And Weezy wept. According to TMZ, The Jeffersons star and comedic acting great Sherman Hemsley has passed away at his home in El Paso, Texas today. Hemsley was unmarried and leaves behind no children. Sources indicate that the actor was found by his nurse, who initially believed Hemsley was asleep before subsequently alerting the authorities. So far, it appears that 74-year-old Sherman died of natural causes. Either way, the afterlife is welcoming an extremely cantankerous angel as we speak.
While Sherman made a name for himself on the ’70s sitcom hits All In The Family and The Jeffersons, if a ’90s TV show needed an ornery grandpa, feisty judge or a short-tempered dinosaur, Hemsley was their man. Whether it was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Family Matters, Sister, Sister or The Dinosaurs, chances are if you’ve watched TV in the last 35 years, you’ve seen the man at work. And we weren’t even joking about the dinosaur part! Hemsley’s last acting gig was in 2011 on an episode of House of Payne playing, who else, George Jefferson. If you’re unfamiliar with the role that made Hemsley a star (if that’s even possible), please take a moment to pay homage to a classic TV character, and a talented man who made us laugh:
Our condolences go out to Bobby Brown and his family right now. Bobby’s father, Herbert Brown, passed away on Friday after a long battle with cancer. He was 82 years old and had been ill for a while. If anyone of you watched Being Bobby Brown, Herbert, whom Bobby called “Pop,” was on the show quite regularly. R.I.P., Pop.
Our condolences to James Franco, whose father, Doug Franco, passed away last week at age 63. The cause of death has not been revealed as yet, but James’ mother, Betsy Franco did tweet a very heartbreaking message yesterday writing, “It is true that my sweet, generous husband passed away. He gave so much to his three sons and me, and to many other people, too.” The family has always seemed very close with James often mentioning his dad in interviews revealing things like, “I’m not serious all the time. It’s not like I grew up in a house full of jokes, but my dad did turn me on to Monty Python.” We’re sending out our sincerest best wishes to the whole family.
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Such sad news to report. Lovely Uncle Frank Potenza from Jimmy Kimmel Live! died early yesterday morning. The silver haired guard was a staple on the show featuring in many comedic sketches. He was only 77 when he passed away and details around the cause of death have not yet been released. ABC‘s statement reads, “It is with great sadness that the staff and crew of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ mourn the loss of ‘Uncle Frank’ Potenza. He was beloved by his co-workers and considered an uncle to all. His kindness and humor will be missed by everyone he touched.”
Before working on Jimmy Kimmel‘s — his nephew — show, Frank spent 2 decades as an NYC police officer. Kimmel tweeted, “thank you for your kind words about a very kind man – my Uncle Frank – who passed away this morning.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
Just yesterday, we reported how Lamar Odom was involved in an accident that left two people seriously injured. While Odom himself — he wasn’t driving — was left unscathed, a motocyclist and a bystander were hit ad taken to hospital in pretty bad condition. Unfortunately, the bystander, a 15 year old boy, died because of the injuries sustained sustained from the crash.
Lamar’s rented car was in the Queens neighborhood when the driver got into an accident with a motorcyclist, which rammed into the boy. He was rushed to hospital because of major head injuries and emergency surgery was performed. It’s just awful that he couldn’t be saved and passed away the following day. The boys funeral took place yesterday. Our sincere prayers go out to his family. Lamar was in town to attend a cousin’s funeral and is reportedly devastated about the boy’s death.
Plenty of performers cancel concerts due to highly suspicious claims of “exhaustion.” Rapper Drake seems like the only artist who cancels due to “a reason that actually exists.” Earlier today the rapper officially canceled his Saturday night performance at Universal Studio’s Summer Concert Series after finding out about the death of his uncle. “We regret to announce that Drake will not be able to take the stage at Universal Orlando Resort due to a death in the family,” Drake’s representation said in a statement. “He hopes that his fans understand the situation he finds himself in and know that he fully intends to return to the area in the future. He thanks Universal Orlando Resort and his fans for their continued support.” Early this morning Drake tweeted, “Stay Now…Then Go.” TMZ reports that the rapper is already with his family.
Looks like Kenickie has retuned to the great drag race in the sky, as Jeff Conaway died this morning after spending several weeks in a coma. Tweeted Phil Brock, the actor’s agent, “Our beloved client Jeff Conaway passed away at 10:30AM. We loved him as a person,respected him as an artist and he will be always remembered.” Meanwhile, to Dr. Drew, Jeff Conaway’s death was clearly the result of the Taxi star’s long-term drug use, as there was allegedly no evidence of an overdose lead to his demise, despite rumors to the contrary. “This was aspiration with overwhelming pneumonia and sepsis,” Dr. Drew said today. “Jeff is another pharmaceutical death from the overutilization of prescription drugs. Please continue to pray for friends and family. They appreciate your support.” Conaway starred in Grease and as actor Bobby Wheeler on Taxi, as well as appearing on The Bold and the Beautiful and Baylon 5; he is probably best known for his appearances on Celebrity Rehab, where he struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Marie Osmond‘s 18-year-old son Michael Blosil tragically took his own life on Friday night in Los Angeles. The singer, currently living in Las Vegas, issued the following statement after her son’s death: “My family and I are devastated and in deep shock by the tragic loss of our dear Michael and ask that everyone respect out privacy during this difficult time.”
The teen reportedly has battled depression for several years and checked into rehab in 2007 for undisclosed reasons. He was enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in L.A. and on Friday evening he had reportedly texted a friend to come over, which was his last known attempt to contact anyone. The text explained that he left his friend a note, which is reported to be a suicide note, the contents of which have not been disclosed. Upon her arrival at his apartment, the friend and Blosil’s roommates found the note, but it wasn’t until they heard ambulance sirens that they were alerted to the fact that he had leapt from the 8th floor apartment. An autopsy performed on Blosil on Sunday has proved inconclusive. Toxicology results will be returned in 4 to 5 weeks. [Photo: Getty Images]
Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is in the news today, but not because of the upcoming Winter Olympics. Tragically, Kerrigan’s father Daniel died after an altercation with her brother Mark, who is being charged with assault and battery on a person over 60. The elder Kerrigan appears to have had a heart attack as a result of a struggle with his son in their Massachusetts home. Mark was recently released from a local house of corrections after being jailed for a separate case of assault and battery. He pleaded not guilty to the charges surrounding his father’s death and is being held on $10,000 bail.
Kerrigan herself is famous for being the victim of an attack during the 1994 Winter Olympics when rival Tonya Harding and her husband Jeff Gillooly conspired to attack Kerrigan in order to take her out of the competition. She recovered from the attack to win a silver medal that year. [Photo: Getty Images]
Sad news has sent shock waves across Britain with the news that comedian Matt Lucas’s ex-husband Kevin McGee has committed suicide.Ã‚Â 32-year-old TV producer Kevin was found hanging in his Edinburgh home, after posting a haunting status update on his Facebook page, reading, “Kevin thinks death is much better than life.” He had battled a cocaine addiction, which Matt had tried to help him off by paying for stints in rehab.
The “Little Britain” star and comedian married Kevin in one of the first high-profile civil partnership ceremonies in 2006, but the relationship broke down 18 months later and they divorced last year. Matt – a big star in the UK – was currently starring in a stage production of Prick Up Your Ears which he’s now pulled out of. In a distressing stroke of art imitating life, his stage character has suicidal tendencies and ends up murdering his partner.