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October 8, 2015

celebrity deaths

Dwayne McDuffie, Comics and Cartoon Writer, Dies

by Comics Alliance Staff, posted Feb 22nd 2011 7:00PM
Dwayne McDuffieFrom ComicsAlliance: Dwayne McDuffie, a respected comics writer and animation producer, died Monday evening after complications from a surgical procedure.

McDuffie was best known by TV fans for creating the animated series 'Static Shock' and writing/producing 'Justice League Unlimited.' He oftened championed minority characters in comic book via his company Milestone Media.

DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio said, "Dwayne McDuffie left a lasting legacy on the world of comics that many writers can only aspire to. He will not only be remembered as the extremely gifted writer whose scripts have been realized as comic books, in television shows and on the silver screen, but as the creator or co-creator of so many of the much-loved Milestone characters, including Static Shock. The industry has lost a true talent."

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Len Lesser, 'Seinfeld's' Uncle Leo, Dead at 88

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 16th 2011 10:15PM
Len LesserLen Lesser, best-known to TV fans as Uncle Leo on 'Seinfeld,' has died.

Lesser died from pneumonia in Burbank, CA. He was 88.

He had a very long television career, making his first appearance on a 1949 -- yes, 1949! -- episode of 'Studio One.' During the course of his 60-year career he appeared in such shows as 'Dragnet,' 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'Mike Hammer' (the 50s version), 'Playhouse 90,' 'The Jack Benny Program,' 'The Untouchables,' 'The Outer Limits,' 'The Wild, Wild West,' 'Get Smart,' 'Boy Meets World,' 'ER,' 'Cold Case' and dozens of others.

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Peggy Rea, 'Waltons' and 'Dukes of Hazzard' Star, Dies at 89

by PopEater Staff, posted Feb 11th 2011 11:45AM
Peggy ReaPeggy Rea, an actress who starred in 'The Waltons' and 'Dukes of Hazzard,' died Saturday at the age of 89.

According to The New York Times, Rea died of heart failure in her home in Toluca Lake, Calif.

Rea was a fixture on television in the late 1970s and early 1980s, playing Olivia Walton's cousin Rose on 'The Waltons' and Boss Hoggs' wife Lulu on 'The Dukes of Hazzard.' The actress also appeared on 'All in the Family,' 'The Golden Girls' and 'Step by Step.'

Her last TV role was as Jean Kelly, the feisty mother-in-law to Brett Butler's titular character on the sitcom 'Grace Under Fire.'

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Sal Picinich, 'Cake Boss' Baker, Dies of Cancer

by PopEater Staff, posted Feb 1st 2011 4:20PM
Sal Picinich, Cake BossSal Picinich, the baker on TLC's 'Cake Boss,' has died at the age of 63, according to NorthJersey.com.

The Croatian-born Picinich worked for 45 years in Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, N.J., where the reality series is filmed.

Buddy Valastro, the show's namesake Cake Boss, viewed Picinich as a "second father," said Carlo's Bakery publicist Adam Bourcier. Picinich also worked with Valastro's father.

The fourth season of 'Cake Boss' began Jan. 24. Picinich's appearances on the show dwindled in late 2009, when his battle with cancer began.

"The minute he didn't go down to Carlo's Bakery was the minute I knew Sal was starting to feel pain," said his wife, Lucille Picinich.

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Jack LaLanne, Fitness Expert, Dead at 96

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 23rd 2011 11:10PM
Jack LaLanneJack LaLanne, one of the most recognizable TV fitness experts, has passed away.

LaLanne died of complications from pneumonia at his home in California. He was 96.

LaLanne was a real visionary, someone who believed that regular exercise and healthy eating were the secrets to not only losing weight but maybe even prolonging your life. TV viewers are most familiar with him thanks to the long running 'The Jack LaLanne Show.' The series debuted on on San Francisco's KGO-TV in 1951 and then ran on ABC, ending in 1985.

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Don Kirshner, Rock Producer Behind 'The Monkees,' Dead at 76

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 18th 2011 3:00PM
Don KirshnerDon Kirshner, the veteran music producer, promoter and host of the long-running late night music show 'Don Kirshner's Rock Concert,' has passed away.

Kirshner died of heart failure in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 76.

As co-founder of the Aldon music publishing company, he published such hits as 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow'?, 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'' and 'Sugar, Sugar.' Kirshner was also a major force behind the wacky Beatles copy band The Monkees.

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John Dye of 'Touched By An Angel' Dead at 47

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2011 11:30AM
John DyeJohn Dye, who played angel Andrew on 'Touched By An Angel' for nine seasons, has died.

The actor passed away from heart failure in California on Monday. He was 47.

The Mississippi-born actor co-starred with Roma Downey and Della Reese on the hit CBS show from 1994 to 2003, and was a regular on shows including 'Tour of Duty,' 'Jack's Place' and 'Hotel Malibu.'

He also appeared on 'Murder, She Wrote,' 'Promised Land,' and ''The Young & The Restless,' as well as the TV movies 'The Billionaire Boys Club,' 'Once Upon A Christmas,' and its sequel, 'Twice Upon A Christmas.'

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Bill Erwin, 'Seinfeld' Character Actor, Dead at 96

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 4th 2011 2:23PM
Bill ErwinBill Erwin, a veteran character actor probably best known for his Emmy-nominated guest role on 'Seinfeld' as old man Sid Fields, has passed away.

Erwin died in Studio City, Calif. on Dec. 29. He was 96.

