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Celebrity VIP Lounge

Celebrity Gossip Heard All Over The Web

Director and EGOT Winner Mike Nichols Passes Away

Famed director Mike Nichols has died, ABC confirmed to Us Weekly.

Nichols, who was also the husband of ABC News’ Diane Sawyerpassed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 19 at the age of 83. He was known for his work on Working Girl, The Remains of the Day, Silkwood and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He was also one of only 12 people to win an EGOT in their lifetime – an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. No small feat!

Mike and Diane had been married for 26 years, having three children and four grandchildren.

A private family funeral is will be held later in the week with a public memorial planned for a later date

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends in this difficult time.

Image via Rommel Demano/Getty

‘August: Osage County’ Actress Misty Upham Death Confirmed

Sad news! A spokeswoman for the family of Misty Upham has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter the actress has, in fact passed away.

The actress was reported missing on October 6. A body was then found in a ravine in Seattle, WA on Thursday afternoon, and it was confirmed that it was Misty, sadly. According to filmmaker and Misty’s friend Tracy Rector, Misty’s uncle Robert Upham, found her body, and her father, Charles Upham, confirmed that it was her to the authorities.  “We waited at the site where the team found the body,” said Tracy, who had been a part of the search party. “It took about five-and-a-half hours to confirm. Then we gathered around her body to say prayers and now we’re all gathered at the church.” Though her father had previously said that Misty suffered from bipolar disorder, and was off her medication when she went missing, leading him to believe that she could be suicidal. However, after seeing the body, the family felt that she didn’t.

The family is, however, angry with the Auburn Police Department, saying that the police slacked in helping with the search. “First and foremost,” Tracy continued in her interview with THR, “the family wants everyone to know that the Auburn police did not help with this situation at all. They refused to help. When she disappeared on Oct. 5, the family knew something was seriously wrong — it was out of character for her to be gone so long without being in touch — and they repeatedly went to the police, who insisted there was no cause for concern.”

This is a sad situation all around. Misty was only 32, and her cause of death is still unclear. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends!

Image via The Hollywood Reporter

 

 

It’s terrible

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Actress Makes Tear-Jerking Tribute to Robin Williams

It’s hard to believe that legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams has died, taking his own life after suffering from depression and addiction. It’s been clear since the news hit, that so many were impacted by his talent and kindheartedness, and loved him enough to pay tribute to him. That rings true as well for Lisa Jakub.

For those of you who may not remember, Lisa played the role of Lydia Hillard in the classic film, Mrs. Doubtfire, in which Robin starred as a man who, in the midst of a divorce, was so desperate to be around his children that he disguised himself as their nanny. Lydia, the oldest, shared a special bond with her dad, and, eventually, Mrs. Doubtfire herself.

Lisa has long since given up acting, instead focusing her interests on being a writer. In a tribute to Robin published to her personal blog, she spoke on how the actor changed her life. At the time of filming the movie, she was 14, and, one day, was expelled for missing five months of school for shooting. In the post, she calls the experience “devastating, feeling like “a freak and a reject.” Robin instantly felt for her and did an astonishing thing. Lisa wrote:

When I arrived at work the next day, Robin noticed that I was upset and asked me what was wrong. I explained what had happened, and the next day, he handed me a letter that he wrote to my school. He explained that I was just trying to continue my education while pursuing my career. He wrote embarrassingly kind things about my character and my work, and requested that they reconsider and allow me to return to my classes.

When I told him I still didn’t think they would take me back, he said, “It’s kinda like Amnesty International. That school just needs to know that people know the truth.”

Ultimately, the administrators did not take back their decision (although they kept and actually framed Robin’s letter, the jerks!). However, Lisa said that, in that moment, Robin changed her life by showing just that small nugget of kindness, and teaching her a very valuable lesson: “You stand up for the things that matter. And even if your attempts fail, you tried.”

Though she wrote him a thank you note then, she assumed, that “there would be some future opportunity to tell him that his letter changed my life.” After hearing of Robin’s passing, Lisa wrote of another clear lesson:

If you have someone in your life that you are grateful for — someone to whom you want to write another heartfelt, slanted, misspelled thank you note -– do it. Tell them they made you feel loved and supported. That they made you feel like you belonged somewhere and that you were not a freak. Tell them all of that.

