but ya gotta imagine some famous faces could surface.

The memorial court is just the latest tribute to Nipsey -- who was murdered two weeks ago in front of his Marathon Clothing store. He died at the young age of 33. 

A Celebration of Life for Nipsey was just held at the STAPLES Center in DTLA, which drew tons of fans all over California. The procession that followed was a heavily guarded affair as fans flocked to see Nip pass through South L.A. one final time.

His family also held a private funeral service for him on Friday.

Master P Nipsey is Beloved Just Like MJ ... Teyana Snaps at Scalpers!!!

4/10/2019 5:48 PM PDT

Master P says the outpouring of love for Nipsey Hussle proves he was approaching the level of respect and adoration Michael Jackson fans had for him -- and he says you'll see that on display at Staples Center. 

We got the hip-hop mogul outside Nipsey's Marathon Clothing store in South L.A. where he paid his respects and had glowing things to say about the slain MC. Master P says Nipsey might be gone, but his impact on the community will not be forgotten.

When he brought up Nipsey's Celebration of Life -- set for Thursday morning at Staples -- MP said that event is a testament to how many lives Nip touched. He added ... people who didn't realize Nipsey's importance when he was alive are getting the picture now.  

We also got Teyana Taylor at LAX Wednesday and asked her thoughts on Thursday's memorial service ... which scalpers have tried to exploit by charging big money for the free tickets. 

You can tell she's still disillusioned by Nipsey's murder, saying it still doesn't feel real. Check out her message to the scumbag scalpers too. She has some choice words for 'em.

BTW ... the gorgeous mural Master P mentioned is just about complete, courtesy of street artist Danny Mateo, who says he's been working on it for the past 4 days.

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