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Michelle Rounds Dead of Apparent Suicide; Ex Wife of Rosie O’Donnell Was 46

Michelle Rounds, the ex-wife of media personality Rosie O'Donnell, has passed away at the age of 46.

Though no official cause of death has been announced, TMZ is reporting that Rounds appears to have taken her own life.

Michelle Rounds and Rosie O'Donnell Photo

Rounds had been open about her struggles with mental illness over the years, and tragically, it seems the battle proved fatal.

After meeting at an industry event in 2011, Rounds and O'Donnell got married the following year. 

Their time together was turbulent, marred by frequent fighting and Rounds' persistent health issues.

But there were bright spots, as well.

O'Donnell and Rounds welcomed a daughter together in 2013, and Michelle described the months that followed as the happiest in her life.

Sadly, it was a period that wouldn't last.

Michelle Rounds, Rosie O'Donnell, Baby

Rounds and O'Donnell separated in 2015 after months of intense fighting.

Just months later Rounds attempted suicide by overdosing on prescription painkillers.

She was rushed to a hospital, where doctors were able to save her life.

Though Rounds moved on to a new and reportedly far less tumultuous relationship, it seems she was never able to escape her demons.

After was said to be a period of emotional stability, Rounds reportedly experienced a recurrence of symptoms in recent weeks.

O'Donnell issued a statement on her former wife's death just moments ago:

Michelle Rounds, Rosie O'Donnell

"I am saddened to hear about this terrible tragedy," O'Donnell wrote.

"Mental illness is a very serious issue affecting many families. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michelle's family, her wife and their child."

They though often fought bitterly during their marriage, O'Donnell and Rounds reportedly worked out an amicable co-parenting relationship after their divorce.

Michelle's mother also released a statement and seems to have implicitly verified that Rounds had taken her own life:

"If anyone would like to give to the National Suicide Prevention it would also be greatly appreciated," wrote Michelle's mother.

"There are so many out there in this world that have demons that they think suicide is the only way out."

Michelle Rounds Image

Though O'Donnell and Rounds' marriage was short, the couples' dramatic fights and outspoken stances on topical issues briefly made Rounds a staple in the tabloid media.

As a result, many celebrities and media figures have taken to social media to mourn Michelle's passing.

"Such a devastating loss. Sending so much strength and peace to her loved ones," Perez Hilton tweeted, along with a link to an article about Rounds' death.

Though she worked as a consultant for most of her adult life, Rounds easy charm and quick wit made her a popular figure in Rosie's circle of celebrity friends.

In a bit of tragic irony, her death comes during Suicide Prevention Month.

Michelle Rounds and Rosie

Rounds is now the latest in a disturbingly long line of celebrity suicides.

The steadily-worsening epidemic dates back to Robin Williams' unexpected passing in 2014.

Recent victims such as rock stars Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington have brought new attention to the issue.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from thoughts of self-harm, we urge you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Please don't delay.

Our thoughts go out to Rounds' family during this tremendously difficult time.

Blake Heron Dies; Troubled Actor Was 35 Years Old

Blake Heron, a former child actor best known for his role of Marty Preston in the 1996 film Shiloh, was found dead on Friday morning.

He was 35 years old.

in Shiloh

According to TMZ and other outlets, Heron’s body was discovered by his girlfriend inside the actor’s Los Angeles area home.

After a call to 911 was placed, paramedics reportedly spent 40 minutes trying to revive Heron, but it was too late and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department tells E! News that the aforementioned call came in around 7:05 a.m. regarding an unidentified man who was not breathing.

In the ensuing hours, Heron's rep confirmed Blake's passing to multiple websites and television stations.

Heron had been sick for the past few days and had also battled a heroin addiction.

He just completed a stint in rehab mere days ago.

Blake Heron

TMZ writes that responders did not find illegal drugs or evidence that alcohol had been consumed.

Prescriptions for the flu were found at the scene, but it's unclear at the moment whether anything Heron ingested contributed to his death.

Following Shiloh, Heron landed bit roles in movies and television projects; including We Were Soldiers, Boston Public and 11:14.

He recently co-starred in A Thousand Junkies, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.

"I started doing drugs when I was about 12, typical smoking weed at first and drinking and what not. It quickly progressed," Heron said this past April, adding at the time:

"I lost everything. I lost my career, I lost all of my money, I lost possessions, and most importantly, I lost myself. I felt like I lost my soul.

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Our thoughts go out to the loved ones of Blake Heron.

May he rest in peace.

Here's a look, meanwhile, at other celebrities who have also passed away in 2017. 

May they all rest in peace.

Jerry Lewis: Mourned and Remembered by Stars Everywhere

It's been a tough weekend for comedians, huh?

Last night we learned that the beloved Dick Gregory had passed away, and then, less than 24 hours later, the news broke that Jerry Lewis had also died.

Jerry, known for his comedy and for his amazing humanitarian work, was 91 years old, and he passed away in his Las Vegas home this morning from natural causes.

It's a big loss ... and you can tell by how many people have taken the time today to remember him.

Check out some of the messages about Jerry below.

1. Jim Carrey

Jim carrey on a red carpet
"That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy's absolute! I am because he was!"

2. Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel l jackson pic
"It was incredible knowing & laughing with the Amazing Jerry Lewis! He'll keep'em laffin in the ever after!"

3. Bill O'Reilly

Bill oreilly sucks
"Jerry Lewis loved his country & helped it enormously. I occasionally spoke with him about policy-he was on it, very engaged despite his age."

4. Neil Patrick Harris

Neil patrick harris image
"Watching Jerry Lewis onscreen makes me laugh harder than almost anyone. His great contribution to cinema is undeniable."

5. Debra Messing

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"#RIP Jerry Lewis. A Genius. A Legend. Thanks for all the laughs."

6. Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen degeneres on the red carpet
"Jerry Lewis was a comic and philanthropic icon. I send love to his family today."
View Slideshow

Dick Gregory Dies; Iconic Comedian Was 84 Years Old

Dick Gregory, a legendary comic who was also well known for his work as a civil rights activist, died on Saturday in Washington D.C.

He was 84 years old.

Dick Gregory

Gregory had recently rescheduled an event in Atlanta due to a hospitalization, although the cause of his illness and his subsequent passing is unknown at this time.

"The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love, and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time," wrote son Christian Gregory on social media, adding:

"More details will be released over the next few days."

While serving as a member of the military in the 1950s, Gregory started his career as a stand-up comedian.

He didn't specialize in harmless, observational humor, however. Quite the opposite.

Gregory satirized segregation and racial injustice in his acts; he was arrested several times in the 1960s for joining civil rights rallies.

Dick Gregory Picture

In 1961, he rose to prominence as the first black performer to perform at a white club after Hugh Hefner gave him a regular gig at the Playboy Club in Chicago.  

He earned rave reviews at the time and eventually signed a three-year contract to serve as a headliner at the establishment.

Always with an eye on societal issues greater than his own career, Gregory was once invited to perform on The Tonight Show in the days of Jack Paar...

... refused unless he was able to have a seat on the couch.

