Musicians and celebrities pay tribute to rocker Tom Petty
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Reaction to the death of rock superstar Tom Petty, who died Monday after suffering cardiac arrest at his Malibu home:
Tom Petty, down-to-Earth rock superstar, dies at 66
Tom Petty, an old-fashioned rock superstar and everyman who drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other bands he worshipped as a boy and produced new classics such as "Free Fallin,'" "Refugee" and "American Girl," has died. He was 66.
Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California, spokeswoman Carla Sacks said.
Hugh Hefner, leader of the sexual revolution, dies at 91
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hugh Hefner turned silk pajamas into a work uniform, women into centerfolds and sexual desire into a worldwide multimedia empire that spanned several generations of American life.
With Playboy, he helped slip sex out of the confines of plain brown wrappers and into mainstream conversation.
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- Matthew McConaughey reacts to the news that Sam Shepard passed away
- Reaction to death of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington
- Comedians remember Don Rickles
- Reaction to the death of rocker Chris Cornell
- Reaction to the death of superstar entertainer Glen Campbell
Bernie Casey, pro football player turned actor, dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bernie Casey, a professional football player turned poet, painter and actor known for parts in films such as "Revenge of the Nerds" and "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," has died. He was 78.
Casey died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a brief illness, his talent agent Erin Connor said.
Born in West Virginia in 1939 and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Casey excelled in track and field and football and attended Bowling Green State University on an athletic scholarship.
Jake LaMotta, boxer who inspired ‘Raging Bull,’ dies at 95
Jake LaMotta, an iron-fisted battler who brawled his way to a middleweight title and was later memorialized by Robert De Niro in the film "Raging Bull," has died. He was 95.
The former middleweight champion died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia, according to his longtime fiancee, Denise Baker.
Beloved character actor Harry Dean Stanton dies at 91
LOS ANGELES (AP) — For more than 60 years, Harry Dean Stanton played crooks and codgers, eccentrics and losers.
He endowed them with pathos and compassion and animated them with his gaunt, unforgettable presence, making would-be fringe figures feel central to the films they appeared in.
The late critic Roger Ebert once said no movie can be altogether bad if it includes Stanton in a supporting role, and the wide cult of fans that included directors and his fellow actors felt the same.
‘Sopranos’ mobster, veteran actor Frank Vincent dies at 80
NEW YORK (AP) — Frank Vincent, a veteran character actor who often played tough guys, including mob boss Phil Leotardo on "The Sopranos," has died. He was 80.
Vincent died peacefully on Wednesday, a statement from his family said. No cause of death was given.
Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry dies in helicopter crash
NEW YORK (AP) — As one half of Montgomery Gentry, Troy Gentry — who died Friday in a helicopter crash — helped the country music duo become a successful act in the genre, launching countless hits, winning multiple awards and reaching platinum status throughout the 2000s.
Gentry, 50, was killed hours before the band was set to hit the stage — a second home for the singer and guitarist from Kentucky.
Steely Dan co-founder, guitarist, Walter Becker dies at 67
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A rock and roll fan with a penchant for harmony and obtuse references, Walter Becker, the guitarist, bassist and co-founder of the 1970s rock group Steely Dan, which sold more than 40 million albums and produced such hit singles as "Reelin' In the Years," ?Rikki Don't Lose that Number" and "Deacon Blues" died Sunday. He was 67.
His official website announced his death Sunday with no further details.
Shelley Berman, comedian-bard of everyday life, has died
NEW YORK (AP) — Comedian Shelley Berman, who won gold records and appeared on top television shows in the 1950s and 1960s delivering wry monologues about the annoyances of everyday life, has died. He was 92.
Berman died Friday at his home in Bell Canyon, California, from complications from Alzheimer's disease, according to spokesman Glenn Schwartz.
Tobe Hooper, ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ director, dies at 74
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tobe Hooper, the horror-movie pioneer whose low-budget sensation "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" took a buzz saw to audiences with its brutally frightful vision, has died. He was 74.
