James Michael Tyler, a veteran actor best known for playing perhaps the most popular recurring character on Friends, has passed away after a brave battle with prostate cancer.
He was 59 years old.
Tyler, who portrayed Central Perk barista Gunther on the hit sitcom, revealed his diagnosis for the first time in mid-June, approximately three years after his treatment got underway in 2018.
"I've been dealing with that diagnosis for almost the past three years. ... It's stage 4 [now], late-stage cancer.
"So eventually, you know, it's gonna probably get me," Tyler said on Today this summer, adding at the time that he was undergoing chemotherapy
The star notably starred opposite Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry on the NBC smash hit for ten years ... across 150 episodes.
Gunther was even included as the seventh Friend in the 2019 Lego set featuring the legendary coffee shop.
Back in June, the Friends alum said he received a screening for a “prostate-specific antigen” during a routine checkup in September 2018.
“That came back at an extraordinarily high number,” he explained. “
So I knew immediately when I went online and I saw the results of my blood test and blood work that there was obviously something quite wrong there.
"Nearly immediately, my doctor called me and said, ‘Hey, I need you to come in tomorrow because I suspect that you may have quite a serious problem with your prostate.’”
By the end of his journey, Tyler was bound to a wheelchair.
The tragic news of his diagnosis came after the actor appeared virtually on the HBO Max Friends reunion special, which premiered in May.
The fan favorite said he still wanted to be part of the event, even if he was unable to sit on stage across from the famous names listed above.
"I wanted to be a part of that, and initially I was going to be on the stage, at least, with them, and be able to take part in all the festivities. It was bittersweet, honestly," he said on Today.
"I was very happy to be included.
"It was my decision not to be a part of that physically and make an appearance on Zoom, basically, because I didn't wanna bring a downer on it, you know?
"I didn't want to be like, 'Oh, and by the way, Gunther has cancer.'"
In addition to Friends, appeared on such shows as Sabrina the Teenage Witch in 2001 and Scrubs in 2005.
In 2013, he took on the main lead in the series Modern Music.
Up until his passing, the actor advocated for greater awareness and education regarding prostate cancer, emphasizing during his Today interviiew that the illness is "easily treatable" -- if it's caught early.
Tyler said he hoped to "help save at least one life by coming out with this news" and encouraged people to get a PSA screening... which is a prostate-specific antigen test... to detect the disease early on.
"I don't want people to have to go through what I've been going through," Tyler said at the time. "This is not … an easy process."
According to his obituary, Tyler is survived by the love of his life, wife Jennifer Carno, "ever united in good times, in sickness, and for eternity."
May James Michael Tyler rest in peace.
Chris Pearson, a cast member on the first season of MTV's Ex on the Beach, died over the weekend due to a stabbing in the San Fernando Valley.
TMZ was first to report this startling and tragic news. He was only 25 years old.
According to insiders quoted by the celebrity news website, Pearson was involved in this fatal altercation around 2 a.m. on Sunday.
He was transported to a local hospital shortly after the confronation, but passed away from the injuries he sustained about an hour later.
Friends have already started a GoFundMe for the professional DJ's family in Colorado, referring to his death the result of a "tragic encounter," in the campaigns description, which reads in part:
Chris was the one person that loved with his whole heart. He had so much love and energy to give to every single person he crossed paths with.
He wouldn't leave the room until he made sure every single person was happy. Chris was the most determined person there could ever be.
His smile lit up an entire room.
The basis of Ex on the Beach was to bring castoffs from other reality shows together ... but Pearson had no experience on the small screen at the time he come on board.
On the series, a pair of of Pearson's exes were brought on to confront Chris, who was sold as a vulnerable party boy, prompting the star to cry on camera over one his former flames.
Altogether, Pearson appeared on 11 episodes of the program.
After getting away from television, Chris has established himself as a successful DJ.
Reads his bio from Ex on the Beach:
21-year-old Chris AKA Creatures Ferris is an international house DJ and a ladies’ man who boils everything in his life down to whether it’s “Gucci” or “Not Gucci."
Despite his apparent goofiness, Chris is a hopeless romantic who has fallen in love more than once, and had his heart broken as a result.
Needless to say, when Chris’s Ex arrives in the house, it will NOT be Gucci.
Can Chris’s Gucci-ness overcome the predicament he’s about to enter?
Law enforcement sources have told TMZ that police are looking into the stabbing and consider it to be a "solvable case."
MTV's Taylor Selfridge, who played a role on Teen Mom, acknowledged her fellow MTV personality's passing on Monday.
She shared a sad face emoji and prayer hands.
Here is the way in which his GoFundMe Page concludes:
The only other thing that Chris loved more than his music was his family and friends. All Chris wanted was to make it far in life to help his family and make them proud.
Chris was taken from us way way too soon.
The Hollywood Gossip staff sends our thoughts to the friends, family members and loved ones of Chris Pearson.
May he rest in peace.
Willie Garson, a veteran actor best known for his long-running role as Stanford Blatch on Sex and the City, died on Tuesday afternoon not long after coming down with some kind of illness.
He was 57 years old.
The tragic and surprising news was broken by Garson's son, Nathen.
"I love you so much papa," Nathen wrote on Instagram on September 21.
"Rest In Peace and I'm so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much.
"I'm so proud of you.
"I will always love you, but I think it's time for you to go on an adventure of your own."
Concluded this mournful message:
"You'll always be with me. Love you more than you will ever know and I'm glad you can be at peace now.
"You always were the toughest and funniest and smartest person I've known.
"I'm glad you shared [your] love with me. I'll never forget it or lose it."
Garson starred for years as the close friend of Sarah Jessica Parker's iconic Sex and the City lead character, Carrie Bradshaw.
He will appear on the upcoming remark (titled And Just Like That...) and was recently photographed on the New York set of the spinoff with Parker and Mario Cantone, who portrayed Garson's on-screen husband, Anthony Marentino.
Following the actor's death, Cantone tweeted that he "couldn't have had a more brilliant TV partner," adding:
"I'm devastated and just overwhelmed with Sadness. Taken away from all of us way soon. You were a gift from the gods. Rest my sweet friend. I love you."
After filming on Sex and the City wrapped in 2004, Garson went on to appear on such hits shows as White Collar and Hawaii Five-0.
He also had parts in movies that included Freaky Friday, Groundhog Day and Little Manhattan.
Garson was last active on social media on September 4, tweeting at the time:
"BE KIND TO EACH OTHER......ALWAYS. LOVE TO ALL. APRROACH [sic] KINDNESS."
Just this past summer, the star wrote that adopting his "little devil," Nathen, and being his father has been "the honor of my life."
He said on Instagram that Nathen -- who now attends The College of Wooster and who is pictued below in 2015 -- was "more than any concept of son I could have imagined, with the best heart I know," continuing as follows:
Love you more than I could imagine I am able to. May this next year of college be the springboard to your future, and know that I and many others are with you always.
I adore you.
TMZ, meanwhile, now reports that Garsen had been diagnosed with cancer -- although no cause of death has been confirmed.
Tweeted veteran actor Titus Welliver very shortly after he learned of Garsen's passing:
"There are no words. I love you dear brother. We are fewer."
Back in 2016, Garson explained that he wanted to do right by the LGBTQ+ community while portraying Stanford on legendary HBO hit.
As he told Huffington Post:
"I didn't want to offend the community at all, and that was a really big concern of mine... But, the gay community really rose up, and said ‘we know people like this, this is real.'
"And so that made me feel great.
"It was also very important to the show, to show someone having fun being gay, being proud, open and comfortable with who they are."
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Willie Garson.
May he rest in peace.
Michael K. Williams, a veteran actor best known for playing the legendary role of Omar Little on HBO's critically-acclaimed drama The Wire, was found dead in his New York City apartment on Monday.
He was 54 years old.
The New York Post broke this horrific piece of stunning news.
According to Page Six sources, Williams was discovered in the living room of his Kent Avenue residence in his Brooklyn by his nephew.
These same sources say that drug paraphernalia was also found along with the popular star, who had a history of addiction and substance abuse.
To be clear, however, no cause of death has been established at this time and any suggestion of an overdose is mere conjecture.
On the smalll screen, Williams sky-rocketed to fame as one of the lead characters on the aforementioned HBO series.