“He taught us how to laugh,” wrote Reverend Jesse Jackson upon learning of Gregory’s passing. “He taught us how to fight.He taught us how to live.

"Dick Gregory was committed to justice.I miss him already. #RIP."

Dick Gregory Photo

A motivational speaker later in life, Gregory wrote several books, including "Murder in Memphis," which analyzed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Also a writer - particularly respected for the documentary "Joe Louis: America's Hero... Betrayed” - Gregory was ranked by Comedy Central as the 82nd best stand-up comic in history.

"Dick Gregory lived an amazing, revolutionary life. A groundbreaker in comedy and a voice for justice," John Legend Tweeted as a tribute to the icon, while DL Hughley added:

"Heaven just got funnier."

We send our condolences to the loved ones of Dick Gregory.

May he rest in peace.

Glen Campbell Dies; Country Music Legend Was 81

Glen Campbell, the country music icon who recorded such hits as "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" has passed away at the age of 81.

Campbell had been battling Alzheimer's for several years.

A representative for Campbell's label, Universal Music Group, confirmed his passing in a press release issued moments ago:

Glen Campbell Photo

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease," reads the statement.

Born in Billstown, Arkansas in 1936, Campbell began his music career at the age of 14, when he moved to Wyoming to play a circuit of rural bars with a musician uncle.

Shortly thereafter, Campbell moved to Los Angeles, where he earned a spot with the iconic group of session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.

During his time as one of the most in-demand studio guitarists in the world, Campbell appeared on numerous hits, including the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas,” Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." 

Glen Campbell Image

In 1964, Campbell caught another big break when he was asked to fill in for the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, who had suffered a nervous breakdown during an international tour.

From there, Campbell embarked on a solo career, releasing his first major hit, "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," in 1967.

Several other hits, including "Galveston" and "Wichita Lineman" followed soon thereafter.

After drawing raves for his appearance on the Smothers Brothers' popular variety show in 1968, Campbell was accepted an offer to host his own series, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.

He used his position as host to shine a spotlight on such lesser-known artists as Willie Nelson.

"He exposed us to a big part of the world that would have never had the chance to see us," said Nelson. "He's always been a big help to me."

In 1975, Campbell became a cross-over mega-star yet again with his biggest hit and signature tune, "Rhinestone Cowboy."

Glen Campbell Tribute

Countless tributes to Campbell have poured in on social media, including the above tweet from his daughter, country singer Ashley, who posted a photo of her hand intertwined with her ailing father's.

"Heartbroken. I owe him everything I am, and everything I ever will be. He will be remembered so well and with so much love," wrote Ashley, who often accompanied her father on banjo in his later years.

Glen Campbell is survived by his wife, Kimberly Wollen, and eight children.

Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.

Former Linkin Park Member Chester Bennington Memorialized In Private Funeral Service

Chester Bennington's family and closest friends have opted for privacy in this very emotional time, holding a private Saturday afternoon memorial service to remember the Linkin Park member after his suicide by hanging last week.

The event took place near Bennington's home in Palos Verdes, California, with a few hundred people -- limited to family and friends -- attending the memorial service.

Related: Bennington's Widow Releases Poignant Statement

Police provided tight security at the event, and family members did not want videos or pictures taken there.

Fans have been organizing memorials around the globe for the frontman, but were not involved with the private ceremony yesterday in California.

According to reports, a full stage, including a drum kit, was set up at the funeral and several musical tributes were performed.

Additionally, all funeral attendees were given wrist bands and an access pass -- just like what you might see in a VIP pass at a Linkin Park concert.

Above all, it was no doubt a very emotional day for Bennington's family and friends.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who knew and loved him during this unimaginable time of need.

R.I.P.

[Image via Ricky Swift/WENN.]

Chester Bennington: Cause of Death Confirmed

Last week, the music world was stunned by the death of Chester Bennington, the gifted singer and songwriter whose unmistakable vocals helped to make Linkin Park one of the biggest bands of the 2000s.

Sadly, the cause of the 41-year-old's passing was immediately apparent to authorities.

And today, the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirmed that Bennington took his own life by hanging.

Chester Bennington Image

According to a police report, Bennington was pronounced dead at 9:08 am July 20 Palo Verdes Estates, California.

His body was discovered by a housekeeper who found the singer hanging from a bedroom door.

Though he left no note, it's widely believed that Bennington mimicked Chris Cornell in his method of suicide.

The Soundgarden singer also took his own life by hanging recently.

The two rock stars were such close friends that Cornell's widow asked Bennington to sing at his funeral.

It's likely not a coincidence that Bennington killed himself on what would have been Cornell's 53rd birthday.

Chester Bennington On Stage

Earlier today, the surviving members of Linkin Park issued a statement expressing their profound grief over Bennington's passing.

“The demons who took you away from us were always part of the deal … After all, it was the way you sang about those demons that made everyone fall in love with you in the first place," the band wrote.

In another statement issued today, Warner Bros. Records CEO, Cameron Strang, wrote:

“Chester Bennington was an artist of extraordinary talent and charisma, and a human being with a huge heart and a caring soul.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful family, his band-mates and his many friends. All of us at WBR join with millions of grieving fans around the world in saying: we love you Chester and you will be forever missed.”

Chester Bennington in Black/White

Strang concluded his statement by urging anyone who might be suffering from thoughts of suicide or self-harm to call .National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Tens of thousands of friends and fans have paid tribute to Bennington in the days since his death.

The beloved singer leaves behind a wife and six children.

Martin Landau Dies; Legendary Actor Was 89

Martin Landau, a veteran actor whose work has spanned the big screen and small screen, died Saturday afternoon at UCLA Medical Center.

He was 89 years old.

Martin Landau

According to TMZ, which broke this sad piece of news, Landau passed away at approximately 1:30 p.m. local time.

He had just recently been hospitalized for unknown reasons and had suffered a few health-related complications before passing away.

Among the many impressive credits to his name, Landau starred in such films as Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, Tim Burton's Ed Wood (for which he won an Academy Award) and Cleopatra.

Within the realm of television, Landau is likely best known for his role on the series Mission: Impossible.

He left that show after three seasons due to a contract dispute.

Landau, who started work as a cartoon, got his major acting breaking playing a gay henchman in the aforementioned Hitchcock classic, which came out in 1959.

At that time, of course, portraying a homosexual man in a movie was not a common occurrence.

landau

Landau received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) and again a year later in the same category for Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors.

He finally won his lone Oscar in 1994.

Perhaps most famously, however, the beloved actor actually turned down the role of Mr. Spock on the NBC series Star Trek; it ended up going to Leonard Nimoy, of course.

“I turned down Star Trek. It would’ve been torturous,” the star said during a 2011 edition of the PBS documentary series Pioneers of Television, adding at that time:

“I would’ve probably died playing that role. I mean, even the thought of it now upsets me.

"It was the antithesis of why I became an actor. I mean, to play a character that Lenny (Nimoy) was better suited for, frankly, a guy who speaks in a monotone who never gets excited, never has any guilt, never has any fear or was affected on a visceral level.