The Los Angeles County coroner's office on Sunday said Hooper died Saturday in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles. It was reported as a natural death.
‘Cheers’ actor, radio host Jay Thomas dies at 69
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay Thomas, a radio talk show host and actor with recurring roles on the sitcoms "Murphy Brown" and "Cheers," has died, his publicist said. Thomas was 69.
He was "one of the funniest and kindest men I have had the honor to call both client and friend for 25 years plus," publicist Tom Estey said in a statement Thursday. He did not provide further details.
Thomas was fighting cancer, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.
Thomas Meehan, Tony-winning story writer of ‘Annie,’ dies
NEW YORK (AP) — Three-time Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan, best known for transforming the Little Orphan Annie cartoon strip into the smash Broadway musical "Annie," has died at age 88.
Meehan, who had been ill for about five months and had undergone surgery, died at his home in Manhattan late Monday or early Tuesday, longtime friend and "Annie" collaborator Martin Charnin said. Charnin visited his old friend about 10 days ago.
Legendary comedian Jerry Lewis knew how to laugh and cry
NEW YORK (AP) — Jerry Lewis sometimes didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
"There's nothing more dramatic than the comedy I've done," Lewis, who died Sunday at age 91, told The Associated Press in 2016. "Because the comedy I've done is to get to the audience, get them to feel it, or they won't laugh."
Jerry Lewis, comedy icon and telethon host dies, at 91
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was 91.
Lewis died Sunday of natural causes in Las Vegas with his family by his side, publicist Candi Cazau said.
Tributes from friends, co-stars and disciples poured in immediately.
Actor/Comedian Jerry Lewis Dies at 91
‘Predator’ actor Sonny Landham dead at 76
NEW YORK (AP) — Sonny Landham, the muscular action-movie actor who co-starred in "Predator" and "48 Hrs," has died. He was 76.
Landham's sister, Dawn Boehler, said the actor died from congestive heart failure Thursday at a Lexington, Kentucky, hospital. Landham was a brawny, deep-voiced actor and stunt man who played a bit part in Walter Hill's 1979 street-gang thriller "The Warriors" before the director cast him as the trigger-happy criminal Billy Bear in 1982's "48 Hrs."
Bruce Forsyth, veteran British TV host and entertainer, dies
NEW YORK (AP) — Bruce Forsyth, a legendary entertainer, host and quizmaster on English television whose career spanned the history of TV, has died.
The BBC announced that Forsyth, who had brightened its airwaves for decades, died Friday at his home. He was 89.
Dapper and mustachioed, with a toothy smile and cheeky charm, he was a television presence for 75 years, earning him recognition by Guinness World Records in 2012 for having had the longest on-screen television career for a male entertainer.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Glen Campbell, the affable superstar singer of "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman" whose appeal spanned country, pop, television and movies, died Tuesday, his family said. He was 81.
Campbell's family said the singer died Tuesday morning in Nashville and publicist Sandy Brokaw confirmed the news. No cause was immediately given. Campbell announced in June 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and that it was in its early stages at that time.
Ty Hardin, star of TV Western ‘Bronco,’ dead at 87
NEW YORK (AP) — Ty Hardin, a popular film and television actor who starred as the gunman Bronco Layne in the TV Western series "Bronco" and worked with Henry Fonda and Kirk Douglas among others, has died.
A resident of Huntington Beach, California, Hardin died Thursday at age 87. His widow, Carolyn Pampu Hardin, told The Associated Press that he had been in failing health.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — No one really got to know Sam Shepard — and that was the way he seemed to like it. Despite dozens of blatantly personal plays to his name, movie stardom and the spotlight of celebrity and acclaim, Shepard remained throughout his life an inscrutable figure, an American myth in plain sight.
NEW YORK (AP) — Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, has died. He was 73.