It’s sad knowing that Robin is gone. Devastating really, for those of us who grew up on his films. However, little stories like this that are pouring in help in making me smile, knowing just how kind and awesome Robin Williams truly was.

Image via Lisa Jakub

The Brady Bunch’s Ann B. Davis Dead at 88

Sad news! Ann B. Davis, best known for her role as witty housekeeper Alice Nelson on the hit sitcom, The Brady Bunch, has died at the age of 88.

A close friend of the actress, Bishop William Frey, said that she died at a hospital in San Antonio, Texas, where she was treated after hitting her head in a fall. After suffering  a subdural hematoma, he said, she never regained consciousness.

Actress Florence Henderson, who played mom Carol Brady on the show, was sad to hear of her former co-star’s death. “I am so shocked and sad to learn that my dear friend and colleague, Ann B Davis, died today,” she said in a Facebook post. “I spoke with her a couple of months ago and she was doing great!”

Back in 2004, in speaking with the Archive of American Television, Davis described how she created the famous character. “I made up a background story. I did have a twin sister, so I used that as a basis. I cared very much about this family. It was my family. It was as close to my family as Alice would ever get. I would have died for any single one of them at any point,” she said. “You know, they wrote me such gorgeous things to do, as the intermediary between the kids and the adults, and between the boys and the girls. And they gave me funny things to do.” The role earned her two Emmys, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Though her character was great with kids and housework, Davis admitted in an interview with People magazine in 1992 that she was not like her character much at all. “I basically don’t do that well with children, although my sister says I’m a great aunt,” she said, also stating that she hated to cook. “When it’s my turn in the house,” she told the magazine, “we just eat out.”

So sad to hear of her passing! She was definitely an iconic actress whose legacy will live on.  Thoughts go out to her family and friends.

Image via CBS/Getty Images

Maya Angelou Passes Away at 86

Sad news! Famed author Maya Angelou has died. Her literary agent, Helen Brann, confirmed Dr. Angelou died at the age of 86 in her Winston-Salem, North Carolina home.

Angelou was born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, and was raised in both St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas, which was then segregated .  After being raped at the age of 7 by her mother’s boyfriend, she testified against him, resulting in him being beaten to death by a mob. After this tragic situation, she didn’t speak again for years. “My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years,” she has said. Instead, she began writing, and  the rest is history.

Angelou’s work spans over several decades, and branches out beyond just writing. Over the years, she sang, danced, and produced and starred in several films and productions, and is known for one of her most respected autobiographical books, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” Though she never attended college, Angelou has over 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. “I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”

To honor this great woman, back in 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Dr. Angelou will definitely be missed. It’s sad that she has passed on, but she truly lived a full life, doing what she loved and was great at, and inspiring millions. That’s a great legacy to leave behind!  Thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones. Rest in peace Dr. Angelou.

Image via Moneta Sleet Jr/Ebony Collection/AP

The Dating Game’s Jim Lange Dead at 81

Jim Lange, the first host of The Dating Game, has died.  The host, who passed away on Tuesday February 25, was 81.

Jim’s wife, Nancy Fleming, confirmed the news to the Associated Press on Wednesday that he died after suffering a heart attack at his home in Mill Valley, Calif.

Jim had a great career as a game host! After hosting The Dating Game for over a decade, he hosted other game shows including Hollywood Connection$100,000 Name That Tune, and The New Newlywed Game.

Even after his retirement from broadcast, the host went on to work as a radio DJ in L.A. and the San Francisco Bay Area as host of The Lange Gang on KABL. “As much as he’s known for his television work, his real love was radio,” his wife said. “He loved doing local radio, especially before it was computerized.”

Jim is survived by his wife, sister, five children, two stepchildren, and four grandchildren.

Sad that we have lost another legendary figure in the entertainment industry! Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. 

Image via ABC / Getty Images

Filmmaker Harold Ramis Dead at 69

Filmmaker Harold Ramis has passed away, originally reported by the Chicago Tribune reported. He was 69.

He died at 12:53 a.m. early Monday morning, with family by his side. His wife, Erica Mann Ramis, told the Tribune that he passed away from autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, which is a rare disease involving swelling of the blood vessels. His health began to suffer in May 2010, when he got an infection that led to complications with the disease. According to Laurel Ward, Vice President of Development at Harold’s Ocean Pictures production company, Harold suffered a relapse of the vasculitis in late 2011.

