Real-Life and TV Cop Dennis Farina Died of Complications From Lung Cancer

Dennis FarinaIt has been revealed that actor and former police officer Dennis Farina‘s passing on Monday in Scottsdale, Arizona was due to complications from lung cancer.

“He had a small cancer 13 years ago that was treated and cured with surgery,” his cardiologist said in a statement. “Over the last several months, he unfortunately experienced a recurrence of the cancer which was being treated. Despite treatment, over the weekend a blood clot developed in Mr. Farina’s lung which unexpectedly and suddenly took his life.”

Farina, 69, appeared in more than 70 movies and TV shows in his lifetime. His credits include LuckLaw and Order, Reindeer Games, Snatch, Out of Sight and Get Shorty with James Gandolfini (RIP).  Continue reading “Real-Life and TV Cop Dennis Farina Died of Complications From Lung Cancer”

‘Glee’ Star Cory Monteith Found Dead

Cory Monteith black and whiteAuthorities in Canada have confirmed that Glee star Cory Monteith died today in his hotel room.

Employees at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver discovered his body on Saturday night after he didn’t check out at the expected time.

Staff found him alone after reportedly going out with friends, and police have issued a statement that foul play is not suspected.

Monteith, age 31, was the longtime boyfriend of his Glee co-star Lea Michele. Besides his famous role as smooth-voiced Finn Hudson, he appeared in the MTV series Kaya and the 2011 movie Monte Carlo with Selena Gomez.

Many speculate that the cause of death was a drug overdose due to his recent stint in rehab. In one notable interview, the actor admitted that he did “anything and everything, as much as possible.”

Soprano’s Leading Man James Gandolfini Dead at 51, HBO Confirms

Tony SopranoHBO, the network that employed James Gandolfini, 51, from 1999 to 2007 during his incredible run on The Sopranos, has confirmed his tragic death in Italy today.

The Emmy-winning, Jersey-born actor suffered an apparent heart attack during a trip to Sicily for the 59th Taormina Film Festival.

Gandolfini, who rose to fame in films like True Romance and Get Shorty and recently starred in Zero Dark Thirty, is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, eight-month-old daughter and teenage son.

His upcoming projects included HBO’s Criminal Justice, based on the BBC show of the same name and Animal Rescue, co-starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.

‘Rescue Me’ Singer Fontella Bass, 72, Dies of Heart Attack (July 3, 1940 – December 26, 2012)

Fontella Bass 60s72-year-old Fontella Bass, best known for her 1965 megahit “Rescue Me,” passed away in St. Louis, Missouri. Her daughter Neuka Mitchell tells various news outlets that her mother died on Wednesday due to complications from a heart attack she had three weeks ago.

In the late 80’s, Bass told the New York Times that the later part of “Rescue Me” where she hums “hmm mmm hmm mmm” was a result of her forgetting the lyrics.

While the song was featured in many movies and commercials (including a “Deliver Me” Pizza Hut by Aretha Franklin), Bass failed to see proper royalties and eventually won a case against American Express after suing them in 1993. Continue reading “‘Rescue Me’ Singer Fontella Bass, 72, Dies of Heart Attack (July 3, 1940 – December 26, 2012)”

Blaque Singer and ‘Bring It On’ Star Natina Reed Dead at 32

Natina Reed of the girl group Blaque (“As If,” “Bring It All To Me”) died on Friday night after being struck by a car on a highway in Georgia.

Reed, who has a 10-year-old son with rapper and former executive VP of Death Row Records Kurupt, played the extra tiny, extra funky cheerleader on the rival team of Kristen Dunst’s squad in Bring It On.

Natina was a protegé of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. Blaque opened for TLC during the FanMail tour and were signed to Lopes’ company, Left Eye ProductionsTMZ reports that the driver who hit her stayed on scene and called 911. There are no charges pending.  Continue reading “Blaque Singer and ‘Bring It On’ Star Natina Reed Dead at 32”

Actor, Bodyguard, And Professional Teddy Bear Michael Clarke Duncan Dead At Age 54

Michael Clarke Duncan, the actor with the ominous physical presence, booming voice, and the sweet-as-cotton-candy personality died at age 54 Monday morning due to complications from a heart attack.

Sources report that his passing came “very suddenly.”