Omar was a Robin Hood-like figure who stalked the streets of Baltimore and stole from the city's most hardened drug deals.
Over what became a very successful career, Williams also enjoyed a leading role on Boadwalk Empire and appeared on Community, When They See Us and Lovecraft Country.
Williams received his first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie for HBO's Bessie -- and subsequently received his second nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for his portrayal of Freddy in The Night Of.
On the big screen, Williams acted in many acclaimed films...including Inherent Vice, 12 Years a Slave, Gone Baby Gone and The Road.
The actor was also known for giving back to the community.
He recently launched Making Kids Win, an organization whose main objective is to build community centers in urban neighborhoods that are in need of safe spaces for children to learn and play.
Williams also served as the ACLUs Ambassador of Smart Justice.
The late star was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
Williams began his career as a performer by dancing professionally at age 22.
After multiiple appearances in music videos and as a background dancer on concert tours for Madonna and George Michael, Williams decided to seriously pursue acting.
It obviously paid off for him.
In the wake of Williams' passing, tributes have been pouring forth for the actor from those who knew him best and worked with him closely.
"Shocked and saddened by the death of Michael K Williams.
"One of the nicest brothers on the planet with the biggest heart. An amazing actor and soul," Tweeted The Wire co-star Isiah Whitlock Jr.
"May you RIP. God bless."
Added musician Jason Isbell:
"I crossed paths with Michael K. Williams once in New York and I was too nervous to say hello, so I walked around the block trying to work up the nerve and still couldn’t do it. Just loved his work so much.
"This news is so sad.
"I don’t get star-struck but I do get genius-struck, and that man struck me as a genius."
The veteran actor told NPR in 2016 that he once stumbled into a church in New Jersey desperately seeking help for his addiction.
“When I came through those doors, I was broken. … This was, I would say, around the … third season of The Wire,” Williams said back then.
“I was on drugs. I was in jeopardy of destroying everything I had worked so hard for.
"And I came in those doors, and I met a man who had never even heard of The Wire, much less watched it,” he added, referring to the pastor.
Says an insider close to the police, via the New York Post:
“No foul play indicated. No forced entry, the apartment was in order.
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Michael K. Williams
May he rest in peace.
UPDATE: A rep for the actor has now said to People Magazine...
"It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams.
"They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss."
Sarah Harding, a popular singer who had been part of the hit group Girls Aloud, passed away on Sunday after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.
Sh was 39 years old.
Harding's mother, Marie, confirmed the truly awful news in an Instagram post on her daughter's account yesterday morning.
The heart-breaking message opened as follows:
"It's with deep heartbreak that today I'm sharing the news that my beautiful daughter Sarah has sadly passed away.
"Many of you will know of Sarah's battle with cancer and that she fought so strongly from her diagnosis until her last day.
"She slipped away peacefully this morning."
"I'd like to thank everyone for their kind support over the past year.
"It meant the world to Sarah and it gave her great strength and comfort to know she was loved.
"I know she won't want to be remembered for her fight against this terrible disease – she was a bright shining star and I hope that's how she can be remembered instead.
Back in 2002, Harding joined Girls Aloud and also won Popstars: The Rivals alongside Cheryl, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle, and Kimberley Walsh.
She went on to won the UK's Celebrity Big Brother 20 in 2017, and appeared on Coronation Street.
Harding was diagnosed with an advanced form of this terrible disease last August; she proceeded to undergo a mastectomy and chemotherapy in response.
"I'd been playing my guitar a lot, and I thought the strap had probably irritated an area around my breast," the singer explained in her memoir when explaining how she found out she was sick.
Said Cheryl in the wake of her friend's death:
"Although we knew this day would arrive I am somehow still feeling at a loss for words that our stunning, unique, crazy, quirky, kind and soft-hearted girl has departed...
"She was so grateful and you really lifted her spirits when she needed you most. I also realise so many will be deeply affected by the circumstances of Sarah’s passing…
"I am sending you all so much love, I love you Sarah… farewell. Sarah Nicole Harding forever in our hearts."
In addition to her work with the aforementoned girl group, Harding also released music as a solo artist.
Her single, "Wear It Like a Crown," topped the iTunes charts in 2021 -- with proceeds being donated to the Christie NHS Foundation, which is where she received her treatment.
"What I'd really like to do is to see everyone — all my friends, all together. One last time. Then I'd throw a great big f— off party as a way to say thank you and goodbye," Harding wrote in her memoir.
"Wouldn't that be amazing?"
May Sarah Harding rest in peace.
Ed Asner, the beloved actor who earned seven Emmy Awards and famously portrayed Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died on Sunday, August 29.
He was 91 years old.
“We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully,” a statement on the star's official Twitter account read today.
“Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head — Goodnight dad. We love you.:
Asner was likely best known known for his comedic role on the aforementioned sitcom, along with its Lou Grant spinoff in the 1970s and early 1980s.
But the legendary's actorr credits span movies and television -- including Elf, Up, and Cobra Kai in recent years
The former president of the Screen Actors Guild, Asner is decorated male performer in Emmys history and received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2001.
He was also the recipient of five Golden Globe Awards and earned his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992.
We're talking about an absolute icon here.
Among the many, many tributes that have been shared on social media, Joh Gad wrote the following:
"I am heartbroken to say goodbye to our friend #EdAsner who graced #CentralParkTV as the voice of Bitsy’s brother Ambrose.
"He was a Legend, a beautiful soul and a truly brilliant actor. Love you sir! We will miss down here, but smiling that you are have fittingly gone Up."
Added Bradley Whitford:
"Had the privilege of locking eyes with #EdAsner on Studio 60 and it meant a lot to me because I grew up loving him and he was one of those rare actors who just shot straight.
"He couldn’t help it.
"Rest In Peace, sir. Well done."
Mere days ago, Asner spoke at length to The Hollywood Reporter.
He also opened up, for example, about the nature of the changing world and his current life amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“It changed my life,” Asner said.
“It seems like it’s changed everybody’s life -- and I think it’s changed performing and creativity as much as anything else.
"My eyesight is not the greatest and my hearing is not the greatest, so I don’t go out much anyway. I sit here most of the time, bored as hell, not sure which way to turn.
"I don’t know. I’m waiting for the next gig, and they’re slower in coming in now, I can tell you.”
Asner is survived by his four children: twins Matthew and Liza, daughter Kate, and son Charles.
The entertainment world has lost a true all-timer here.
May he rest in peace.
The entertainment world has lost a very talented star.
As far too young of an age.
Serge Onik, a dancer and choreographer best known for competing on season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance, has passed.
He was only 33 years old.
A rep for Onik confirmed the stunning and tragic news late on Tuesday afternoon.
"He was an amazing dancer with a huge heart and he touched the lives of everyone who met him," Jim Keith, president of The Movement Talent Agency, shared in a statement.
"He will be truly missed. This is a sad day for us at the agency and for the dance community as a whole.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family at this time."
Television host Kristyn Burtt also expressed her heartbreak over Onik's death on social media.
"My heart is broken. Besides being such an incredible talent, you were a great friend," she captioned her Instagram post.
"You will be so missed, @sergeonik."
Onik advanced to the fourth week on So You Think You Can Dance and also had roles on Dancing with the Stars, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agent Carter and Bones.
Born in Ukraine, Onik moved to the United States along with his family at the age of 3
He served as a dance choreographer as well and appeared alongside small screen veteran Kirstie Alley on her 2012 web series 100 Days of Dance.
Wrote ballroom dancer Elena Grinenko on Instagram in response to the passing:
"RIP @sergeonik. We going to miss you. I'm so sad that world lost such an amazing person like you."
"Wow. This is unbelievable," Dancing With the Stars alum Tony Dovolani added, while fellow former DWTS pro Anna Trebunskaya chimed in as follows:
"I'm so so sad about this. RIP Serg."
More recently, Onik had a part in Lin-Manuel Miranda's movie adaptation of In The Heights, sharing his enthusiasm about being part of the project on Instagram.
"It's such a privilege to be part of a movie that represents the cultures and peoples and dance genre that basically raised me and I owe my whole everything to," he wrote in part on June 15.
"Working with this choreo team aka the dream team."