Family spokesman Chris Boneau said Monday that Shepard died Thursday at his home in Kentucky from complications related to Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Actor John Heard, of ‘Home Alone’ movies, dies at 71
NEW YORK (AP) — Actor John Heard, whose many roles included the father in the "Home Alone" series and a corrupt detective in "The Sopranos," has died. He was 71.
Heard was found dead Friday in a hotel in Palo Alto, California, the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner's office said Saturday.
An investigation which includes a toxicology test is underway to determine the cause of death, but so far there is no evidence of foul play, the office said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday, the Los Angeles County coroner said. He was 41.
Coroner spokesman Brian Elias said authorities are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide at Palos Verdes Estates, but no additional details are available.
NEW YORK (AP) — George Romero, whose classic "Night of the Living Dead" and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. He was 77.
Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau dies at 89
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Landau, the chameleon-like actor who gained fame as the crafty master of disguise in the 1960s TV show "Mission: Impossible," then capped a long and versatile career with an Oscar for his poignant portrayal of aging horror movie star Bela Lugosi in 1994's "Ed Wood," has died. He was 89.
Landau died Saturday of unexpected complications during a short stay at UCLA Medical Center, his publicist Dick Guttman said.
Fresh Kid Ice of 2 Live Crew dies in Miami at age 53
MIAMI (AP) — Christopher Wong Won, a founding member of the Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew whose sexually explicit lyrics triggered a national debate over the legal limits of artistic freedom, has died at the age of 53.
The group's manager, DJ Debo, said Wong Won, known as Fresh Kid Ice, died Thursday at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Miami as a result of medical conditions he had suffered for several years.
ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) — Dr. Spencer Johnson, whose book "Who Moved My Cheese?" sold 25 million copies and became a business and self-help phenomenon, has died.
Johnson's executive assistant Nancy Casey said Saturday that he died Monday of complications from pancreatic cancer in the San Diego-area city of Encinitas.
"Who Moved My Cheese?" was a slim, 94-page fable on the need to embrace change that was derived from a story Johnson had told at parties and used in speeches.
‘True Blood’ actor Nelsan Ellis dead at 39
NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Nelsan Ellis, best known for his memorable portrayal of Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's "True Blood," has died at the age of 39.
Ellis' manager, Emily Gerson Saines, confirmed the actor's death in an email Saturday. The Hollywood Reporter, which was first to report Ellis' death, quoted her as saying the actor died from complications of heart failure.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the original "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" films and often played villains in Hollywood movies like "John Wick" has died. Nyqvist's representative Jenny Tversky said Tuesday that he died after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He was 56.
Prodigy, half of rap duo Mobb Deep, dead at 42
NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper Prodigy, a member of the hardcore New York hip-hop duo Mobb Deep, has died. He was 42.
The rapper's publicist said in a statement Tuesday that Prodigy was hospitalized a few days ago in Las Vegas "for complications caused by a sickle cell anemia crisis." Prodigy has battled sickle cell since birth and was in Las Vegas for a performance.
The exact cause of death was not clear, the representative said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stephen Furst, who played naive fraternity pledge Flounder in the hit movie "Animal House," has died of complications from diabetes, his family said Saturday. Furst was 63.
Furst died Friday at his home in Moorpark, California, north of Los Angeles, said his son, Nathan Furst.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — John G. Avildsen, who directed "Rocky" and "The Karate Kid" — two dark-horse, underdog favorites that went on to become Hollywood franchises — died Friday at age 81.
Anthony Avildsen said his father died Friday in Los Angeles from pancreatic cancer.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Batman" only aired for three seasons in the 1960s, but Adam West would remain associated with the role forever.
"You get terrible typecast playing a character like that," West told The Associated Press in a 2014 interview. "But in the overall, I'm delighted because my character became iconic and has opened a lot of doors in other ways, too."
Adam West, Who Played 1960s-Era Batman, Dies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Roger Smith, who brought glamour to the TV detective genre as a hip private eye on "77 Sunset Strip," has died. He was 84.
