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Brody Stevens Comedian Dead at 48 Apparent Suicide by Hanging

2/22/2019 3:14 PM PST
Breaking News

Stand-up comedian Brody Stevens was found dead Friday after an apparent suicide at his home in Los Angeles.

Law enforcement sources confirm to TMZ ... Brody was found hanging in his home Friday afternoon, shortly after 1 PM. 

Brody -- who co-created his own Comedy Central series, "Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!" with his friend Zach Galifianakis -- had struggled with mental health issues in the past. He was hospitalized in 2011 after suffering a bipolar episode. 

He was a mainstay at huge comedy events like the Montreal and Vancouver Comedy Festivals -- and just 2 days ago he was at the Festival of Friendship in Burbank.

Later that night he did a set -- which appears to have been his last -- at the famed Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip.

Brody also had several roles in movies, such as "The Hangover" and "The Hangover II." 

He was also an avid baseball fan. He pitched in college at Arizona State University until he suffered an elbow injury.

Reps for Brody tell us, "Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community. He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. He was beloved by many and will be greatly missed."

We had a lot of fun run-ins with Brody over the years -- he always turned it on for our camera guys.

However, the last time we saw him, in 2018, we had a serious conversation with him about Kanye West and mental health. 

Brody was 48.

RIP

'Casino' Actor Vinny Vella Dead at 72 From Liver Cancer

2/21/2019 6:32 AM PST
Breaking News

Vinny Vella -- who starred in "Casino" and several other gangster movies -- has died after battling cancer.

His rep posted a message late Wednesday night, saying ... "We are saddened to report that Vinny Vella has passed and I'm sure that no one is more saddened than himself. Vinny loved life from his family to his friends and fans he was easily one of the funniest, endearing actors to have ever graced the screen."

Vinny's son, Vinny Vella Jr., tells us his father had liver cancer.

Vinny, who has 74 acting credits to his name, memorably played deli owner/mobster Artie Piscano alongside Robert De Niro in "Casino." He also acted with De Niro in "Analyze That."

He had smaller roles in other films like "Donnie Brasco," "Kissing Jessica Stein," "Kill the Irishman," "Mambo Cafe," "This Thing of Ours" and "Find Me Guilty."

Vinny's rep added, he was "Arguably the fastest on the draw, king of the comebacks. His verbal jousting was legendary but many know Vinny for his favorite saying - 'Who's better than you?' Well Vinny, I think we all can agree on the answer to that, it was you, it always was you! We miss you my boy!"

His son also commented, saying ... "RIP to my father. I love you so much and I’m so heart broken. You are no longer in pain- no more suffering pops. I love you."

He's survived by his son and his wife, Margaret. 

Vinny was 72. RIP

'My 600-lb Life' Star Sean Milliken Dead at 29

2/19/2019 12:47 PM PST

12:47 PM PT -- TLC is also mourning the loss of Sean, stating, "TLC expresses its deepest sympathies to Sean's friends and family at this difficult time."

They also released a clip of Sean from last summer -- when the show caught up with him a couple years after his episode aired in 2016 -- at the time he was coping with the loss of his mother.Sean Milliken -- who starred on TLC's "My 600-lb Life" -- is dead ... TMZ has confirmed.

His father, Matt, announced the sad news on Facebook ... saying Sean passed away Sunday in a hospital due to complications from an infection. He added, "Sunday he was having problems with his breathing, they were able to resuscitate him and a short time later his heart stopped." 

Sean, who reached a weight as high as 900 pounds, was on the show for only one episode in 2016. He became bedridden during his senior year of high school -- when he was already at least 400 lbs -- after suffering a debilitating leg injury.

The same year he appeared on the reality show, he told People he was planning on moving to Houston to see if he could qualify for weight loss surgery. He reportedly lived on his own in Texas prior to his death, but it's unclear if he ever went under the knife.

Sean was 29. RIP

Originally Published -- 9:32 AM PT

Charo Singer's Husband Dead by Suicide 'The Love of My Life Killed Himself'

2/19/2019 10:55 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

2/19 -- Charo just released a statement confirming "the love of my life killed himself." She said, "There are no words to describe what we are feeling now. In recent years, his health began to decline and he developed a rare and horrible skin disease called Bullous Pemphigoid." The condition causes chronic blistering of the skin.

She added, "He also became very depressed. That, along with the many medications he needed to take, became too much for him, and he ended his suffering."

Charo also urged fans if they knew of anyone suffering from depression or illness to hold them close, and insisted suicide is not the answer.

Singer and actress Charo's husband of more than 40 years is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound ... TMZ has learned.