Harold was best known for directing and writing Caddyshack, Groundhog Day and Analyze That. He also played the role of Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters, which he co-wrote with Dan Aykroyd.

Dan issued a statement Monday, saying he was “deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my brilliant, gifted, funny friend … May he now get the answers he was always seeking.”

Harold is survived by his wife, Erica, sons Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet, and two grandchildren.

Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Image via NY Daily News

Legendary Actress Shirley Temple Black Passes Away at 85

Sad news! Legendary actress Shirley Temple Black has died. Best known for her roles as a child in the 1930s as well as her bouncy curls, Ms. Black (known professionally as just Shirley Temple), died on Monday, February 10, at home, according to her publicist. She was 85 years old.

Her rep added that she was surrounded by family members and loved ones at the time of her death. The family said in a statement: “We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife for fifty-five years of the late and much missed Charles Alden Black.”

Shirley Temple was a huge commercial star, starring in films like “Stand Up and Cheer,” “Heidi,” and “The Little Princess.”  In fact, that she is often credited with saving her studio, 20th Century Fox, from bankruptcy. She retired from film in 1950, turning over to politics.  She served as the U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia in 1989. “My main job (initially) was human rights, trying to keep people like future President Vaclav Havel out of jail,” she said in an interview.

The actress won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 from the Screen Actors’ Guild. “I have one piece of advice for those of you who want to receive the lifetime achievement award. Start early,” she quipped.

She is survived by three children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Shirley Temple was an incredible talent, who never seemed to let the fame get to her. I grew up loving her, even though her work was not during my time. I even rocked the bouncy curls way back when! She will definitely be missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones!

Image via Harry Warnecke/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Fresh Prince’s James Avery Passes Away

Very sad news to start the new year! James Avery, best known for his role as Uncle Phil on “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” died on Tuesday, his publicist confirmed to ABC News. The actor died from complications of open heart surgery, Cynthia Snyder informed the media.

Before becoming an actor, James served in the Navy in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969. He returned back to the States, moving to San Diego, and wrote poetry and TV scripts for PBS, including the Emmy Award-winning production, “Ameda Speaks: Poet James Avery.” In addition to Fresh Prince, he also lent his voice to several animated TV series, including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Iron Man.”  Most recently, James worked on Zach Braff‘s film, “Wish I Was Here,” which will premiere at the Sundance film festival.

“Fresh Prince” co-star Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton, tweeted earlier today:

Prayers go out to his family and friends!  Of course, James was best known to us as Uncle Phil. Fresh Prince was my show, and I’m saddened to know that another great talent has left us. I know that his legacy as an actor, as well as a strong person to his loved ones, will continue to live on!

Image via Michael Tran/Getty Images

Nelson Mandela Dead at 95

Sad news to report. Former South African president, Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 95. Best known his imprisonment of 27 years and then leading his home country in the fight against racial oppression, Mandela experienced many health problems over the past few years, including a recurring lung infection that led to several hospitalizations.

In spite of his imprisonment, he emerged peacefully to try to end apartheid, pushing a message of forgiveness and becoming a strong example of leadership throughout the world. “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” Mandela famously said after he was freed in in 1990.

“Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,”  the current South African President Jacob Zuma said. “What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.” President Barack Obama, praised Mandela for his character as well. We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth,” Obama said. “He no longer belongs to us. He belongs with the ages.”

Nelson Mandela will always be respected and admire for his leadership, courage, and humility. Prayers to his family, friends, and South Africa!

Image via Nelson Mandela Online

Lee Thompson Young Dead of Apparent Suicide

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Sad news to report. Lee Thompson Young, best known for the 1990s’ Disney series, The Famous Jett Jackson, has died. Officials say that his death was a suicide, his publicist confirmed to TMZ. The actor was 29 years old.

Lee’s publicist told TMZ, “It is with great sadness that I announce that Lee Thompson Young tragically took his own life this morning…Lee was more than just a brilliant young actor, he was a wonderful and gentle soul who will be truly missed.”

Lee was discovered this morning reportedly with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found after staff on the set of Rizzoli & Isles, in which Lee appeared as Boston detective Barry Frost, called the actor’s landlord to check his apartment when he failed to show up for work.

Rizzoli & Isles creator Janet Tamaro shared her love for Lee on Twitter. “We are all without the words to truly express our collective grief and profound sadness at the loss of such a sweet, bright light,” she tweeted. “We are broken-hearted. #RIPLeeThompsonYoung.”