"Who wants to do that?"

Throughout his amazing career, Landau befriended such legends as James Dean and Jack Nicholson, while he briefly dated Marilyn Monroe.

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Toward the end of his career Landau earned Emmy Award nominations for playing the father of Anthony LaPaglia’s character on Without a Trace and for guest-starring as an out-of-touch movie producer on Entourage.

He portrayed billionaire J. Howard Marshall, the 90-year-old husband of Anna Nicole Smith, in a 2013 Lifetime biopic about the late model; and starred opposite Christopher Plummer in Remember in 2015.

Expect many tributes from Hollywood greats to come pouring in as news of his death spreads.

Altogether, he appeared in close to 200 movies and television shows.

May Martin Landau rest in peace.

John Blackwell Jr. Dies; Beloved Prince Drummer Was 43

John Blackwell Jr., a musician best known for having toured with Prince as the artist’s main drummer for over a decade, passed away on Tuesday.

He was 43 years old.

blackwell

The exact cause of death is unknown at this time, but Blackwell was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year after falling ill and undergoing a number of tests in Japan.

The popular drummer's wife, Yaritza, who updates her husband’s social media accounts, shared the news Tuesday on Instagram via an image of her grasping his hand.

She wrote that he died “peacefully” in her company and added:

“Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support.”

Last July, his wife set up a GoFundMe account to cover Blackwell’s medical expenses; it has raised over $78,000 to date.

According to USA Today, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office in Tampa has been asked for further information on Blackwell’s passing, but has not yet responded to this request

jbj

Blackwell took to stages around the world alongside Prince for 15 years.

He was well known and beloved for his unique style of drumming, having graduated from Berklee College of Music before being recruited by Prince in 2000 to play in his band New Power Generation.

Blackwell also performed with Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake and Cameo, among other big-time artists and singers.

He tragically lost an arm over the last year, as he underwent various surgeries in an attempt overcome his diagnosis.

In the fall of 2016, Blackwell told Tampa TV station WTSP-TV that Prince was like a father figure to him. The two friends were extremely close.

He said another close acquintence had recently told him that he could just imagine Prince calling for him to play as part of his band up in heaven.

"I can hear Prince now say, 'I'll just call John.' No, you ain't! I don't want to do that gig. Not yet," Blackwell, who took up drumming at the age of three, said at the time.

In response to his passing, many others within the world of music expressed their sadness and sent their condolences on social media.

To wit, Sheila E. wrote:

"My beautiful friend John Blackwell passed away 2day Plz keep his family in prayer. He was amazing manLuv u my brother," along with the following picture:

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Added Travis Barker:

"Rest In Peace #JohnBlackwell Your legend will live 4ever. One of the best to ever pick up drumsticks. Prayers to family and friends."

And Morris Day:

"We lost another brother... John Blackwell made his transition today!!! Our prayers go out to his wife and family!"

We share these sentiments and we send our best wishes to Blackwell's family.

May he rest in peace.

Stevie Ryan Dies; Actress & Jenelle Evans Foe Was 33

Stevie Ryan, an actress and comedian best known in gossip circles for her lengthy feud with Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Evans, has passed away.

Ryan was just 33 years old.

Stevie Ryan Image

Details are still scarce, but police investigating the tragedy are describing Ryan's death as an apparent suicide by hanging.

The shocking news comes just one week after Stevie publicly shared her grief over the death of her grandfather.

“I’m just worried that this is going to send me into a deeper depression,” Ryan stated on a recent episode of her podcast.

After moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career at the age of 19, Ryan unexpectedly found success through her YouTube channel.

Specifically, through her signature character, Little Loca.

Ryan eventually carved out a niche when she started poking fun at celebrities, going viral with a number of spot-on impressions.

Stevie Ryan Photo

Ryan told The Hollywood Reporter in 2012:

“I remember waking up and one Little Loca video had like 900 hits and I was like ‘Oh, my gosh. There’s people watching this?’” 

“And it just kept going and then I did this Paris Hilton thing and then it literally was just growing and growing."

"And I just became so obsessed with all of it.”

Ryan landed a VH1 sketch series entitled Stevie TV in 2012 but despite critical acclaim, the show lasted only one season.

She went on to host Brody Jenner's short-lived E! series, Sex With Brody. That series also lasted only one season (2015).

Stevie Ryan Pic

But it was her riffs on the Teen Mom phenomenon and its cast members that gained Ryan the most attention on social media.

Ryan mocked Farrah Abraham, Jenelle Evans, and others in a fashion that made her popular with many fans of the franchise.

On the flip side, it made her roundly despised by some of the show's stars, who failed to see the humor in what she was doing.

At one point, Ryan publicly shared a series of flirtatious texts that she had received from Evans' then-boyfriend Nathan Griffith.

Today, the 25-year-old Evans spoke out on social media after receiving word of Ryan's death, acknowledging their feud.

“I know we pretty much hated each other but I’m sorry you had to go so soon pretty girl,” Jenelle tweeted.

Jenelle Evans Makeup Pid

Other Teen Mom stars have yet to publicly address Ryan's death, but we suspect we'll be hearing from more of them in due time.

As is to be expected amid such tragedy, thousands of tributes from fans of the gifted comic have already poured in on Twitter.

Many of the online reactions involve encouraging anyone who may be suffering from thoughts of suicide to seek immediate help. 

We strongly urge those who are struggling to take such steps sooner rather than later, and our thoughts go out to Ryan's family.

Rebecca Burger, French Fashion Blogger, Killed by Whipped Cream Dispenser

Rebecca Burger, a French fashion blogger with a large following on Instagram, was killed this week after a whipped cream container exploded and struck her in the chest.

She was 33 years old.

We know this sounds like an example of fake news, or some kind of Internet hoax.

But it is a true and sad story.

Rebecca Burger Photo

In a pair of messages posted Wednesday on Burger's Instagram page, which currently has more than 165,000 followers, the Internet star's family warned her fans about the dangers of pressurized capsules.

Burger's loved ones even uploaded a picture of a can similar to the one that hit Burger and ended her life, writing as a caption to the image:

Here's an example of the whip cream canister that exploded and struck Rebecca's chest, resulting in her death. Let us be precise: the siphon that cause her death was sealed.

Do not use this type of device in your home! Tens of thousands of these defective appliances are still in circulation

whipped cream dispenser

The family also confirmed Burger's passing, stating online that Rebecca died from an "accident in the home" on June 18.

The Associated Press reports that prosecutors are looking into the siphon that was used to create the dispenser in order to determine whether or not it was defective.

According to a French newspaper, Burger went into cardiac arrest following the incident, but emergency technicians on the scene were able to revive her heartbeat.

She remained unconscious and was transported to a local hospital… where she died the following day.

The 33-year old amassed an impressive viral following as she chronicled her life on social media over the years.

On June 10, she posted her first (and, sadly, last) travel vlog about a recent trip to Bali.

But Burger was mostly known for sharing workout tips, videos and photos on her Instagram page.