On July 13th, Duncan suffered from cardiac arrest but was saved by his fiancé, reality star Omarosa (Celebrity Apprentice, The Surreal Life), who performed CPR on him before he was admitted to an Intensive Care Unit.

At that point, his rep told the media that he was “stable” and on the road to a full recovery. Those words are especially bitter to hear now that we know he was in the hospital for seven weeks prior to his death. Continue reading “Actor, Bodyguard, And Professional Teddy Bear Michael Clarke Duncan Dead At Age 54”

Rest In Peace, Bianca Romijn Stamos-O’Connell

Howard Stern and Beth Ostrosky Stern lost their beloved 10-year-old pet bulldog Bianca yesterday named partially after friends Rebecca, John and Jerry. They adopted her two years after they began dating, in 2002.

As a proud mother of two cats and one that I’m still not convinced is a feline (he may possibly be a small brown bulldog) and the former owner of two golden retrievers, I understand that losing your pets is one of the hardest things in life.

This is especially true for those of us who have chosen to not have children. Ostrosky, spokeswoman for North Shore Animal League, Tweeted“We lost our precious Bianca today. My sweet little girl, may you rest in peace. I love you forever.”  Continue reading “Rest In Peace, Bianca Romijn Stamos-O’Connell”

‘Sleepless In Seattle’ Writer/Director Nora Ephron Dead At 71 (May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012)

Nora Ephron, an accomplished directer, author, playwright and screenwriter, died yesterday from pneumonia, a complication of the leukemia she was diagnosed with in 2006.

She directed Sleepless In Seattle, Mixed Nuts, You’ve Got Mail, Julie & Julia and wrote those plus When Harry Met Sally and Silkwood, which was nominated for five Academy Awards in 1983 and would have won some if not for Terms Of Endearment.

Ephron lived a very interesting life. Born to screenwriting parents in New York and raised in Los Angeles, she interned briefly at the White House in 1961 under John F. Kennedy before graduating from college.

She later worked at Newsweek in the mailroom but by the 70’s she moved on and became a Carrie Bradshaw of that era, writing regularly for The New York Post at first and then Esquire about “sex, food and New York City.”  Continue reading “‘Sleepless In Seattle’ Writer/Director Nora Ephron Dead At 71 (May 19, 1941 – June 26, 2012)”

Civil Rights Figure Rodney King Drowns At His Home (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012)

Rodney King was not influential in the early 90’s for speaking out against the LAPD or rioting. He did however, incite riots after a bystander videotaped him taking a vicious beating by the police.

Some might say that he was a sacrificial lamb, that the brutality he endured was in some way necessary because it really showed how differently African Americans were being treated at that time.

No one should have to suffer that kind of abuse just to prove a point. King’s “fame” came at a heftier price than public humiliation and broken bones.  Continue reading “Civil Rights Figure Rodney King Drowns At His Home (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012)”

Desperate Housewives’ Kathryn Joosten, Dead At 72

Kathryn Joosten, best known for her hilarious roles as Mrs. McCluskey on Desperate Housewives, secretary Dolores Landingham in The West Wing, and “old lady god” in Joan of Arcadia, passed away on Friday of lung cancer.

Joosten had struggled with the illness two separate times, once in 2001 and then again in 2008. She won two Emmys for Housewives and a story arc focusing on cancer was included for her character.

Besides her three most notable television gigs, she played small parts in every show you can name – everything from Will & Grace to Monk, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Closer, and General Hospital.

Continue reading “Desperate Housewives’ Kathryn Joosten, Dead At 72”

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch Succumbs To Cancer (August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012)

The first time I ever heard and recognized rap, it was from the Beastie Boys. Since I’m old but not that old, this was in the 90’s, after the release of the B-Boys’ first two albums.

Granted, my era of Ill Communication and Hello Nasty is nothing to disregard.

Mix Master Mike, Adam Horovitz, Mike D, and Adam Yauch kept their eclectic music train going well into this decade.

All the members of The Beastie Boys are pivotal, and writing about the demise of one does not come easily.

Adam “MCA” Yauch was a practicing Buddhist, philanthropist, and one hell of a bassist and rapper. And not just a white rapper. A rapper, period (check out Stereogum’s list of his greatest moments).