As of this writing, the details surrounding Serge's death are unknown.
We send our condolences to his friends, family members and loved ones.
May Serge Onik rest in peace.
We're only a quarter of the way through the year, but some truly beloved, noteworthy public figures have already left us here in 2021.
Each of these artists, athletes, politicians, and pop culture icons may be gone from this world. But they will never be forgotten. Ever.
For their fans and loved ones alike, true legends never die.
Their legacies live on; their stars will never fade; and their work will be cherished for generations to come, as those whose lives they touched pass the love and admiration on to future generations.
Join us as we pay tribute to the stars we've lost in 2021.
May they rest in eternal peace, and/or power.
2. Prince Philip
3. Dustin Diamond
4. Cicely Tyson
5. Christopher Plummer
6. Olympia Dukakis
The world of social media has lost a rising and beloved star.
Days after being critically injured in a shooting at a Southern California movie theater, TikTok star Anthony Barajas has passed, authorities have confirmed to various outlets.
He was 19 years old.
"The Corona Police Department has been notified that Anthony Barajas passed away early this morning," the police department stated in a press release.
"We extend our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends."
Late Monday night, 18-year-old college student Rylee Goodrich was found dead by movie theater employees after a shooting during a screening of The Forever Purge ... with Barajas being taken to a nearby hospital.
He was subsequently placed on life support, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
On Tuesday, July 27, local law enforcement arrested Joseph Jimenez for his alleged involvement in fatal incident.
Joseph was charged for murder, attempted murder and robbery, according to a press release from the local police epartment at the time.
In Saturday's statement, authorities said they are "working with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office to add an additional count of first-degree murder against Joseph Jimenez."
Added authorites in a previous message: "Based on statements obtained, there is no known motive and it appears to be an unprovoked attack."
Anthony, for his part, had over one millionn TikTok subscribers.
HHe last Instagram post was shared on July 22, in which he posed with his mother.
"Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles," he wrote as a caption to the image.
Barajas is being remembered by family in a GoFundMe page as an "amazing brother, son and friend.
Reads a section of this account, which is raising money for his medical costs and other expenses:
"Anthony was the light of so many peoples lives and there are tough times ahead, but we have amazing family and friends to get through this."
To date, this GoFundMe campaign has raised over $70,000.
In a statement to People Magazine earlier this week, a spokesperson for Regal Cinemas wrote:
"We are currently working with the local authorities regarding the investigation. Our primary concern is for the safety and security of our guests and staff."
The Hollywood Gossip sends its condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Anthony Barajas.
May he rest in peace.
The world of entertainment has lost a beloved personality.
Mat George, who co-hosted the very popular podcast She Rates Dogs, died in the early hours of Saturday, July 17.
He was only 26 years old.
The late star's colleague and co-host, Michaela Okland, confirmed her friend's passing in a statement she wrote on Twitter.
"I would rather you guys here [sic] this from me than a news article," Okland began her post.
"Mat was killed in a hit and run last night.
"I don't really have any other words right now.
"I wish I could contact everybody who knows him personally but the news is already out and I just can't do it right now."
Several hours after breaking this tragic news, Okland issued a follow-up appreciate message that read as follows:
"Thank you to everybody who’s reached out, I’m really sorry but I probably won’t respond for awhile even if we are close.
"And thank you so much to everybody telling stories and sharing how he impacted you.
"Whenever you think of him in the future, please do talk about him"
According to a Los Angeles CBS affiliate, the Los Angeles Police Department reported that a pedestrian was struck by a white BMW and killed in a hit-and-run while walking in an unmarked crosswalk.
The incident took place on Saturday around 2:20 a.m. in the Beverly Grove area of Los Angeles.
Authorities said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Los Angeles coroner's office later identified the victim as Mathew Thomas George.
On their podcast, George and Okland discussed "the journey and the mishaps of dating men," while also providing "modern relationship and life advice."
Via the show's official Twitter account, Okland continued to mourn Mat on Sunday.
She wrote that the pair "recorded one more episode that was meant to come out Tuesday but it will likely be put on hold.
"I know in years to come I'll feel so lucky that there's so many recordings of Mat's laugh to revisit."
"I am not ready to talk about everything, or to have to use past-tense to describe him. I think you all knew within 10 seconds of listening to him how vibrant, loving, accepting, and wonderful Mat George is.
"This community made him so happy. Your words and support made him so happy."
Reflecting on the impact his fans had on his life, Okland wrote that "so many of the kind messages I've gotten note the fact that you all 'didn't know mat in real life,' but everybody who supported him truly meant more than you realize."
"He'd send me screenshots of your sweet messages, he shed tears when people told him he had helped them through issues (especially LGBT+ related).
"He referenced DMs from you all the time and how much it made his week & fueled his joy. You really did know him.
"He shared so much because he felt the people who listened to him were his friends."
In an interview with Shoutout Arizona last year, George -- who chose to pursue comedy/entetainment after studying biology in college -- stressed the importance of sharing his life as a gay man with listeners and fans.
"Growing up and being in the closet, I never knew anyone or heard about anyone who had similar experiences and fears that I had," he said at the time.
"My hopes for my Twitter account and SheRatesDogs the Podcast is to share my stories and make LGBTQ+ people all across the world feel like they're not alone.
"The most rewarding moments are when members of the LGBTQ+ community reach out to me and tell me what a difference I've made in their lives."
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Mat George.
May he rest in peace.
Biz Markie, a beloved rapper best known for the smash hit "Just a Friend" passed away at a Baltimore area hospital on Friday evening, July 16.
He was 57 years old.
The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but the artist had been battling serious complications from diabtes for the last year or so.
According to TMZ, he died while holding the hand of wife Tara Hall.
"It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, Hip Hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away," reads a statement from Markie's rep.
"We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time.
"Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years."
Concluded the message:
"He leaves behind a wife, many family members and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes and frequent banter.
"We respectfully request privacy for his family as they mourn their loved one."
Biz Markie was hospitalized in April 2020 for the aforementioned health issues.
At one point he suffered a stroke after being placed in a diabetic coma.
In 1988, the rapper released his debut album, Goin' Off, which made its way to No. 90 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and included his first Billboard hit.
This track, "Make the Music With Your Mouth," peaked at No. 84 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1987.
However, the star's major breakthrough arrived with his sophomore album, 1989's The Biz Never Sleeps, which included his one-and-only Hot 100 entry: "Just a Friend."
This signature single reached number-five on the Hot Rap Songs chart in December 1989 and eventually became the artist's only Billboard Hot 100 entry, hitting number-nine in March 1990.
The track's success helped its parent album crack the top 10 of the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
In the wake of "Just a Friend," Biz Markie landed a trio more top 10s on Hot Rap Songs:
- "What Comes Around Goes Around" (No. 4 in 1991)
- "Let Me Turn You On" (No. 7, 1993)
- "Young Girl Bluez" (No. 4, 1993)
In addition to his music career, Markie also acted in movies and on television, becoming a fixture on the children's TV series Yo Gabba Gabba! with his "Biz's Beat of the Day" beatboxing segment.
May he rest in peace.
There are no words to truly describe this right now, but Ashley Cain and Safiyya Vorajee are facing every parent's worst nightmare.
On Sunday, The Challenge star and his girlfriend confirmed that their 8-month-old baby girl, Azaylia Diamond, had passed away.
The little girl succumbed after a battle with leukemia.
Cain has revealed the horrible news of his daughter being diagnosed with this illness back in October, not long after she was born.
He wrote on Instagram following her passing:
"Rest In Paradise Princess 👼🏼🌈I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven ❤️😢 #AzayliaDiamondCain."
Added Vorajee in a heartbreaking tribute of her own on social media, following the loss of her child:
"You are my Angel my heartbeat my soul."
"You will always be with me like a handprint on my heart."
"RIP my precious baby."
This past autumn, the 30-year old reality star revealed that Azaylia had been diagnosed with a "very rare and aggressive form" of leukemia, a blood cancer.
Over the next few months, the infant went through treatments in the hospital, as Cain kept followers apprised of her condition.
Tragically, they were not able to save her.
On April 8, Cain said her cancer spread to her brain, stomach, spleen, lungs and kidneys.
At that point, doctors told the family they thought "she's only got one, two days to live."