Absolutely heartbreaking! I grew up watching The Famous Jett Jackson, and other roles that that he’s had over the years, including Friday Night Lights and Akeelah and the Bee. He was a talented, entertaining actor. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. RIP Lee.

Image via Robert Voets/UPN/CBS

Lisa Robin Kelly of That ’70s Show Dead At 43

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Lisa Robin Kelly, who played Laurie Forman, the older sister of Topher Grace‘s character Eric Forman on That ’70s Show, has died at the age of 43. She passed away in her sleep Wednesday night in her Los Angeles home.

“Unfortunately Lisa Robin Kelly passed away last evening,” Lisa’s agent, Craig Wyckoff said Thursday. “Lisa had voluntarily checked herself into a treatment facility early this week where she was battling the addiction problems that have plagued her these past few years.

“I spoke to her on Monday and she was hopeful and confident, looking forward to putting this part of her life behind her. Last night she lost the battle. Cause of death has not been issued yet and no death certificate has been issued either.”

Lisa has been open about her problems with alcohol, and had been arrested at least four times over the past three years on DUI charges, as well as spousal abuse and assault. She was just arrested earlier this year on suspicion of drunk driving in Southern California.

So sad! Alcoholism is truly a disease, and thought we’re not sure what exactly Lisa died of, it’s sad that’s she struggled with this addiction for so long. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.

Image via Everett Collection

The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini Dead at 51

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James Gandolfini, the actor best known for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano in the HBO series The Sopranos, has died following a massive heart attack at the age of 51.

At the time of his death, the actor was visiting Italy, and was scheduled to make an appearance at the Taormina Film Fest in Sicily this week.

James won three Emmy Awards for his role as Tony on the show, which aired from 1999 to 2007. “Jimmy was the spiritual core of our Sopranos family, and I am stunned at this devastating loss,” said Chris Albrecht, the former president of HBO who gave the green light to “The Sopranos.” “He was a great talent, but an even better man. My thoughts are with his family.”

“He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that,” David Chase, who developed “The Sopranos,” said in a statement. “…A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.”

James married his wife, former model Deborah Lin, and they had a baby girl this past October. The couple were married in Hawaii in 2008. He also had a son with ex-wife Marcy Wudarski.

So sad to hear! It’s definitely a huge shock, because he was only in his his early 50s. We’re losing more and more celebs these days it seems. Keeping his family and friends in my thoughts and prayers!

Image via Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Film Critic Roger Ebert Dead At 70

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Sadly, legendary film critic Roger Ebert has died at the age of 70 from thyroid cancer. Just on April 2, he revealed on his blog that  his cancer had returned and that he would be reducing his reviews down at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mr. Ebert wrote that he would be taking a “leave of presence,” so he could engage in radiation treatment. “It means I am not going away,” he explained. “My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers handpicked and greatly admired by me. What’s more, I’ll be able at last to do what I’ve always fantasized about doing: reviewing only the movies I want to review.”

The film critic was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002, and cancerous growths were found on his salivary glands a year later. He had multiple surgeries that left him without the ability to speak.

Mr. Ebert began working at the Chicago Sun-Times as a film critic 46 years ago, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. His film reviews became legendary, with his fan base building to millions.

What was great about him is that he did not pity himself, nor expected pity from others, for his condition. He kept moving, and doing what he loved–reviewing films! He will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Chaz, and the rest of his family and friends.

Image via Esquire

Mexican-American Singer Jenni Rivera Killed in Plane Crash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been confirmed Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera died along with six other passengers in a private jet crash on Sunday. She at first was said to be missing in the plane crash, with a search party even going out for the singer, but the results were unfortunately tragic.

Investigators confirmed that the wreckage of the plane carrying Jenni and her team, was discovered south of the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, where her plane had left at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday Dec. 9.

A spokesman for Mexico’s civil aviation authority said that, sadly, the plane crash had no survivors, and the destruction so horrible that bodies could not yet be identified. Jenni and the other passengers were to land in Toluca (near Mexico City) an hour from departure.

The singer was in Monterrey for a concert. Known for her popular renditions of classic Mexican music, Jenni has won several Grammys and has sold 15 million records. She leaves behind five children. Thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends, as well as those of the other victims. May they rest in peace.

Image via Alexander Tamargo/WireImage