Rebecca Burger

Ard’time, the manufacturer of this product, said the specific item Burger used had been pulled from the market and destroyed after an accident in February 2013.

It added that efforts had been made ever since to inform customers of potential safety hazards.

"Unfortunately, there are still lots of siphons of all brands that remain potentially dangerous as time passes," the company said in a statement after Burger’s death.

According to BBC, one person who was hurt by an exploding whipped cream container told RTL radio in 2013:

“I had six broken ribs, and my sternum was broken. At the hospital, I was told that if the shock and blast had been facing the heart, I would be dead now.”

Rebecca Burger Pictures

Meanwhile, a 2014 press release by the French economy ministry warned individuals about the potential dangers of whipped cream dispensers.

"Since 2010, several models of kitchen syphons, also called cream syphons, have turned out to be dangerous and have led to domestic accidents," it read, adding:

"The explosions cause a high speed burst that can cause serious injuries to the hands or face."

This story has received global attention due to the unusual nature of Burger's death.

But that doesn't make her passing any less tragic.

We send our condolences to the loved ones of Rebecca Burger and we hope she is resting in peace.

Prodigy Choked on an Egg Before His Death

When the world learned that Prodigy the rapper had passed away at 42, long-time fans immediately thought of his lifelong battle with sickle-cell anemia.

His publicist's statement confirmed that sickle-cell anemia was a factor, combined with the intense heat of his last venue.

But it turns out that there's more to this story.

Prodigy Photo

TMZ reports that, while in the hospital on Tuesday morning, while being treated for sickle-cell anemia, Prodigy choked on an egg.

They report that their sources include both those close to Prodigy and those investigating his death.

It's still unclear if that caused or contributed to his death.

But we can all imagine the horror of receiving treatment for a devastating illness ... only to choke to death.

And it's easy to imagine happening.

Prodigy would have been weakened and dehydrated by his condition.

Hospital beds are also not really designed for comfortable eating.

Laying on your back, as he may have been at the time, can make it much easier to choke.

Prodigy in White

Prodigy has been a respected hip-hop artist.

He's been credited with essentially being one of the artists who defined the genre.

He's best known for being half of the duo known as Mobb Deep since 1992.

The other member of the duo was Havoc.

Those are both names of X-Men but we think that it's a coincidence -- rappers and superheroes have a lot of name overlap.

But he's performed with other artists, even in the days leading up to his hospitalization.

Mobb Deep Photo

Sometimes our curiosity has limits.

Sometimes we find out things that nobody needed to know about celebrities when they die.

We've already learned more than we want to about Carrie Fisher's toxicology report.

And yes, Carrie would want us to know, but not every celebrity wants their private life splayed open.

We could absolutely understand if Prodigy's loved ones are less happy with this news being shared.

His fans certainly want to know the details of his passing.

But those closest to him want to balance giving fans closure ...

... With preserving his dignity.

We all remember the sensational and sad report about David Carradine's death.

That's not how he would have wanted to be remembered.

Prodigy Image

Realistically, even if he asphyxiated on an egg, it was the sickle-cell anemia that's plagued him since birth that sealed his fate.

It wasn't even the devastating Las Vegas heat, where temperatures had reached 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Though that certainly exacerbated the situation.

His sickle-cell anemia would have left his immune system compromised.

And, more relevant to the scorching desert climate of Nevada, it would have made it easier for him to become dehydrated.

So, while the investigation is ongoing, we don't expect whatever the final determination is to change our view of the situation, egg or no egg.

Just as it won't change our view of the talented man Prodigy was in life.

Local NBC Affiliate In Connecticut Will NOT Air Megyn Kelly’s Interview With Alex Jones — GOOD!

Good for NBC's Connecticut affiliate here.

The local television station owned by NBC that covers the area including Newtown, Connecticut, will NOT be broadcasting Megyn Kelly's highly controversial interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Related: Alex Jones Pre-Leaks His Interview With Megyn Kelly!

In an internal memo at the company that was obtained by the Associated Press on Friday, station executives at WVIT NBC Connecticut made the decision to not air the interview after hearing from employees, viewers, and families that were so horribly affected by the awful tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School there in 2012.

Jones has said repeatedly on the record that the killing of those 26 people -- including many small children -- was a hoax. Kelly has drawn a ton of criticism for even interviewing him, but now at least it seems one station has found a solution.

Good!

Related: Sandy Hook Moms Urging Megyn To Do The Right Thing

All in all, with Kelly's ratings in the toilet and this controversy rung squarely around her neck, it really hasn't been a great start to her career at NBC.

Of course, it pales in comparison to the pain Jones' conspiracy theories have brought to Sandy Hook families.

Hopefully more NBC affiliates across the country take the lead from this one and adjust their programming accordingly.

[Image via WENN/YouTube.]

Anita Pallenberg Dies; Actress & Longtime Partner of Keith Richards Was 73

Anita Pallenberg - actress, model, and longtime partner of legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards - has passed away at 73.

Her death was announced Tuesday evening by close friend Stella Schnabel.

No cause of death was stated.

Anita Pallenberg and Keith Richards

Schnabel paid tribute to Pallenberg in a heartfelt Instagram post:

"I have never met a woman quite like you Anita. I don't think there is anybody in this universe like you. No one has ever understood me so well." 

"You showed about life and myself and how to grow and become and exist with it all. I was a little girl thinking I was big but I became a woman through knowing you."

"The greatest woman I have ever known. Thank you for the most important lessons - because they are ever changing and definitive. Like you. We are all singing for you, how you liked it. Go in peace my Roman mother, you will always be in my heart."

Keith Richards & Anita Pallenberg

Pallenberg found early success as a model and actress (she appeared alongside Mick Jagger in the 1970 cult classic Performance), but it was her personal and artistic involvement with the Rolling Stones for which she's best remembered.

After sneaking backstage at a Stones concert in 1965, Pallenberg kicked off a tumultuous relationship with band co-founder Brian Jones.

When she and Jones parted ways, Pallenberg became involved with Richards, beginning a romance that would last for 22 years and yield three children.

During her time with Richards, Pallenberg enjoyed such creative clout among the Stones that some of the band's best known recordings were remixed at her suggestion.

Pallenberg is credited as a background singer on the band's 1968 classic "Sympathy For the Devil."

Anita Pallenberd, Keith Richards Image

Richards' years with Pallenberg were among the most turbulent of his famously wild life.

In his 2010 memoir, the rock icon stated that he and Pallenberg endured a "descent into hell” together, each becoming addicted to heroin during their relationship. 

"I like a high-spirited woman. And with Anita, you knew you were taking on a valkyrie — she who decides who dies in battle," Richards wrote in the book.

Pallenberg is survived by Marlon and Angela, her two children with Richards.

The couple had another son, Tara, who died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1976.

Adam West: Mourned, Remembered by Stars Everywhere

We just learned earlier this morning that Adam West, the actor best known for starring in the 1960s Batman series, has passed away.

He was battling leukemia, and sources say that he died in his sleep.

He was 88 years old.

Though we just learned the news a little while ago, celebrities everywhere are already taking time to remember Adam on Twitter.