They told the parents to "make the most" out of this time with her, however long it might be.
How did he respond to that?
"I'll tell you one thing, I ain't got no plans for going anywhere this weekend," he wrote.
"I'm an optimist. I'm a believer," he told fans, after hearing from physicians.
"I have a positive mind frame and I know her strength and I know mine."
In a heartfelt Instagram caption on April 23, Vorajee gave fans some insight into some of what the family was going through, emotionally and physically.
She said that when she sees her baby girl's face first thing in the morning, her "heart instantly overflows with abundance of love for you."
Parents everywhere know that feeling.
She added that Azaylia's eyes have been "intensely dry," requiring eye drops "so her eyes can move," and that her care is around the clock "24/7."
Just so unbelievably tragic.
The couple did everything they could for their little girl, both medically and emotionally, giving all of themselves to her throughout her life.
During the two weeks the couple had their bundle of joy at home in April, they took Azaylia on walks in the area for the first time... let her play in a jumper ... and fed her in her high chair.
Just a day before the brave young girl passed away, she suffered a seizure that marked the beginning of the end of a beautiful young life cut tragically short.
Wrote her grieving dad shortly afterward:
Your determination inspires me.
You impress me each and every day.
I'm so proud of you. I can't imagine my life without you.
I have faith in you. My Champion. My Hero. I love you.
Two days before announcing the child's death, Safiyyah shared sweet photos of Azaylia sleeping in her stroller.
These words are hard to read, for us as outside observiers, let alone for her to write, as a grieving parent.
"Giving her 100% everyday is what she was promised, even when her eyes are closed I talk sing and shake her fav rattles so she is constantly surrounded by a positive vibe," she wrote.
"Appreciating the day the hour and the min is something I never thought I would do as we all take life for granted."
We send our heartfelt condolences to Ashley Cain, Saffiyya Vorajee, and their families during this unimaginable time.
May beautiful Azaylia rest in paradise.
Tragedy has hit home for Scottie Pippen.
The former NBA superstar - who won six championships and who was formerly married to Real Housewife of Miami Larsa Pippen - announced on Monday that his oldest son had passed away.
Antron Pippen was 33 years old.
"I'm heartbroken to share that yesterday, I said goodbye to my firstborn son Antron," Pippen wrote alongside photos of Antron, such as the ones above and below.
"The two of us shared a love for basketball and we had countless conversations about the game."
Pippen shared the late child with ex-wife Karen McCollum.
No cause of death has been confirmed to the public at this time.
"Antron suffered from chronic asthma and if he hadn't had it, I truly believe he would've made it to the NBA," Scottie said of Antron, who played basketball just like his famous father.
"He never let that get him down, though.
Antron stayed positive and worked hard, and I am so proud of the man that he became."
Scottie also asked his followers to keep Antron's mother, McCollum, "and all of his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers," adding:
"A kind heart and beautiful soul gone way too soon. I love you, son, rest easy until we meet again."
Pippen was married to McCollum from 1988 through 1990.
The retired athlete and ESPN analyst is also father to daughter Taylor with former girlfriend Sonya Roby... daughter Sierra with ex Yvette Deleone... and sons Scotty Jr., Preston, Justin, and daughter Sophia with estranged wife Larsa.
Scottie's daughter Tyler, Taylor's twin, died shortly after birth.
During his own basketball career, Antron played for South Georgia Technical College.
After news of the athlete's death emerged on Monday, the team took to social media to honor him.
"The Jets family was saddened to learn of the death of one of our former players, Antron Pippen," the statement read.
"His family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. Antron was a Jet during the 2006-2007 season."
In a statement on her Instagram Story, Larsa addressed Antron's death writing:
"Some truths in life are hard to accept. Your memories will never be forgotten!
"They will always remain with us forever. You are forever in our hearts, we love u and will miss u always Rip Antron."
We send our condolences to Pippen's friends, family members and loved ones.
Sunday Burquest, a contestant on Survivor: Millenials vs. Gen X, passed away on Sunday morning after a battle with esophageal and ovarian cancer,
She was 50 years old.
The former reality star had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and sadly received a second cancer diagnosis approximately one years ago.
Doctors said she had months to live after discovering Burquest had the aforrementioned diseases.
Sunday's daughter, Kennedy Burquest, confirmed her mom had passed today via Instagram this afternoon, sharing a moving tribute to her late parent:
To my unbelievably beautiful mama, thank you. Thank you for fighting as hard as you did for as long as you did. Thank you for being a best friend, a role model, a sister, and my mother all in one.
Thank you for raising me to love Jesus, and show that love to others.
That’s something you did so well. It breaks my heart to know you will never get to see me on my wedding day, or be there when I have my first kid.
But I know you’re watching over me. Although it hurts me so bad to watch you go, I’m so happy you are happy again.
I’m happy you get to be with Jesus, and see your dad. I’m happy you aren’t in pain anymore. I’m happy I got to have these past few months with you.
I loved taking care of you. You’ll always be my favorite patient. I love you to heaven and back a million times.
I know one day we will meet again. Until then, I’ll spend every minute missing you, and trying to make you proud. Rest easy mom, I’ll see you soon.
Burquest appeared 33rd season of CBS’s Survivor.
It featured 10 contestants born before 1982 and 10 born after 1984.
Burquest -- who was a pastor when she competed -- finished in seventh place, earning the respect of others by eventually making her way into the Millennial tribe despite starting in the older cohort when the game began.
Burquest remained active in the Survivor community after herr rrun, attending charity events and meeting fans. She remained popular with other contestants.
"Here's my thinking," she told People Magazine last summer after her second cancer diagnosis.
"No one knows how much time you have left. Accidents can happen. Miracles can happen. Someone healthy can die unexpectedly, and someone sick can live for much longer than expected.
'So I don't think of this as a death sentence; I think of this as something that has happened, and is now a part of my life. And I'm going to live my life as fully as I can."
Sunday Burquest is survived by her husband and four children.
We send our condolences to her friends, family members and loved ones.
May she rest in peace.
Gerren Taylor, a main cast member on the BET reality show Baldwin Hills, passed away on Sunday, according to the aforementioned cable network.
She was 30 years old.
"The entire BET family mourns the passing of one of our own, Ms. Ashley Gerren Taylor, beloved star of BET's Baldwin Hills," BET wrote in a statement.
"The untimely passing of such a young, bright light is difficult to process. BET's thoughts and prayers go out to Ashley's friends and family during this time."
No cause of death for Taylor has been announced at this time.
Baldwin Hills premiered in July 2007 and ran until March 2009.
The show was set in the African-American section of Beverly Hills.
It chronicled the lives of the privileged sons and daughters of doctors, attorneys, actors and athletes, as well as those less privileged teenagers who resided in a dicier neighborhood nearby.
Ray Cunningham, who has appeared on BET's College Hill and Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood, mourned Gerren's passing on social media.
"Just got the worst news ever and I'm still not processing it fully," he wrote on Sunday alongside a video of the pair.
"I've known @mstaylorxo since 2006, the #BaldwinHills cast was like the little sisters and brothers to #CollegeHill.
"I was sneaking her into parties with me."
Concluded Cunningham in a separate tribute:
"You will be missed. BET fam. Rest well love.
"We love u Gerren. Together today for unfortunate circumstances but my @BET family is forever."
Taylor worked a model and an actress.
Her career began at 12 when she was signed by the runway division of LA Models, making her at the time the youngest person to ever be signed by the agency.
In 2007, she appeared in the documentary America the Beautiful, which examined the stuggles of self-image and beauty standards in American culture and society.
In another message, fellow Baldwin Hills alum Moriah Johnson -- son of former NBA player Marques Johnson -- referred to as Taylor a "beautiful and confident soul."
"Still can't believe it.. Feels like I've lost a piece of my childhood.
"It's difficult to comprehend the brevity of life at times, and so we must live and love as best we can while we can," Johnson wrote. "
"Sending my love and prayers to the Taylor family and all affected by this untimely loss. Such a beautiful and confident soul. Enjoy your rest."
"Rest easy sis," Olympian Carol Rodriguez wrote in another social media tribute alongside a series of pictures of Taylor.
Added model Nia Riley:
"My beautiful supermodel angel!