Jack Gilardi, who is the agent of Smith's widow, actress Ann-Margret, said the actor died Sunday morning at a Los Angeles hospital after battling a terminal illness. Smith had battled the nerve disease myasthenia gravis for many years.
NEW YORK (AP) — The stage remains dark in the moments before the final show. It's the Allman Brothers' annual New York City Beacon Theater run, in March 2011.
Across the twilight, the first clear notes of "Hot 'Lanta" rise from Gregg Allman's Hammond B3 keyboard. Stage lights come up as the organ's tremolo fills the hall. Drums, percussion and bass join in, twin lead guitars launch over the top and an enormous driving rhythm floods the room, penetrating me to the bone.
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Gregg Allman, a survivor of tragedy, knew the blues musically and in a painfully personal way.
Raised by a single mother after his father was shot to death, he idolized his guitar-slinging older brother, Duane, and became his musical partner. They formed the nucleus of The Allman Brothers Band, which helped define the Southern rock sound of the 1970s.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sir Roger Moore always made sure to laugh at himself before the audience could.
With a mere arch of an eyebrow, Moore, whose wit was drier than James Bond's martinis, could convey a skepticism of his accidental profession, disarming good looks and the suave characters he often played, from Bond to Simon Templar, all while saving the day and charming a scantily clad girl in the process.
Dina Merrill, heiress and actress, dead at 93
NEW YORK (AP) — Dina Merrill, the rebellious heiress who defied her super-rich parents to become a movie star, often portraying stylish wives or "the other woman," has died at age 93.
Merrill, raised in part on the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida now owned by President Donald Trump, died Monday, according to family spokeswoman Selena Albanese. Merrill died of heart failure at her home in East Hampton, Albanese told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
LONDON (AP) — Sir Roger Moore saw more to life than a well-mixed martini.
"I felt small, insignificant and rather ashamed that I had traveled so much making films and ignored what was going on around me," he would say years after starring in seven James Bond movies and upon accepting a role that his friend Audrey Hepburn inspired him to take on, goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.
DETROIT (AP) — Chris Cornell, one of the most lauded and respected contemporary lead singers in rock music with his bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, hanged himself Wednesday in a Detroit hotel room, according to the city's medical examiner. He was 52.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Beatrice Trum Hunter, who wrote "The Natural Foods Cookbook" in 1961, long before organic foods became a staple at supermarkets, and who took an early stance against pesticide exposure, sharing information with "Silent Spring" author Rachel Carson, has died. She was 98.
Family members said Trum Hunter, died Wednesday night in hospice care in Hillsborough, New Hampshire.
‘Deadwood’ actor Powers Boothe dies at 68
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Powers Boothe, the character actor known for his villain roles in TV's "Deadwood," and in the movies "Tombstone," ''Sin City" and "The Avengers," has died. He was 68.
Boothe's publicist said he died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Fellow actor Beau Bridges tweeted the news and called him "a dear friend, great actor, devoted father and husband."
NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Parks, a prolific character actor who found early fame in 1960s countercultural roles and later became a favorite of directors including Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, has died. He was 77.
He died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, his agent, Jane Schulman, said on Wednesday. No cause of death was announced.
In Demme’s eclectic career, a nonstop rock ‘n’ roll beat
NEW YORK (AP) — Through Jonathan Demme's freewheeling filmmaking life sounded a steady rock 'n' roll beat.
Music was his first love and his first credit. Long before he was an Oscar-winning director, he was music coordinator for a little-seen 1970 thriller called "Sudden Terror."
Clifton James, sheriff in 2 James Bond films, dies at 96
Clifton James, best known for his indelible portrayal of a southern sheriff in two James Bond films but who was most proud of his work on the stage, has died. He was 96.
His daughter, Lynn James, said he died Saturday at another daughter's home in Gladstone, Oregon, due to complications from diabetes.
"He was the most outgoing person, beloved by everybody," Lynn James said. "I don't think the man had an enemy. We were incredibly blessed to have had him in our lives."