Continue reading “Beastie Boy Adam Yauch Succumbs To Cancer (August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012)”

Radio/TV Pioneer Dick Clark Suffers Heart Attack (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012)

 Richard “Dick” Wagstaff Clark, creator of the American Music Awards, host of American Bandstand, TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes and the game show Pyramid, died of a heart attack yesterday in Santa Monica at age 82.

The self-made millionaire also conducted beaming interviews for the Golden Globes, chatting up everyone from Mel Gibson and Martin Landau to Sharon Stone and Jessica Lange. To people my age he is recognized most for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve which began in 1973 and was still running into 2012 with host Ryan Seacrest.

Following his massive stroke in 2004 which heavily impaired his speech, he sometimes still stood smiling like a 19-year old next to Seacrest truly embodying his “World’s Oldest Teenager” nickname.

Continue reading “Radio/TV Pioneer Dick Clark Suffers Heart Attack (November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012)”

Berenstain Bears Co-Creator Janice Berenstain (July 26, 1923 – February 24, 2012)

Janice Berenstain, passed away last Friday at age 88 after suffering a stoke in Solebury, PA. Her collaborator and husband Stanley died of  lymphoma six years earlier. The two met at Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art at age 18 and married five years later.

They wrote and illustrated over 300 children’s books, putting their work in a league beside other mammal-themed hits like Norman Bridwell’s Clifford The Big Red Dog and Jean de Brunhoff’s Babar.

Continue reading “Berenstain Bears Co-Creator Janice Berenstain (July 26, 1923 – February 24, 2012)”

Whitney Houston (Aug. 9, 1963 – Feb. 11, 2012)

As you probably already know, Whitney Houston passed away on Saturday afternoon at age 48. She was discovered in the bath tub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Reports indicate that water was found in Houston’s lungs and that there may have been prescription drugs and alcohol involved.

Her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown was taken to the hospital on Sunday after suffering from a severe anxiety attack. Bobby Brown pulled out from performing a concert with New Edition to spend time with her.  Continue reading “Whitney Houston (Aug. 9, 1963 – Feb. 11, 2012)”

Ian Abercrombie Of Quirky Seinfeld Fame (September 11, 1934 – January 26, 2012)

The man whose character managed to stand out for his eccentricities on a show already centered around peculiar behavior passed away yesterday at age 77.

Ian Abercrombie was best known for his role as Elaine’s boss, Mr. Pitt, on Seinfeld. His candy bar-cutting technique was particularly memorable.

Besides his work with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the rest of the Larry David-born gang Abercrombie appeared in a wide range of projects.

Everything from TV (Days Of Our Lives, Wizards of Waverly Place) to voice work (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rango) to films like Sam Raimi’s cult classic, Army Of Darkness. 

His career spanned all the way back to 1965. No word yet on the cause of death.

X Games Medalist Sarah Burke Dies After Skiing Accident (September 3, 1982 – January 19, 2012)

Sarah Burke, a Canadian X Games competitive skier passed away on Thursday at 29 years-old after being hospitalized January 10 during a training session in Park City, Utah.

Burke went into cardiac arrest after a failed superpipe trick (a flatspin 540) in which she landed on her head. She was taken by helicopter to Salt Lake City’s University of Utah Hospital where she went into an induced coma.

On the 11th doctors attempted to repair a vertebral artery but Burke did not improve as she had suffered “irreversible damage to her brain due to lack of oxygen and blood after cardiac arrest.” She died surrounded by loved ones – her parents, sister and husband, fellow skier Rory Bushfield. Continue reading “X Games Medalist Sarah Burke Dies After Skiing Accident (September 3, 1982 – January 19, 2012)”

Man Swallows Cocaine That Was Stored In His Brother’s Ass, Overdoses

In South Carolina a 20 year-old man passed away in a bizarre and tragic death that occurred after he swallowed a bag of cocaine that his brother, DeAngelo Mitchell (right) had previously been storing in his anus.

They were pulled over in North Charleston due to a malfunctioning taillight and then put into a police cruiser in handcuffs on suspicion of drug possession. The car’s camera captured Wayne Joshua Mitchell’s 23 year-old brother pleading with him to chew and shallow the ounce of cocaine.

Continue reading “Man Swallows Cocaine That Was Stored In His Brother’s Ass, Overdoses”