Check out some of the most touching messages below.

1. Burt Ward

Burt ward
“I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends,. Adam and I had a special friendship for more than 50 years. We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other. This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend. I will forever miss him. There are several fine actors who have portrayed Batman in films. In my eyes, there was only one real Batman that is and always will be Adam West. He was truly the Bright Night.”

2. Julie Newmar

Julie newmar
“Stellar, exemplar, a king to the end. He was bright, witty and fun to work with. I will miss him in the physical world and savor him always in the world of imagination and creativity. He meant so much to people – A friend said: ‘The father that we wanted.’ That is a great gift, no matter how you live it.”

3. Seth MacFarlane

Seth macfarlane smiles
"Family Guy has lost its mayor, and I have lost a friend. Adam West was a joy to work with, and the kind of guy you always wanted to be around. His positivity, good nature, and sense of fun were undeniable, and it was always a big jolt of the best kind of energy when he walked in to record the show. He knew comedy, and he knew humanity. I am beyond fortunate to have had the privilege of working with him, and he will be profoundly missed by all of us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have given, Mr. Mayor. You’re irreplaceable.”

4. Will Arnett

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“RIP Adam West. You will always be Batman.”

5. George Takei

George takei
"RIP Adam West. You'll always be Batman to me."

6. Elijah Wood

Elijah wood
“Sad to hear of Adam West’s passing. A legend as Batman but also, Ty Lookwell.”
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Chris Cornell: Toxicology Report Reveals Singer’s Cause of Death

It's been two weeks since the music world was stunned by the sudden death of Chris Cornell, the pioneering singer/songwriter whose inimitable vocal stylings helped Soundgarden and Audioslave rise to the top of the charts.

Just hours after his body was found, medical examiners in Wayne County, Michigan ruled Cornell's death a suicide.

Cornell's widow, Vicky Karayiannis, and others close to the musician expressed doubts about the coroner's findings.

Chris Cornell Photo

Karayiannis maintained that drugs played a role in Cornell's death, a theory that shocked fans, as the singer had been sober for nearly 15 years prior to hsi passing.

Nevertheless, Karyiannis issued a statement expressing her belief that the results of a pending toxicology report would corroborate her beliefs.

Today, TMZ obtained the results of that report, and it seems that Karayiannis was correct in her assertion that Cornell was under the influence at the time of his passing.

The coroner who examined Cornell's body confirmed that the following drugs were found in his system:

Naloxone (Narcan), Butalbital (sedative), Lorazepam (Ativan), Pseudoephedrine (decongestant), and unspecified barbiturates.

Chris Cornell, Wife

Witnesses claimed to have seen puncture marks on Cornell's arms, but it appears those were the result of Narcan injections made by paramedics in an effort to save the 52-year-old's life.

Shortly after her husband's death, Karayiannis stated that she knew Cornell was intoxicated just from speaking with him on the phone.

She asked the singer's bodyguard, who was staying in the same Detroit hotel, to check on Cornell, but tragically, it was too late.

An apparently drug-addled Cornell had hung himself in his room with an exercise belt.

Karayiannis issued the following statement in response to today's findings:

Chris Cornell, Vicky

“Many of us who know Chris well, noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. 

"After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind.

"Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back."

She concluded:

“We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy.”

Our thoughts go out to Cornell's widow and children during this tremendously difficult time.

Frank Deford Dies; Legendary Sports Writer Was 78

Frank Deford, one of the most prolific and beloved sports writers of all-time died on Sunday in Key West, Florida.

He was 78 years old.

Frank Deford

According to The Washington Post, Deford's wife has confirmed this sad piece of news, although other details related to the death are unknown at this time.

Deford got his start as a Sports Illustrated staff member in 1962 and was serving as a senior editor emeritus for the national publication at the time of his passing.

The beloved literary figure also worked with NPR's Morning Edition for 32 years, having retired earlier this month following his 1,656th NPR commentary.

Over the course of a truly memorable career, Deford...

... wrote 17 books.

... Worked as a contributor on HBO's "Real Sports" franchise.

... And was the editor of the National Sports Daily.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters and has been voted by his peers as the U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times.

In 2013, as pictured below, President Barack Obama presented the writer with the National Humanities Medal.

Frank Deford and Barack Obama

Said the Commander-in-Chief of Deford at the time:

"A dedicated writer and storyteller, Mr. Deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love."

Aside from the work that made him famous across every sports landscape, Deford served as the national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation after his first daughter, Alex, died of the disease at the age of eight.

Not long after Deford's death was announced, numerous reporters took to Twitter in order to express their condolences.

Here is a sampling of what they wrote:

Deford wishes

Upon leaving NPR this year, Deford said the following:

"The wonderful thing about delivering sports commentary on NPR was that because it has such a broad audience, I was able to reach people who otherwise had little or no interest in sport - especially as an important part of our human culture.

"Nothing made me happier than to hear from literally hundreds of listeners who would tell me how much the commentaries revealed about a subject they otherwise had never cared much for.

"I'll forever be grateful to NPR that they gave me such extraordinary freedom. ... It was 37 years of a fond relationship."

Frank Deford Picture

In 2012, Deford became the first person from the world of sports to receive the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, the National Press Foundation's highest honor.

That same year, he became the first magazine writer to win the Associated Press Sports Editors' Red Smith Award.

Then, in 2013, the University of Kansas presented him with the William Allen White Foundation National Citation for "excellence in journalism."

Dedord is survived by his wife and two grown children.

May he rest in peace.

Gregg Allman Dies; Rock Legend Was 69

Gregg Allman, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known as the longtime frontman of The Allman Brothers Band, has passed away at the age of 69.

Sources close to his family say Allman died peacefully at his home in Savannah.

No cause of death was given, but a statement on his official website notes that Allman had been battling a number of serious ailments in recent years.

Gregg Allman Photo

"Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years," the statement reads.

"During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times."

Gregg formed the Allman brothers band with his brother, Duane Allman, who tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of 24.

Together, the brothers penned such Southern rock classics as "Midnight Rider," "Whipping Post," and "Melissa."

For many, the band's distinct blend of bluesy roots rock and jam band psychedelia became one of the defining sounds of the late '60s and early '70s.

Gregg Allman Image

Musically active until his final days, Allman's influence as a singer, songwriter, and paragon of counterculture cool cannot be overstated.

At the height of his fame, Allman was almost as well-known for his hedonistic lifestyle and high-profile romances as for his trailblazing music.

Stories of Allman's hard-partying ways contributed to his status as a living legend, but never eclipsed his music.

(Asked by Stephen Colbert if the story of a private flight crew spelling out "Welcome, Allman Brothers Band" in cocaine was true, Gregg replied, "They abbreviated 'Brothers.'")

Allman was married and divorced six times and became a tabloid staple during his highly-publicized split from music icon Cher in 1975.

Gregg Allman Pic

Within minutes of the news of his death, Allman's name became the number one trending topic on Twitter, with tributes pouring in from family, friends, and a legion of devoted friend.

"Words are impossible," tweeted a clearly grief-stricken Cher.