12 years ago you entered my life being nothing but one of my most solid friends ever!! I'm so heartbroken! I'll never get over this, I don't understand.
"I love you, I'm going to miss you even more Pray for @mstaylorxo family please! Love you all!"
According to Essence, Taylor was a mother to a seven-year-old daughter.
We send our condolences to her friends, family members and loved ones.
May she rest in peace.
Prince Philip, the lifelong companion of Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch, passed away on Friday.
He was 99 years old.
A statement posted on the official Buckingham Palace website confirmed the tragic news.
"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," this message read, concluding as follows:
"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
"Further announcements will made in due course.
"The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
The duke had been admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London hospital on February 17 due to an undisclosed illness.
The palace later confirmed that he was being treated for an infection.
On March 1, Philip was transferred to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, also in London, where physicians continued to treat the infection ... as well as undertake testing for a pre-existing heart condition.
Following a heart procedure, the duke was discharged from hospital in mid-March.
It's been widely assumed ever since, however, that the prince was in his final days.
He married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after a courtship that charmed a nation still reeling from the consequences of World War II.
Over seven decades of service, Philip often accompanied the Queen on royal engagements, while he also conducted thousands of his own solo appearances.
He once referred to himself as "the world's most experienced plaque unveiler," while the Queen lauded him as her "constant strength and guide" and as her “strength and stay” in a speech on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.
In 2017, Philip retired and mostly receded from the spotlight.
While the prince spent a bulk of his time since then at his rural Sandringham estate, he was sometimes seen in later years at major family events -- such as the wedding of Meghan Markle and Princee Harry at Windsor Castle
“I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know,” the Queen said during her aforementioned anniversary speech.
As portrayed on screen on Netflix's wildly popular The Crown (first by Matt Smith and then by Tobias Menzies), Philip needed some time to adjust to his role as husband to a monarch.
He developed a reputation for the occasional brusque comment and/or crass remark, while also attempting to modernize a royal family whose traditions dated back numerous decades.
“The queen inherited from her father a model of monarchy that was very hands off, old-fashioned and slightly invisible,” said Sarah Gristwood, a historian and the author of Elizabeth: The Queen and the Crown.
“It wasn’t equipped to deal with a new media age, and Prince Philip played a huge role in moving it forward then," she added.
Elizabeth and Philip got married in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947... with around 2,000 guests in attendance and another 200 million listening to the ceremony on the radio.
Philip, who renounced his Greek royal title to become a British citizen, wrote to Elizabeth prior to this vow exchange:
"To have been spared in the war and seen victory, to have been given the chance to rest and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly, makes all one’s personal and even the world’s troubles seem small and petty."
The man had a way with words, huh?
Speaking at Downing Street on Friday, prime minister Boris Johnson said of the late prince:
Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world.
Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.
Added Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury:
He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service.
As we recover and rebuild after the terrible trial of the coronavirus pandemic, we will need fortitude and a deep sense of commitment to serving others.
May Prince Philip rest in peace.
Linda Torres, a close friend of reality star Angela Raiola who often appeared on the VH1 reality series Big Ang, died on Thursday, just nine weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
She was 67 years old.
Torres also made a couple of cameos on another popular reality television program, Mob Wives.
Torres passed away at Staten Island University Hospital, according to multiple celebrity gossip and news media reports.
She died after complications from the aforementioned virus forced her on to a ventilator, Big Ang's sister, Janine Detore, told People Magazine, in an interview earlier this morning.
"Linda was the life of the party - like my sister."
"Very fun to be around, not negative, just wanted to have a fun time," Detore said of her friend, adding:
"I get so sad to know that she's gone now.
"I absolutely love Linda. She's fabulous."
Big Ang was originally a spinoff of Mob Wives and it was anchored by Raiola (aka Big Ang), who died five years ago of throat cancer.
Raiola was only 55 when she tragically passed.
According to TMZ, Torres suffered from underlying medical conditions that made her more at risk for a fatal case of COVID-19.
Along with her age, the cable network personality was battling other serious conditions that left her vulnerable to infection.
According to insiders, she fought a battle with breast cancer and, recently, had surgery to implant a chemo port.
Tragically, the virus that has caused so much heartache over the past year was too much for her to overcome.
Linda's daughters were caring for their mom and took her to the hospital just over two months, thinking this port had become infected.
This was when the COVID diagnosis took place.
"She was placed on a ventilator then they took off the ventilator," Detore told People. "She really was fighting, but I guess she couldn't really battle it. It was too much."
In an 2013 interview with Mikki May of MyEPK about Big Ang and Mob Wives, Torres said:
“Big Ang is one of my best friends for 40 years."
"All the girls that we hang out with, you know, we get together, we have parties, we shoot a lot of Patron, we laugh, we fight, we go out with a lot of young guys, we have a really good time."
She added back at that time, regarding the two shows:
"Mob Wives is a little more serious."
"In the Big Ang show, we’re very down to earth and quiet, and we’re looking for fun and no drama."
"My Big Ang is a no-drama mama, but I’m her little pit bull.”
Detore added that she considered Torres as much a part of her family as any blood relative, writing on Instagram:
"Rest In Peace my friend. you'll be missed. "We love you always. Angela take care of @blondelindavh1 #onlythegooddieyoung."
All of us at The Hollywood Gossip send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Linda Torres.
May she and the rest of the celebrities and regular citizens alike who we have lost to Covid-19 rest in eternal peace.
Deshayla Harris, a cast member on the final season of Bad Girls Club, has been confirmed as as one of two victims killed in a trio of shootings in Virginia Beach on Friday.
She was 29 years old.
According to a state released yesterday by local authorities, Harris is believed to have been a "bystander at the second" incident.
The shooting remains under investigation -- and is not believed to have been connected with the other shooting incidents on Friday.
No arrests have been made in connection with the fatalities.
"We do believe that [Harris] truly is, at this point in time, an innocent victim that was probably struck by stray gunfire in some regards," Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate said at a Saturday press conference.
Not many other details are available at this time.
On Saturday night, Bad Girls Club released a statement regarding Harris' death.
"Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Deshayla's family and loved ones," the program wrote on its Twitter page.
Her murder was also mourned by fellow Bad Girls Club star Key Hamilton.
"You didn't deserve this man this sh-- jus don't feel real ....I'm sick affffff rest easy Babygirl," Hamilton wrote.
"Thank you for always pushing me and supporting me no matter where we were in our friendship...watch over me I love you ...we literally JUST talked 3 days ago."
The first shooting in Virginia Beach on Friday injured numerous individuals, but there were no fatalities, authorities said.
However, the third shooting, which was officer-involved, claimed the life of Donovon W. Lynch, 25, while the second took Harris.
The body cam on the officer involved in the incident with Lynch was not on for "unknown reasons," prompting questions surrounding his death.
A protest was held later that night, with demonstrators calling for the police officer involved to be held accountable for what transpired.
"As much as we would like to be transparent -- we pride ourselves on being accountable and responsive -- I do not have the answers that the community is looking for in regards to this death right now," said VBPD Chief Neudigate on Saturday.
Lynch's passing has been mourned by several family members and friends, with his father calling Lynch a "dream son."
"Intelligent, handsome, a scholar, an athlete, an entrepreneur and loved by all he came in contact with," he said in a statement to WAVY. "Rest in Peace Don!
In total, 10 people were injured by gunfire -- including two who died -- in three separate shootings Friday in Virginia Beach, according to police.
Three people have been arrested and each charged with seven counts of felonious assault, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and reckless handling of a firearm.
Harris, meanwhile, was known as “Shay" when she appeared on the 17th and final season of Bad Girls Club in 2017.
A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Harris was nicknamed “The Firecracker Fashionista” on the show and represented the East Coast.
We send our condolences to her friends, family members and loved ones.
May Deshayla Harris rest in peace.
Taylor Dee, a Dallas-based musician whose real name was Taylor Dawn Carroll, died on March 14 in a Texas hospital after being involved in a car accident, according to multiple media reports.
She was 33 years old.
The fatal tragedy took place around 10 p.m. on the eastbound TEXpress lane near the 100 block of West Airport Freeway, according to a news release from the Euless City Police Department.
Investigators have said that the singer was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer when she tried to make an abrupt lane change.
The vehicle missed the turn... and crashed into a cushion barrier.