Kjell Rasten shot himself Monday afternoon around 2 PM in the Beverly Hills home where he and '70s icon Charo lived ... according to law enforcement sources. We're told Charo was home at the time and someone in the house called 911.

Police and paramedics responded, and Rasten was transported to a hospital, but they were unable to save him. We're told he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Rasten was a TV producer in the '70s and '80s. He and Charo married in 1978, and had one child together ... actor and producer Shel Rasten.

Charo and Kjell, along with their son, appeared on a 2015 episode of the ABC show, "Celebrity Wife Swap." They swapped with Charo's old "Love Boat" co-star, Jill Whelan.

Kjell was 79 years old.

RIP

Originally Published -- 2/18/2019 7:24 PM PST

Karl Lagerfeld Dead at 85

2/19/2019 5:34 AM PST
Breaking News

The fashion world is mourning after legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld's death Tuesday in Paris.

Lagerfeld died in a Parisian hospital ... according to Chanel, where he served as creative director. He was reportedly admitted on Monday night. No cause of death has been released, but there'd been a buzz about his health since he missed 2 Chanel shows last month.

He'd appeared on the runway at the end of every Chanel event since joining the fashion house in 1983. At the close of one of the January shows in Paris, the announcer wished Karl a quick recovery.

German-born Lagerfeld, who previously worked for Fendi, was the toast of the fashion world for decades ... commonly seen rocking his trademark shades at Chanel shows.

He worked closely with modeling legends like Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and Stella Tennant

More recently, he'd brought the likes of Kendall JennerBella HadidCara Delevingne, and Keira Knightley into the fold at Chanel.

Kim Kardashian reacted to his death, thanking the icon for her first fashion photo shoot.

Lagerfeld is survived by his beloved cat, Choupette, which he'd had since 2011. He famously said he would marry his pet, if it were legal.

He was 85. 

RIP. 

XXXTentacion Grammys Memoriam Was Total Diss!!! Says 9th Wonder

2/11/2019 1:47 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

9th Wonder says XXXTentacion absolutely deserved to be part of the Grammys' In Memoriam segment, because the guy left a musical legacy that's bigger than life.

The legendary hip-hop producer made no bones about it Monday at LAX, where he told us Grammy producers missed an opportunity to include someone who gave a lot to the industry and changed lives ... adding that every big artist deserves recognition in death.

9th -- who's worked with Jay-Z, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and MANY other giants -- says X's impact on the culture is undeniable ... citing even his own son as proof the controversial MC was making waves before his tragic murder.

He suggests X's exclusion might have something to do with older Recording Academy members not knowing X -- but adds there were plenty of far less famous people honored on screen.

Our photog raised the issue that's reportedly the real reason X didn't make the cut -- his many legal issues and allegations of domestic violence.

9th says he has no idea if that had any bearing on the Recording Academy's decision, but he drives his point home ... the kid still should've been honored. 

Chris Cornell Kids Accept Posthumous Grammy ... On Dad's Behalf

2/10/2019 4:56 PM PST

Chris Cornell won a Grammy Sunday nearly two years after his death ... and his children accepted it on his behalf with a heartfelt message about their father. 

Cornell's two kids -- his son, Christopher, and his daughter, Toni -- took to the stage at Staples Center after their dad had been awarded the Grammy for Best Rock Performance for his song, "When Bad Does Good" ... his third Grammy win ever. 

Christopher spoke first, reading from a statement that read in part ... "I never thought we'd be standing here without my dad. I'm sure he would be proud and honored. He was known for many things. He was a rock icon, the godfather of grunge and the creator of a movement." 

Christopher added ... "While he touched the hearts of millions, most importantly he is known for  to us is for being the greatest father in our ear." 

His sister finished up the speech, saying ... "His voice was his vision and his music was his peace," adding ... "This is for you daddy and we love you so much." Chris' family walked the red carpet together before the show, and put on a united front for the cameras.

TMZ broke the story ... Chris was found dead in Detroit in 2017. A coroner ruled his death as a suicide by hanging

He was 52.

'Y&R' Star Kristoff St. John Found Dead at 52 ... Treated for Depression Last Week

2/4/2019 11:00 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

11:00 AM PT-- A source close to Kristoff tells us the actor had checked himself into UCLA Medical Center in January for depression issues ... and had just been released within the last few days.

We're told his depression was linked, in part, to his son, Julian's suicide years ago.

8:50 AM PT -- Kristoff's fiancée, model Kseniya Mikhaleva, reacted to his death, saying ... "How did it happen??? How??? Why did you leave so early???? and left me all alone ..."

Kristoff and Kseniya just got engaged 5 months ago.