“I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music," wrote Allman's friend and longtime manager, Michael Lehman. 

"He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

Allman is survived by five children, including musicians Devon and Elijah Blue.

allman

We send our heartfelt condolences to those close to this iconic musician.

May he rest in peace.

And may the following celebrities also rest in peace, all of whom also passed away in 2017.

Click around below to familiarize yourself with those who have left us:

Jim Bunning, Former U.S. Senator And Baseball Hall Of Fame Pitcher, Dead At 85

A former United States Congressman and Senator and a Hall of Fame baseball pitcher died late last night, according to media reports.

Jim Bunning was 85 years old when he passed away; he had previously most notably suffered a stroke in October.

Related: Ariana Grande Announces Benefit Concert In Manchester

The former Congressman and Senator served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives before moving on to two more in the Senate, representing Kentucky throughout.

Before his political career, he had been a professional baseball pitcher from 1955 to 1971, mostly with franchises in Detroit and Philadelphia. On the field, he may be best known for throwing a perfect game in 1964 -- the first one in the National League in the 20th Century.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in 1996.

His family shared photos and memories of him after his death (below):

So sad.

Related: Mariah Carey Pens Tribute To Fan Who Died In Manchester Attack

R.I.P., Mr. Bunning -- you sure lived an incredible life.

[Image via Twitter.]

Jared Martin Dies; Former Dallas Star Was 75

Jared Martin, a veteran actor likely best known for his role as Steven “Dusty” Farlow on the beloved series Dallas, died on Wednesday night from pancreatic cancer.

He was 75 years old.

Jared Martin

Martin's son, Christian, has confirmed the sad news via Twitter and also to The Hollywood Reporter, telling the publication that his father passed away at home in Philadelphia.

Farlow was a rodeo cowboy who seduced main character on the aforementioned drama,

He actually perished in a plane crash... only to have producers resurrect his character by popular demand shortly afterward.

As for the actor himself?

Martin was born in Manhattan and attended Columbia University where he roomed future filmmaker Brian De Palma, who cast his pal in his 1968 film Murder à la Mod.

“I played a mad photographer-murderer who liked to lick the blood off his victims’ bodies,” Martin told People Magazine way back in 1981, adding:

“Brian used Hershey syrup for blood and paid me $35.”

martin on dallas

Martin's impressive resume also included starring roles on two sci-fi TV shows: 1977's The Fantastic Journey at NBC and a 1988-1990 adaptation of War of the Worlds, which aired in syndication.

He signed on for just three episodes of Dallas Season 3 in 1979 as Dusty.

But he became such a fan favorite that producers had no choice but to keep him around for longer than initially planned.

"They brought Dusty Farlow on to make goo-goo eyes at Sue Ellen [Linda Gray], become moderately involved with her, tempt her and then she basically remembered who she was and went back to J.R. [Larry Hagman]," Martin said a few years ago in an interview for a Dallas fan site.

The character was killed off in a plane crash to conclude Martin's initial stint on the series.

However...

on dallas

After J.R. Ewing was shot by an unseen assailant in what many consider to be the most buzzworthy season finale in TV history, viewer polls and Las Vegas oddsmakers made Dusty a favorite to be the answer to the question on literally everyone's minds:

"Who shot J.R.?"

For this reason, the series brought Dusty back from the dead.

"My agent said, 'Get ready, they are going to bring you back,'" Martin said in the past, explaining:

"I said, 'How? I'm dead.' My agent says, "Oh, this is Hollywood, they will think of something.'"

HA! That remains the case today, really.

J. Martin

Dusty would make an amazing recovery and even return to the rodeo circuit.

Upon his retirement from acting, Martin co-founded and served as the creative director for the non-profit Big Picture Alliance, which brought the world of filmmaking to inner-city kids.

He also spent his time as a painter and photographer after his acting days were over.

Martin is survived by Christian, wife Yu Wei, and grandchildren.

We send our condolences to the family members and loved ones of Jared Martin, as well as to those close to every celebrity who has passed away this year.

May they rest in peace.

Lady Gaga’s Best Friend Dies of Cancer

Lady Gaga is in need of your thoughts, prayers and condolences.

The singer’s long-time best friend, Sonja Durham, died on Friday after having been diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer.

Lady Gaga Instagram Image

Durham's husband, Andre, confirmed the sad news yesterday afternoon, saying his wife passed away "peacefully and beautifully" in their home.

Durham served for a number of years as Lady Gaga’s assistant and executive director.

She played a major role in the singer's life, both personally and professionally, as their relationship inspired Gaga’s single “Grigio Girls.”

This bonus track is featured on the deluxe edition of Joanne, which came out in October of 2016.

You should go listen to it if you can. It's beautiful, with lyrics talking about how Gaga and her friends would get together and share deep cries over Durham.

Earlier this year, Durham accompanied Lady Gaga to the Super Bowl for her halftime performance; while Gaga dedicated an acoustic version of "Edge of Glory" to Durham, at Coachella several weeks later.

“My friend Sonja is very sick and I love her so much, and if it’s okay with you, I’d like to sing this song for her," the star told the crowd upon doing so.

Sonja Durham

On Thursday, meanwhile, Gaga posted the above photo on Instagram and wrote the heartfelt message below as a caption.

Watching one of my best friends in the world show unfathomable courage, strength, and positivity while battling cancer has really changed my life.

Thank you Sonja for inspiring me and all of us everyday with your joy. I love you so much it brings tears to my eyes just to think of all the years we've spent together backstage running the show, taking care of each other.

You are one of a kind. I'm so proud of you.

And you and Andre, your unbreakable beautiful love is what life is all about. You can see it in this photo.

Wanted to share this with the world and show them what true beauty looks like. #grigiogirls #sonjadurham @sonjad7777 I love you girl. I love you so much.

Lady Gaga at Coachella

Lady Gaga, who had previously suffered from breast cancer, referred to Durham as her “guardian angel” in an earlier blog post.

Following Sonja's passing, the hashtah #RIPSonja started to trend on Twitter.

Durham had been close friends with Gaga for about eight years. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and in recent months it had spread to her lungs and brain.

Of “Grigio Girls,” Gaga told fans in attendance at Coachella in April:

'We were writing it because we were laying around one night and all the girls had gotten together, but Sonja wasn't there because sometimes we needed to get together without her, because we didn't want her to see us cry.

"So we formed this pact with each other that, when we needed to, we'd call together the Grigio Girls and cry it out."

Lady Gaga Sings at Coachella

May Sonja Durham rest in peace.

We send our condolences to her friends, family members and loved ones.

22 Stars Who Committed Suicide

Just because you are rich and famous, this does not mean you do not suffer.

Tragically, the following stars all proved this point to be accurate when they took their own lives.

We mourn their passing and we hope they have found the peace in death that they could not find in life...

1. Robin Williams

Robin williams
Suffering from depression, Robin Williams hanged himself at the age of 63.

2. Mindy McCready

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The country artist killed herself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2013, having twice attempted suicide in the past. Her children were already in foster care at the time of her death.