"It looks like she made a last minute decision to attempt to go from the toll lane into the exit lane," said Euless Police Sergeant Scott Peterson on Monday evening.
The aforementioned release detailed how Dee's vehicle then flipped into the air, hit a steel highway sign and landed upside down on the highway.
Investigators believe Taylor was not wearing her seatbelt when the crash occurred.
Per Peterson: Dee appeared to have been ejected from her car.
He added that her unnamed male passenger was wearing his seatbelt and was released from the hospital the next day.
Dee, sadly, was transported to a hospital, which is where she passed away from the injuries she sustained.
An investigation is expected to delve further into what transpired. but no criminal charges are expected to be pressed.
Linda Wilson, president of the Texas Country Music Association, mourned the singer in a statement to KTVT, saying:
"Taylor Dee was the real deal -- a true talent with a heart and passion not only for her music but for people."
"In every performance, her talent was evident, but more importantly she allowed her fans to know her heart," Wilson added.
"She will be missed tremendously."
The artist's agent, Shai Berry, said in a statement of his own:
"Taylor caught people's attention everywhere she went with her large wild personality and charming smile.
"She blew listeners away every time she stepped in front the mic."
"The power of her beautiful vocals were felt deep within the soul."
"Her energy and passion were so contagious that she left every show with a new team of supporters and fans."
"Taylor adored her children, family, friends and fans; loving them with everything she had."
"Taylor Dee will be deeply missed by so many but her powerful voice and message will echo for eternity.
"Life is short, Live your dream, Laugh along the way."
In 2019, she dropped her debut album The Buzz, which included the songs "Sawtooth," "Take Me Down," "I Hope You're Happy Now" and "Pretty Ugly."
Just two days before her passing, Dee performed at a concert at Rancho Loma Vineyards in Fort Worth, Texas, writing on Facebook ahead of the gig:
"Y'all come see us tonight! We playin at this awesome place."
Dee is survived by her son, Vayden, and her daughter, River.
A GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $12,000 so far, reads:
"She was a great mother of two beautiful children that she will be leaving behind. She could make you laugh about the craziest things. Her spirit was so free and she had a voice that the angels could hear.
"She had your back even when you didn't know it."
"Her laugh is something you can hear when she says LOL."
The GoFundMe page added, simply, and powerfully, "she will be forever loved and missed."
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Taylor Dee.
May she rest in peace.
Some truly beloved public figures have already left us this year.
These artists, athletes, politicians, and pop culture icons may be gone from this world. But they will certainly never be forgotten.
For their fans and loved ones alike, legends never die.
Their legacies live on; their stars will never fade; and their work will be cherished for generations to come, as those whose lives they touched pass the love and admiration on to future admirers.
Join us as we pay tribute to the lives we've lost in the year 2021.
May they rest in eternal peace and/or power.
1. Dustin Diamond
2. Cicely Tyson
3. Christopher Plummer
4. Larry King
6. Cloris Leachman
Brayden Smith, a multiple time Jeopardy champion who dominated the beloved game show during one of Alex Trebek's final weeks as host, died suddenly in Las Vegas on Friday.
He was only 24 years old.
No cause of death has been announced.
"We are heartbroken to share that our dear Brayden Smith recently passed away unexpectedly," his mother, Deborah Smith, Tweeted as confirmation of the awful news.
"We are so grateful that Brayden was able to live out his dream on @jeopardy."
Jeopardy! also released a statement amid news of Smith's passing that read: "The JEOPARDY! family is heartbroken by the tragic loss of Brayden Smith.
"He was kind, funny and absolutely brilliant. Our deepest condolences go out to Brayden's family. He will be missed."
According to his obituary, Smith was a five-time Jeopardy! winner who loved to play saxophone and listen to musicians such as Duke Ellington and the Beach Boys.
He was praised on social media as "Alex's Last Great Champion" and was looking forward to competing in the show's Tournament of Champions.
The sleuth won five games in a row and more than $115,000 during his week on the show, which was filmed in October of 2020.
"I'm really grateful for everything, for all the opportunities that I had," Smith said in a video the show posted to YouTube after the end of winning streak.
"I'm just glad that ... I was able to show what I was capable of."
Born in Henderson, Nevada, Smith graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in economics last year.
The late contestant also opened up about his impressive run on Jeopardy! in January, telling the program's correspondent Sarah Whitcomb Foss, "It's been a whirlwind" and adding:
"I just wanted to stay there as long as possible. It's really a great feeling to be on set — to be around smart, nice, warm people."
Smith said the "best part" of the experience was spending time with Trebek, who he described as "sort of a mainstay in my life."
Concluded the 24-year old at the time:
"To finally be on stage with somebody that I've seen five nights a week every week for over a decade was really a dream come true," Smith said.
Smith is survived by his parents, his three brothers and numerous relatives.
Donations in Smith’s memory may be made to the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund.
Trebek, who hosted the show since 1984, died November 8 at age 80 from pancreatic cancer.
Cicely Tyson, a legenary and pioneering actress who garnered an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in Sounder and won a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88, passed away on Thursday.
She was 96 years old.
“With heavy heart, the family of Miss Cicely Tyson announces her peaceful transition this afternoon. At this time, please allow the family their privacy,” read a statement issued the late star's manager.
No other details were provided at the time, including Tyson's cause of death.
The actress rose to fame in the early 1970s, becoming one of the first African-American stars to earn significant movie roles.
Along with her Oscar nod, Tyson won a pair of Emmys for playing a 110-year-old former slave in the 1974 television drama The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
The news of Tyson's passing hit Hollywood hard, but it went beyond that as well.
"When Cicely Tyson was born, doctors predicted she wouldn’t make it three months because of a murmur in her heart," Barack Obama wrote last night in a lengthy and heartfelt statement..
"What they didn’t know, what they couldn’t know, was that Cicely had a heart unlike any other.
"The kind that would not only beat for 96 more years but leave a mark on the world that few could match."
The 44th President of the United States continued by acknowledging Tyson's incredible work, her upbringing, and her passion to "speak her truth," adding:
"At a time when parts for actors who looked like her weren’t easy to come by, she refused to take on roles that reduced Black women to their gender or their race.
"Sometimes, that meant she would go years without work.
"But she took pride in knowing that whenever her face was on camera, she would be playing a character who was a human being -- flawed but resilient; perfect not despite but because of their imperfections."
President Obama also wrote that Tyson "helped us see the dignity within all who made up our miraculous — and, yes, messy — American family."
He sent thoughts and prayers and concluded:
Michelle and I were honored when Cicely came to the White House to accept the Medal of Freedom, knowing she was one of the many giants upon whose shoulders we stood.
A trailblazer whose legacy couldn’t be measured by her Emmys and Tony and Oscar alone, but by the barriers she broke and the dreams she made possible.
The former First Lady also posted two photos of herself with Tyson, writing how in awe she was Tyson's "humanity."
"Just by walking into a room, she had this way of elevating everyone around her. She was the personification of beauty, grace, wisdom, and strength," Michelle Obama shared.
"Carrying forward a flame that not only guided her for 96 pathbreaking years but lit the way for so many of us."
Mrs. Obama concluded that she will "miss [Tyson] dearly," but "smile knowing how many people she inspired, just like me, to walk a little taller, speak a little more freely, and live a little bit more like God intended."
In 2016, Tyson was among a group of 21 actors, musicians, athletes and innovators awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Obama.
The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor and Tyson received hers alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Diana Ross, Michael Jordan and Bruce Springsteen.
Said Obama during this presentation:
“In her long and extraordinary career, Cicely Tyson has not only succeeded as an actor, she has shaped the whole course of history.
"Cicely was never the likeliest of Hollywood stars.
"The daughter of immigrants from the West Indies, she was raised by a hardworking and religious mother who cleaned houses and forbade her children to attend the movies.
"But once she got her education and broke into the business, Cicely made a conscious decision not just to say lines, but to speak out."
May this legend rest in peace.
Hollywood has lost a legend.
Cloris Leachman, the veteran actress of stage and screen -- likely best known for her role as landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show -- has passed away.
She was 94 years old.
Leachman's manager, Juliet Green, confirmed this sad piece of news to People Magazine, stating that he client died from natural causes.