TMZ also got the dispatch audio from the fire department, which responded to a call for an "unconscious individual" at Kristoff's home. You'll hear officials use the term "natural causes" -- that only means there was no foul play.

Kristoff St. John, star of the long-running soap opera 'Young and the Restless,' was found dead Sunday ... TMZ has learned.

Law enforcement sources tell us one of Kristoff's friends went to check on him at the actor's home in San Fernando Valley, and found his body. Police and paramedics were alerted and responded to the house. We're told Kristoff was pronounced dead on the scene.

We're told there was no sign of foul play, however one source says alcohol might have played a role.

Kristoff has played Neil Winters on 'Y&R' since 1991 -- a role that earned him 9 Daytime Emmy Award nominations. He also won 10 NAACP Image Awards.

Kristoff has a tragic and troubled history with suicide. He and his ex-wife, boxer Mia St. John, lost their son, Julian, when he took his own life in 2014, while getting treatment at a mental health facility. Mia and Kristoff sued the facility for negligence. The suit was eventually settled.

In 2017, around the anniversary of Julian's suicide, Kristoff threatened to kill himself with a gun. Cops placed him under a 72-hour hold for psychiatric evaluation.

Mia reacted to Kristoff's death with an emotional post on social media (which she has since deleted), and it's clear she is connecting his death to Julian's. She wrote, "THAT HOSPITAL KILLED OUR SON @TheArtofJulian THEN MY HUSBAND @kristoffstjohn1. THATS WHAT HAPPENED! THEY KILLED MY FAMILY"

After their son's death, Kristoff and Mia founded the El Saber es Poder (Knowledge is Power) Foundation to battle mental illness.

Kristoff was 52.

RIP

Originally Published -- 5:28 AM PT

James Ingram Dead at 66 From Brain Cancer

1/29/2019 2:01 PM PST
Exclusive Details

Grammy-winning R&B singer and songwriter James Ingram has died from a battle with a form of brain cancer ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the singer tell us James had been fighting the cancer for an extended period. Actress and choreographer Debbie Allen reacted to the news Tuesday, saying ... "I have lost my dearest friend."

Ingram recorded several chart-toppers in the '80s, including his #1 duet with Patti Austin, "Baby Come to Me" ... as well as "Somewhere Out There" with Linda Ronstadt, "100 Ways" and "Just Once."

He won a Grammy for "Yah Mo B There" -- his duet with Michael McDonald -- and another for "100 Ways." He was nominated for 12 other times for Grammys.

James worked closely Quincy Jones over the years ... recording and writing hits. For instance, he and Q co-wrote Michael Jackson's smash hit, "P.Y.T." from the "Thriller" album.

James was one of the featured soloists for the all-star choir that gathered to record the smash charity song, "We Are the World" in 1985 -- singing parts between Kenny RogersTina Turner and Ray Charles.

He started his professional singing career in the 70s when he joined the group, Revelation Funk, and even played for Ray Charles' band at one point.   

During a Quincy tribute concert in L.A. last September, James was noticeably absent when Patti performed their hit song. It was not clear at the time why he soldiered on without him, doing her best impression of her dear friend while singing his parts.

James was 66.

RIP

Originally Published -- 12:33 PM PST

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. 

Penny Marshall Death Certificate Reveals Heart Failure As Cause of Death

12/31/2018 8:24 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Penny Marshall died from heart failure, heart disease and complications from diabetes ... this according to her death certificate. 

We obtained Penny's death certificate, issued Monday ... and it lists heart failure as the primary cause of death. The document also says cardiovascular disease and diabetes were contributing factors.

TMZ broke the story -- Penny died December 17 in her Hollywood Hills home -- the certificate lists 9:10 PM as her time of death.

The famed actress and director of huge films like "Big," "The Preacher's Wife" and "League of Their Own" was cremated 10 days after she died.

"Big" star, Tom Hanks, was one of the first to post a tribute to Penny after her death, saying, "Goodbye, Penny.  Man, did we laugh a lot!  Wish we still could. Love you. Hanx."

Celeb Deaths in 2018 A Sad Trend Continues ...

12/31/2018 12:50 AM PST

There were a lot of sad and shocking celebrity deaths in 2018, and unfortunately once again ... many were the result of tragedies and stars taking their own lives.

The rap world lost up-and-coming artist XXXTentacion, who was shot and killed, and Mac Miller, who died from an accidental overdose.

Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, Avicii and several others died by suicide,

There was also an abundance of health-related deaths -- both expected and unexpected. The celeb world also lost legends like Aretha Franklin, Burt Reynolds, and Stan Lee ... while powerful political figures like John McCain, Barbara Bush and George H. W. Bush also passed.

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

RIP

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