3. Kurt Cobain

Kurt cobain
Kurt Cobain stunned the music world when the Nirvana lead singer killed himself via gunshot at the age of 27.

4. Tony Scott

Tony scott
The director of Top Gun and True Romance, among other hits, died from multiple blunt force injuries after leaping off a bridge into the Los Angeles Harbor. He left notes for his friends and family.

5. Jovan Belcher

Jovan belcher
Jovan Belcher, a linebacker on the Kansas City Chiefs at the time, shot his girlfriend dead and then drove to team headquarters where he shot and killed himself in front of his coach and general manager. Horrible stuff.

6. Lucy Gordon

Lucy gordon
The British actress appeared in Spiderman 3 and Serendipity and was sadly found dead in her Paris apartment. She hanged herself.
View Slideshow

Chris Cornell Seemed ‘In Really Great Spirits’ To ‘Shocked’ Loved Ones

We're still reeling from the news that Chris Cornell committed suicide.

But apparently we weren't the only ones who didn't see any warning signs.

Photos: Stars We've Lost In 2017

During his final performance on Wednesday night, the audience found him to be full of energy, telling People:

"If something was wrong, he didn't show it. He seemed to be genuinely excited to be performing in Detroit."

A friend of Chris and his wife Vicky Karayiannis echoed those sentiments in reference to the final time they saw him, saying:

"Chris seemed in really great spirits and everyone is in complete shock."

Another friend shared the feeling, saying the father of three showed only positivity on the outside:

"He was an incredible family man. He loved all of his children. In the last month, he had just completed a tour for The Promise -- he brought his daughter and wife with him... He was an incredible human, an incredible father, and it's a fucking shock."

Chris wrote and performed the end-credits song for the film, which tells the story of the Armenian genocide.

Related: Elton John, Gavin Rossdale, & Countless Others Pay Tribute To Chris

We have no clue what was going through Chris' mind. But we just wish he had reached out instead of doing this.

If someone you know is considering suicide, please contact someone.

And if you'd rather not speak to someone you know, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

[Image via Nicky Nelson/WENN.]

Michael D. Jackson Dies; Former NFL Star Was 48

Former NFL wide receiver Michael D. Jackson has passed away at the age of 48.

Jackson divided his eight seasons in the pros between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, and he led the league in receiving yards in 1996.

After retiring from football, Jackson successfully ran for mayor of his hometown of Tangipahoa, Louisiana.

Michael D. Jackson

Sadly, it was while he was riding his motorcycle through the streets of his beloved hometown that Jackson's life was tragically cut short early Friday morning.

Police say Jackson was riding his 2013 Kawasaki at a "high rate of speed" when he collided with a car that was backing out of a driveway.

The impact of the crash was so powerful that Jackson's motorcycle smashed through the passenger's side door of the car and killed the driver, a 20-year-old woman.

A full investigation into the accident is being conducted.

Tributes to Jackson from fans, friends, and former teammates have been pouring in on social media since the moment that news of his death went public.

Michael D. Jackson Image

But while he's most famous for his career on the playing field, those who knew Jackson best say it's his commitment to public service that they'll remember most.

In 2008, Jackson entered the political arena and served for four years as the mayor of his native Tangipahoa.

"Right now, I want to set a standard," Jackson told the press upon being elected.

"I want to have that standard high enough so that whomever decides to run for this position they will feel obligated to do at least what I have done and far better — so that’s what I want to do."

He added:

"I want to set a concrete floor, so we can erect a house here in my hometown."

Michael D. Jackson Pic

Though his career was cut short by injury, Jackson put up impressive numbers in several seasons and played alongside some of the legends of the game.

He was a teammate of Brett Favre's during his time at Southern Mississippi University, and he played for Bill Belichick when the future Patriots legend was head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

"Michael Jackson was more than a great player, he was a great man," the Cleveland Browns tweeted.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in peace."

Steven Holcomb Dies; Former Gold Medalist Was 37

Steven Holcomb, a former Olympian Gold Medalist in the bobsled, was found dead in his room at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York on Saturday.

He was 37 years old.

Steven Holcomb

As of this writing, the cause of Holcomb's is unknown.

No foul play is suspected and it is believed he died in his sleep, although we'll know more about an autopsy is performed.

"The entire Olympic family is shocked and saddened by the incredibly tragic loss today of Steven Holcomb," Scott Blackmun, United States Olympic Committee CEO, said in a statement.

He added: "Steve was a tremendous athlete and even better person, and his perseverance and achievements were an inspiration to us all.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve's family and the entire bobsledding community."

Holcomb, a native of Park City, Utah, won a total of three medals while representing the United States at the Olympics.

He took home a Gold in 2010 after piloting the four-men sled that broke the United States’ 62-year first-place drought in the event.

And Holcomb also won two two bronze medals in 2014; the five-time world champion was training for the 2018 Games at the time of his death.

Steven Holcomb Picture

“The only reason why the USA is in any conversation in the sport of bobsled is because of Steve Holcomb,” U.S. bobsled pilot Nick Cunningham, who roomed next to Holcomb in Lake Placid, told the Associated Press.

“He was the face of our team. He was the face of our sport. We all emulated him.

"Every driver in the world watched him, because he was that good at what he did. It’s a huge loss, huge loss, not just for our team but for the entire bobsled community."

Holcomb battled depression in the past and even attempted suicide inside of a hotel room in 2007.

He wrote honestly and emotionally about this period in his life as part of his 2012 autobiography, "But Now I See: My Journey From Blindness to Olympic Gold."

The memoir chronicled how Holcomb was diagnosed with the eye disease keratoconus, which slowly degenerated his vision until a surgery saved his sight and, as a result, his bobsledding career.

Steven Holcomb Photo

“After going through all that and still being here, I realized what my purpose was,” Holcomb said in a 2014 interview with the AP.

Said USA Bobsled & Skeleton CEO Darrin Steele said in a statement on Saturday:

"It would be easy to focus on the loss in terms of his Olympic medals and enormous athletic contributions to the organization, but USA Bobsled & Skeleton is a family and right now we are trying to come to grips with the loss of our teammate, our brother and our friend."

We send our condolences to the family members, friends and loved ones of Steven Holcomb.

May he rest in peace.

24 Reality Stars Who Died Way Too Young

A lot of reality TV stars have tragically passed away in recent years. 

Some are from well known reality series. Some are lesser known. 

All of them are gone from this world, but will never be forgotten. Pay your respect below…

1. Gia Allemand

Gia allemand close up
Gia Allemand killed herself in 2013 after getting into an argument with her boyfriend.

2. Big Ang

Angela big ang raiola photo
Mob Wives star, Big Ang died of cancer in 2016.

3. Mindy McCready

Mindy mccready picture
Mindy McCready burst on to the scene in the 1990s. She died in 2013 due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

4. Corey Haim

Corey haim pic
This child star eventually became a reality star, but his life was cut short in 2010 when he died of pneumonia.

5. Lisa Marie Naegle

Lisa marie naegle
Lisa Marie Naegle of Bridalplasty fame was shockingly found murdered in December 2016.