"It's been my privilege to work with Cloris Leachman, one of the most fearless actresses of our time," reads thsi message.
"There was no one like Cloris.
"With a single look she had the ability to break your heart or make you laugh till the tears ran down your face.
"You never knew what Cloris was going to say or do and that unpredictable quality was part of her unparalleled magic."
According to TMZ, the late star passed away at her home in Encinitas, California, with her daughter, Dinah, at her side.
Concluded Green in her statement:
"She loved her children and her grandchildren ferociously.
"A lifelong vegetarian, she was a passionate advocate for animal rights. The family requests that any donations in her name be made to PETA or Last Chance for Animals."
As a young woman, Leachman actually competed in the Miss America pageant... which garnered her a scholarship at the Actors Studio in New York City.
Over the years, Leachman appeared in some incredibly very profile and popular movies, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, High Anxiety, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Spanglish.
Her lengthy list of television credits reads as follows:
Gunsmoke, Lassie, Twilight Zone, The Facts of Life, Touched by an Angel, Raising Hope, and American God.
She also competed on Dancing with the Stars in 2008.
Over the course of her impressive career, Leachman won an Oscar (for The Last Picture Show in 1971 )and a Golden Globe.
She was nominated for over 20 Emmy Awards, winning a record nine times.
In the wake of Leachman's passing, many have taken to social media to mourn her death.
"Cloris Leachman has passed. The Oscar and Emmy-winning funny lady stole her way into our hearts and always left us smiling. She was 94," tweeted Star Trek star George Takei.
"Rest in peace, and save a laugh for us when we get there."
Said Leachman upon winning her Academy Award:
"I'm having an amazing life, and it isn't over yet.
'Remember when Ben Johnson said in The Last Picture Show, 'I've fought my whole life against' whatever he said? I feel, I fought all my life against clichés. And look at me?
"I'm a hopeless cliché. … I am deeply honored by this."
Leachman wrote in her 2010 autobiography that she was proud for how she remained unique up until the end.
"I never wanted to conform," she wrote.
"I haven't conformed. I've tried, but I couldn't. I've never put a label on myself. I find it distasteful that people put labels on other people and say that's who they are, that one thing.
"When I was forty-six, people said I was in middle age. I shrugged off that designation. I didn't want to be lumped into a group."
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Cloris Leachman.
May she rest in peace.
Larry King, an iconic journalist, radio and television host, passed away on Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
He was 87 years old.
No cause of death has been confirmed at this time.
Reads a statement on King's Twitter account:
For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.
Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience.
Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions.
He believed considered questions usually provided the best answers and he was not wrong in that belief.
According to TMZ, King was diagnosed withh COVID-19 late last year.
The reporter published 20 books over his distinguished career and also had a column in USA Today.
He suffered multiple heart attacks throughout his life and underwent quintuple bypass surgery in 1987.
After being in and out of the hospital in 2019, King was sent home -- and told he didn't have much longer to live.
The late star's nationally-syndicated late-night radio talk show debuted in 1978 across 28 cities and.
In 1985, he began to anchor Larry King Live on CNN.
King interviewed basically every famous person on the planet, including Presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
The popular late-night TV show lasted for a quarter century and aired its last episode on December 16, 2010.
It had become CNN's most-watched and longest-running program in the process.
Continued the statement that announced his passing:
Larry’s interviews from his 25-year run on CNN’s ‘Larry King Love,’ and his Ora Media programs ‘Larry King Now,’ and ‘Politicking with Larry King’ are consistently referenced by media outlets around the world.
They remain part of the historical record of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
The company continued in its tribute to the late journalistic icon, whose presence may never be replaced:
Ora Media sends our condolences to his surviving children Larry, Jr., Chance, Canon and the entire King family.
Funeral arrangements and a memorial service will be announced later in coordination with the King family, who ask for their privy at this time.
Over the course of his life, King was married eight times, splitting from his most recent wife Shawn in 2019.
He is survived by five children: Cannon, Chance, Danny, Kelly and Larry Jr.
May Larry King rest in peace.
Some truly beloved public figures have left us in the year 2020.
These artists, athletes, politicians, and pop culture icons may be gone -- but they will certainly never be forgotten by their fans and loved ones.
Their legacies live on; their stars will never fade; and their work will be cherished for generations to come, as those whose lives they touched pass the love and admiration on to future admirers.
Join us as we pay tribute to the lives we lost over these very painful 12 months.
May they rest in eternal peace.
1. Kobe and Gianna Bryant
2. Naya Rivera
3. Neil Peart
4. Nick Gordon
5. Kirk Douglas
6. Pop Smoke
Dawn Wells, a beloved actress forever best known for playing the main character of Mary Ann Summers on Gilligan's Island, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
She was 82 years old.
According to a representative for Wells, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, the star passed away due to complications related to COVID-19.
Aside from Tina Louise, Wells was the last surviving regular cast member of the Sherwood Schwartz-created series... which featured a trio of women and a quartet men marooned on a desert island after their three-hour boat tour off the coast of Honolulu went horribly awry.
They survived, however.
On nearly every episode of the long-running sitcom -- which earned a rabid fan base years after it went off the air due to syndication -- the castaways came oh-so-close to escaping off the island.
Alas, they never did.
Wells portrayed the sweet, Kansas born-and-bred Mary Ann Summers on the iconic CBS sitcom.
The program ran for three seasons from 1964 to 1967, making a huge splash in pop culture.
A multitude of television movies were made after the show concluded; and the cast went on to make appearances on other shows, such as ALF and Roseanne in character.
The show also starred Bob Denver (Gilligan) Russell Johnson (Professor Roy Hinkley) and Alan Hale Jr. (Skipper).
"Mary Ann wasn't just a silly and sweet ingenue," the actress wrote in her book, What Would Mary Ann Do?: A Guide to Life.
"She was bright, fair-minded and reasonable, and I like to think that's what I brought to her. She was a little more of a Goody Two-shoes than I am."
Before and after Gilligan's Island, Wells appeared on an array small screen programs -- including Bonanza, The Love Boat, Gilligan's Planet, Growing Pains, Baywatch, Columbo and Roseanne.
"I don't get tired of it because I'm greeted with love everywhere I go," Wells told Penn Live of always being known as the legendary sitcom character.
"It's been a difficult time breaking the image acting-wise. You know, to go and play a real nasty girl. They always say, 'Mary Ann? Are you kidding?'
"To get past that is so silly because I'm not that person and that person [is] going to be on [television] the rest of my lifetime, most likely, but I'm greeted with love."
In 2018, Wells' close friend Doug Kirpatrick set up a GoFundMe account for his pal after he learned that she was struggling to pay medical and tax bills.
The campaign raised over $198,000.
Wrote Wells at the time on Facebook:
I am amazed at the kindness and affection I have received from the current outpouring in regards to the Go Fund Me Page that is grabbing so much attention and want to address it.
A dear dear friend of mine with a big heart was trying to help me with some common issues we all understand and some must face. He create that page with the love [and] emotion like someone protecting their child.
In a recent conversation with him I remarked Where did the time go? I don't know how this happened. I thought I was taking all the proper steps to ensure my golden years. Now, here I am, no family, no husband, no kids and no money.
I'm grateful that God has given me so many friends and fans who care, or it would all be too ....overwhelming .....I am grateful to any of my fans who are willing to offer support. However, please know that my outlook is positive and I look forward to seeing you all in my travels."
Wells, who does not have kids, was briefly married to talent agent Larry Rosen from 1962 to 1967.
May she rest in peace.
Tragedy has once again struck the world of reality television.
Nick McGlashan, a seventh generation fisherman who starred on the wildly popular series Deadliest Catch since 2013, died on Sunday in Nashville.
He was 33 years old.
The sad news was broken by TMZ and has since been confirmed by outlets such as People Magazine and E!.
McGlashan appeared on a total of 78 Deadliest Catch episodes, making his debut seven years ago and quickly growing into a fan favorite.
Nick's sister has also confirmed the unexpected development on Twitter, writing:
"My brother nick passed away. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through. Please hold your loved ones tight."
Born in Alaska, McGlashan started crabbing at the age of 13, frequently leaving school and heading straight for his father's boat to help the crew, according to his Discovery biography.