Before 'Seinfeld,' Erwin had already had a long career on TV, appearong on shows including 'Hallmark Hall of Fame,' 'Studio 57,' 'Highway Patrol,' 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents,' 'I Love Lucy,' 'The Twilight Zone,' 'Sea Hunt,' 'Leave it to Beaver,' 'The Andy Griffith Show,' 'Mister Ed,' 'Maverick,' 'Lassie,' 'Perry Mason,' 'The Fugitive,' 'Get Smart,' 'Gunsmoke,' 'The Waltons,' 'Moonlighting,' 'Star Trek: TNG,' 'Growing Pains,' 'The West Wing,' 'Monk,' 'My Name is Earl' and dozens more.

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Anne Francis, Star of 'Honey West,' Dead at 80

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 3rd 2011 1:25PM
Anne FrancisAnne Francis, who played the first female detective on a TV series in ABC's 'Honey West' in 1965, has passed away.

Francis died of pancreatic cancer in Santa Barbara, Calif. She was 80.

To list Francis' roles on TV would be like listing all of the shows that were made between 1949 and 2004. Let's just say she appeared in a lot of programs, including 'Kraft Theater,' 'Rawhide,' 'The Untouchables,' 'Route 66,' 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents,' 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' 'The Invaders,' 'Mission: Impossible,' 'My Three Sons,' 'Columbo,' 'Dallas,' 'Home Improvement,' 'Wings' and 'Without a Trace.'

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In Memoriam: TV Stars We Lost in 2010

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 26th 2010 10:00AM
Gary ColemanA lot of celebrities die every year, but going over the deaths from 2010, it seems like an inordinate amount of classic TV stars died this year.

We compiled a list of TV-related people we lost in 2010. It's a long list, with links to the full obituaries for each. With so many TV stars passing away over the months, we may have missed one or two, so if there's an obit we overlooked, please let us know in the comments.

Gary Coleman. The 'Diff'rent Strokes' actor had a lot of health complications over years after being born with a kidney disease, but he actually died from a brain hemorrhage he suffered after a fall at home in May. He was 42.

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'Barney Miller' Star Steve Landesberg Dead at 74

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 21st 2010 8:30AM
Steve LandesbergSteve Landesberg, who played dry, intellectual detective Arthur Dietrich on the classic ABC sitcom 'Barney Miller,' has died.

Landesberg passed away in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. He was 74.

Aside from his role on 'Barney Miller,' Landesberg was also a veteran stand-up comic and writer. He wrote several episodes of the STARZ series 'Head Case,' and played Dr. Finkelstein on the show. He also had a regular role on 'Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers' and made appearances on 'The Golden Girls,' 'Ghost Whisperer,' 'That '70s Show,' 'American Dad,' 'Harvey Birdman, Attorney-At-Law,' 'Law & Order,' The Rockford Files' and many others.

His last role was in a 2009 episode of 'The Cleaner.'

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Don Meredith, 'Monday Night Football' Analyst, Dead at 72

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 6th 2010 1:00PM
Monday Night Football teamDon Meredith, the former 'Monday Night Football' co-host, has died at the age of 72.

Meredith passed away in Santa Fe, NM of complications from emphysema and a brain hemorrhage he suffered on Sunday. He previously suffered a stroke in 2004.

Meredith was probably unknown to many younger TV viewers, but "Dandy Don" was everywhere in the 1970s and '80s. His trademark while calling games, besides his casual demeanor and humor, was singing 'Turn Out The Lights' when it was obvious that the game was indeed over.

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Remembering Jill Clayburgh, TV Star

by Jane Murphy, posted Nov 8th 2010 7:00PM
Fans still missing 'Dirty Sexy Money' are now mourning anew. The matriarch of the dysfunctional Darling clan, Jill Clayburgh, died last week at the age of 66.

If you only knew Clayburgh from her work on the sometimes-outrageous Manhattan drama, you probably had more of a connection to her than you think. She made several appearances on 'The Practice', 'Nip/Tuck', 'Law & Order', and played 'Ally McBeal's mother.

Away from TV, here's another piece of Clayburghia: did your high school ever put on a production of 'Pippin'? ('fess up!) Clayburgh was 'Pippin's original Catherine on Broadway in the early 1970s.

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Julien Hug, Former 'Bachelorette' Contestant, Found Dead

by PopEater Staff, posted Nov 4th 2010 3:45PM
Julien HugJulien Hug, a 35-year-old former contestant on 'The Bachelorette,' was reportedly found dead along a scenic Southern California highway, according to his father.

KGTV in San Diego reports that Julien Hug's father, Bertrand Hug, confirmed the body was found Wednesday. Hug was a contestant on Jillian Harris' season in 2009.

Riverside County authorities wouldn't confirm the identity or whether they suspected foul play. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Sheriff's Sgt. Joe Borja says a body was found in the remote Pinyon Pines area off State Route 74. Sheriff's Deputy Melissa Nieburger told the press that the body was found in an area that "you would need to hike into."

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'Wheel of Fortune' Announcer Charlie O'Donnell Dies at 78

by PopEater Staff, posted Nov 2nd 2010 10:20AM
Charlie O'Donnell'Wheel of Fortune' announcer Charlie O'Donnell, whose signature voice opened the game show for decades, died at the age of 78 in his Los Angeles home.

Agent Fred Wostbrock said Monday that O'Donnell -- who voiced the game show even before hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White joined -- said the cause was unclear.

O'Donnell's signature phrase, "Wheeeeeeel of Fortune," could be heard on the show from its beginning with host Chuck Woolery in 1975. He worked on the show until 1980, and again from 1988 until his death.

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