6. Valerie Fairman

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Valerie Fairman of 16 & Pregnant fame died of an apparent overdose in December 2016.

View Slideshow

Patton Oswalt Pays Tribute to Wife One Year After Her Death

One year ago today, Michelle McNamara passed away in her sleep at the age of 46.

McNamara was an accomplished true crime writer, but was probably best known to the general public as the wife of beloved comedian Patton Oswalt.

Today, Oswalt marked the anniversary of his wife's passing in simple, but profound fashion.

Michelle McNamara Image

Oswalt tweeted two photos of McNamara this morning.

He captioned the images:

"A beautiful friend ... She opened up her heart and let me in..."

In the months since McNamara's death, Oswalt has been open the grieving process as well as the challenged of raising an 8-year-old daughter on his own.

Michelle McNamara Pic

McNamara's unexpected passing appears to have been the result of an accidental overdose caused by low doses of multiple medications that interacted and exacerbated a pre-existing condition.

"We learned today the combination of drugs in Michelle's system, along with a condition we were unaware of, proved lethal," Oswalt said back in February.

Medical examiners reported that McNamara had Xanax, Adderall and the potent prescription painkiller Fentanyl in her system at the time of her death.

In a tragic coincidence, her death came on the same day that Prince suffered a fatal overdose on Fentanyl, a drug that's responsible for much of America's worsening opioid epidemic.

Michelle McNamara and Patton Oswalt Pic

In the months of her life, McNamara was hard at work on a book about a murderer she dubbed "the Golden State Killer."

McNamara's unfinished work will serve as the basis for a 48 Hours special about the killer, set to air on Saturday night.

“She had a mind for the details of true crime the way other people have for baseball or me for films,” Oswalt says, discussing his wife's work for a segment the show.

“She could recall the details of pretty much every late 20th and 21st century crime. It was just in her head."

Michelle McNamara

After a several-month hiatus, Oswalt recently returned to acting and standup.

He's currently on tour and can also be seen in new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, available on Netflix.

We've always been fans of Patton's comedy, and now we're in total admiration of his strength, as well.

Our thoughts go out to Patton and his daughter on what must be an incredibly difficult day.

RIP Prince: Fans Remember Music Icon One Year After His Death

It's been one year since the world learned that Prince had passed away at his Minnesota home at the age of 57.

We know that Prince was a victim of the opioid epidemic currently ravaging the US, but while questions remain about the circumstances of his death, there was never any doubt about the enormity of his talent or the lasting impact of his life.

Today, fans marked the one year anniversary of the Purple One's death by paying homage on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Check out some of the most moving tributes in the gallery below:

1. At Paisley Park

At paisley park
Prince's impromptu performances remain a fond memory for the tens of thousands who ere lucky enough to witness one.

2. Prince: "For You" Lyrics

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Some fans sought solace in the Purple One's lyrics.

3. #PurpleDay

Number purpleday
Some fans have suggested an official holiday to mark Prince's passing.

4. "Dearly Beloved..."

Dearly beloved
Others noted that Prince addressed the big questions of life and death in his massive body of work.

5. A Life of Service

A life of service
Some fans took time to acknowledge Prince's humanitarian efforts.

6. Prince Mural

Prince mural
Murals commemorating the Purple one have sprung up all over the country. Not surprisingly, most are in Minnesota.
View Slideshow

Charlie Murphy: Mourned, Remembered by Stars Everywhere

May Charlie Murphy rest in peace.

On Wednesday afternoon, the comedian died of cancer at the age of 57, shocking friends and family members who thought the star was on the mend.

We've collected a series of reactions below from those in Hollywood who either knew Eddie Murphy's brother well or were familiar with his work and life...

1. Magic Johnson

Magic johnson
Rest in peace Charlie Murphy, a very talented writer, actor, and comedian. Condolences to the Murphy Family!

2. Chris Rock

Chris rock
We just lost one of the funniest most real brothers of all time . Charlie Murphy RIP.

3. Mike Epps

Mike epps
#RIP to my man #CharlieMurphy we will ride for you bro.. 1.

4. Kevin Hart

Kevin hart
Wow....This is crazy. All I can say is RIP. Thank you for not only being a friend but for believing in me when I was young in this comedy game. Charlie Murphy did the rewrite for the first movie that I ever did called "Paper Soldiers"....His stories were legendary & unbelievable & heartfelt. I'm lucky to have know you and I'm even luckier to be able to say that I was a friend. You will be missed man. #RIPCharlieMurphy.

5. Zendaya

Zendaya
Rest In Peace to the legend that is Charlie Murphy, thank you for always bringing us joy and laughter.

6. Questlove

Questlove
Darkness. Goodbye Charlie. Damn.
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Carrie Fisher’s Brother Todd Says Niece Billie Lourd Is A ‘Powerful Gal’ As She Copes With Two Tragic Family Losses

Billie Lourd is her grandmother's granddaughter.

The 24-year-old's uncle Todd Fisher said he's letting niece "breathe" following the tragic deaths of her mother Carrie Fisher and grandmother Debbie Reynolds.

Related: Todd Says Debbie Asked For His 'Permission' To Pass Away!

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight's Nancy O'Dell, the brother of the Star Wars icon said Lourd is doing the best she can in the wake of losing the two most influential women in her life.

The 59-year-old said the whole family is feeling the absence of Fisher and Reynolds' big personalities, confessing:

"I'm letting [Billie] breathe, you know? She needs to breathe... She's dealing with two gigantic losses. These two girls — my girls, my mother and my sister, were big, big personalities [with a] big influence on Billie, myself, many people. There's a vacuum in the room and she's feeling it and we're all feeling it."

As we reported, Fisher and Reynolds died within one day of each other in late December. Fisher passed at age 60 after suffering a heart attack on a plane. Her 84-year-old mother died one day later after suffering a stroke in Los Angeles.

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Todd remembered just how devastating the back-to-back losses were for the Scream Queens actress, continuing:

"When I was standing in the room the day after my sister died and we're in the hospital and my mother was dying, I mean, I was more heartbroken watching my niece than I was for myself. It was heart-wrenching. The idea that somebody would have to deal with that kind of a loss back to back, moment to moment — I mean we'd just had this horrible loss and then here you are just a handful of hours later standing in a different hospital in a different room. It was astounding."

Todd then praised Billie's father, CAA agent Bryan Lourd, for supporting his daughter during this difficult time, adding:

"I don't want to leave Bryan Lourd out of this. He's an awesome father and if it wasn't for him right now, we would be in a much tougher position. He has supported her beautifully. [But] you take those genes, and I think you've created a pretty powerful gal."

That's for sure!

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Todd says the rising star is the perfect blend of his sister and mom -- but admits she's much more similar to the Singin' In The Rain star, explaining:

"She's also genetically Carrie and Debbie... She is a lot more like my mother even than Carrie. You know, she's a little like Carrie but she's a lot like my mother, which means she's going to be another Molly Brown."

Today might look grim for Billie, but we're certain she has a bright future ahead of her.

[Image via Brian To/WENN.]