This same bio reads as follows:
"Nick is known for his witty quips, working through the pain, and not stopping the job until it's done.
"He has also kept the boat running through all kinds of mechanical issues, manufacturing quick fixes on the fly. Nick has a wealth of fishing experience…the epitome of a true crabber."
During season 13 of Deadliest Catch, McGlashan entered rehab due to addiction to alcohol and drugs.
"My life went from Bering Sea badass to full blown junkie very rapidly," he wrote in an essay for Chosen magazine, adding:
"I was broken and soulless. I was living without any hope of happiness. All I wanted was to stay loaded.
"Every bit of happiness stripped away by a powerful, cunning, and baffling disease."
Shortly after news of McGlashan's passing went viral, numerous fans took to social media to express their sadness and sorrow.
"RIP Nick McGlashan...
"This guy was immense on #DeadliestCatch and I send my condolences to Bill, all the crew of the Summer Bay and all the family and friends of Nick. Rip Nick," one person wrote.
"My heart is broken.
"Nick McGlashan was one of my favorite guys on @DeadliestCatch & as strange as it is, all the guys felt like family. We watched them grow & fall & grow again & I’m honored to have followed his life.
"You will be [email protected] Much love to the DC family."
At McGlashan's lowest point, he was drinking "a half a gallon of vodka, shooting two grams of heroin and one gram of meth every day," he wrote in the aforementioned essay.
The reality star even admitted he had overdosed three times before seeking help in November 2016.
Once sober, though, the TLC personality took pride in being an advocate and helping others get clean.
"The greatest thing about my recovery is that I can change someone's life just by talking about my addiction and recovery," he said.
"As I thrive in my recovery my world begins to make sense...When I look at my life and feel at peace with the changes I've made, that's recovery."
Over the course of its 16-season run, Deadliest Catch has had at least six other cast members pass away.
For example, deck hand Mahlon Reyes died back in August after suffering a heart attack.
No cause of death for this latest tragedy has been released yet to the public.
May Nick McGlashan rest in peace.
Natalie Desselle Reid, a veteran actress known for her roles in movies such as Madea's Big Happy Family and "B*A*P*S, along with the TV show Eve has died.
She was 53 years old.
The sad news was confirmed on Instagram on Monday afternoon via a statement that reads as follows:
"She was a bright light in this world. A queen. An extraordinary mother and wife.
"Her diverse career touched so many and she will be loved forever.
"Naturally, we are grieving and processing this profound loss and we thank you in advance for respecting our privacy at this extremely difficult time."
Natalie Desselle Reid died from colon cancer.
Among the more moving tributes penned in her honor, Holly Robinson Peete wrote that her friend was “a bright shining star [who] passed away this morning.
"I got to know her when my mom was managing her. She will be so missed … sending out prayers to her children and husband.
"Rest in peace, sweet girl."
Desselle Reid's other roles included appearances in films like Cinderella (opposite Brandy and Halley Berry), Set It Off and How to Be a Player.
Added Berry upon learning her former co-star has passed away:
"I’m in total shock... completely heartbroken. gonna need a minute. #RIP @NatalieDesselle."
Wrote Eve: "I can’t believe it @NatalieDesselle sending prayers,love and strength to her family. Rest in Peace."
According to TMZ, the actress diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year.
The celebrity gossip website reports she was in hospice care in her final days, and was surrounded by family when she passed away.
"Sending my love and condolences out to Natalie Desselle family," Tweeted Bow Wow in mourning, adding:
"Had the pleasure of working with her on Tyler Perrys “Madea Big Happy Family” sending my love."
Added Yvette Nicolle Brown:
Seeing her in #Cinderella was my first time seeing her too. I was newly in Los Angeles. I hadn’t started acting yet.
She looked like me. She helped me realize that there was a place for me in the industry.
I’m so glad I got to tell her that. I hope she knew how beloved she was.
Natalie Desselle Reid leaves behind her husband and three children.
We send our condolences to her friends, family members and loved ones.
May she rest in perpetual peace.
Bobbie Thomas, a style editor and contributor on The Today Show, shared a heart-shattering Instagram post on Sunday morning.
It paid tribute to the journalist's husband, Michael, who died on December 1 following what Thomas described as an "heroic battle" that began with an ischemic stroke in April 2019.
He was 42 years old.
"Nothing is normal. Maybe nothing will ever be normal again. For me, it won't. My husband is gone," Thomas wrote in a caption of a photo of herself and Michael in the hospital.
"With all the fear, anger, and division going on in the world right now, it's so easy to get upset about the lack of normalcy.
"But I beg you, everyone reading this, hold onto what you do have right now instead of focusing on what you don't. One thing we all have is kindness. Absorb it, extend it, exhaust it.
"Because in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is love. If you're lucky enough to have it, please appreciate it, every moment, every day.
"Especially during the hard parts. There will never be enough time and some of our forevers are much too short."
The couple got married in May 2013 and share one child, a five-year-old son named Miles.
"As I type through tears, I embrace gratitude ... holding our precious son Miles and memories, of the time I did have with Michael, closer to my broken heart," continued Thomas.
"Thank you all for the love and support you've shown us and our families.
"Please go hug the people you love."
Michael suffered a stroke in the spring of 2019 and then dealt with health complications after the awful ordeal.
He initially had to use a wheelchair after his stroke -- but, in May 2020, he managed to walk with assistance.
In June, Thomas shared a video of Marion holding Miles for the first time since his stroke.
"A moment like this - the first time Michael was able to pick Miles up for a hug since his stroke - is why I temporarily stepped away from social media the past few months," Thomas wrote at the time, saying she had so much to embrace:
"With the world zooming along in high gear, I wanted some 'digital space' to focus on being more present.
"Amidst Covid, protests, and more there's never been a better time to listen and learn.
"And personally, there was much to embrace - my wedding anniversary (#7!), Father's Day, Miles' last day of Pre-K , the first day of summer, and of course Michael's continued recovery."
In response to this tragedy, Friends and NBC colleagues shared condolences on Thomas' post.
Jenna Bush Hager, for example, remarked: "Bobbie, your strength amazes. Love you so."
We send our condolences to the Bobbie Thomas, her and Michael's friends, family members and loved ones.
May he rest in peace.
Whitney Collings, one of the original and most famous member of the reality show Bad Girls Club, died this week, according to a Facebook message shared by her mother.
She was 33 years old.
TMZ broke the tragic news on Friday evening, alerting readers to the sad note left by Colliings' mom.
"I am completely broken and will never get over this. Life is so unfair. She was kind with a big heart," it reads.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
However, sources have told TMZ that Whitney died on Thursday morning at a hospital near her native city of Boston.
Collings appeared on 12 episodes of Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club between 2008 and 2009, but was eventually given the boot due to her bad and even violent behavior.
She then returned to film the Bad Girls Club Reunion Special.
Prior to joining the popular reality program, Collings worked as a sales representative for Priority One Marketing Group in Florida, according to her IMDB page.
At the time of her passing, she was working as a senior sales executive at Ecigarettes Wholesale.
A friend of the late reality star, Christina Marie, also confirmed this horribe news on her Facebook page, writing as follows:
“I am completely heart broken Whitney Collings we have so many fun memories together. Rest easy beautiful angel your with your dad now…”
Collins was only 21 years old when she rose to fame on Bad Girls Club.
While she was working hard as a barmaid in Boston, Collings was also studying biology and physics at Salem State, as reported by The Boston Herald.
Fans of Bad Girls Club will remember Whitney for being a (VERY) straight shooter when it came to confrontation and for having a temper, although she often showed her playful side with her sense of humor.
She was kicked off the series, as cited above, due to a physical altercation.
What transpired at the time?
"We were all in Cancun, Mexico at a club and Leah got into an altercation with Amber," she explained over a decade ago, adding:
"I tried to calm everyone down as we were leaving, when Amber came after me with a shoe. I got into it with her, but then stepped back and realized it wasn’t worth it.
"I tried to walk away when Amber started swinging at me. I ended up kicking her in the face and got kicked off."
As for how she felt about being part of Bad Girls Club?
"It was an opportunity of a lifetime. Good or bad, you just have to go with it. I would definitely do it again. I don’t have any regrets," she said way back then.
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Whitney Collings.
May she rest in peace.